Tag Archives: RV Mods

Carol’s Corner

Carol-WallerToday’s post is about my better side, the one who keeps me straight and is available to call 911 when I am climbing around on roofs. My wife Carol has been my better side for 47 years now. As I stated in my Who We Are page, I think I’ll keep her. Carol loves craft projects as long as they require the use of needle and thread. When we bought our first RV, we had one strict requirement.  we had to have space for Carol’s Corner.

100_0319Here we sit in our first home on wheels. May 4, 2011 we drove to Elk City, OK to complete the purchase of our 2008 Cedar Creek 38 foot fifth wheel. By the time we got it back to our house in Corpus Christi, TX we determined that this very uncomfortable couch would have to find a new home because that is where Carol’s Corner would go.

100_0485By October 2011, this is what the space looked like with the couch removed.


Then the pieces came in. I am sure glad I practiced the principle of measure twice and cut once as I squeezed the carcass through that narrow RV door. Carol was on the inside steering the carcass. We only had a couple of inches to spare. Once it was in and turned, it was easy to lay it down to position it in the space where the ugly and awful couch once resided.

100_0491With the top in place, it is beginning to look like a decent work area. The top is from a standard 6 foot long folding table similar to what is available at Home Depot, Lowes, CostCo, Sam’s or where ever you prefer to shop. For a closer look, click here to see the table Home Depot sells. I removed all metal legs and frame from the table. So all that is left is the light weight top.


Now Carol can begin to load up Carol’s Corner. Carol’s embroidery machine fits into the slot on the left when we travel and the roll out bins are turned around for travel so the drawers do not open.

IMG_0083We were in Blue Ridge, GA workamping at Windy Valley Llamas during the summer of 2012. Carol is deep in thought about the project she is working on. You can tell from this photo that we moved Carol’s Corner to the rear of the fifth wheel. It only made sense because it gave her a bit more floor space and much better natural lighting.

DSCN0041Carol’s Corner was doing just fine until on a whim, we decided to trade the Cedar Creek fifth wheel in on a 38 foot 2004 Winnebago motor home. The only way the deal could work is if we had space for Carol’s Corner. As you can see, the bedroom had this nice little sitting area. As with most RV furniture, we decided the uncomfortable chairs had to go. This is where Carol’s Corner would find a home.

We had fun squeezing the carcass into the motor home door. We did determine the magic number for RV doors is 28″. The 8 foot width of the motor home is the same as the 8 foot width of the fifth wheel. That made it easy for everything to fit just fine.

IMG_2117Carol is happy as a queen working away in Carol’s Corner. Her small ironing board is on the left, The red case on the left is her embroidery machine’s embroidery arm. She even has a scrap bag just to her right. Under the TV is her DVD player so she can catch her favorite movies while stitching away. On the right you can see her Ott light. It has seen better days. It got caught in the bedroom slide one day as we were setting up the motor home. Now we pay attention to where it is when we close everything up for travel. The crutches — we won’t go there.

IMG_2115When you have a sophisticated high-tech embroidery machine you always need a back up. She recently discovered that the feed dog on the embroidery machine will not come up to operate as it should. While in embroidery mode, the feed dog drops since the embroidery arm moves the fabric every which way. Carol’s backup machine also works well when she is going to a sewing class.

IMG_2196I know the one question you are thinking – “Where does Carol keep her fabric stash?” Well, the fabric stash is under the bed. To be a happy RVer, you must be use all available space where ever it is found. I have my tools outside in compartment under the motor home, Carol has her stash under the bed.

The only problem with Carol’s Corner is she cannot be working on projects while I am kicked back in my recliner writing blogs. We were together in the fifth wheel but in the motor home, we are in separate rooms. The other problem is if Carol wants to work on a project and I want to go to bed, I get the recliner while she sews away. It works for us

IMG_2110I am sure you can figure out what this is. We call it the birth of a new project. Carol’s Corner will be busy for a while.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Modifying an RV Mod

A few weeks ago I modified a stock cabinet for our motor home. This gave us a place to store cookware and other items. There was only one problem with the cabinet. Well, actually, there were two problems.

IMG_1968First, I did not install the shelf at the correct height. This meant the file box would not fit in the bottom as was the plan. The second problem was the doors on the cabinet opened the wrong way. In the photo below, you can see the middle doors open from the center, which just happens to be directly under the table. What we wanted to do set the larger pair of doors to the left and the smaller pair of doors to the right.IMG_1954To do this, I had to remove the vertical pieces around a bit. Fortunately, I have the tools to do this job so removing the two stiles. After removing the vertical pieces, I had to attach them in the correct position.

IMG_1996I attached these using pocket hole joinery.  When I cleaned out my wood shop, I decided to keep my hand tools since I knew there would be a time when I would use them. The small blue gizmo attached to the end of the board (below) guides a special drill bit into the wood at the precise angle that allows a special screw to be used to attach the piece to the cabinet.

IMG_1995Once the holes are drilled, I just need to screw the vertical pieces into their new locations. One down, one to go. Oh, yeah, I also had to trim the width of the second board as well.

IMG_1997With the vertical support in their new locations, I then raised the middle shelf so our file box could fit on the bottom shelf. Carol was a good helper with this task. With the cabinet back against the slide wall, Carol could not organize her craft books in the bottom of the cabinet. After she finished that, I arranged our cookware on the middle shelf. We had great weather today for this project. We opened the windows so we had a chance to air out the motor home. IMG_1998Cabinet is all loaded and the table top is back in. Time to sit back a relax a bit, then cook supper. I am glade to get that little modification to our RV mod completed.

IMG_2001Now, where did I put that skillet?

Thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.


R&R and MoHo Mods

Our last work day at Lone Star Yogi in Waller, Tx was Tuesday 8/12. We took a couple of days to get packed up and to get a hitch installed on or Ford Edge. Friday morning 8/15, we pulled out and said Good Bye! to Yogi Bear. Our first stop was my brother’s place in Burton, TX for a few days R&R and to get our dining room cabinet finished and moved into the RV. The cabinet project started off as a standard 60″x24″ sink cabinet from Lowe’s. That was too deep for our need so I reduced the depth of the cabinet to fit our space.

Then I had to cut a slot in the faux drawer in the center of the cabinet for our table to slide into the cabinet. Plus reconfigure the two side drawers to fit the 16″ depth. Add a top and place a trim edge that would keep stuff from rolling off when we are on the road. And add a shelf on the inside.

My brother helped me get it into the motor home. After removing the day/night shades and crappy valances, here is where she stood when we left Burton.

I still have to alter the legs on the table and hang new roller shades and curtains on the windows.

Monday AM we pulled away from  Burton and headed for Corpus Christi. We stopped in Schulenberg for lunch and fuel. As we approached Corpus Christi, we encountered strong southerly winds and a little rain. Fueled up again in Corpus Christi so we would not need to do that when we leave in a week. We pulled into Colonia Del Rey and got our assigned space. No shade here so it will be hot in the afternoon. Our daughter planned supper for us, so as soon as we got set up, we headed to her apartment.

Tuesday we spent the day with our grandson, Gage. This was his last day of summer vacation. Carol washed clothes while Gage and I played a couple of board games. He and I made a couple of trips back to the RV park so we could walk our fur babies, Cody and MeiLing. After a great TexMex meal at Acapulco. Next, Carol and I headed to Lowe’s to get the new roller shades.

Wednesday after breakfast, I got worked on installing the new shades. It took a little trial and error but they work fine. There are two different roller shade hanging brackets. The ones in front are standard and place the center of the roller about 1″ away from the wall. The ones in the back place the center of the roller about 1.5″ away from the wall.  Unless you have them made, most roller shades come in standard 74″ length. Big box stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Menard’s, etc.) can cut the roller shades to width. We opted to go that route instead of custom ordering for width and length. We had to get longer brackets to keep the shades from dragging on the RV’s window frames. We also opted to get the room darkening shades instead of those that let in a little light. They really make a difference on blocking heat.  The day/night shades we had sorta work but not as well as the shades we installed.

Carol made curtains for the windows last summer when we where at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO. We are using standard curtain rods. This makes mounting a little tricky because the rods are mounted close to the overhead cabinets.

Here is the final photo of the cabinet in place with new legs to support the table and the new curtains. Sometimes it is the little thing that make a drab RV feel more like home.

We are still thinking through the process of replacing the carpet with laminate flooring. Until we do this, we still need to vacuum the carpet. Our 3-year-old trusty Dirt Devil finally broke down. We wanted something like the Dyson Canister but could not see spending almost $500 for a vacuum. So we went to Walmart and got a Shark Navigator instead at 1/3 the cost. I vacuumed the carpet 3. First pass got all the dog hair from Cody, second and third pass got the dust/dirt that was in the carpet. I can honestly say the Shark really sucks – in a good way. And it is easy to empty and clean the canister.

While on the subject of RV mods, we purchased a solar screen for our windshield. We have seen many motor homes with these solar screens and decide if we were going to survive Texas heat in August, we need one. The solar screen blocks the sun and allows us to still see out. RV Sunscreen out of Winter Haven, Florida make these shades along with other products for RVs. They come in all sizes and color configurations. Plus they ship fast. We got our just before leaving Lone Star Yogi in Waller. We will order some for our side windows when we get settled.


Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by – y’all come back now.


Smaller Honey Do List

I now have a smaller Honey Do List. After completing my weekly Monday outdoor task (drain and back flush black tank), I decided it would be a good thing to reduce the size of my Honey Do List.

Carol has wanted a swing arm mirror in the bathroom so she can see her face in the AM. Even though we are retired and do not have to “go to work” with other people and dress in casual business attire, she likes to look nice, especially for me. In the morning on our days off or after our morning chores with the llamas, she likes to put on some basic make-up.  The swing arm mirror makes that task much easier for her.

Today’s blog demonstrates the process of mounting a swing arm mirror on the bathroom wall. Before we start, be sure to read and follow all safety instructions that come with the tools involved. Most importantly, make sure you wear appropriate OSHA approved PPE.  (Norm Abram from New Yankee Workshop would be proud of me for that safety note).

Tools I used.

Arrow RHT300 Twister Rivet Tool


Medium Rivets (1/8″ x 1/4″)


Black&Decker LDX112C 12V Lithium Drill (Note: this is good light-weight cordless drill to have in the RV)

 IMG 0344

Step 1.
When working in the bathroom sink area, make sure you plug the hole in the bottom of the sink so any small part that may be dropped is not lost or trapped in a grey tank. In my case, a single sheet of facial tissue works just fine.

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Step 2.
Determine and mark the location of mounting holes. Note the 2 red dots in the photo.
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Step 3.
Drill two 3/16″ holes where marked (see note in Step 4). NOTE: Be sure there is nothing behind the wall into which you are about do drill. In my case, I closed the sliding pocket door so I would not drill into the door.

Step 4.
Insert rivets into the base and through the holes drilled in the wall. (Note. For best accuracy, drill one hole in the wall, insert the rivet into the bracket and the hole just drilled. Using the bracket as a guide, drill the second hole then insert the second rivet.)
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Step 5.
Using the Arrow Rivet Tool and rivets, secure the bracket to the wall. I found using rivets to be the easiest way to secure items to the thin walls found in RVs.
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Step 6.
Verify the two rivets secure the bracket to the wall.
  IMG 0341
Step 7.
Secure Swing Arm Mirror to bracket. Make sure to check tightness of all hardware.
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After all that hard work, it is time for a nap. Tomorrow is our Monday.

Thanks for stopping by.

Busy Day

WOW, what a busy day. No nap time for me. It is a good thing I moved hay yesterday.

After morning chores and breakfast, I stepped out of the RV to get started on some mowing around the trailer. Pam, our boss, was at the fence line so I went over to see what was going on. She was waiting for a fellow to show up with a load of dirt. We discussed where the dirt should be dumped. When the driver arrived we asked if he could get his truck in the gate and down the hill about 10 feet. He said sure – but he would not get it back out with out the help of a tow truck. OK, just dump it in front of the gate.
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Pink dirt – pretty cool. Now that may not look like much dirt but I can assure you it is. Over the next several weeks we will be spreading this dirt and grass seed in the pastures. That means shoveling it into the back of Chuck Wagon, dumping and spreading it in various spots. More physical exercise that will burn off my stored calories. After the dirt dumping I cut the grass in front and behind the RV with a Troy-Bilt String Mower. So when the mowing with the tractor we do not need to get too close to the RV.
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Then I had a short break before I tackled my next project. We purchased a Fan-Tastic Vent fan with remote control a week ago. Today it was going in. We have a few days of no rain in the forecast so now is the time. Here is the fan that is coming out. The interior trim has been removed. It is controlled by a thermostat located on the main control panel in the center of the RV. The new fan will draw air in as well as exhaust air out. Plus it is much quieter than the other fan.
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Here is the top side view of the old fan.
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Yep, that is a lot of caulk around the vent. Hopefully it will come off without tearing the EPDM roof and hopefully the roof clean up nicely. Here are before and after photos.

IMG 0255 IMG 0256

Cleaning up the old caulk was a royal PITA. I got it as clean as possible without using harsh chemical on the EPDM material. The new fan came with a closed cell foam gasket. I used DICOR 501 lap sealant  on both sides of this gasket and recaulked after everything was screwed down on top.

IMG 0258 
Tomorrow I’ll check it to see if I need to add additional caulk. More on tomorrow’s work later. From the inside, it looks pretty nice now that I have a skylight in the living room.

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By the time I got that done, I was beat. It was time to fix the grilled pizza I mention yesterday. Carol got busy chopping up the toppings and I got the grill ready. It is party time. Let’s get’r done!
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Tomorrow’s project is to climb back up on the roof and give it a good scrubbing with Simple Green. Between that and moving some pink dirt, I am sure I’ll be tired by the end of the day. I’ll try to take some photos of Carol’s quilting project tomorrow so ya’ll can see what she is working on.

Thanks for stopping by.