10 February 2019 | Washington, NC
At the start of the month, we took stock of the progress made for January on the RV and felt like we'd accomplished something. We've gone from a totally empty white box interior to one that has all fiberglass interior bulkheads installed and the major sections like bed, kitchen and sitting area in progress. The counter top is done except for cutting out the sink today and a lot of big items such as the washer, stove and fridge are out of the workshop and in the truck which is nice since its easier to walk around in there! We decided on what our water filtration is going to be like (an inline dual 5 and .5 micron filter set under the sink that filters all water for the interior. If we're pulling from a stream rather than a hose, we will have a portable sediment filter on the hose & pump before it goes into the water tank. If we feel we need it, we can get an under sink UV sterilizer for right below the water faucet. It's going to be hard to adjust to not having a watermaker like we do on the boat and of course a marine head is most likely nicer than a composting head but...
Its funny how things work out. As I mentioned previously, we had a patch of bad shipments for one thing after another. The 3 burner range that we were so excited to get off Ebay arrived so dented in shipping it was unusable. That very day, Jon found another one listed and we ended up getting it for less money and no damage in shipping. The solid surface arrived broken and damaged and the company immediately sent out another like piece which also arrived damaged but Jon was able to glue it and because we have this extra piece, we can now use it for a lower shower surround as well as a pull out countertop section that we plan to make to give more space in the kitchen when needed. So those things worked out for the better. We think the company Solid Surface.com is great, they are very nice to work with and have excellent DIY resource material. Turns out solid surface is fairly easy to work with, much like wood (although it makes quite a mess when you cut or sand it) and apart from the fact that neither of us had any experience with it, we think it has turned out well and that we'll really enjoy it. It is a really pretty dark blue color with flecks in it.
Every time we need wood we basically have to drive to Raleigh which is 1 1/2 hrs each way. We like Raleigh a lot so it isn't hard to go. You just can't get any furniture grade wood anywhere near here. But we usually throw in something fun like exploring a new park or city thing and we also found a great upholstery store and checked out some fabrics so it looks like we can get something really nice for the cushions, some kind of blue. Plus, we can always stock up at Trader Joe's. Then we come back to the workshop and unload the wood and Jon starts up the saws again. I've gotten to like hearing them. It means that parts are getting made and soon we'll be bonding and then I'll have more painting and varnishing to do. We're thinking of getting a bunch of hamsters so they can enjoy the lovely wood shavings we make every day. I've put on about a gallon of paint, a quart of varnish and we have a bunch more to go. I ended up having to switch to water based paint because we found out the hard way that oil based enamels won't cure over Sika adhesive. Some sort of reaction occurs so it stay all sticky. Plus in cooler temps it was taking the enamel a long time to dry so the water based is better for this time of year anyway. The owner of the workshop came to us with his electric bill which is sky high for some odd reason since we only have one 15amp outlet to draw from (which is a pain but this place was all we could find and its great in so many ways). We tried reasoning with him using math and calculations for possible amperage & wattage that one can draw from a 15amp outlet at 8 cents/kw but that made no difference. So now we are trying to use less power. Now when it gets really cold we wait for it to warm up some rather then run the heater.
Well last week the weather has been gorgeous and warm so we took 2 beautiful days off and went to Raleigh to celebrate my birthday a little early. I have really appreciated how even though we are focused on this project, Jon has been as dedicated to maintaining balance as I am and addicted to our workouts at the gym. After being crumpled up in a ball painting or varnishing on the interior all day, it feels good to stretch out. So in the eves, we work out together on the trainers and drool over the fried chicken ads (this is NC after all!). I wanted to bike the Neuse River Greenway trail in Raleigh. We got in 58 miles and it was great to be out and on our bikes. There are lots more connector trails that we didn't have time to do- Raleigh has a ton of biking! It was great to hang out downtown some and the following day we went to the Natural History museum which was really top notch. They have a huge, high end research building attached to the museum that is also open to the public with all kinds of interesting things to see on the more technical side of science. We spent some time looking at all the stuff you can make with a 3D printer. There were staff all around the building to answer questions. It'd be nice to have one of those to make replacements for broken boat or truck parts on the fly. We'll need to go back there to do some more exploring. Then we went to a park with a lakeside trail that made a loop, and an arboretum as part of the university. I love a capitol city. So much to do. We wish Raleigh was on the water so we could have it closer to the boat.
We are still trying to find a second 50 gallon fuel tank for the truck. We got the first one in Ft Pierce in FL shortly after receiving the truck. We found it used at a pull apart yard and it was a great find. We were so excited to find another potential tank here locally at a huge yard of old trucks. This one was a 2012, aluminum, with all the fittings we wanted in fantastic shape for $100! But it just didn't fit in the space we have. It was off of a street sweeper and it was just too tall of a tank. We went back the next day to look again and see if there had been a mistake and it somehow would fit as well as to see if we could find another one but no luck. Before this truck, I have to say I would never have thought I would ever have a need to walk through a huge yard of abandoned trucks (CREEPY!) but now I have been in several and I've learned a thing or two in the process.
We received the table mount also. It should look nice in our seating area which Jon is building now. He was considering trying a river table. Have you seen one? We saw a botched attempt by the owner of a lumber yard we were at and it did look interesting. A rambling bright blue epoxy resin river running through a wood sandwich. They can supposedly get live edge wood there which is what you need. It makes the banks of the "river". However, we aren't sure if we'll end up doing it because of time & expense (these are really "in" right now) and we're feeling really pressured with all the work that is left to do when we really just want to roll on down the road with this thing! I do believe we are going to have to give up on the idea of a hydronic heated towel bar for the bathroom. The area we have is just too small for any of the ones on offer. Did you know you can spend over 1K on a towel bar?! Should have gone into business making those.
Spring is teasing us here. The pansies are planted in the flower beds, some decorative trees in town are covered in pink blossoms, daffodils are up and a mockingbird kept me company while I waxed the deck yesterday in shorts. Now tonight the hose is left on so it won't freeze and both heaters are running. But I know it won't be long before the cold nights can't keep up with the warm days and we'll be back to living more outside again, which is how we like to be.
I'm still trying to figure out the pictures so sorry, only one this time, of the birthday girl, ME!