Sunday, October 25, 2015

Taking Wings

Another sore point in our trailer is the lack of counter space in the kitchen area. There is barely enough room to make a sandwich on the existing counter. I had a good sized hunk of matching counter top left over from the outdoor kitchen. I cut it down, rounded the corners and attached it with another length of piano hinge. I made up a sliding brace with a knob to lock it in position. We now have a very useable counter where we can prepare food, stack dishes before we wash them, etc. I still had the original pull out counter from the outside kitchen, so I made an extension for the dinette table. We have found that with the coffee maker and the toaster on the table, room for our table settings and pots pans and bowls was very tight. The new wing will give us all the room we need and easily slides out of the way when not in use.Excuse the dust and the lack of edge molding. They will be addressed, later

Stepping Up

While working on the trailer, I realized that there is a good sized void under the steps that lead to the bedroom. After removing the treads. I wondered what I could do with the extra space. I always pack a toolbox whenever we venture out. I toss it in the bed of the truck. So far, nobody has ripped me off. Rather than temping fate any longer, I whipped up a tool tote that fits into the space under the first step. Safe and secure yet easy to get to. The area under the second step is empty, right now, but I'm sure we will find a use for it. The treads were originally screwed down. I made some metal clips that they slide under to keep them from flipping up if we step too close to the nose of the step. I don't know why the RV manufacturers don't make use of this wasted storage space.Perhaps it takes the visionary talents of a Boy Genius™.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bringing Up The Rear

In my further efforts to make our trailer more suited to our needs, I attacked the rear end. As with most newer RVs, ours has an outdoor shower. Now, I typically eschew outdoor bathing but I have found that the shower is very handy for washing my dutch ovens and other large items. The bumper provided a small, wobbly spot to set the pots while I tried to clean them. So, I got to work and made up this shelf to serve as a wash station. I used some one inch by 1/8 steel angle iron, some expanded mesh and some 10 gauge sheet for the legs. I welded two brackets to the bumper to bolt it to. I sent it out to be powder coated in a gray color to match the trailer paint scheme. We bought a Honda generator to power us up when we are away from shore power. I stored it in the compartment under the bedroom. After lifting it in and out a number of times, I realized that it was a giant pain. Also, the chances of me wrenching my back, at some point, were almost 100%. I built this box to house it while we travel. It was made from the same materials as the wash station. I made up a 3/4 inch steel bar that passes through the handle of the generator and is secured with a padlock to ward off thieves. It was bolted to the bumper in the same fashion as the shelf. The bolts were tacked with weld so they can't be unscrewed by the less honest who live among us. It was, also, powder coated.

Now We're Cookin'

One of the things that sold me on our new trailer was the outdoor kitchen. I claimed it as my traveling Man Cave. There were a few things that didn't suit me, however. The little dorm fridge was fastened to the counter with a couple of cheesy brackets, screwed into the counter. On our first trip out, they pulled out of the counter. I drilled holes and bolted it in securely. This left two, gnarly, torn out holes in the Formica. I decided to replace the entire top. Much better. During the installation, I noticed a large void between the sink and the front of the cabinetry. I built a little cubby to hold odds and ends. I will make a flip down door for it as soon as I get some wood to match the drawer that I had previously added for utensils. I also put up a wire basket next to the microwave. There is a pull out counter that extends about 18 inches. It is very handy. After looking at it, I realized that I could add a folding wing and end up with a, nearly, three foot long working area. It will really make food prep much easier. I will make a prop that braces it back to the trailer frame so it will support my cast iron Dutch ovens. Lastly, The light inside the galley provides little in the way of illumination, so I installed a light on the inside of the door. Perfect. I can see much better now. While I was in the mood, I installed some FRP panels around the inside stove top. It will make cleanup much easier. The wallpaper and wood paneling wouldn't last long after cleaning off grease splatter a few times so this will make Wifey happy. Her ultimate goal is to never use the stove top for anything other than boiling water

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

On The Road Again

After an eleven day wait, the new axle assembly arrived in Grant's Pass from Elkhart, Indiana. Installation was pretty easy. The entire job took about an hour. Finally, we were on our way. The remainder of the trip was pretty uneventful. We spent a couple of days in Salem with my cousin and headed to Idaho. Spent to nights in Glenn's Ferry, on the Snake River. Very pretty but there were tons of flies.Then it was off to Bryce Canyon, one of our favorite spots. We spent five days there. Always beautiful. We then drove to Zion. Unfortunately it was packed, mostly with Europeans on vacation. That and a weekend music festival had the place looking like Disneyland. So, we left and went to Lake Mead. Two days there was more than enough. Hot, desolate, mostly abandoned. You can have the place. We spent the last day and a half in as Vegas at a friend's place. Had a good Vegas buffet dinner and drove home. In all, we had a good time. Not the trip we signed up for but pretty good anyway