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Home Improvement

October 1st, 2008

I posted back in April about our table upgrade that has saved my sanity, but I figure it’s time to cover a few more minor modifications that have improved our enjoyment of the camper. Also, we’re about to be engaged slinging fried chicken for a couple of weeks and we’ll probably be rather quiet in the blogosphere.

I’ve really got to say I’m still very happy with our choice of camper and options. We’ve looked at quite a few both before and after we made a decision and I still haven’t seen one (yeah, I know Paul will tell me to look at his Snowriver) that I would be happier with for fulltiming.

Added shelving to main closet

We had a couple of things customized on the camper that have made life a lot easier. One was getting a wet bath instead of a dry bath. For starters, it’s very easy to clean a wet bath. The only thing you really sacrifice is having a dry place to store towels and toilet paper. It’s also a good idea to buy a squeegie to swamp out the bathroom after your shower. But what we got in return for a dry bath is a wardrobe that’s two and a half feet deep, three full length drawers and a shoe cabinet.

After we quit work, I found I didn’t need hanging clothes anymore and built a cubbyhole system inside the wardrobe. Now, I have four shelves for clothes, a liquor cabinet and a handy place to store our bows which we previously had to squeeze behind the backseat of the truck. Rene has been asking me, for months now, where we hide the booze and I finally have a good answer. With some wiggling, I can get roughly eighteen liters of booze in the liquor cabinet. Just right for a couple of unemployed, homeless folks, right?

Another special order  was getting a couch instead of a dinette. Sure, it’s not optimal for dining, but it just seems much less adversarial to sit on a couch instead of staring at each other over a dinette when relaxing. Here, we actually gave up a little bit of inside storage because there are no drawers under the couch – just the furnace. We do still have a fair bit of outside storage under the couch though. One thing I didn’t realize at the time was that the couch would give us a nice place to store long skinny items such as wrapping paper, fishing poles, the metal detector, our lap desks and my bluetooth keyboard. Overall, I don’t feel like we lost too much storage and the couch really makes the camper feel bigger than a dinette in my opinion.

What the storage area looked like before the door (sorta).
Added door to storage beside couch

Above is a pseudo before and after picture of the wardrobe next to our couch. From the factory, there was just a blind in front of this which the cats could easily get into, which led to furrier jackets than was entirely necessary. During our recent visit to the Winchester factory, we were able to pick up a cabinet door and matching hardware that both fit the wardrobe and matched the interior of the camper. Two minutes with a drill and we had a nice cabinet door that looks like it belongs there.

Along with the cabinet door, we also picked up some nice brass colored robe hooks from the factory. They look much nicer than the plastic stick on hooks from Wal-Mart that occasionally fell while driving. They also make fine hat racks and towel hangers (remember, not much dry storage in the wet bath!). Yup, that’s the bathroom door… no need to take a towel in with you, just stick your arm out and grab it from outside.

Mounted hooks beside couch for hats, etc.
Mounted hooks on to the bathroom door for towels and jackets.
Cargo net mounted on the bedroom ceiling.

One of the very first things we did was to stick a small cargo net on the ceiling over the bed. Come on, did you think that homeless people actually washed their clothes every time they wore them? Heck no. If it doesn’t smell yet and we’re in the middle of the woods, it gets stuck in the cargo net to be worn again the next day. It’s also a great place to store things like a jacket I’m going to wear the next day and don’t feel like hanging up or my flannel sleeping pants when it gets cold and we just don’t want to use a lot of propane keeping the place warm overnight.

Wired and mounted inverter, so we could charge Jenn's laptop.

Finally, there’s this little 475 watt inverter that I’ve wired into the electric jacks. Jenn’s laptop pulls just a bit more juice than you can really push over a 12v car adaptor, so we needed a direct connection to the battery to keep the ‘television’ charged up. It also does a great job of running the NAS when I get a craving to see a movie that I know is on there but hasn’t been moved over to one of the Cowons or a laptop. I had big hopes of using a 1750 watt inverter my dad gave us to power the entire camper, but apparently my soldering job was a bit faulty. I blame the tools… the soldering gun actually caught on fire while I was using it. Anyhow, the remote switch worked fine and my wiring job worked enough to push a load to the inverter, which promptly started smoking and would not turn off. C’est la vie!

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One Response to “Home Improvement”

  1. Rene says:

    You guys are so creative with that space! Right on. I especially love the booze storage, and the cargo net, didn’t even think of that one.

    I know what you mean about being happy with the Arctic Fox. We’ve seen so many other makes and models, but none come close to making us as happy as our 245N. We LOVE It. And we stay darn warm at night, even up here in Yellowstone where it’s dipping into the high 20s at night now. Glacier, here we come!

    If we ever hook up, you guys have to come in and do an interior design assessment for us. We’ll make you a hearty cocktail in return.

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