Saturday, October 19, 2013

Catching Up and Thoughts

A quick update on what I've been working on in the motorhome. Got the new roof vent in the shower installed. I still had a leak, which was discovered to be coming from some screws to the cargo rack thing a few inches away from the roof vent. No big deal, the old vent was still cracked and old junk. There's still a leak showing up on the side of the motorhome under that big window I redid. I sealed up other possibilities on that side. I took the cargo rack off the back of the roof completely and caulked up all of those holes. Also took some big cross pieces off the top of the roof to make room for my solar panels. Been patching a lot of holes. I need to finish cleaning up the brackets on the solar panels so I can put new tape on them and secure them to the roof. Very close to finishing that but it got dark, and I've been dodging rain here and there all day.

I'm hoping to get the panels installed tomorrow and the wiring run down through the old fridge vent. I will wire it all back up but I doubt I'll have my charge controller mounted in a permanent location yet. I have a new propane regulator and hoses coming next week, and I have to run all new lines to the stove and the Wave 3 heater.

And other stuff I'm sure I'm forgetting. All of that above was more than I planned to say today about that!

Mostly, I've been thinking. I've been on vacation this week and it's rained almost the entire week, so I didn't get much done.

I don't even know if I've mentioned it here, but I'm feeling like around the first of the year is when I'll be leaving my current job. It's a fine job I guess. I feel a part of something, and I'm in a position of control which is good for me. The problem is it doesn't make me enough money to have a 'normal life' but overall it's not something I enjoy. I don't have an immense passion or interest in automotive parts. I love being able to do my own repairs, but I'm not fanatic. But anyway..

I definitely feel the stress starting to rise when I give myself a deadline. There's just so much I want to get in order that doesn't even involve a motorhome or anything about actually traveling. Just general things in my life. Stuff, mostly. It's even more difficult to deal with while living here with my parents. Even if I completely make up my mind to get rid of something, or do something to deal with an issue, I immediately am confronted with what my PARENTS thing I should do with it, or about it. And so I end up doing nothing. Which is probably how it will be in the end. My old car and junk that I want to get in order before I go will simply sit here in the yard when I leave. That will be the most likely outcome.

I've been putting a lot of thought into, and TRYING to look into, the Forest Service this week. Hard to find any real, and practical, information about it for some reason. That's kind of my plan at this point when I hit the road. Find an area of the Forest Service that will hire me for temporary work. Hopefully something that is hands on and outside, but that doesn't keep me away from the motorhome for too many days in a row so I can keep an eye on the cats. I guess I'm worried that all the jobs I feel I'd be most interested in would require overnight hikes and stuff. Which would be great if it wasn't for my cats.

Money is always an issue, of course. At my current job, and putting money into the motorhome, I save pretty much nothing and I'm still paycheck to paycheck. That's why  getting hooked up with the USFS appeals to me so much. I'm interested in it, and I could still make money. All while taking in some new scenery and life situation.

Lately I've been wondering how serious I am. This week I suddenly realized if I was dead serious about all of this I should have taken a third shift job somewhere a long time ago. At the same time, without the motorhome that's not very practical since I live an hour away from work as it is. But if I can get the motorhome buttoned up soon, and then find a third shift factory job or something close to my current job I could be making crazy money working 80 hours a week. And I'd feel a lot better about hitting the road. I would have legit places to park 24 hours a day.

I wrote this post 3 hours ago, and I got frustrated when I reached this point. So I just saved it as a draft. But now I'm going to publish it anyway, even though I feel like it shows just how much I walk myself around in circles in my head, or how much resistance I add to my own situation even though I've put all of my time and energy into the dream of getting back on the road (and TRULY on the road) for the last 2 years.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Flooring and Leaks

The motorhome is feeling crazy lately. Crazy AWESOME.

I had last Sunday off from work and decided to start working on the new flooring for the motorhome. The above picture shows the beginning, and also one of my issues I had to get around. There's a couple big bolts that go through the floor that used to be under the dinette benches. I honestly don't know what they go to or if I could remove them. (I was too lazy to get under there and look) Instead I went to Lowes and bought a 1" hole saw for the drill and just drilled holes. Amazingly, I drilled the holes in the exact right places the first time. The flooring itself is vinyl plank flooring. Very easy to cut and just as easy to put down.


I used two boxes of the planks and I fell just short of completing the project. That's the end right there up above. At $40 a box I really didn't want to go back and buy another box for just a few more planks. I sat on it for a few days (okay, I was working) and then when I had a chance I went to the big box store. In the end I came up with something I really like, and I think it looks like I planned it that way all along. Can't beat that.

That hose there is a propane line. Originally I was going to tuck it behind the carpet like it was when I bought the motorhome but I didn't like the way it bulged out with this type of carpet. I haven't looked into that one too much yet. I figured I'd just get clips to go over it and screw it to the step, and possibly put some poly loom or more rigid plastic over it first. OR, I will reroute the hose all together.

So the flooring is done, in my opinion. I'll probably need to get some trim to go along the edges to give it a more finished look. It really doesn't look bad as is though.

I'm a guy, I don't know if the floor matches the walls or not but I've been planning to eventually paint the walls anyway.

With the new flooring in place it's time to get another leak fixed up. Every time after it rains the passenger side wall has water along the bottom. Not good. There was a vent for the old furnace here below the window too so I took that off, put some new butyl tape along it and also took off the vent part and cut out a piece of tin to cover it all up. That was good, but the main leak was coming from the window. I took that off, cleaned it all up, and put new butyl tape all along it. It was leaking on both bottom corners, the front corner having some decent damage. I went so beyond on getting that thing taped up that if this thing still leaks I will be absolutely amazed.

You can barely see it there I the picture but that lens up top there is brand new! I got it for $0.50 from the clearance bin at the local RV place. I bought it not even knowing if it'd fit and to my surprise it's the exact same brand and style of the originals. There was a red light there, which was wrong, and I'm picky about lights.

Other key things of recent times: Got a new shower curtain for the shower. Got myself a Catalytic Wave 3 heater that I still need to install. I also got an electric tankless water heater but now that I have it I'm not sure it'll work for me. I still think it's possible to do with the proper solar power system in place but I'm not so sure about the actual one I have. That project is a little ways off still.

With those, I think I'm done with my 'major' purchases. I need to get a whole new roof vent assembly for the shower which looks like it'll cost me a little bit but mostly everything else left is small things that will add up to be a lot! Har har.