Trailer Makeover Part ll

I’m in charge of the decor; maintenance is not my forte. Fortunately, Saint is pretty good at fixing things. As I mentioned, our trailer is not vintage, by any means, and had been well-kept by the previous owner, we thought, but the bathroom floor squeaked occasionally annoyingly! We constantly worried that the floor was going to cave in at any inopportune moment. Saint had investigated what he could without removing fixtures and such, and found no glaring problem. One day, however, I went out to remove all the bedding to store for winter, and I felt a “spongy” place in the floor of the bedroom. When we had asked the previous owners if it had ever leaked, they hesitated and then explained that they had never experienced it, but their son had told them that a window in the bedroom had leaked. We didn’t notice any water damage and bought it, anyway, so when I reported back to Saint about the soft floor, he looked the situation over. He pulled off some trim, pulled back the vinyl flooring, and found the problem…right under the window. There was nothing wet and soggy, but the boards had been damaged and then dry rotted from that point. There were no termites, no wetness, and the damage was limited to a couple of outside boards which he removed and replaced, no problem. But, that left the vinyl to be repaired or replaced. It wasn’t that bad, but we decided we might as well rip it out and see about the rest of the floor…particularly by the squeaky bathroom.

Old floor

Old floor

We were pleasantly surprised that the flooring, otherwise, was in great shape. In fact, I considered whitewashing it instead of covering, but Saint thought it would not hold up under our traffic. The problem in the bathroom was so simple it was almost funny. The manufacturers had missed the stud on part of a row of nails; an easy fix with a nail gun! No more squeaky floors!!

We chose Allure Light Elm vinyl planks from Home Depot because we thought they would be easier to install in a confined space, plus, we didn’t want to remove the booth or beds, just floor up to them. In hindsight, we would not choose that. First of all, no one mentioned as we were ordering and inquiring that these are not recommended for sunrooms or camping trailers. Secondly, we paid $1.49 or $1.99 per sq. foot at Home Depot and later saw that Lumber Liquidators had them much cheaper. Lastly, we had to order more boxes than we thought we’d need and there were broken or ripped planks in every box. Whether that were the fault of Home Depot, Allure, or UPS, I don’t know, and we could have returned (an extra trip and an extra wait as they were not in stock) probably, but I got no response when I complained to Home Depot about the product. We worked around the damage, but the floor for this little trailer cost more than all the other updates combined. It wasn’t something we had planned, but it turned out okay…and did I mention, NO MORE SQUEAKY FLOORS?

New Floor

New Floor

While we had things in a mess, I asked Saint to make a minor modification in the kitchen. The dining booth makes into a bed. Well, we know we will never need that, and I toyed with the idea of removing the booth completely and putting in a table and chairs, but that would eliminate the storage under the benches, and storage is a premium in camping trailers. To get to the storage area, however, you must remove the cushions of the benches; way too much trouble, so I had kept only things we rarely used under there. For Christmas, I got the mother load of cast iron and was in need of an accessible place for it. I asked Saint to cut out the end of a booth and put a door on for me.

Before Door

Before Door

After Door

After Door

And the cost? That’s the best part. Saint went to a cabinet company to find a door the size we needed. They had one that was close. It was a sample they had made for a client to see, and they had it on the trash pile. It was FREE. Saint did have to cut it down. He had the boards he needed to frame in the inside. All it cost was a few bucks for the hinges and the latch to keep it closed…around $5.oo, and I loved sliding my cast iron skillet, griddle, dutch oven, and pie iron in. I will love even more, getting it out to use without having to remove half the camper!

Another thing we did to get her ready for the season…we bought a roll of Reflectix Insulating Foil. We measured and cut to fit our bedroom windows and the front door.

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We attached small velcro strips around the windows. They are totally covered by the curtains in the bedroom, and we used inconspicuous white ones for the door. These panels are removed and stored in an upper bedroom cabinet, taking up very little space, and will be awesome this summer for keeping out light at night, and heat in mid summer. We thought we would bind the edges with duct tape, but it was totally unnecessary.  The roll cost about $24.00 which is about what one door panel would have cost to order and ship, and we have about 3/4 of the roll leftover. Not sure what we will do with it, but we will find a use, I’m confident.

Finally, we looked at our outside storage. Well, not really outside, but the area under the trailer that we get to from outside and put all our outdoor equipment in. A few storage containers housing outdoor table cloths, lights, lanterns, oil, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc. really help to contain things for a neater appearance as well as easier access.

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See that new folding table I got for my birthday?
I know, most girls want diamonds, I want cast iron and folding tables. I can’t wait to show you what it looks like in use.

So, there you have parts 1 and 2. Part three will happen when the weatherman stops saying the S word. Yes, here it is, almost March, and we have freezing temps and snow in the forecast. This is beginning to cramp our style, but I will show you our new awning soon. And then. Well, we have some great plans and a few new recipes to try. Roar on in, March, so we can get on with it!

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Budget Friendly Update for Camping Trailer-Part 1

When planning a make-over for a camper or RV, it is important to consider how you will be using the space in addition to how you want it to look. If I were choosing something to look at, I would consider something like these that I have pinned to my Pinterest board:

Absolutely adorable, right?

Rv Trailer Decorating | RV Glamping / Shabby chic vintage style camper trailer decor

Or this one. So cute.

But I can’t see Saint moving all the darling accessories out of his way to prop up his feet after a hard day of fishing. So, I had to think about what we could both live with. We needed:

  • A place for everything and everything in it’s place.
  • Something that will travel well without having to be put away and gotten out at each campground.
  • Light and open (as much as a small trailer can be.)
  • Easy to clean.
  • Comfortable with a homey, resort feel.
  • DIY improvements that were affordable.
  • Something that would retain its value.

We decided on a coastal cottage look. The most bang for the buck came from painting the oak cabinets.  We had paint leftover from repainting our kitchen cabinets. We used TSP to clean them, removed the doors and drawers, and used a good oil based paint. We did two coats without a primer and the coverage was fine. The white glossy color was too bright for the tones  of the counter top, floors and walls. I wanted a driftwood tone, so I bought a small can of Sandalwood stain (gray tones) and wiped it on and off, leaving an antique look in the crevices. It achieved that driftwood look I wanted and by using paint I already had, the project cost less than $10.00.

We took the old gold hardware off and sprayed it  with RustOLeum oil rubbed bronze paint. Well worth the $7.00!

The next thing we did was remove the old 80’s valances from all the windows. For all except the bedroom, I used fabric that I already had. Natural and traditional burlap, blue striped “ticking” fabric, and some white sheers I already had were altered. I used lots of inspiration from things on Pinterest, especially the fabric flowers that I cut and stitched and hot glued.

I decided on a nautical navy and white stripe fabric for recovering the booth cushions. We did not remove the old upholstery. It was easy to simply wrap the fabric around like a package and duct tape it to the back. If and when we want to change it, it will be simple to do. We also used burlap to cover the padding around the seats, above the door, and under the sofa.

So, here is a before and after picture of what we have done thus far:

DINING BOOTH BEFORE

Dining Booth Before

 

DINING BOOTH AFTER

Dining Booth After

 

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Kitchen Before

KITCHEN AFTER

Kitchen After

I made the pillows out of the burlap and striped fabric I had left, and I did a faux screen print of a starfish and seahorse that I linked to on an earlier post here. I used a twin fitted knit sheet from WalMart to “slip cover” the sofa; totally removable and washable. Added cost, $17.00 for the set, and I used the flat sheet on the top bunk in the back.

So, what do you think, so far? I’m loving it…and right on budget.

Total thus far: $34.00

Latest Curtain Caper for the Camper

DSC00097        BEFORE

I’ve been putting off doing anything about the curtains in the “guest” bedroom area of the camping trailer because…well, I didn’t quite know what to do with them. Curtain panels were attached to a plastic strip containing evenly spaced gripper- things that made them slide along a track. When I don’t know what to do about something, I usually get Saint involved. If he were a sign holder, this is what he would say:  HAVE DRILL, WILL WORK FOR FOOD.

He had little trouble taking the strips off. Evidently the previous owners did not know how easy it was because these panels had not been washed in years forever. I decided to hand wash them since they had all that plastic hardware still attached. I knew I didn’t want to rehang them, but none of the other ideas I had for curtain rods would work since the second door/emergency exit area which contained the windows left us very little space.

Then, I had another brilliant idea! Why not simply recover the old panels with new fabric? I wanted more light filtering/blocking curtains, anyway, to help with privacy, heat, and light. I also wanted to continue the nautical/coastal theme. I chose some navy fabric with white stars. Here are easy DIY directions:

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  1. Remove curtains, retaining all screws and hardware. (I put them in baggies and labeled them “top” and “bottom window.”) Leave the plastic strips and clips attached to the curtains.
  2. Lay each panel, right side down on the wrong side of the new fabric. Cut your new fabric an inch larger all the way around. This will be the fabric that you turn down for your hem.

DSC00127You can see here that I’ve turned it down at the top already.

3.  Turn the fabric down and pin baste it all the way around.

4. Sew a shirt tail hem all around the edge, being careful to avoid the little plastic grippers.

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It should look like this when you finish. You can now slide it back onto the track that you removed from the window. The back side still looks just like the original curtain. (See photo above.)

5. Do the same to all the panels. When you have them reattached to the track, it is time to get the Saint involved, again. Screw the tracks (with curtain panels attached) back into the door.If you don’t have a Saint, you can do this yourself. It’s not rocket science.

DSC00147Here’s what the curtains look like on the bottom window. For the top bunk, I wanted to add a shabby valance. I made this one by cutting scrap fabrics (all from the coastal theme) into strips and loop-tying them around a standard curtain rod.

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Isn’t that just cute? And all for a yard and a half of fabric!