A tiny but livable space: the latest RV improvements

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There she is, in Banff National Park (Alberta, Canada) last spring.

We’re almost remodeling the RV. We’ve been slowly working on it for 5 years now, with the goal of living in it while on the Long Road still on the horizon somewhere, though clearly delayed. The most recent improvements were merely cosmetic, but aesthetics can play a huge role in one’s enjoyment of such a vehicle. With the help of my skilled aunt and uncle, I made the following improvements:

  • Replaced the old, non-insulated, rattly blinds with insulated custom black-out curtains that secure into place using industrial snaps, and can be removed and laundered.
  • Replaced the cheap-looking pressboard table with a new, larger table with oak trim and faux-granite laminate top.
  • Covered the front of the refrigerator and the backsplash behind the stove with laminate to match the table.
  • Bought new high-density foam for cushions and had them upholstered with new fabric (no more hideous pink!), and turned the old cushions into dog beds.
  • Painted the interior -walls, ceiling, beneath cupboards and around refrigerator.
  • Mounted the outlet above the refrigerator (was previously just dangling by a wire).
  • Covered the awkward joints between paneling in the cabover bed area that would not take standard trim using sewn fabric strips.

I’d say it’s looking pretty darn nice in here, which is great since we’ll be occupying it for the next couple months. I’m so proud of our work that I thought I’d share it in a regular post, since most readers probably don’t check the remodel page very often. Below are two galleries: finished “after” photos on top, and “before” photos on the bottom. There are more images on the vehicle remodel page, too. We’d love to hear your thoughts on our little RV’s new look! Continue reading

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Now is the time: overland plans for 2014

The monastery in Arequipa, Peru.
The monastery in Arequipa, Peru.

It’s amazing sometimes how quickly plans can change. A month ago I was planning to attend graduate school next fall after taking 7-8 months to drive around North America with our trailer. I was excited to graduate this December, and thankful to have a period of flexibility before starting my MFA program.

But, thanks to university bureaucracy, I found out recently that I will not be graduating in December, and will instead be tethered to New Mexico until May. Needless to say, this discovery was more than a little irritating. In fact, it gave rise to a full-blown Hate Train, which then gave rise again to The Conundrum (see previous post). This, in turn, inspired our new and more awesome plan.

And we couldn’t be more excited about this unexpected change.

Continue reading