RV Bathroom Remodel

I cannot believe I haven’t done a post since April! Wow! We sure have gotten busy!! So much has happened in the last six months, but I will cover more of that every week from here on out. Pinky Promise!

So I went out shopping with the kids one day and came home to find that my husband had ripped down the walls of the shower. Needless to say, I was shocked. I could not understand why he would do this so randomly and all he said was that it had been bothering him for awhile.

This project took a solid 4 months to complete, which seemed like forever. It took so long because Nick works full-time and we spent the entire month of July on a cross-country road trip (yes, I will definitely be posting about that later!).

So here is what the shower looked like in the beginning:

It was fully-functional, but the caulk kept cracking and the walls were poorly applied as you can see from the clearly visible glue lines underneath. Another reason we wanted to remodel was because I wanted to replace the showerhead with one of the water saving “Oxygenic” ones.

Here is a picture that was taken after Nick started removing the walls.

Part Two: Rebuilding the frame of the shower

I was surprised that building the framework came so naturally for Nick. He had to do minimal research and made all of the storage more useable in the process. He even built the linen cabinet shelves into the wall slanted at an angle so the towels won’t fall out every time we move anymore! yay!

He also rebuilt the cleaning supplies cabinet so that there was more space for my stuff, creating 2 extra ledges that are 3 inches or so in width where there would have been wasted space.

Once the frame was up, the process was stalled due to the road trip. This was frustrating for me, honestly, because it meant that we were coming home from vacation to a torn up bathroom, but he got the walls up and finished the remodel within a month of returning home.

The only trouble we had beyond that point was the caulk. We struggled to find a caulk that didn’t crack once there was weight in the tub, which lead us to discover that the floor dips with the weight of the tub. Nick fixed this problem by putting this expanding spray under the tub that hardened and currently supports it nicely.

The finished product:

The new showerhead is amazing, by the way!

More RV Remodel posts to come:

  • “Laundry Room”
  • Loft
  • Master Closet
  • Living Room Slide Out
  • “Recycling Center”

Thanks for reading, guys!

RV Mod: Nick’s homemade Fold-down Table

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A dinette table comes standard in most RVs. I don’t know about you, but we absolutely hated ours. For one, it took up so much unnecessary room. Two, it was wobbly. Three, it was way more table than we even needed for the four of us. So we decided to tear it out and build a fold-down table into the side of the island.

1. Tore out that annoying dinette and gave it to somebody building a truck camper.

aug302. Measuring & Gathering Supplies – plywood, hinges, trim, wood glue, teeny-tiny nails, and polyurethane.

3. Attached trim, polyurethane (3 coats), and hinges to perfectly cut plywood.

4. Get into the most uncomfortable position imaginable to attach hinges to the island.

5.Cut and sand the pieces need to create the removable prop – attach!

And done!! It turned out really great and extremely useful. We also purchased a kid’s plastic 20160205_174941fold-away table to use during the day. This fold-down table is about 30 inches off the ground so it is definitely an adult’s table.

Oh, and in case20160206_095928 anyone was wondering what we put in place of the old dinette…… We set up a book tent for the girls that we like to call “The Library”. Every little girl needs her own Library!

 

10 Reasons You Should Jump Into Full-Time RVing While Your Kids Are Still Little

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Full-time RVing is becoming steadily more popular among the younger generation and for good reason. It’s awesome!! However, there is still a stigma attached to living in an RV when you have kids. People like to assume that you are either irresponsible with money or nuts. Those assumptions are completely unwarranted and probably fueled by the big green jealousy monster. Living in an RV as a young adult with a family is incredible! Here are the top 10 reasons why.

1. Travel!
If you ditch that mortgage (that you can barely afford…you know it’s true), the possibilities of your living conditions are limitless. Let’s say you can’t or don’t want to quit that job that tethers you to a specific area. That still doesn’t keep you stuck in one spot in one boring little neighborhood with the same irritating neighbors for the next 30+ years. You can park your house at a campground in the woods, near the ocean, or maybe even just in a little nearby, country town. If you decide you don’t like it you can just pick up your house and move on. On the other hand, if you are trying to quit your desk job and make a living from home, you can go anywhere you want! You can really SHOW your kids the beauty that this country (or maybe even Canada and Mexico) has to offer. Most families only get to go explore the country once or twice a year and it’s usually only for a week or two at a time, in one area. Imagine taking your kids all over the country at your own pace. Moving into an RV while they are still filled with that natural sense of adventure can provide a positive influence if your are focusing on raising them to be the type of adults who know how to chase down their dreams and make them come true.

2. Saving Money
The amount of money that you save, even just monthly, on living expenses is insane. Seriously! Monthly camping fees are almost always full hook-up which means they include sewer, trash, electric, water, and free Wi-Fi. Believe it or not, these monthly camp fees average out at about half of what you would pay for all of that in a one-bedroom apartment. Prices always vary depending on the area and how many other amenities they offer. Many of them are “family friendly” so they may offer a pool and/or a playground. That money that you are saving by not being tied to a lease somewhere could be falling into your kid’s college fund or your retirement account or even just on experiencing the biggest and best attractions all over the country.

3. Own Your Home
If you have never owned your own place, this is an opportunity to do it without losing your shirt or signing away your soul on a 30-year mortgage. It may seem like a big leap to take your savings, or sell your current house, and buy an RV to live in, but if you do it’s going to be the best financial decision you have ever made. Trying to become financially stable enough to own something when you are young is challenging especially when you have kids, but if you do your research, you can find something that fits your needs and spend the same or less than you would on a down payment for a traditional home to raise your family in.

 4. Eliminates Hoarding
We all know how terribly easy it is to just keep filling your house with stuff that you think you need until you put it away and forget about it for 5 years. Downsizing into a space that will most likely be a fourth of what you were living in forces you to let go of those 8 boxes of old Christmas decorations, clothes that fit you when you were 16, and books that you didn’t even like but kept anyway. This is especially beneficial for your kids because they will be growing up in a home where you keep what you need unless it is super-duper special and you have a definite place for it. Little kids can get so easily attached to things and that can be a lifelong habit that just worsens with age.

5. Less to Clean
Keeping your house clean when you are working a busy schedule and raising happy kids can be a major trigger for stress. The bigger your house, the more you feel like you spend all of your free time cleaning and if you don’t do what needs to be done you feel like you are living in a trash heap. When you are residing in a 400 square foot (or smaller) space, you can clean your entire house top to bottom in less than 2 hours! Some people spend that just trying to keep their kitchen in order. Instead of spending every single weekend cleaning your house, you will find that all of a sudden you have loads of free time to spend with your kids or your hobbies.

6. Less “Screen Time”
An appreciation for nature is becoming obsolete with today’s generation of youngsters. They have their little faces pressed up to any screen they can get their hands on and hardly ever want to go outside. What kind of adults are they going to grow up to be if they do not have any attachment to the awesomeness of this planet? This type of lifestyle is more likely to inspire your kids to grow up loving physical, outdoor activities. RVs have TV’s, of course, but you will want to spend more time breathing in the pine sap air when your living quarters are smaller.

7. Closer to Nature
Living in an RV allows you to choose your background and change it at any time. This is a great way to go for people who have a passion for outdoor hobbies like hiking, biking, and fishing. Many full-timers have said that they made this lifestyle change in order to be able to make those activities more of a priority in their lives. It can also awaken a passion in you for something that you never thought you would be interested in like photography or art and if you are the type of person that loves to camp, it allows you to camp every day of the week. Not to mention it will give you an excuse to have s’mores and a bonfire as many times a week as you can handle.

8. Sibling Bonding
Now a move like this will require your kids to share a room and that may seem unfair at first, but you will find that transitioning them from having their own room to sharing with their siblings usually inspires them to bond in a new way. If you shared a room as a kid, you may already know how that feels. Getting your kids to bond in today’s technological world is a challenge, but in a smaller space, they will spend more time playing and making decisions together when they normally would have been doing their own thing.

9. Problem-Solving Skills
This may seem like it’s pointed at your kids, but this is something that will improve for the whole family. Once again returning to the aspect of small space, you have to work out your disagreements as they occur due to the fact that you don’t have many places to go when you are upset. This may seem a little scary at first, but it is a very good thing. Too often people, adults especially, will walk away from their problems without solving them because it is easier, but that leaves behind a residual anger that can sometimes be unleashed on those we love the most. Making the time to fix your problems instead of bottling them up is a skill that you will want your kids to learn early. As we all know, it’s harder to change your habits as an adult.

10. Family Togetherness
The most important reason is the reason why we do any of the things that we, as parents, do: to raise happy kids. Making the move into a smaller space eliminates that habit of splitting up into different rooms to do whatever we want. When your house consists of mom & dad’s room, kid’s room, and living space, you will almost be forced to spend the majority of your time as a unit. Creating long-lasting, loving bonds is the best thing you can do for your family. Some families really appreciate the aspect of “personal space” and that IS important especially for the parents, but the average person’s idea of how much space they need is excessive. Don’t go assuming that by moving into an RV you will be living on top of each other, however. Selecting an RV that has a sufficient amount of space per person is all part of the buying process, but we tend to think that the biggest house we can afford will make us happy and usually that is untrue.

So if you have been lustfully eyeing RVs online, but putting the idea of full-timing on the backburner because of your young family, give it some more thought. Any changes we make in life are scary at first especially if we spend too much time calculating the negatives when we could be planning for positives. Take a chance! Your family could find ultimate happiness living the RV lifestyle.

Our RV Home

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Our  RV Home! (His name is Gus)

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Living Room (the coffee table set up is temporary until Nick builds me a fold-down table)

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“Mud Room”

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My Kitchen

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Kitty Loft (in progress)

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Master Bedroom (with all my kitties taking a nap)

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Tub/Shower

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The Girl’s Room

We bought our beautiful, fifth wheel Toyhauler at the end of March 2015, we found it online and it was perfect for us! A lovely family with 3 kids had been living in it for close to 3 years and made quite a few cool modifications on it. The two best being installing a full size bathtub and on-demand water heater (my favorite feature). Upon buying it, we immediately began to make changes such as taking down the headboard above the master bed and all the window coverings, we did leave up the day/night blinds, but will probably be removing them soon. The first big project for Nick was turning the built in dresser into a double computer desk. I went to school for Medical Transcription and he has a deep love for a PC game called Guild Wars 2, he is an officer in his guild, so personal office space was a must for both of us. Luckily the dresser was the perfect height so he removed the drawers and all the extra wood, leaving the top and framework. He used a piece of that wood in the middle as backup support. It works perfectly for us.

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Our command center

The next thing he did was build a more steady ladder for the loft. Our loft is mostly for the kitties, but we do use a side of it for storage. He had to build it to jut out far enough that we won’t have to take the kitty tree down every time we use the ladder.

Most recently, Nick removed the dinette for me. We had a coffee table built by Nick’s grandpa in storage so for now we are using that and pillows for dining, but we are planning to build a fold down table in a few weeks. Getting rid of the dinette definitely opened up the main living space and we are loving it!

The girls room (garage) was modified by the family before us. The carpet and cabinets were installed by them for their children, they had also left behind a bunkbed that we did use for awhile, but we ended up removing it in order to create more play-space for the girls. The curtains were made by me and Nick while he was teaching me how to use our sewing machine.