Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Little fixes for Little RV Problems
First an answer as to why we don't just put the house on the market "as is." Almost all of the projects, other than painting, we have taken on have been necessary repairs. California has strict inspection and certain things have to be fixed, or money has to be left in escrow to fix them. Market conditions have been tough. Realtors tell me buyers want a house that is move-in ready. It is far too big to be a fixer-upper, but it was in a condition that required a great deal of fixing up. In many ways it is a wonderful house in a wonderful location. But there are also some really "outdated" cosmetic features that we are not replacing, like the burnt orange shower and avocado green floor, that a new buyer is going to look at as a future expense. Some of the repairs are in my opinion not necessary. For example Craig is going to replace the overhead fan in the lower bathroom because "it is old and rattles and it has bothered him ever since we moved in here".
We know we will not get top dollar, but we feel we will get a better price if it is in reasonably good condition even if it is a bit out dated.
Now, onto the subject of the RV.
Shortly after buying the Alfa I said it was a bit like having a "play house". I have enjoyed doing little things to make it more functional without making major changes.
On our last trip, we kept having problems with things falling out of the freezer when we opened it after driving. I looked at refrigerator bars, and came up with several ideas of my own using springs and dowels or PVC pipe.
But then a much simpler solution came to mind. I cut lengths of foam type pipe wrap that are just longer than the width of the freezer. They don't weigh anything, are easy to move around, and didn't cost me anything because we had the pipe wrap from some project in the past. Even if I had had to buy it, it is very inexpensive. We will see if it works on our next trip. If it doesn't I have a few other ideas.
We also had a few close calls with things falling from the refrigerator itself when the door was opened. I have been stopping at the local thrift store from time to time and found a couple of wire baskets for 50 cents each. They should help. The refrigerator shelves do have a small edge, but it doesn't do much. The wire baskets will allow air circulation and can be washed as needed.
Stick-em-up hooks! I love them, and have installed them in closets, on the bedroom wall, and in the bathroom. I like them because you can take them off without damaging the surface, and
you don't have to make a hole to put them up in the first place.
I had a problem finding a good place to store the pizza pick. The only cabinet it fit into is over the fridge and that one is very hard to reach. Craig likes to make "breakfast" pizzas, and uses the pick often. I drilled a hole in the end of the handle, screwed in a large "eye" and put a large hook on the wall next to the table.
The pick now takes up virtually no space, and is easy to get to. I hung it low and close to the wall so that it would be out of sight most of the time, and contact with the floor and wall will prevent it from swinging back and forth while we are moving.
After hanging it up, I wasn't happy with the fact that the bottom edge is on the floor, so I made a little edge cover by cutting off the bottom section of an unused, heavy plastic document pouch. It can be wiped or washed as needed.
Big hooks, little hooks, all removable but strong. These three are part of a solution to having my favorite and frequently used spices close at hand when I cook. I first put the spices in several plastic storage containers over the stove, but then moved them to one of the large cabinets quite near the cooking space. This was still not as convenient as I would like. At the house I have built in spice racks in the doors of one cabinet. I thought of designing some for the Alfa and making them out of wood like the ones in the house. Which I may still do because I like the look of wood better than what I came up with.
But then I found these plastic baskets from Walmart.
Each set of three baskets cost less than $2. Each of the lower two baskets will hold five short spice bottles. I left space for the shelf, and each of the top baskets will hold five taller bottles. So now 30 of my favorite spices will be easier to get to. Less-often-used spices can still be in a box overhead. The kitchen cabinets are incredibly deep, and the intrusion of this size basket does not interfere with anything else.
A plus for these over wood is that I can see the bottle labels thru the slots. Building something out of wood like this could be difficult. Maybe I can find a natural wood color spray paint...
What do you think these are? Can you guess their purpose?
They are small plastic cubes that I bought at Tap Plastics and stuck down on the sink top in the bathroom with Craft Tack Reusable Putty. It is similar to museum wax. I have since learned it also comes in white, and if I can find it, I will replace the yellow stuff I used here.
We put everything from the bathroom away before driving the coach. But we like to leave the soap dispenser out to wash our hands when we are traveling, and have been just putting it into the sink.
The little cubes and the base of the faucet hold this clear bin in place. Since the bin is not stuck down, I can lift it up to clean under and around it. I removed the two suction cups on the back of it because they didn't work in this location. It will keep the soap dispenser and my sunscreen from flying around the bathroom.
Pictures! We all love to have pictures of our family and of the places we have been. But where to put them in a motor home?
For Christmas, my Grandsons' Au Pair gave me a cute strip collage frame with pictures of the boys. As I looked around the Alfa for the best place to hang it I notice the ends of the slide were much like long narrow frames. The collage frame was just a bit wide for this space, but the pictures fit just fine without the frame. Using the Craft Tack, I put up some of the pictures she had given me, then I printed pictures from some of our trips. They are small, only three inches wide, but as I look down the line I remember each place and each day.
There are a couple of other places around the Alfa that I will fill with small images as we travel. With the Craft Tack no damage is being done to the walls and the pictures can easily be removed to make room for new ones. I will be using the collage frame in the bedroom.
Do you display many pictures in your RV? How and where?