Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Renovation Progress

When we purchased the RV in early 2019, we decided that we wanted to replace the carpeting with a plank flooring. The carpet was original and well worn and the plank floors are easier to keep clean. But one of the things that we noticed was a soft spot in the kitchen floor. It was there when we bought it, but got worse over time. In an RV, this is almost always caused by a water leak. So before replacing the carpet, I need to understand the source of the leak. The roof is in good shape, so not from there. Hiding under the kitchen cabinet are both the water heater and the space heater. Both of which have outside panel openings. All of the supply and drain lines under the sink are also a possible source.

So using this COVID down time, I have started to remove the heaters, sink, stove, and the complete kitchen cabinet. I am too old to be a contortionist, but that is what it takes in the small spaces of an RV. Fortunately, removing the water heater gives me better access under the cabinet from the outside of the RV rather than the inside. Of course, several of the screw heads are stripped. So with a rotary tool, I am able to break the cabinet loose and get it out of the way to assess the total floor damage. After removing the water heater, it was clear that it was the source of the leak. The aluminum tank was intact, but the union of the tank and the propane burner had been leaking for some time. So a new water heater has been ordered. But with the cabinet out of the way, my worst fears have been realized. That entire section of the floor, 3' x 5' needs to be replaced.

A wise person will always consider any bad situation as an opportunity. An opportunity for change and growth. In this case, an opportunity to undertake some other modernizations for our 17 year old coach. Since the counter top and sink have already been removed, why not upgrade? The old sink is a flimsy beige plastic that was pretty shallow. And it was surface mounted in the old laminate counter. We have picked out a nice solid surface countertop that looks like granite and a single bowl under-mount stainless sink. While we are at it a modern sprayer faucet to go with it. After removing the stove, we decided not to put it back. We have never used the oven, except to store wine glasses and we only used the cooktop once. Almost all of our cooking is done outdoors. This will provide a huge increase in usable counter space and an efficient portable induction burner will serve our needs when we do cook indoors.

So this simple project to replace the carpet has grown to be an expensive proposition. It looks like the entire reno will be about equal to one month's worth of Social Security. I am very glad that we've been putting money away for a year in anticipation of this adventure. Obviously the end result will be more akin to our lifestyle, easier to keep clean, and a more modern look. At the end of this blog entry, I have put a slide show to show the progress so far. I'll do an update once we have finished. So just click on the arrow on the right and scroll through the slides.

And while it is not renovation related, this COVID thing has us very concerned. We are supposed to spend the winter in Florida, but their numbers are atrocious. Like Maine, the rural counties seem to have weathered the virus better than the populated cities and coast lines. But do we want to risk the exposure, especially considering that no one really knows if this virus will be like the flu and spike in the winter months. Is so, then atrocious will look more like a war zone. On the other hand, I have already sold the snowblower, so we can't stay in Maine. :-)

Stay safe out there.....


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