Hello dear reader! Remember me? I used to write on this blog a tad bit more often than once a month. I bet you thought we got lost somewhere on the side of a lonely highway with no Internet.
Good news, we are not lost, we know exactly where we are!
Allow me to give you a quick recap of the last few months and bring you up to speed on our current adventure: Alaska! (Heads up: every link in this post will bring you to a corresponding YouTube video.)
Our February exit out of Southern California into the Pacific Northwest allowed us to successfully catch winter’s tail and enjoy the dramatic contrast between Death Valley and Northern Idaho. Trent vlogged our interaction within the two beautifully opposing climates of Death Valley and Northern Idaho.
For the last four months, we’ve tucked ourselves into the folds of the Idaho mountains and breathed the pine scent deep into our lungs.
Ashlyn was recently gifted a large amount of scrap fabric from a kind lady we met at church. As we pondered ways to make use of it, I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration. This led us down a delightful decorating rabbit hole. Come along and I’ll show you 6 free (or almost) RV decor ideas that we discovered!
1) NEW NO-SEW CURTAINS
I’ve considered redoing the dark brown curtains in our main living area multiple times. I even went so far as to purchase fabric from IKEA last winter for this purpose. However, upon making the first panel, I discovered that the color scheme just wasn’t quite right and I abandoned the effort.
It all worked out however because I’d kept that not-quite-right fabric and was able to repurpose it into no-sew fabric strip curtain valances by intermingling some of the fabric we had been given. The end result was perfect. It brightened up the room, required no sewing and was very cost effective! If you want more details on how to create these valances yourself, here are the instructions I followed.
We’ve come a long way baby…From days of muddy city streets filled with animal feces and chamber pots thrown out of 2nd story windows, to our modern-day concrete jungles complete with hand sanitizer stands at every big box entrance. These little bottles of gel stand like sentry guards challenging you to enter without a hand baptism (or full submersion if you prefer). If you manage to sneak past these guardians, your evil shopping cart handle will probably infect you before you can reach for your virus infected paper money to pay for those chemically sprayed vegetables. Soon, we will all have to enter our own personal protection bubbles to shield us from anything harmful before we venture outdoors. But I digress…
Staying out of the dark ages
Washer and dryer machines keep us clean and out of the dark ages. These wonderful machines give us back so much time that was lost to washboards and squeegee rollers. The Ledeboer’s declared that we needed these modern marvels inside our tiny home on wheels.
Splendide washer/drayer install in three easy steps
How does one go about installing two large machines in a tiny home with a skinny hall you may ask?
First, find a good friend with a strong back.
Second, combine the washer and dryer into one machine. (I didn’t know this was possible until just a few months ago.)
Third, cut a hole in the side of your RV for the dryer vent, first making sure it is in exactly the right location.
-“Umm, not check”.
I accidentally cut the hole for our dryer vent in the wrong place. Thankfully, the remedy was fairly simple. This is the text conversation that I had with Heather when she came back to the RV while I was at the hardware store looking for a solution:
We went back and forth about getting a washer/dryer combo unit in our RV. There were pros and cons to each option which included:
-Cost: A few hundred dollars up front vs. paying per load at a laundry mat.
-Time: About 10 minutes a day vs. an hour+ each week at a laundry mat.
-Effort: Locating a used model and learning how to install it vs. finding a laundry mat in each new location we travel to.
We tried to weigh these various factors: how much it would cost to purchase, how often we would use it, and the weight that it would add to our RV.
In the end we felt that the pros would outweigh the cons. We found a used Splendide 2100 model on craigslist for $600 and as Trent outlined above, learned some valuable lessons in the process. Now that we’ve had our Splendide washer/dryer for several months, I can confidently say that I am glad we decided to purchase one.
New laundry routines
As you may expect, the drum size of our Splendide is significantly smaller than our previous stackable front loading machine. This necessitates more frequent washings in order to stay on top of our laundry. I’ve established a daily routine, putting in one load each morning. I’m no longer as picky as I used to be about separating out our lights and darks because it is easier to run one load a day by simply throwing everything in together. By the end of the day I find time to pull out the dry clothes and because the load is small, it’s quick and easy to put everything away. Prior to RVing I had no idea that there were combo washer/dryer units. I do enjoy that once I start the load I don’t have to do anything else until I’m ready to pull it out and put it away due to the fact that it automatically begins the drying mode once the wash cycle is completed.
I can see that it might be nice to have some quiet time in a laundry mat as I catch up on our laundry once a week. However, there have been many weeks in which I have been thankful that we didn’t need to work that into our routine. In addition, our youngest still struggles to have consistently dry nights. Each time I need to wash his bedding, I appreciate that I don’t have to go any further than my bedroom closet.
Although our kids loved the novelty of washing their own clothing at the Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead, I am not ready to adopt this into our regular routine and I’m thankful for the advances we have made since the days of emptying chamber pots into the streets!
How about you? Did you know there were combo units like this? If you have an RV, do you have a washer/dryer? Why or why not?
Even though we purchased a new RV (click here for our video tour), there are still modifications we would like to do to make it even better. We are upgrading the battery pack and installing an inverter so we can dry camp longer, adding a washer/dryer, beefing up the master bedroom closet, and upgrading the ventilation system. Today I’ll walk you through the changes we made with the ventilation system.
Why we decided to install a fan
Our Coachmen Brookstone 395RL RV came with a passive vent in the loft area. A passive vent is basically a screened hole in the roof that allows heat to escape. We wanted a vent/fan system that would move air in or out depending on our preference. After researching the options we choose to install a Maxxfan deluxe because it moves more air than the leading competitors and there’s a built-in rain cover so we can operate it while its raining (other fans require a separate rain cover to allow simultaneous operation).
The Maxxfan install process
I videoed the process of installing our fan in order to show you some of the steps that I felt were missing from some of the other videos I found online (such as how to find and connect to the 12v electrical system). I hope you will find it helpful if you decide to take on a similar project. I invite you to watch the video and if you have any questions feel free to post them here or on YouTube and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Note: At the beginning of the Maxxfan install video I talk about a few verses in Proverbs that encourage me. I am not a proponent of the prosperity gospel. I’m not saying that if you give, you will be wealthy monetarily. Giving is simply a response to what has already been given so abundantly to us. Even if you don’t feel rich or can barely make ends meet each month, look at your life through the lens of someone living on a few dollars a day. Its pretty easy to see how everyone living in a 1st world country can say they are “rich”.
Our thoughts on our fan now that we have used it
We have been using our Maxxfan for over a month now and have been completely pleased with the amount of air that we are able to move through our RV because of this one change. At this point in the year we are using it mostly at night to pull the cool evening air into the RV while we sleep and it has been highly effective. We have also found that it is very quiet (especially compared to the fan in our bathroom vent). This is appreciated especially given its proximity to two of our children who sleep in the loft where it was installed.