I like taking a problem and coming up with a solution so extreme that I end up happy I had the problem in the first place. Taking showers in the RV is acceptable at best, and on cool winter days is a bit of a chore. I solved that problem by joining a spa in San Francisco, where every day I now take a shower, sit in the steam room while eating an apple, sit in the hot pool, and then take another shower. I may actually be one of the cleanest people in San Francisco.
Another problem I had was that my RV was hard to clean. The whole thing was carpeted, including the kitchen area, which added an element of danger to cooking. One slip up and my rug catches a permanent splotch of goulash.
I thought about putting down linoleum floors, but I wasn't crazy about the idea of my home on wheels looking like a middle school cafeteria. I whipped out my tape measure and measured the actual exposed floor space. Thirty-two square feet. That's so little that I may as well get any flooring I like.
My father, always willing to help with my crazy projects, and certainly a lot more qualified to do them than I am, offered to help me renovate the RV over Thanksgiving break. We chose hand scraped maple wood for the floors and a two-color marble mosaic for the entryway. We also took the microwave out, refinished the refrigerator area, and made a few other upgrades.
The hardest part was removing the old floor. Once we took a knife to the carpet we'd crossed the point of no return, but I soon had my doubts. The carpet was glued to the foam sub-layer and the foam was glued to the metal and wood floor. It was so hard to cut that we eventually used a grinding tool to cut it into strips, and then I'd rip it up with all of my strength. It took hours to do.
Things moved quickly after the several hour demolition process. Here are some photos of the finished work:
(Front of the RV with Aeron chair, wood floors, and wool rug)
(Marble foyer area. It's very easy to clean and can get wet, which makes it perfect for rainy days)
(Newly mounted fridge. The brass thing is a quick disconnect for the propane powered heater/fireplace I have)
(This is the removable panel that can be removed to reveal the infrequently used shower. Notice the perfect seam between the panel and the front area.)
(A view from outside. You can see the microwave-free kitchen and teacups that hang from hooks. Just to be hilarious I want to cover the translucent plastic dome with real gold leaf. Does anyone know how to apply it to plastic?)
(Close up of where the microwave was. The magnet is strong enough to hold my knives, spatula, and lighter even on tough bumps. You can also see the stainless steel which covers up the wiring that was behind the microwave. We moved the light up there to make it easier to cook.)
(One last picture from the front, showing where I sit and write a lot of these posts.)
The whole cost of the project was just a few hundred dollars, plus four days of my time and most of my dad's time. A small price to pay to transform my RV into a veritable rolling palace.
You'll have to excuse the terrible picture, but I also put a new solar panel on a couple weeks ago. I bought it an hour outside of San Francisco and put it next to my bed in the RV. It was so big that I was annoyed at the prospect of it sitting in the RV for a week or two, so I stopped at a Home Depot and put it on in the parking lot. I got some weird looks, but now I have 360 watts of power generation.
I love doing weird projects that push the envelope a bit. There's something fun about doing things that no one else has done-- and that no reasonable person would likely do.
For good measure, here's a picture of my dad and me: