20 December, 2010

Mel On Wheels?

It's official. I'm livin' in a camper. My home ... where I live ... full time ... has wheels on it, and is pretty tiny.

Things still aren't really finished. But, progress is being made. Since my last entry, I ran out of propane on one of the coldest nights of the season. That, of course, caused the camper to freeze. (The upside: I learned how my propane tank system works.) The freeze lead to a pipe bursting behind the toilet. I thought that all of the plumbing had been replaced with PEX piping. Rather, all of it except the pipes behind the toilet had been replaced. In order to replace those pipes the plumbers would have had to remove my shower, toilet and half of the sink unit to access them. So, when the water thawed following the freeze, I noticed a sudden gushing of water coming from behind the toilet. With an incredible sinking feeling, I turned off the main water valves and rushed to the campground office where I found Tom, and promptly begged his help. He obliged, thankfully. He sleuthed out the problem, found the source of the leak, and, with my permission, cut through some of the fiberglass behind the toilet to see where the pipes were actually located. Luckily, they were just behind a little storage compartment behind the toilet. That meant the plumbers should be able to cut through the back of the storage unit to reach all of the pipes, and could thread the new pipes in from under the sink. Genius! When the plumbers came out to replace this last section of pipes, I also had them install a new faucet for my shower with a new shower head. (The old one sprayed very softly and in many directions. The new one is aerated, has great water pressure, and sprays where it's supposed to spray. Yay!) I wasn't able to be present while the plumbers were here, but when I got back, I realized that they had installed my new kitchen faucet for me free of charge and without being asked. This was due to Jim being kind enough to talk his son (one of the plumbers) into doing this. It was such a generous gesture, it pretty much restored my faith in the kindness of people. (I'd had the faucet for about a week, but hadn't gotten around to installing it.) The only downside to that is that after using it a couple times, I am discovering that the faucet I chose has a spout that is too short to be of much use when washing dishes or filling pans. So ... I am thinking I am going to have to replace it again. However, I will put that faucet in the lavatory, so that all my faucets will be new and shiny. I'm going to try to find a kitchen faucet with a pull down sprayer so I can move it around as needed. But, at least I can use my kitchen faucet until I do all that.

Earlier this week, I had to make another trip to 'beyond Greensboro' to pick up the new shower hardware before the plumbers came. While there, I talked to the Airstream lock repairman. When I told him what was wrong with my door handle, he kind of grimaced and said that my issue was the most difficult and expensive one to fix. When I asked him what he would do in my situation, he suggested just buying a new handle/lock unit. He gave it to me on sale, but it was still almost $500. Yikes. What I thought was going to be a simple fix, turned out to be simple, but expensive. Oh well, at least I can open my camper without reaching through the window now. And I can lock it properly when I am away, and lock all the windows. So, I guess it was a good thing in the end. I picked up some curtain hardware while I was out there. The only kind available is the kind you sew into your curtains, but I am going to see if I can get creative and make some kind of tabs that attach to the track sliders so that I can easily change out my curtains should I want something different later. (For those of you who know me, you know how I like to rearrange my furniture every few months or so. Since I won't be able to do that in the camper, I figure I can at least change out my curtain fabrics!)

I spoke to my seamstress who graciously agreed to rework my cushions for me. I am still awaiting two of them, and then will have one more to drop off to her. That last one will be the one that I won't be using all the time. (It makes the spare bed.) So, once I get the two from her that she currently has, I will have all my finished cushions in the camper. I can't wait. I'm tired of having the ugly contact-papered plywood surface where the other cushion will go.

Still, things are taking shape, and I'm starting to feel really cozy in my Rosy.

I even think I have things stored in such a way that everything has a place and nothing feels squished. It's really nice being here. And I know that if I'm enjoying living here in the midst of all this chaos and disorganization, then I am sure to absolutely love it when it's all settled. What a way to ring in a new year, eh?

Happy holidays to all of you, whatever you choose to celebrate!
Thanks for sharing this journey with me!


  1. Oh, I forgot to mention that I had my first experience emptying my sewage holding tank recently. I am happy ... no, ecstatic ... to report that all went smoothly. *Whew*

  2. Sounds like the new path is going well, even for the little bumps along the road. Love reading about it Mel, Happy Holidays!

  3. Wow! You have been busy!!What's up next on the to-do list? Happy New Year, Melanie! Cheers to being outside of your comfort zone!