Monday, September 30, 2013

I Am SOOOOOO Ready For This!

Not that I've been counting or anything, but it's been 165 nights since I was camping somewhere other than home. The time has finally arrived, and Gary, "Dodge", and I have hit the highway for a couple of weeks of GLORIOUS camping in several different states. As you know, Gary finished the cabinet work on me on Saturday, and then packed almost non-stop until midnight on Sunday. Shortly after he finished bringing nearly everything we own, or so it looks, we were on our way north to Georgia. The very first exit in Georgia that we came to, was the one for the visitor information center. Poor Gary was totally exhausted, and it was WAY past my bedtime, so we stopped for some much needed sleep. Most rest stops are rather noisy, but this one was pretty quiet. As tired as we were, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. We parked alongside several big rigs, and hit the hay around 3AM. Things got progressively more noisy around 6AM, and it was harder to sleep. Gary climbed out of bed around 7:30. I slept in while he was out doing those "morning things" that humans do, and taking pictures. Around 8:30, we headed north to Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah. We will be here for two nights. This is a really nice and very quiet park. We spent a couple of nights here once before, and it is the perfect place for us to get back in the swing of camping after a long and hot Florida summer. A week from now, we will be camping in New York. But there's a long road ahead and lots of fun around every corner on the way there. I'll let you know what we're up to and where we're at as often as possible. That's it for now. More to come very soon.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Kitchen Cabinet Renovation Is Complete! kitchen cabinet renovation has been completed, and just in the nick of time too. Our camping season begins in just a couple of days, and I am SO excited! Gary has been working hard on me and lots of other things in preparation for our long trip. He's been running around like crazy, and I honestly get tired just watching him. Anyway, let me tell you about my latest updates. After a couple of coats of paint on the back sides of my new cabinet doors, the edges of the front sides were painted as well. Then, stainless steel panels were glued to the front sides of the doors and the drawer. That's the reason why only the edges of the doors and drawer were painted. The glue for the stainless sticks better to bare wood. The white coating you see on the stainless is to keep it from getting scratched. It peels off easily, revealing the gleaming stainless beneath. The next pic is of the cabinet fronts and doors installed. The thin little map drawer in front of my wheel well won't hold much, but it makes a little use of some wasted space. I also included a pic of my countertop with my new "high rise" sink faucet. The final touch was the aluminum trim that Gary added to the raw edges of both my lower and upper cabinets, and also to each end of my bunk beds. He has had the trim since he first got me, but finally got around to installing it four years later. Better late than never, right? I think it looks much better than just the bare plywood edges. What do you think? Needless to say, I am VERY pleased with all of the work that Gary did. I was hoping to get my aluminum skin cleaned and polished before our trip, but that isn't going to happen. Oh well, at least I'm new and improved on the inside, and that's what really matters. This will be my final blog post until we hit the road, and that won't be long at all. Internet connections permitting, I'll be blogging from each stop along the way as we head to New York. Once there, we'll be camping with good friends, seeing fall foliage, and enjoying some much cooler weather than what we are used to here in Florida. I'll chat with you soon, and that's a promise. Love Always, Toaster.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Kitchen Cabinet Renovation, Part Three

As you can tell, Gary has been hard at work on my kitchen cabinet renovation. For awhile there, I didn't think that I'd be ready for our upcoming camping trip, but things are coming along pretty well now. In the first picture, you can see the BIG difference in size between my old sink faucet (the one in Gary's hand), and my new, taller bar sink faucet. I talked about a problem with the faucet in my last post, but forgot to show you a picture of it. Gary had to drill a much larger hole in my stainless steel counter top for the new faucet. That was easier said than done. That stainless steel is some TOUGH stuff! The faucet is all hooked up now, and it's been repeatedly tested for possible leaks. All is well. The front panels for the cabinet (upper and lower), were test fitted a few times. Gary is big on test fitting. I'm not sure if he's not confident in his measurements and cuts, or if he just likes taking pictures of every detail of his projects. One way or the other, I guess it's better to check things more than once before painting. Speaking of painting, that was next on the list of things to be done. With the edges sanded smooth and the holes drilled for mounting the front panels, they were painted black to match the rest of my cabinets and trim. Then came the painting of the backs of the cabinet doors, inside and out of my nice new drawer, and inside and out of the little pull-out map bin that will fit right in front of my door side wheel well. It fits inside the middle hole of the lower front panel. I'll show you how it works in a future post. All of these parts will probably need a second coat of paint, maybe even a third, but at least they are cut and almost ready to install. Gary took a list of the sizes of the cabinet doors to his friend at the local A/C fabrication shop this morning. There will be stainless steel fronts made for all of the pieces, so that they will match the doors on my upper cabinet. More progress posts are coming soon. Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My Kitchen Cabinet Renovation, Part Two

Progress is being made on my kitchen cabinet renovation. Now that things are coming together, Gary said it would be okay if I posted a few pics. Let me try to explain what's been going on. As you could see in the pics during my last post, there were a bunch of pieces painted and ready to be installed. One by one, Gary put those pieces together like a big jigsaw puzzle. There was no doubt that all of the painted pieces would fit perfectly. They had been test fitted over and over previously. Once all of the pieces were installed, other pieces were made, test fitted, and painted. That's the way it went for several days. Yesterday, the water supply lines to my new faucet were hooked up and tested for leaks. They failed, and surprisingly, so did the new faucet. Water dripped from the fittings, but no water came out of the faucet. Gary took the faucet apart, and found out that a valve inside of it had been installed backwards at the factory. He corrected the problem, reinstalled the faucet and the fittings, and everything worked perfectly. Next, he hooked up the sink drain. There was one tiny leak at first, but that was an easy fix. Things went considerably smoother today. Because of the wider and taller new microwave oven, the electrical outlet inside the cabinet that supplies power to it, had to be moved slightly. Luckily, that wasn't as much of a hassle as the plumbing was. Next was the installation of the microwave oven. No problems with that. Above the microwave, the ball bearing slides were installed for a new drawer. The slides weren't quite in the right place on the first attempt, but the second installation was right on the money. The pieces were cut and routed to make the drawer out of, and then the drawer was assembled. It needs some sanding and a coat or two of paint yet, but at least it's built. Well, I'm sure there will be more work done over the next few days, and if it does, you'll hear about it first right here on my blog. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Kitchen Cabinet Renovation, Part One

Gary has spent a good portion of this past week working on my kitchen base cabinet. He's been cutting and test fitting pieces, and had a lot of the cabinet assembled, but then he took it all apart again. I have a picture of the assembled cabinet, but he doesn't want me to post it yet. I think he wants to make sure it looks good before anyone sees it. With that said, all I can show you for now is the bare cabinet, and most (but not all) of the freshly painted support pieces that fit inside of it. I'm getting a new microwave oven too. This one is much bigger than my old one, and is definitely much prettier. The black and stainless combination match the rest of my kitchen. My old microwave was white and didn't really blend in. We only have three weeks and one day (but who's counting?) before we hit the road for our first camping adventure of the season, and I surely hope I look more "together" than I do right now. Gary told me he will work long hours, if that's what it takes, to get me done, and I have no need to doubt him. He's a man of his word, and he's never ever let me down. More updates soon.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Finally....It's MY Turn

With Joni gone, things are getting back to normal here in the Green Acres Garage. I got to go outside for the first time since April, and boy was that nice. It was great to be hooked up to my best friend "Dodge" once again, and the sun felt SO good on my skin. Before I got to go outside, Gary drove the Dodge Neon over and washed him. The poor little guy has been sitting on the driveway and getting VERY dirty for the past couple of months. There wasn't room for him in the garage with all of the work that was being done to Joni. I had taken the Neon's spot in the garage, and Joni had taken my usual spot. But the time had come for all of to reunite. The Neon returned to his spot in the back of the garage between the 1971 Dodge Dart, and my brother Scotty's bare frame. Then I was rolled back in. I figured that there would be no work done to me right away, but I was wrong. Remember my wiring harness posting from early June? To refresh your memories, Gary had cut the old 7-pin connector off of my tongue wiring, and was planning to extend the harness with a new junction box and cable with a new 7-pin connector. It took three months to get it done, but I am once again wired up, tested, and ready to go. This was the first project completed on me, but it won't be the last. Gary has promised to make some progress on renovating my kitchen base cabinet today, and I sure hope he follows through. I will keep you posted. Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hello Carolyn, Goodbye Joni

This past Friday, Gary pulled Joni out of the garage once again, and gave her a final water testing. She sat out in the rain a couple of times, and got sprayed with the garden hose twice before, but Gary wanted to give her one more test. She passed with flying colors. The results were a HUGE difference from when Joni first arrived here, and her soaking wet mattress was removed and set outside to dry. With everything completed (and then some) that Joni came here for, it was time for her to go home. She was here for eight weeks, and was worked on intermittently for 62 total hours. I've kind of grown accustomed to her being here, and the garage looks a bit empty with her gone. But now it's MY turn for some much needed repairs, and there's only four weeks to go before we head out for our first and longest camping trip of the upcoming season. Saturday was here, and Joni's owner Caryn and her BFF Carolyn arrived to pick up Joni late in the afternoon. Gary and I had never met Carolyn before, and we all hung out and talked for awhile. Like most people that come here to visit, Carolyn was very nice and had nothing but good things to say. Joni was hitched up to Caryn's mini-van, and was pulled outside. That's Caryn on the left and Carolyn on the right, doing their best imitations of the models on "The Price Is Right". After the brief photo shoot, the girls headed home to Jacksonville. It was kind of quiet here on Saturday night. Helen the Husqvarna, Gary's riding lawn mower, had really bonded with Joni, and they used to talk until WAY past my usual bedtime. I will kind of miss Joni, but Helen will miss her the most. Once again, Helen is the only girl here in the Green Acres Garage. I'm sure we will see Joni again sometime, maybe even camp with her. That would be fun. As Gary completes some work on me, I will post pictures. He has a lot to do in a short time. More soon, I promise.