Gooooooood morning, everybody! We're writing to you from Sarasota, Florida and it's an absolutely GORGEOUS day. Vanessa and I are preparing to head north at the end of the month, first stop Ocala National Forest. We want to do some hiking, soak in the springs, and possibly paddle a spring run. Anything to keep us active and in sync with Mother Nature.
We've been getting Maude ready for the big launch, although most of the RV remodel was done a few weeks back.
We struggled for a long time to find the right RV, especially because we were particular about the inside. Really particular. Probably obnoxiously so. We found a lot of low mileage rigs with the body shape and size we wanted, but the insides were extremely outdated. With our already tightly-budgeted-resources, we couldn't justify renovating the inside of something from the sub-floor up.
Thankfully we found Maude, and the inside didn't need a major overhaul to make it more modern for our taste. The inside just needed a makeover rather than an entire renovation. So let's talk about that time we decided remodel our Class C RV.
First, let's look at Maude when we bought her.
We were really lucky that Maude was in the shape that she was design-wise. There weren't any major areas that needed to be remodeled ASAP. Everything was clean and in "newish" condition. There were no leaks, holes, or damage of any sort. Huge sigh of relief.
However, we knew there were things we wanted to change right away. Like the wallpaper. I have this huge gripe with RV wallpaper when it comes to design aesthetics. This wallpaper in particular wasn't hideous by any means, but it still was not what I wanted to look at everyday. It was way too busy with these awkward muted, earthy tones. This was my #1 we-need-to-fix-this-first project.
So, we painted.
After a long debate over the type and color of paint, we chose a very light gray in eggshell. Needless to say, we completely underestimated the time it would take to paint a 24 foot Class C RV. There were SO many nooks and crevices, it took us about 4 days to get everything squared away. Multiple coats and a lot of painting tape later, Maude was so much brighter and cleaner. We were beyond thrilled with how it turned out.
We were on such a high, we decided to take out the RV couch. Hah. Well, actually, we were thinking aloud about how much room it was taking up and if we really would be using a couch. The thing was, Vanessa and I didn't even have a couch in our beach bungalow. Primarily because we didn't have cable. So there was no need to plop on a couch and watch TV, because that wasn't an option. (We didn't have cable because we decided it distracted us from other things we loved (ie: being outside, longboarding, going to the beach, reading, etc.) We also did all of our hosting outside on the deck. So we thought, "what if we took out the RV couch altogether?"
So we removed it -- entirely. The bolts and screws underneath were not complicated to take out, and after doing so, the couch just kinda...slid out. Heavy, to say the least, but it was taken out and left a HUGE amount of space for us to play around with. We're going to write a post extensively about removing an RV couch, so stayed tuned for a more in depth look at that process.
There was a ton of carpet that we decided to remove (with our fingers crossed the entire time.)
What we found underneath the couch....and after we ripped up the carpet....was this beautiful slab of wood in the slide out.
Really we had no idea what we'd find under there, but it was a breath of fresh air to see this perfect wood floor. So, no need to re-carpet. We stained the wood a rich mahogany and added a silver metal edging to finish it off. Currently, our slide-out serves as a little reading/meditation area complete with our favorite Buddha statue. More decor to come.
Next, we wanted to cover up the dinette fabric and make the dinner table more our feel. Ultimately we would like to reupholster the seating and replace the dining table, but we'd rather hit the road first then spend all of our money on aesthetics. Vanessa used her design prowess to fancy up our table and turn it into something we'd love sitting at meal-after-meal.
From there, we wanted to make the bunk as comfortable as possible. We knew that we'd spend a majority of our downtime, after long hikes and physically demanding days, unwinding in our bunk and needed it to be as welcoming, warm, and soft as possible. We bought a faux-down mattress pad online which was an amazing addition. We already had the 1800 thread count sheets and the faux-fur blanket. We turned our sleeping quarters into heaven on Earth.
We wanted to spruce up the kitchen a bit, but didn't know where to start. We love love love the white subway tile-look, but didn't have the resources or time to put up tile-by-tile. Not to mention the cutting that would be involved to fit the tiles around the kitchen fixtures and windows. So, we found the next best thing: Peel & Stick Mosaic tiles from Smart Tiles. These tiles were a Godsend and so extremely easy to apply. It made a world of difference in our tiny kitchen.
We added some succulents and called it a day.
Now, our RV renovation is by all means unfinished. There are still a few necessary things we want to tweak along the way. But we also want to get on the road. This first initial remodel of the RV was with the sole purpose of making Maude feel like home. So far, home is exactly what she feels like.
I'm going to make this short and sweet because something tells me we aren't the only ones who've run into this issue. First let me clarify, Vanessa and I are not novices when it comes to automotive technique. Can we break down an engine and build it up again? No. But we can change oil, change a tire, install new wiper blades, and find a fuel cap when necessary. Except on our RV. We could not find the fuel cap in our Itasca Navion.
Embarrassing story commences.
Driving home from the dealership, La Mesa RV, we had half a tank. You would think that financing an RV and spending all that $$ would mean at least a full tank of gas -- think again. However, La Mesa RV really was fantastic and we have nothing by praise for the team in Port St. Lucie.
So, we stopped for gas at a Shell station when it got a bit low. Now granted, we know that with a diesel engine, the tank isn't where it would normally be. Our first look was under the hood, as some diesel engines have their tank there. Wrong. Our second guess was behind the driver's side door (where the tank was for the moving truck we rented long before). Were we right? No.
We searched the body of the RV like somebody told us we'd find gold. We opened compartments -- sometimes two to three times just to double and triple check. We got down on the ground and looked under the RV. We checked the engine again, and again, and.....well, you get the picture.
We could not find where to put gas in the Itasca Navion. We were stumped.
Now beyond just sussing it out on our own, we also tried asking for help. The only two people in the Shell station were the constructios workers who did not speak English, and the not-so-helpful attendant who stared languidly as he slowly drank a Coke.
After a solid twenty minutes of searching, along with calling our good friends Mark and Sahar (Mark is a mechanic), and googling the absolute heck out of this situation, we were flummoxed.
Until.... eureka! Why don't we call the number for Winnebago and speak to a representative. Surely Winnebago Road Side Assistance can tell us, "Hey dummies, your fuel cap is ________". Then they'd laugh and we'd feel like amateurs, but at least full-tank-kind-of-amateurs.
After being on hold for a few minutes, a woman from Winnebago answered the phone. The conversation went something like this.....
Me: Hi, I have a huge problem. It's embarrassing. We just bought an Itasca Navion and for the life of us we cannot find where to put gas. We've searched EVERYWHERE. It's the diesel engine. We're literally stumped. Can you help us?
Winnebago: (Pause) Wait, do you need roadside assistance?
Me: I mean, figuratively yes. We're technically on the side of the road you could say, and we can't move until we put gas. So assistance is needed.
Winnebago: But do you need someone to come and help you?
Me: No, not really. We just need someone to tell us where the gas cap is.
Winnebago: Well, we can't help you unless you need roadside assistance.
Me: You can't just tell me where the fuel cap is?
Me: Okay, thanks for nothing. Bye.
Now, beyond the string of curse words I issued after hanging up the phone, I also realized that the lady from Winnebago probably had zero idea of where the fuel cap was. Because nobody who has a soul would leave two girls stranded when all she had to do was utter a sentence of less than five words.....Am I right?!?!
So, Winnebago woman, you are forgiven. Why are you forgiven? Because five minutes after we hung up, we found the answer we were searching for.
The hidden location for the fuel cap in our 2007 Itasca Navion is.....
Wait, still don't see it? Maybe we're not so crazy after all. Take a closer look below...
There it is......to the right of the driver's seat when you first open the door.
So in case anyone has this problem again, where you are literally at a loss for words except ones that are banned from Sunday School and G-rated movies.......you're welcome. I wish there was a blog like this when I was searching.
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