Picking up the camper pretty much shot the whole day yesterday, but it's home now, and we've put most everything away. Snow has been falling off and on all day, and we're expecting a deep accumulation over night. As I'm writing this, Mike has gone off to his workplace to pick up a few things so that he can work at home tomorrow if necessary. As for what I have to tell you, I'm afraid it's all camper today. If that doesn't interest you, you might just want to move along to the next blog on your list, because I don't want to bore you. If you are interested though, sit tight because I'm just about to tell you more about the camper than you ever wanted to know. Ready? Here we go.
Loadin 'er up here boss. That's Ned there between the truck and the camper. Very nice guy who did the walk through with us and then helped us get on our way. Lovely weather we were having.
When we got it home, Mike took it off the truck and left it there next to the house. Also we extended the awning so that we could stay dry as we loaded our crap back inside. It's the first electric awning we've had, and Mike was feeling pretty smug pushing the button and having the thing go out all by itself. There's a row of LED lighting there on the outer edge. Cool, huh?
The drain in our driveway is always plugged, and that's Lake Stanbro off to the right of the image above. The camper has slides on each side and in the back, and that is what accounts for its bigger-on-the-inside-than-it-looks-from-the-outside appearance.
Inside, the dining table and chairs are located in the rear slide. I love that big window. Space was at such a premium in the previous camper that we got accustomed to using that silverware caddy you see on the table. It stays put even going down the road because of a non-skid shelf liner cut to size and placed underneath. Also, those placemats will stay put since they're made from the same material. Up above, there is quite a bit of storage space for extra paper towels, maps, books, paper plates, and the like.
Oh yes...can't forget to tell you about this little pin my friend Sue gave me. It was in the other camper too.
In case you're wondering, the chairs strap to the leg of the table when we're in motion. The table is bolted to the floor. There is a leaf that extends out if you want more room at the table.
Also, the back part of the table lifts up and there is some storage space underneath. The table in our fifth wheel is like this too, and my laptop rides nicely there. This is where I sit when I write my blog posts.
Also, the seats of the chairs lift up for more storage space. This is a good place for storing napkins, a deck of cards, coasters...that sort of thing.
To the right of the dining table is the driver-side slide where there is some "theater-style" seating. The chairs recline back and the foot rests pop out. This was our biggest reason for wanting a larger camper...comfortable seating. The window to the left of the seating is where the catio will fit eventually. We're going to need to replace that window, however. The windows are a frameless style, and the bottom section only tips out just a few inches. We need something that will slide open so that the kitties can have access to their catio. Having enough space to bring the kitties was another big part of the reason for wanting a larger camper. We don't like leaving them at home, and we miss them when they aren't with us.
It's a very nice molded sink with full-sized drains. Usually RV's have these little tiny drains with stoppers that have to be pushed in and twisted. We're really happy about this sink. There's also a spigot there for filtered water, and so wherever we're camping, we'll always have filtered water. The faucet for the sink has a pull out spray nozzle just like the one in our kitchen at home. (Those are pretty standard on RV's these days.) I like this kitchen set up because two people can stand on opposite sides of the counter and work. Living in a small RV is as much about the choreography as it is about the efficient use of space.
There are two shelves in the space under the sink. The coffee pot was the first thing to get put away.
In the image below, you can see the rest of the kitchen. There's a good amount of counter space.
Above the cooktop is a combination convection/microwave. The microwave operates with a turntable, and there are also metal racks to be used with the convection oven. The round metal rack is to be used for cooking with a combination of convection and microwave. That seems a little weird to me, and I can't imagine doing both at once...but who knows? I've done some strange things while cooking in an RV.
Below the microwave/convection oven is a cooktop. The lid closes down and it can be used for more workspace. (I like the little spice rack behind.) Oh yes, and there is a ventilation fan on the bottom side of the microwave.
When you lift the cover on the cooktop, there are three burners beneath.
By having the convection oven in the microwave, it opens up this area below the cooktop where the oven would ordinarily be. The oven has been replaced by three much-appreciated drawers for storage.
The top drawer is not quite as deep as the lower two, but it still holds a ton of cooking tools. The two drawers below hold a ton of crap as well.
Just to the right of the drawers is this pull out pantry. Nice, huh? I don't have much there, but I doubt it will take long to fill in that space.
To the left of the cooktop is a nice sized refrigerator. This is as large as the refrigerator in our fifth wheel, and we can easily fit food for a week or more in here.
Above that, a freezer, complete with ice pack for the weak-kneed people. The little plastic bucket there is our ice bucket.
On the wall opposite the refrigerator is a nice big blank wall, and that's where my Wheel Estate quilt is going to hang when it's finished. That leads to the over cab portion of the camper and Mike's side of the bed.
Still from the table, turn around 180° and there's a sort of media center. There's a good sized TV, radio, DVD player, etc. So far, those cabinets below the TV are empty. We'll probably use those for DVD's, remotes, etc. Mounted on the wall just below the TV there are a couple of USB ports for charging cell phones.
Behind the media player and right in the middle of the camper is where the bathroom is located. On either side are the passageways leading to the over cab portion where the bed is located. This is my side of the bed, and you can see that there's no longer a need to climb up into the bed. The whole camper sits above the rails of the truck bed, and so everything is higher up. It's still a big step up for me, however, and my knee won't allow me to crawl in that way. We're going to put a folding step stool there, and that will make it easier for me to get up and down.
As for the bathroom, here's how it looks. That's a fold-down clothes-drying rack on the right side of the shower there.
There's a tiny sink and a shower to the right with a shower curtain that will keep everything from getting wet. All those suction cup bins are just stuck there temporarily. We'll probably relocate them eventually, but for now, they're out of the way. There is a medicine cabinet behind the mirror, as you might expect.
Above the toilet is another cabinet and a woefully inadequate towel bar. We'll probably put another towel bar, or a ring, or maybe just some hooks for hanging towels and clothing. Also, there is a pocket door there for privacy.
Turn directly around from the toilet, and there is a "wardrobe/dressing area." The drawers below are a good size and will hold plenty of clothing for the journey.
Inside the doors are some adjustable shelves and a place for hanging clothes.
Finally, if you can believe this, there is a king-sized bed over the cab of the truck.
The overhead storage there will probably be comandeered by kitties. It's inconvenient as storage space (and conveniently located for banging your head). The kitties like having their own bedroom cubbies, and so we'll set that up with some thin pillows and doll quilts. What's that? Our kitties are spoiled? Now, why would you say something like that?
There are storage areas on either side of the bed, and that will be nice for stashing jammies and shoes.
Also, I wanted to mention the bed "linens." This set-up will save a marriage, and Mike gets all the credit for discovering it. First, we've put a tempurpedic mattress pad over the bed, which makes it very comfortable. Then, the "linens" consist of a king-sized sleeping bag that zips all the way around. Because it's a sleeping bag, you don't have to mess with trying to make the bed with conventional sheets. On the inside are removable sheets that can be taken out and laundered.
The "shell" is of a regular fabric on one side. In warm weather, this side goes up.
The other side is a comforter-weight cover. In cold weather, that side goes up. Nifty, huh?
There's another TV in the bedroom that can be watched while lying in bed. (Frankly, I'm not sure why such a small space needs two TV's, but there you go, like it or not.)
Straight over the bed is a nice big skylight. This will open to allow air in, and it can be closed off for darkness as well.
And that's pretty much it. Smitty is bored with all this camper business, but he's happy that the boxes have been emptied out in the process.
Also, I'm making potato skins the way the Pioneer Woman makes hers, although I've substantially reduced the recipe from feed-an-army size to potato skins for two. Finally, now that I've gotten over my fear of pizza dough, I'm going to try a new recipe for Pizza Margherita, which I happen to love. I've had pretty good luck with recipes I've tried from the NY Times Cooking section, and so I'll give theirs a try. It's pretty straightforward, but I like their note about making the pizza sauce from canned tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and a little salt.
So there you go. I hope you weren't expecting any sewing...I'll get back to that tomorrow.