Thursday, January 16, 2014

Floribunda Improvement Therapy

Floribunda and Petunia ready to go - July 2012 - Loomis, CA

Lacy and I took a spin in Petunia Smart car to Lafayette day before yesterday to do a little Floribunda retail therapy.  First of all, we headed to a locksmith (none in Abbeville) to see what they could do with the key to the bedroom slide-out. 
I’ve left the key in the lock of the slide-out, where I’d found it when I purchased the rig in June.  The other day I noticed that it looked kind of strange; when I checked a little closer I realized the key was bent at a right angle.  Hmmm, how in the world did that happen?  In short order, the locksmith cut two new keys and returned my broken-in-two-piece original.  I was going to have him throw the original away but he suggested that I try the new keys, just in case.  I’m glad he instructed me to keep it because, in fact, neither of the new keys works; so I’ll be going back to see if they can get it get it cut correctly.  If not, I’ll have to buy a new locking mechanism.
The key wasn't actually broken until the locksmith put it in his machine.
I have completely worn out my eyes and psyche on the beige, gray, beige, beige interior color scheme that came with Floribunda.  I like color and have perhaps an abnormal affection for the warm curry colors of India.  I love red, gold, orange, peacock blue, green – lively, friendly, powerful colors.  I wanted a new quilt set for the queen-sized bed – something to liven up the room and coach.  Lacy patiently waited in the car while I shopped in four different places – Marshall’s, Ross, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond - nothing struck my fancy.   So, after telling Lacy we were on our way home, I decided to just make one more stop at Macy’s . . .Oh, dear – I hoped if I found something, it wouldn’t break the bank!  Well, wonders never cease.    I found this lovely, and colorful set – Martha Stewart Living brand - $320 for the quilt and shams – on sale for $87!!!
Lacy and Eleanor think this will work well for naps and bedtime
Marvin, my RV park Louisiana-born friend, a retired Fire Captain, has been wonderful about helping me out with various projects I’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the wherewithal, talent or tool-wise, to get accomplished to date.
He’s traipsed around the countryside with me, used his tools and even a few of my meager supplies to do several helpful storage projects.  AS my RV-ing friends know, storage and organization are the two big buzzwords of this lifestyle.  RV-ers are destined to repair, reorganize and make changes in their rigs for the entire time of the lifestyle!

One such project was my chassis battery (runs the engine and driving electrical operations).  The Interstate battery was purchased in June and still under warranty.  When I don’t drive Floribunda for more than a day or two, the battery doesn’t turn over and I have to use the auxiliary switch to turn the engine on.  So far, it’s worked every time; but, there’s always the first time, right?  Well, Dan, Wendell, Wayne and Marvin talked that over and decided I needed to take the battery to an Interstate dealer to see if it’s defective.  Marvin and I went to about three places before we found one that actually sells Interstate.  They put it on their charger for two hours, and then tested it.  It’s good!   Now what to try?  A little later, as I was talking to another neighbor, I remembered that when I bought the rig the seller told me about some auxiliary switches that are located above the exit door.  Hmmm, what did he say they are used for?  Oh yes, he’d told me the purpose of these switches is to turn off the chassis (engine) battery and the coach batteries during any period of time when the rig will be stored without operating for a length of time.   My neighbor said that the comparable switch in his rig is located low on the wall next to the exit door and his grandkids accidentally hit it and his motor wouldn’t start.  OMG!  I have some books on the shelf next to these switches in Floribunda . . . Yup!  The auxiliary switch was in the OFF position!  I turned both switches ON and started the engine right up.  Live and learn!

I’ve said before that I’m not used to watching TV anymore, but my buddies here want me to be able to if I want.  I think I’ve mentioned that Floribunda came with a tube TV, which Marvin took out – boy is it heavy – and we took it to The Ark, a Goodwill-type organization in Abbeville.  I have a Polaroid flat screen that would fit nicely in the same spot, including giving me some much-appreciated storage where the giant tube was located.  Marvin to the rescue again, about a four-hour+ ordeal; thank you again, Marvin.  We bought a wall-mount bracket for the TV at Wal-Mart.  Marvin made and painted plywood backing to mount the TV on, and we (well, I did help a little and made dinner for the dear boy) installed the ‘new’ TV.   I’d also purchased a universal remote but we weren’t able to get it set up last evening; so it’s back to Wal-Mart to try a more sophisticated remote model.
Eleanor waits patiently and watches project progress
This is the hole in the middle of the cabinet section above the driving area.  Marvin created this support piece to mount the TV.  The hole is for being able to reach into the space behind it to store things.  The insulation you see will be covered by another piece of black-painte plywood
This is with the flat screen installed with fingerprints from manipulation.  The rear-view mirror was in this spot; I've never used it but we left it until we figure out how to disguise the holes in the woodwork
Now I can put away all the things I’d taken out of the storage cabinets that have been sitting on the dashboard for days. 

Another project is the refinement of my bedroom storage and new office arrangement.  I’d had my laptop in the dinette area, which always appeared a little messy.  I’ve moved the ‘office’ about ten feet into the bedroom; so visitors don’t see all the workings every time they come to the door.   I have two wardrobe closets, a small counter area and six drawers in this little bedroom.   Marvin and I are brain-storming about making a little built-in computer desk, complete with a little desk chair that can be folded and stored for travel, in the bedroom (I’ll take some before and after photos) and I’ve rearranged clothing storage to make room for office supplies that can be stored in cabinets, rather than out in plain sight.   And, we’re going to make one of my two wardrobe closets into a shelved closet where I can store much more clothing (and other stuff) than hanging it up.  Yippee!


  1. Mary-Pat,
    The bedspread is you!!

  2. Very nice improvements! It's about half the fun of RV'ing, yes? ;->

    Virtual hugs,


    1. Hi Judie:
      Yes, I'm learning to be patient and enjoy the process. It's taking a time for me to turn off that meeting going, never enough time, compulsive career personality. But, I'm working on it!

  3. Ooooo I love your new breadspread. Looks like Lacy approves too.

  4. Hi Friend Betty:
    Yes, I'm thrilled with it and it's reversible - stripes on the other side. The crew and I are settling on it just very nicely, thank you!

  5. Renovations take a bit of patience but when all is done, it's all worth it. I love the bedspread and pillow sham and I think that Lace does too.
    I marvel that you can drag that car behind and even park that big rig all by yourself. I assume it get easier with practice. I love that Petunia Smart car. Great for City driving and parking.

    It great to have friends who can do little job for you to make your life better. I'm glad that you found out that your battery was still good and that it was the turned off switch that was to blame. Those experiences makes you more knowledgable about RV life and sharing the experiences with others is profitable for them.

    Keep on enjoying your journey.


  6. Thanks Julia:
    The rig is only 25 ft long - short by motor home standards. I bought the Smart car and when I tried to tow the first time, it as easy as pie! I don't even know it's there unless I check the screen of my back up camera.
    Yes, I'm living and learning. Soon I'll become Rosie the Riveter!

  7. Wow - that's amazing progress. Love the colors.

    You asked on my blog about my office-on-wheels. I posted about it this past summer here:

    That's pretty much the arrangement I'm still using 6 months later. Of course, my favorite place to work is outside with just my chair and little table.

    Look forward to seeing your workspace!

    1. Thanks for the blogspot. I think I may have read it back then but can't remember what it looked like if I did! So, I'm heading there right now to check it out.

  8. I love bright colors too. I usually buy queen or king size top sheets to use as bed spread in's so hot in summer. Recently I was at a second hand store and saw these beautiful turquoise sheets w/teeny ween flower print...the whole set w/pillow case and everything. I looked at the tag, it was a Target brand and 350 thread count so I got the whole set for less than $10. I washed them up with the intention of using them this summer but my daughter loved the sheet set so I gave them to her. Soon after what do you know I find a beautiful light blue king flat sheet 640 (with white star scattered across) count by Tommy Hilger at the same second hand store along with red pillow cases! Red, white and blue!! I cant wait to use them this summer. My room is a neutral color so I can splash any color I want on linens and window treatment. I change them out when I tire of the same color since I didn't spend an arm and leg on them. The second hand store is located in an affluent neighborhood so the things I find are almost new and good quality. I buy my favorite hard back cover books for my library too including 'how to' books, art books, etc. Two years ago I found a book on how to tie in the evening while watching TV I practice and learned quite a few. When my nephew visited (he's in the navy), I show him my knot tying skills...he was impressed LOL. BTW I love the new quilt on your bed.

  9. I used dark or smoked colored plexiglass and it looked good.

  10. I used dark or smoked colored plexiglass and it looked good.

  11. Love the bedspread. You are probably very lucky the interior is beige and gray because any accent colors will go with beige and gray.

    1. Yes, that's true. I just want to liven it up in here.

  12. I'd love a beige and grey interior! Mine is green - solid green couch, and green/brown/beige material on the couches and valances with Palm Trees and fronds. There's not a lot I can do to change things. But I like it - and it really hides the dirt (assuming it's got dirt on it after living in the desert and forest for 2 1/2 years - I can't see any, that's how well it hides dirt!).

    LOVE your new bedroom colors.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you do for a desk area. I love mods, every little change makes things nicer and easier. :)