Thoughts Regarding Covid – 19

As events unfold very quickly I have been hesitant to write a post, mainly because I am fully aware that this post might be outdated before the proverbial ink is dry. But I have always written when things have been difficult and obviously for most of us that is the case.  Even if you are not directly affected by the pandemic, it is hard not to have anxiety.  And I would guess at this point hardly any of us are not indirectly affected.  We all have people in our lives that we worry about and those people may be at greater risk than we are.  Personally many of my family members are in the medical field.  As proud as I am of what they are doing, I am of course concerned because they have greater exposure to the virus.  Essentially we don’t live our lives in a vacuum and even if we are safe and healthy those outside forces can cause pressure.

Just like with our Instant Pots that pressure has to go somewhere and it is interesting how different people are when they are letting it go.  Some spend hours on the internet dissecting every scrap of information and others bury their head in the sand and pretend its not really happening.  Those are the two ends of the spectrum of course and most people fall somewhere in between.  Even day to day I find myself careening between those two extremes and it has been hard to find a balance.  I want and need information, but it is disappointing how difficult it has been to find credible information.  That gets a little easier every day, but even sources I trusted in the past I am not so sure about in today’s world.  I find myself missing the news casters of my childhood.  Where is  today’s Peter Jennings?  I vividly remember after 9-11 him having a kids show with a giant map on the floor explaining where Iraq was and telling us why we would be safe.  He was calm, impartial, and factually accurate.  I yearn for those days.

At this point my personal most trusted source of data is the John Hopkins site.  This map shows the current number of case and is the source being cited by many other news organizations.  Because they are an independent medical facility of the highest caliber I trust them for information and medical advice.  They are a little dry and there isn’t the sensationalism you see in other places, but that allows me to draw my own conclusions based on facts.  I know its tempting to allow others to hand you the conclusions, but I believe in this ever changing environment that is dangerous.  For me at least facts calm me and sensational journalism does not.  Please don’t read anything political into that statement by the way.  There is plenty of sensationalism on both sides of the aisle and when real lives are on the line that is the last thing we need.

So what are the facts telling me?  Despite efforts to flatten the curve internationally that is not happening.  Perhaps it was inevitable no matter what we did and the best we can hope for is to flatten the curve in specific areas.  There are hot spots in places like northern Italy and New York City where the death toll will be very high.  Personally I am grateful we are in a remote area as it makes social distancing easier.  All social distancing does though is slow things down.  Eventually a large percent of the population (and we don’t know how many yet) will get the virus.  The good news is 80% of those people can be treated from home.  Of the the other 20% only 2-4% will be critical.  Don’t get me wrong that is a ton of people, but statistically the odds are pretty good.

The problem with those stats is that it doesn’t account for people who are impacted by corollary problems.   For example a person needs dialysis treatment, but cannot get that treatment because hospitals are filled with other patients.  Someone has a heart attack and ambulance aren’t available because they are treating other patients.  Those types of scenarios are actually scarier to me because they happen everyday and rely on our medical system at full capacity to get the best treatment.  That’s why the folks in the medical field are so agitated.  They are looking at projections and understand they can’t give the best care if they are overwhelmed and don’t have the people and equipment necessary to meet the need.

Which takes me to leadership.  In many aspects of my life I have found leadership (and I am not just talking political here) lacking the last two weeks.  I am however starting to see various leaders sharing their plans with us.  Work was happening behind the scenes but not surprisingly communication of those efforts lagged behind.  I see this all the time in my life and it is unfortunate because in the absence of solid information people just make things up.  I am particularly impressed by how local leaders are starting to get on television and talk to people. It is obvious that most people truly care about what is happening and want to do their best but many of them are woefully under skilled in handling something of this magnitude.

In all fairness not many of us have the skill set to easily deal with a disaster of this magnitude.  We live in an instant world.  Instant results, instant gratification, and instant information.  Even those of us who remember a time where that wasn’t so, anyone else remember going to the library to look up a fact, we have gotten used to getting what we want instantly.  And not being able to do that is not surprisingly manifesting in some unusual ways.

Thankfully we had planned ahead and gotten a months worth of basic supplies in advance, but yesterday I ran our of conditioner.  It was a stupid little thing and something I had just overlooked in the stock up runs, but for me it was a big deal.  In order to avoid going out I looked online but saw they were charging $15 on Amazon for a $4 bottle of conditioner.  That enraged me, so I jumped in our truck and went to Dollar General where I found it for $4.  The problem was while I was at Dollar General I was exposed.  There is no way to go into any store without running the risk of being contaminated and my competing desires of not getting financially fleeced, not wanting to expose myself, and wanting my conditioner right damn now were raging in my head.

It’s hard under those circumstances to not snap at people, or blame others, but that is one thing I am trying very hard not to do.  Those poor people at Dollar General are bearing the brunt of this and it shows on their faces.  The last thing they need is me taking out my anxiety on them.  To the contrary in my mind those front line people are the quiet heroes in this scenario.  Every day they go to work in grocery stores and gas stations and put themselves at risk.  They are also doing it for far less money than I am making working remotely from home.

These are complicated times and people’s true characters come out under stress.  I want to be a person who lifts people up instead of placing blame.  I want to be a person who is selfless rather than selfish.  But it is hard. Because it is scary.  Everyday I see the death count grow and although I intellectually understand that people die every day this is different.  Not just because of the risks to us individually, but because of the risks to us as a species.  Will we survive this, of course.  Will we remain unchanged I hope not.

Personally I believe our larger society was in need of a wake up call.  It is a harsh lesson to be sure, but when history looks back I believe this will be a pivotal moment in our cultural development.  One day we woke up and the world had changed and it happened very fast.  How will we respond to those changes?  What will be the long lasting impacts especially for the next generations?  Will this further tear us apart of bring us together?  As an optimist, I am hopeful that long term those changes will be a good thing, but the cost is so very high.

As of this moment 19,725 people have died from Covid-19.  Those are the ones we know about.  Many of them would have died soon anyway from other causes, but what is one day worth to a person?  One week, one month?  They aren’t anyone I know personally, but they could be.  The longer this goes on they probably will be.  I can’t stop it from happening, but I will do what I can to slow it down.  I will stay in place, be selfless instead of selfish as best I can, and be ready to help pick up the pieces when this is all over.


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First Time Replacing Bedroom Carpet

The third thing that Lee did in the renovation was replace the bedroom carpet.  Originally I had said we could skip it because it saw little use, but Lee wanted to do it all.  That’s how he does things, throws his whole heart into them, and since the remnant piece was just big enough I thought why not.

The only downside was Lee had to take the bed apart and he wasn’t sure he could get it done in one day.  That meant we would have to sleep on an air mattress and originally Lee thought he would wait until I was out of town to get it done.  I was scheduled to leave for work for a training class, but that was cancelled due to Covid-19 (more on that in an upcoming post.  So Lee committed to getting it all done in one day and once again I largely stayed out of his way.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that!

(First step was to remove everything from the room, it’s very tight in there and not really enough room to maneuver carpet around if there’s ANYTHING else in there. While I was emptying out the rear under-bed storage, I noticed that for some reason they didn’t fully carpet underneath it in the slide box, which was weird. But there was also a 12v power line for the slide box lights that I had to cut in order to remove the bed box. – Lee) 



(I also got to see for the first time what held the bed box to the slide. The top 1/3rd of the bed sits inside the slide box, and the rest sits in the room. So when the slide goes in or out, the bottom 2/ – Lee) 3rds of the bed just sort of gets dragged with it. That told me that the bed was attached only to the slide, and that the other part was likely on rollers, but I wasn’t sure where or how the bed box was attached to the slide. It turned out to just be a couple of screws on each side and across the back. – Lee)


(The next issue was the lid to the larger under-bed storage. That has 2 70lb gas lifts on it so that it can be lifted easily with the mattress on it, but that also meant that as soon as the mattress was off it was spring up and be almost impossible to close again. So with the mattress on and just pushed a little to the side, I screwed down the lid. – Lee)





First Lee and I moved the mattress out


Thankfully it fit in our kitchen although refrigerator access was tricky!


Then he pulled up the base and thankfully Bill was able to help him move that. I think I would have had trouble.


They moved the table

And then brought it in




Once the room was empty he was able to pull up all of the old carpet.




Nest Lee removed the carpet.  Getting it off the slide was tough.

It helps to have a completely empty space because padding is bulky and hard to maneuver.

He put down the new padding


And the padding


And the new carpet

It was hot in the small space and Lee had the AC cranked


Once again the air gun and compressor came in handy


Lee decided he wanted to carpet the hallway


Which was challenging


The remnant piece wasn’t quite wide enough so a tiny bit of patching was called for.


The slide was also pretty tough

One of the problems was that in some places the new thicker pile carpet made things too tight where the original wood had been cut and fitted for a thinner carpet to wrap around, in particular the false front edge of the closet slide. It hangs down to conceal the wires and hoses for the washer and dryer, and when the slide is put out, it also acts as a “sweep”, keeping the wires and hoses in line. With the new carpet the piece hing down too low so had to be removed and trimmed so it wouldn’t bind the slide. That took hours to correct.



Looked great when done though


One last thing Lee took this opportunity to fix the mirrored slide.  He needed to raise it so worked on that as well.  We discovered that they no longer make the mirrored version but they do have a wooden version with the same specs and we may replace the entire thing in the future because it has not held up well.

Next up living room slide and other odds and ends!


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Dealing with Covid-19

I am going to take a moment and let you know our status as it relates to the pandemic.  First and foremost, we are safe, and currently with friends. I feel extremely blessed that we have a safe place to stay with access to power, water etc.  That is not the case for everyone who lives their life on the road so I wanted to walk through what the last week has looked like for us.

  1. Our first decision was to stay in place.  This was difficult for us because we had a planned route and reservations for 6 weeks of travel to see our family in Charleston, SC, Washington DC, Columbus, OH, and Minneapolis, as well as an RV Dreams rally in TN. It was very hard for us to not barrel ahead, but ultimately we decided to stay because we weren’t sure we wouldn’t get stuck somewhere, or have some other travel related problem.  As containment zones might spring up we realized we could get stuck en route in a strange place and worse as campgrounds close we could find ourselves with no place to stay.  Thankfully our family understood and more than agreed with our decision.  My daughter who lives in DC in particular had concerns about us visiting and since one of our campgrounds was a military one inside a base chances were high that the base would be locked down prior to our arrival, leaving us nowhere to stay, in an area not really packed with campgrounds or RV parks.
  2. Making sure we had supplies.  RV’s don’t have a ton of storage space and I was concerned about having enough food for a self quarantine period.  Thankfully where we are there is space, and between us we coordinated to make sure we had the basics covered.  Two of our friends were out of town temporarily with family and we also reached out to them to see what they needed.  Ultimately we made sure we had enough supplies for six people for a month and we managed to do that without going crazy and overbuying.  We spread our purchases out between a variety of stores and personally I was careful to not take the last of anything.  The sole exception to that was a bag of rice I bought, but since I only bought one I felt OK about that.  We had the supplies in place early in the week so didn’t have trouble finding anything.  I also stayed away from the major grocery stores and went to places like Dollar General and smaller stores.  They ended up having everything I needed and the prices were reasonable.
  3. Having a medical planBased on a variety of factors, my assumption is that eventually all of us here will get sick.  Thankfully we are all reasonably healthy and are able to take care of each other.  We made sure we refilled our prescriptions and have plenty of aspirin, flu, and cough medicine available.  Since you can’t cure it but only treat the symptoms that is what we focused on.  We also made sure everyone had sanitizer and wipes in their vehicles and started wiping things down when we went out in the world.  We all tried to limit those trips, but things had to be done so we were just as safe as we could be.  Going under my original premise that this will just delay the inevitable, it is still a good practice.  We have talked quite a bit about the importance of flattening the curve.  That concept is our healthcare systems can handle this if everyone doesn’t get sick at once.  Hopefully if we do get sick we will be able to treat it without needing to go into a medical facility.  Those resources should be saved for the most needy.
  4. What happens if services are interrupted?  We did talk about what to do if we lost power.  Thankfully we all have solar on our RV’s and are completely self contained.  You can decide how far down this path you want to go, but in my case I considered it a good mental exercise.  Being in an RV has both pros and cons in a situation like this.  Yes, you can move from place to place but you also need fuel to get there, and a place to stay.    One of the biggest advantages in my opinion is being able to get away from large concentrations of people.  Thankfully we have a place we can stay and as I mentioned I feel very grateful to be here. I am also very grateful that I have a job I can work remotely and it is in a largely recession-proof industry.  If we were gate guarding this would be a completely different situation.

We are safe, we are with friends, and we have supplies.  That doesn’t change the fact that we have family and friends spread all across the country and of course we are very concerned about them.  Many of my family members are in the medical field and are on the front lines of this.  My son-in-law is self-quarantined, and two of my daughters work in the restaurant industry, and probably will not see a paycheck for awhile.  My youngest is in the military in DC and may find herself in a lock down situation.  It is hard to be away from people you love during times like this, but the best thing everyone can do is stay calm, be safe and not make things worse.

Take care everyone, and know that this, too, shall pass.


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We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
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Fireplace Surround and Reclaimed Storage Under the Stairs

Although the living room carpet itself wasn’t so bad, Lee has also spent a ton of time on the smaller areas.  This project has expanded to include lots of extras, which is great from a refresh perspective but is definitely taking more time than either of us thought.  On the plus side, I am finally getting lots of little improvements that I have wanted from the beginning and my absolute favorite is the tile on the fireplace.  The original “tile” was pretty bland and we have talked about replacing it for years.  Lee has never done tile though and it seemed like a frivolous project all by itself until we were in full project mode. (The “tile is actually a piece of MDF board with a coat of white paint on it, and then little squares of gray linoleum were glued on. After a year or so the adhesive started to show through, as you can see in the image below. Ugly as hell. – Lee)

Original look is pretty bland

The first thing we did was go to Home Depot and take a look at what they had.  We spent well over an hour looking at all the tile samples and it was really hard to pick.  Thankfully I had brought a piece of the new carpet with me and it was a little easier to narrow down.  Finally I selected Treasure Trail and at less than $5 per 12″ x 12″ sheet we brought several home.  Lee also purchased a big sponge, and some adhesive Simple Mat and premixed grout at the recommendation of Cori and Bill who had both previously put new tile in their RV’s.

First Lee used the simple mat to cover the old material and give the new material something to stick to.


The back of the tile has this sticky stuff and it went on easily. It also stuck well although he had to be careful about keeping his lines straight. Since it was in small squares he could easily cut it into smaller pieces. That was important because he didn’t want to get into trying to cut larger pieces of tile


Once all the tile was on he taped the area to protect the wood and fireplace from grout.


Laid down a towel to protect the new carpet

Then he did the grouting, and I will say he absolutely hated it.  A direct quote, was “I am never tiling again”!  Thankfully it was a relatively small space and it didn’t take that long.  Basically he put the grout on then wiped the top of tiles with a damp sponge.  Then it sits overnight and the next morning you buff it to get the shine.  I loved the finished product!

(Hands down this was the most bang for our buck from an improvement standpoint. It only took an hour or so to do, and only cost around $50. – Lee)

Finally Lee worked on the stairs.  It has been driving him crazy for years that he could not recapture the space and finally today was the day.  I was happy he was going to get to work on it, and largely tried to stay out of his way because this was another tough one.

(Before we start talking about this I want to point out that this part includes some working with electrical lines, both 120v AC and 12v DC. I have been working with electricity my entire life, and while I am not licensed, I have an excellent grasp of the fundamentals, and more importantly, I understand the risks and I know the limits of my knowledge and I NEVER exceed them. Electricity can be incredibly dangerous, and more so in an RV because of the mix of AC and DC, and the movement and vibrations. Any time I do ANY electrical work I keep in mind that everything will be moving and vibrating, and I take extra care to securely tack everything down and check for points where things might rub and wear through. RVs are a fire waiting to happen, and most of them will burn to the ground in less than 15 minutes. They are also generally poorly built, EVEN THE EXPENSIVE ONES, and I over-engineer ever chance I get, because who wants to die in a fire??? Anyway, if you are not 100% comfortable with electricity, just don’t do mess with it. Have a professional do it. – Lee)

This is what it looked like before we ever started, before the kitchen carpet was even put in!


First he removed the existing carpet

Again he had some helping paws

Then he organized and cleaned the inside. The wires were just thrown in there

(As you can see, because it’s an area not normally seen by owners, they didn’t even clean up after themselves during the manufacturing process, they just left cut up pieces of wood and other detritus. That really bothers me. In the picture below you can see that where the 120v and 12v wires go through the void, they take the shortest possible route, diagonally THROUGH the stair riser frame, instead of straight across between the two holes at each end. Some of the wiring is in the front, and some is in the back, and in order for me to use the space at all first I had to clean it all up and then reroute some of the wiring.  – Lee)

(Here’s what it looked like after I took a minute to vacuum it out so I could see what I was dealing with. One of the problem areas was the 3 12v DC lines going out of the picture in the lower right corner. Another was the lack of suitable framing for the upper riser. – Lee)


(Another problem was the wiring going into the cabinetry on the right. You can see where it crosses over a sort of wooden threshold, which keeps the wire up pretty high and makes it hard to use the space. I had to cut that wood down so the wiring could be as flat and close to the floor as possible. In the picture below note that there are two holes for the wiring going into the floor. I cut through the small connecting piece to allow me to cluster the wiring together and keep it lower. – Lee)




(These are the wires the I need to reroute because the went THROUGH the stair riser frame, which involved removing the frame, because while I could remove the AC wire from the power center, the DC wire area of the power center was just too tight and crowded and I didn’t want to end up spending hours dealing with it, plus I was able to rebuild the riser and make it a little more stable and secure when I put it back together. It was assembled with just a few long staples, and I used 2 1/2″ coated deck screws, which really tightened it down and stopped it from squeaking. – Lee)


(In order to reroute the wires and make the area safe to use I had to pull out the power center, which is just above the stairs, to disconnect a 120v circuit.  Luckily there were was’t THAT much to do, but it still took a while. A few of the 12v wires were actually left over from when we did our solar install. They were well capped and taped from when we disconnected them, so I just  coiled up the excess, zip tied it securely and tucked it into the roomy void of the cabinet that holds the power center. – Lee)

Moving the wires took quite awhile as he had to be careful

(Here you can see where I cut out the wood to allow the wires to lay flat. – Lee)




(Still a mess with the riser removed, but at least now I can get things arranged to allow for use of the space. – Lee)


Removing the riser frame.

(This is the rear, taller riser void, cleaned up and ready for a new “floor”, with the wires separated, flattened out and secured. – Lee)


(With the riser back in place, I was able to secure the two wires in the front up and out of the way of what would be stored inside. – Lee)



(I used the old treads as a template to make new treads, slightly smaller to allow for carpet to wrap around them, and in pieces to allow for lids that would clear the odd curved shape. Also note on the right side I had to use small pieces to slide the doors left enough to clear the protruding power center. A lot of engineering, but I love reclaiming space! – Lee)


And he cut pieces of oak to replace the existing stairs. ( he is hanging onto the old stairs just in case.  As you can see he made cuts so part of it could be lifted.


(Piano hinge on the lower tread to allow the tread to be lifted. You can fit a LOT of canned food (over 30 cans!!!)  into that space. – Lee)


(In order to clear the wiring in the back, and protect it, I used 2×2 stock to make a new slightly higher floor in the rear. It’s twice as tall as the front tread compartment, so I didn’t mind losing 2 1/4″. I also cut and notched some 1/4″ plywood so I got to keep as much of the floor space as possible. – Lee)


You can see in the upper right corner the framing I added to support the lid and the lower framing for the false floor.



Even the farthest and hardest to reach space got a higher floor.




(Below you can see the door/lid on the second tread. It’s pretty small because once you reach the curve in the wall a lid won’t open. The entire area is accessible , it’s just a relatively small hatch. That area will get things we rarely need. It also looks crooked, but it’s not, the wall curve starts very gently and then tightens up. – Lee)



Next he carpeted!

(Carpeting the stairs was really hard and took forever. I wanted the fit to be as tight as possible between the framing and the lids, so I had to test it and check it with each staple, and cut away excess 1/4″ at a time. Corners also had to be wrapped and trimmed and carpet at that scale is really stiff and hard to work with. Overall I was pretty happy with how it turned out. In my mind there was no discernible line where the lids meet the frames, but in reality that just isn’t possible. Over time I think it will blend a little better, but for now I can live with it, because, HUGE storage reclaimed, and that’s the name of the game. – Lee)


And finally the finished product.  The carpet shows some lines but well worth it to us to recapture all that space.

And finally, carpet on the inside and then filling the newly gained space with stuff!!!

These two items both took quite a bit of time, but again well worth the effort. There are still a few odds and ends and the living room desk slide, but those will be in the post after next. Next up, the bedroom carpet gets replaced!

Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

First Time Adding Living Room Carpet

(Trace has asked me to point out to readers that I have never done this before, except for the kitchen carpet, and that if I can do it, anyone can. So, I’ve never done this before, and if I can do it, anyone can. – Lee)

The next step in our five year face lift was the living room.  This time Lee had more carpet to work with, but he still had to be careful because he also had the bedroom to do, and some detail work around a few slides.  Again, he had to move everything up onto the couch or down into the kitchen and then he pulled up the existing carpet.

(They use the cheapest carpet they can in these things, and after 5 years we had quite a few stains on the living room carpet, plus it was just looking threadbare and gross. Also, it was a very low pile and really thin padding. Here are some pictures of what we were replacing. – Lee)





(Plus the entrance to the living room at the top of the stairs was in REALLY bad shape. – Lee)




I was really surprised by how much dust was underneath. I’m not sure why I was surprised but if nothing else we got this cleaned up


There were lots of stains in front of the chair. I would love to say this was Jack but really it was me spilling beverages. I’m a terrible spiller and it really shows!!


We weren’t 100% sure Lee would have enough carpet to do the slide box with the desk, so he held off on that initially.


Removing the banister was a real pain point. Turns out the screws were all stripped.  No clue how this got so rusty.


And he couldn’t remove the ones against the wall because they were rivited from INSIDE the wall. So basically he just removed the bottom ones and worked under and around the banister.




The stairs also needed work as he removed the old carpet

(In addition to the carpet on the facing of the stair risers, it partially went along the face of the curve. I really didn’t like that, so I decided to take it off completely. – Lee)

(Jack was generally disgruntled about all the chaos and noise in his normally peaceful and quiet environment. – Lee)


He had to remove the plugs to lift the stairs


(I had to drive a screw into the plug a little and then wiggle them out. – Lee)



And found tons of unused storage space underneath.

Lee really wanted to capture the space underneath but unfortunately the angle of the stairs did not allow him easy access.  For now he is leaving them alone, but I know sooner or later he will figure it out.  He is on a mission to capture all unused space!!

(I did at least clean it up, it was a mess under there. – Lee)



Lee did have supervisors checking on his work


And once the carpet was up Hobie declared the job well done


Next Lee laid down new carpet padding.  I held the banister up as he slipped it underneath.


The new carpet was just a teeny bit short, but Lee knew he could fill in that piece pretty easily


Again a little bit of nervousness around the slide, but once again worked great even though the new carpet is quite a bit plusher. Is that a word?? Well you know what I mean.


Once again the air gun was super handy


All done!! Check out that smile.

(Not quite ALL done. I still need to do the slide with the desk, and figure out the stair storage. But having 1/2″ padding and a much deeper pile makes for very nice and comfy carpet. More like a house than an RV. – Lee)







Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

First Time Adding Kitchen Carpet

Sometimes you look around the space you are living in and think “Something has to change!”.  Those moments can happen whether you are living in a huge house, or in an RV, and for some reason Lee had one of those moments.  Like most RV’s our kitchen has a “wood” floor.  Lee doesn’t like it because he thinks it’s impossible to keep clean and it’s cold.  It never really bothered me, but I was open to talking about carpet, especially because he said he would do the living room as well.  The carpet in the front of the RV definitely needed replaced, so with that in mind we decided to got look at carpet. (I just always think linoleum looks dingy and dirty and dark, and I never want to walk on it without shoes because all I can feel is the grit and dirt, no matter how clean it is. And it’s always, always cold. – Lee)

Neither one of us wanted to spend a fortune on carpet so we started by looking at what they had at Home Depot.  We brought home some carpet samples but really I didn’t like any of them. Next Lee went to a regular flooring store and brought back several pieces of moderately priced carpet.  I wasn’t thrilled with any of those either and the prices weren’t really all that cheap.  Since the room size was pretty small I thought we might be able to find a remnant piece of higher quality carpet for a reasonable price.  We both researched what was in the area and found a couple of places in New Braunfels to take a look.

This time though Lee was not going alone so we both made the 45 minute drive to see what they had.  The first place was a fancy kind of boutique and we were both turned off right away.  The second store was awesome though, and had a HUGE warehouse full of remnants of all sizes.  There were several choices that might work but unfortunately we didn’t have all the measurements with us.  At some point Lee had decided he also wanted to do the bedroom and since we were looking at remnants of specific sizes we had to gather information and then drive back and measure.

Once we got the measurements we discovered there were no reasonable priced remnants in a large enough size for all three rooms.  That meant to we needed a remnant for the kitchen that would work with the other carpet and we needed some samples of the furniture as well so the next day back to the store we went.  It is 1-1/2 hours round trip to the store so these trips were long but I needed to see them side by side to know if they would work.

We liked this carpet . Super plush


The price was amazing but there was only enough to do the living room and the bedroom


One of the major differences between adding carpet to an RV versus a house is the slides.  Not only do you have to find a fashion match, but you need to pay attention to thickness, especially in a room where no carpet exists.  Lee felt we had enough space to add carpet in the kitchen, but not padding, because that slide is so close to the floor.  Since that was the case I wanted something that was similar to Berber so it would look and feel more like an area rug.  We spent over an hour mixing and matching until finally I found a combination we could live with.  It was pouring rain by the time we were done, so Lee had to make one more trip back to pick the carpet up.  It was a ton of trips, but ultimately worth it because I found a $400 piece of carpet for the kitchen for $110.

Thankfully we had help carrying it and a place to put it and cut it. We could have put it in our RV but it would have been tough.


The first step was to move everything out of the kitchen and into the living room.  It would have been hard to have the carpet in there as well.  The dog seemed confused.

(UPDATE 3/11/20 – Trace wanted me to add that I have never installed carpet before, and something along the lines of “If I can do it, so can you.” So, I’ve never installed carpet before, and if I can do it, so can you. – Lee)

Lee was really nervous about cutting the kitchen piece because it barely was big enough.  Plus he needed to make some circular cuts which aren’t easy under the best of circumstances.  I’m happy to say it all went well though and he did a fantastic job.  See for yourself.

Making the cuts

This section was really tough


Before the carpet was under the slide. We were a little nervous about how it would work, but figured for $110 if it didn’t work we weren’t out that much money


The carpet went under the slide just fine. We didn’t have room for padding but with this carpet it really isn’t needed!


We breathed a sigh of relief when the carpet passed the slide test!!


Another big benefit to doing this job while we were with friends was Lee had access to an air gun.  The compressor and airgun made this job MUCH easier, although the dog really hated the noise.  I kept him outside mostly while the compressor and air gun were running.

Voila!! The room was done and I loved the carpet!!!

Here are some before and after shots for comparison:




The floor is clean and warm, and it really brightens up the room. Happiness all around!

Of course as soon as the carpet was in all I could notice was how my chairs no longer matched.  They are grey and I love the chairs (one is my work chair) but they have gotten stained.  We talked about options, but before I went the upholstery route I decided to look at chair covers.  My only experience with covers was when I was very young and in my experience they always looked awful and never worked well.  It didn’t hurt to look though, and I was surprised to see several affordable options on Amazon.

Ultimately I decided to pick up some Northern Brothers Chair covers.   They only cost $14.99 for a set of two, and appeared to have some texture in the picture so I thought what could it hurt?  Everyone thought they wouldn’t work, but it turned out everyone was wrong 🙂  They wrapped on my existing chairs beautifully and gave them a nice facelift.  Also they are washable so in future if they get stained it will hopefully be an easy clean, and if not, $15 to replace them is pretty cheap!


Existing chair with stains

Putting the slip cover on


Side by side comparison. The one on the right is the new one!


I was thrilled to be able to contribute something to the effort and the kitchen was complete!!  Next up is the living room which I will talk about in the next post!


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

February 2020 Budget

This was another hefty month with $6450 in expenses.  The bulk of that was from medical bills and a five year facelift we are giving the RV.  More details are shown below.


Dining Out – We did much better in February only going over by $68.  I’ll take that anytime, especially in comparison to January.

Gifts – We went over a little bit but we also had $0 in campground fees.  When “mooch docking” we try and buy gifts for our hosts to at least cover the electric portion we are spending.  Some of this was also a present for Oliver.

Healthcare –  These bills were the trailing bills from when Lee had an issue with his shoulder in December, and had to get an MRI.  He also had to get a crown which was $584 out of pocket.  We used to use our HSA account for these types of things and I never reported them but after the heart attack the HSA account was wiped out.   I finally got my HSA account rolling with my new job, but in the short term we will continue to pay these things out of pocket. I think it is a good thing to show though, because it’s real life.  $2K in one month would have been a huge deal if I wasn’t working.

Home Expenses – We went over $1300 in this category but it was for a good cause!  Lee is just finishing up a major renovation and I can’t wait to show you in the next post.  It was definitely worth it!!!

Postage – We spent a hefty $138 in this category this month for two main reasons.  We have been collecting all of our W2s and we needed to get and then return our ballots.  In all cases we paid extra for expedited shipping which adds up quick.

Clothing – We were under budget in this category and the $88 was a new pair of Asic G series tennis shoes.  I am a HUGE fan of this brand since they saved my feet at Amazon and the same pair has lasted all this time.  I knew I needed a new pair and they are NOT cheap, but I was thrilled to discover an outlet store close to us.  Kelly came with me and we ended up taking advantage of a buy one pair get a second pair 80% off deal and we both got new sneakers.  These shoes are great and I highly recommend you try them.  It’s like a hug for your feet!


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.