Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Reveal!

Behold the long awaited before and after pictures!

(Click on pictures for larger version.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Olive Creek

So, I know it has been quite a while since my last post. I have done so much work to the camper and trying to write it all down was something I just never felt like doing. So I didn't which also meant that I was not posting anything. So I am just going to move right past it and share a great camping experience.
I wanted to go camping for my birthday so I took a Friday off from work and Tyne and I headed out Thursday evening. We were headed for a lake called Olive Creek, which I have never been to but a guy from work who camps more then anyone else from Kawasaki, recommend his favorite place nearby called Olive Creek. When you first enter the camp ground you come down a hill and get to see the lake in all its beauty. Oh so pretty there are huge trees overlooking a very nice little lake and grassy areas. What was especially nice was that there was no one there. We found the perfect spot under a large tree about 20 feet from the water and set up for the weekend.
The weekend was filled with oh so much fishing, it was really nice to be able to fish right next to where you are camping. Although we got no keepers the fish were biting very steadily and we must have gotten at least 20 fish, most of which were around 5 to 6 inches, all bluegills and one bass. We also got to get Gerald out boat into the water for the first time this year. We have brought him to the lake 3 or 4 times but never actually got him in the water, which is very sad. It was super nice to paddle around on a new lake and check it out. There is still much to be explored there too but we will save it for other times.
People came out and visited which was really nice. Dan came out and fished with us for a while. Mike and his friend Kate came and played a very great game of Bocce ball. Even my parents, Joanne, Janessa and Jadyn came out too. The girls really enjoyed the water front and fishing.
Another thing that made this place so magical was that I have never seen a place with so many fuzzy caterpillars, at first I saw one and was surprised by one of those cool things you don't see every day. Then as time went by I noticed they were everywhere, you had to walk looking down just so that you would not step on them. Also I found a walking stick while I was there, which has always been on my bucket list. There were also these strange things called horse/hedgehog apples, which looked very strange and would work great for Bocce ball or Croquet if you needed more balls. There was also sand at the water edge, which for a Nebraska lake is quite rare. There are some lakes where they make beaches by dumping tons of sand by the water. This however was just fine sand that seemed to naturally be at the waters edge, most lakes here are just grass then mud right too the water. So it was really nice to stand with your feet in sand while fishing. We were also to enjoy our shower in a bag every night. There is something very special about taking a shower naked under the cover of darkness in warm water under the stars next to a lake, in the great out doors. One evening we even stayed in and played sequence in the coziness of the little camper.
It all in all was one of the most relaxing camping trips I have had. It was so nice to get away for a few days and revel in the great outdoors while enjoying the fruits of my labor in the camper. The weather was perfect too warm days cool nights. A fire always going. Tyne cooking of delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Steadily catching fish with my wife, boating exploring and playing games. Sigh it was truly a great weekend, I am very thankful for everything that has made it possible. Heres to a great camping and no end in site.

P.S. On a side note I finally got to do some welding on the camper. I have done lots of work to it but never any welding. The jack for the hitch failed so it was time to put on a new one! Hip Hip Horay for welding!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back by popular demand.

Here it is again for your viewing pleasure. Behold the Tesla Coil!

If your curious about how it works there is lots to read on Wikipedia.

If you want even more information about Telsa get the book, Telsa: Man out of time, by Margaret Cheney. I highly recommend that book to anyone who wants a really good read about a very interesting man and time in history.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Have a seat.

No I mean it, I know a really great place to sit.

Well after a months work I have the bench seats done, they look fantastic! I think this has been one of my favorite projects on the camper so far. Also the one I have invested the most time in too, perhaps. I really enjoyed building from scratch, having all the new fresh lumber to work with and just the general fabrication of it all.

We started out building the skeletons of the seats which involved a lot of measuring, pre-drilling and (something my dad is very insistent upon) countersinking of screws (where you drill a very small shallow hole so the head of the screw can rest at or below the surface of the wood). After the frames were done, or I thought they were, I came to the conclusion they were a little too tall for comfort. I originally got my measurements for high from checking many different chairs and taking the average of how high you sat from the floor. However when I was making the frames at last minute I decided to go about 2 inches higher. Big mistake. We chose to dismantle the seats and lower them all 2 inches. It was really worth it though because then the hight was oh so nice.
Next up came the sides and tops (also lids) of the seats. This part was not too hard. We got some nice thin wood for the sides and thicker stuff for the top since it will have to support the weight of people. After a few trips to Ace for hinges we had these all assembled.

Oh! side note throughout this whole time I was racking my brain trying to figure out how I was going to upholster these things. I had (with the help of my mom) looked into high density foam, which is really expensive. I was trying to find some kind of material to cover them with, there was a lot more searching too which I cant remember now. However, while at Menards looking for something else the heavens opened a light shown down and I could hear the voices bellowing down, here was my answer! In the outdoor patio section they had a huge wall of replacement seat cushions for outdoor furniture and swings, they were perfect and exactly what I needed. My long search was over. I went back a few days later with my lovely wife Tyne and we picked out some great green cushions.

Anyway back to the bench seats. Next up came a few days of staining. Lots and lots of staining. Its worth it though because they have a great dark finish on them now. After letting them dry and putting them in and placing the padding on, voila! I give you a new and great place to sit!

Also during this past month I got side tracked into a few other little projects. I got the water system working. Found a new water storage tank, got a new spare tire, towing mirrors for my car removed some ugly wallpaper and chances are a few other things too. I might write more about these later, or at least post a video.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A quick update. I am in the throws of the whole bench seat creation, which I will write more about in another post. Right now I would like to let you know that I am currently sanitizing the on-board water system. Which is quite small and simple like most things in this camper. I also got to take apart the little pump action faucet and get that cleaned and working.
Its warm outside and the camper is getting oh so close to being usable. Its all good.

PS. Look what I can do!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Celebrations and Linoleum!

First off something terrific finally got done with the camper. I have a brand new Nebraska title and plates! This is actually a very large accomplishment, seeing as how I got the camper back in October and have not yet gotten this to happen. Through many months of trying to get a hold of the actual previous owner and going to the DMV, finding out my title was no good and having to mail it back to him and have him go to his DMV pay a fine and get a new title and then mail that back to me *whew*.
Then finally last Monday the big day came and it all went quite well. I got to deal with a DMV worker who looks quite a bit like Wash from Firefly and is equally friendly. It turns out there is a reason the VIN for cars is so very long. Its so that it dose not have repeats with other vehicles. First off the 4 number long VIN for my camper was the same as a old 70s army jeep that was reported stolen. Then after that was cleared up it turns out that it is also shared with a local mobile home. So Wash had to get clearance from a manager to override it and make sure that the mobile home dose not vanish from existence or that my camper wont get mail form said home. Anyway after a quite pleasant experience at the DMV I was walking out with a new title and plate in hand. WOO!
Also that same week I spent two days on the floor of the camper with a putty knife scraping up old linoleum. Which actually was not too bad minus a blister or two. I got to listen to music and slowly scrape away at the old flooring. Which compared to some tasks I have done on it so far is quite calm. After two days of removal it was time to find a new piece of linoleum. I knew that I wanted a wood grain, I also knew that I did not need too big of a piece. What I needed was about 8 feet 2 inches long and about 5 feet wide. My mom recommended a place called carpet land. They have factory remnants for a fair price. After looking though many many rolls of flooring with the help of my Mom we narrowed it down to two rolls. Both were quite close to the size we needed. One was 8 by 6 feet and there other was 8 by 7. So we went with the smaller one.
Here is where something really rare happened. When the time came to lay down the new floor we measured the length at 8 feet 1 inch, the piece of linoleum was exactly that, we had to make no cuts at all for length, Wow.
Last Thursday my dad and I were able start and finish the whole process of putting in the new floor in one long but fun evening. Putting down about 2-3 feet at a time of the one large piece which after cutting for width fit very very well. My mom even got to help us smooth it out as well since she was wearing slippers when she came out to see how we were doing. It worked quite well to have her slide around on it securing the glue. So now the new floor is in, and it looks great! By far the most noticeable change we have made yet. Again I could not have done it without the help of my parents so a big thank you goes out to them.
Tonight I just got back from Home Depot were I bought 70 feet of 2x4s and one 8x4' of plywood. Heres hoping it will be enough for two new bench seats!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hungry anyone?

In need of some cooking? I might just happen to know of a place, oh a little place on wheels. A super great place!

A finished piece of the camper. The kitchen. I finally got to finish the plumbing, sink, stove and fridge last Saturday. I finished mounting in the counter top, it had just been sitting in place. The sink is also attached from below and hooked up to the drain line. I had to drill holes and place the two faucets. One which can be connected to the outside fresh water line, the other with pump action to draw water from the internal tank. I also finished securing the stove top and hooking up the gas line. The new mini fridge is braced up and the extra space filled in (the original fridge was a bit larger).
Now all that is left for the kitchen is the paint. Which will not happen until the whole camper is redone. There is no since in painting one area at a time.
The next step which is already started is pealing up all the old linoleum, this is proving to be slow going. However like most things on this project its just a matter of time.

Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL kitchen station!