If you are up for it, I'll cover all the changes to the van that took place this last week.
It's quite the list - and it nearly finishes the items we had on our reno list for this year.
WHAT IS THIS?! Right?!
Well, it IS - or WAS - our hot water tank. Now fully removed from the van.
Don't know about the rest of you - but we don't use our hot water tank. Never. When we sold our trailer we had to first vacuum out the cobwebs and make sure it still worked. If we need hot water we boil it on the stove. It just doesn't make any sense to waste propane continuously heating water we rarely use.
And here is from whence the tank came. Before we left the cabin, Derek and I discussed how much better we could use this huge space - but - knowing we needed to find someone to unhook the propane we put it on the very future list.
How excited were we when Bud - a friend of our friends - offered to do all the work for us.
Here's Bud at work. Retired and always up for a new project.
He suggested getting the propane ready for our NEW barbecue - that way we can store stuff in there but when we are ready to cook we can just connect our - get this.....
BRAND NEW WEBER!!!!!!!!!!!
Can you FEEL the excitement of that coming through your screen!
Derek and I have been pinning for a Weber for a while now. We took it off the list last year but decided it HAD to happen this year.
THEN Bud decided we should have a table to put our Weber on ( a paint job for the table when we get south into warmer temps) - Sweet !
Ok - so now sit down or hold onto your seats for this news.........
We found a Weber 100 for $79.00 at Home Depot!
Get out! Can you BELIEVE that!
Original price $149.00 AND there was ONE left!
What's that?! Good things come to those who wait?! Yup - that worked for us - this time!
Here's fellow smoker to Derek - Mike - working on our door. A BIG thanks to Mike for doing the wiring - the lights and the inverter.
A door was even made out of the panel.
This isn't really a change but I wasn't sure if I'd shown y'all the cockpit yet - lots of stuff and a 15 watt solar panel on the dash with charge controller, so we are up to 79 Watts. The main item is the inverter. I showed you the other one in the last post - this is the second one that we use to power our stuff while we are driving. With all of our gear it usually has something plugged in.
It makes the old 1990 interior look high techie - doesn't it?
I also wasn't sure if I showed you all the dials we have. It looks pretty neat with all the after market gear. The two most helpful ones are the two lower dials on each side - they are for our two batteries. Always good to know how much juice is in those babies.
One of the things we also wanted to change in the van were the lights. All the old style - incandescent. Being that we are on solar most of the time, LEDs are definitely the way for us to go.
After a google search we realized that we couldn't go crazy on this and change them all at once.
OUCH! To the price tag.
We looked high in Nampa, and we looked low - but we couldn't find them anywhere.
Oh - we KNEW alright that they had them at Camping World over in Boise, but someone else HAD to have them cheaper - right?!
Nope - not only did they not have them cheaper - they didn't have them at all.
So - Camping World it was. We decided to change two of the lights that were wired in, for now - the ones we use most - over the dining room and up in the bunk. We also found a pack of three LED puck lights and decided to use those to fill in some of the dark spaces.
Our new dining room light.
The puck lights - nice that they have two brightness setting plus swivel round 360 degrees and 45 degrees two way.
Since we had such a collection we decided to go ahead and get a Camping World/Sam's Club membership. It cost $20 and we turned around and saved $16. We ALSO received a voucher for a free night in a Sam's Club member RV park up to $25. And so it was a win win. So - we are in for at least one night of luxury on this trip.
A real life RV park to stay in...... think they'll let our troop in?
The final change that we managed to do while here in Nampa is to deal with our interior storage. Derek and I left Cassia with the gang at the house and headed to Walmart with measurements and tape in hand. It was a battle to be sure involving several trips back and forth to the van, but we won. We now have fancy plastic pull out drawers in the back washroom/storage area.
Darn - I should have taken pictures BEFORE I put all our stuff in them. They are clear and so now in good conscience I can't post the pictures. They sure are great but they don't look so great photographed.
Here's what we scored for the back middle which we are pretty excited about. A bin to hold our pet food and such and a nice flat surface for our brand new WEBER. Yes - still gushing about that!
And to round out our space saving devices we purchased two of these neat little ditties - one for each seat. I'm not totally sure what to put in them at the moment but I'm sure they'll be overflowing by the time we head north again.
Yup - that's it!
We have had QUITE the time here in Nampa. We've had a great visit with everyone here AND our van is ready for travel. The one thing left on our list is the awning. We really really tried to get that going here but with two to three week waiting period or shipping time for materials and such we just can't do it now. We'll be on the look out for an awning solution for the next little while to be sure.
We'll need SOMETHING to deal with ALL THAT SUN we are in for!
We are headed out in the morning... or Monday, in search of some warmer weather and the "Red Rock Candy Mountain"... Where there aint no snow ;-)
TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: It's pretty much boondocking and stealth camping for us for the next month or so until we hit Mexico. I thought I'd pass along two great blog posts that I read this week on just these topics. Check out To Simplify where stealth camping guru Glen let's us all in on the secrets AND over at Wheeling It where Nina provides Boondocking Basics.