Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Few Much Needed Upgrades

Plastic wire run made wiring simple
As I get nearer and nearer to my one year anniversary of living in my now 22 year old motorhome, recently I've made a few repairs and upgrades. Minor things, but significant in not only maintaining my home, but improving my overall comfort level.

I'm staying south through this coming summer hot season. Being on the East Coast, humidity is a real issue. Unless you want your rather small quarters to smell like a locker room, keeping the air moving is pretty important.

With the prospect of monthly electric bills climbing well over $100, running the air conditioners will
Good ventilation makes better sleeping
eventually become an around the clock necessity. Right now it still cools off enough at night to sleep, as long as a breeze can be maintained.

Installing a ceiling fan places that breeze in the best possible place, directly over the bed. The trick is with no wiring in place to run a 110V appliance, how do you make it work?

The overhead light fixture in the bedroom is 12V, so I removed it to make a place to mount the new fan. I chose the smallest ceiling fan I could find so that it wouldn't overwhelm the room. Since it had a light attached, losing the existing light was not an issue.

To supply 110V power to the fan I bought a length of peel and stick wire run material and simply wired up extension cord wire, running it through the tube before sticking it to the ceiling. Another piece of tube ran the wire down the wall along the edge of the shirt closet. Plugging it into an existing outlet and the job was done. Pretty simple, the whole thing took about 30 minutes to accomplish.

Now I can sleep with the windows open, and when I do run the air conditioner it does a much better job of directing the cool air directly down at bed level. Much more comfortable sleeping and I can set the thermostat a little higher saving a few dollars in the process.

Repurposed light fixture
The next project was the light fixture over the kitchen table. Nothing wrong with it beyond the fact it was just ugly and outdated. Down it came, and the bedroom fixture that I had just removed was installed in its place. It had been a replacement for a failed fixture in the bedroom, so it is more current in styling and adds some warmth to the eating area too.

Thrift store chairs 
Last fall, before hitting the road full time, one of the permanently mounted swivel pedestal chairs at the kitchen table had the weld break that attaches the chair to the tubular mount.  I paid a local welder $25, what I considered a bit steep, to reweld the mount so that I could retain the original chairs.s

After about 9 months of I guess what would be considered sever service, I'm no light weight, the weld has broken again, I've never been a fan of permanently mounted dining chairs, it was time for a change. An afternoon of cruising thrift stores found me two suitable replacements. $20 times two secured me a matching set of
Original chairs that broke
padded chairs that are close enough in color to the sofa that you would think they are original.  Four bolts per chair secured the originals to the floor, with the nuts being accessible inside my storage bays. A short half hour's work and I cured the problem of the broken chair.

This recliner crowded things too much.. I got rid of it
An additional benefit to replacing the immovable chairs with two that can be moved about is that since I disposed of the recliner that completely overcrowded the living room, now when I have company I can make use of two more chairs that can be relocated to keep everyone in the group.

Every RV I've owned was never just right from the factory. These simple changes addressed some legitimate issues, and when it was all said and done the investment was less than $100.
Well worth laying down on the floor to unbolt the chairs, even if I needed a crane to get back on my feet...Not really, but at my age the floor is a long ways down.

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