back2blogging

Oh hai!

I haven’t been on here since F E B R U A R Y. 😭

When you’re typing February, do you say FEB-RU-AR-Y in your head? Yeah, me either. Why would anyone do that?

A lot of life has happened in the last six and a half months, my friends.

Our beloved trailer wasn’t ready for us to move into as we planned, but our lease was up in March, so we moved. Luckily, we live where Rosy lives, now. Having immediate access to her has been great! As time and budget allows, we are building her to our specs, and we are SO eager to get her done ASAP and move in! I’ll do a full update post on Rosy soon, I promise. Here are some semi-recent pics that I’ll explain in later posts.

We got married! Once we hit the point with the trailer where we didn’t yet have the right equipment to keep going, we put renovations on pause and shifted our focus to finalizing all the wedding things. We got married on the beach at Tunnel Park on Lake Michigan. It was everything I’ve ever dreamed of! Hope the same goes for him too 🤣. Yes, we did our secret handshake just before our first kiss as a married couple. That’s just how we do.

This is what stopped us in our tracks about a month before the wedding. A chewed up, salt-corroded, cancerous rusty frame.

 

That’s all from the front end of the trailer. Because the back end was in great condition for its age, having only minor surface rust, we thought the front end would be good to go. Nope. So now, we’re in the business of welding. And when I say we, I mean Arnavick, because I’ve done nothing but supervise so far, though I realllly want to try welding at least once! 👩🏼‍🏭

Anyway, back to where we started… I haven’t been on here since Feb! That makes me so sad! I really love blogging. Before I was here, I spent a couple of years writing Jamie’s Home blog where I chronicled my decor and diy adventures. Blogging is a fun outlet for me, and I like being able to stretch my writing legs in a casual setting!

I work full time and then some, go to school four nights a week, and we’re renovating Rosy, so I find myself thinking that I don’t have time to blog. But really, I could spend a heck of a lot less time on Facebook and Insta and take those efforts over here at the teamjamavick.com hq, so that’s what I think I’ll do. Or try to do. Homework comes first. Actually I’m supposed to be doing homework right now! Oops. Baby steps.

So here’s to more blogging! My next posts will likely be a recap of what we’ve done on the trailer, a nice lil’ wedding post, and a recap of some of the fun stuff we did while we were up in West Michigan for our wedding and honeymoon. Talk soon!

XO

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rosy progress report – february

I’m a few days late, but here I am with the February progress report! It’ll be short and sweet, because LORT we are busy. Feb is awful in Texas because WEATHER, and it’s also busy busy because it’s my birth month, and my amazing nephew’s birth month, and it’s short. So between family time and work and school schedules, and working on the Rosy, I dunno how we had time to breathe… But breathe and work and study and party and renovate, we did… and here’s where we’re at on the whole reno process…

Basically, the current status is that we’ve got frame exposed, interior skins out, insulation gone, and a mess EVERYWHERE. We only have March to get this gal ready to sleep in without danger (more on that later), but thanks to some touching generosity of our friends we have a place to crash if sleeping in Rosy is still a health hazard come April 1. Here she is in her icky glory.

It feels like we’ve worked on her a ton with no visual difference. Okay, slight visual difference. I’ll be so glad to put all of this rust brushing and muck cleaning behind us! Today we’re going to make a first attempt at using POR15 to cover the rust on the frame and protect it from damage. Neither of us have used this product before but I’ve done a lot of research over the last week or so and have gotten some good advice from some of our little renovation village. Fingers crossed it goes well!

This is our last month in the apartment. I’ve paid the final rent payment, which felt really, REALLY good. We have just a few weeks to get Rosy what I call “minimally livable”. We define minimally livable as subfloor in, new insulation in, new interior skins in, and said skins painted. If we can get that far along, we’ll toss our mattress in the subfloor and “rough it” (if you can call it that) while we continue on with construction. If we can’t get that far along, we have a back up plan consisting of our very kind and generous friends’ guest room on the same property where we keep the camper. The hardest part in all of this has been packing.

We procrastinated too much, and have now put ourselves in a really tight spot. I work around 52 hours a week between my full time job and freelance work, and I go to school two nights each week for a total of about five hours. Vick pulls long hours in a warehouse all week. We are TIRED in our free time. At this point we are donating or trashing everything we are sure we don’t want, and we’re boxing up everything we do want or are unsure of. It’s hard to say what we’ll need until we’re in the thick of living the lifestyle, so we’ll just pull stuff from storage as the need comes up, which will help us determine what else we can get rid of. Well, we’re off to go do all the things! Happy camping, everyone!

rosy progress report / december 23

Wow. It’s been seven weeks since my last progress report in blogland! Two words: Holidays and Finals.

I want to squeeze in one more progress report before Christmas, so let’s roll!

Since my last update, we have:

  • Removed the toilet
  • Removed the duct work
  • Cut a hole in the floor
  • Took out the light fixtures
  • Took the screens off of the skylights
  • Removed some interior skins

It’s a lot, y’all. And it’s a hot mess in there right now. But progress is progress I always say!

I’m drafting up some more detailed step by step posts on the toilet, floor, and interior skin removal, but for now, here are a time-lapse video and some pics, because pics or it didn’t happen!

We’re taking this weekend off to spend Christmas with my side of the family, but we’re back at it next weekend. Catch ya on the flip side! Happy holidays, everyone!

 

 

rosy progress report / november 5

There are so, so, SO many things to pull out of an Airstream in order to get to the subfloor.

The plan for today was to loosen or remove everything in the way of the floor. That means the fresh water tank, water pump, furnace, on-demand water heater, and the toilet. In the three-ish hours we were there, I pulled out the fresh tank, and Vick handled the furnace, and then both of us pulled out the ductwork. Because if you’re going to pull out the furnace, you might as well pull out the ductwork too. We aren’t totally sure we’re going to keep the furnace, anyway. It’s older and takes up a ton of valuable storage space. If anyone has any recommendations on space and energy saving alternatives, we are all ears!

removing airstream argosy ductwork

Before pulling ductwork:

removing airstream argosy ductwork

After pulling ductwork:

airstream argosy renovation wheel well

We did have to go primitive with standard hand tools for a bit for some hard to reach screws and bolts on the ductwork. We are so spoiled on power tools!

removing airstream argosy ductwork

I also loosened the on-demand water heater, which was affixed to the floor with a few three inch long screws.

airstream argosy renovation on demand water heater

Once all of that was taken care of, the trailer was an absolute mess, and I didn’t want to proceed any further until we tidied things up a bit.

We swept up as much debris as we could, except for what’s in the little nooks and crannies that are hard to reach – which is why we still have dozens of pop rivet mandrels left behind by Rosy’s previous owner (the little metal rods pictured below). They’ll get swept out eventually.

airstream argosy renovation pop rivet mandrel

Our toolbox desperately needed organizing, so we took care of that as well. We are typically so focused on whatever we’re working on, that once we’re done for the day at our worksite, tools are everywhere. We’re normally leaving the worksite in a rush to get home before Cowboys kickoff, so we usually just gather the tools as fast as we can and dump them wherever they fit in the box. This had gone too far, so I’m glad Arnavick instigated a toolbox organizing sesh – we were overdue.

airstream argosy organizing tools

We also sifted some trash out of our can o’ hardware – can you believe that all of these screws and hose clamps and such came out of our little 27-foot trailer? There are so many of them! And we still have more to go…

airstream argosy organizing tools screws

Suffice to say, after all that cleaning, we didn’t get to cross everything off of our list of items keeping us from getting to the subfloor. BUT, progress is progress, so we’re satisfied with that. We are a tad bit nervous about disconnecting the water pump and surrounding wires. Arnavick thinks some of the wires may be for the DVD/sound system our previous owner installed. To me, it just looks like a bunch of colorful cords. We have a friend that knows electrician things, so hopefully, we can get him out to take a look and give his expert advice.

airstream argosy renovation water pump wires

We also didn’t get the toilet out. We’ve been talking about this for weeks, but have been saving it for last. I feel like it’s best to pull out the ol’ pot just before handling the subfloor, just in case there are some icky fumes or minor biohazard situations that arise. We’ll already have everything else out of the way at that point, so it should minimize the impact of any potential issues.

Now’s a good time for a before and after, don’tcha think?

When we got the trailer:

airstream argosy renovation goucho before

Current status:

airstream argosy renovation goucho progress

Now I feel much better, after seeing what a difference we’ve made in just under three months. After all, we both work full time (and then some), and I go to school and am active in school organizations, which leaves us only one day per week to work on the rig. Progress is progress, right?

So who has hot tips on a space-saving furnace (pun always intended)? Or even full HVAC options? I’d love to get rid of the roof AC unit, too! Advice in the comments – go!

our aesthetic is…

When people find out we’re remodeling a camper and plan to live in it, generally, we get two schools of response. Response A – people think we’re crazy hippies (they’re not totally wrong). Response 2 – they’re fascinated and ask tons of questions. 

One that’s been challenging to answer is what it will look like when we’re done. Its a little tough to just ball all of our wild ideas into a compact little package of aesthetic explanation in one conversation. But I thought it would be fun to talk about it here, while we’re still in the midst of pulling Rosy apart. After all, the designing and decorating is where the real action is at, amiright?!

So here are some high-level representations and annotations of our ideal aesthetic:

*Painted white interior skin and walls. Don’t have a solid visual representation of this, but you get it, right?

*Weathered/barnwood style flooring. The second one here is my favorite! I love the slight warm tones with the burnt grays.

*Counter and table surfaces will either be faux concrete or hardwood (undecided)!

*Pops of sage green, rose, peach and rose gold! Most of the metal in the camper is already rose gold (that was a freebie) and I’ve seen some pretty rad rose gold spray paint on the market.

*Black on white simplistic, linear graphic accents (like the cacti sheets I bought to turn into curtains).

*Plants. All the plants.

We are really going for a light and airy, minimalistic aesthetic, with well thought out storage, and multi-use zones.
We also got a lot of inspiration (and the decision to go with white walls) from following Mavis, Dunes, and Tin Can Homestead on insta. 

Hopefully that gives whomever so reads this some sort of mental picture of how we plan on outfitting Rosy. Now if we could just pick a floor plan. I made some templates for us to draw out multiple layouts, which should help us get closer to nailing that down. DIY pun intended.

Happy camping, everyone! 

a hot topic – ovens

^^^ See what I did there?! *winks and nudges Internet with elbow*

We recently pulled out the kitchen in Rosy the Argosy

…and it got me wondering, “Do we really, truly, ABSOLUTELY neeeed an oven”? The Great Debate, I call this. 

Let me back track a little bit. Once upon a time, three years ago, a girl moved into a quaint little apartment. The apartment was small and suited the girl’s few needs. Though this girl believes she has an eye for detail, she somehow completely missed the fact that this apartment did not have a MICROWAVE. 

Obviously, the girl is me, and obviously, my first instinct was to panic, because who in the heck can live a normal life without a mickey to heat up her mac n’ cheese leftovers?!

Somehow, three years later, I’m still alive and breathing, even without the modern convenience of concentrated, high powered heat waves to zap my food into a palateable temperature. ‘Vick moved in two years ago, and has also survived sans-microwave, thank goodness. We both grew up with microwaves in our homes, so neither of us had done much reheating in an oven or on the stove before. Google has been our friend in these trying times.

So, now that we’ve brought ourselves current, let’s talk about this oven thing…

Ovens take up so much space! Our range is small, and yet it still seems to take over a lot of valuable real estate in the kitchen area. When you’re planning on living in 200 sq ft, space becomes such a precious commodity!

This isn’t a great angle (or a great photo at all for that matter), but hopefully this gives you a general idea of the size of it.

When I’m not letting chain restaurants do my cooking for me, I do a lot of cooking on the stove. Really, the only time I regularly use the oven is for heating/reheating pizza (because pizza is life). And the occasional batch of cookies. And it’s great for storing a Costco rotisserie chicken for about an hour if I’m not starving, but will want to eat soon, and still want it to be hot.

But, is all of that enough for us to take up so much precious space in our little abode? Can we live without pizza? Of course not, let me try again – are there other ways to make pizza? Would we be solid with just a space saving induction cooktop? If we can live without a microwave, certainly we could live without an oven, right?

So talk to me, campers. To oven, or not to oven? That is the question. What’s your setup like? What are the pros and cons? What do we do?!

rosy progress report / september 24

‘Vick and I are experiencing very sore muscles (and each a very minor facial injury) this week.

We got a lot done last Saturday! Funny thing is, the camper still looks pretty much the same as it did when we got there – the mess just keeps getting rearranged.

We have been sweating the kitchen removal – which is hilarious, because, in our camper, the kitchen is literally one lower cabinet and one upper cabinet, each about 5’ wide. It’s just the wires and the plumbing and the gas lines… oh my! It’s so much to deal with, and could be dangerous if done incorrectly.

We (loose “we”… Arnavick was most of the muscle here) managed to get it done with one very long break and a trip to the hardware store. Having the right size wrench makes a world of difference when disconnecting gas lines for the stove/oven.

Pretty much everything in this camper is riveted into the interior skin, so to get the cabinet out, we used a tack puller, hammer, and elbow grease to pop all the rivets out. 

Then there were the gas lines. Of the approximate 40 wrenches we have, we didn’t have a single on that fit the nut that was holding the gas line to the stove. No adjustable wrench either. That’s when we hit the wall.

Arnavick wasn’t feeling good, and we were both hungry, so we went home. After some lunch, though, we both got a second wind and decided to run by the hardware store for the right size wrench (as well as an adjustable one for good measure).

We also picked up a strap wrench, which came in handy for loosening the slip nuts connecting the sink drains to the pipes. 

A few turns of a wrench later, and the gas lines and pipes were disconnected – voila!

That made it easy peasy to pull the stove and the cabinet out! No more kitchen! It looks pretty much the same, but it was a check mark next to a to-do, and we’re satisfied by that! So here it is, an anticlimactic before and after of pre- and post-kitchen removal!

With Kitchen:

Without Kitchen:

Anyone else have reservations removing the kitchen like we did? What got you through it?