A very good, absolutely productive day!!

We had planned to work on Clyde on Saturday, but (naturally) it rained. So, we went to the Bulk Food store, bought enough beef jerky to last us a life time, and spent the rest of the day goofing off. So… Sunday came in beautiful and we got to work!!!

First day of Fall, and the temps were in the low 70’s and a perfect breeze blew all day.

We had a last item of demolition to do. I didn’t count it as a part of the camper, because it was the floor. But, Chad says it counts. So, this is really the last demo of the camper itself. We knew the wood floors had to go. They were all lumpy and bumpy from remnants of linoleum past. They had a lot of water damage at the corners, wheel wells and door. So, that was a given. Using the weirdest of floor removal tools…

Mattock Time!

a mattock (or mattox, depending on where you live), we removed the wood. It came out in chunks. We had to laugh, because we hit one section that did NOT want to come up. Chad was slamming crowbars and the mattock under it and just started dying laughing. He yelled, “We finally found one piece of Clyde that was built well!!!!”  We’ve been hunting it for almost 3 years. Finally it revealed itself! LOL!!!!

That is NOT cotton candy!

Let me tell you, the fluffy, pink insulation stuff was NASTY!!! Water-logged piles of pink slime. Oh, just YUCK!!!

What we could see of the metal under the wood and insulation looked okay, but we could only see a couple of square feet, so we weren’t holding our breath.

Photo 6

Photo 1

Good thing!!! Not only did they have holes in them from the dissimilar metals touching (galvanic reaction/action, see below), they had actually been made of… irregular siding. Yes, it was made of the stuff the sides were made of. I was counting on whisper-thin aluminum to hold my chubby self up off the ground. Oh, my.

So, armed with tin snips, crowbars, a screwdriver and the patience of a saint, Chad went to work!


Where'd the floor go??

As he worked and revealed more and more of the frame, we found out a brace on the frame had missed being welded to the center frame. It was hanging by a thread. So, we’ll have to weld that back on. But, luckily, the remainder of the frame is in excellent shape. It’s got a very small amount of surface rust. So, in the coming days, we’ll be using a metal brush to get the rust and dirt off. Then, we’ll take Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer and cover the frame with that, then paint it with Rustoleum gloss black. We could use the spray stuff, but don’t want to risk getting any of it on the good siding, windows, whatever. So, we’ll use brushes for that.

Right now, we have a couple of extra 2x4s just bracing the walls to keep them from slumping. They weren’t, but we figured we wouldn’t leave it for long without something. We know our luck!!

Our find of the day is something that just cracked me up.

Bzzzzz! Beehive! 4 small, beehive clear lights. Mounted UNDER the camper, but too far back/in to be of any use for signaling. The only thing we can figure out is that they were there to help you see where to put the stabilizing jacks if you were setting up in the dark. They are SO cool! I absolutely love this fantastic, retro look. 3 of them are in really good shape, one has a cracked lens. We’re thinking that maybe they could be used as reverse lights, since they are white. Whatever the case, we are SO finding a place for these. They’re the coolest find we’ve had on this project and I am just in love with them!!

Our final work of the day was to get the back window in. We took out the temporary plastic sheeting, butyl taped the edges of the window frame and popped it in. We had to wedge some wood around the edges to hold it in place, as we don’t have the insulation or paneling up yet. Even temporarily in place, they look fantastic!

Rear window (not the movie)

Rear window (not the movie)

Front window, as seen earlier

Front window, as seen earlier

We’ll cut the holes for the 4 small windows when we get the floors put in. I’m working on cleaning them up, and finding a place to replace the screening, as it’s picked to pieces on several of the windows. I know that’s supposed to be a very simple DIY, but I’m kind of cursed when it comes to screens. So, I’ll be hiring that one out, Thank you!

In short, we now have a hand full of actual structural stuff to do: repair the weld on the frame, clean up and paint the frame, new metal floors (luckily, we have left over steel from the camper sides, so we’ll utilize that), new subfloor, new roof bracing. Then, we’ll be ready to figure out where to run the electrical and plumbing. Run that, then put up styrofoam-style insulation and the paneling. Then, we’ll have our little box on wheels ready to for its pretty innards! Sounds like a lot, but these are mostly quick things, as Chad has restored tons of old cars, so he’s very used to frame work. He’s a blacksmith/metal artist, so he can weld like crazy. I’m the daughter of an electrician, and helped restore/repair old houses my whole life. We’ve finally hit the point that we actually KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING!!! So, hopefully it will go quicker now!!!

We’re coming up on Clyde’s 3rd year with us (November 2010, he came home to live with us). I’m hoping 2014 (which will be his 40th birthday) will see him on the road! With productive days like this, I can actually see it coming! It’s about time!!!

*** boring information on galvanic corrosion, courtesy of wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion ****


Brace Yourself, Clyde!

This was probably the most progress-filled weekend on Clyde yet! We had grown so accustomed to spending hours destroying things that seeing a lot of stuff get built is just mind-blowing! Anyway, the inside of our dear Clyde is completely framed. Meaning that all the walls are now structurally sound, braced where they need to be to allow the siding to screw into place, hold the windows in at the proper heights, etc.

Brace Yourself!

The walls are so sturdy now! When we first got Clyde, you could push on the wall and watch the exterior wall bulge. If you pushed on the wall to shake the camper, only a certain part would shake, because nothing was stuck together! Now, we can grab the brace and shove as hard as we want, and it goes NOWHERE! When you grab an exterior corner and push it, the camper moves as one unit. It’s solid!

In case you are wondering about the bajillion little silver plates, those are called “ties” and they are used to connect pieces of wood that do not screw into something else. Campers are actually put together with metal staples rather than these. While tearing Clyde apart, we found that most of the staples had either rusted/corroded and already broken or were the consistency of dry spaghetti. We figured out quickly that had contributed to how unstable the camper felt. We opted for a much stronger build. Of course, this many staples would have cost about $10 and lasted for a good 20 years. But, we mean for Clyde to outlive us and give some other group of nerds much happiness. So, we went with the $.52 each tie plates. The last trip we made to Lowe’s (aka our home away from home) we bought 40 of them. We are down to one now. Sigh. Here we come again, Lowes!

I did have a wonderful moment this weekend, though. We went to Big John’s Closeouts in Elizabehton, TN. It’s sort of like a builder’s Big Lots. They had our screws there! For cheap! So we got 300 of them (all they had) for about what 100 usually costs. And, I came up with a great way to keep them. They come in a small cardboard box that is very inconvenient to carry around and easy to knock over. So, being that I am a nurse and have access to a LOT of old prescription bottles, I got one of the large bottles (like 90 day prescriptions come in) that has the reversible lid (fat part down, child proof, fat part up, not child-proof) and cleaned it out, peeled off the old label and put the screws in it. If you knock it over, it won’t spill. AND the best part… with the lid on in the un-child-proof form, it make a small dish to keep a handful of screws in for easy access. Cost: FREE and I kept a chunk of plastic out of the land-fill! Not bad, huh??

My moment of genius!

Okay, it’s not rocket science, but it really did work out well. Oh, and notice the fake-grass under the bottle? It came with Clyde and has been thru Hell and back! We use it for everything. Any time we have to crawl under the camper, lay down to do something, etc. it comes out. I am sure its original purpose was to serve as an outdoor “rug” of sorts, but we’ve worked it to pieces! We will let it retire gracefully when Clyde is finished. Because I found an AWESOME outdoor rug at Lowe’s on clearance AND I got an additional 10% off because the only one left was the floor model (rug. floor model. Funny!). I’ll have to do another “stuff for the inside of Clyde” roundup soon, and put a pic of it in there. It’s very groovy, with my 70’s harvest colors and big flowers.

Now, what comes next for Clyde is a HUGE jump. We’re calling Lyon’s metal roofing tomorrow to put in our order. They are a metal roofing manufacturer here in Piney Flats, TN. Buying direct from them, you save a fortune. But, if you’ve ever seen metal roofing, you know it has all kinds of corrugation to it, to make the rain run down correctly. So, it’d be really hard to put on a camper, as it has quite tall peaks and ridges, that would make capping the corners difficult. Here’s where my husband is a genius…

He asked them if we could buy the metal BEFORE it got corrugated. And, you can. Flat, prepainted, good for 30 years at least. AND, it comes in a gorgeous tan color called “mocha tan” that almost matches Chad’s Jeep (aka Miss Behavin’), which is what we will use to tow. I am not sure what our exact cost will be, but it is going to be a HUGE savings. The cheapest we could find replacement camper siding was about $17 per square foot BEFORE shipping. Craziness on a $600 camper!!!! So, this is going to be around $3.00 per linear foot of 3.5 foot wide sheets. Since Clyde is only 6 feet tall, we only have to get 2 sheets per side, at about 12 feet each. So, yeah… it’s gonna be CHEAP. They even sell the screws and water-tight washers in matching baked-on paint. Clyde is gonna look like a new man!!!

So, long-story already too long to be short: We are going to start re-skinning Clyde next weekend. I am anticipating getting both of the long sides done that weekend, then we’ll worry about the ends next time. We didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew all at once (and we don’t have anywhere to store huge hunks o’ metal at Mom and Dad’s, where we work on Clyde). So, we’re starting there, and seeing how we do!

Believe me, my next post of Clyde Work should be AMAZING. Next weekend, the weather is supposed to be perfect, partly cloudy and in the high 70’s. Keep your fingers crossed that it stays that way! Rain will cancel the whole plan, since we have to take all the siding off both sides to get started on this! EEK!

Trust me, I’ll get PLENTY of pictures!

So, say prayers and do dances for good weather and happy engineering, since neither of us know what we are doing!



A day without disaster!!!

We actually had a day of progress. Pure progress. No explosions, nothing falling apart. No rabid wolves, no scary noises, nothing. I figure that this means we will, very soon, be hit by a meteor. I mean, hey… what’s a Clyde-day without a terrible SNAFU?? But, anyway, we didn’t have an explosion. It went well. What did we accomplish? Why, let me tell you…

THE BACK IS DONE. Done. The whole thing. Yes, it is completely studded in, ready to get insulation, paneling, wiring, etc. It is as strong as it can possibly be!

No way on the face of earth it’ll fall apart now! We even got the siding put back on, although that is only temporary.

We’ve got several areas that will require new siding.

I am hoping it won’t be too expensive to replace these. I’d like nice, new siding. But, if that is not an option due to cost, I’m skimming the internet and hunting used siding. Do you think that perhaps there is a “used, ugly siding warehouse” online? We shall find out!!


I also got to do my absolute favorite part of the Clyde Project. I got to tear things up. I ripped out walls, paneling, and framing. Oh, how I love to destroy stuff! Demolition (aka “demo”) is my happy thought! I absolutely adore yanking out walls and insulation and such. Gimme a crowbar, a hammer and a zip-saw and I may squeal in pure delight.

So, with my trusty tools of destruction, I ripped out the walls up to the front couch-bunk.  We have now torn out everything original except the very front wall. Can, I just tell you how much I am looking forward to NEVER seeing the grasscloth wallpaper again? I loathe that stuff.

Oh, and can I go on a rant here? I hate construction adhesive. I love it when I am USING it. I just hate when trying to destroy the camper walls is hindered by over-use of Liquid nails. The paneling is glued to the original studs with roughly 364 tubes of this crap per inch. Seriously, I shed blood just trying to rip off the stupid paneling!! UGH. The rest of the camper was built so shoddily, but they glue everything?! UGH, UGH, UGH.

End of rant.

However, we did have something new and fun… we had a little bit of nature set up housekeeping in the camper while we were away for a couple of weeks. We found the beginnings of a squirrel nest, and a spider with a shiny, silver spot on him that looks remarkably like a Hello Kitty face!

And, now the part both of you have been waiting for: CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT!

Later this week, I will be posting a poll comprised of some shots of neat paint schemes I’ve found on Pinterest. I’ll have some of my favorites up, and I want you to vote for the one you like best. In the comments, make an argument for your choice. The best, funniest, most persuasive comment will win a small Clyde prize. Don’t go getting all excited, it’s not much! No all-expenses-paid trips to Tahiti (or to Piney Flats for that matter), but it’ll be something super-cute! So, get your thinking caps on and get ready to be creative!

I leave you with one last picture, the late, not lamented Chillolator 3000 in its full size glory, in the middle of the camper floor. HUGE drill on top to show size.

3 steps forward, 2 steps back (it’s still progress!)

Well, I had very little to do with Clyde’s latest work day. Actually, I showed up after it was over and brought dessert! This one was all Chad. He works an odd schedule and has 7 days off in a row every 28 days. So, on his 7 he decided to spend a whole day on Clyde. He worked his butt off and made a ton of progress! Of course, the poor guy had to tear out half of what he’d done before and we now know we will have to remove the AC and we are absolutely sure the camper has been wrecked before, but I’m getting ahead of myself…

First of all, let me repeat what I have said before… this camper was a death trap when it was built. I can now see why Bendix campers are not the world renowned campers like Airstream. It’s because we probably have the only one that survived for more than a year. Seriously, the craftsmanship in these things is like a high school shop project: just enough to pass!!! Case in point, this is the left-hand corner of the camper. This is all that was holding up that entire corner:

Quality from Bendix to You!

Just in case you are wondering, yes, that is a piece of wood someone was too lazy to mitre so it would actually fit up against the wood, instead of holding up the corner of the roof with about 1/8″ of wood held in by 2 staples. AMAZING.

Needless to say, that got torn out and replaced with a correctly and sturdily built corner! But, not before we had our Glitch of the Week! Yes, I think we need to make this a regular part of our posts. Since we discover something catastrophically wrong and wind up digging our hole deeper every time we touch the camper, I think we should have a special segment just for the FUBAR we have find!

This week’s find: Clyde was definitely wrecked by a prior owner. When Chad tore out the section against the roofline in the back, and rebraced it, he noticed what we have noticed before: the back wall has a bit of a bow to it. However, from the top being rebraced, it showed just how much of a bow. Following the line down, here is the damage:

Cotton Candy???

Interior slope up to the ceiling. When this got braced, we got some issues...

Just a little gap...

OK, it doesn't look too bad from the side, right? Just a little gap...

OH, wait...

OK, not so little. This is what happened when we got the top lined up correctly, it bowed all the sheet metal out and revealed that the AC had been installed AFTER the sheet metal had been very poorly repaired!


Remember the beautiful seam from the post about getting all buttoned up? Yeah, had to tear it out! Sigh.

Warped Tour

Notice what used to be a small bow to the back metal that has now become so pronounced it is pulling away from the AC unit!

So, here we go again. Chad reopened the corner we’d repaired and rebuilt both corners, but we are having to wait to connect the corners until he can bring in the plasma cutter and his welder! We have to remove the AC unit and get the metal put back down even. That wouldn’t normally be hard, but the AC unit is on a huge metal frame that is welded onto the homemade bumper. So, we have to cut it all loose and rebuild. Look, kids! It’s the word of the year: REBUILD!!!

So, he did all he could do the back, and then went ahead and pulled all of the paneling out up to the doors and rebuilt the bottom of the exterior frame. This has since been put back together, but the pictures are just super-cool! And, any time you think you want to renovate a vintage camper, look at these and THEN decide if it’s worth it!

I love an open floor plan

Wonder why my toes are cold?

Look! Fresh Wood!

Now, less you start thinking we are going to be in a nursing home before Clyde ever gets done… he’s come a long way! The walls are rebuilt all the way up to the door way on the left side, and up to the wheel well on the right. So, there has been progress, it just doesn’t look like it. When we get the AC unit pulled, it will take only a few minutes to button up the back walls and they will actually be DONE and ready for paneling at that point. Due to removing the bound up sheet metal at the back, the camper is back even and now the door closes without us having to throw our full body weight against it!

So, it looks like a trainwreck and we had to take a few steps back, but we made several more steps forward. So, we are still Happy Campers! While this would not be a project for people with no construction skills, we are actually having a great time doing this. It’s been a dream project for a long time, and we’re both loving seeing this little hunk of junk coming together and turning into our dream a piece at a time.

So, don’t feel guilty if you giggle at our finds and terrors and un-progress! We are laughing along with you and I promise, some day Clyde will actually come together and we’ll have a Clydewarming party! You’re all invited.

Both of you.

Button it!!!

Welcome back, dear Readers! When last we saw the intrepid Clyde, he’d been left with a gaping wound in his side. Open to infection (or at least an invasion of squirrels) and mighty drafty, there he was!

A little bit drafty for me

Winter Breeeze....

Well, the surgeon arrived, and his name is CHAD!!!  We’d been working on this first corner (which is the right, rear, for anyone keeping score) for months now. Which sounds more pitiful than it is. Due to weather and scheduling, it’s been slow going! But, we’d had a couple of work days on this corner and it was going S L O W. Mainly because the original structure of the corner was pretty shoddy and rotten. So, we had to figure out how to rebuild it stronger, better, faster (wait, that’s the Six Million Dollar Man… not Clyde). And, our break-thru came yesterday! We finally figured out how to get the windows, the walls and the floor to play nicely with one another.

Don’t know if you remember or not, but Clyde’s back wall had so much rot that the wood had actually swollen and forced the back seam open. The hatchet “restoration” job before us had left all the rot and just stretched some extra metal over the corner. Well, we ripped all that out, rebuilt the skeleton, and finally the moment of truth…

Would the walls fit back together or had so much damage been done that we were going to need to reskin the corner? If we have to reskin, things are going to be MUCH more expensive, as it turns out old camper siding is quite expensive! Who knew?!

So, Chad rebuilt the corner, then we went outside and I helped him pull the metal back around and..

After 38 years, this skin still fits like it did when I was a kid!

The corner, all buttoned up!

Yes, we did use 800 metal brackets in one corner. Don't judge me.

IT WORKED!!! Everything lined up beautifully! We’ve got a few screws holding it together until we get some finishing nails and really get down to putting it back together for ever and ever. The original construction was held together with large staples, but camper siding is thick aluminum and we do not have a staple gun that strong. So, we’ll be going even more old school and using finishing nails!

Now that we have a corner destroyed and rebuilt, we’re good to go. It took us much longer to figure out WHAT to do than it did to DO it. The other rear corner is next and should go a ton faster, now that we know what he heck we are doing!

So, with the corner and buttoned up and pretty, we decided to try something else. For no reason whatsoever.

We’d finally gotten around to getting a hitch on the Jeep, so we wanted to see how it would do moving Clyde. As small as he is (and especially since he is currently pretty much gutted), it should be simple, but we wanted to check.

So, we hooked the little guy up and took him for a short run across the driveway at Mom and Dad’s house. He did awesome and so did the Jeep! As simply as it moved Clyde, we should not have any trouble towing him loaded. So, another worry out of the way! YAY!!!

Go, Clyde, Go!

I was sick as a dog this whole weekend, so I was little more than a glorified gofer (as in, gofer some lunch, gofer this and that). So, this one was pretty much all Chad. I was there for moral (or immoral, depending on how you look at it) support.

And, in case you are wondering, yes, there is a strip off the bottom right outside. We’re waiting to see where we will run in the electrical and water to put that one back on. But, it’s rebuilt, just waiting the metal to go back on.

We also made a really cool discovery. Clyde has had a rough life and I don’t think he’s had a wax job since the early 80’s. His paint is in awful condition and appears to be bone white with avocado green. Obviously, he will need to be repainted, and Chad and I decided we’d like to keep the Avocado, but change the main color to a rich, almond-like off-white. Yesterday, we pulled off a tail light (we will be replacing the ugly, boxy square ones with some retro-looking, round LEDs with flushmount and a cool chrome trim ring). Under it, you could see what the original paint looked like. It’s ALMOND! The exact color we had discussed. It was so cool to know that we are so in touch with Clyde that we already seem to know what he needs to get back to being himself*!

U G L Y, you ain't got no alibi!

The original ugly tail light with what the paint looks like now.

Behold, a hint of the original color!

The small rectangle around the tiny hole is where the tail light was. Notice the difference in color!

*yes, we know he isn’t a person. Well…

Coming up next: retro tupperware fest, AKA getting more STUFF for Clyde!

Clyde’s Wishlist

As you have probably gathered, Clyde needs a few things. Okay, a lot of things. A whole, whole, whole lot of things. From exterior camper siding to a refrigerator to curtain rods. Yes, Clyde needs STUFF. So, to keep it straight in my head, I’m going to make a list, add to it, remove things from it and update it periodically. Some of these are necessities, many are just “wants”. It’s just fun to make my dream list. So, here’s what I have right now.


(this will be a very short list, because I am completely unaware of what all the outside needs. This is Chad’s department. These are the things I know of.

  • All new lights (tail lights, marker lights and a “porch” light)
  • An awning
  • One of those spiffy outdoor rugs they have at Camping World Got one at Lowe’s! 
  • A couple of fancy-pants camping chairs (the foldy kind)
  • Perhaps a cute table of some sort on which to put a grill
  • A grill. I’m thinking one of those awesome hibachi grills they have at the Lodge Factory Outlet
  • A paint job (cheap, cream color). We will add the avocado stripe and other cute stuff later on ourselves. It’ll be a cheeeap paint job, ’cause you can’t justify a $1000 paint job on a $600 camper. New siding is already painted, don’t have to get it painted! 
  • Box. Some kind of box to go where the battery box used to be. We’ll use it to hold stuff like the anti-sway bars and jack-stands when not in use. I’m thinking either a diamond-plate tool box kind of thing, or maybe even making one out of reclaimed wood (palette wood, maybe).
  • Wiring. Lots of wiring. 12 volt for the lights. Whatever kind of wire operates the electric brakes
  • Plastic of some sort to replace the moldy-looking panels in the rock guard that goes over the front window to prevent rocks from the road bashing out your window. I have a SWEET decal to go in the middle (no, you can’t see it, it’s a surprise when he gets all big and grown up and ready to hit the road) panel, so something that the decal can go on smoothly. Using leftover siding, so it’ll all match!
  • trim pieces to cover the seams. We have some we can reuse, but we will have to replace some
  • Camper-siding. To cover all the holes left by the appliances, heating, etc.  Got NEW siding for the whole camper at Lyon’s Metal Roofing!
  • Bondo. To smooth the transitions between patch jobs and existing siding
  • chocks or whatever you call the little angled, plastic things you wedge under the tires to keep the camper from rolling away
  • jack stands. Our camper is so little that we are thinking about going to a junkyard and getting some of the little crank-up jacks that are in the spare tire compartments. No one ever wants those from wrecked cars, they’re light and don’t take up much room. So, perfect! Chad got them at $10 for a set of 2 at the junk yard!


  • Foam Rubber. Yeah, it’s not very exciting, but it’s something I need to make the cushions for the front dinette and some pillow/bolster/cushion kinda things around the back bed. Did you know you can cut foam rubber with an electric carving knife? I am very excited to get to try that.
  • Sheets. Yes, I bought some. On sale for $7!!! A beautiful chocolate brown in full size. One small problemo. It’s not gonna work to have a full bed. Figured that out today. So, I’m thinking we will repurpose those cute sheets into curtains. Or pillows. Or a tablecloth. Regardless of what they become, I now need sheets. In a size twin. Sigh. Brown? Owls? Brown owls? Avocado? Who knows. Any 1970’s looking colors will do! Turns out we are going to have room for a full size bed, so get to use the ones I already bought!
  • Curtain rings with little clippy things. Much easier than sewing the stupid rod pocket into them. Cut fabric pretty, clip onto rings, pull rings onto curtain rod. Ta-da!
  • A chenille bedspread with pompoms. I don’t want it for the bed, since I already ordered one for that. I’d like to cut this one up and use it as curtains. Ya know, with the pompoms dangling down. Either white or Avocado or yellow. If I can’t find that, I’ll use the above-referenced brown sheets to make curtains and maybe just buy some pompom trim and put them on the bottom. Wouldn’t chocolate brown with avocado pompoms be cute??? A friend is making us a quilt!
  • Full mattress (for the back bed)
  • Dorm Fridge with freezer. I’m holding out for the kind that has a separate exterior door for the freezer. You can’t make a decent martini without ice to shake it with, right?!  OK, who am I kidding, it’s for ice cream.  Got one at Target for $130. Had been $160. Was FREE because my Dad got it for me for my Christmas present (that was due in December and I got it in August… that is how my family rolls)
  • Paneling. White beadboard, to be exact. Wide boards for the bottom, narrow for the top. And, a narrow band of white trim to go between the two.
  • Counter tops. I have no idea what kind. I’ve looked everywhere and they’re all very boring. I’d love to find some fabulous retro looking counter tops. But, so far, no joy.
  • Cabinet “guts”. This would be the little white, wire shelf-type units that have slidey drawers in them. Weight is of the utmost importance in a camper, so we’re going to build the cabinet “shell” out of 1×1 and 1×2 lumber and then “skin” it with the beadboard. To prevent having the weight of particle board shelving (which is CRAZY heavy), we are hunting some of the two-tiered slide-drawer sets that kitchen-maid used to make. Not sure if they still make them, but I’m gonna cruise craigslist and yard sales until I find them!!
  • Flooring. Currently, we’re planning on using the vinyl strips that look like lumber. Found some really pretty ones tonight at Lowe’s that look like distressed wood in a pretty, caramel color. $30 a box. But, gonna look at the whole-sale places (like Big John’s closeout) just in case they have it cheaper.
  • about 3 sheets of 1/4″ plywood to cover the floor, so the vinyl flooring will stick
  • Bondo. Yeah, the kind you use on cars. We’ve had to replace several areas of subfloor due to rot. So, we have gaps. You fill those in with bondo, sand them down and put the plywood on over it. Smooth and easy!
  • fake leather. Not sure what color yet. This will cover the shelf above the front dinette. A friend is going to custom make us a cool cabinet to go there instead!!!
  • Upholstery or fabric to cover the foam rubber cushions on the dinette. Can’t have too much texture, because the dinette folds down makes another bed. So, don’t want it too lumpy.
  • White paint- to cover all the bed and dinette wood. We’re hand building those. I’d list what we’ll use to make those, but I honestly don’t know yet. I’ll update that some day soon.
  • Toaster oven. I’ve already got a 2 burner hotplate (thanks, Bev), a microwave (thanks, Craiglist $10), and pots ‘n’ pans, but if we decide to make some toast or bake a cheap pizza, we got no oven. A real oven is expensive. Toaster ovens are cheap. So, toaster oven.
  • Romex (this is electrical wiring)
  • light switches (do they make skinny ones? Or, maybe just install the lights with the cords that have the little roller things that turn them off and on)
  • electrical outlets and the guts within them
  • electrical strip (I have no idea what these are called, but it’s a single, long strip of outlets that are hard-wired into the regular wiring, not the kind you plug in, like a surge protector). 3 of these. One for above each set of cabinets and one for the shelf over top of the dinette. 24/7 on-call dictates keeping my phone charged, so want to be sure to have one beside each sleeping surface, and then I’ll need to plug in the small appliances.
  • faucet. We salvaged the original sink, but the faucet was trashed.
  • Hot water on-demand tap. We don’t have a bathroom, so no bathroom sink or shower to need hot water. So, a water heater is just way too heavy and too much money. So, they make these nifty-little systems that work on regular household current and heat small amounts of water. Pretty much like a baby waterheater. At $144, they’re a bargain and perfect for what we need.
  • 1/2″ finish grade plywood. To make cabinet doors and a table top
  • cheap iPod speakers  found ’em!!
  • eventually, a very small, flat screen TV. Right now we have a 13″ TV with a VCR under it that my parents had forever. it’ll do, but a flat screen would take up less room, mount on the wall over the back bed and just be cooler. This is VERY FAR DOWN on my list of priorities.Oh, and add to the list: something to mount said TV to the walldecided to just use netflix on the laptop!
  • grippy drawer liner to put on the shelves so everything doesn’t go sailing when we are on-the-move
  • Wallpaper for the ceiling. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a total nut-job. The ceiling is intact with no leaks, but scarred up. They make paintable wallpaper that looks like the old pressed-tin ceiling tiles. I’d like to get that and paint it up to look like an old ceiling. Cheaper and lighter than putting another layer of paneling or something up there.
  • Tupperware. The vintage, 1970’s harvest colors. I’d like the tumblers, the mugs, the plates and the groovy stacking spice shakers. They have them on eBay. I am currently stalking them. I quit stalking and bought them. So awesome!
  • Cheesy 1970’s owl art for the walls. preferably some little framed pictures. I am guessing it’ll be one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” things.
  • linens for the dinette bed. I’m thinking we’ll have to make do with flat sheets and tuck them in, as it’ll be a non-standard size. I’ll try to get some sort of thin, yet warm blanket for it. I’ll have to stow all the linens when we have the dinette “up” and not in the bed position

Now, reading over this huge list, I realize one thing clearly. I am gonna have to hit the lottery sometime very soon. And, I’m going to be in a lot of thrift stores in the very near future!