Monday, 26 September 2011

122 - A Quick Up Date

Thought about time I kept you in the loop about what's happening with the Retro Roamers.

As I have stated in the past, when locked into a "long tour duty" not much to write about, unless you want to hear about the day to days running of a cabin and caravan park. Pretty boring really.

Travel blogs are all about travel, so that's why I am slack.....cause we ain't travelling.

However there is light at the end of the tunnel. Contracts for the sale of the park are signed.....which doesn't mean much, however it is a start. So we could be out of here depending on what skeletons are found in the cupboards, end of October, or maybe November......however at the latest, we will, regardless of sale be "outahere" by Xmas.

Once again no pikkies, however the "reno" on the RetroLiner is coming to an end, well sort of. This has been bigger than the TV series "The Block". Geeeeeeezus how many times have I thrown my hands in the air, with this small amout of "reno" let alone rebuild a house.

Any way the L shape lounge has been removed, the wheel arch boxed in, the two new Estate high back chairs are in, the fixed table has been "unfixed" and cut down to 650 mm round. All the lighting has been up graded to LED's, with extra lighting under the cupboards over the kitchen. The CD  has now been fitted.

Okay, what problems did we encounter with the removal of the lounge....plenty.....but with a bit of imagination.....looks pretty good....and the chairs all so comfortable. So most of you will probably say, how does one secure a couple of free standing chairs and table while traveling. That was a challenge, however to keep the chairs from running all over the shop, they are fixed to the wheel arch, by a strap. The table simply just sits beside the bed.

Now the beauty of this free standing table and chairs is once we stop we can position the table and the chairs where ever we wish within the cabin, so we aren't restricted to a fixed seating and table arrangement. Also by having the table cut to 650mm round suits me and the bride, and this table now is utilised as the outside table as well.

All one does is just remove the actual table top from its spindle and carry it out side. Then take the rest of the table outside, drop the top back on, and bingo the table then becomes perfect for an outside jobbie, plus the outside chairs are just perfect.

So the conclusion is we have one table for inside and outside. Saves carting a million tables. We anticipate eating most times outside anyway. The only time we will eat inside is when the weather doesn't permit us to be outside.

Yes people have said, but what about dinner guests with a small table and seating for two. Well if anybody wants to have dinner with us it is usually a BBQ, and if so, outside is the go. Bring your own chairs and eat off ya lap. Most times it is usually happy hour drinkies, and all bring their own chairs anyway.

The only negativity is the floor. Removing fixed things has left a trail of staple holes and an array of nicks and bumps. As soon as I have finished walking in and out of the van with my boots, and remove a million tools and crapp, I will attack the floor, and do what I can to tidy it up. New flooring is out of the question at the moment, however I can see a nice rug or something disguising the worst of the offenders.

However we have redesigned the Retro Liner with the comfort of me and the bride, not for visitors. We can now sit in extremely comfortable chairs, that recline may I add, and watch the idiot box in comfort, without me, especially sitting in the previous lounge arrangement, that can be likened to the "electric chair."  No wonder I sat out side most of the time.

After I get out of the inside, the externals will start......then the bride will move inside and get it back to her standard...and boy is that high.  All the curtains are down, washed and put away. So inside still looks pretty raw at the moment.

Early October the external door where the air con compressor was, the new checker plate door will be fitted. That will allow me to house and fit the hot water system and associated 12 volt power. This week I will be getting onto the removal of the old silicon on the areas which are prone to leaking. Also a danger area with old pop tops is the screws holding the scissor arms. That I am sure is the source of major leaking, however the mobile repairer when he fits the door has some sort of gizmo that allows him to lift the scissor movements and replace the rusted screws.

The LED lights, the jury is still out stay tooooooned. Also still looking at the stripe up both sides, not thinking about that one to much....maybe next week.

If the inside looks reasonable soooon, I will take photies of the table, chairs and CD..

So until next time

Cheers & beers

Saturday, 3 September 2011

121 - Spring Has Sprung

Hi Troops

Firstly no pikkies, not until we either hit the road again, or show you the up dates on the Retro Liner.

Yep been off the air a little, but on the road to recovery. Thanks to all those who contacted me to check that I was still in the land of the living......guess what........sure am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and getting keen to get cracking again.

Well as above in the heading, Spring Has Sprung, however not here on the mountain. Still cold, wet most of the times, windy and we still have the log fire on every night. Occasionally I drive down to the Sunny Coast for some sanity, and the difference in temperature is just amazing. Had lunch again the other day at the Mooloolaba Surf Club, and the beach was packed......are we missing something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looks like we are going to be at the park till at least Christmas. The interested persons, and there are few who are interested in purchasing the park, their intentions seems to have stalled. I guess it is not a very conducive purchasing climate at the we will just ride out the waves. This isn't a hard job, and one is very thankful to the owner, who have been very compassionate during my recovery, which has allowed me to slowly get back on track. Also a big thank you to the bride....The Pillar of Pompey, who ran this place while I was enjoying 5 star treatment at the Nambour Hilton. She certainly surprised me.

So what's happening.

Although I have been unable to continue with much gusto, and getting the RetroLiner basically updated for our next travel events, I have had various mobile repairers out, doing things I can't do anyway.

So this is what has happened to date by the mobile repairers:
  • New awning and refurb of annex
  • New caravan legs
  • Changed gas bottle carrier
  • Added another pole carrier plus water carriers to the rear
  • Bits and pieces with clips broken and odds and sods.
This is what I have done:

  • Rewired the van for 12 volt.
  • Added a radio, where the old Heron Air conditioner was was. Love a bit of Chicago, blasting through the van.
  • Added 12 volt points to take the TV and new Vast decoder for independent camping.
  • Added LCD lighting in the kitchen area, and awaiting LED globes to replace existing 12 volt bulbs
  • Purchased a 120 watt solar panel (portable)
  • Purchased a Coleman Hot Water on Demand for instant hot water.
  • Fine tuned the external "off the back of the van" shower / tent and shower system.
Currently this is what I am doing and also waiting for:

  • A new checker plate door is being made (formerly the Heron air con compressor area) to suit the Coleman Hot Water on Demand, which sits perfectly in the vacant cavity left by the Heron compressor.
  • Rewire a 12 volt plug from this new compartment so the battery in the CHW on D, can be continually charged from the van battery, even when traveling.
  • New LED clearance and brake lights, with checker plate bases.
  • Re seal the the dodgy joints around the roof area. (not looking forward to that one.)
  • Maybe add some more extra LED lights internally.
Next big project, coming soooooon:
  • Remove the ridiculous L shape cafe lounge. Designers should be shot, hung and quartered, over this type of louge. They are the most uncomfortable lounge system I have ever sat in, especially when I always seem to be on the end. I do notice with a lot of new designs now, the lounge systems seem to have improved out of site, with comfort in mind, not put a lounge in because it suits the design. Convenience factor.
  • In place of the lounge, two very comfortable singe chairs with a fold down table arrangement. Not a lot of work in this refurb, as most of the infrastructure is already there. Just gotta find the chairs now....that will be the deciding factor if this works on not.
  • Remove all the original decals, stripes etc., which will have to be ground off because they are old, brittle and crappy.  Then a flash new wide blue stripe down both sides to be painted with, maybe some yellow pin stripes.
So as you can see folks, lots of things have either happened, or about too, on the RetroLiner. We have till Christmas as I said above to complete all if we don't run out of money in the meantime, should all happen.

We hopefully are getting away to see the kids in Cairns, with the compliments of the owner, once I can travel, but time will tell on that one. We are definitely having Christmas off, (we live in hope) and will take the up dated RetroLiner to one of our retreats for about 7 to 10 days, near 1770. Just love that area. It's a good pick for us as being a retreat, numbers are always low, which suits us and no kidzzzzzz. Ya!!!!!!!

Well that's the update. Hopefully will start adding pikkies once some of these up dates are being finished on the RetroLiner. At the moment, 20 jobs on the go, so a bit messy.

Till next time.