We bought our trailer almost four years ago and while we really love it, it needs some work. It came with twelve-year-old carpet (used by two previous owners), gold fixtures, a huge heavy (and ugly) entertainment center, and limited storage. It had a floor to ceiling glass cabinet for pretty things (we have no pretty things) and most of our storage was open for all to see. On top of that, this RV was designed for a retired couple, not a working couple and the desk space was pretty sad. Trey's desk was the converted dining room table and Susan's desk had no room for a right-handed person to use a mouse. We were a mess of exposed wires and cables and inefficient space. It is bad enough if your office is that way, but our office is combined with our kitchen and living room. Here are some pictures of our RV from 2011. We needed help. Enter Scott and Bobby.
Scott and Bobby work together doing RV renovations in Junction City, OR just north of Eugene. We met them in June and scheduled a time to get some work done on our trailer. They replaced our worn out carpet, converted our ugly, useless 80's entertainment center in to a beautiful and useful space, built one desk and converted the other desk, added a TV cabinet in the bedroom, and installed a bench across the entire back of the RV. We love everything they did!
Before work began, we expressed our concerns to Scott about additional weight in the RV - especially since so much change was happening in the big slide. Scott said he would deal with that. He built the new desk and large bench before we arrived based on measurements he took in June. When we showed up at Amazing Creations and Kustom Coach, he had the bench and desk almost complete - they were just waiting for finishing adjustments as they were installed. They looked beautiful even without the stain and finish. Scott showed us how he constructed each. Listening to our concerns and still providing the needed structural support, he left off the normal extra wood panels where each unit was attached to the wall of the RV. This saved quite a bit of weight from wood that would never been seen. Also, as decided back in June, he used a black mesh grill on the doors where we store our computer equipment which needs air circulation. More weight saved. He had us lift each piece of furniture to see how light they were and they were very light. Very sturdy, but light in weight.
We really appreciated the fact that these guys really listened to what we wanted rather than trying to sell us something that was easy for them to reproduce. They made changes to the items they installed in our RV to accommodate our ideas and offered many great suggestions to make our ideas even better. Scott even saved the entertainment center by talking us out of trashing it completely. We disliked that behemoth so much that we had difficulty seeing any redeeming value in it. Scott saw it and liked it immediately. He made us fall in love with his ideas and we are glad we did.
Here are a few pictures of what they did. Within 15 minutes of our arrival, Scott and Bobby began ripping out the carpet. We were so happy to see that go!
They save all the old pieces to use as a pattern for the new carpet. After they remove the old carpet and padding, they painstakingly went over the floor and removed the nails, staples, and tack-strips. We were a bit nervous to see the subflooring. We bought this unit when it was almost ten years old and were concerned about water damage on the subfloor. Water: an RVer's worst nightmare or at least Trey's! There was only minor staining on the floor and it was all in places we already knew about. They checked those areas and all the wood was still very solid. What was a huge relief!
In the after picture below, you can see the new carpet and the renovations complete. Our carpet was a little tricky because we needed to have it wrap under the slide. Usually slide carpet is overlapped onto the main floor. It took a bit more head-scratching and troubleshooting, but they did a great job. We appreciate the extra effort and love the carpet!
You can see Trey's new desk (far left, where Susan used to sit.) They removed all the drawers and replaced the desktop. The extra legroom is great and a right-handed person can now easily use the mouse without hitting the wall of the entertainment center.
The entertainment center had many updates. First, they removed the glass out of the tall, thin cabinet and put in a black mesh door. We don't have fine china or figurines, so folks were just looking at books, computer equipment, and a motorcycle helmet through that door. This way is much better!
The TV was moved back about a eight inches. It used to sit on a shelf that jutted out in front of the entertainment center. Scott cut the front off the cabinet and mounted the TV on a MorRyde TV mount we bought last year, but hadn't installed. Now we can pull our TV out and point it in any direction. The TV acts like a door to the top part of the cabinet and we store equipment behind it. When the TV is in the flush position, you can't see anything behind it. Since the upper part of that cabinet was much taller than we needed, Scott installed a shelf in the lower six inches to use as a component compartment. We don't really have TV components at this time, but we do have a keyboard and mouse to control the TV computer. (TV computer - long weird story, but it works for us and allows us to have Over the air TV without paying for expensive satellite service.)
Below the TV, Scott put in mesh doors and adjustable shelves in what used to be an vast, empty space. We will keep our large video editing computer in there right next to Trey's desk for easy access.
Susan's desk is on the far right. This used to be where the dining room table/Trey's desk used to be. Notice that there is plenty of room on the right side of the desk to use a mouse. The cabinet behind the mesh door holds the printer on a fully extending shelf with another shelf above it. The guys also put in a wire chase on the floor so there are no unsightly cables running across the room.
We switched desks for many reasons, but the main reason was that Susan is quite distracting. (This is not really true - almost anything distracts Trey.) Putting Trey in the back corner might make it easier for him to work. Also, the kitchen is behind Susan's new desk, so fixing lunch and dinner while Trey works at his desk will hopefully work better. Even though we both cook most of the time, there are times when one of us goes it alone. This will allow the more easily distracted one to be farther away from activity. We think this new arrangement is the ideal cabinet configuration. But since we are creatures of habit, this change might not work. We asked Scott to design this area so that we could switch desks (and printer and computer) as needed. The middle cabinet can hold the printer with a simple shelf adjustment and the big computer can go in the printer cabinet if we remove the second shelf.
Below is the bench: this is our favorite upgrade. Originally there was a couch there, which was removed from the very beginning. For a while, we had two dining room chairs back here, then two storage ottomans, but it always looked cluttered. There is nothing cluttered about this bench! It has three compartments with three lids. When Scott built this, he made all three lids from the same piece of wood so that the grain all matches up. He did the same with the wood on the front of the bench. You can see a vent in the bottom of the unit. One of our floor furnaces vents is diverted through that hole. Scott put in a false bottom in the center compartment so that it looks just like the others, only about four inches shallower because of the heater vent. We may eventually make cushions for the top of the bench turning it into more of a couch or daybed, but for now, we love it just like it is!
Just look at the amount of storage there is in one third of the rear bench!
Bobby built a door that holds a TV for the bedroom cabinet. In the past, we had to lay the TV flat on a towel each time we traveled so that it wouldn't fall out of the compartment. It was kind of hassle. For this reason, it stayed in the stowed position most of the time. Now the entire cabinet is empty (except for the plug for the TV) and the TV is always stowed for travel and set for watching. And it is almost flush with the cabinet doors - another modification they did for us!
Trey and I had a few projects of our own. Our trailer came decked out in gold fixtures. Gold everything: light fixtures, door knobs, mirror surrounds, faucets... you get the picture. While some folks may love the gold accents, we preferred something a bit more subtle. To add to the glitz offence, our small 400 sq ft trailer had 51 gold knobs, 9 gold handles, 14 gold light fixtures, and one gold ceiling fan. Yes, it was quite overwhelming!
While most of these are simple fixes, taking only a screwdriver, the cost can be a bit prohibitive. Scott and Bobby offered us a sweet/cheap deal on all the knobs and six of the light fixtures. They also told us about an RV surplus store nearby where we were able to get a few more RV specific light fixtures and few other miscellaneous items at a very low price. Bonus, we took the bag of the gold stuff we had removed to the the surplus store and they took a percentage off our bill for the new light fixtures. We are now mostly brushed nickel. All that remains of the gold are four light fixtures, two faucets (bathroom shower and sink), and the ceiling fan. We also have to figure out what to do with the gold shower and mirror surrounds. Other than those few items, we are all wood and brushed nickel. Very little glitz remaining in our lives and we are very happy.
It took us almost four years of planning, dreaming, (and saving) to get here, but is was so worth it. While we were able to function in the former configuration, the changes we have made will help us be much more productive and allow us to have a place for everything we use rather than regularly moving things around to be able use them. We are now in the process of reorganizing all our stuff. It will take time to get it all figured out, but in a month or two we are certain that things will find their proper places.