Monday, May 23, 2011

There I Fixed It!

Life in a mini-motorhome, fulltime,  on a little budget, has its moments. 

I love to cook potatoes in the crockpot. They come out super moist, far nicer than baking in the oven or cooking in the microwave. So when I stuck my sweet potato in my little  1.5 quart crockpot to cook it on low, it didn't quite  fit. 

Ut oh!  

With the lid on, heat is escaping.  The potato won't be very moist, but the kitchen will be toasty warm.  I could have chopped up the potato, but I wanted it to cook in the skin whole for the best flavor. Cost of a larger crockpot  $30-$80, but I really don't have room in my mini-motorhome for a larger crockpot.

There, I fixed it!  

Poking around, I discovered one of my cooking pans fit the little crockpot nicely as a lid. That potato cooked on low in about 2 hours.  I forgot to time it, but it was so super moist and delicious.

This is my auxilliary button for making the engine battery switch over to the deep cycle house batter for emergency starting. My stereo runs off the engine battery.  There are extra speakers built-in to the house area of the RV for the music. So guess what, the engine battery goes dead if I listen to music when I am parked and camping.

So I stopped listening to music. That made me sad. Really sad. Engine batteries don't like to go dead. Matter of fact if you kill them more than once or twice, guess what?  You need to buy a new starter battery. 

The auxilary push button switch, switches over to the deep cycle house battery.  So if I continuously hold the switch depressed while camping, I can listen to music. This makes me smile. But a few minutes later, my finger is tired and I can't do anything else while I am holding the button in, except listen to music. 

Fun, but not productive. 

The electric gizmo to fix the gaffe by the motorhome manufacturer, costs about $75 plus labor to install. 

There, I fixed it!  

That's my old four-legged walking cane. Luckily, I learned through physical therapy (aka physical torture) how to walk without a limp and without a cane. Yippee!  Now my walking cane can do important things, like hold that darn spring-loaded push button in for me, so I can play the stereo when camping. 

Total cost of repair $0.00

The adjustable cane is jammed up against my driver seat's vertical armrest. 

My motorhome is a 1994 version before slide-outs became popular. A slide enable the width of the motorhome to expand by 10-24 inches on one or both sides of the motorhome when it's parked for camping. There are companies that will build slides for older motorhomes, far cheaper than buying a newer motorhome with slides. However, this costs between $5,000 and $15,000. 

I just wanted 10 inches to make me happy. 

My dining booth had a huge table, because they often build these motorhomes to sleep a complete baseball team. So the table is made to drop down, the back cushions are moved to the top of the table, then you have another bunk. I already have my rear bunk plus a guest loft bunk over the cab area. That's plenty of company for me, I don't really need the table bunk too.

Sure it makes a nice big desk, but the table is so close to the seats, you can't really lounge around with pillows, I longed for the table to be not quite so wide, as well as not near as long. This would give the living area more room to move about. Almost like having a slide-out. 

But I'm a lousy carpenter.  However, I do have a big mouth!

One day while chatting with a couple in a campground who had an older motorhome, we got to talking about renovations. I mentioned I wanted a smaller table, they said, that was funny, they wanted a bigger table. So we ran back and forth, measuring tables, hemming and hawing. We decided to think about a possible swap over the next few days. It seemed to me, their skinnier shorter table was perfect for me. 

I went home to my motorhome, taping off my larger  table with masking tape,  as if it were already smaller. For a few days, I dined, worked, typed, did projects on my "smaller" table. I told my new friends, I was willing to switch if they were. So one afternoon, we traded tables. We had to change out the hardware from each table, as both were attached with different hardware. So basically, I have my old hardware attached to their table and vice versa. 

Total cost $0.00 plus some sweat.  (One of these days, I am going to replace that ugly table leg with a wooden one.)   It sure gave the campground something to talk about, as nosy folks wanted to know what we were up to with our impromptu renovating.  

The bonus is that the overhead cabinets above the dining booth are a snap for me to reach now. Previously, I had to climb up on the cushions to reach them. With the shorter table, I can now open them just fine, by standing in front of the new used table. 

Before on the left, after on the right. 
Amazing how 10 inches can make me happy...

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  1. Haha! AWESOME! So ingenious, you are.

    We made it to our resort destination (my mom's house). Very posh, with electricity pouring in from the heavens (my mom's house), a pool, a fish pond, and a shady parking spot.

    The Good Luck Duck

  2. Hi - I sent you an e-mail to an aol account but may have gotten it wrong. It was rather lengthy. Anyway, I discovered your blog and have read every entry all the way back to 2009 just before your unfortunate hospital stay. I absolutely love the idea of cooking sweet potatoes in the crock pot - you are a genius! I'm going to do that tonight.
    Thank You!!!! Jane aka The Dinner Diva

  3. Roxanne, what's the address? I'm the other daughter...

    Jane the
    Dinner Diva, you are awesome, can't believe you read my entire blog! WOW!

  4. You have to be a McGiver sometimes. And I'm going to have to try the crockpot potato idea.

  5. McGyver is what I was thinking too! Way to go. Nice idea with the crockpot, when we travel in our little Roadtrek.

  6. PS I did get the email! For anyone else wanting my email address it is on the main page at DearMissMermaid.Com as well as

    Replace the AT with @ (This prevent spam bots from snagging the email for nefarious reasons.)


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