Monday, June 14, 2010

Weekend Trip 6/11-13, ORSF #64

Mike and I took the Aliner and not much else and spent the weekend at Otter River, site 64. It rained most of the weekend, but that was okay because the Aliner not only kept us dry it kept us from getting damp. And because it was only the two of us we were able to go off and explore some places that we never took the time to because the girls wouldn't have much interest in these, antiques, gardens in the rain. Although when we were exploring we decided the girls might like some of them. We went to Cathedral of the Pines, it was rainy and wet but still sweet. No lines in the rain :) They lost a lot of trees in the ice storm a couple years ago. We picked up a Cats Meow of the Pines for Joey and Diane, they loved it. We stopped at a wine warehouse that we've passed a million times and found some good deals, we will definitely go there again (near Rite Aide in Templeton). And we stopped at Country Mischief which is somewhere I've wanted to go for as long as I can remember. Endless rooms and nooks full of antiques and treasures, we spent a long time there and had a nice lunch right there after we were done exploring. Very homey and unique. We also went to a hippie house that made pottery too, fun :) And we wandered through Lake Dennison as we usually do. This weekend there were two other Aliners there. The first one we came across was Tom and his Expedition, they were from Townsend maybe...Mike will remember. And Chuck had a double bed set up....can't remember the model. Because of the rain neither made it over to Otter River, but I'm sure we'll see them again. We decided we'd take the girls back to camp on site 87. It looked neat with a little camping area behind the site itself, a path to the lake and a little wooden bridge. Mike is going to take the girls up on their own trips with him during the weeks coming up while he is still home.
We admired the Mariah awning on Tom's unit and Chuck had an EZ-Up set up in front of his. We didn't bother with a tarp at all this weekend just being the two of us. So we came home yesterday and started looking at awnings a bit more and decided we are going to order a canvas tarp and install turn buckles on the outside frame of the Aliner and make our own. We already own great poles and ropes and this way we can make it our own. Tom liked his Mariah awning a lot but pointed out it did sag loosely and collected water in the outer corners. Chucks EZ-Up was nice, had a screen and all.....but he said it took 4x longer to set up than the Aliner itself. We're going for quick and easy here. And I gotta say this past weekend was the easiest camping I've done in a long time.....probably since my parents used to do all this work for me, lol.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June Update

Maybe I should change the title of the blog now that the camper is pretty much done? Not that these things are ever actually done, done anyway. Someone on the Yahoo Aliner group has a 2000 that they rebuilt the ceiling panels on. (link will only work if you're a member, sorry). Looks like something we could do down the road too. Their work is a good baseline, but I would change a couple add a layer of plywood, and use glue made for adhering foam to metal and plastic. But that is what's great about other people sharing their experiences online. I had contacted the factory about buying new panels, but at $1000 each (at least for the front....the back is probably fan, less windows) we're all set. We spent less than that doing the rest of the camper over. Our panels aren't that bad either, just a bit of delamination at the seams near the bubbles. Plus the new panels have a lot less windows, which might be good for less chance of leakage down the road, but I want windows. The windows are part of the reason it doesn't feel as small as it is.
I made Mike a little pouch to put his stuff in at night, glasses and so on. He said he wanted a pouch like in the tent, lol....he has a hidden cabinet under the side table this pouch is on. That's okay, a dollar ball of yarn and a couple of command hooks. I also crocheted a band with a button on the end of it to hang the paper towels off the wall lock over the sink (inspired by someone elses camper diy...sorry no pic yet). And I picked up this little shelf that is made to stick to the wall of a shower with suction cups. I got it off the clearance rack for $7 at Lowes and it fits perfect on the small triangle corner window. I'm going to put a little plant there when we're set up. Next week I will try to blog about the graphics we've been looking at and designing to replace the old tired and peeling graphics on the Aliner now.
Mike and I are going out to camp for the weekend alone. I don't think we've gone out alone since before we were married! Thanks to the simplicity of throwing the camper on the hitch and going, thank you very much. So later gators, hope you have the chance to get out there this weekend too!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Trip!

I'm not there yet :( but Mike is! And she looks right at home. Tomorrow at this time I'll be on my way, can not wait!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Systematic Website Documenting Our Work

Blogger is a great journal, but when you are looking for data and facts it can be a bit difficult to find your way around a blog. So I am in the process of putting things together in a more systematic way over here on a google site page. It's cleaner and various pages can be made. I plan on doing one page for the floor, one for cabinets, bungee replacement, curtains and so on. Of course I started with a background page and the flooring. Navigate through the sitemap and it should be much easier to find information, and less opinion and thinking out loud there.
There must be a way to make the site map itself show up in the sidebar, but for now you have to click on it. Hope this makes it easier for people looking for information.

Bed Lift Idea

I want to add this to "the list":

This is a Chalet, I think stock too. Right now we have the original boards from when the Aliner had a dinette where the permanent bed is now. It folds up okay, kinda hangs up a bit on the right side hinge. This looks a lot easier to deal with. I have two small shocks already. I doubt we'll need more than two as we are using an air mattress (that will be deflated for travel). Maybe next year?

5/27....I just found this bed lift option in a 2009 High Side Aliner on Danny's Campers website....I wish I lived closer to this place. I don't know if I like this yet, looks like it would be harder to get into the side compartments. I think I like the Chalet design better.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gearing Up for the Aliner's "Maidain" Voyage

Here's my list from a few weeks ago....

  • seal up any holes around gaslines.
  • coat bottom.
  • install one regular outlet.
  • install 12v plug.
  • replace upper foam weatherstripping.
  • fix any left over outside caulking.
  • replace broken vent (purchased already).
  • finish curtains.
  • install new curtain rods.
  • install cabinet door clasps.
  • install cabinet handles.
  • finish bed panel.
  • sell fridge (dometic rm 2310....$250 if you're looking).
  • celebrate and go camping!
I can deal with that! The left over caulking is very minor, probably over doing it when we get to it will do. Curtain rods, maybe today....probably tomorrow. And the door clasp can wait too. It's just one and I am packing clothes in that cabinet. The fridge is still available. I've had a couple people ask about it, no one follows through. Not really a biggie on my list anyway, someone will take it when they need it. Celebrate and go camping :) that's this weekend! Mike heads out Thursday with Deogee, we head out Friday. I hope Taylor will be okay about missing drivers ed Friday....I bet a lot will be out anyway. I can not wait to go camping, period, Aliner or not. But this trip will be special! I am "repacking" for the Aliner. I'd like to able to load her up and leave it, but some of tenting gear is going to have to be shared, plus the girls will be tenting. Some things will stay just for the Aliner....I do need to stop picking things up here and there though. Even I am getting tired of hearing myself say "this will look cute in the Aliner", lol.
Add to my list...take some finished pics!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Seems to be just about finished....not that these things ever are, but she's road worthy and camping worthy, so in my book that is finished. Mike undercoated the bottom the other weekend, and I've finished sewing the curtains. Two sets of curtains need to be installed, but that won't take more than 15 minutes. Mike also needs to add some screws to the outside lower edge that we had taken out when we were first trying to figure out how we were going to do the floor. There is one edge that needs weather stripping too. Okay, maybe it's not done, done....technically, lol. Yeah, like it's ever going to be?! It's little stuff. Either way I will try to take some pictures later today or more likely after I get the rest of the curtains in.
In two weeks we are taking to our home away from home, Otter River State Forest. It's going to be so nice to use it and enjoy all this hard work. It will be nice to be up off the ground (although I still plan on my fair share of tenting) and it will be nice to have the option of heat if it dips down below 40F at night. And it will be awesome if Alan and Sue make it out to camp too. I don't think they are camping, but I did shot them an email asking them to come out if they can.
Pictures later, promise.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Camp Inventory List 2010

This is really not Aliner related, but it is camping related....our list for 2010 (tenting it).

Monday, April 12, 2010


The original bungees weren't broken....yet, lol. Mike and Billy replaced them with some bungees they bought at Harbor Freight. I think I will ask him to write up the details. But they look great and the top opens nice and smooth. Not to fast, not to slow. The originals were glued in and caulked in with all different materials and where pretty sloppy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Aliner Icon

I just wanna see if this works....

Isn't that cute :)
Found it here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cabinet Update

I added the pictures to update 14, sorry they are dark I took them at night. Mike added the latches to keep the cabinets and drawers shut as well as the penny knobs that I picked up last year in the clearance pile at Lowes :) We took a trip to Harbor Freight last night and I picked up some great little LED lights that are magnet activated. So when you open the doors (release the magnet) the light comes on inside the cabinet. It is the little things, because I am tickled pink over this, lol. They were $2.50 each and I picked up 4. I also had a tap LED that I will put in the double cabinet. The magnetic ones would be hard to install in the double because the door opens from the middle of it and there just isn't anywhere to attach the light so it will be near the magnetic plate.
We are very motivated right now to finish things up. I have a few more curtains to make, but the doorway and the bubble windows are done now...just need to install the new rods. The big window over the sink curtains are pinned and ready to be sewn. Maybe today?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Update 14, 2010

The gas and water lines have been tested and are working! The water heater is working, although it's not shutting down once the water is hot enough. We shut it off after the water got hot and we checked the temp, it was over 140F. So we need to look into that. But otherwise, after all of Mike's hard work, it is together! It is so wonderful :)
Kenzie and Deogee slept in it last night in the front yard. The full size blow up mattress fits good and there is more room than I thought....maybe a queen will fit. I'll try it down the road.
Here is the to do list now:
  • seal up any holes around gaslines.
  • coat bottom.
  • install one regular outlet.
  • install 12v plug.
  • replace upper foam weatherstripping.
  • fix any left over outside caulking.
  • replace broken vent (purchased already).

  • finish curtains.
  • install new curtain rods.
  • install cabinet door clasps.
  • install cabinet handles.
  • finish bed panel.
  • sell fridge (dometic rm 2310....$250 if you're looking).
  • celebrate and go camping!
Maybe I missed something, probably....but this list is soooo much smaller than it was!
Check out the latest pictures in Update 14, 2010 on the right.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I'd like to get one of these......

Capacity. Holds 23 - 12 oz cans (18 Qts/17 L)

It would be just enough to hold a little something and keep insulin cold.

Spring has Sprung!

And we've dusted off the Aliner and are back to it. We pulled it out into the front yard and leveled it out for the final cabinet install, plus we are getting the driveway paved once things dry out a bit in the next couple weeks. I'm trying not to think of the grass I am killing, lol.
All in all she held up well over the winter, no signs of leaks at all. I'm glad I listened to the voices of experience on the Yahoo list and left it up all season. Although we almost forgot how to close it up. We did manage to close it and Mike went took off the broken bubble and picked one up at Mann's. I managed to break another one cleaning it, but it was already on it's way out, so we will need to grab another one.
I lost all my curtain tabs I so painfully removed from my old curtains. And the green curtains I cheaply made from sheets faded and look like something bad. The print ones on the triangle windows held up just fine, I just need to fix the tie backs but I knew that last year. I replaced my old tired sewing machine with a new Brother that I snagged at Target for 50% off and it works so much better. Mackenzie is learning how to sew too. So I picked up some actual fabric at Joanne's, a fraction of what I thought it would cost. A nice green, with a touch of teal and orange that may just end up as pillows. I pulled the colors from the print curtains that survived. But seeing I lost all my tabs, and I refuse to pay $10 a window for the curtain tape.....comes out to almost $70 with the door window too, so don't think I'm that cheap.....I needed another method (affordable) to hang the curtains. Mike came up with the idea to hang them and take care of hiding the unsightly holes from the old tracks. We got 1/2" wooden dowels from Lowes and white plastic dowel holders (I'm sure they are called something else, but they are perfect). We spray painted the dowels white. I am going to remove the old tracks, put a bit of caulking in the holes and then install the dowels so they lay over those holes. Mike is going to put wall anchor screws in so the screws can be removed more than once so the curtains can be washed or changed out without messing up the walls.
Mike put the last two cabinets in. The outside storage door will only be accessed from outside, which is what we want because we plan to store the jacks, chocks, and other outdoor needs in there. I need to add pictures later too because the counter top is made now also. We are going to put a stool in the open area where the cabinets meet. We were going to put shelving there, but agree a stool would be nice. He'll make a velcro strapping for it so it is secure during travel. He is also finishing off the side table, it is framed in and he will be putting a false bottom in for storage so the power converter is protected from being hit with stuff. The counter top is made for that too. And he put the fire extinguisher holder in under the seat on the door side. Perfect place for it.
Clearly Mike is motivated. I'm working on it, and should be the one hitting the floor running, but as long as one of us is moving we're both good. It is really coming together now, looks great. We went to the "RV" show in Worcester, which becomes more and more of a joke every year. Not sure why they wanna push the big rigs all the time. Popups and light trailers are priced a lot higher when you compare $/foot. Plus more and more people are driving lighter duty vehicles and are they really looking for these monsters? Maybe they know something I don't, but there were very few light trailers, all over priced, one popup and no Aliners. We're probably not going next year, plus it was free this year (coupon). It's nice to get ideas from other trailers, but they are really cheaply made with high stickers on them. Oh well.
The pictures from this update on on the right bar under the title "Update 13, 2010" (or here). I will add some more with the counter tops in later. Right now 4" of rain is predicted for the day, so maybe tomorrow.

(Notes: Going to paint the dark stain where the heater is and where the power converter is. I stained around the heater trying to match the end walls, and now I see it is way to dark and rather than trying to lighten it up and cause damage to anything I am just going to paint it. Picked up one of those little sample paints for $3 last night at to come.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Get Ready.......

Spring is here! At least on the calender and at least for this moment. It has been around 60 all week, normal for most parts of the country in the Spring....but here we usually still bracing for at least one more good storm. Maybe not this year? Shhhhh.... It will be over 70 tomorrow, the first day of Spring. I've been prepping all week doing an extra chore a night so I'm not stuck inside all weekend cleaning. Although the back yard is screaming for my attention and the flower beds despite being cleaned up a bit are still feeling neglected, I am working on the Aliner. I've been collecting trinkets and whatnots all winter. Yesterday I spotted a funky floral dustpan and broom at Ocean State Job Lots, something I could never carry off in the house, so I scooped that up for her too. I've gathered plastic kitchen ware and gadgets, pillows and linens, hooks and organizers, a blow up mattress, seam tape and other practical items even. I've also drove my family nuts all winter making comments whenever I basically see something a bit to unique for my practical home or something whimsy and outdoorsie ...."that would look good in the Aliner", like this thing was 15'x30' or something. Now I don't even have to say it, I just point and they say...."let me guess, that would look good in the Aliner?". Ha! I love New England and thrive on the change of season, letting every season motivate me to be something else because lets face it, I am not good at being just one thing. So I am done collecting and ready to get back to work. Those damn curtains need to be finished!! LOL, that was my one true winter project for this thing and I did not even touch it. Well I touched it, to move it out of view for the holidays, then to protect the fabric from dust from sitting around.....where are all those little clips I cut off of the old ones? I predict some searching and swearing tonight.
We are getting the main part of the driveway paved, not the side part where the Aliner is sitting....can't afford that much, nor do I want that much pavement in my corner of the world. It's just that with Billy with us and Taylor on her way to getting her license we are seriously running out of room to put all these things on Jeep, his truck, Billy's car, the utility trailer, the Aliner, the plow and now Taylor's Jeep. I feel like a hillbilly :( Oh yeah, and the motorcycle! The pavement will give a good surface to work on too. Although right now Mike just wants to sell it and says he's not camping in it, lol.
This weekend....curtains at night, so should be done with them already! ....clean up and access where we are at, what needs to get done, what we still need....any winter damage, I hope not! I know I want to get some plastic restorer that I learned about over the winter on the Yahoo list. Probably just get some headlight restorer. I wonder how much less or more abraive it is than rubbing compound? Maybe I'll throw that question out to the list. I def want to thumb through Dave (the old guys) blog too. But I should be working right off this for now. Just had to make note about Spring and my motivation....hope they are both still there when I get out of here!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Getting there.....

Spring is less than 2 weeks away! Daylight saving is next weekend! It's still (almost) light at 6pm and it was at least 55F outside today. The Aliner is good, I checked out the inside today and looks like it stayed nice and dry all Winter. The tire at the hitch is sunk into the driveway about halfway, but no biggie. I thought I had put a piece of wood under it, guess not. I did a lot of cleaning in the house today, some of it Spring cleaning because of the nice weather we had. Maybe I will get out there tomorrow and figure out were we left off.

Monday, February 15, 2010

An idea for the bad walls.......

The side walls near the bed are peeled up a bit. Here's a DIY idea to paint it to match the new panels we installed on the end caps. For now I'm not really to worried about it because pillows will cover the damage anyway.....but it would be easier to paint before the rest of the bed is installed.

Picture Route 66 (click on image, linked to site)

I found this online (click pic) and thought it was a pretty cool image....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

36 Days!

Until Spring! Yay! The days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer :) I haven't done too much, but I did pick up a few things. Got some plates and utensils. I got a mini-bonus at work and picked up those along with a new screen house, we needed that in general as ours was dry rot, ripped and old. It's a Coleman, looks a lot like our old one but we haven't set it up yet so I really don't have much to add as we all know that's were the opinion matters. I also picked up a new Coleman Extreme 90qt (maybe 70?) for $20 on Amazon. Wish that was what I had paid for our first one years ago....but glad to find the deal now.
I need to wonder into the camper and see how she's holding up. Pushed down to the end of the driveway kinda out of sight, out of mind :(
I also almost bought a bed set for it. It was a kids set with racoons, bears and so on it. It was cichey. I liked it, but it would've bugged Mike so I left it on the clearance rack at Walmart for some other kid (at heart). Besides with the few printed curtains and cushions I've got going on I guess I should do solids.
I'm thinking I may get the sewing machine out and work on these curtains tonight....maybe over the weekend? I don't know....I'm just using this space to think out loud for now. I wish it was warmer so we could finish this up.
Mike wants to sell it still. Ha! Ha!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

58 Days Until Spring...

Okay, motivation is starting to creep in. Days are getting longer, we booked our April camping vacation for a week in Myrtle Beach State Park (did this last Spring, Oh My God what an inspiration this beautiful green state is to a gray snowed in New Englander!), we've booked Memorial Day weekend at wonder Otter River State Park here at home and I am starting to see "things that would be great for the camper" in the, colorful, happy, outdoor-like type goodies. For instance at Target last night I found some plastic ware that was very cheap and matched my colorful taste. I picked up a set of 4 orange tumblers, 4 green cereal bowls and a couple teal flat bowls. Red plates would've been the icing on my cake, but oh well...I've got time to find what I am looking for and what I am willing to pay for. My loot cost me $4.50. Good enough, and motivating :)
There was a thread going on about colored screw covers and where to buy them online on the Aliner list, but as good Ol' Dave pointed out, just paint what you have...duh, of course....why start splurging now? After all I did paint my screw heads white for a very small fraction of what the pre painted ones cost.
I still have some curtains to finish sewing. I need to finish the other half of the green large straight panel that goes behind the sink and stuff. And I need to make the ones that go over the bubbles on either end. Those will be brown and I will do the bed end first, but honestly the bubbles are tinted and no one can see in the small ones and only in the back one if they tried real hard or it was open.
I am "trying" to sell the fridge. I started on the list, but only a couple people showed interest. One guy that was close enough but he has a different with the stove over the fridge, and another guy from FLA, who asked me how much I thought it would cost to UPS it to him. Seriously? This thing is heavy, maybe 70-80lbs? I didn't look it up, I don't think it would be worth it. Well it can be used in whatever RV or camper that has gas and 12v, so I'll put it on Craigslist once I feel like I am in the mood to deal with a ton of silly questions. Maybe eBay, local pick up only? Is it worth the trouble? I don't know if it is, but the space gained back in my basement will be. I've been working on trying to organize the basement and have been decluttering a lot. Not the camping gear, lol...but the fridge can go, we'll never use it and honestly I see no point in holding on to it just in case we ever sell the Aliner and someone wants the fridge too. But I guess these things can get pretty pricey because they are 3-way...gas, AC and DC. I just want it to go somewhere and get used rather than waste away. Besides with the great deal we got, lol, we need to pass on the savings.
Mike jokes about selling it once we are done, at least I think he is joking! With any joke it's only funny because it's at least somewhat true, ha! I don't want to at all. We've already put so much of ourselves into it and we know the old owners it just seems to part of the family in a way. Sounds silly I guess. But whatever, it's like how guys rebuild cars they become attached to the machine. I can relate.
She sits in the driveway now, up and covered in year I will wax it or something to keep the snow from sticking so well. There are two more small cabinets waiting in the basement to be installed. A partial sheet of formica sits against the wall in my bedroom (lol) for the counter top that will go across the tops of the smaller cabinets. Part of the platform for the bed (which will be an air mattress I got for a bargain on Cyber Monday) also sits in my room, against my dresser. Funny thing is I don't even see these things when I am in there, that is bad. The bed frame is pretty much framed out...I think....needs some stain work as does the rest of the framing around the wheel wells. The drain for the sink needs to be installed. The gas lines need to be leak checked and finished off. I want to get some scratch remover for plastic and buff out the bubbles. And I would love to get some of that stamped sheet metal to replace the rock guard, maybe a bit of the tax return could go there....maybe, not really a big deal. I have knobs to install on the doors and drawers, got them at Lowes on clearance for a penny each...and they are actually pretty. I need to get those little lock things though so they don't all fly open while we are traveling. A lot of little things. I should start on the curtains though. I can do that in my nice warm house. Right now it is 30F and there is 6 inches of snow on the ground.....but there is only 58 days left until the first day of Spring! And only another 30 days after that until our first trip of the season!!!

(PS. Just got back from a nice long weekend in Myrtle Beach and we hit the Coleman Outlet, the entire store was 40% off! So we got what was on our wish list...the 4 light in 1 LED lantern, which the regular price was $10 cheaper than up North to begin with and we also got a propane oven. The oven looks like a toaster oven on steroids. Our usual oven is one of those collapsible ones. The one we got is listed for $129 online! We paid $55! Plus got the case for it for another $12. )