A Very Busy Summer

If it seems like our posts have been a little spread apart this summer, you are correct in that observation.  Our plans for our time in Michigan this year included a few renovations with our rig and finishing up Diana’s mom’s business.  We also hoped to spend more time just enjoying Leelanau and sharing our discoveries here on exploRVistas. We did accomplish what we had planned, but there were a few obstacles thrown in to make life interesting.  Top that off with an extremely full resort and…well…there wasn’t much time for writing!  Things are settling down though, so here’s a summary of our past few months.

After spending the last half of April and the first week of May in Grand Rapids (doctor visits and working through Mom’s business), we headed north to Wild Cherry Resort near Lake Leelanau.  We knew that we had two renovations we wanted to get to this summer…new carpeting and a new kitchen countertop and sink.  Before I could get to either of those, Diana and I were looking at our entry steps, as there was a loose piece that needed some attention.  As we were inspecting them,  Diana noticed several cracks in our frame.  That lead to having quite a bit of welding done to our rig, something I covered in detail on our post, A Solid Foundation.  When I was finishing up that job, I noticed that one of our leaf springs was completely worn out.

That’s the new spring on top of the old one.  I purchased four new springs and, with the help of my neighbor Tom, we installed them in an afternoon.  It sure was nice having his help, along with the use of the resort’s tools!  Just about the time that job was completed, we were hit with a doozey of a hailstorm.

A solid 10 minutes of marble to golf ball sized hail.  Both of our vehicles sustained damage, along with all three of our slide room toppers.  Several people in the park lost all of their roof vents, but those of us with MaxxAir covers did just fine.  Unfortunately, my tonneau cover on the truck looked like someone had taken a ball peen hammer to it.  

Thank goodness our insurance covered it all. In the midst of getting the vehicles fixed, I decided that I’d better get going on the countertop, if I had any hope of getting it done this summer.  I used to make them for a living in a factory setting; this was going to require field work.  Fortunately the resort has a table saw in the barn.  Jim let me build the top there and I had it installed in short order.  

We are happy with the way it turned out!
As soon as that project was complete, we called a local flooring installer and started the process of having our carpeting replaced.  I had been worried about a soft spot in our floor that I wanted to fix, so I told him I would remove the old carpeting.  Upon doing so, I noticed that the RV manufacturer had cut a hole in a perfectly good, one-piece subfloor.

Not sure why they did that, but they evidently thought that putting a hundred staples around the edge would hold it in place.  The portion over the heat duct had nothing supporting it.  I removed the board and built a support structure below it with square aluminum tubing.  After re-mounting the board, the repair was as solid as the rest of the floor.  Problem solved.

The carpet installation process took a week, as the installer had to subcontract the binding on the edges that hang off the slide rooms.  That meant cramming our vehicles full of the stuff that normally was in our rig.  We kept the Escape driveable, but the truck was completely packed. Jim let us store our loveseat and dinette on a utility trailer in the barn, which was a huge help.

Again, we were really pleased with the results!  Nothing like soft carpeting between your toes!  😀

So while it’s been a busy time, it’s been a great summer in Leelanau.  Autumn is fast approaching, and there are several things we would like to do before we leave.  Stay tuned to see what’s next!

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16 thoughts on “A Very Busy Summer”

  1. You guys really have selected a great place to spend your summers! I’ve enjoyed all the information passed along about the area.

    I don’t recall ever reading about your trailer/truck selection. I’d appreciate hearing about what were your considerations in selecting the rig.

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are several factors, Mark. I’m over 6 feet tall and I like the headroom a fifth wheel offers. When we bought it in 2011, we were still working, so we also liked the desk. The rig has double pane windows and better cabinetry than most. I was happy to find out that our frame has extra gussets welded in areas that most most mid-range trailers don’t have…and even though that didn’t play into the purchase, it will in the future. We didn’t want a new rig, as the lower purchase price allowed for making it ‘our own’…with plenty of money to spare.

      As far as the truck….well, I’m a Ford guy. Born in Detroit and raised 3 miles from Ford HQ. I’ve owned a few Chevys in my day, but mostly Fords. We have a F-350 single rear wheel diesel…enough truck for our rig. Anything bigger and we would opt for a dually. Again, we bought it gently used and saved a bundle. We kept Diana’s Escape after talking to Howard and Linda Payne about it (Linda said “You already own it. Try driving separate and see if you like it. You can always sell it if you don’t.”). So far, we like having it and we’ve found it to be a wash, cost wise.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That was quite a hail storm you had in that area. Glad insurance covered all the repairs:) How nice that you were able to make your own new counter top! We didn’t get a photo, though! Love the new carpet and color. A very productive summer for you two:)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Love it! We have a light colored counter top and I am glad we do because it hides marks:) I so want to switch out our white sink for stainless steel. The white is impossible to keep clean. Nice work, Jim:) Thanks for the photos:)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re certainly in a great spot for getting projects done with a shop and extra tools! Everything looks great, and I know it feels wonderful having it all done before you are on the road again. Can’t believe how big that hail was!! Good thing you took a picture of it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you ever see the video I posted on Facebook showing the hailstorm? I think it was July 8, if I remember correctly. We were inside the office at the resort, and the building has a metal roof. It was crazy how loud it was, Jodee!

      It sure has been nice that Jim has let us use the resort facilities to get things done.

      Like

  4. Love the new countertop. nice job.

    Why manufacturers do some of the things the do — like cutting holes in a perfectly good piece of material — is beyond me. There must be some secret mystic wisdom that belongs in the 4th or 5th or 16th dimension cuz it sure doesn’t work here, does it!

    The one nice thing about a fiver is the relative simplicity of the flooring and slides. Your guy did a beautiful job. One of these days we’ll figure out what we want to do with ours. a one week job would be wonderful but not gonna happen with our rig. sigh

    Liked by 1 person

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