Sunday, 22 January 2012

Back to Bare Basics

Last weekend we finally got ourselves two days in a row to get the roof lining and walls off so have been working hard! The plan was to get the rotten plywood off and any bad battens out of the wall and ceiling so we could replace it all ready for everything to go back on.

From previous investigations I had discovered that the best tools were my trusty hammer and chisel so I got started on a rather frosty Saturday morning (see the picture of the window right! >) while Ryan was at work and managed to get pretty much the whole ceiling layer of ply down, then got back to it again on Sunday with my aching arms and finished the walls too.
Me & my trusty hammer!
Peeling back the layers

After two days of wielding that heavy hammer I feel like I should have one arm like Popeye, arhg,hrh,hrrr!

As with anything we do, it took much longer than expected as there was a lot more damage than we had previously thought hidden away (see pics below), but all we can do is keep going and at least we'll know it's been done right so will last as long time.
Another composted batten!

The extent of the damp issue around the window.
The awning was attached to the side we needed to expose so we devised a rope system to safely catch it and lower it to the ground, all went well and we leant it against the van while Ryan toddled off into the garden to clear a space for it. Things suddenly got interesting when I was still inside ripping off the wall ply as I felt a peculiar rocking motion to the van and, naturally assuming it was someone rocking the van for a laugh (a regular occurrence with our friends!), glanced out of the window to see the scenery moving past! I scrambled to my feet screaming something at Ryan who wasn't in earshot just as the awning smashed into the ground, and rushed into the cab to jump on the brake pedal! At that point my heart was beating out of my chest and, (having a little adrenaline freak out!) I left Waki in the middle of the street and sprinted into the back garden to shout something I can't remember at a bewildered Ryan! :S Thankfully the awning seems to be mostly OK with just a couple of bent bolts, luckily no-one was driving passed at the time, and we stopped just before Ryan's car which was parked on the grass directly behind it!

Ryan helped get the roof beam cut back, and the battens out of the walls, though seemed to be finding way too many patches of daylight for my liking and we agreed that since I had mastered the chisel technique I should carry on with that (despite the complaints from my right bicep and shoulder!) and so he climbed back aboard the roof to investigate the leak issues at their source!

Ryan staring on the roof beam
The rot has now been cut out of the main roof beam, expanding foam sprayed in to fill the wavy edge and another strong beam capped on for support. All the wood we could get to we painted with a rot treatment for piece of mind. We've put in a new upright support post just behind the cab and sorted out the bow in the wall due to the sagging weight that was there when we got her. Ryan applied his expertise and used a hydraulic car jack with a piece of wood on top of the bed platform to take the roof weight while we worked! The side window was taken out so we could do the battens around it, though we didn't get to finish cleaning up around it to re-seal as we run out of time on Monday so we've just put a few of its clamps back on to hold it place for now.

Ryan's done a fantastic job and kept me going when I started stressing, (like I always do when things take longer than I want them to!) so thanks Ryan, I love you! xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

He Stole My Tinsel!

We were sat in the motorhome the other day discussing things as usual, when I noticed that the tinsel was gone at which point Ryan sheepishly admitted that he'd lost it!

"What do you mean you lost it? How?!"

Well it seems that if you drive along with the small triangular dash window open and a van overtakes you then it will of course create a difference in air pressure. So said van sped past and, before Ryan could catch it, sucked our length of tinsel clean out of the window to drift away and brighten the day of the following traffic! I didn't get mad at him, though I will miss my lovely tinsel and do feel very guilty about littering, just ended up in hysterical laughter at the mental image of Ryan waving his fist angrily at the van who stole his tinsel! XD

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Tinsel & the little lost bear we found in a cupboard!
Well we were far away from spending Christmas with Waki in the wilds somewhere this time, but hopefully that will be possible next year!

Still despite the state she's currently in (we did add a bit of tinsel so she wasn't completely left out!) we both sat and enjoyed a glass of wine for New Years inside and thought about all of the work we have yet to do. Daunting but exciting all the same!

We both got some lovely things for the 'home for Christmas, Ryan bought me the mosaic mirror I wanted to go in the shower room and his sister bought me a lovely sewing box as my old one was overflowing! My parents bought Ryan a good long extension lead which has already had a lot of use as we've disconnected the battery so we can take down the lights and wiring. Thanks everyone! :)

So far since our last post, Ryan's been working most weekends and having his day off during the week (when I'm working full time as well!) so we've not managed to get the walls down as yet. We need a good two straight days to get the rotten plywood off, insulate & then get the nice new ply on. It's so frustrating as I hate seeing it in such a mess inside and we're both itching to get it all finished, unfortunately we need to do the walls before we can do anything else! :S

So while Ryan is at work I've been unscrewing everything that is in the way of the walls or ceiling, and on his days off he's been sorting out some of the electrics and taking down the heavier items like the old rotten cupboard. I should have started counting the screws because there seems to be thousands of them! See below for the current mess:
The big window above the bed platform minus it's damp wallpaper
The very rotten part above the cupboards in the living space on the side that had the leak
Behind the beech panel to the back of the kitchen cupboards
We've also now acquired an extra leisure battery courtesy of my parents (thank you! x) as they had one spare from their caravan. We would like a total of 3 to be able to take charge from the solar panels and to last a decent length of time when nowhere near a hook up cable, so just 1 more to go - pity our birthdays are so far away now!