Thursday, November 5, 2009


Well, it took me a while to get back to this. And I still haven’t gotten all of the windows done, but I wanted to show the process.

HKwindows 001

This is one of the smaller windows in the Slide Out. A little tricky because of the overhead cabinet.

HKwindows 002

The valances are attached at the top with “L” brackets. These are offset which is good. I wasn’t sure at first if they had been put on before the cabinet or not. The bottom is attached to the walls directly with screws through the fabric.

HKwindows 003

Once the Valance is removed, then I had to remove the night shade. Actually, I just removed the screws at the top and left the bottom strings attached to the wall.

HKwindows 004

Here is the window without the dressing.

HKwindows 005

Here is the plastic film over the window before it was secured to the wall. On the other windows that I had done, I tried to stick the film to the metal frames, but the tape ended up pulling loose. So for this one, I decided to stick it to the wall. I hope that doesn’t turn out to be a big mistake.

HKwindows 006

A look at the plastic after it has been put in place.

HKwindows 007

Now, when you put this type of film up, following the directions they provide, you use a hair dryer to shrink it. The manufacturer had stick and brick homes in mind, and it didn’t really occur to me that the windows in the RV get very hot just like a car would.

So I believe that shrinking the plastic with the hair dryer is one step that should be skipped if you are doing this. Taping the film to the wall was no better than sticking it to the metal frame, because it has pulled loose also.

I have held off on doing the last few windows because we are still getting days that are warm enough to open them up and enjoy a breeze. But when I do them, I will skip the shrinking step and let the sun do it for me.

Until the next time…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Working On the Windows

I thought putting the plastic film over my windows would be quick and easy.
That's what I get for thinking.
After 6 hours I have gotten 4 windows done. Getting to them is the part that takes so much time.
It involves removing the "valance" and the day/night shades.
So I'll be working on the other 5 tomorrow, and I'll get some pictures to show the process.
But if it helps keep it warm in here this winter, it will be worth it.
The weather is going to be cooling off quickly in the next 4 days. Today the high was 84, by Monday it is only supposed to get up to the low 70's and down into the upper 40's at night.
Time to top off the propane tanks, too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All Seasons Rig? NOT!

When I went looking for a travel trailer to fulltime in back in December of 2007, I didn't have a clue what to get.
I lucked out and got a salesman who knows RVs and pointed me in the right direction.
We discussed where I was wanting to move to, and I have no desire to live anywhere north of Tennessee in the winter months.
Mark Gay of Camping World RV Sales in North Charleston, SC knew just the rig for me in the price range I was needing.
He set me up with a Springdale 28 ft 266RELL, and even though it is NOT designed for winter fulltime living, it has so far been great.
I am looking forward to many years of good use.

Here Comes the Cold Again.

Here it is almost Winter again, and I am still in the mountains of East Tennessee. A beautiful place to be sure, but not the ideal place to be stuck when the snow comes.

Last Winter we made it through without too much difficulty, but this year I am a little wiser and have been taking steps to prepare better.

The first thing I have done is to skirt the HermitKrab. Now, I considered several options to accomplish this from straw bales to foam board insulation, and some of that may get used yet.

What I really wanted, however, was something that could be removed and taken with me when I move on eventually. After investigating several websites for companies that make and sell custom skirting for RVs, I decided to make my own using tarps attached to the underside of the trailer with velcro fasteners. If nothing else, it will block the wind and hopefully provide some help with heat loss.

Also, last winter I found that trying to heat with the propane furnace was entirely too expensive. So I used 2 electric heaters instead. While it tripled my electric bill in the winter, it was still less cost and hassle than propane would have been. The only problem was the load it put on my 30 amp power supply and I had to be sure that each heater was plugged into a different circuit. Also I had to run 1 heater on low, and 1 on high. And still had to shut them both off temporarily in order to use the microwave oven.

So I have installed an electrical outlet with a direct connection to the 20 amp outside plug-in at the power pole. This should allow me to run 3 heaters without a problem.

We shall see.

Next on the agenda will be to insulate the windows that unfortunately, in this rig aren't double paned. This will be done with plastic film available at several big box outlets and home improvement centers.