Hey, Aaron here.

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So my wife has had a life long dream of owning her own book store. I embraced her passion and took it on as my own. Now the difficult part of this is I am not an avid reader of books. Where does this leave me? A supportive husband with a shared passion. Over the course of time we slowly planned and dreamed about what we would like our bookstore to be comprised of: a rustic yet modern appeal, homey but not like your grandmother's house. somewhere you could go and feel like you are outside yet still secluded in your own world. We gathered all these thoughts but didn't really have a sure plan.

An opportunity came to us to purchase an RV my grandmother had recently acquired. Suddenly it clicked. To achieve everything we wanted we could simply put our ideas for our bookstore into this mobile vehicle. Knowing nothing about RVs,  and on an impulse, we got a small loan and bought the 1979 Chrysler Beast. 31 feet long and a lovely fading cream and green in color, this vehicle was at its prime.

After its purchase we parked it at my parents house. At the time we had a basic idea of what we wanted to do with it and how its layout will look like. We still do but nothing is set in stone. And that is the whole thrill of it and probably some of the reason this project is taking longer than expected.

To start, we just started ripping out everything we could see because its all green carpet and pink curtains and dark brown cabinets..its an 80's mess. I wish now I would have slowed down a bit on my end of the demo. I would have taken into account some of the original aspects I now would have liked to keep. (Though when we are finished, I will have added a flare of its time to commemorate its soul)

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We haven't yet decided to keep a bathroom in it yet, so I haven't taken out the toilet, and we haven't removed the cockpit. We started by tearing out the larger items like the cabinets and other storage areas, beds, tables, a few walls. Once the larger of the items were out we had a giant pile of old appliances and torn up particle board and glass. Luckily a lot of this we could burn, so we gradually added this to a burn pile, that luckily was nearby. Unfortunately everything but the refrigerator and the floor heaters were not salvageable so dad and I took it to the local dump and got rid of it. Now after we were finished getting everything big out we focused on tearing up the carpet (and the thousands of staples that came with tearing it up) It has been my least favorite aspect of all this so far.

We were hoping to salvage more out of the demolition than we did, but hopefully we can make up for that by using re-purposed wood and other materials from local sources. I also had the idea to run this RV off the grid using solar, so I tore out a lot of the old rotting wiring from the outdated fixtures and other devices that are to be replaced.

Now is the start of a new year and spring is right around the corner. The RV stands as a bare empty canvas awaiting a makeover. But I can't start constructing our dream just yet, there is so much to do! I have watched countless hours watching  conversions of RVs. Whether it's a food truck, or people living off the grid in their camper or cabin, and solar set ups. I am not an expert yet on any of this, but soon I will have the know how on all of this.

To Be Continued: The Next Phase

The Deconstruction, Part I

This has been my least favorite stage. We started by taking down doors and cabinets. It felt cluttered and chaotic. Like someone had just trashed the RV looking for expensive things to steal. Our initial plan had been to reuse as much as possible, to repurpose it, and ultimately save some cash. But as we went along, more and more was thrown out. "That piece is particle board. This one is rusted. And I don't even know what this is."

Early on I came across a dead creature and its nest. It had been living underneath the bed. Oh dear. Soon a hornet moved in to the ceiling area. To this day I haven't been able to get it out.   Or maybe it's just different hornets coming and going as they please. Either way you will hear at least one person scream per work day. And we have had a delay with removing the cabinets above the driver's seat when Aaron's arm broke out in a rash. 

We recruited my nephew to help us. He has been a huge blessing to us. I think he secretly likes destroying things. Tell him to tear down a wall and he goes at it like a bear is attacking him. His methods have led to some minor injuries but ultimately he shrugs it off and gets back to it. Thanks to him, a wall was removed and the shower ripped out.

Don't mind Aaron's face. He had probably just hit himself with a hammer or knocked his knees against a random object.

We have had to strip it down to the insulation.

The only parts that remain are the cockpit, and the toilet and storage closet. This whole process has been very slow with us only working 2-3 days a month. 

Next: The Descontruction, Part II: The Dreaded Cockpit.

The Executive

Let's talk about this RV. It's a thing of real beauty. A 1979 Executive Motorhome. As you can see, it's straight from the 1970s. Floral fabric, green carpet with hints of an orange carpet underneath, and brown cabinets.  First impressions? Dark, crowded, old, lots of carpet.

Aaron and I have no experience with RVs or remodeling anything on wheels. Everything we find and encounter will be followed with furious googling and phone calls to friends and family. 

Our goal from the beginning was to take everything out. Literally everything you see. We want to start with a blank slate. There is plenty of space and potential in this vehicle. The most difficult obstacle is the age of the vehicle. Even taking it down to the studs, those studs are going to be really old. We are taking a risk with using something this old and worn. I will describe in more detail in another post what we have come across in the deconstructing of the RV.

Looking at these pictures now, after we have begun the deconstructing process, I wonder how I even knew this would work. Ha! So much of what you see here is gone. I'm excited to show you but I'm going to hold off. 

Coming Up: The Deconstruction