Category: mysmallcaravan (Page 2 of 14)

Headline Act

Due to my genetic predisposition, I have to fight hard against the urge to throw nothing away and to not disturb things that have been in place for over, say, about thirty years or so. Which is why this morning, daring only to challenge my genetic predisposition to a minor duel, I began oh-so-carefully removing the headliner Of My Caravan.

The headliner, in case you don’t know, is the same as that material that emulates leather (or cheap vinyl) on the roof of your car. It provides an aesthetic alternative to bare metal – or in this case, bare translucent fibreglass. After some discussion yesterday, M and I decided that, after carefully preserving it this long – It Had To Go.

It was kind of skanky, stopped access to the wiring, and we had seen a few good examples over at vintagecaravans.com which demonstrated how the lining could be done with plywood. It requires the addition of some extra cupboards, but I think it will look cleaner – AND I will able to put some insulation between it and the roof.

Also M will be able to straighten out some of the lumps and bumps in the roof. So it really did have to go. I poked delicately for an hour, and then just attacked with my Stanely knife. Sorry headliner. I did a few hours of sanding as penance. And now I am buggered. To bed.

Sunliner and Spring!

Yesterday, while I worked and my mum minded PartyPie, M cleared out his shed and did three trips to the tip. At thirty bucks a pop. The cost of it made my buttocks clench with revulsion – one good thing about living in Hervey Bay or Gippsland, is that the tips were CHEAP goddamnit. But I’m getting off track. Excuse my bile.

He was cleaning up to get everything neat as he will not be in the shed for a while. He will be spending a few weeks working on… MY CARAVAN!! He is determined to get it sorted for summer. I am feeling mixed about this – on one hand I am so jubilant that it’s going to get sorted, but on the other hand, I feel very bad that the caravan is my excellent possession but M is having to work on it. Basically I am an idiot for buying it, but it was unavoidable at $202.00 or whatever it was.

Anyway, he dragged it out from under the carport this morning, where it almost immediately got rained on (it’s now covered in a tarp looking like a big blue egg). I have told him that no Christmas presents are required from him for five years.

A project re-started


M has been busting his guts on my caravan for the past few months. He has been doing quite a lot of nights and lots of days – when he hasn’t been having to be primary PartyPie carer while I’ve been working three days a week. It has been a pretty full on time. I hasten to point out that although the sleeping situation is, in two words UTTER CRAP, the rest of our lives are pretty peachy. (I am trying to not be relentlessly negative – and it’s easy to do whenever I look at my CARAVAN!) 🙂

Working on the Sunliner at night
Working on the Sunliner at night

M has been working to a tight deadline, and it’s a good one! D&E were very proactive about the Maldon Folk Festival this year, and bought us all earlybird tickets. Frighteningly organised!! We went back in 2005 and again in 2006. Last year I was officially a minke whale, and although I still went camping around the same time for Mung’s birthday, I was not festival-ready.

M is now endeavouring to make us more than festival-ready – he has taken on a massive task to make us SUMMER ready. Although we have our beautiful little trimaran moored in the creek (and we haven’t been using it hardly at all – but soon that will change) it is subject to tides as to when we can take it out. With the caravan, we can just have it all set up and ready to go. The other thing about it that we got very excited about the other day, is that it will be our parent escape!

Trailer living with a baby who has sleep issues means that we try to be careful (to a point) about how noisy we are in the land of faux wood walls. If it has taken ages to get her to sleep, there is no way I am going to try and wash dishes in the kitchen that is the other side of the thinnest wall in the world to her head. But. BUT! Soon, M and I will be able to lounge about in the caravan, speak to each other at a normal volume and clank our cutlery throughout dinner. The caravan will be more than transportable holiday accommodation – it will be a sanity saver – and, most importantly 😉 it will look TOTALLY sexy at the same time!

Poised for treatment
The undercoat!!!

So yesterday the undercoat went on, and man…the little ugly grey bubble is transformed. There are a lot of little pinholes all over it that M has diligently been filling and will have to sand back. The topcoat is scheduled to be sprayed on Thursday. I pray to god I’ve chosen the right creamy colour. My jobs are to find the window rubbers, aluminium stripping for the table and bench, foam for the dinette cushions/bed and find the right design of stripe for the outside decoration – in Humber blue, naturally. Oh, and flyscreen for the door…

Bunnings. I am agog.

Yesterday I went to Dandenong to get the foam for the caravan dinette. Honestly. If you ever need foam, go to this place. They were super helpful, did not think I was a freak for lying on all their foam on the floor of the warehouse and cut the piece into four bits to our specifications. And I got a discount because they didn’t have enough of the kind I was going to get – so I got the next best one, for considerably cheaper. Woo!

Then I went to the caravan shop. As is becoming wearyingly predictable when M sends me out to get things (as my name is on the credit card of evil and his is not) I told the bloke (it’s almost always a bloke) what I needed. Clearance lights for the sides of my caravan. This is what the ‘trailer pack’ on the VicRoads site said I needed. Did I think I needed to do more research? Or did I think that the VicRoads ‘trailer pack’ which tells me what my caravan has to have in order to be registered would cover it? I thought the latter. I am stupid. Apparently.

So we’re hunting for clearance lights that I don’t hate. I keep saying my caravan is tiny, do I really need them? Some other bloke tells me I need TWO on each side. Sigh. So I find one I think will be good. The first bloke finds me a matching one. I buy two metres of extra wire, just in case M needs it. I continue on my way feeling very competent.

I go to Bunnings in Cranbourne. OH. MY. GOD. I find what I need (flyscreen for caravan door). There is a Bunnings lady standing right nearby. She cuts me what I require. I am pale with shock that this has not taken at least half an hour. Then I ask her, high on hope, whether Bunnings might have that wire stuff that holds up caravan curtains – because if M solves the mystery of the windows…we might need curtains.

Get this. She tells me yes. She tells me what aisle. She tells me where in the aisle. I almost applaud. This has never, ever happened to me in a Bunnings before. Last time I was there it took me fifty minutes to find someone to cut me some timber and then he told me that the extra stuff I needed wouldn’t be in until Monday. I then found it in the building supplies aisle. I could go on about how then it wouldn’t fit in the car and I had to buy rope which took another fifteen minutes and then all the fumes came into the car and started to axphyxiate Small Z and myself and how I had all the windows open and Small Z was very scared and how I had to stop on the highway and hide all the wood behind a ‘for sale’ sign and drive myself and the baby home where I handed her gently to M and went and kicked many things very very hard while screaming for a very very long time. But if I told you that, it would take waaaay too long, but it would go some way to explaining my Bunnings incredulity of yesterday morning. If only it was like that every time I had to go there…

I finally made it home, feeling smug and together. I had everything on my list except the window rubbers and the aluminium trimming strip for the table and bench, because those places didn’t open on Saturdays. M, I realised later, looked reticent at my composure. He went through my bag of stuff.
“What,” he said, holding up the clearance lights, “Are these?”

“They’re my clearance lights. Amber at one end, red at the other. LEDs.”

“It says they’re red rear lights.”



My being – the actual inside bit of my inside bits – started a slow loop. Every. Single. Time. I have tried to get things for this FUCKING caravan I get at least one thing wrong. Actually, the people in the shops either DON’T give me what they say they are going to or they give me the wrong thing. My problem is that I assume they know more than me. I NEVER CHECK. WHY DO I NEVER CHECK? [beats self around head with large and heavy object]

The lights were wrong. Then M had a go at me because I should have done more research about what is required. He looked further into the VicRoads site, and it seems that I might not need clearance lights after all. I might not have even needed to bother with INDICATOR lights, such is the age and smallness of the caravan. So tomorrow M has to go back to Dandenong. Again. And this time to wrangle with the bloody caravan shop. I really hope I have learnt my lesson. Stop assuming. DOUBLE DOUBLE check. Gah. And the extra wire? M thought it was a joke. Apparently he needed more like 12 metres rather than two. Double DOUBLE gah.

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