Getting Ready…

time has come

If you read my other posts: Searching for my new home – Part ISearching for My New Home – Part II and Searching for my new home – Part III you will remember all the “mistakes” I made when purchasing the van.

After buying new tires, floor mats, making window coverings, paying the sales taxes, getting the license and adding a few personal touches I start to feel better about my purchase.  The only thing bothering me was that darn #2 glow plug.  Not knowing how important it is to have all your glow plugs warming properly, I contacted Dennis at LinDen Engineering in Golden to get his opinion.  He was familiar with the van and the problem and thought he might be able to release and replace the stuck plug without taking the whole thing apart.

Last October, with the help of my brother Alan (aka Soap), my niece Mariah and her boyfriend Javier,  Katrina made her way to the “doctor” in Golden. About a month later Dr. Dennis gave me the sad news that the engine had to be pulled so they could rectify the problem.  Yikes!

When you find yourself deep in the guts of an engine, there are a lot of other pieces and parts that need to be replaced or repaired just so you can get Humpty Dumpty back together again.  I emerged about $5,000 later with a fine-running engine and a little more confidence in my purchase.

Thinking to myself: Does throwing money at something build confidence? If so, I am in training for the consumer-of-the-year Olympics!  “Look at her build that buying muscle! Yes, and there she goes with the internet-purchase dash as she thinks of other options to make her life more confident.  What an athlete!!”

A few weeks ago it occurred to me that it might be nice to have an exterior electrical outlet on the van so I don’t have to run an extension cord out the window.  Katrina has a 100W solar system, but being able to access grid power has a certain appeal (read: confidence).  My friend Jeanne’ told me about the guys at DJ Custom Restorations, Dennis and John, in El Jebel. They don’t normally mess with vans because their specialty is renovating vintage trailers, but they agreed to help out.

Had I seen one of these beauties last year, I might be writing a different story today.

These little units have been redone from the trailer hitch to the distinctive dormer on the tailend.  They are for sale.  If you are interested in more information, leave a comment and I’ll put you in touch with the owners.

Next project: shade.  I decided to make a shade structure myself rather than spend a couple grand on a regular awning.  I consulted my guru, Bob Wells at Cheap RV , and decided to try a 10’X16′  light-weight shade cloth from Amazon.  It sounded like a good idea at the time……


A trip to Greeley gave me the perfect opportunity to try my idea.  I am grateful that I can always count on my family to jump in and lend a hand!  The young man on the left is my dad with brother Soap and friend Sue looking on.  We are scratching our heads trying to figure out how to manage this monster.  Oh boy, will I ever learn??

Sometimes stepping away from a conundrum can give you a new perspective.  After putting the ladder and shade cloth away, bro and I talked about options: (1) buying a different size sail (2) using a Happy Summer Beach Tent or (3) give up and use this cloth as a door mat. Eventually it dawned on me that it might work to fold the cloth in half so it would fit the van, be more manageable and give twice the shade power. Sort of half-heartedly, Soap asked if I wanted to give it a try.  I’m really happy we did because I think we found the solution!  YaY!

shade 2

OK.  One last little project then it is time to pack the van.  I’ve been mulling over ideas for a closet.  I thought it might be a great way to utilize some space and keep things organized.  Thanks to Pinterest I came up with another brilliant idea – and the Helpful Hardware man at Ace Hardware in Glenwood helped me configure it and sold me the goods. It took most of the day, but I like the results.

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Done!  Easy-peasy! Ready to pack – I’m so excited! 

But wait… Katrina’s check engine light just came on! What the _____????????  Stay tuned by following  the adventure.

If you find yourself in need of some confidence building, please use the Amazon link below to make your purchase(s).  I am an Amazon Affiliate Member and every item you purchase nets me a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Here are a few things I’ve purchased during training:

Hitch step
Multi-use pressure cooker
Ball bungee cords

4 Comments on “Getting Ready…

  1. Here goes nothing – ready to rock and roll !! Love you sister swampper !!!!


  2. Good story, I remember step by step, oh no!!!! Check engine light WTF,I can’t wait for the next blog


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