Monday, May 18, 2015

Moving Forward with Wanda's Makeover

One of the most valuable life lessons I've learned since embarking on this adventure with Wanda is the importance of setting concrete goals. When you're faced with a seemingly overwhelming task, you must pare away all distractions and set your sights on one attainable goal at a time. Otherwise, nothing will ever get done. Once you've set your goal, you have to make a realistic and detailed To Do List and stick to it. As you check each item of the list, you will physically see yourself getting closer to your goal. This, in turn, will keep you motivated to attack the rest of the tasks on the list, and before you know it, you'll reach your original goal. Right now, my sights are set on getting Wanda roadworthy in time for a flea market in August.

Some of the items on our current To Do List are super fun, like selecting the fabric to recover the seat cushions in the camper. That's what I am all about right now. My partner, Sue, found nine fabric options that fit our bill, and she shared them with me this weekend. I narrowed the original nine suggestions down to the following four:

The Final Four

Our design goal is to retain Wanda's exterior in its present condition and coordinate the interior to flow with the original color scheme and vibe of the outside of the camper. This fabric choice is a big deal because there are not a lot of decorating opportunities in a 16' x 8' space, so I really want to get this one right. Over the weekend, we posted the final four fabric options online to get feedback, and the results were mixed. Lots of people suggested #3 as an obvious match for the outside of the trailer, and there were many votes for #1 because it would brighten up the small interior space. I considered everybody's suggestions carefully, but ultimately took vintage travel trailer enthusiast, David Quesada's, advice and went with what makes me happy. Without any further ado, meet the winner of The Final Four Fabric Competition, and the pattern that will cover Wanda's seat cushions for years to come:

As far as I am concerned, this fabric pattern is a win-win-win. I LOVE it! It was also the pattern that all three of my teenaged daughters liked the best. AND, it will hold up well under all the traffic that we hope to generate once Wanda is open for business.

The winner is Solarium Inessa Carmel

Cushions, fabric patterns, and decorating are in my wheelhouse. I love design elements, and I like thinking about that kind of stuff, so picking the cushion fabric was fun for me. Trailer hitches, transmission coolers, break control modules, and load leveling shocks, on the other hand, are about as far out of my wheelhouse as you can get. I am completely out of my league when it comes to mechanicals. God bless my husband, Andy, for taking on the challenge of getting our Dodge Caravan prepared to tow Wanda. He found a mechanic who is going to do the work on the van, researched everything we need to make it tow-ready, and ordered all the parts at the best price he could find online. (Apparently, a lot goes into preparing a vehicle to tow a camper.) I am happy to report that all the packages have been delivered from Amazon, and the mechanic is ready to get to work. 
There's all this stuff...

And this stuff...
If all goes well, our van will be retrofitted for towing by the weekend, and we'll be taking Wanda to our summer place at the Jersey shore where we will start work on this project. 

Range, Range, Go Away...
We are trying to decide if we should replace this grungy range with a new gas stove or change the space into additional countertops and use an electric hot plate on induction cooktop for the minimal cooking we will probably do. I am pulling for an electric or induction cooktop, because I want the extra display space for when Wanda is in shop mode. Having that space as a counter would also get rid of that awful range hood and give us a spot to put a TV for when Wanda is in relaxation mode. My husband is in favor of replacing the old gas range with a new one to avoid electrical issues. He's also thinking ahead to longer camping trips when cooking would be more practical and economical. I am going to reach out to some other camper owners for their opinion on the electrical load the electric devices would add when the AC is running in the camper. If it turns out that we can cook on an electric device with the AC on, that eye sore of a stove will be gone this weekend and our new countertops will be started. If not, we'll be looking for a small new gas range and a cute cover. Either way, the mess that is in there now has got to go!

Stay tuned for pictures and updates from the kitchen renovation. Thanks for following our progress with Wanda and our vintage mobile sales adventure. I hope you learn something useful, and enjoy hearing about our experience. Please follow this blog to hear about all the amazing vintage resale venues we plan to visit, and all the important business (life) lessons we are sure to learn along the way.

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