Our trip to Elkhart Indiana proved to be more valuable than we expected. It was short — we left Milwaukee about noon on Monday and returned home about 4 p.m. on Wednesday. That gave us enough time to visit multiple outlets from surplus parts houses to custom installers.
Over the winter we have been considering a variety of changes to Journey . Some were personal preferences, others were maintenance issues, still others were what we call “nice-to-haves” (things we don’t need but would be nice to have). We have seriously talked about replacing our Winnebago sofa and the purpose of the trip was to investigate replacement options. Being new to the RV world the question of what is available is a pretty big subject.
Also on our list of desirable changes was the subject of carpeting. With an 11 year old RV the carpeting was in decent shape for it’s age but that’s not the same as being in unqualified decent shape. This is one of those things that we talked about while we were RV’ing and came up a few times over the winter but we weren’t thinking about making any change right now.
Well…. all that is water under the damn now. We found our way over to Bradd and Hall — custom interiors installers and we bit the bullet. Boy did we bite it!
We found a sofa. It’s a Flexsteel frame with a fabric covering that will work well with the other coloring in the coach. The coach decor is strong on greens and browns, so we found a fabric that we think will work well with those tones.
I don’t think this fabric image is quite accurate. The fabric is a little darker and a little more on the green and less on the blue end of the spectrum but for illustration purposes until we have the installation complete it’s good enough. The sofa will still fold out for sleeping and we are quite happy with that part of the package.
The big news (even to us) is that we ended up committing to change the flooring in Journey in addition to getting the sofa. Charles @ Bradd and Hall took a lot of time with us to give us a once through the factory, showing us installations currently in progress as well as explaining the options we had for replacement. By the time we were all done we really knew what we wanted — but there was that little twinge about whether we wanted to spend the money at this time.
We left and saw some other sights — I’ll share about them in a later blog — and then we had lunch. By the time we finished eating it was pretty clear that we had made up our mind what to do. Hopping in the car we drove back over and made the deal and set the appointment.
So, on May 13th we show up in Elkhart again with Journey. We drop her off for 2 weeks and the Friday before Memorial Day she should be ready for pickup. Whether we collect her on Friday or wait until Tuesday after the holiday will be decided later.
The flooring is called “Scarlet Maple” and it’s made by Balterio. It’s funny, when you are considering interior design the rules have changed so much over the years. Matchey-matchey, or harmonious, or eclectic – it would seem that today just about everything goes. I think our choices will work out fine. The cabinetry in Journey is natural oak.
It’s going to be hard waiting until mid May for the install but Flexsteel needs time to build the sofa.
And the choice to begin the renovation on the 13th was predicated on a production schedule at Bradd & Hall that gets tighter and tighter as Spring turns into Summer. All those Snowbirds who have been South for the winter and are returning home with modification ideas will soon fill their schedule through the summer. So — it was a take-it-when-you-can-get-it sort of decision.
That gives us time to get the satellite antenna and a few minor maintenance repairs taken care of. For which reason we drove through Wauconda to stop at the Winnebago dealer there — one of the Camping World branches. We made an appointment for next Monday and with luck we’ll have her back a couple days later all kitted out with new antenna, another Maxx Air vent, and some little repairs.
This is turning out to be an expensive week but based on all the conversations we have had about how well Journey is filling our needs these are really the only big changes that have been on the table. It might be nice to have more space — but we are committed to staying small. It might be nice to have something newer but we can’t afford to go too far in that direction based on current coach costs — and on the positive side ours doesn’t have a lot of wear and tear on her. A newer coach might be in worse shape than ours. That’s a reality we were reminded of yesterday at Bradd & Hall when we toured one of their new flooring renovations in a coach NEWER than ours which has had water damage some significant deterioration that would not be easily discernible by a purchaser. The installers discovered it while they had the coach apart for the renovation.
Once the new purchases are installed I really see only maintenance issues — as opposed to improvements. RV refrigerators and water heaters wear out. All sorts of things get old and need replacing in time. I have no problems with doing regular maintenance; it’s our home — we want to take care of it. And in our entire life we have never really bought a property and then made significant changes to the physical structure. We usually buy what we like; we tend not to buy what we don’t like and then make huge changes.
I think we both have looked at the carpet from day one as a problem. Specially while we were camping. You can’t camp in a campground without tracking in dirt. The carpet being light as it was resulted in easily noticeable soiling. And getting the vacuum out regularly was the only solution. We’ll still need our vacuum; but we’ll also be able to damp mop the floor and keep it in pristine condition. I’m happy.
Now, what can I do to kill some time while I wait. 🙂