repair camper-roof part 3
May 7th, 2016 by Off The Grid

Today’s video episode of the Off The Grid Podcast ventures back up the ladder to the top of the camper. I was at it again working on repairing the off grid camper roof trying to keep the rain out. If you have been following along the last two videos I removed the heavy caked up layer of old tar and then applied a few new layers! First it took one good day to remove all of the old crusty curled up tar from this old vintage Coachmen camper roof. Then I put about a 3 gallon bucket worth of tar along any seams or holes with a trowel. Next up after getting down to the galvanized metal I rolled rubberized “stuff” on the roof as a base. In case you missed it please check out Episode 115 to watch PART 1 and also Episode 117 to see PART 2 of this video series on repairing the off grid camper roof. As always thanks for watching!

 

Video Post notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: One more time.. “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining!”
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Be social & Connect on Facebook, subscribe YouTube, or send me an email through the Contact page!
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.

Posted in Podcast, Videos Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

fixing camper roof video
April 29th, 2016 by Off The Grid

Last week in episode 115 of the Off The Grid Podcast I posted PART 1 of this 3 part video series of fixing the camper roof. Today for your viewing pleasure we look back to last year once again as I was working at repairing the off grid camper roof. As you can tell this really is an old camper. The 78 Coachmen is indeed a classic and an antique.. although it has obviously seen better days. lol None the less these video episodes of the podcast show you just what a journey it has been on my way from the suburbs to living off the grid. The old Coachmen was well build and the saying “they don’t make them like they used to” is very true in this case. Despite being almost 40 years old the pull behind camper was in decent shape for its age. The roof still needed to be replaced though. Anyway please watch the video if you have not already and if you have questions, comments, or ideas please feel free to email me! Thank you for listening and watching the videos! 🙂

 

Video Post notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining! 🙂
  • In case you missed it check out the Video for PART 1 in Episode 115 of the Podcast.
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Be social & Connect on Facebook, subscribe YouTube, or send me an email through the Contact page!
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.

Posted in Podcast, Videos Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

repair off grid camper roof
April 22nd, 2016 by Off The Grid

If you like taking on a good DIY project then today’s video edition of the Off The Grid Podcast is right up your ally. Last summer I was facing the biggest fixer upper repair project I have ever taken on. Have you ever bit off more than you could chew so to speak? Have you every taken on more of a fixer upper project than you anticipated? Then welcome to my world! lol After finally getting the off grid camper out here the first logical repair seemed to be the roof of the camper. There was no sense in fixing or replacing anything else in this antique coachmen pull behind camper unless the roof kept things dry. When I started all of this last year on my journey to living off grid I had no idea just how much work was ahead of me. Today’s video episode of the podcast should give you some idea as to what its like with one of these old camper roofs in need of repair.

 

Video Post notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining!
  • Like to watch videos about off grid living? Please connect and subscribe to my new channel on YouTube.
  • If you want to be part of the conversation say hello on Zello! Search for Off The Grid Podcast channel.
  • Be social & Connect on Facebook, subscribe YouTube, or send me an email through the Contact page!
  • Get The Off Grid Podcast on the go with iTunes and Stitcher. Please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.

Posted in Podcast, Videos Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

working on camper floor edges
September 14th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Good morning, good day, and good evening to everyone tuning into the Off Grid Podcast! Today I was at it again working in the camper with a dremel tool in hand. Mother nature threw me a curve ball though because when I woke up there were two wasps flying around inside my “tiny off grid home”. lol No mater what the weather nor curious insects that come to explore this strange new zoo in their neck of the woods (my camper) will keep me from making progress out here because winter is coming. So with my dremel tool, a pair of sunglasses, and a marker I was cutting some of the trim to add finishing touches to the new camper floor. The trim was about a 1 inch by 1 inch piece of working on camper floor edges 1aluminum angle iron made for covering the edge of stairs and doorways. I was happy with the new addition to the off grid project and the camper was starting to look better every day.

Despite the rare distractions of stinging insects and not always having the right tools for the repair job things always seem to work out. As far as I know I’m not allergic to bees / wasps but I was not taking chances. One wasp seemed to be fascinated by the central roof vent so that one was clear of my work area. The other one was lounging around in the back bathroom screen window. I was utilizing my time working on the DIY camper project up toward the front of the camper. Everybody was happy and we all had our space! lol Well the morning flew like time does out here off the grid and it was time for me to go. Yup.. one thing you must do out here in a camper with no AC is keep an eye on the temp. The thermometer hit 87 degrees so it was time to be smart in the hot humid summer heat by going into work. 🙂 All in all it was a good morning and with the couple distractions mother nature had in store I was still making progress. Things were going in a positive direction and the simple life off the grid is a happy one.

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: Sometimes you need to keep working even if things aren’t perfect to get the job done.
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please post and share them here or Contact me!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please tell a friend about the podcast 🙂

Posted in Podcast Tagged with: , , , , , ,

repair camper floor
September 8th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Finally the day had arrived to repair the off grid camper floor! My cousin Jason and I were out there off the grid on a nice summer day gutting the poor frame work from about a month earlier. We were finally getting to repairing the skeleton of a floor where bare metal and insulation had been mocking me for about a month now. If you remember back in June I had an extremely frustrating weekend with some contractors bad camper framing floorin the camper (Off The Grid Podcast Episode 31). We got started late in the morning with the sun going easy on us. Normally most summer days here in VA can be dangerously hot and humid. I checked the thermostat reading 89 degrees inside the camper but fortunately for us the humidity was low and the breeze aided the fan.

We went to work clearing out the hacked up wood, old insulation, and remnants to make way for the new floor. Then Jason took some measurements and planned out the best way to replace the framing for the camper floor. We had a lot of fun on this little diy off grid camper project. As you can hear my cousin has a good sense of humor! lol The fan going in the background kept good airflow going and made a big repair camper floordifference. I found a small DC powered handy-vac that worked great.. it just had to be emptied a lot! lol With the camper door open most of the time so we could go in and out of the camper the bugs found their way inside. A couple of bees, flies, and a few mosquito made their way to the excitement here in the off grid camper. Measure twice and cut once! If your building a one mile road by the time you get to the end your minor measurement can be way off so do it right the first time. 🙂

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining”

the best time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.. or in this case the floor! After about two hours of removing the old framing, cleaning, and cutting the first 2X2s we started putting the new flooring back into the close to 40 year old camper. Time flew as the excitement of a new floor quickly started to take shape. The anticipation was kind of like Christmas! lol For the last month I had a single 2 foot by 2 foot piece of plywood as a stepping place once just inside the camper by the door. I had to sprawl like Spiderman every time I needed to get into or out of the camper. On the rare occasion I missed a step there was a chance of going through the bottom of the off grid camper. Today’s Off The Grid Podcast was recorded back in early August 2015. I also had a video camera recording along with the audio. With all of there excitement going on I forgot to take a lot of pictures so I will get some images from the video camera and upload them soon! Once again every day here off the grid proves to be not only an adventure but also a wealth of opportunities to learn. Neither of us had worked on a camper before so it was a good exercise in critical thinking skills. My cousin had years of wood working experience along with a good background in general construction. I had very little construction experience aside from building forts as a kid. Today’s off grid build was a great experience and we had a lot of fun! If you do try anything like this please stay safe and use your brain!

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Today’s lesson: If you measure twice and cut once you will save a lot of time, materials, and money!
  • Got questions, comments, or tips about living off grid? Please post and share them here or Contact me!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please Subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please tell a friend about the podcast 🙂

 

Posted in Podcast Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

August 21st, 2015 by Off The Grid

camper floor beforeToday was a welcome start to a new week after a very long and frustrating weekend working on the camper floor. Anytime your working off the grid you need to keep in mind the type of power you will need (AC and/or DC) along with how much. This is because most off grid power systems are.. “off the grid” meaning they supply their own power. Usually this involves power from the sun by way of solar panels (solar power). In my case I only have 2 deep cycle batteries hooked up. Trying to run most modern good sized power tools are not possible due to my 1200 watt power inverter. A power inverter for those that are not familiar basically convert the 12v DC power from the batteries into 120v AC power to run most American appliances etc.

If you remember from previous episodes I had talked about doing a possible barter / bad camper floor 1trade for work to fix the camper floor. I was going to do some graphic design work in exchange for construction services to repair the floor. Well Friday the work began but the work was horrible! This is not an extradition.. if it were “ok” I would be fine with it. The work was that bad. Friday morning we were all out there and everyone was looking forward to getting this done. We were all optimistic. Unfortunately as soon as they got started my optimism quickly faded. They came out a couple of weeks before to get a good look at everything so they should have been prepared. They knew I would not be able to provide power for their power tools because this camper was “off the grid”. They asked several times about my power inverter and after a while I reluctantly agreed to let them try. Their power tools drew too many amps (too much power)!  They used a skill saw until it went out.. then they used mine. They cut right bad camper floor 3into the support beams and went more than half way through on several. They screwed directly into a rotting wood support that was supposed to of been removed. They sprayed expandable foam all the way in and around the rotting wood support beam along the floor.

I left early afternoon on Friday because I was not feeling good and needed to get to work. Apparently I had to relearn my lesson and it turned out later that it was a mild case of heat exhaustion.. not cool! Before leaving the contractors assured me that the floor was going to be done that day. I left them with 3 simple instructions on Friday. 1. Close all the vents and windows. 2. Turn off the power inverter. 3. Lock up the camper. Well they did get 2 out of 3 lol.  Returning the following day which was bad camper floor 4Saturday I went to see the progress and was extremely frustrated by the work done to the camper floor. To add insult to injury so to speak they left the vents and window open. It rained all day long on Saturday and when I arrived the in evening it was not a welcome site inside the camper. This was lightening and torrential downpours kind of rain. Rainwater was everywhere including all over the area where the floor was ripped up. It was pooled up in the exposed insulation and I was extremely upset! The sight of the horrible work in the form of hacked up 2 X 4 wood beams (the wrong materials), water everywhere, and screwed beams into rotting wood covered with spray foam insulation made me wonder exactly how in the world did I not listen to my gut!! It just goes to show you need to listen to your intuition. Anytime your looking for a contractor if you get one of those off feelings then listen car stuck mudto your gut. If you don’t you will pay for it in the long run. Anyway as you can tell it was a very long weekend. The new deadline for being off grid (moving) was counting down fast and time was running out.

I called the contractor and expressed my severe dissatisfaction with the work along with the fact that the camper was filled with pooling water. He then insisted on coming out to clean up the mess as a result of the vents being open through the rainstorms all day. Time passes pretty quickly while I was working in the camper and I hear a car driving down the path.. my “driveway”. Long story short their minivan got stuck in the mud which blocked me in causing me to be stuck. We were out there for about 3 hours trying to get unstuck with rain off and on. I ended car stuck in mudup having to pay them for gas for a ride because both vehicles were stuck in the mud. Fast forward to Sunday and I had to pay them to tow my car out of the mess that they created. I have never had a problem being stuck in the mud on the property. At this point my off grid “driveway” was complete off road mud track that was no longer passable with my car. In the process of towing my car out they ripped a 6 inch gash in my car’s frame, popped the rear bumper out, and destroyed my driveway all at the ultra low cost of $30. Wow what a great deal! lol

At this point the camper floor was a wreck, my path / driveway was destroyed, my car was damaged, and I was given the opportunity to learn the lesson of heat exhaustion again. Can you tell why it was a rough last few days? So please learn from my crazy weekend! Stay cool, stay hydrated, listen to your gut, follow up on references, and stay safe out there because off the grid can indeed be an adventure! Today’s show of Off The Grid Podcast was recorded back in late June (new episodes being posted 5 days a week until up to date). Now is a good time for staying positive and optimistic because the real adventure of the off grid journey is just around the corner. 😉

 

Show notes from today’s Off The Grid Podcast

  • Main lesson for today. Listen to your intuition and check references if you considering a contractor.
  • If you have questions, comments, or tips about living off grid then please post them here!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please help support this journey off grid by telling a friend about the podcast 🙂

Posted in Podcast Tagged with: , , , , ,

leaky camper roof
August 19th, 2015 by Off The Grid

The old adage of when it rains it pours was certainly true for today’s show. After redoing the camper roof by scraping the old layers off, applying a 3 gallon bucket of tar with a trowel, and a 5 gallon bucket of rubber sealant with a paint roller.. the rain still made its way inside. With the water streaming down into a 5 gallon bucket at a steady pace it made me think. If I had to do it all over again it might have been better to simply save up money to buy a better camper for this off grid venture that was less of a fixer upper! a good rainstorm had made its way through the area and my off grid camper was right in the middle of the heaviest downpour. It was getting late as this episode of the Off Grid Podcast was recorded about 9:30PM and I was tired. Despite the late start I was able to get a couple of things done in the camper.

Despite the leaky sealing one thing was clear.. this camper was turning out to be more work than I had originally imagined. Everything seems to be coming down to three things.. time, distance, and money. 1. Time: Because of the workable time (daylight when its not crazy hot outside) in any given day. 2. Distance: With the camper being about an hour’s drive away from where I was staying (crashing on the couch) then “distance” quickly adds up to more “time”. 3. Money: After stretching my time short to try and work on the camper the money needed to put toward fixing the camper was in a delicate balance. The minimum 2 hours daily drive time and distance meant that in order to generate the funds to buy materials for the off grid camper I needed to work more.. taking more time away from fixing the camper.

Four months had now passed since my original goal of being off the grid by March 1st and being June the year was half over already. The fact that the camper was here now and not half a days drive did make a huge difference in the amount of progress being made. Again if you have been listening to Off The Grid Podcast you are up to date on all of life’s challenges and stumbling blocks. Many of my friends and family would ask what I needed. I told them I needed help.. like help working on the camper but when it came down to it they were not willing to make the drive. The only one that did was my cousin and honestly without him I would not be this far along right now. He has been a huge help! Thank you Jason! your the best man!

“I don’t know what I don’t know yet but I’m learning it”

Today’s podcast was a long one and if your tuning in daily I apologize for posting this one a day late. It is turning out to be a very good and busy summer. Anyway I will go ahead and wrap this up so more episodes can be posted on time. 😛 Thank you guys for listening and keeping up with the journey from the suburbs to off the grid.

Show notes from today’s Podcast

  • If you have questions, comments, or tips about living off grid then please post them here!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please help support this journey off grid by telling a friend about the podcast 🙂

Posted in Podcast Tagged with: , , , , ,

new sealant tar camper roof
August 17th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Today was the last of a 3 day weekend and I was heading out to put some sealant and tar on the camper roof. If you remember last episode of Off The Grid Podcast I started working on the roof. If a camper or house has a leaky roof then there is no new sealant tar camper roofsense working on or fixing new sealant tar camper roof 2anything inside. Yesterday I was out there on top of the roof scraping the old roof sealant all the way down to the metal. Some campers and RVs have rubber roofs. Others have galvanized roofs under the sealant. Luckily my off grid camper was galvanized.. under about a quarter inch of close to 40 years of roofing sealant and tar. Today my goal was to complete fixing the camper roof. I had a 3 gallon bucket of tar that you apply with a trowel and a 5 gallon bucket of rubber that you roll on with a paint roller. Both went on great as you can see in the pictures. Scraping was not as difficult as I thought it would be and it was a relief when the sealant went on really smooth as well.

On a side note I made a funny video called “Preparing For Poo”. It was basically a DIY video on how to prepare for um.. poo. Yes when you have to go you just have to go if you know what I mean. The quick funny video shows you how to put together a super quick Porta Potty out of a cardboard box, couple of trash bags, some duck tape, and a recycled toilet seat. Anyway if your up for a laugh please check out the link below in today’s show notes to see the funny Preparing For Poo video. 😛

 

 Show notes from today’s Podcast

  • The funny “Preparing For Poo” video is not up yet. I will edit today’s show notes and announce in future when it is.
  • If you have questions, comments, or tips about living off grid then please post them here!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please help support this journey off grid by telling a friend about the show 🙂

Posted in Podcast Tagged with: , , , , ,

working on camper roof
August 14th, 2015 by Off The Grid

Join me today while working on the roof of the off grid camper and afterwards as I take a break to share a quiet moment in nature. With my feet hanging carefree off the side of the camper enjoying a short break. If you remember last episode we finally got the camper to the off grid

working on top camper roof 3

working on top camper roof 3

land. Today’s podcast was recorded Memorial day weekend as I was working on the camper’s roof. Yup.. the camper is here after several months and its time to get busy!! So the weather was nice and the birds were out there keeping me company as I scraped all of the old roof materials. The close to 40 year old camper was now off the grid and first on the priority list was getting the roof straight. The camper is in really good shape for its age. The camper’s roof had several layers of tar, paint, and who knows what else up there to keep the rain out. I had a 3 or 4 inch scrapper, a large wire brush, good pair of work gloves, a gallon of spring water, and snacks. Yet today was a good day on top of the camper.

I learned a few lessons when working on the roof. Lesson one: as humans we are really bad at estimating time. Whatever job you have planned double the

estimated amount of time needed. Lesson two: Double check and “estimated” amount of materials you will need for your project. This is especially important when going off grid! If you are a good long drive away from any stores where you could buy forgotten materials more time means slower progress. Lesson three: Life can be an adventure and we should all take some time once in a while to smell the roses. Ferris Buler said it best in Ferris Buler’s Day Off.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it!

Thank you for joining me with another edition of Off The Grid Podcast! Without you there would be no podcast 😉 This journey is has been a major learning experience and its just getting started! So if you like the show post a question or few for today’s episode. Thanks!

working on top camper roof 2

working on top camper roof 2

Show notes from today’s Podcast

  • If you have questions, comments, or tips about living off grid then please post them here!
  • Please help support this show and the off grid community by checking out Off Grid Singles.
  • The Off Grid Podcast is now available on iTunes and Stitcher so please subscribe and rate the show!
  • If you like the show please help support this journey off grid by telling a friend about the show 🙂

Posted in Podcast Tagged with: , , , , , ,