Monday, September 5, 2011

A facelift

With all the activity on this post I know that you all know we recently got a camper.  Ryan and I are pumped to try it out, but first there are a few things we'd like to change and fix.  We created a list of things we'd like to change and you can view it back on that original post.  So, on this Labor Day Monday, Ryan and I decided to hike up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.  The projects we wanted to concur were to install the additional hitch to the back of the camper so we could haul bikes and to get the outside repainted and looking nice and new!

I don't know why I'm surprised, but of course it took way longer than we expected.  So, I will start with the easy project first, the hitch install.

See, see?  See how easy that was?  Ok, it wasn't quite that fast.  But after maybe an hour of work and a little ingenuity on Ryan's part we had a new hitch for the back side of our camper.  See how it has those two silver metal holder pieces?  Yep, that's the technical term for it!  Anyways, Ryan used those to make sure that the hitch was stable enough to hold up heavy loads.  The rear bumper of the camper isn't super heavy duty so we added those for some extra strength and support.  Want to see how it looks in action??

Look at that holding power??  It's holding a whole pint glass WITH beer.  Hehe.

Alright, onto the harder project; repainting the outside.  From this picture, or these pictures, it's hard to see that it needs a new coat of paint, so here is one to give you an idea of what it looks like close up.

See how it's all flakey and ucky looking?  We weren't in love with this gently used look so we decided we'd try our hand at repainting.  So I started scraping.  And peeling.  Any acetoning.  And mineral spirting.  And goof-offing.  Basically I pulled out every chemical and tool I could find to try and get this paint off.  It took forever!  I scraped and scraped and rubbed and rubbed and it got me to here

Not great right?  So, you know what we did?  We broke out the big guns: the Grinder!!  I was excited because it was literally the first time Ryan's ever handed me a power tool to use.  Funny right?  He works with power tools all day every day and in the 3 plus years I've known him he just now trusted me enough to use one.  Hahaha!  See, I've even got proof.

Don't you just love my outfit? 

It was still slow work with the grinder.  You had to go over it very very lightly because these surface of the camper is bumby.  If you hold the grinder too close or leave it in one spot for too long it quickly makes that section completely flat.  After about 5 hours of scraping and griding we finally had a camper that was ready to be painted.

You can still definitely see the lines of the paint, but it's a far cry from where we started.  And that, unfortunately is where I am going to leave you ladies and gentleman.  Because, well, that's about all the farther we got today.  We've got the camper washed and taped and we will probably start with the primer tomorrow.  But for now, we are going to make hamburgers, pour a glass of wine and watch some TV.  Because, it IS Labor Day and we are going to enjoy the rest of our day off.

More on the painting later!  Enjoy your last few hours of the holiday weekend.

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