Well this week has been a busy week for our darling home-on-wheels. On Monday we trekked out to the previous owners’ home (about an hour away from Ottawa) and learned all about our Westy’s hidden intricacies. On the way there we discovered that she was home, not just to us, but to some little furry creature who had made a nest in the driver’s side air vent! We were playing around with the controls, trying to figure out the multi-slider complicated ventilation system, so as to have a little air-flow as we drove, and the vent just started spewing seeds and nuts out at Steve!
Steve is allergic to nuts, so he devolved into a fit of sneezing.
We also learned over last weekend, while she was parked in the parking lot in the pouring rain, that there are two leaks in her. One is because of the cracked skylight and one is a bit of a mystery in the frame of the back hatch. The one in the back hatch was good to discover sooner, rather than later, because the water pools in a spot that is either a) the head of one of the beds or b) the main storage area.
We told the previous owners about these fun new findings and they seemed genuinely surprised. They had told us about the crack in the skylight, but they hadn’t been aware that it leaked.
We ended up spending two hours out at their place, learning how to work the vents (we still need to pull out the manual when we want to use them), the fridge, the hook-ups, the awning (picnics rain or shine!), where things are (the engine’s in the back and the spare tire is in the front!), little secrets about keeping her happy. As we said our goodbyes, the woman got a little teary-eyed. You could tell they still loved her and were sad to have that part of their lives moving on. But they were happy for us and that we were starting our own adventures with her.
We honked our new horn as we left.
The rest of the week we spent gathering supplies for fixing her up. I spent a good amount of time searching out the perfect fabric for our new curtains, as well as decals to decorate the outside. I’ll give you a clue for both:
We chose the decals in different colours than those pictured. You’ll have to wait and see what they look like once they arrive! I priced out painting her and it will cost a tiny fortune to do so, so two-toned brown with decals all over it is!
Yesterday we drove out to my mom and stepdad’s place for the day. Steve and my stepdad worked on fixing stuff in the van and my mom and I worked on the curtains. I learned to sew in grade 4 and I haven’t done any sewing since! My mom, however, sews all the time. She pulled out my grandmother’s old sewing machine and got me set-up on it, teaching me how to thread the needle and change the bobbin and most importantly, how to sew a straight line! It was very special to be learning to sew again using my grandmother’s sewing machine. It was a special day.
Steve and my stepdad managed to fix the skylight, get a license plate put on the front (apparently in Quebec they only need the license plate on the back, so there was no spot for one already staked out on the front), clean out the vent and front driver’s seat (although not completely, we learned on the way back as, again, Steve ended up with a face full of seeds and nuts), test out the electrical hook-up and diagnose the back hatch leak. It was a productive day!
Still left to do with the Westy:
* Get the back leak fixed
* Install an auxiliary battery so that we never have to worry about draining the main one
* Hem the bottoms of the curtains and get them put up
* Decorate with the decals once they arrive in the mail
* Fill up the propane tank
* Clean out once and for all that blasted air vent! We’re thinking we need the mechanics manual to figure out how to get right inside, to the very innards of our girl, and clean her right out.
Inside tour, with before and after pictures, still to come!