Sunday, April 29, 2012

New deck

Building a deck

When we set our first fifth wheel RV on our seasonal site at Cutty's Des Moines Campgrounds, we used the built in steps that came with the Road Ranger.  Then a  neighbor couple (who are snowbirds) asked if, during the winter, we wanted to use the steps that they had build and used with their motorhome.
We said yes and used them all that winter.  It was nice having wider and deeper steps and we enjoyed them.  The following Spring, when it was time to return them, I built our own set of steps with a small 'porch'.
Last Fall we moved the Road Ranger off the site and put our Hitch Hiker fifth wheel in its place.  The steps that I'd built for the Road Ranger were about eight inches to low for the Hitch Hiker.  It was a simple (lazy) fix.  I had room on the porch to add a layer of concrete blocks to create the final step.
This Spring we moved the Hitch Hiker off and moved the Excel onto the site.
The Excel steps were an additional eight inches higher and I again took the lazy way out and added another row of concrete blocks as a temporary fix.
I'm now building a deck to replace the original steps and get rid of the blocks.
This deck will be larger and situated differently than what we had before.

Ella and I discussed whether to make the deck four by eight feet or four by six with the steps coming off the side and onto the patio.  I laid out a sheet of four by eight plywood to help visualize the deck.  We (Ella) decided that it was too big.  (I agreed, by the way)

A trip to Home Depot for stringers, treads, corner posts, two by fours, hanger straps and screws.

I started work on it yesterday.  However with high wind and occational sprinkles, I didn't get much further than marking and cutting.

Today I started assembly.  This was when Ella said, "Oh, I thought we changed our minds and were going to make it four by eight feet."  To late to change our minds now.  
I also found that I needed one more two by four and more hanger straps.  Back to Home Depot.
Fortunately, the cordless drill and I both ran out of power at the same time.
The drill is recharging and I'm posting.
We'll both get back to work this afternoon.

Well, the drill recharged (somewhat) so I got back to work on the deck.
I set in place with the help of a neighbor who stopped by to see what I was doing.  Usually when people stop by to see what I'm doing they assume the role of supervisor not assistant. But this time it really helped with the positioning of the deck and attaching the legs and leveling the deck.  
I used the level on my Droid smart phone.  Yes there is an app for that.  It is called Bubble.  I also use it to make sure the RV is level when I set it up in a campsite.

Ella came to the door to see how it was coming.  I explained that the deck was in place and level however I don't have all the bracing in place as of yet.  (Drill needs more charging... I doubt I'll get it finished today.)

I used the old set of steps as a saw horse while positioning the height of the deck and as a temporary way of getting in and out of the RV.
Ella saw the old steps at the end of the deck and asked if that was where I was going to put the new steps.  
It is not.  The new steps will lead off of the side of the deck and onto the patio.
That will have to wait until the drill is fully recharged because I'll need it a lot when I am working on the steps.

More to come ... maybe tomorrow

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

2012 April 18

This was the beginning of our moving day on April 12th. 
I pulled the Hitch Hiker into the 'overflow' area at Cutty's Campground and then brought the Excel home from the dealership.
I parked them side by side, door to door.  Notice that the bottom step of one is resting on the bottom step of the other.  I then bridged the two with a couple of two by twelves.
We moved most of the items that needed moved before the rain started.
Yes it rained!  Four and one half inches.
And wind!  Some places reported sixty mile per hour.  The weather station at the elementary school near us showed fifty four miles per hour.
As we were rocked to sleep we both wondered what it would look like if we had to call our insurance agent and explain that one of our fifth wheels was blown into the other.
The thirteenth (Friday the) we moved more things between rain showers.
Saturday we finished and Sunday we rested.
Monday, after dropping Charlotte at school, in the rain, I moved the Excel onto our seasonal site.
Tuesday, I hooked the Excel back on the truck and moved it ahead about six to twelve inches.
This is Wednesday and I plan to sit on my @$$ and watch television.