Abbey – Our Home on Wheels.

By Jelane A. Kennedy

Getting Abbey ready. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Getting Abbey ready. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

According to the tax codes, RV’s can be considered second homes. That means from a homeowner perspective care and maintenance too. It has been so easy at times to just see Abbey as a vehicle only for fun and adventure. Over the last few months there have been a lot of house projects in general. The Fall ended with preparing for winter. Raking the leaves, doing the final mow of the lawn, putting the garden to bed. Then there was putting up the boats, and folding and storing the boat trailer. Getting the garage prepped for winter storage of Abbey.

This lead to discovering it was really time to replace the garage doors. When I moved into the house in 1996, with the help of a colleague we replaced the three old wooden carriage doors with regular garage doors, it was a 3-day do it yourself project. It was an OK amateur job but the doors had become cranky and clunky. Now 16 years later it was time to reclaim some of the extra overhead height to the doorway to make it easier to get Abbey in. The original carriage house doors were 8 feet tall (96 inches). The doors from 1996 were 7 feet high (84 inches), the standard I could find at the time at Home Depot. This time we would go 7 feet and 6 inches (a nice 90 inches), this would allow keeping the current electric door openers, which was a savings. Abbey is about 83 inches tall, this would give some nice extra room. The decision for the new doors led to at least two weeks of interviewing contractors. Eileen took care of this tedious and frustrating process. After one installation call and two return calls to get it right, the doors were finally functioning!

As Eileen keeps reminding me: “Every project nowadays takes twice as long.”

Furnace and water pump area. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Furnace and water pump area. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

During that same time I was running over to the RV shop with Abbey to have the malfunctioning furnace examined. During the last trip in early October the furnace had not functioned, as it should, we wanted in shape for the coming up trip. One diagnosis appointment and another appointment for part installation would hopefully finish this project up.

Back cargo area. JAK

Back cargo area. JAK

Then there was the roof issue. In July, last summer it became apparent that we needed work done on Abbey’s roof, it was becoming discolored and chalky in several places. Emails with the manufacturer suggested that a new paint job was in order for the fiberglass pop-top and metal regular roof. We finally got the paint job set up in early November after a few different tries starting back in August. The harsh sun had taken a toll on the black roof. Since we were going to have to paint it we decide to change it to a light gray (which looks white in the final analysis). This would help with heat build up in the interior of Abbey.

Eileen’s comment when we picked up Abbey “She’s got spats now!”

Abbey new paint job. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Abbey new paint job. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Once the paint job was completed it was back to the shop for the furnace part. We also had an appointment with our favorite auto mechanic, Nick, for a tire rotation and basic winter check-up. After our camping trip in November we were again back to the RV shop because of a weird furnace malfunction. Since Abbey was going back anyway I had them look at the water pump that was acting weird in October. Of course all morning the furnace worked fine for the technician. So we left with directions to keep an eye on it and a new water pump (the other died of old age).

And if the house was feeling just a bit neglected, the end of December brought two calls to Roto-Matic for good measure!

Inside Abbey. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Inside Abbey. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Now as the snow is making it’s final melt and the April sun is pushing the temperatures up. I’m getting the bug to go out and play. Abbey each time I visit the garage to check on the battery tender, has beckoned me to sit inside and dream. Each time I step inside I smell Abbey’s familiar scent, a mixture of sunscreen, canvas tent and concentrated sunshine. As I click on the interior coach light by the stove, I see the cooler and map bag. In my mind we visit both new and old places. It’s almost time for the Spring-cleaning and time to plan the first camping trip for the season. The earliest we have gone has been May, I hope that maybe it will be again this year. Ultimately maintaining Abbey is worth it each time!

Memories in Abbey, KOA St. Mary's, Montana. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Memories in Abbey, KOA St. Mary’s, Montana. Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

(c) 2013 Jelane A. Kennedy & Eileen A. Mcferran

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