A Tiny Home named Ziggy
Most people make resolutions for New Years. I’ll admit, I’ve made a few over the years and, like most people, I very rarely follow through. I’m not sure if its because I make my goals too big and unattainable (example: get a butt like Nicki Minaj), or if I just get caught up in the every day hum-drum and lose sight of what I was so passionately working towards. I mean, come on, dieting seems like a great idea... when you’ve just eaten and have the meat sweats. And then comes day one in the gym, you're hungry, you’re sweating like a pig just from coming out of the locker room and you start eye balling all the weight machines that resemble medieval torture devices and it takes everything you have to not get back in the car and drive and get a burrito. (And if you fall into that category, don't be ashamed. We've all been there.)
So this year I did something different. No resolution for me. No specific goal to meet. No specific timeline. I decided I am taking this year to figure out what I want and try to pay off debt. I was one of those kids who went off to college and no one explained credit cards to me. As far as I was concerned, that was free money.... so that is a big monthly expense for me. Living in Alaska is also not cheap. Rent and utilities cost me approximately $1600 (and to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the small space I am in or my neighbors. For that much money you would think you would get more). So how was I going to cut down my costs so I can pay off some extraneous debt? This is the point in which I would like to introduce you to Ziggy.
I found Ziggy in February after some searching. She is a 1993 Itasca Sunrise Class A motorhome. And after some saving, begging, and borrowing, she became mine mid month. So why a motorhome? To save money and have some freedom! Instead of paying $1600 a month, I’m paying less than $500. And if I don’t like my neighbors, I can just move without the hassle of packing boxes and signing leases because Ziggy is basically a tiny home on wheels. I spend so much time hiking and camping on my days off in the summer, it will be nice to have some money left over every month AND have my house waiting for me at the end of a long trail (with my fridge stocked with beer, of course.)
Ziggy was in decent shape when I got her, but she was really outdated. Dark cabinets, dingy/stinky carpet (even in the bathroom... yuck), hideous window treatments, etc. So basically, she looked like every other RV I had seen. But, after seeing her and taking it all in, I could see the potential.
So by March, I had her parked at a (very tolerant and loving) friend’s house and started tearing her apart piece by piece. I should probably mention at this point that I am not mechanically inclined and have a questionable understanding of most tools, so this has been a learning experience for me.
So far I have been tackling the kitchen and front sitting/dining area. With the help of my friends, we were able to rip out the carpet from the entry, kitchen, dining, and hall areas. And with the help of some Keflex and Bactrim, I was able to treat the infection I got after getting stabbed with a rusty, old carpet nail (yes Mom, I was wearing safety gloves). Luckily for me, I am pretty accident prone and had already gotten a tetanus shot in the last month so I didn’t have to get another.
With the carpet out, I started taking down cabinet doors and sanding the doors, cabinets, and walls. Then it was time to clean, prime, and paint. And paint. And paint. And paint. Hell, I’m still painting. I’m starting to think it will never end. If you’ve ever really looked at a motorhome, make sure you prepare yourself for all the nooks and crannies you will encounter before you start painting. If the ceiling hadn’t been in such good shape and I would have felt more confident in my abilities, I may have saved some time by spraying my paint instead of brushing it, but lets be honest, I do not need to have access to any sort of machine that sprays paint over an extended amount of time in a small space.
So other than prepping, priming, painting, carpet removal, window treatment removal, and spray painting my vents a very sparkly silver, I was able to install my backsplash. I started looking into RV options since tile can be too heavy and tends to chip and crack when the motorhome gets moving. I found SmartTiles and ended up ordering enough of the very cool stick up sheets to get my back splash and some cabinets (with a very unfortunate glass etching of a duck and some flowers) covered. I went with something bright to contrast my very white decor. Yes, I know white is going to show dirt and yes, its a little boring, but the inside feels so much bigger already!
I have a ton more to do still and I’m spending most of my free time working on Ziggy, but I’ll keep posting photos as I go.