Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Did you miss me?  Did you even know I was gone????  Well, here I am again!  It has been quite a ride...

We have been planning a renovation in the 5th wheel for a while now and March turned out to be the time...

The picture below is the way that it looked before...
The sectional in the 5th wheel was from 1996 and had seen better days.  Interestingly, in 1996 we purchased a couch for our house that had almost the same material as this sectional--though it was navy where this one is seafoam green and it didn't last very long with our dogs.  The sectional also didn't fare very well with the canine units...

We also had the seafoam green carpet that you can see around the edges of the rug.  Seafoam green is not my fav color and a light colored carpet in a 5th wheel with 4 dogs (one that is 160 lbs) isn't the best choice in any case.

We found a place to order a leather sectional in pieces.  It is called Home Reserve.  They make the furniture at their factory, seal the cushions in bags that suck the air out--much like those space bags--and then ship each section of the sectional in a box that is 18"x18"x33"!  Amazing really!  

I had checked out a lot of sectionals and the problem was getting them through the 29" doorway and around the narrow area between the refrigerator and counter in the kitchen to the rear of our coach.

Since Home Reserve makes their furniture specifically for small spaces such as walk ups with narrow stairways and small elevators and to be used in many configurations for unusual spaces, it seemed like the way to go for us.  I was just hoping that something that came in that size box to be put together at home would be something that we would want to own and that would stand up to the abuse that we would be giving it.  

Stock picture from HomeReserve.com
We decided after reading the reviews, not only on the Home Reserve site, but elsewhere on the net, that we would give it a try--they give a guarantee to send it back for a full refund.

And another nice thing about their furniture is that it includes storage under the cushions--A total plus in a 5th wheel where storage is always at a premium!  (NO!  I am not being paid for this!)

So, we pulled the trigger...

Knowing that large trash day was coming up in town, we wanted to get it going so we could get rid of the old sectional on trash day in April.  Not knowing how long it would take to get the new sectional, we ordered it mid-March.  

I received a call from my parents just 12 days later that 5 big boxes had arrived on their porch.  Yikes!  Wow!  FAST!!!!

So, time was atickin'...

I figured 1 day would be all that was needed to take out the old sectional, pull the carpet and lay the new vinyl plank flooring for a 16 x 8 space--right?  

So, we started with the sectional.  

That might seem easy.  NOT!

In a 5th wheel, you have a small amount of space to work in AND you have to be able to get the pieces out of the door OR take out a window.  

NOT taking out the window!  

Nope--not gonna do it!

Also, the sectional was bolted to the floor to keep it stable while on the road.

So, in came the socket set and screwdriver and I went to work dismantling the sectional.  

Off came the back of the hide-a-bed side.  No problem.  Out the door it flew...

Then, it took a while to figure out how the hide-a-bed was connected to the floor--ahhhh--bolts connected to the sides of the hide-a-bed to metal L brackets screwed to the floor.  So, after removing a bunch of bolts and 4 screws, everything was ready to move outside.  

Gman helped me carry the hide-a-bed outside and I headed back in to see how to get the recliner side of the sectional out.  Turned out there were some panels that just pulled off so I could see the innards--which looked a lot like a bench seat in a van.  Off came a bunch more bolts and the back of the corner unit came out...and out the door.  Shortly following the back of the corner unit, the seat part joined it outside.

Then came the recliner part which after some contortionist moves, I had it unbolted from the 5th wheel and it joined the rest of the parts outside to be removed later.

A pair of pliers in my hand and a utility knife and the carpet was ripped up, cut into strips that were rolled up and duct taped to join the sectional.  This was not my first rodeo with carpet, but each time I rip up carpet, I wonder WHY I ever spend time with that on the floor (and all of the mess in it and under it!)  YEACCHHHHHHH...

Now the carpet pad got stuffed into a huge bag along with the tack strips.

On to the HARD PART!!!!  Removing the staples!  I HATE removing the staples and some of the carpet that I have dealt with appeared that the installers were being paid by the number of staples used to hold the padding to the floor.  GRRRRRRRR>>>>

Luckily, the installers of this carpet appeared not to have overused the staples, but honestly, it seemed that they used about a million pieces of padding that had to be stapled down.  I mean, come on!  It is 8 feet wide and 16 feet long folks!  Couldn't this have been done in 1 or 2 pieces??????  

I guess not...

Anywho--I spent quite a bit of time pulling out staples and then sweeping them up--only to find one--usually with my toe!  Ouch...

So, all was out in the yard and swept up into a trash bag.

The end of day one found Gman and I loading the sectional pieces into my parent's van and moving into my parent's garage to await large trash day on April 21st.  While there, we also picked up the corner piece of the sectional.  I figured that would be a good, piece to begin my furniture building course since it was probably the hardest piece to put together...

And a trip to McDonald's for supper.  I was not up to the task of cooking...I am going to digress here just a bit to tell you that I got the popcorn chicken--I think they were called McBits.  I love popcorn chicken at KFC!  But McDonald's popcorn chicken seemed to be missing the chicken part.  Maybe that is why they are McBits????  Because they are just bits of fried coating.  Blechhhhh...JMHO

Back to the story...

Day two dawned with me wondering why I do this to myself as I tried to move my carcass out of bed!  

Dust buster in hand, I began sweeping out the little spaces along the wall.  

Then, the Vinyl Tile primer went on the floor.  It really helps to read the directions as I was thinking it was like mastic where you let it cure until tacky and then stick the vinyl planks to it.  

Not so...

The primer goes down and then is allowed to dry completely--so I learned after trying to lay the first plank on the tacky primer--uh--don't do that....just trust me.  :)

Now, anyone who has laid the planks (either vinyl or laminate) knows that you start at a straight wall and work your way along.  You have to cut the planks into 3rds so that you have staggered joints which look more realistic and make a stronger floor, so you get a stair step effect unless you can go all the way across the front to back and side to side.

In a 5th wheel, you can't just empty the room out into another room.  You kind of move the stuff around and work in one small space at a time.  

So, I decided on moving things side to side so that I could get the max space to lay the planks--hoping to get enough laid so that I could begin to put the sectional together so that we would have a place to sit.

I got the first part of the floor done and it looked great!  I was so happy with it!  Yay!  They say that these planks will take water or whatever and it won't affect them.  They even say that though they don't recommend it, you could put them on the bottom of a swimming pool and they would be just fine!  

Well, hot dog!  That is perfect with 16 wet, muddy paws running around!  Hehe!

We went to find something for dinner--NOT McDonald's!

Then, Gman and I brought the corner piece box in so that I could lay out the pieces and put it together.  I have to say that their directions are really good.  They have pictures.  I like pictures!  

They also have small words.  I like big pictures and little phrases!

Everything went together surprisingly well.  I have to admit that when I saw the particle board pieces, I doubted whether they would go together to make a sturdy piece of furniture capable of holding me, but it really did!  I was quite impressed and it only took about an hour to put it together--thanks to my Craftsman C-3 cordless screwdriver which I set on 5 so that it would not strip any screws.  LOVE my cordless C-3 line of tools!  Really!

After I put the corner together, we stuffed all of the wrapping stuff into the box and got it out so that I could move some stuff around to the part of the floor with flooring and get the primer onto the floor that I was going to work on the next day.

Day 3--got the creaky bones moving and with a bottle of 5 Hour Energy on board, got to work again!  

I started laying the planking and then had to go to an appointment at 11:00--for which I had to leave an hour early because we live an hour from everything!  No--really!  We do!

I got back late afternoon and put down some more flooring until Gman was finished with his work day. 

We headed back to mom and dad's garage to get a couple more pieces of the sectional so that I could put together a whole side, found some supper and came back.

It was time to put the armless piece and the ottoman together to make a whole side.  It was surprisingly easy and in about 1 1/2 hours, we had the whole side of the sectional ready for me to collapse on. 

Day 4, Roll out of bed and head to pick up the meals on wheels to deliver with my dad.  We delivered the meals, headed to Denny's where Gman met us for lunch and then on to a larger town to get more flooring as I had run out the night before.  Then we hit Wal-Mart for mom and dad's weekly shopping and home where I continued flooring.  I made it all the way across the back wall.

We picked up the last two boxes of the sectional after Gman finished working and came back home where I calked the floor and walls around the back where cold air had been leaking in all winter.

Day 5--Friday.  Rolled out of bed and moved the printer and dishwasher so that I could move the slide in a ways in order to pull the carpet out from under it.  Once out, I put the slide back out so that I could get the pad and tack strips up, vacuum and put the primer on the floor.  The end was in sight--finally!

I finished up the flooring, put everything back in place, put some of the tools away and just stood and looked at the new floor!  Yay!  LOVE it!

Then, I rolled out the area rug and we brought in the last two boxes of the sectional.  I put the armless section together Friday Night and went to bed.  I think I forgot dinner...

Day 6--Saturday.  Woke up, put the last piece of the sectional together--the arm piece--and collapsed on our new sectional.  I pronounced it comfy!  For the whole day!  Ahhhhhh.....

It is a touch shorter on one side than the old sectional but a touch longer on the other side.  The side that goes by the window along the side of the coach now sits under the window.  The dogs LOVE that!  They can lay on that part and just look out the window.  It's a hit!  I am still surprised how comfortable the sectional is!  I feel that after my first experience with putting furniture together, I would do it again in a heartbeat!  I really like the sectional!

I haven't yet put things in the storage under the cushions, but I have been planning for a long time and know just what I want to put there!  See Tank showing how he loves the ottoman part of the sofa?  (I think I should have straightened the back cushions...oh well...)

See the floor?  Easy care!  We also really like the leather.  With pugs that shed 24/7/365, it is good to have something that just wipes off.  Also, muddy prints come off too!  

Shadow likes the ottoman under the window too...(That is Frank's little curly tail in the picture...)
Tango and Shadow are enjoying the arm area...See the area rug there?   The dogs said they wanted the rug to stay because the floor is slick and they fall on their faces when they jump off of the sectional...
So, here is the before....(modeled by Frank and Tango)
And After...

I am finally getting back into my FlyLady.net routine today again by finding the kitchen sink and getting things decluttered!  Took a while!

So, what have you been up to?


  1. I missed you :-) You are going to love that sectional! So practical with the dogs and the storage. (I love Fly Lady!!!)

  2. You guys did a great job. We also took out our carpet in our 5th wheel and added fax wood floors. I like it so much better.

    1. Did you use the laminate or vinyl? Only problem I have now is that the vinyl is so bright and shiny, I can really see where I need to refinish the oak floor in the kitchen! LOL I guess that is on the list for another makeover! :)

  3. I thought I had been busy for the last week or so but I got tired just reading about all the work you did. I love that floor, I want to do that in our guest bedroom. And the new sofa looks so comfortable.
    Do you get to relax and enjoy it now?

  4. I am flabbergasted AND impressed that you did this all by yourself! You are to be commended! AND it looks beautiful! I was so impressed with your kitchen remodel (floor) and then you turn around and do this? Wow - maybe you missed your calling and you should just remodel trailers! Wonderful job! (Clapping hands!)

  5. I missed you! This was the first I saw a post on facebook! I haven't been out and about much lately (on blogs) and it helped getting a facebook notification! Maybe our next couch needs to be a leather one for the dogs?! Also, I didn't know that you even renovated 5 wheelers! I like it!

  6. Thanks! I don't always remember to post on Facebook. Glad you saw it. Since we are living in it full time right now, it is like renovating our house. I am a nester. :) We are finding this sectional to be very comfy and we love the extra storage. :)

  7. This is the cutest and coziest sofa! You did a super job, and I love it all! That is fit to my condo. :)

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