Friday, June 24, 2016

Improve your views

Well, not in the sense you are probably thinking ... Our camper has the water tank and pump under the bed.

It's awkward and difficult to access. The simple solution was to add an access door from the living area.

With the door painted to match the cabinetry, it's very unobtrusive. It would be better to have white hinges, but i used what I had.

This is probably not the exact situation you have, but maybe there is a use for an access door to make something more accessible.

Now, go play outside!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Finally! A Kayak Rack

My husband has been after me for 5 years to build a kayak rack. Have not done so because I had this fear of it blowing apart while we are driving 80 miles an hour and killing someone driving behind us.

I ran across a great kayak rack design on birch tree farms blog.

He gave me the courage to build my own, with a few modifications. We are leaving on another camping trip tomorrow so I thought I'd knock it out today. Except that I ran out of eye bolts - I thought I had four but could only find 3 - the rack is finished.

The original plan was to use big C clamps to hold it down but that won't work with the bed rail on my truck. I drove some screws into the posts through the post hole pockets and each kayak rail has a tie down securing it. When I find some clamps that will work I will not have to put tie downs on it, but for now this will do.

The back is a little lower than the front to make loading easier. I plan to build some kayak cradles that will support the kayaks better.


Now go play outside!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Snug as a Bug - Keeping Sheets on the Bed in a Camper


Well, it's been awhile since I posted. We just finished a 54 day trip from Texas through Florida up the east coast to Washington DC and back through North Carolina.

After kayaking with the manatees, hubby & I headed to the east coast of Florida and kayaked with alligators. Yes, that is a real alligator and yes, we had to kayak right past him and yes, he slid into the water toward us  just as we approached but fortunately  the water is murky and I couldn't see him swimming toward me. If I had, I really would have cried. As it was, I barely maintained my brave kayaker face as I paddled as fast as I could.

 After this , we north to Washington DC and spent a week touring all the Smithsonian museums. It was marvelous! And one of the most marvelous things was all the dangerous animals were taxidermied.  We dry camped for 9 days at Greenbelt Park, a great National Park that is only 12 miles from the national mall. Unfortunately, because it's a national park there are no water or electric hookups. Thank heaven there are now hot showers which is a great improvement from when I came here years ago.

Food trucks on the mall...all serving gyros!!

Anyway, to the point of this post. I think one of the most important things to keep your sanity is to get a good night's sleep. So, we replaced our mattress with a memory foam mattress and a down comforter which is so luxurious to fall into after a long day of hiking through the mountains or through the Museums. Please excuse the pictures, I took them while we were camping with the idea that I would actually get them posted while we were on the road...

Because our mattress is bounded almost completely by walls, it's extremely hard to get the top sheet under the mattress so that it will stay on. Here's an easy fix for any bed that's hard to make up!

Simply make a channel along the bottom at the top sheet and slip a piece 1/2 inch PVC pipe through it. When you tuck this PVC pipe down at the end of the bed, it will hold the sheet securely and keep it from coming loose while you're sleeping.

For a standard queen-size bed, you can use a piece of PVC pipe between 40 and 50 inches long. The measurement doesn't have to be exact, it just needs to be shorter than the width of your bed. Measure your mattress to make sure it's a standard queen size which is 60 x 80. Many RV and camper mattresses are not standard size.

First,  fold up  about 8 to 10 inches  at the foot of the top sheet. Play around to see what length works best for you.  Depends on how high you like to pull the sheet while you sleep. The fold should go  where the sheet hits  the board at the base of the mattress. Sew along the fold about 2 inches from the edge to create a channel. I found it works best to sew from one side of the sheet to the other, even the the PVC pipe is not that long. It makes it a lot easier to fold the sheets.

Next, slip the PVC into the pocket and shove it down the foot of the bed. There you have it! A snug bed for comfortable sleep.

I did a lot of research to get a camper with a standard bed, so our bottom sheet fits fine. If your camper has a smaller than standard bed, which most of them have, or an oddly-shaped mattress, you can use elastic on the corners to hold the bottom sheet down. You can either sew the elastic on across the corners, or buy elastic clips ready-made. There's a nice little tutorial on the happiest camper.

Now, I need to go look through the camper to find a couple more projects before we leave to head south to the beach!

Life's better outside!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Kayaking with Manatees & Making a Marvelous Improvement to my Emergency Window

My husband and I are at the start of a long camping trip. So far, we have driven from Texas to Florida. We spent two days kayaking with manatees in a Florida State Park - amazing!

kayaking with Manatees WackyPup

They were right under the kayaks! I have a Fujifilm FinePix XP80 waterproof camera (affiliate link) so I stuck it in the river and took this photo:

kayaking with Manatees -

I love that camera - it takes great photos!! It was a treat for myself a few years ago, and I have gotten so much use out of it, it is my go-to outdoor hiking/kayaking/camping camera, since I don't have to worry about water or dropping it (and it has had both experiences many times LOL)

It was a little unsettling when we first arrived we saw this sign:

Funny alligator sign -

. . . . we were a kind of leery of getting into the water, but we never did see a gator, even though we got brave and kayaked way back into the cypress swamp. That's Miss Em checking things out, she was very disappointed that she did not get to go kayaking this time. I was afraid she would be a snack if we did run across an alligator.

kayaking with Manatees and swamp flowers -

What a great stop this was!

Now we're spending a few days at my sister-in-law's and I had a little time for a quick mod. The weather here is wonderful, and I was disappointed that the only windows on one side of my camper are the tiny kitchen window and the escape window that doesn't really open very wide. 

With a little modification, I made a GREAT window out of my emergency escape window. 
Wacky Pup quick and easy improvement for camper rv window

Every trailer has an emergency escape window. They are nice big windows, but they don't open very far with the little prop that comes standard.  See how little it opens??

Check out Wacky Pup's improvement for standard rv window!

This was a really quick and easy and CHEAP mod to my camper that brings in wonderful breezes and lots of light.  It doesn't damage or even change the window in any way.

The window itself becomes an awning of sorts and shades the window.

All I needed was a short piece of pvc pipe of a diameter that fit over the existing window bar.  In my case, it was a 1/2" pvc pipe. Even if I had to buy a whole 10' piece it would have set me back less than $3.

I lifted the window up and measured how long the pipe needed to be to put the window in the position I wanted.

Check out Wacky Pup's improvement for standard rv window!

I cut the pipe that length. I cut one end at a bevel so that it will rest securely in the notch from the original bar.

I slipped the pipe over the bar, slid it up to the window and rested the other end on the window sill.

TA-DAH!! I have a beautiful new wide open window in my camper :) The change in the airflow through the camper is wonderful!



Check out Wacky Pup's improvement for standard rv window!

Or as my eye doctor is fond of saying, "Better 1? Better 2?"  

I definitely vote for "2"

 I have had mine wide open all day to catch the wonderful breezes (and occasional gusts of wind) and have had no trouble. If you try this with your window and think the wind is too gusty, be sure to remove the pvc prop and shut the window. Use your own common sense, I make no guarantees to the stability or reliability of any of the ideas I have used on my trailer.

Now - Go play outside!!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Brand New Shower in One Day for $20!

If you don't have two tubes of caulking and a piece of plexiglass laying around it will cost you a few dollars more.

You may remember what I started with, this tiny 22 by 24 inch shower with a tiny 22 by 24 inch shower curtain rail.

What you did not know, is that the shower stall was wobbly and needed to be re caulked around the top because there was a big gap where water could go down into the wall.

It also had a pair of bizarre and totally useless soap dishes that got in the way.

Before I replaced the shower walls, I started out by bending the shower curtain rail into a better shape. Post & pictures here! UPDATE: We've been on the road a week and the shower curtain configuration works great! It actually stays in the shower pan better because we are not constantly pushing against it while we wash.

 I saw a forum post where someone upgraded their shower starting with a $20 piece of plastic wall panel from home depot.

So I saw an opportunity to completely fix my shower! For $20! (this is not an affiliate link, but I want to make sure you know what I'm talking about. When you go to the store you have to know what you want or they can't find it. You don't want the $40 rigid plastic)

First step, remove the old shower enclosure. This was really simple because after I drilled out the plastic rivets it was held to the wall with three strips of double-sided tape.

Measure the space, and cut the plastic approximately to size. Test fit it into the shower enclosure. I had to cut some off the bottom of each side because something's not square. Of course, nothing is ever square anywhere when you're remodeling. It's better to leave a little gap for expansion & movement while traveling than it is to get it absolutely tight.

Second step, add support for the new rounded corner I plan to put in. I ripped one corner of a 2x4 on a 45 degree angle, cut it into sections and glued it to the wall with a little "liquid nails" adhesive.

I made the top piece of wood long because I intend to screw the shower head support into it and I did not want it to split. I sanded them so they wouldn't have sharp areas rubbing on the plastic when the trailer was in motion (and because I'm a sanding fool!! I love sanding LOL)

Third, apply adhesive of your choice to the walls. They recommend a water based adhesive. I used a good quality adhesive caulk which is technically a water based adhesive, because that's what I had. If you have to buy something, you may want to buy what they recommend. But, I assumed since they originally built this thing with three strips of double sided tape, and the new enclosure will be resting on the shower pan, it's not going to take a lot to hold it up. If it does in fact start to peel away from the wall, I bought some stainless steel screws and I will put them around the edges.

Fourth, slap that bad boy in there. Try to line it up as best you can before the caulking or adhesive grabs lol. Use a rolling pin to roll really hard on all the surfaces to spread the adhesive around and make sure it gets a good grip. If you have any spots along the base that won't stay flat, prop a board or something against them to hold them down until the glue has time to set.

Fifth, caulk all the edges.

Finally, screw your shower head, hose holder, whenever else you want into the shower stall.

Now, stand back and admire your beautiful new shower that only cost you 20 bucks! Yes that is light from heaven shining down on my beautiful new shower. I can almost hear the angels singing.

In addition I made a splash guard, to keep the water going the right direction because the new shower stall is a bit wider than the pan.

All it is, is a piece of plexiglass cut into basically an L shape. There happens to be a screw on the outside corner of the shower pan that I used to hold the splash guard in place, and then it's securely caulked. I didn't want to attach it too well at this point because I'm not sure if it's going to get in the way of anything, and I may end up removing it. However, I think it's going to work just great!

One last note, on camper showers there is a ring that the hose goes through to hold it up while you shower so it doesn't turn the valve off on the sink. We often use our shower head to fill buckets, wash dogs, etc. It was irritating to have to remove the shower head every time I wanted to move the hose. So I carefully cut the ring into a hook shape and sanded the edges. This makes it much easier to move the hose around, and still provides the necessary support for taking showers.

UPDATE the plastic was not strong enough to support the house, so I replaced it with a metal coat hook... Works great!!

And just in time because someone needs a bath!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

FREE and Easy Fix for a Tiny Shower

In my tiny camper there is a tiny shower. It is 24" x 22" I think. 

Here is the shower curtain rail as it came with the camper. Every time I take a shower, I am irritated by how hard it is to move the curtain around a 90' bend. Seriously? this is the engineers design? They should make the designers take a shower in it LOL

I removed the screws holding it to the ceiling. There was not even any caulking in the holes, so it was simple!

The original bend is just a 'v' cut out of the aluminum. I cut two more 'v' notches and put a slight bend in the channel. No special tools required! This is lightweight aluminum. I straightened out the original 90' bend a bit and this is the result!

You can put the ends in approximately the same position as before, so that the shower curtain ends over the shower pan, but I moved them out a little because I want all the elbow room we can have!  The shower curtain can still be placed in the shower pan, so water does not get out of the shower.

We have gained almost 8" of extra space! 
Amazing to think that is the same piece of aluminum, and it goes so much farther, and still hits the wall on both ends! It is so much easier to pull around too!!

 If you look in the picture below, you can see where the original channel was by the holes on the ceiling.  We only lost that tiny front corner and that wasn't usable anyway.

The shower curtain still fits into the base.

The other thing I did that gained a lot of room, is move the shower head . The original position of the shower head was on the right wall. You can see a lighter strip where the hose blocked the uv. That's where it originally was. I realized that if I moved it to the corner, we would have a lot more room. Instead of standing on the short 24 inch side we would be standing on the almost 36 inch diagonal.

By the way all our washcloths have buttonholes,and all our towels have loops so they stay on the hooks while we travel.

See how I turned this

Update: total shower remodel! Step by step photos and instructions. Total cost $20. Check it out here!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Since You Asked: Mods I've Made to My Li'l Camper

This post is a quick overview of some of the mods I've made to my camper. If you have a Fun Finder 189FBR these will apply directly to your camper. But, even if you don't, I'm sure there are plenty of interesting ideas here that you can modify a little and use in your own camper. Many of my ideas I have not seen anywhere else. 

If you would like me to write a post with directions on how to do any of these, just leave a comment and I will make a post with instructions to DIY. 


Very rarely, I will buy something instead of making it. When I do, I will post it here, and the link will give me about one cent if you click on it LOL. So if you would like to really give me a penny for my thoughts, please click on the links I put up or any of the ads on the sidebar.

The photos were taken in a hurry to answer someone's question, so the camper is a mess - I am in the middle of doing a few things, so disregard the sawdust & clutter LOL

My husband, our two dogs and I have spent more than two months at a time in this tiny camper. All the mods shown here are workable and have vastly improved our experience. Let me know if any are helpful to you!

Over 50 Genius Ideas for Campers and Small Houses Wacky Pup Blog

Thanks so much for your interest in my li'l camper.

Three of the fastest & easiest mods that were great improvements: 

Raised handles on all lower cabinets!! Yay! For some reason, all the cabinet handles were in the middle of the door - so about shin level - ack! Much improved by raising.

If you click on a photo of something I bought, it will take you to the product page for that item. If you click on a picture of something I've done or built, it will enlarge the photo to show you more details.

Replaced the white panel on the screen door with a clear one - what a difference!  See it here (and give me a penny LOL)

Removed or raised blinds & valances that were covering part of the windows.

~ NOTE even though I have this broken up into 'rooms' this is a tiny 18' one room camper ~


When I bought the camper, only the two larger doors opened. The ends were just closed off empty space and the middle was a tacky mirror thing that didn't open.

I fixed that :)

There was a tiny dinette where I built the couch -
This is what it looked like before:

It was tiny and uncomfortable, but it took up a LOT of room.
I have series of posts about removing it and building this couch  here

You can see how much more spacious the camper feels now. 

New comfy couch with storage boxes - genius!

The dinette was 32" deep and the couch is 24" so we've gained 8" - which doesn't sound like much, but it went from about 24" of walking room to over 30"! It is amazing how much bigger the camper feels now. 

Hubby and I used to have to take turns standing up, lol. The original dinette cushions are the seat cushions, the couch arms are spare bed pillows for reading in bed & the back is a body pillow for night.

The storage boxes make accessing everything SO MUCH easier.

I built removable tables that fit into brackets in front of couch. You can see them in more detail here. 

Swing up Fold Down Table that takes up less than an inch! and a tutorial!

There is also a swing-up snack table on the arm by the door. I actually wrote a tutorial on how to build it - See the tutorial here

Our daughter in law gave us this marvelous  'personal' table by Lifetime which fits perfectly! It is    30" L x 20" W  and adjustable from 21"- 28" high.  Here's your chance to give me a penny - check it out!   We have ended up using this more than the small tables, especially for meals. It folds flat and stores in the shower when we're not using it.

Here is how I modified the boxes so that the legs of the table can slide under to make more walking room. The holes are boxed in so that the storage boxes are still usable. 

There's a rolling trolley that slides in between the couch and bed and has 8 feet of shelf space in 10 1/2"  (this photo was before I finished sewing the couch cover) See more about it here

Removable Chalkboard in Tiny Kitchen - Genius!

Removable Chalkboard in Tiny Kitchen - Genius!

I put chalkboard contact paper on all doors for marking contents & making notes (love this!!) use upside down cup handle to hold chalk. The chalkboard over the kitchen sink is removable so you can take your list shopping with you. Sticky back Velcro holds it to the door.

For most of the cabinets, I used regular contact paper and spray painted it black with Walmart flat black spray paint. It makes great chalkboard. If you want to use real adhesive chalkboard vinyl - here's where to get it (affiliate link ... penny for my thoughts)


For some reason, they made the counter really low. I found the best solution is to get a folding stool from Walmart (of course) to sit on while I wash dishes. It folds up flat and stores by the toilet with a bungee cord to keep it in place.

Small camper storage ideas! Genius!

Added a pull out wire basket which allows much easier use of area under the sink.

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Replaced furnace thermostat with a digital one - haven't used it yet.

Simple pot lid storage with scrap wood - wow!

Made pot lid holders that are really handy! Instructions here

UPDATE:  - this is STILL an amazing faucet. About a month into its use, the neck started to become looser and looser. I contacted the seller, who replied very quickly and not only told me how to tighten it, but sent me extra parts to make sure it stayed tight. I didn't use the extra parts, since it is so easy to tighten - above the on/off handle there is a collar that holds the neck. I simply tightened it with my hands, and it's great. If it loosens up, I can tighten it again, but so far, so good. They sent extra o-rings and a plastic collar. I recommend this faucet!

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Added wine glass rack over sink - dollar tree socks cut in half protect them and the yellow bottle keeps them from sliding out of the rack while traveling.

Spice Rack in dead area by microwave! Great idea!

Spice Rack in dead area by microwave! Great idea!

Added built in spice rack to side of microwave cabinet - really simple. Cheese board swings out of the way for access. Made tea & spice holder on side of range fan. 

Made new wooden cover for stove that also fits sink since the formica covered chipboard one that came with the camper was swelling up.

Added magnetic knife rack. (On wall to right, can't see it in photo)

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Installed wire shelf over foot of bed - holds laptops (and box of wine lol.)

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Under it hangs a fruit & vegetable net and a bag holder for plastic store bags to be used for trash, etc.

Plastic wraps, etc are stored on the wall in a holder made from a wine box covered in contact paper.
Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Built dog food & water area in what was a blank section under refrigerator <-- that was fun :) and now I don't trip over the dog food all the time and the water can't be spilled!! There is no bowl in there now, but the bowl goes in the hole. I had a lip on the area, and realized I had to raise it up so that I could brush the spilled dog food out of the area more easily. I haven't yet covered the raw edge I exposed when I did this. Now that the water doesn't spill, it's safer by the electrical box LOL

The water container is a 99 cent pitcher from Walmart (of course). The handle slips into a pipe bracket mounted to the wall so it cannot spill.  I cut the side down on so my little dog can reach the water. If you have large dogs, you wouldn't have to cut the side. It does not spill, even when we forget to empty it before moving. Now if I could only get my large dog to stop drooling & slopping water all over.


AMAZING FREE mod to a small shower - here I moved the shower head & modified the existing shower curtain track and gained tons of space in the shower - check it out!

Then I went ahead with a complete shower remodel for $20! See it here.

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup BlogAmazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Rebuilt small medicine cabinet into large corner medicine cabinet
Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Oxygenics Shower Head 
One of the most important mods to making your camping trip comfortable - I replaced the pathetic shower head with an  Oxygenics Shower head.  I had seen where other people said it was great, but didn't really think it would make that much difference. So, for hubby's birthday, I bought one LOL perfect present - for both of us, but I got credit for a good gift LOL - anyway - it is amazing. It mixes air into the water and makes it feel like you are using a lot more water than you are. I can actually shower until I want to get out and not run out of hot water! It really is amazing !

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Installed 2 sets of towel hooks plus single hooks by bathroom sink to hold washcloths. & towels. 

Installed stick up hooks in shower area.

Put loops & names on all towels, buttonholes in all washcloths so everything can go on a hook. You can see the washcloths in the photo of the medicine cabinet.


Replaced mattress with memory foam mattress.
Made wall pocket on far side of bed for clock, kleenex, sleep mask etc.

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Made dog cover for bed & couch so dogs can sleep on couch at night and bed while we are out.
(Here they are on their cozy couch :) It was very cold! This was before I made the cover :) but you can see the dog cover on the bed in the next photo.

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

 It is made from denier nylon? I think. Got it in the fabric section of Walmart for $5/yard. Waterproof & very heavy. Extremely glad I had it when my big dog threw up on the bed LOL

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Removed bunk door panel and built shelving, covered by curtains. Holds a TON of stuff! I installed the wire shelving upside down so there is a bar to keep stuff from bouncing off. Nothing ever has.

New curtains with pvc curtain rod. Tutorial to come!

Installed  IKEA led reading lights on each side of bed - unfortunately they are not 12v so can't wire them directly in. They were $10 in the store, but you can get them at Amazon for a little more. Just remove the bottom, cut a piece of wood that fits, screw the wood to the wall, screw the light to the wood.

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Hung wire racks over head of bed for books, magazines and movies. They rest on the metal bar from the bunk bed, so they aren't going to fall :)

When you closed the curtain by the bed, there was no airflow from the A/C because the curtain went all the way to the ceiling. I originally added 6" ribbons to the top of the curtain to fix this. I could have done it with netting, I suppose, but I had ribbon and didn't have netting LOL Update! I found netting in my stash and took the ribbons off and added netting to the top of the curtain. Photos soon!

Added shelving to large found storage area under head of bed -  see post here


Sterlite drawers above wardrobe. I made tabs with velcro that hold the drawers closed while traveling. The bungee cord keeps the whole thing from sliding out.  Tutorial to come!

Raised wardrobe bar to gain almost 2". (just remove bottom screws and swing it up - put screws in hole (now top) in new location - easy peasy

Built shoe rack on bottom of wardrobe.

Amazing Ideas and Tutorials for Small Spaces and Campers Wacky Pup Blog

Permanently mounted dog waste bags by door.

Net bags screwed to wardrobe & clothing doors.


Made USB charging area on end of cabinets holds multiple tablets, phones & gps.
Added outlet under the front (side?) of the bed (kitchen/hallway lol) It is boxed in and recessed so that you can have something plugged in when you pull out the rolling trolley.
Picture also shows new easy access door to pump & water tank drain valve. YAY!

Tons of Camper Mods and Storage Ideas for Small Spaces - Wacky Pup Blog

Added outlet at head of bed (orignally under dinette).


Stool stored conveniently in bathroom - easy bungee access

The stool for washing dishesand the broom are held to the bathroom wall by a bungee cord. Notice that this end is a hook, not a loop so that it is easy to unhook and rehook the cord.

Convenient storage of outside tables

The large plastic & small glass outside tables are held to the end of the couch by bungee cords.


Made sayings to cut with my Silhouette Cameo and stick all over the outside of the camper :) like: Camping is cheaper than therapy
If you would like the cut files, let me know!

Life is Short Go Camping!

Live in the Sunshine
Swim the Sea
Drink the Wild Air

Adventure Awaits

If you would like the files to cut these yourself, let me know and I'll send you a copy.

Other Mods:

Added hooks everywhere :)

Made vinyl overlay for screen door so that we can have the door open when it's hot or cold. It's held on with velcro. I plan to post a tutorial on this, let me know if you're interested.

Maintenance -

Removed & reseated front window and one side window that were really badly installed and leaked

Replaced the electrical inverter - easy peasy!

Planning to
Make a cutting board to fit sink.
Insulate front window so I won't freeze when it's cold :)

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