Chris from Minnesota
I'm Chris. I'm just having a blast remodeling. Here's my novel:
As of Nov 2013, I had never spent a single night in an RV. The next month, as of Dec 2013, I was full-timing in my "new" 1998 Rialta QD...in Minnesota...at 14 degrees below zero before wind-chill. I escaped to Arizona and CA from January thru March and even stopped by Quartzsite. I bought my new home with about 174k miles on it and it now has 186k. I've visited relatives in KS and OH.
Although, I am not really handy, I am slowly getting this thing customized to become a perfect full-time home. It came with a single 100w solar panel and a sad solar controller set up (and no generator). After educating myself on HandiBob Solar's blog, I was able to tell an installer in AZ what I wanted. They removed the roof AC unit and added 600w of panels (700 total watts now), plus all of the accoutrements to make it do what it needs, including running the microwave and rear 110v outlets. Next, a friend helped me replace the old dirty carpet with hardwood laminate. I stopped by MO and picked up a Step Warmfloor system, had a local electrician wire it, and now am ready for next winter with heated hardwood floors. I put Cryogel, which is a new type of super-thin insulation known as aerogel under the floors and in the back wall and in the walls of the area where the cab meets the coach. To my surprise, there was absolutely no insulation in the back fiberglass wall at all.
I have torn out most of the furniture, but not the kitchen or bathroom, ripped out the back 18" wide counter, and cut into that trunk space, ripping that plastic mostly all out. I have the new 48(!) gallon water tank ready to be installed back there as well as a HappiJac bedlift that is going to require custom fabrication that I didn't count on. I finally found someone confident to tackle it, and am looking forward to no longer sleeping on the floor by the end of the week! I've got a new energy efficient 5200btu window-mount AC unit fit into the generator compartment, but I need to get some more metalwork done so it'll vent better. I do enjoy the idea of solar powered air-conditioning though.
hehe, it's all a mess now, but it sure is fun! ...especially when something gets done and the vision inches closer to reality. Anyway, that's my Rialta story so far. Can't wait to share the end result. I'm trying to post a couple pics.