Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mary Was Determined to Be Here

We were part of a team of 10 people who showed up for the Care-A-Vanner Build in Macon.  It was a good group and everyone got along well.  All were retired like us, all had RVs and the photo below shows us all set up at the Habitat For Humanity facility at their RV sites specially made for Care-A-Vanners.
Mary's RV is parked 3rd from the left next to us.

Mary is a retired firefighter from the Tallahassee area eand quite adventurous.  She had been reading about Habitat for Humanity and the RVers who travel to different places in their RVs (otherwise known as Care-A-Vanners). The thought of participating in a build interested her so she signed up to join us.

She was not concerned about the fact that she had never volunteered before with Habitat.  And she shouldn't be.  The whole volunteer concept with Habitat is for people with all levels of experience and ability.  From my perspective the main criteria is being willing to learn and able to get along with others.  That was certainly not a problem for Mary.  She is one of the most affable, friendly and personable people we've met.  And a firefighter!

But there was a small issue -- she had no RV!

But she did have a trailer with a ramp and a truck.  And she had the desire and determination and ingenuity and courage and resourcefulness to find a way to get here.

She built her own RV.
At first glance, I thought it was one of those Land Rover jeep with a camper on top jobs, without the jeep part.  The shade of paint and the matching tarp fooled me a little.

Upon closer inspection, I realized she had built it on the trailer frame.  Very ingenious.  I believe she said she had the wood she needed so she just built it with that.
She even has a couple of locking tool/storage compartments she mounted on each side.  And the frame rail across the top around the sides is the perfect support for the main body of the living area.
Then to top-it-off so to speak, she bought a very nice breathable but weatherproof  canvas coverin with grommets around the edges.  Bungee cords hold it securely in place.

Fascinating!  Who builds their own RV.  Mary.  Why--she decided she wanted to be here and found a way to make it happen.  It took he three weeks and she finished the project within budget.  (I'm not sure what it cost her overall, but the most expensive piece that she had to purchase was the tarp ~$60.)

Most other people would go out and buy a small trailer on credit and pay it off over the next ten years.  I like Mary's way better.  Its unique, shows her resourcefulness determination in joining us.  She really wanted to be here! 

Now for a tour of the inside.  With her permission, I took a few pictures of that also.
With the front door open you can see the platform bed, recliner, sofa on the left side.  There is storage underneath the platform.  It is hinged about 1/3 of the way on the platform so it becomes a lounge/recliner to do some reading etc.

Inside, you can see some shelving and windows on each side.
The frame from the outside comes through at a handy place so she can attach a clip on light.

Looking out from the front of the RV, her rear door has a latch from the inside, more shelves and easy access for an electrical cord.
We arrived on Saturday and the weather was pretty nice.  The temperatures were in high 60's for a few days then dropped into the 50's.  The nights started out being in the 40's but by the end of the first week, the temperature dropped into the 30's.

Mary had an electric blanket and an air mattress and was mostly warm.  But then when it got real cold she made other arrangements.  She built this in three weeks.  I can't wait until next year's model to see what upgrades she comes up with.

Mary also brought the campfire and we had some around the campfire sessions with her Weber pot bellied grill that also served as our campfire.
The HFH facility in Macon is awesome with showers, washer/dryers, full kitchen and a dump station for our use.  Her RV is perfect for the warm fall and spring weather, but without insulation and good heat -- it can be a challenge.

We were so impressed with her that she conceived, designed and built this and made the trip there to join us.  
She is one of the nicest and friendliest people we've met.  And determined. 

I have often said, "There is more than one way to do this".   And Mary proved that again.  It was fun meeting her and working with her and see her RV.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

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