We started examining the interior of the Travco in detail today. We made some decisions on future décor. We discovered some features we were unaware of. And we learned what carelessness can destroy in a short time.
At 40 years of age, this Travco has seen better days. Leaving it in thick bush land for eight years or more didn’t do it any favors either. But quick fixes and poor maintenance has done just as much to the RV as time and weather.
The rot in the back of the Travco was caused from the exterior seams not being examined and re-caulked regularly. The corner fan doesn’t work, nor does the wall light in the closes that houses the breaker box. I’m not sure if this is due to water damage in the walls or some other wiring issue.
The place was full of mouse droppings. Dustpans full. Mice had started a nest in the lower davo. I disinfected as much as I could, and placed Irish Spring soap bars where the largest dropping piles were found. For five dollars worth of soap I have prevented further rodent issues. Mice hate the smell of Irish Spring.
The stovetop is ruined, all due to carelessness when packing the RV up for the winter. Someone left a half full metal tea kettle on one of the burners. As luck would have it, no one used this RV for the last three years. The water rusted through the kettle and was well on its way to eating clear through the stainless steel cook top. If the rust comes off, the surface is still very badly pitted. Not sure if it will ever be safe or sanitary. I’ve been debating whether or not to remove the unit and extend the counter top, adding space for a microwave and electric griddle. With the Onan generator, I shouldn’t need LP gas for the stove top, and I never use the oven anyway.
There were two frustrating messes in the bathroom. A Hibachi style barbecue was rusted to the floor of the shower stall. I’m going to hide that stain with a rubber mat.
The other mess again involves mice and soap. Soap was left in two metal soap dishes attached to the bathroom walls. The mice got into the soap and left urine and feces in the dishes, corroding them. These have to be replaced.
I come from a family where we take pride in our possessions. My parents understood that when you maintain your things – from house, yard and car to kitchen floor – it pays off in reduced replacement costs over the years. Looking after your property gives you a sense of purpose, pride and self worth. Teaching our children the skills to maintain their possessions and surroundings sets them up to be responsible adults who appreciate what you and they have worked for.
Maybe I’m expecting too much from people. I’m beginning to wonder if I am entirely out of touch with today’s throw-away world. We are bombarded with advertisements to upgrade – bigger house, newer car, and faster computer – to never be satisfied with what we have. Striving to be a better person and give your family the best life you can is honorable. To participate blindly in the consumerist arms race is foolish at best and ruinous at its worst.
I’ll stick to my 40 year old Travco for now. It’s not perfect. Never will be. It reminds me of my childhood when I was happy with one Barbie doll with a few outfits made by my great aunt. By the way, I still have the doll and clothes because my parents taught me to look after my toys.