The Schwartz Makeover – Part 1

Yes, it’s official!! The RV finally has a name: The Schwartz (from the movie Spaceballs.) And we will need the Schwartz to be with us if we’re going to have everything ready in less than 6 weeks!
May The Schwartz Be With You Spaceballs

I’m happy to report that the Schwartz Makeover is coming along really well!

JC having too much fun 

JC used some leftover wood to build storage units for the former top bunk and a work station for his computer.  He’s also devised an insulation method for several of the windows.

Build sheets
Storage units pre-installation
JC at work on the storage unitWorkstation area BEFORE:
Building the workstation
And AFTER:Work station in progress

I’m making new curtains and fabric covers for our storage units from old table cloths.

Working on the storage covers

JC added a bit of cheery yellow to some of the walls to stave off the multi-faceted mauve-and-gold hell that the cabinets offer. And we bought two sustainably-grown, chocolate brown wool/sisal rugs to re-carpet the main cabin.

New color in the bathroomGetting rid of carpet in the bathroom
We’re still looking for tile for the bathroom, kitchen and dining area. (The RV was built with carpet in the bathroom.  Does that make any kind of sense?!) I hope that since it’s such a small area to cover that we can fill it with some nice reclaimed pieces.

And then there’s our Big Compromise – the two “captain’s chairs” and dinette seats. These desperately needed to be re-upholstered but none of the upholstery guys we found would work with any “alternative” methods. They want to work with what they know, which is a selection of leather, vinyl and poly-based fabrics. They quoted concerns about durability and how the new or reclaimed fabrics would “lay.” None of them would even consider working with cotton of any weight. We didn’t think it would be smart to experiment and then potentially have to re-upholster again. Maybe if we had more time…but Time is cracking the whip everyday, now!

The current state of the cab:

Front cab without seats

Yesterday, we went in to choose the fabrics and vinyl. Julio’s Auto Upholstery in Highland Park is doing the work and it is an amazing place. They work out of a large Depression Era warehouse called “The Shop” with high rafters peppered with arches and loft areas with skylights streaming in sunlight – and it is packed to the gills with classic cars and trucks and new sport models. Both JC and I were mesmerized by a craftsman working on a leather panel the color caramel appears to you in dreams. He perforated the leather using a hammer and hand tool to punch out one tiny hole at a time. It turned out to be a vent cover for an inset speaker. I’m so enthralled by artisans who build beautiful things with their hands – JC included!!

We pick up the seats and will have the cab carpet installed in a few days. I’ll send some more pictures after JC gets the main cabin carpet in.  It will look like a whole new Schwartz!! Wait until you see the dinette cushions – fingers crossed that our design ideas work out like we hope! (And toes crossed that the Schwartz helps everyone make a smooth transition from solid home to mobile….)

Next up… Solar panel installation, finishing the insulation panels, finalizing the storage rack and adding our map the website! Oh, and yes, we still have a LOT of packing to do!

The Schwartz under the lamps

About Anastasia King Jaress

Anastasia is a former media producer who hit the road to sustainability in April 2013 with her husband JC and Mattie, the dog. She writes about food, community, sustainability, travel, family and the myriad questions that boggle them.

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  1. We Are Home - December 5, 2014

    […] was so steep it was straight. We had planned to do a test camping trip in the Schwartz, as our RV was affectionately named, but the last minute decision to sell our house halved our schedule and our camping trial went […]

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