Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 3- the living room and kitchen)

The layout of the main living area in our camper is just about perfect for us. It has opposing slides, which open up the space a lot. Also, the ceilings being so high help with that. (We are 13’6″ high.) Some images I’ve taken from Grand Design‘s website and some are my own.

All of the brochures say there are overhead cabinets above the couch. There aren’t. I think there may have been in 2013 and 2014 and Grand Design has just failed to remove that part…

I’ll start with the kitchen…

I really wanted an island when we were looking at new campers. Not only does it add counter space (which in campers, is always at a minimum) but it also let’s me have a conversation with Allen when I’m prepping dinner or my least favorite chore: washing dishes, which he doesn’t do nearly enough of, IMHO.

 The island in our Grand Design Momentum has a marble looking top and double basin sink with sink covers. We usually keep the smaller side covered, adding even more counter space. The faucet has a sprayer that pulls down so you can rinse the whole sink. Under the sink there is room for a small trash can on one side and two shelves on the other. Next to those cabinet doors are three drawers. There are three shelves on either side of the island with blue LED lights under them and outlets on both sides as well. Directly above the island are two chandelier lights that hang down and add a nice touch that I haven’t seen too often in campers.

In the kitchen slide, there is a large pantry with 3 shelves and 3 drawers, an oven and stove- with stove covers that match the island, a storage drawer underneath the stove, a marble looking backsplash, a convection microwave above, and another storage cabinet above that.

The stove WITH the covers on.

The stove WITHOUT the covers.

This would be my attempt at organizing the pantry… for probably the third time…  yikes!

Next to the stove is our “residential-size” fridge. Which means it’s huge in the world of campers, but still not quite as deep as normal ACTUAL residential fridges. (We can’t fit one of those can holders that roll the cans forward for instance). All the appliances are stainless steel. And our fridge is actually magnetic! Another rarity in the camper world…

I think I might be overly excited about the magnetic fridge…It’s getting quite cluttered.  And I’ve been on a post-it note kick lately so those are stuck everywhere!

Above the kitchen there is a vent hatch with a fan. It is controlled by buttons on the wall, has four speeds, and has a rain sensor, so when it starts raining, it’ll automatically close. There’s also an air conditioner that has a heat pump on it. I didn’t know what the heat pump was until I started Googling. It’ll warm up the room by 4 degrees at a time. Any more than that, the furnace will kick on. But that is going to be really nice come wintertime! (And since I’m kind of spoiled with it, and we aren’t paying electric right now, I’ve used it twice here in San Francisco in the morning when it’s chilly – it’s awesome!)

Combine the heat pump with the electric fireplace (I’ve used that too…), and we should be nice and cozy! The fireplace has 10 different looks going from super bright and blazing, to just a small little thing, and 2 different heat blower levels. It also has a remote and a timer that can be set. The fireplace is under the flat screen TV. It’s flanked by two storage cabinets. (Ours contain liquor on one side and dog food on the other.) Above one of the cabinets is a radio/CD player/DVD player/Bluetooth and USB capable thing that plays through the surround sound system and can play in the living room, the bedroom, or outside, or any combination of those three. Above the TV there are cabinets all the way across where we keep our DVDs and books. Above the TV there are light switches and a USB charging port. (It took us a full week to figure out how to turn the LED lights on the island off!)

***Full disclosure: This entertainment system is also junk, but not as bad as the one in the garage. It’s a Furrion radio/CD player and a Haier TV. Furrion products are supposed to be able to communicate with other Furrion products so I’m not sure why Grand Design would skimp on the Furrion TV here. If we watch TV we can’t use the surround sound system. But if we watch a DVD or listen to music we can. Also, every time we switch between the DVD player and our separate BlueRay player, we have to unplug and replug in the TV because it gets all confused and will play sound but no picture. We thought at first it was a faulty HDMI cord so Grand Design sent us a new one… Read about that fiasco in the DIYs & MODs section at the bottom of this post…

That’s our Bug-A-Salt rifle sitting under the TV. It’s pretty awesome!

Across from the kitchen is the other slide that holds the couch, 4 theater style seats. They all recline all the way back. The two end seats have cup holders, massage, and heat. There are blue LED lights under the couch also. There are huge picture windows behind and on either side of the couch, letting lots of light and fresh air in, which I love! We have a table that matches the countertops that we can set up in front of the couch if we want to eat in the living room. We’ve only done that a few times though.


You can get to the garage through a glass door and to the half-bath from the living room. There is a loft bed on top of the bath, that has a pull out ladder to get up to it. There is another vent hatch with a fan up there and a window (just for light, it doesn’t open). Currently we just use that space for storage. We keep our out-of-season clothes in Ziploc Space Saver bags (I love those things). Luckily for us, and Allen’s OCD tendencies, the loft came with a curtain that slides across and covers all that.

I took this one from Grand Design's website. (I don't ever have that many lemons laying around.)

I took this one from Grand Design’s website. (I don’t ever have that many lemons laying around.)

The floor is lighter colored and patterned which makes it like camouflage for dirt. I love it! There is a built in central vac with a plug-in spot on the second step leading up to the bathroom and bedroom and a kick plate so you can just sweep dust and dirt right in! Also, right by the steps is a coat closet with a couple hooks inside. Above that is the “jimmy jankster” – Allen’s term – or the control center.  It’s where the controls for the awning, step lights, porch lights, and slides are. It’s also where you can see how full the tanks are (fresh, 2 gray and 2 black- although I’m always iffy if we should trust those sensors.)

Some sensors I DO trust because I know they work are the smoke alarm and propane alarm! Allen set the smoke alarm off the first time he made breakfast for us, and set the propane alarm off because he insisted on spraying sunscreen on me INSIDE!

One thing I do want to mention that I love about this camper is that when we are traveling, and stop at a rest stop or what not, I can get to the bathroom and one side of the fridge. In our old camper we had to open the slide to get to the bathroom. And in order to be able to crack the fridge open enough to grab a soda, we had to climb over the couch. So I really like this part.

DIYs & MODS

  • I’ll start with the HDMI cord. After waiting weeks for my buddy Jerry in the warranty department to get us a replacement HDMI cord, we discovered that all of the cords running between the TV and speakers and CD player are all enclosed in the entertainment center hutch thing.  So Allen tried to attach the new cord to the old one and pull it through. Well, there’s some tiny holes it runs through inside the entertainment center that we couldn’t get to. So he wound up cutting a small hole and running the cord up behind the TV. It doesn’t look bad at all. Plus it’s behind the TV. Still, one of those annoying little things that come with all new campers.

    This is right behind the pole that the TV is attached to.

    And this is underneath, you can’t see it.

  • We’ve run an extension cord from the right side of the couch, behind, and out the other side to have outlets on both ends. (Allen got sick of handing me my phone when it was charging on “his side” of the couch, and decided to remedy that!)
  • I’ve put up Command hooks on the backsplash of the stove to hang utensils I use a lot. And we put one on the side of the entertainment center to hang MY keys (Allen never loses his…)IMG_1640
  • We’ve also put small pieces of Velcro to hold remotes, since EVERYTHING has a remote and it’s hard to keep track of which remote goes to which device. (But, we were drinking that night -combine that with the Xzilon coating- and we woke up to remotes all over the floor because the Velcro didn’t stick!)
  • I’ve made a few throw pillow covers to add some personality to the living room: DIY Pillow Covers, and DIY Pillow Covers, Round 2IMG_2391

Previously: 

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Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 1)

It’s recently occurred to me, as I’ve been checking out other RV blogs, that I’ve never actually given a tour of our camper… In the blogosphere at least! I love our home, and I’m proud of it, so here it goes!

We live on the road full-time in a 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH.  We bought it in March from Palm Beach RV in Florida.  We looked for months (at least 6) and went to numerous RV shows in multiple states, visited dealers, looked online and read reviews.  We knew we wanted a 5th wheel. We knew we wanted a toy hauler (that’s what the TH stands for in the name).  And we knew we need at least a 12ft garage to eventually fit a Smart car.

The rest we kind of decided along the way:

  • an island in the kitchen
  • a full size fridge
  • a king size bed
  • a washer/dryer
  • actual closet space
  • a pantry
  • a couch AND a table to eat dinner at
  • a patio
  • nice entry steps that don’t rust
  • automatic leveling jacks
  • a generator

***Notice the order those are listed in: my top priorities first  😉 -I’m writing this post so that’s allowed!

The Momentum 385TH met our wants and needs, and even more. So, we went for it!

She’s good looking’ huh??!

IMG_5108

The morning after we picked her up, at Palm Beach Traveler RV Park, we were ready to take off for the muddy swamp that some call Louisiana!

I’ll start with the basic exterior features, then work my way through the inside.  I’m going to list DIYs and MODs we’ve done as well.  I always find it interesting and helpful to see what other RVers have done, so I’ll share our little tweaks (and issues we’ve had along the way also).

The camper (some people say fifth wheel, some say rig, RV, etc., I just refer to her as a camper) is 43′ long. Here’s the basic layout and numbers:Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.34.25 PM

Some of these photos I took from Grand Design’s website, others are my own. You can probably tell the difference!

It came equipped with a Onan 5500 generator in the front that can run everything. We have run it all night long on less than 5 gallons. There are 2 – 30gallon fuel tanks. One that feeds into the generator. And one that has a pump that you can connect to pump fuel into your toys, motorcycle, car, etc. or pump into the generator tank.Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.33.18 PM

There are 3 slides, 2 electric awnings (the main awning has LED lights across it), 2 entry doors (with aluminum steps that won’t rust), a patio that folds down in the back with a manual awning over it, frameless tinted windows, 3 air conditioners, heated tanks with an insulated and heated underbelly (which will help like crazy this winter if we get stuck somewhere cold like last year! – Oklahoma City… Frozen water lines… Frozen toilet… New toilet… Not fun…). There are LED lights under the steps and flood lights in the back.  We opted to add a Xzilon coating to the outside, as well as the inside (which guarantees we won’t have to wax it for 5 years).Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.28.45 PM

There is a large pass through cubby in the front-ish.  The generator is actually in the very front.  But it’s to the right of the front door.  All the cubby doors slam-latch closed, and most of them have magnetic something or others that hold them open.  The pass through cubby is heated so things, as well as water lines won’t freeze in the winter.

 The camper came with a swing arm for a TV, and we just mounted the TV from our old camper on it.  I like being able to sit outside and watch the race or a game (or occasionally Dr. Phil-Allen’s favorite! Haha! Just kidding…). We used to have to set up the white folding table and run the cord out through the door if we wanted to watch TV outside.  Which wasn’t so bad either, just more work.

Twin Rivers RV Park, Hobe Sound, Florida, May 2013

Twin Rivers RV Park, Hobe Sound, Florida, May 2013

Red Coconut RV Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, January 2014

Red Coconut RV Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, January 2014

Abe’s RV Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 2014

Lake Pines RV Park, Columbus, Georgia, February 2014


DIYs & MODs

  • Allen found some metal hooks and screws at an Ace Hardware (where employees still actually take the time to help you) that we hung up on the ceiling of the cubby for our fishing poles. He mounted them to the metal beams that went across. So far they are working well! It keeps them from getting all tangled and broken when we drive. ***Disclosure: we are NOT avid or even somewhat avid fishermen. We took his kids fishing this summer a couple of times, but we had to buy poles for that, and so we needed somewhere to keep them.Charlie sleeping in the cubby
  • We discovered a puddle in the cubby and found a leak in the water line so we had to fix that a couple of weeks ago. Here’s that scenario: Leaks are the Worst!IMG_1930
  • Currently the leveling system is all wonky and has lost its mind. Here’s that situation: Broken Leveling Jacks. I’ll update when we finally fix it.
  • Allen had a little run-in with a yellow pole in a gas station parking lot. Here’s where we fixed the ladder: A Little Camper FixingIMG_2209

I’m going to give you the tour in parts… If I did it all in one post, it would be ridiculously long! But I will link them all together as I get them written!

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