Saturday, April 18, 2009

Refrige... later!

A lovely, smallish cardboard box was waiting for me on the front deck when I returned from the gym yesterday.  “Refigerator,” it was labeled.  Wow, that was fast!  You see, I had found on an RV website a fridge designed specifically to replace the icebox on an older camper.  And it runs on propane and electric!  What could more perfect?  True, it cost a heck of a lot more than the camper itself, but I thought, this might be something worth spending a little money on.  What if I’m parked along some sweet stream in the middle of nowhere, or under a stovepipe cactus somewhere in the desert?  Gotta have that crème fraiche on the caviar, right?  One can take “roughing it” only so far, after all. 


And here it is!  

I lug it behind the house where the camper is resting, all nice and white-trash-like, debris strewn all over the place where I’ve just opened the camper door and tossed (therefore doing my bit to bring down property values on the road.)  I set it down and carefully open the box.  I had already removed the icebox in anticipation of the big day, so there was a nice gaping hole under the “Auotcrat” 3-burner stove.  I see the new fridge is slightly larger than the original icebox.  No problem there; I’ve got enough wiggle room in that spot to adjust the opening for the new unit.


But, um… hold on now.  Where is the on/off switch?  There’s nothing I can see anywhere on the door.  Maybe inside?  Nope, nothing on the interior of the unit.  I step back and cock my head, trying to figure out where I might turn on my new refrigerator.  I circle the beast, carefully observing and there, on the back, on the bottom of the back, on the bottom corner of the back of the refrigerator are the controls, including the propane ignition switch. 


Am I missing something?  This unit is screwed tight into the cabinet once it’s installed.  How the heck am I supposed to get at the controls to operate it?  And won’t the gas line be rigid and keep it in place even if it were partially moveable?


I’m stumped.  Totally stumped.  The only thing I can figure is that on most RVs slightly younger than half-a-century there’s some kind of hatch on the exterior where one could access the controls.  As it is…?  Well, I don’t imagine I’ll be disassembling my home every time I want to keep the olive loaf from spoiling.


Back to the drawing board!


But apart from that it’s progressing very nicely, thank you.  The stove is indeed in place and waiting to be hooked up.  I installed a couple of outlets and an additional reading light in the, um, bedroom.  All the benches have new plywood seats to hold the cushions that are on order and as soon as I hem the curtains they can go onto the new curtain rods.   And the second coat of polyurethane glossed the thing up so it looks like it’s lined in a layer of aspic.  Later today I’ll be installing the TV and the surround sound system (which makes me laugh every time I say it) and when I scrape off the old crumbly tile I can lay the new kitchen floor.


Yessiree Bob, it’s moving right along!


Look how purty the camper’s looking already!  (See the space where some as-yet-to-be-determined cooling device will go?)  And look how happy I am to be sitting in my on-the-way-to-being-a-kitchen!  (Note the 1-gallon can of polyurethane under the table.  Or, "travel-size" as I call it.)  And look how great the t-shirts will look when they exist!  (It’s just a virtual, Photohopped garment at this point.) 


Me likee!

(By the way, I’m open to suggestions for an appropriate magazine to pitch a 12-part series of my trip-tour-adventure.  

Travel?  Lifestyle?  Gay?  Gay lifestyle?  Gay travel?  Wig trends?  Doll collectors?)



  1. Instead of the magazine installments why not do a video diary? You could install a (groan) ham-cam.

  2. This is non-fiction material-- remember Bryson's A Walk in the Woods? This is all that and then some-- A Ham on the Road?

  3. I will be on the lookout for whatever it is you end up doing. I'm sure it'll be exciting!

  4. How about a 6 part for NY Times, LA Times, or SF Chronicle? I could also see this story in National Geographic Traveler or National Geographic Adventure. Not sure that they do series though. You could always sell different angles to different outlets, camper rehab story to Dwell, on-the-road story to American Road or Budget Travel, follow-your-dreams story to Parade Magazine or Vanity Fair, man's adventure story to GQ or Esquire, traveling road show story to a gay magazine (are there any that haven't collapsed?), "Is Your Man's Camper Big Enough" quiz to Cosmo.

  5. Excellent suggestions, all! Thanks!