Aruba (/əˈruːbə/ ə-ROO-bə; Dutch pronunciation: [aˈruba])

by andrewodom on April 24, 2014


As I began to think about how to properly document the transformation of our new tiny house on wheels I thought it might be best to show a heapin’ helpin’ of BEFORE photos.

I think it is important to note that our “new to us” travel trailer – the 2007 Starcraft Aruba Lite 268RLS – was in pristine condition when we first saw it. Owned by a retired couple from Ontario it had been gingerly used and immaculately lived in. As their home away from home for 5 months of the calendar year it had already been given a few upgrades (skylight window shades, La-Z-Boy recliners in the rear, additional storage drawers inside, etc) and came with a number of added bonuses (a small generator, a sway bar kit, a few bottle jacks, etc). In fact, the only reason they chose to sell it was because they had recently purchased a small park model here in the RV park we have been living for the last 3.5 months. They had made that transition from nomadic snowbirds to full-time, 100% committed snowbirds. The sale was only by divine intervention as we had all but given up on a search here in Florida for a travel home. And then just a few days later we met Mr. Joe and his wife Ms. Karen and the proverbial wheels were set in motion. To make a long story short within a week we had spoken with our credit union, made an offer, secured the funds, and purchased the trailer. Crystal was incredibly excited and her excitement poured out on to me and added to my own. We were now the owners of a DIY tiny house built by our hands AND a tiny house travel trailer that is universally accepted in almost any RV camping ground. But let’s talk about the inside, shall we?

We are a family of 3. Therefore, we need 3 sleeping slots…..technically anyway. Our daughter is only 2 years and 7 months so she still prefers to sleep with us most of the night and (unfortunately for all around me) I tend to snore and am sometimes banished to a separate area. Imagine this. Two petite gals sleeping in a queen bed. 1 above average size man sleeping on the floor with a pillow and a lap blanket. Okay, so maybe it isn’t that bad. But we need 3 sleeping slots nonetheless.

The TT has a wonderful queen size bed with lovely mattress in the bedroom area. We will not be retrofitting the TT for our SleepNumber at this time. It just seems unnecessary right now. This may change after a few nights of sleeping mind you. But right now we are fine. We are going to build our daughter a bed frame for her toddler bed that will rival any IKEA sells, will be painted to match the rest of our moving house, and will provide a small “hiding spot” underneath for her to play fort or hideout or secret room or whatever she likes to play these days when she begs me to “build a fort.” That will go where the couch currently is. Speaking of which, the couch is a rather comfortable 2-seater, pull-out sofa. We won’t use it though. We don’t have a couch in our tiny house so why do we need one in our TT? Right! We don’t. We will likely sell it or give it to a home that could really use one. In fact, we have such a home in mind and we should hear from them soon. Oh, another reason we don’t need the couch? Did you notice I mentioned having 2 La-Z-Boy recliners in the back of the TT? Oh man! They are comfortable too.

The Aruba also comes equipped with a 4-seater dining room table. Now we haven’t sat at a table proper in almost two years. We just don’t really live like that. We use television trays or our NORBO table or something similar. In our TT we are going to mount a NORBO on the footboard of our daughters bed so that it is there when we want and not when we don’t. Most of the time though we anticipate eating out of doors under our awning as we do most nights now. We cook a number of meals on the grill outdoors so why bring it inside to eat?

The kitchen is pretty much spot on. It is probably a good time to note that Aruba TTs were quite popular in their day because they featured such a light color scheme including white cabinets, light oak accents, etc. There is already a feeling of airiness in the TT. However, we need more. We are beach people and we love walls that reflect the sun and brighten up even the gloomiest of days. And so that is where the majority of the renovations will come in.

Here is what we plan to do:

  • Remove ALL border from the walls
  • Paint the bedroom a blue color
  • Paint the bathroom a mango color
  • Paint the slideout a sunshiney color
  • Paint the remaining walls a neutral color
  • Replace cabinet door hardware
  • Put slipcovers on the recliners
  • Remove all cornice boards
  • Add new window treatments to all windows
  • Add a tile backsplash in the kitchen

…..etc

Will it be easy? We aren’t sure. This is our first RV renovation. However, we are excited to begin and see what we come up with. We want our “new to us” TT to reflect every aspect of who we are the way our current DIY tiny house does. So, will you be joining us for this adventure to? If so, stay tuned. We are going to start working on it today!

In the meantime, enjoy the gallery of BEFORE photos.

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