Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wanted: A life coach for RV building

You know, we live in an age of specialization and I think I've come up with an idea for a new job: RV construction consultant. This is different from tech counselor. This is more like a "life coach" for RV builders.

Here's why: I feel myself getting to the point where I'm overwhelmed by what I need to do next, and so I don't know what to do next.

Example: It's too cold to work on the canopy anymore so that's put away 'til spring... I don't want to install the struts and mounts (even though that's what I've been working on) without having the canopy in place.

I don't have an engine yet. I've been buying stuff sort of willy-nilly as funds become available. I've got two foam cores from Oregon Aero but they haven't been upholstered yet, nor is there a hole cut yet for the crotch strap. I just bought the Hooker Harness set. I just bought the ICOM radio. I already had the autopilot. I've got the Whelen strobe power pack mounted but there are no wires to it and no wires from it because I haven't planned a panel or wiring routing yet because I haven't decided yet whether I can afford the Vertical Power system which makes a difference in how I design an electrical system... the rear top skins are off... the seatbacks haven't been installed yet because I don't know if I'll need to take the floor up to run wires underneath and.... and.... and.....

So the project is sitting in the garage mostly (part of it is at a hangar but the fuse isn't on landing gear yet so I can't just roll it up onto a flatbed... and it has steps so I can't just plop it in the back of a pick-up and, besides, the hangar isn't heated... of course, neither is the garage.

I've certainly made steady, if certainly slow... progress on the thing over the years.... but now I feel it sitting in the garage... mocking me; saying "c'mon, I dare you to figure out something meaningful you can do on the project."

It seems I'm at the stage where everything somehow depends on something else being done.

I think I'm playing the RV version of "Six degrees of Kevin Bacon."

Yeah, an RV building coach. That could be the next hot job! Someone who makes me "drop and give 'em 20" when I can't figure out what to do next.

Related link: Working Smart: How to get the most out of your shop time.
See the related thread with solutions on Van's Air Force.


  1. I know exactly how you feel, except I hit this point a lot earlier when I was finishing up my wings. This was back in '96 and it proved to be fatal; I sold my project.

    We may be more fortunate today, what with the internet and sites like VAF. But it sure would be nice to have a pep coach come visit and help construct one of those progress charts and help you get back on your feet.

    Maybe you should spend some time with some planning software and decide on the layout of your panel. Or find a friend with a nice heated garage and finish you canopy over at his place. But by all means hang in there. You've come too far to turn back now!

    Best regards,


  2. I have built four planes, including 3 RV's and am a Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor. I see a lot of projects and what I tell builders when they get discouraged is that building an airplane is like eating an elephant. You can't swollow on whole. You have to eat it one bite at a time. The plane is the same. Try to do some little bit every day, even if it is just reading ahead in the plans. Do that and the project will turn into a plane faster than you think. Let it rest for a few days and then the few days turns into a few weeks, and then ..... So, if you want to complete your project and turn it into the plane of your dreams, start eating; one bite at a time. Jim Cone

  3. Great idea, Bob. I was feeling the same things today. Maybe we're at the same stage (hump?) in the building process.

    I'm afraid an ad as "RV Life Coach For Rent" won't fill the hole in my retirement plan created by a glass panel. The abundant web resources are great, but sometimes too much is just too much. Maybe this is an opportunity for a more one to one relationship with another builder.

    Should we check Craig's list, or