Bedroom Tear Down Part 1 of 3 (?)

As I stated in the video, there was some water damage when I bought this RV. I did my research. Google said, “Water damage? No problem. Easy peasy.”  Google even gave me some how-to videos.

I was set.

First, I had to remove the cabinets.

How hard could this be? Just remove a few screws and bam! Cabinets removed.

Not in an RV.


cabinet face off


The cabinets have some thick trim around the edges. I mistakenly thought once the trim was off, I would have access to the screws. As you can see in the photo above, no.  More wood.  That small crack in the wall? That is the smaller section of water damage. Looks a little innocent, right? Remember the left side as well. That looks pretty perfect, no? Oh what naive children we are.

At this point I only had the following, Swiss Army knife sized, multi tool to work with:


Yeah, that sucked. I really did not want to make another trip to store.

After a bit of a struggle and good use of the reciprocating saw:

first cabinet down


One cabinet down after an hour and a half.  This is some slow-going repair work. I removed the tall cabinet first because I didn’t want to put it back up anyway. If I messed up, no big deal.  Little did I know, it was the cabinet from Hell. Phew. It has to be down hill from here.

I didn’t have many tools when I started this.  Until now, my favorite and most used tool was a vise grip. It can do nearly anything. Alas, my trusty VG that I bought when I was 17, is probably somewhere in Chi-town. My hammer too.

Before tools:

  • A pretty cool screw driver/bit set and some broken electric screw drivers.
  • Tape measure
  • Art school box cutters and straight edges
  • Small multi-tool pictured above

I started trying to pull up particle board with a multi tool. It was my best option. I forgot about the large flat head screw driver that came with the RV. There was a whole bag of screw drivers.

Two hours in and a trip to the ol’  Home Depot, I had the second cabinet off. If you are wondering, this is when I bought the pry bars.  “Pry bars are a good thing.” – Martha Stewart.

twoshelvesdownNow we are cooking.

All the screws on the first three cabinets were hidden between particle board. I was unable to salvage most of it. They stapled and nailed that stuff in like it was gold.

threeshelves3 Cabinets unscrewed

The above pic shows the third cabinet completely unscrewed, but still held in by the snug fit of the other two cabinets. I had to practically hang on that sucker.

The last cabinet was pretty frustrating. I assumed it would be like the rest, most of the screws hidden.

The pry bars I bought were not working. I couldn’t get them in anywhere for leverage.
I finally went to Home Depot (again) and bought a heavy duty utility knife and used it on the top piece of particle board. I just cut a medium sized view hole. Only to discover, no screws.

Finally I was able to get the pry bar into the bottom piece.


 4 Cabinets…not quite down.

The above shot shows the bottom particle board hanging down and some lighting wires. Still no screws.

It took quite a bit of work to get this cabinet down too.  After loosening all the screws that were along the top and sides and completely accessible without removing the particle board, the shelf was still held in with the upper particle board between two pieces of wood. It was the only cabinet put up this way.  I really had to finagle the front of the cabinet in order to release it from the wall.


This part took me all of three weeks.

Granted, life gets in the way as well as pulled back muscles, but I was hoping for a little more progress.

lolaLola is not impressed. 





About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.