Lessons From The Trailer

I fully expected there to be life lessons for me in this project. Isn’t that the reason we take such things on? To learn more about ourselves: strengths and limits, more about the world: rules and work arounds.


This majestic tree is in the pasture next to my trailer’s garage.

It’s kind of embarrassing that my first lesson is “You need to take a nap!”

I fully intended to work on the trailer today. I got up at the usual time. I went to the gym. I practiced my speech for tomorrow. (Work thing.) And then instead of putting on my dirty-clean-out-the-trailer clothes, I crawled into bed and took a 2 hour nap. I got up and cooked myself a reasonably healthy lunch.


Sautéed fresh spinach with hard-boiled egg and Parmesan cheese.

I then wasted more than an hour watching the squirrels and robins frolic in the backyard trees and fight over these berries.


More than enough berries for squirrels and robins–not sure what all the chatter was about.

I was able to completely ignore that the back porch needs to be swept.

I was able to completely ignore that the back porch needs to be swept.

I feel another nap coming on…..


The Closet is Coming Out

I thought all day on the title for this post, and sadly, that was the best I could do.


The closet, doors closed.


The closet, doors open.

I expected to find weird stuff in the closet, and it did not disappoint.


Instructions for a propane lantern that is long gone.


This umbrella–which if you were not smart enough to recognize the iconic shape of an umbrella–it is identified for you in bright red English letters.


A bungee cord and a tire pressure gage. Did we not all expect to find these things somewhere in the trailer?


The porch light cover and bulb. Were these fragile during travel?


Who the heck stores their fish hooks in the clothes closet?!?


The aft section of the trailer with the closet and bathroom removed.

Her Name is Sheba

I was drifting off to sleep last night, when it came to me…the trailer’s name is Sheba.


Today, I took out the old bathroom.


The medicine cabinet.

One of the things I have figured out, is if I were to do this for a living, I would have to get prescription eye goggles. With the ones I have, I can’t wear my bifocals and I can’t see the screw heads to line up the driver bit. It makes the whole process more frustrating.


The disgusting shower.


The even more disgusting toilet.


The door to the bathroom.


The same space with the bathroom removed.


I found this in the sink cabinet. Brand new, never opened.

But the weirdest thing I found today was under the shower pan. I know that mice like to use the fiberglass insulation to make nests, as a friend of mine had a huge problem with that in her basement. But one of these clever creatures had stolen a bar of Coast soap and somebody had eaten through the package and an eighth of the bar. Blech!


The Kitchen is Gone

My mission for this weekend was to remove the kitchen.


Fore facing view.


Aft facing view.


Blurry photo of the fridge above the heater hole.


Detail of all the 1970’s colors we have learned to hate: Harvest Gold, Burnt Orange, Avocado Green, and brown. I forget what the name of this brown was.


This was behind the stove vent. Perfect place if you are a wasp, as long as you don’t mind bacon flavor.


Here is that same space, with the kitchen: fridge, sink, stove removed. You can see the wheel wells at the base. I’ll have to work with those in the new floor plan.

And the weekend was made more interesting by the interest of a local film-maker who shot some footage of the demo. I’m not sure yet what he plans to do with it, but maybe a portion of the film will make its way here for your viewing.

And the weirdest things I found this weekend:


The pot lid had somehow fallen into the electrical panel. I don’t find it strange that there was an unopened and abandoned package of eggnog-flavored coffee. What is weird, is that anyone would have purchased it in the first place.

Demo, Day 2

Here is the overhead cabinet that I’m planning to take out today:


This is on your right, when you walk in the door.

And here is the same space from a different angle, showing both the upper cabinets removed. Yesterday and today’s work.


Down to the studs!

And here is the weirdest thing I found today.


Each one is about 1.5 cm across.

Demo, Day 1


Personal protective gear? Check!

My first day of demolition went really well. I found a lot of things that I expected to see, like lots of dead bugs and termite damage near a window. Because the trailer was made in 1976, it is an interesting mix of solid wood and plastic. Almost always the plastic is covering up the solid wood. I’m saving any usable wood I find, in case I can incorporate it in the future design.

I started working on this upper loft/sleeping area, and was surprised at how difficult it was to get down.


Right half of sleeping loft/cabinet. The front folds down and rests on a ledge.


The left half of the loft. There was a 8 foot long piano hinge that I managed to save. That may come in handy!

While I was working, a new friend came to check the place out.


She is checking out the cavity where the old furnace used to be.

But the best surprise came when I took out the old couch cushions……


1976 fashion colors: brown, beige and orange.

And found this…..img_0365

My Little Girl, On the Move

Somehow, I know this trailer is female…though I do not yet know her name. I’m sure I will by the time we finish the remodel.

So let me tell you the tale of the move (as I have an idea that it will be a foreshadowing of the next year or so.) My wonderful friends Lora and Phil showed up about 1pm to help me move my girl. But first, they were kind enough to take a trip to the lumber store for me to pick up the 5-6 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood that will be the new floor. We got the plywood loaded onto the truck with only one small injury (mine) and then Phil realized that likely the hitch was not long enough, what with the plywood overhang. But we drove to the trailer, just to see. Yep. That true, and Lordy, the trailer hitch is the wrong size. I had bought one only yesterday, and sized it, but had left it at home. So we went back to get the new, right-sized hitch and also drove the plywood 25 miles to its new home. We unloaded the plywood, with no injury to anyone.

then back to the trailer. Here is us determining that the new hitch is the right size.


Then we attached the right-sized hitch to the right-sized trailer, added the temporary licensed and checked the electricals, i.e. the turn signals and (I know I bought this trailer “as is” but I was also told “the essentials are working.”) Nope. So we drove to the hardware/lumber store. This was actually my THIRD trip of the day, as I had bought some leather gloves (which, had I been wearing, I would NOT have a small injury) and a lock for the hitch. My third trip of the day we bought a 4/5 to 7 plug conversion for the electricals (turn signals.) Out in the parking lot…we (that is Phil, thank God for Phil!!) determines that my trailer is so ancient it has a 3 pronged electrical. Nothing at the store that sized, so with some brilliant problem solving by Phil (have I mentioned yet how AWESOME my friends are?) we decide to drive illegally, i.e. no working brake/turn lights on the trailer, with me in my little car right behind to alert all travelers behind us with my working brakes and turn signals to our intents. Travel-wise. Here we are hooked up and ready to travel.


Have I mentioned yet how awesome my friends Lora and Phil are?

Then we drove the next 25 miles illegally (and here is where I tell my friends, what I did not have the courage to say riding in the truck. I forgot to call my insurance guy. So the trailer is not insured until I call him Monday. Gaa!) And we got there. No accidents, no blown tires, no broken friendships! Here is the little girl’s new home for the next several months. These are also awesome friends, which I will tell you about soon, very soon.


Warm, safe, dry and with electricity!




Taking Possession

The roof is done and looks great. I tried to take a photo for you all, but it didn’t turn out and the RV store guy was getting really nervous with me up there on his ladder. So we will have to be content with my second version of the floor plan.


My current floor plan–still subject to change.

For the Fans of my Previous Blog

Several of my long-time readers expressed concern that the content from my previous blog about single parenting and minimalism would be lost with out me still blogging there. When one of those fans gave me step by step instructions on how to import the content to this blog, I no longer had a good reason not to do it. (Ah, my readers know my weaknesses.)

You can now find the older posts from singlemomenough at this site.

Now, back to the trailer.



the closet as it appears now