One Month In.
It’s official, we’ve been gone a solid month as of today. Steve has done an outstanding job of keeping everyone updated on what happens outside the trailer, including all the “ups” and a few “downs”. All of those primarily regarding trailer fails. Inside the trailer life is a bit different than living in our house, it’s good in the trailer, actually it’s pretty great, but there are still a few things we are all adjusting too. For me it’s noise. Let me start with, we are very fortunate to have air conditioning in the trailer. Since we left on August 13th, I believe the average temperature has been 95 degrees, if not a bit higher. We had several 100 plus days between Boise and Zion National Park. The trailer came with an “all weather” package which means it’s supposedly insulated more than the standard trailer. I am not really sure how much more though because if the sun hits it on a warm day, it’s game over. Back to the AC, the unit sits in the middle of the trailer between the kitchen and the dinette, and just like home, that’s where 95% of our time is spent. Every time the AC turns on, it sounds like a jet engine readying for take-off. Steve will tell you I have dog ears and the smallest rattle in the car drives me bonkers. The AC doesn’t seem to bother Steve and Lila, heck, I don’t even think they know it’s on most of the time.
Some other noises that bother me is the opening and closing of all cabinets and drawers. They are all a bit stiff and hard to open, which is probably a good thing since we don’t want anything to fly out while driving. Although, every time you open and close a cabinet or drawer the noise is loud and the trailer shakes. Lila seems to find the need to open and close cabinets repeatedly within seconds of opening and closing the one she was just in. While we’re parked, I try to keep them all slightly ajar if I know i’m going to be in and out a few more times. Although, if we leave them open all of the time, we tend to have a cat venture in. Both Trouble and Bob have snuck into the back of our itsy bitsy closets and more than once we thought we had lost a cat.
We are still working out the kinks of where to keep stuff that did make it on the trip. In the month we've been on the road we have found a few items that we don’t need. So where do we put these items? Do we give them away, or do we store them somewhere in the trailer? I struggle with giving them away. The items that did make the trailer cut are the items I do really like and enjoy, but have found they are not needed at this time. Surprisingly, the trailer does have a fair amount of storage, but it’s not convenient storage. Under the dinette seats is all storage, but to get to it you have to remove all the cushions and a piece of plywood. Underneath the bottom bunk is large storage space, but it is awkward, at best to get to since Lila’s bed and all her stuff is over the trap door for it. The other day Steve built a pullout for there and so far it seems to work pretty well. The hardware store in Escalante, Utah is very nice, but didn’t have the casters we needed so we’ll try again in Moab, or worse case, Amazon always delivers, right? The last place to store stuff is underneath our bed, again, a pretty decent sized area, but not one that is easy to get to.
One month in and the trailer does feel warm and welcoming to me. It took a lot of work to get it to that point though. The trailer, or Heidi as we call her, was purchased new in 2016 with a solid brown tone displayed all over the inside. Once we decided to go on this year long adventure, I decided it was time to remove all of the very brown paisley window valances and open up what wall space we have.
We then painted all the trailer walls white to really brighten it up and give it a larger appearance. I had to clean all the walls with TSP then lightly sand before we could even paint. It took over 4 coats of paint between the Gripper Primer and Miller Paint. Once the walls were done, I told Steve I wanted to paint the cabinets too. We bought this paint from Amazon called Nuvo Cabinet Paint and painted all the upper cabinets white and the lower kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinet Celadon Cove to give a pop of color.
After painting everything, Steve applied a peel and stick subway tile on both the kitchen and bathroom back splash areas and around the shower to brighten it up and give it a little texture and style.
While we were working hard on painting, Steve’s mom, Idalina, redid all of our dinette cushion covers. So gone with more brown paisley and in with light grey chevron for the backs and dark grey for the bottoms. Hopefully, the dark will hide any dirt and spills that come up.
In the end, we decided to redo the kitchen counter tops as well. Like everything else in the trailer, they were brown too. So after hours of research on how to best redo the counter tops, Steve bought this two part clear epoxy and combined with the primer, wall paint, and Montana Marble spray, we redid the counter top and dinette table.
Once all of the cosmetic upgrades were done, it was time to decorate just a bit. We’ve been blessed with lots of gifts that we added to the trailer decor. I purchased a new comforter to replace, yes, the brown one the trailer came with, and added a few pillows to the dinette and bed. I brought a few plants from home, green is always good, and our lucky roosters from Portugal also made it into our new home.
We’ve since added a few hooks to hang up our backpacks and coats. I’m sure there will be more changes throughout the year, but for now, we’re all feeling at home in this new space of ours.
Keeping the trailer clean is another story……You definitely have to keep up on every single thing that comes into the trailer. Tiny living requires continuous cleaning, picking up, and putting away immediately. Every item needs a home. Sweeping occurs at least 4 times a day. Between kitty litter wandering out of the box and dirt wandering in the trailer it is a constant that I need to stay on top of. Dishes are another constant in our day to day activities, no dishwasher here, unless you count “Jen” as the automatic dishwasher. Washing dishes truly depends on our water situation. So far we’ve had water at just about every campsite we’ve been to so water hasn’t been a problem. We just finished up two nights at Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef N. P. where the park sites did not have water, electric, or sewer. We did stop on the way into the park to fill our 60 gallon water tank. Unfortunately it seems the water pressure was terrible, or there wasn’t much water to be spared, it took what felt like forever to get a little over a 1/3 of a tank (20-30 gallons) into the trailer, at which point we both said screw it, we’ll deal with it as it is.
There is a “grey” water station at the restrooms so I’ve let dishes stack up throughout the day and after dinner have gone with Lila to wash them. I wash, Lila dries, then she puts them all in a bag to carry back. Lastly, I’m not one to dust, but the trailer does seem to collect dust and dirt constantly. I swear it happens as were driving down the road with all the trailer windows closed. The trailer is small, so dusting, sweeping, and dishes are really a small part of the day, but definitely items that I feel need to be kept up on, and not once a day but multiple times a day.
Chat with you soon.