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Planning the trailer

December 13, 2011

I have been trying to pull together all the details before I start building, so here is what I have decieded so far, although I am sure some details will change.

Colors, bright green, dark brown and white

Power.  I am planning on 2, 6 volt batteries wired to power the 12 volt system.  these I plan to mount outside of the triangle at the front of the trailer in battery boxes.   I will wire it to charge from the tow vehicle and plan to install a small solar set up. This should be good enough, but if need be will consider a small generator, but hopefully can skip the generator.  I have a 120 inverter to plug into the 12 volt outlet, so I do not plan to install any inverter.  I will add a standard 120 volt plug inside the trailer, but this will only work when 120 is availble.  I do plan on a couple of 12 volt outlets in the trailer and one on the outside.

Lighting.  I plan on  only using LED’s, the power saved is well worth the extra cost.  I also will install a small light to be used as a night light for the kids and an exterior light to mark the door.

Awning.  The trialer came with a retro looking brown stripped awning, Although no where near as nice to set up as a new one, I like the look and colors.  This does make packing a folded awning and poles a little inconvieneint, however it should look good when up.

Fridge.  I have been looking, I like the idea of a propane fridge and 12 volt fridge, but after looking at the cost I think I will just use a 12 volt cooler.  Between the cost savings on the cooler and not needing to install a propane system, it will pay for a solar system, cooler and still save money.  This also makes it possible to move the cooler onto the tongue of the trailer (as we plan to cook outside), making more storage inside the trailer.

Kitchen.  I want a sink to wash hands, brush teeth and just have water.  I have a stove, but am not planning on installing it, this simplifies the build by eliminating propane lines, and in a pinch we can always use the other stove.  (I do plan to install all the safety sensors in the trailer).  With that it will be a simple counter, with a sink and storage.  To make the trailer feel a little bigger I am not planning on making any cabinates over the kitchen, but will build something to reinforce the walls as the interior is also the reinforcement for the structure.  The kitchen will be smaller than usual to make room for a larger bed.  I have no experience with fiberglass, and do not have the original piece.  so I am planning on building a light wood cabinet and use fiberglass to reinforce and finish it.

Bunk bed.  I do plan to build a bunk bed for the boys, and keep the couch option as well.  As the boys are young I do want a ladder and railing for the top bunk.  I haven’t dedciede if I am going to go with a stained wood look, or a simpler to build metal support, I am leaning towards wood, as I like the warmth and it would match the cupboards.  I plan to store the railing and ladder behind the couch back.  Still working out the details.

Dinette / Bed.  Being 6’7″ the bed does look a little small for my wife and I, so I plan to extend it.  With the closet providing some much needed storage I have decided to leave it and just extend the table and one side of the seat into where the kitchen usually would be.  This will also give us more room when sitting around the table.  The plan is to extend the bed by about 12 inches.  I am looking at making the table hinge down to a bed with the hope I can eliminate the need for the table mount fiber-glassed into the side of the trailer.  This seems like it would be in the way when sleeping, and losing it would keep the interior cleaner.  The extended bench on the one side should also make sitting at the table more comfortable.

Insulation.  Ensolite is the standard choice, however I have been thinking about using automotive carpet on the inside, along with paint from a local company, Envirocoat on the outside.  The paint also should help keep the trailer warm or cool and the carpet should be able to bend into the rounded corners of the Boler.  I am hoping for a warm feel.  I am hoping for a light gray color, as light colors seem to make spaces feel bigger.

Flooring.  I like the wood floor, but to keep the weight down and maximize head room I am planning on going with linoleum.  It should be easy to clean and looks good in any pictures I can find online.

TV and Audio.  I thought about putting in a car deck and tv, but with all my music now on an mp3 player and the ability to put movies on it I am hoping to keep it simpler.  I plan to source 12 volt speakers that work off the head phone jack and a small usb powered projector.  This should keep the drain on the batteries to a minimum and eliminate the need to store DVD’s or CD’s.  Although this option has been harder to source than I anticipated.

Closet.  The closet door I plan to insert a mirror into, near the top.  I also want to make sure the door can open when the bed is laid out (with the extension it will be in front of the closet).  I plan to put shelves on the bottom, still debating if I will leave the top for jackets, or more shelves.  If I go with shelves I will add something on the outside of the closet to hang jackets on.

Screen door.  I have looked at a few different options others have built for screen doors.  The common problem with these as they open in and take up valuable space inside.  After looking at a few designs I think I will try the “As seen on TV” magnetic screen door.  I can build the door back to get straight sides, then install, if this doesn’t work I am sure I can use the screen material to build something else.

On the outside I plan to fill all the vents for the fridge, furnace as well as the extra holes previous owners have cut, keeping the trailer as smooth and clean looking as possible.  I will add a 120 outlet and a 12 volt outlet, nothing else.

Water tanks.  I would like to source a water tank to go underneath the trailer so the sink has something out of sight to drain into.  I would also like to find a small tank to go under the sink for clean water.  I plan to cook outside, so drinking water would be separate, but I want somewhere inside the trailer to clean up.

Windows.  I plan to put the windows I have back in for now, but want to get some side windows with black frames that open (one of the original windows was replaced with a window that does not open).  I also plan on getting a new roof vent, as the current one has yellowed and looks like britle plastic.  I also want a fan in the vent, as I hope this will improve air flow.  I also want to get a matching window to put in the door.  The new windows should give the trailer a modern look.

I am not a fan or riveting everything through the side of the trailer.  I do plan to buy some stainless screws, however when even possible I want to avoid putting holes in the trailer.  For this I plan to fiberglass in a few mounts on the inside.

Sagging door.  From what I have read, having the door sag is a normal problem.  The window in the door wasn’t sealed, so when I removed the door and turned it over water poured out,  this is one possible cause.  I have read that if the frame sags this can also cause this problem, so I plan to check this as the frame is repaired.  I also plan to build a piece across the door from the closet to attach the screen door to.  i am hoping that attaching this to the side to the trailer can pull the hinges to a place that allows the door to close properly if all else fails.

I am still looking at options to hold firewood, and want to put a reinforced bike rack on the back of the trailer.

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