Trailer update #13
We needed a place to stick the trailer battery, so we made up a support for it. It is a simple skid plate of plywood reinforced with steel for extra strength, since the battery is rather heavy. It would be pretty disastrous if the battery were to fall out!
We needed a place to store our clothes and any other goods we might want to access while inside the sleeping quarters. We decided to utilize the space above our refrigerator for this purpose, and cut an access panel into the headboard. A couple of hinges, a gas spring, and a handle facilitate opening and closing of the door. A magnet assures it stays closed.
We thought long and hard about how best to incorporate music into the trailer. We had considered putting a standard car audio head unit in with a pair (or more) of speakers. Eventually, we came to the realization that this was really an unnecessary complication, because it offered no major benefit. True, we could have gotten better sound quality, if we were willing to spend more money on the components. We realized that a portable Bluetooth speaker would be sufficient for our needs, and would also offer the benefit of being able to take it outside, or wherever we please. We built a shelf in the headboard. This will house the speaker, and probably our phones, or whatever devices may need charging overnight.
We also defined a need for storing dry, non-refrigerated foods, as well as some additional cookware that we want to carry, but that does not fit in storage drawers we already made. What we decided was to build some shelves above the sink. We did a test fit with everything we could think of that we want to bring, and we had tons of space left over. So it should be just enough.
Finally, we wanted a place to store some larger items. The main things are a small folding table and a 10ft. x 10ft. standalone canopy. To support the table was simple. We made a floor for the rear area underneath the mattress, and walls to separate this storage area from the propane tank. The table fits neatly inside, with plenty of room left over. The extra space will maybe hold tools or something, we aren't sure yet.
To secure the folding canopy, we made a simple U-channel about the length of the canopy when it is folded up and stowed. This is located along the passenger's side of the trailer, adjacent to the folding table storage. The canopy's packaging has wheels on it, which helps to slide it in and out from the rear of the trailer.
So with all of the storage compartments sorted, we could start to enclose everything with exterior walls. This part of the process was both exciting and nerve-wracking. Everything that has been done up to this point suddenly becomes a lot more important because although it can all be hidden, it all determines what the exterior skin is going to look like. If everything doesn't line up correctly, the outside will be wavy or things might not line up correctly, and this can cause leaks. All this is amplified by the fact that the exterior material is pretty expensive. So, no mistakes, no room for error.
The upside is that the fear motivated us to everything more slowly, and to be aware of each step of the process. We caught a few mistakes this way early enough that we were able to correct them before any irreversible damage was done.
First, we pulled all of the necessary stuff off the front end, including the dummy panel that has been there for ages. It looked so empty!
In order to ensure no mistakes, each cut gets marked in pencil in its entirety, and then double-checked by both of us first. We cut a notch in the front wall in order for it to sit in the proper location around the tongue tubes.
This allowed us to locate the fastener holes and bolt it in place.
We spent an evening with layout tools (i.e. - pencil, straightedge, tape measure, etc.) and drew all of the parts that were hidden behind the front wall. This included all the walls and shelves, which was critical for locating the large cutouts that needed to be made. There was very little room for error in marking and cutting the hole for the refrigerator drawer. If the hole is too large, there will be no wall to secure the supports for the drawer slides. If the hole is too narrow, the drawer won't be able to open.
The water filter housing that we ordered a while back came with a wrench that is designed specifically for tightening and loosening the canister. We found that the outside of this special tool has the perfect radius for a pleasing corner for these openings. As a bonus, it has a convenient handle, too!
The straight edges were cut with a circular saw and a straightedge for a guide. The corners are cut freehand with a jigsaw. The corners were absolutely the scariest part of the process. But in the end, the cuts came out fantastic. We were pumped.
So from that point, we simply had to reassemble all the stuff that was in there before we started this task. We started with the fridge, because that has the smallest tolerance. It slides perfectly.
Then we put hinges onto the water heater door to secure it back in place.
And finally a shot with everything closed up.
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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.