As the kitchen remodel is wrapped up (pretty much - still a few trim items I just need to do) it has gotten HOT here! I literally didn't even put the air conditioner in the window last year and this year I've used it a lot already. Alas, we are getting cooler nights and I know Fall is around the corner. Which gets me even closer to my camping trip.
I've only had the trailer out once this year - a long weekend in May. Bummer as this was to be my big travel year till all those plans went down in ashes, as many of you also have found. I'm also an "edge season" camper. I don't find camping with tons of people and kids enjoyable. Just what it is. So even though kids may not be actually IN school this Fall, they will be back in that swing of things so I planned a week of time off. Honestly, this summer has been so busy I'm really kinda excited!
In that vein after my trip in May where I tried out the latest inside renovations I found that it wasn't really working for me or the dogs. So once again, I took out all the insides and started again. Actually to go with a version that has parts of a number of my plans that I liked and of course winging out some new ones. Here is pretty much what it looked like before. Lots of floor space (which the dogs hated and only a tiny bit of additional storage (under the benches).
Most of you know I have a toy hauler...and it is tiny. The inside width is a whopping 70" and the length of the area I have to work with for bed, dining, dogs and storage is abou 10'. Even though small, the blank canvas is really nice in some respects, in others, has its own difficulties. One is that, due to the structure of the trailer being ALL aluminum (including studs) there really isn't any wall you can attach/anchor anythingt o. The up side is that there are 3 sets of "etrack" in the floor (you know to tie down all those toys).
I really wanted my "garage" space back to stow things for trips. The canopy, the camp stove (to burn wood - I do have a kitchen), the grill, bike, paddleboard and as always, the dog pens. Those were traveling tied to one wall which limited my ability to put in places to sit or sleep. I also wanted my bigger bed back. While a single is nice when you have a herd of dogs that REALLY REALLY want to sit with you, it isn't enough. I had that setup 2 years ago and liked it but wanted a setup where I had a couple seats and a table (which was my last version). Taking my cue from the van-lifers I got busy building a platform bed. I spend quite a long time figuring out the platform - the one before was all PVC which was fine but didn't allow me a good way to stow the freaking ex-pens. My current pens for the dogs are 48" high and HEAVY so I needed a spot to put them that was easy and didn't require a bunch of lifting. I also wanted the mattress to be flat, which meant a thick memory foam I could cut down. Metal shelving was the answer to the issues and it is secured to the one bed rail (from the lift bed that came with the trailer) and the floor (e-track). You can see now I have space to put stuff! YAY! Not in the truck and not in the living area.
Matress from Amazon and then cut with my cheapo electric carving knife (used only to cut foam not food). Bed ended up 70" by 50" wide. But boy that sucker is high! Because I wanted to bee able to get the folding bike in the garage there had to be 28" of "head room" under, plus then boards for the mattress. I'm tall but not that tall! haha
As I sat and admired that work, I still didn't have any way to attach my table the way I wanted. Plus once again, no place if someone comes to chat (not many do but sometimes). I did a bit of measuring and holy moley the benches I had in previously would fit in front of the bed and behind the other lift bed support (important). Those are farily high as well, because they are made to sit over a stacked pair of under bed drawers. Looking for storage (always need more) I put them back in and although I took the drawers out of one of them (no way to open them with the dog crates where they needed to be) that particular bench has a top that lifts. Plus I'm still able to use my lovely cushions and that makes into another bed if needed. I got my dining table back!
A few versions of the storage shelves between the fridge wall and the one seat were tried, just wasn't happy with any of them. I discovered there was just 36" of space to work with so the metal shelves to the rescue again. The drawers are repurposed from another little tall table I had and was using (really don't have any other use for it right now) and it again, gives me flat space which is in seriously short supply in this rig. The crates underneath are secured in and along with the back, I've got styrofoam under them to protect from the inevitible cold that comes up through the floor. Again, all aluminum - gets hot and cold so we need additional insulation in some spots. The garage because my bed will suck up that cold from the underneath. We'll see howwell it works, more may be required.
As I sat admiring that work I was trying to figure out how/what to use to get up to the bed for me (and dogs of course). The slats that make up the middle of the single bed (between the dining seats) set on the rails are perfect so that is what you see. I also recycled a set of drawers that fit just perfect in the middle (again, more storage as I really do need a place to put some of the dry food goods. I think the seat that is open will be used for dog food and laundry. Amazing the things you need space for! I don't know that the boards will help Teddy to get up but we'll see how it goes. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring that out.
The quilt across the back is for insulation and for protection against the rough texture on the drop down tail gate. Funny, I've built my stuff around that quilt for years but always put it on the bed. I was like - dummy - that doesn't get seen at all down there (and it makes me so happy) as we cover the bed with dog stuff usually and I always worry it'll get filthy. I cannot believe it took me this long to figure out it belonged on that back wall!
So here is the "somewhat" finished product. I still have some things to get cleaned up and put back in but generally, this is my ta-da. I cannot wait to go camping and the poodles have already approved it. We'll see if I got everything secured once I get down my road!
And last but not replaced, when I re-did my shades, I decided to make one of them my "pin shade". I had all these great pins that I don't really wear anymore and I missed them. We rarely roll up that shade so I decorated it. It makes me happy and has many memories.