We contemplated building a shed at the camp this summer. The one we built at Mist Cottage took up the entire summer last summer. The thought of spending another summer building a shed gave us pause. We considered buying a shipping container to store things in at the camp. It would need some work to make it function the way we would like it to. We looked at larger old travel trailers as an inexpensive possibility for storage.
After one year of thinking it all over, we bought a big, old, well travelled, used travel trailer. It offered us the most “bang for our buck”, so to speak. We found one that had a few of the features we were looking for. Aluminium frame construction, because wood rots, and moisture seems an inevitable problem with travel trailers as they age, an important factor when you are buying old trailers. It has a fibreglass exterior, we already own a 1977 fibreglass trailer, a 14 foot Triple E Surfside, and it is as fit as a fiddle. Fibreglass gives a trailer longevity. It has decent insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling, so that the camping season can be extended into the cooler weather in the spring and autumn. Old, the new old trailer is a 2001 model, 16 years old, so those who like all the bells and whistles, and everything in working order, would find it disappointing. What we have is an old beast of a trailer, in decent structural condition. It is also a very large, cumbersome-to-tow trailer, and it is too big for many camp grounds, making travel complicated, which is why the previous owners were selling it to buy a smaller unit. It is more like a cottage than a travel trailer, the way we plan on using it. So now we have a reliable bed to sleep in, range to cook on, refrigerator to store our food in, and a place to store stuff out of the weather. I already have an old collection of yard sale dishes ready to go into it.
The new old Camp Trailer has a plumbed bathroom, which we will put out of commission, as we are over the moon happy with our humanure sewage system. It ain’t broke, we aren’t fixing it.
To be honest, I was looking at very old Airstream trailers, as I had owned one before, the Argosy. It was demolished when a tree came down on it. Airstream are very high quality trailers, so an old one would be worth any time and trouble spent fixing it up. But that didn’t work out, we couldn’t find one in our price range from a reliable seller. Every seller I contacted said they didn’t have the ownership, but that they could get it. What a load of garbage that is. If you own a vehicle, you have the ownership, particularly if it is plated for the road. I wouldn’t buy a vehicle from anyone who didn’t have the ownership.
We looked at the trailer on Wednesday, decided to buy it, and the lovely people we bought it from delivered it on Saturday, as part of the deal. It was a lot of work putting the deal together and making sure all the bases were covered. It was horrendous getting the trailer onto the property, tree branches had to be trimmed up, and crushed stone moved around. As it was, on Saturday, it took hours to maneuver the beast into a suitable position, given the rough and uneven terrain of our Rideau Camp. It is a bush lot. If we ever want to move this trailer, it is going to take a lot of effort!
We slept in the new old Camp Trailer on Saturday night, and we both slept like logs. Thank goodness, the bed is comfortable; you cannot really tell until you spend a night on a bed. It was our first night at the Rideau Camp in 2017. It got cool, down to 12C that night, but we were quite comfortable. I left no bedding there, no fabrics, and of course no food, until we ascertain that there are no rodent guests in the unit.
I continue to prepare Iris for a travel trip we are planning this summer, she is tiny and easy to tow, perfect for travel.
Now we own a little house that needs renovation, and two old travel trailers, and we feel wealthy!
The weather on the weekend was beautiful. But yesterday it rained, and today it is raining again. I hope the rain abates soon. My Mom wants to plant her garden and the soil on her farm is too wet for planting. Come on weather, give a girl a break! We want to spray some poison ivy by the side of the drive at the Rideau Camp, but that cannot be done in the rain, or the wind. We need good weather!
I have had insomnia for the last two nights. All I can think about is the Camp Trailer, what I can store in it, how we are going to rodent proof it, etc. etc. It is very exciting, and all these plans are keeping me awake at night. Soon we will have figured out most of it, and then I will begin to sleep through the night again. It isn’t so bad, having insomnia because I am overexcited about something pleasant.
Date: 10:47 AM EDT Tuesday 30 May 2017
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Dew point: 12.3°C
Wind: SSW 18 km/h
Visibility: 3 km
“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, ‘I’m with you kid. Let’s go.'”
This is the [camping] life!
You know it Kate! I remember you saying you lived at a camp site for a while, and loved it. The great outdoors is great!
I’m thinking you’re going to need to give the new trailer a name too, or I’ll never be able to figure out which one you’re talking about. 🙂
Congrats on your new acquisition! Glad to hear the bed is comfy and the trailer stayed warm enough.
Maybe you could look into having any openings repaired with epoxy and fiberglass? Patching shouldn’t really be a big thing for someone with experience. And once fixed you won’t have to worry about rodents getting in, as they won’t chew on the fiberglass.
Wow! Two trailers. No wonder you feel wealthy! Enjoy!
Teri, I think you are right about a name, we will have to spend some time with it before it will come to us. For now I will call it the Camp Trailer, as opposed to Iris the Trailer.
We are thrilled with the trailer! Of course whatever you own owns you, so there is the added responsibility. The newness of that will fade and we will soon be taking it for granted.
We are going to go over the trailer with a fine tooth comb, looking for gaps, caulking gun and steel wool in hand. If critters come in it is usually through service portals, like a gap around a plumbing pipe, so we will be checking these things very carefully.
We do feel wealthy. It is a great feeling.
“Of course whatever you own owns you, so there is the added responsibility.”
I think that’s what’s been so daunting for us when looking for a cottage, the added responsibility. Basically, splitting funds between the upkeep of the house and upkeep of a cottage that we want to use later as our home when we retire. But that siren song keeps playing through our heads. Another place has now piqued our interest, but it’s far enough away that we wouldn’t be able to look at it for a few weeks so nothing to do but wait and see if we even get a chance to look at it.
How about calling it “Woody” (since it will live in the woods)… I had a cat named Woody whom we called Woody Woodfin for long… Woody for short.
I love that you are a 2-trailer family. My in-laws had an Airstream that they bought when they retired and they saw the whole country in that thing… coast to coast, into Canada, and stayed in it in Florida in the wintertime. They just loved that thing, and it was called “The Crows’ Nest” and they had a little plaque on the door saying so.
Teri, cottages are a lot of work. My cousin watched my sister and brother-in-law go through their annual opening up of the cottage, and decided not to buy one. They rent a cottage for a month on the same lake, enjoy the month, and then go home to their very large high upkeep home in the city. My sister is task oriented, so she hardly notices all the work. I think she has a plan similar to yours, to retire to her cottage, they will winter in the south.
Good luck with your cottage search! May the perfect spot just pop up when it is time, you just never know where or when.
Bex, I like the name Woody, but there are some rude connotations associated with the name that pop into my head when I hear it. 🙂
You have me thinking now, about a name, and I have struck on the name Grace.
Middle English: via Old French from Latin gratia, from gratus ‘pleasing, thankful’; related to grateful.
We are certainly grateful for our good fortune in having found Grace, who now provides us with a comfortable haven in the forest.
When it comes to vehicles and trailers, I almost always think of “feminine” names, and refer to the vehicles in the feminine. This is what I do without thinking. I wonder why!?! Something to ponder when sitting under the trees at the Rideau Camp.
Grace or Gracie? I love that name, and makes it so personal…
Either or Bex! I will probably go with Grace, but when feeling affectionate towards our beast of an old trailer I will probably just pat her on the fender and call her Gracie, 🙂
*grin* Both names, Grace and Gracie, make me smile. I’m not sure why, maybe because they seem gentle and welcoming.
Maggie, you’re right about cottages being a lot of work, and the 4 season kind especially as they’re capable of being used all year long. I guess that doesn’t bother me as DH spent all his teen summers at his grandmother’s cottage where he was pretty much the handyman for the place, including upgrading electrical wiring and walls. (DH later apprenticed in that work as well as brick laying, though he later went to school for computer software and does that job, now.) So, given his experience he’s confident that he’s able to handle upkeep of a cottage as needed, or atleast knowledgeably supervise when a job will be greater than he can handle. I’ve seen him handling things like wiring, plumbing and walls, so I feel pretty confident we can handle much of which comes along, especially once we have enough time to put in more work.
Also, we are trying to be mindful to stay away from cottages that need large amounts of work. Hopefully we’ll succeed in that when the time comes.
Forgot to say we also have a nephew who is an electrician who has offered to help us if we ever need it. The family is quite good at DIY in general.
Teri, it sure is handy to have a handy husband… and relatives!! It sounds like DH will enjoy his retirement, as long as it isn’t too much of a fixer upper, and you can get the bulk of the work done before you live in the building. Sounds like you will have lots of company too.
DIY is fun in many ways. I am more the planner in our situation, the researcher, and Attila is the doer. Of course I do much as well, but I chose the projects that suit me physically, like gutting the bathroom here at Mist Cottage, installing insulation and vapour barrier, the easy stuff really. Attila got very handy while managing the farms, where he had several houses to care for, as his employees lived in them and he was responsible for everything. I built a cottage with my ex-husband, and so I am fairly well versed in general construction, but as I grow older I am less able to handle the harder physical tasks.
It sounds like you are really going to enjoy your retirement!