As our big off-grid adventure drew to a close, we found ourselves with the opportunity to upgrade to a brand-new, 26-foot trailer with a slide-out. Um, yes! Thank you!
We never did get the bugs worked out of our electrical set-up in the tiny trailer, as we had to run the heater every single night in Texas.
The new trailer is totally set up for off grid. The batteries are properly wired so they will charge when we are driving down the road. We have a built-in heater and air conditioner. The heater works off the batteries if we’re not plugged in, we tested that out in a couple of store parking lots. The fridge automatically switches from electric to propane – no need to manually light the pilot. The stove and oven work. The bathroom is spacious and the shower has a special curtain surround that keeps it from leaking out onto the bathroom floor. There are lights everywhere and even a TV, DVD player, radio and microwave for when we are plugged in somewhere.
I have my own queen “bedroom,” Yak has a “bunkroom” and, yes, the dinette folds down into a full-size bed for company! We are really living now, more than camping. Did I mention the water system works? Yes. 40 gallons worth. Sigh.
I hope you won’t be too disappointed that I will no longer be chronicling my DIY misadventures in restoring an old trailer, but I had to weigh that against trying to live and make a living, homeschool and, like today, rest and recuperate from a nasty cold.
I had come to realize that to properly restore the tiny trailer would require several months of mostly un-liveable conditions. It needed new outside “skin,” new insides (everything: walls, floors, ceilings, appliances), new piping, wiring and a remodeling of the floor plan. When all was said and done, the boy and I, Mrs. Susie and Mr. Cuddles would still be in need of at least a few more feet of living space to keep our sanity. So from 84 square feet to 204 square feet, we are more than well-accommodated.
We can still claim the experience of living in a tiny space, striving for sustainability, and now soon we will be planting our mobile garden. I can focus my energies on the homesteading and sustainable living aspects of our journey, including finding raw milk and healthy, local foods on the way.
The sewing machine begs for my attention, and our wardrobes are becoming a bit drab from wearing the same few outfits for the past year. And the tiny trailer has been passed on to a new owner, who is enthusiastic about the prospect of lovingly restoring it for camping adventures with his family.
We will be plugged in at the abuelo’s in Colorado for a few weeks, desperately urging the thermometer into the 50s and 60s.
I hope that you will consider joining us at my website, Mrs. D's Traveling Homestead, for more updates on our mobile homesteading, roadschooling and simple living adventures. Please also check out my book: The Working Parent’s Guide To Homeschooling.