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Monday, October 29, 2012

A teardrop trailer showcase on SF's Treasure Island

Situated in the San Francisco Bay, mid-span of the Bay Bridge, connecting the East Bay cities of Oakland and Berkeley to downtown San Francisco, is Yerba Buena Island. Connected to it is Treasure Island, a man made island built from 1936-1937.


Last weekend it was the location of at teardrop trailer showcase I just had to attend to do more R&D for the trailer I'll begin building in approximately two to three weeks.


The day couldn't have been more perfect. The weather was a balmy 73º with little to no wind. This picture of a trailer window catching the reflection of a palm tree and blue sky pretty much says it all.


And this was the view of the Bay and downtown San Francisco directly across from where the trailers were set up. The whole showcase had been arranged by Dave, a teardrop owner I'd met at the Petaluma Rally a few weeks ago. He'd been coordinating with the organizers of the Treasure Island Flea Market to bring out a bunch of trailers during this month's event. The owners would be on hand to talk to people and answer questions about the trailers and best of all for them, they would get to spend the night in their trailers on Treasure Island with that incredible view.

So cozy!

You may recall I featured Dave's teardrop in the post about the Tin Can Tourists Rally last month. This time I was able to get a nice interior shot using my iPhone's fisheye lens.

This is pretty standard. Most teardrops consist of the entire interior cabin being a mattress for two. There are usually some small shelves or cabinets for storing essentials and off the rear there's usually an outdoor galley kitchen. There's usually space beneath the interior shelves to extend your legs and feet and often the trailers have two doors so that each person has easy access in and out of the trailer.


A lot of camper owners travel with their pups. I can just picture Kitai and I out adventuring together!


One's ability to decorate is a bit limited by the small size of the trailers but bed covers, curtains and pillow cases can create a nice theme. And I had to lol when I saw Dan and Mindy's table leg. It's a crutch modified as a table support. The neat thing about using a crutch is that the height is adjustable so if you're on a sloped surface or there's a hole in the ground you can adjust accordingly. Very clever.


Though I'd learned of this teardrop showcase on the Teardrops n Tiny Travel Trailers' website, everyone there asked if I was going to go to, or told me I should attend, the 20th Annual Dam Gathering next spring sponsored by Grant Whipp and L'il Bear Trailers. I was just told today that Grant is the godfather of the resurrection of teardrops on the west coast so he's definitely someone I'd like to meet! I'm really hoping my trailer is ready in time! You can learn more about the event by CLICKING HERE.


Loved this hand built wood teardrop. A pirate theme flowed from the interior to the exterior. It was so fun to see such well designed and decorated trailers in person. Steve told me he's spent a lot of time on eBay finding just the right touches to create his vintage, nautical theme.


One thing I took note of were close up build details. Here for instance is how the wiring for the tail lights at the bottom of the rear hatch, is run from the body down into the hatch.


And these are the kind of hubcaps I want for my trailer. They're called "baby moons" and will have to double as my full length mirror since you can't fit one inside a teardrop trailer. LOL


But this vintage Benroy was the trailer that intrigued me the most that day. Partly because I love vintage anything but mostly because the interior cabin was 4'x6', the exact dimensions my trailer will be. The rear galley off the back added another two feet but I just imagined it wasn't there and the interior was what it would be like to look inside my trailer. The only big difference is that my ceiling will be a several inches higher.


I took two pictures. One with the fisheye lens so you can see from side to side and top to bottom, and one with my regular camera. Because it's a wide angle lens the fisheye distorted and made the cabin look larger than it really was. As I showed it to hubby later he exclaimed how small it looked as I was telling him how the image made it look larger than life. LOL. But I could sit in the trailer and perfectly imagine my row of tiny cabinets along the driver's side wall and my sleeping area filling the rest of the space. I felt very confident that this is exactly what I want.


And this was super cool. Side by side were two vintage, 1955 Benroys. The one on the left is in the process of being rebuilt and refurbished while the one on the right is still all original.


Another pair of baby moon hubcaps.


I LOVED that this afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of build details close up. For instance I've seen battery boxes, fuse panels, inverters and outlets online, but never in person.


And all of the trailers were beneath the giant, 40 foot high, naked, dancing lady. "Bliss Dance" was a sculpture created by Marco Cochrane and his team. It's a dynamic geodesic steel frame sculpture that includes a thousand LED lights. I could only imagine how she would look that evening as and after the sun went down.


RIght beneath her was another vintage trailer. . .


Most unique was the home brew set up. Yes, you can make beer at home and bring it along to picnics, camping trips and rallies. I also noticed the chassis and tongue of all the trailers that day. The tongue is the part that extends beyond the end of the front of the trailer frame and attaches to the tow vehicle. This matters to me since I'm finalizing the design of my own chassis and tongue.


The galley kitchen often has a small sink and an area to place a propane camp stove.


A fancier modern kitchen and another battery box. It turns out that when it comes to teardrop trailers and crime the two most common problems are stolen (full) beer coolers and batteries when trailers are in storage. A strapped down battery box works great while you're using it but I've learned it's best to store and charge the battery at home in your garage when it's not in use.


And I didn't get to meet the owner of this trailer but it was fun to see another one in progress. It was larger than most of the others and had a very large sink on the right side of the galley kitchen.

The only type I didn't see that day was a foamie or a teardrop built with a welded steel cage both of which I'm incorporating into my design. But I have seen great details online and have talked to a new friend I've made on the tnttt forum about my design as it's the same way he's built his own trailers. He's helping me to work out a lot of (possibly all) of the technical details involved with my build. I'll be doing a post about him soon and a trailer he has up for sale right now over in Michigan.


So the other neat thing was I think I went to a flea market years ago but it was smaller and had more junky stuff. This was a nice flea one with lots of different types of vendors and food choices. A contingent of food trucks was on hand to feed the hungry shoppers and you know how I love food trucks!

The Bao & Bowl Truck 'O Food

I ended up trying a new truck that has only been on the road for two weeks. Bao & Bowl is a Chinese food truck that offers restaurant quality food from their distinctive and elegantly painted blue and brown kitchen on wheels.

I stopped to peruse their menu and the owner was there to answer any questions. I asked if he had any vegetarian options that didn't include mushrooms because at a glance it seemed that every one did. He laughed when I told him I'm a bad vegetarian because I don't like mushrooms and offered me a sample of the dish I was considering the Imperial "Red-braised" Hodo Soy Tofu rice bowl with king enoki mushrooms. I tried it and while I didn't care for the mushrooms, I did enjoy the tofu and rice so this is a dish I would definitely order again minus the mushrooms.


The flea market itself was really fun. It was like walking around inside of eBay (with less pressure) or Etsy (with no shipping charges). One vendor in particular caught my eye. Blue Moon Mercantile uses a vintage canned ham trailer as part of their display, and I'd imagine, to haul some of their merchandise there to the market. I was going to link to their website but couldn't find it on Google. If you know it please leave it in the comments and I'll add it into the post.

It was nearing late afternoon so it was time for me to head home. As I did I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to spend the night with the trailer owners facing the skyline of downtown San Francisco. While Bliss Dance was striking during the day I could only imagine how gorgeous she would be at night. And I wasn't wrong.


Steve Vaz was there and posted this picture on his Facebook wall. He gave me permission to include it in my post and I think it's the perfect image to end with. Someday I hope I can spend the night and take a similar photo. Good friends, warm weather, Bliss Dance lit by a thousand LED's and SF and the Bay Bridge as her backdrop? That would be a night to remember.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Award Winning Television: John Wants Answers

Last weekend one of Hubby's dreams came true. His public access tv show John Wants Answers won two Western Access Video Excellence (WAVE) awards from the Alliance for Community Media (ACM) from the six states that comprise their western region.


On the show John invites friends and experts to come on and answer his questions about a subject he wants to learn more about. Earlier this year he decided to do a show about "Being Gay."


So, he contacted Armando Sarabia, our friend and professional hair stylist, to be his "expert witness." John likens his show to a courtroom drama but it really isn't like one at all.


Here are just a few of Armando's reactions I captured during the taping. LOL. John gave a disclaimer at the top of the show explaining he would ask some questions that would sound ignorant but he would ask them anyway just to help others learn more about what it's like to be gay. Armando candidly answered him and the audience was cracking up through the entire taping because it was a really funny episode.

I think my favorite part may have been when John draws an analogy that he too knows what it's like to be teased and bullied for being gay because when he was younger he was called "gay" by bullies at school because he had a lisp. While not the same situation exactly, being bullied is being bullied and I'm glad that we (as a society) are finally addressing this very damaging problem.

It was an informative PSA kind of show about why understanding, compassion, and tolerance are qualities that each of us, gay, straight, geeky or with a lisp, deserves from the rest of society.


Back to last Saturday night. Hubby had entered the episode for consideration in the 2012 WAVE awards. They are like the Emmys, but for Public Access Television. We drove for 2.5 hours to Sacramento for the awards ceremony along with our friends Brian and Loretta. Hubby was very excited.


I think the audience was mostly comprised of fellow nominees. . .


His shows made it to the finals in five categories. Each category had a winner in both a Community Producer and Professional divison. In Documentary Issues, two of the three finalists by Community Producer were for his show. And the winner was. . .


John Wants Answers for "Being Gay."


Hubby went up twice. Later that evening he also won for Special Audience. Each time he ran up flailing his arms above his head, thanked his Executive Producers and Director and waved to the crowd on the way back to his seat. LOL.


Director Loretta Beavers, Host John A. Vink, and Executive Producer Brian Westphal.


After, Raymond Donald Hong and Kim Lawson of Outlook Video asked if they could interview Hubby about his winning episode. Outlook Video is a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender public access cable program recorded at CreaTV Channel 15 in San Jose, CA. They were curious about what inspired him to choose this topic for his show.


Watch the award winning episode "Being Gay" right now!

I'm so happy for Hubby that John Wants Answers is now an award winning public access tv program. He loves winning awards more than anyone I know. Remember how I gave him three trophies at our wedding? LOL. We stopped for a celebratory dinner at Redrum Burger in Davis, CA. then made the 2.5 hour drive home. It was a great night and congratulations to John, the John Wants Answers team and KMVT.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm just a drilling, sawing, grinding, sanding kind of gal!


Last night I took the Metal Shop Basic Safety and Use class at TechShop as part of my education to build my little travel trailer. In the 2 hour class we used six machines to make this aluminum bottle opener. I'm not even sure if it works but I think it's the bees knees because I made it! :D


We started with a piece of aluminum that we'd traced the opener pattern on with a small Sharpie, then cut each of our openers from a longer shared strip using a cold saw.


The funniest thing about the cold saw was that because I'm shrimpy I had to use both hands lifted high over my head to pull down the black handle to the right to move the blade down to cut my metal. I felt like I was on a tv game show spinning a wheel or pulling a giant lever. LOL


Next we took our projects to the drill press and drilled a hole to create the inner curve that fits over the bottle cap. Sorry, I didn't take photos during the class because I was too busy learning. I took all of the machine pictures after we were done.


Next we went to the vertical band saw which was the only machine out of the six that I found scary. Your fingers are moving your project towards the blade and if you slip you could seriously hurt yourself. But if you focus and move slowly you shouldn't have a problem. We used it to make two straight cuts removing the rest of the metal around the hole we'd just drilled.


Next we used a horizontal band saw to cut off the other straight edge at the end of the handle. This was a more safe feeling machine than the vertical band saw. Here you place your project into the machine, set the proper settings, hit a button and wait for the machine to lower the blade and cut through your metal.


Next we took our projects to the disk sander to remove the burrs along the edges. Some of us used it to also round the exterior corners which were still squared and rather pointy.


And last but not least we had the option to finish using a tungsten grinder to further buff off small burrs and to remove the oxidation from the surface of the metal making it look more shiny and new. This is when my hands got filthy dirty but it all washed off with regular soap and water.

Safety tips when working with any type of rotary tools:

Do wear protective goggles or safety glasses
Don't wear long sleeves
Don't wear loose or fitted jewelry like necklaces, watches or rings
Don't wear gloves

Especially for the ladies, I want to say that if you have a TechShop or something similar where you live, go and learn your way around the equipment and build some stuff! I think the thing that keeps us (as women) from using machinery like this is societal norms. Well guess what? Industrial arts are not just for men! Believe me, you can do it too. After making my trailer I'm looking forward to making some of the cool things I've seen on Pinterest with my new found skills.



To follow the entire build thread from beginning to end just click on the "Trailer - Build" category on the side bar or CLICK HERE.

To view all of my trailer gear and decorating posts CLICK HERE.



*Disclosure: Because we invested in the San Jose location of TechShop, hubby and I are now lifetime members.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cutest camping hot dog grill. Ever!

Look what I found on Etsy at the GotMilkGlassAndMore shop. It's a Li'l Frankie campfire hot dog grill! It's for my trailer I haven't begun building yet. LOL. But I do know I want to be able to be sociable and attend trailer rallies, and people cook at rallies, so I thought I'd peek around online and see what I could see in the way of camping cookware. Which is how I spotted this adorable little hot dogger.



The odd thing is I can't find out anything about them online. I mean NOTHING, zero, zilch. With the exception of the Etsy listing where I purchased it from there isn't a single reference I could find to this little grill. The exterior says it's a LI'L FRANKIE IN-A-MINIT-GRILL. Which cracks me up because I want a Minit fiberglass trailer like the one I saw at the TCT Vintage Trailer Rally.


My Li'l Frankis is coming with instructions and a recipe insert. It says you can put bread in with the hot dogs to make tiny, toasted, pigs-in-a-blanket. The funniest part about this is since I don't eat meat I picked up some faux hotdogs at the store yesterday to begin testing them out to find a brand I like. I'm already thinking it would be cool to be able to hollow out the center of each dog and insert a rod of cheese and plug it back up with dog so I can make tiny cheese dogs.


I did look online to see if it's safe to eat food cooked in aluminum because I don't think I've ever owned aluminum cookware before. On Cooking For Engineers they say it is safe but special care must be taken in maintaing aluminum cookware. Certain acidic foods (egg yolks, asparagus, apples or artichokes ) can oxidize the metal and dropping it can make it crack because even though aluminum is soft, once cast it's brittle. Best practice care instructions are to never use steel wool, don't leave it to soak in soapy water and it's best to hand wash your aluminum cookware. Also, since I'm not sure if it's ever been used I'll have to season it though I'm not sure how to do that with wooden handles. I'm hoping they'll easily screw off or something.


Even though it was only $12.95 my Li'l Frankie looks to be in mint condition. I'm so excited for it to arrive! I'll definitely cook something up and post my results when I do.



To follow the entire build thread from beginning to end just click on the "Trailer - Build" category on the side bar or CLICK HERE.

To view all of my trailer gear and decorating posts CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Searching for Sugar Man

If it's playing in your city see this movie. It's so outrageous it's almost unbelievable. But it's true. An American musician who never made it, fades into obscurity in the US. But becomes an icon bigger than the Rolling Stones and Elvis, in South Africa. For decades. And he doesn't know it.

Oddly, even though the movie won the "World Cinema Audience Award Documentary" and a "Special Jury Prize" at the Sunset Film Festival in 2012, I heard about it through my hubby who heard about it while listening to a UK radio station. So even now anonymity continues to follow Rodriguez.

Searching for Sugar Man tells his most incredible story:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Design Plans for my DIY Tiny Travel Trailer

Update: Due to some disappointments at the way equipment was maintained at TechShop and lack of proper instruction in my first of three classes I decided it was best to hire a professional builder for this project. Fred is located in Michigan and began the build over the winter. He sends me pictures every couple of weeks to keep me updated on his progress. You can CLICK HERE to view all posts related to the build.



An overview of my one woman travel trailer that I will soon begin building at TechShop. I'm posting my design online because I'm hoping experienced builders and rv'ers will critique and offer design suggestions. Please let me know if you see any major design flaws or have a great suggestion of something I've overlooked.

I'd rather over-think the build than have to build a second trailer to improve upon the first one I didn't plan well enough :)

My main goals are to keep the trailer as light, small and comfortable as possible.

Frequency of Use:
I will use it mostly for 1-2 night trips, at least twice a month, around Northern California for blogging excursions within city limits at RV parks, state parks, or on private property with permission. I will head out early in the AM to photograph the sunrise and currently don't usually make it back to a hotel or B&B until the end of the day after dinner at a restaurant. So the trailer will mainly be used for sleeping at night.

Materials:
Because it will be small I'm hoping I'll be to be able to afford premium building materials because I'll be using less of them than a traditional teardrop or canned ham.

Please Note:
YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Image #1 - Dimensions

1. Dimensions and Wall Thicknesses:
4'(wide) x 6'(long) x 66.5"(total height from ground up). The exterior cabin height will be 52"(h). The interior cabin height will be 46.5" unless I don't add an additional 2" wood frame to the chassis to build on and lay the floor. Then the interior height can bump up to 48.5 inches.

Sidewalls / Framing:
1"x1" welded hollow steel tubing for sidewalls and top
1/2" marine grade plywood for outer wall
1" foam board insulation between steel framing
1/4" marine grade plywood for interior walls

Is this too much wall? Am leaning towards going heavier for durability, to avoid interior cabin condensation and sound proofing.

Ceiling / Front and Rear walls:
 1/8" luan exterior, 1" foam board insulation, 1/8" luan for interior

Looking for a more eco-friendly luan alternative than imported tropical woods

Exterior Skin:
Will use a classic aluminum skin for the exterior.

For decor I can either have the trailer wrapped or painted. If painted I'd like to get an airbrush and paint it myself. If that proves to be too challenging I can always take it to a professional/auto shop at some point down the road.

Image #2 Scale

2. Scale:
I want to be able to sit upright and sleep lengthwise. The current dimensions give me 13.5" of excess vertical height and 7.25" of excess length.

Image #3 Wheels

3. Wheels
ETA 3/1/13: Due to Timbren not offering the ability to add brakes to the wheel size I needed I opted instead for a traditional Dexter torsion axle with electric brakes.

I want to use the Timbren Axle-Less wheels/suspension system in place of a traditional axle or torsion bar. This will work better with a dropped floor design as well as cut back on weight instead of an axle/torsion bar.

13" wheels

Spare Tire: Not sure yet where the spare tire will go. Am thinking placement on the rear, under the trailer or under the tongue will be based on weight distribution.

Brakes: In California brakes are not legally required for a trailer this light but are they a good idea?

Image #4 Chassis

4. Chassis:
I will be building the chassis from scratch and already took a MIG welding class just last night! I'm planning on using 2"x2" hollow tube steel.

What type/weight of steel tubing is best and lightest?

Once completed is taking it to be galvanized (hot dipped) a good idea or unnecessary?

Weight Distributing Hitch and Sway Control:
Yes? No? I am aiming for a loaded trailer weight of around 700 lbs. My car is rated to tow 1000 lbs and weighs 2600 lbs.

Image #5 Doors

5. Exterior Doors:
ETA 3/1/13: At my builder's suggestion I've opted for a single, larger, rear door instead of the side door. He is building the exterior door and I may or may not add the screen door later as needed.

There will be two secure doors 22" wide x 36" high each with a deadbolt.

The first will be an almost solid (except for a small speakeasy type window to see who's outside) exterior door that opens outward.

I also want to make a screen door that has wood on the exterior side but is lined with sheet metal (steel), decoratively cut on the inside as reinforcement. This door will open inward. The reason I want the screen door to open inward is for security. I can add both a latch at the base and a cross bar at night when I'm in the trailer. The screens can be popped into place but the rest of the door has to be lined on the back with a single sheet of decoratively cut steel.

Rear Hatch:

Even though there won't be a galley kitchen off the rear I still want to create the classic teardrop hatchback for two reasons:

1. When I'm somewhere on a beautiful day or evening I can open the hatch and enjoy the view/weather.

2. At a rally the more social aspect of having the trailer opened up. I've also designed a screen door system that will be lightweight and easy to execute.

3. I'll be making removable cabinets so if I ever need to haul a large object I can use my trailer to do it.

Image #6 Driver's Side Exterior

6. Driver's Side Exterior:
There will only be one window on the driver's side of the trailer. I'd like to do this double paned with a sliding window to allow ventilation through a screen. I also want this window to be tinted for privacy.

The shoreline power hatch and an additional porch light will also be on this side.


Image #7 Rear View

7.Rear View:
Once I choose it my camper's name will be here along with a "Built at www.TechShop.com" banner on the bottom.

Image #8 Front View

8. Front View
As a rock guard the front will use diamond plate on the trailer and front/top of the tongue box. The rest will be left plain to make bug clean up easier.

Image #9 Overhead Layout

9. Overhead Layout View

Sleeping:
I'll be using an inflatable pillow and self-inflating, Thermarest, backpacking, sleeping pad to put out each night. There will be 27.5" x 69.75 inches of floor space for sleeping. In summer a light blanket and in spring and fall a sleeping bag.

Storage:
ETA 3/1/13: We did away with the dropped storage to reduce the overall weight of the trailer. I am keeping the interior wall cabinets and if more storage is needed I will add it as overhead cabinets at the front and rear of the trailer.

There will be two, 8" deep, dropped storage compartments. One is small the other long but divided by the framing cross beams with three access hatches above.

Image #10 Storage/Gear

10. Storage Compartments with Gear
The storage compartments can hold clothes, shoes, fresh water tanks and screen door and shower curtain,etc.

Image #11 Cabinet Dimensions

11. Cabinet Dimensions
I'm wondering how thick the wood should be if I build wood cabinets. Is 1/4 sufficient? 3/8"?

Porta Potty 16(w) x 17(d) x 22(h)
Cooler 23.5(w) x 17(d) x 22(h)
Sink 15(w) x 17(d) x 22(h)
Power 13(w) x 17(d) x 22(h)
Image #12 Cabinets

12. Cabinets
There will be four movable/removable interior storage cabinets that run along the driver's side of the cabin. Two I'm designing with casters so I can easily move and secure them to the passenger side wall while driving to more equally distribute the weight load inside the cabin if needed.


Image #13 Cabinet Interiors

13. Cabinet Interiors
From left to right above:

Porta Potty: This cabinet will only hold an emergency Thetford Porta Potty.

Cooking:
At this time my plan is to simply bring along my stainless steel fondue pot for reheating food and water for dishwashing. For the most part I will do minimal cooking as dining out while traveling is one of my favorite things to blog about.

Ice Chest: The cooler cabinet will have additional styrofoam added to the walls, top and bottom to provide more insulation. The doors will be set higher to allow them to open easily even when the camping mattress is in use.

Sink:
For now I'm planning to forego a water system and instead simply keep a vessel of water sink side and have a small 10"x13" sink that empties into a 1.75 gallon grey water container. I can store two grey water containers this size beneath the sink.

Power:
I'll be running an inverter/transfer box/regulator/battery charger to have both AC and DC power available. The power cabinet will have a perforated steel door to allow proper ventilation of the devices. It will also hold 2 DC outlets with a hole drilled through the top of the cabinet to allow cords to remain hidden.

Image #14 Shower

14. Portable Shower
I intend to use a solar shower to heat water for showers. I can keep a small plastic container in  my car trunk and bring it out in the evenings just for showering and empty it out in my sink after I'm done. It's small enough to set on the counter overnight then put it back in the car in the morning.

I figured out and confirmed with the mfg that if I put the shower bag in a low, open on top, plastic bin during the day and leave it in my car on the dashboard or in the rear window the water will get plenty hot. I read online if you take the hot bag of water at 3:00 PM and put it into a cooler it will stay hot enough to shower with until 10:00 PM that evening. Will experiment with this and see if that's true.

The shower itself will be combining a rubbermaid type container with a suspended shower curtain that is either hung by a single hook on a circular frame or using PVC to set p a frame. The shower bag can be hung on the curtain rod.

Image #15 Trap Guard

15. Trap Primer
In such a small space I am concerned if I camp for more than a day in hot weather this could cause odors to come back up the drain so I'm planning to install a ProSet Trap Guard as a primer replacement.

Image #16 Trailer Roof

16. Trailer Roof
Vent/Fan:
Flat lid Fan-Tastic Vent from Vintage Trailer Supply

Solar Power:
I'd like to mount a flat, 55 watt, 14"x21" solar panel to the roof of the trailer to trickle charge the battery. The panel can be mounted with custom made security screws to deter thieves.

Image #17 Passenger Side Interior

17. Passenger Side Interior
View of both doors closed, security cross bar in storage position, fire extinguisher, AC outlets, battery operated CO2 detector, porch light switches, small storage tray on shelf and three clothes hooks for jacket, etc. I can also build in a towel bar here to hang a camping bath towel to dry.

Image #18 Security Screen Door

18. Screen Door Interior View
The interior opening screen door will have a cross bar security feature.
Image #19 Dropped Storage Compartments

19. Dropped Storage Compartment Options
Storage Dropper Floor:
There will be two 8" deep dropped floor storage bins. One with its own access hatch and the other having three access hatches that fit around the trailer framing bars. The hatch doors will be hinged and can be insulated with foam board on their undersides.

I'm uncertain at this time if it is better to make the dropped boxes individual boxes that extend beneath the chassis, or if it's better to simply drop the entire frame lower and make the boxes fit within a completely protected area?


Image #20 Rear Interior

20. Rear Interior View Hatchback Closed
Silver framing is thing steel, 2" wide to attach a screen shield comprised of screen door fabric edged in heavier cloth with strong magnets sewn in.
Image #21 Rear Screen Door

21. Hatchback Screen Door
The magnetically installed screen will have a zipper down the center to allow the rear hatchback to be used as an additional door when open.
Image #22 Tongue Box Access

22. Interior Tongue Box Access
The vented tongue box will hold a deep cycle battery to run the Fan-Tastic Vent, interior LED lights and to be able to recharge my cell phone and camera batteries each evening. If I'm going on a an extended trip I will have the option of having enough space to add a second battery.

A unique feature will be that access to the tongue box will be from the interior of the cabin to deter opportunistic battery thieves.

Image #23 Receivers

23. Receivers
I saw this online somewhere. Welding receivers to the corners of the chassis will allow me to create custom receiver arms that can hold an awning, sun umbrellas, tables, etc. on either side of the trailer.

Image #24 Branding

24. Branding:
Haven't yet decided whether or not to brand the trailer to The Flirty Blog. Due to the trailer having aluminum siding a large removable magnet is not an option unless I install a steel plate on the side to stick it to.

Pros: Great marketing opportunity for the blog as well as a good theft deterrent because it helps to make the trailer too memorable and recognizable to steal.

Cons: This would allow anyone to go to my blog, see who I am and know a lot about me including my name. This could be a safety concern but one I'm not overly worried about because I wouldn't ever open the door just because someone pretended that they knew me by using my name.

25. Safety:
The trailer will have a smoke detector, CO2 detector and fire extinguisher.

I've read online a lot of women who travel alone carry and know how to use handguns. Others use a panic button to their car alarm system, carry bear spray, baseball bats, billy club type devices or even an ax as safety measures.

I will also be designing a decorative, sheet metal, steel window grate, that can be opened from the inside only, to create a safety barrier for the window on the driver's side.

It is legal in California to have both pepper spray and a stun gun. Combined with a cell phone, secure doors, a secure window, and an audible alarm system I feel they are reasonable safety measure I can put in place so that I don't have to be paranoid or worry about safety once I'm on the road.

There will also be porch lights (not motion sensor) on both the driver's and passenger's sides of the trailer in case I need to see outside at night.

Should I add lighting to the front and rear as well? The trailer is so small it seems like that would be overkill.



To follow the entire build thread from beginning to end just click on the "Trailer - Build" category on the side bar or CLICK HERE.

To view all of my trailer gear and decorating posts CLICK HERE.

And here are the posts documenting my maiden voyage after picking up the trailer in Michigan:




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