Since I started sharing links to the blog, I decided I needed to start writing more. I’ve been busy trying to move from the broad conceptual ideas to the details. In particular, figuring out how to build a trailer that is light enough for my little car, figuring out power options, and figuring out what to do with the Roxy-dog are the biggest challenges. I’ve made a bunch of progress!
My Living Options
Especially at first, I will be staying mostly in developed campgrounds for the shower facilities and other amenities. However, I want the option to escape to primitive campgrounds or even dispersed camping (read: alone in the middle of nowhere) in National Forests or even BLM land if I find myself out West.
I considered small RVs, van conversions, cargo trailer conversions, pop-up campers, and teardrop trailers (see this great site for pros and cons of different options). I decided that I wanted a trailer rather than an RV or van. I wanted a smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicle than the above trailer options would permit. That pretty much left me with a choice between a teardrop trailer (left) or staying in a tent and having something like a utility trailer (right) to carry the equipment.
I decided on something in between but closer to the latter. I bought a high-quality canvas tent; it has standing room and customers report that they are great in all sorts of rough conditions (Alaska, tropical storms, and even sandstorms). The trailer will therefore serve more as a cargo carrier than a place to live, although I would like the option of staying in the trailer for times with bad weather or times when I will be only be at a location for night and I don’t want to set up the site.
Add in a pop-up canopy, and I will have a reasonable amount of room. The tent is 7×10’, the canopy is 12×12’ and the trailer is 4×8’. That gives me 246 sqft of covered living/storage space. A campsite in general is similar to an efficiency apartment, just with a little more ventilation and hopefully a better view, like this waterfront site at Falls Lake, NC (hmm…I wonder what’s keeping all the water from flowing to the left?)
Another big advantage is the people-watching at campgrounds 😉 The tent is big enough for a sleeping area on one side and a small desk setup on the other side, with a little separation between. I will generally be cooking outside, and plan to get sides for the pop-up canopy to block wind when it is cold, or perhaps cook inside the trailer. I want everything to be versatile; rather than building a work desk attached to the inside of the trailer, I will have a small fold-up table that could be used in the trailer, in the tent, or outside.
The last purpose of the trailer will be a place for Roxy-dog to hang out during the day when I go into an office and is too hot to keep her in the car. I am curious to see the reactions at work when I start showing up with a home-built trailer and a dog.
I will be posting more about the trailer and camper later this weekend. Right now I’m going to set up the tent for the first time!