Cargo trailer conversion (somewhat)
New (old) project (re)starting. Got willed a Pace American trailer about 17 years ago. 8'X12', 1995, single axle. Had electric brakes but they're shot and since removed. Started fixing it up a little back in 2000-2001 but then life got in the way. It got plenty of use helping us move to our new house in 2006, then sat with the last load of crap it hauled still inside for the last 10 years.
The previous owner (before my Father) had installed a 1kw electric heater and a couple 115v lights (plus a junction box with a couple outlets and switches), but no outside shore power hook-up. I had a couple Trojan batteries in it for a while before they got re-purposed and died long ago. I had a plan initially to set it up for hauling a dirtbike or snowmobile out to the woods, then on arrival pull out the toy and use it to live in for a day or two of camping. That purpose isn't high on my list any longer.
But, I've passed up on a couple overnight/weekend excursions in the past few years not wanting to stay in the home of some good, but not-so-close, friends. Kind of a self-sufficient loner (wife and dog excluded) and not comfortable with the wife and I putting people out staying in their guest bedroom, with our dog. Family and close friends are different, no problem mooching off them for a weekend lol. I love being a host (bring the kids and pets!), but really hate being a guest for some reason. The last straw was us driving 800 miles to visit family last year, too long a drive for me without sleep so did the pet-friendly hotel thing (both ways) but what a costly PITA that was.
Decided on that last trip I needed a new plan. Here's the very start of it:
Started cleaning it out of junk last year before the weather turned crappy, just finished with the last of it this weekend. If anything good can be said of the trailer at least it's not leaking (the floor stains are oil) and the floor boards are solid with no weak spots. Lots of rust at the door seals, and the tires are dry-rotted. Plan A for it is just to be able to pull over and get a few hours sleep at a rest area on our next 800 mile trip visiting family in a month or two (staying in their house while there). Not sure where it falls into the survival plan, if at all. I'd like to still be able to use it for cargo/toys, so a full blown tiny-house/camper thing is out.
After getting it emptied, started brushing/sanding the rust off and sealed the front right side cargo door permanently closed, the left front will be the entry door and the back doors left openable for cargo loading. Need to get a roof vent, maybe two, on order along with new tires. Still need to figure out a good solution for the entry door (left-front) lock/hasp/knob and get it installed, no ability now to open the door from the inside now, and want a solution that doesn't allow someone to lock us in from the outside either. Have a futon that will be the couch/bed for this first trip, haven't decided if that'll be the long term sleeping solution or not. Might not get deep-cycle batteries and the 12v power re-worked before the first trip either, but it's on the list for sure, the overall power solution (truck alternator only, solar, small genny, or some combination of all) is still up in the air though. Permanently closing that right-front door has left some usable space over the tongue so thinking about putting a box there to house our small 1kw genny, or maybe a BBQ propane tank for heat/cooking/lighting instead?. Will have to work out some temporary solution for the Mrs to have a bathroom before our first trip, at least for #1, but #2 will require more thought and work that I might not have time for yet.
Anyway, any thoughts or suggestions appreciated. I'm not even sure where I want to go with this except maybe a three-season, long weekend, place of our own to rest our heads in semi-comfort, while still having the option of just using it for cargo hauling. Everything at this point is still up for discussion/debate.
Last edited by marked; 04-02-2017 at 06:27 PM.
Everything marked, everything 'membered. You wait, you'll see.