I have now been living in my little trailer for almost nine months. Eight of those months have been parked next to my friends house in Washington State. With an extension chord running from the garage it is essentially like a detached bedroom. I have power for my space heater which came in handy this winter when it got down to about 10 degrees. I also keep my laptop charged and am able to recieve a wifi signal from the house. Lighting is handled by battery powered lcd lights. They do a pretty good job but are not quite bright enough to read by. As I may have mentioned previously, I have a small fold down table, a decent sized closet/cabinet, and my bookcase full of books. All in all, quite cozy.
As far as the not so stellar aspects of tiny trailer living. It can seem a bit cramped at times. Much of my possessions are stored in my friends garage. I did purge a lot of my stuff before this adventure began, however I still have a lot of work to do. It does fit into ( and on top of) my truck but isn't very accessible. My trailer is pretty easy to get into almost any camp site and I'd like to keep it that way, so I am leaning against a bigger rig. Which means I will need to get rid of even more of my treasures!
During the summer while staying in Ohio it got down right nasty. It was hot & humid with almost daily torrential downpours and thunderstorms with high winds. I don't think there were very many days without at least one tornado warning. I wasn't able to keep the roof vent open very much or it might have ended up blown half way across Kansas. I had my dog Charlie to keep me company (yes Steinbeck fans, travels w/ charlie) and he didn't like the heat any more than I did. AC would have been nice, but we made due with my little fan. I had to find Charlie a good home once I hit the coast. Another victim of the recession, but he's better off.
And now for perhaps the worst aspect of living small, at least in my case. Mold! My little trailer was not meant to be a permanent dwelling. It's primary goal was to get me across the country without having to rely on motels, with the odd bit of exploring thrown in. and to this end it did quite admirably. It has been a fairly warm, dry and snug little home. However, after one of the wettest winters and now spring, in the already moist pacific northwest, the lower un-painted portion of the interior has got a bad case of mold. With the poor ventilation, the mold has run rampant. I still don't know yet if it extends up the walls behind the panelling. If the weather ever drys out, I plan to gut the interior to asses the damage.
One possible option would be to use a liberal dose of bleach to try to kill off the worst of the mold and then when dry, sand down to bare wood and properly seal and insulate. But I would still need to deal with the lack of ventilation in order to keep the condensation under control. There's not a lot of room for a dehumidifier.
There is also the fact that the outer walls & roof are simply painted plywood. It has held up fairly well, but as stated before was not meant to last forever. I could add siding and a metal roof but that brings up another point. I only have about five feet of clearance inside and it would be nice to stand up straight, and so this got me to thinking I might want to replace the flat roof with a peaked one or bowed like a vardo/gypsey trailer in order to gain the additional head room.
And so with all the added work & costs involved, I am debating whether or not I would be better off starting from scratch. I've seem some very nicely done trailers while searching the internet and I do believe I could now design a much more livable teeny tiny house on wheels. Aint hindsight great!
My biggest concerns are much the same as when I started this whole journey back in Vermont. The costs need to stay low, as does the weight. I would probably want to keep my trailer as the base. I would like to make tiny house 2 as livable as possible within the small confines I have before me. Beyond that I will give it some more thought and post in future blog entries.