After living in the trailer for the past 9 months there were a few things that just weren’t working…and a few things we wished worked better. Here is a brief rundown of what we fixed and why we fixed it:
- No more shower. We never used it. Between campgrounds and friends houses we always had a shower available to us. The few times we did use the Helio shower bag to hose ourselves down it was during warm weather so we just used it outdoors.
- Shower pan gone & shower walls torn down. Initially we liked the idea of a “bathroom space,” but again, we rarely used it because “real” bathrooms were usually available to us anywhere we traveled. Also, the shower pan was AWFUL to clean. It was a magnet for water and dirt. By removing this, it opened up the trailer so we had more light & more space.
- New toilet set up. The toilet is still very handy to have. It has remained as a #1 only type toilet, but it’s perfect for middle of the night, early mornings or side of the road stops. Again, because bathrooms are usually available to us, we don’t always need it. The new set up allows it so the toilet still has a space and is usable, yet when we don’t need it, it doesn’t take up any additional space. Plus, now we have a bench for extra seating!
- Kitchen was too small. Our main water source is our 7-gallon blue jug, which was a bit cumbersome for the small counter space. We couldn’t have the blue jug on the counter and use the counter at the same time. This meant we were always moving the jug out of the way. When it’s full it weighs roughly 50+ lbs, so for me, it was no easy feat to move. In addition to the blue jug, the kitchen counter wasn’t large enough for the cook stove. We could barely squeeze it in so it sat over the sink, but this made it a little uneasy and not very level.
- We found mold!!! Given the cold weather we experienced in January, we had A LOT of condensation build-up on the inside of the trailer. About 1 week before we made it to Orlando a bit of mold appeared on the ceiling near one of the windows. Once we removed the shower pan and walls we tore that part of the ceiling back to investigate. We discovered a piece of insulation missing near a screw head, which had collected a good amount of moisture and the wood ceiling absorbed the water. The other window, which had no holes in the insulation, had no mold. We thought we were out of the clear with mold until we decided to replace the ceiling. When we removed the back cabinets to prepare for the new ceiling we found a significant amount of mold on both wood panels where the cabinets met the ceiling. We were so happy we took them down or who knows how long the mold would have continued to grow! (see mold pics below)
- New ceiling. The ceiling is always a stumper because any work on it requires us to defy gravity…to a degree of course 😉 We found this stuff at Home Depot called “Polywall,” which was meant for the inside of cabinets or on walls. It’s a water resistant, non-absorbant material…we thought it’d be perfect for a new ceiling! Plus, it was white, which we thought might help to bounce the light and make it brighter. Putting it up was a challenge because although it’s thin, it’s dense and it’s flimsy. No part of our ceiling is flush because of this, but we figured it was still better than wood panels, which proved to be a problem for mold. It took 4 panels to cover the ceiling, which meant we had to connect the seams. With our wood ceiling we used wood trim, which was challenging to get it to stick with glue because of the whole gravity thing, so we ended up using a combination of glue and nails. We shopped around Home Depot for some ideas for our new ceiling, used the internet as a resource, and ultimately decided on………white gorilla tape. Maybe not the classiest, using duct tape for our trim, but it doesn’t look all that bad. Still better than mold! We thought that if we figure out a better solution it’s at least easy to remove and fix.
- Better storage. Again, now that we’ve lived in the trailer for 9 months we knew what we used and what we didn’t. In deciding our remodel plan we tried to account for all the items we use or carry with us, and made sure they had a spot. In our old set up, under the desk was a collect-all, including our AC unit, tool box, screwdriver box, crockpot, sleeping bags and 2 small fans. We opted to put in a corner cabinet that could hold most of those things and keep them tucked away so it looked more put together inside the trailer. After all, first impressions are always important 😉 This cabinet also freed up space in the overhead cabinets near the back of the trailer so we could keep the toiletry items, towels and a few other miscellaneous items that were in the old bathroom in a new space.
Stay tuned for reports on how livable the newly remodeled space is for us!
You can see stop-motion videos of the 12-day remodel process by visiting our YouTube channel here.
Here are a few pictures of the process:
Some of the mold we found:
(this spot shown below was where the window wall met the ceiling)
(The second picture is taken from where the wall meets the ceiling, inside the cabinets)
New (white) ceiling and ceiling fan:
First time doing tile work:
The finished product!