Welcome back. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
(Friday) For those of you new to the blog, I’m in the process of building a TTT, (Tiny Travel Trailer), from the ground up. At present, the deadline I’ve placed on myself is to have it in the woods, camp-able, by the third weekend in October, (not, necessarily, finished; just watertight and sleep-able). Up until this morning’s weather forecast, I was doing just fine. Now it looks as if Sunday may be a washout. I’m still pushing hard to make that deadline, (although it’s going to be close).
First off, I’d like to apologize to those of you who were kind enough, throughout the life of this blog, to leave comments at the end of the weekly entries. Unfortunately, I’m new to WordPress and, until last weekend, I wasn’t aware that there was a comment section or a “respond to replies” function on my dashboard. That has since been rectified. I only hope that I’ve now responded to all the comments, and that you’ll forgive my ignorance. It certainly wasn’t intentional. I love chatting with those of you who’ve sent me emails with comments and questions over the last couple of months and I encourage it. Some of you have made some fantastic suggestions and I appreciate your’ taking the time and effort to send them.
As I mentioned, this weekend isn’t proving to be all that it can be. I got a late start today because I’d let a list of errands I started a month ago, that I needed to do, get to the point of ridiculous, so it was about 2PM before I finally got on to more important things; working on Nosty’s Nook. Sunday, according to “Accu-Weather, (now there’s a contradiction in terms if ever I heard one), will be a total washout, taking Monday and Tuesday along with it. I finally worked up the gumption to start on the epoxy work but, alas, it’ll probably have to wait another week.
When I got back home today, I managed to get the storage box built for the front. As I had hoped, the added weight was enough to give me sufficient tongue weight to balance the trailer. The box is 62″ long, 24″ wide and 16″ deep, made out of 3/4” A/C plywood. I nearly got a hernia hefting the two full sheets into the truck, out of the truck, and on to the table saw.
The box isn’t bolted to the frame or the camper-body yet because I want to epoxy all sides of the box, as well as the entire front of the camper. Once everything’s epoxied and painted, I’ll be bolting it to 1 X2 stringers I put on the camper-face. This will leave a gap between the camper and the box for rain drain-off. Then, I’ll be placing a heavy hunk of rubber under the front edge and bolting through it into a threaded hole in the tongue. That way, there’ll be some room for flex in case the camper gets in a bind, or we meet up with some gully-washed back roads. For now, the box is intended for storage only. However, should I change my mind down the road and decide that there may be some merit in installing a 12VDC system, (not likely), I can always add the batteries and the charger to the front box and run a conduit under the trailer to the breaker panel. The breaker panel I installed is set up for two separate feeds, (120VAC and/or 12VDC or generator feed).
(Saturday) If our local weather forecaster’s crystal ball was, indeed, clean and it does rain tomorrow, I’ll be collecting everything I need for the epoxy job next weekend, insuring that I have everything I’ll need, on hand and ready to get to work next Friday. Organized and neat is the only way I’m going to get a professional finish on Nosty’s Nook. I plan on going at it full steam with every imaginable tool, applicator, brush, container, etc., (and a cooler of beer), on the table beside the camper. If anything goes wrong, it won’t be from lack of effort.
After I made the stringers and brackets for the box, I started, yuck!, sanding. I have at least one of every imaginable type of sander for the sole purpose of making my least favorite task as easy as possible. I used my random orbit sander with 100 grit, then 220 grit paper to sand down the body and to place a bevel across all the edges so the fiberglass cloth will form better. Then I took a plane and the belt sander to the rear doors to get them to where they closed snugly, but didn’t catch or hang up. As is usually the case, I put the cart before the horse, yet again, and, over the last eight weeks, filled all the countersunk nail and screw holes with Plastic Wood. I always use Plastic Wood to fill holes and voids in any project I’m working on because I’ve always found it to work really well, and it takes paint and stain without showing through. Unfortunately, after an email to DAP regarding Plastic Wood’s compatibility with epoxy resin, I learned that they don’t play nice together. Who knew? So, instead of just smoothing the body, I also had to drill out as much of the Plastic Wood as I could and sand even more. I’m told that the epoxy will fill the holes just fine on the horizontals. Great! What about the vertical surfaces? I can hear the morning news now. “Local man goes berserk over an ugly Plastic Wood incident and is now stapling himself to his camper with a pneumatic stapler! Film at 11!”
The highlight of this weekend, so far, was when I crawled up under the trailer to measure for the box supports. There I was, minding my own business, (and in a rather vulnerable position), when I looked up and found a rather large and antisocial black snake who had, apparently, decided to homestead one of the frame rails. He was not in any mood for visitors. Who am I to disturb him, right? I was in EMS for a great many years and have seen just about every gross, nasty and disgusting thing you could imagine. Those never bothered me. A snake, however, can get my extensive girth moving in hyper drive in a flash. My friend and neighbor, Bill, is probably still laughing after seeing me fleeing the scene, screaming like a little girl. Thankfully, the snake decided he didn’t like the neighborhood, either, and moved on to more rustic digs. I just know he’ll never write.
(Sunday) Of all times for the weather forecasters to be right, they hit it dead on for today. There must have been a storm of biblical proportion during the night because the power had been off for a couple of hours when I woke up. The rain has slowed, but it’s still coming down and will be, according to the crystal ball and my trick knee, through Wednesday. Needless to say, there won’t be any further progress on Nosty’s Nook this weekend. Today isn’t, however, a total loss. I’m in the process of collecting everything I’ll need to start right in on the epoxy work bright and early next Friday. Hopefully, the weatherperson is on a roll. They’re calling for temps in the high 70’s all next weekend with no rain. Nirvana!
I’m also getting an early start on my winter house cleaning/shake-down. The reason is two-fold. I’m digging out things that I can use in the camper when it’s ready to roll; old sheets, cookware, utensils, etc., and gathering the “stuff” I’ve amassed, that I’ll never use, to take to the local charity shops in the process. Hopefully someone will get some use out of it. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of “stuff” one person can collect without even knowing they’re doing it. Thankfully, I believe I’ve got enough to, just about, stock the camper in fine style without having to go out and buy anything else. That’s a good feeling.
If you, too, are housebound today due to inclement weather, stop by the Teardrop and Tiny Travel Trailer forum and have a look around. Be careful, viewing this site is sure to give you the camping bug. It’s a wonderful feeling.
On that note, I’ll take my leave for this week. As always, drop me an email with any comments, questions or just to say hello, anytime. firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next week, may your days be filled with wonderful news, good health and much happiness.
Check out my latest book, Born Bent Over: Flashing the Vertical Smile at Middle Age. It’s available through Barnes and Noble.com, Amazon.com or through my website, bgreenleaf.com A belly-laugh in every chapter. A guaranteed cure for those rainy day blues.
©Brian Greenleaf 2010. All rights reserved.