So here we are. It’s December already. Have you finished your Christmas shopping? I know I haven’t 😛
I bet you’re all wondering where we’re at with the trailer as I haven’t done an update in a while. Well, we’re living in it again. I’m not sure I mentioned it before, but during the reno we were staying with some friends.
It took a little bit to reacclimatize ourselves to being in the trailer, but things have been working really well, I have to say. The wood stove works great now; no more smoke issues like we had last year. It’s been easy too keep things warm inside, often we get it too warm. We have a nice stash of wood under shelter, the composting toilet is working well. All in all I would say our building projects have paid off very much.
Since my last post about trailer related things, we have a semblance of a kitchen. It’s still a bit chaotic, as we don’t have much counter or cupboard space (well, none at all, really). It’s been an exercise in constantly moving things around. We have managed to come up with a routine that is working okay, but I’m sure things will be much easier once we get some storage space back in the kitchen.
Unfortunately, I haven’t really been working on the kitchen. I’ve been working on getting the outdoor things done first while the weather is still good. For December, things have been eerily warm. The predicted low temperature for the next six nights are all above freezing. Ummm, we’re in Canada and this is December. I killed a mosquito OUTSIDE yesterday. If there is one reason to do all we can to help alleviate climate change, it is mosquitoes in December. That just shouldn’t happen.
I bet you would like to see some pictures? Good thing I have some to show you then.
One of the things I wanted to get done before the ground froze is to put in some conduit for the wires that will be coming off the roof from the solar panels into the back of the composting toilet room where the electrical panel will be located. Here is a picture of the trench I dug for that.
It was pretty short, maybe 3m (13′). I got the plastic tubing from our friends Andres and Sophia after they had some left over pipe when they put in their well. I cut the pipe, put it in place and filled in the trench today. That job was pretty easy.
The other big job I have been working on for several days is getting the trailer properly skirted. Not only are we skirting it, but we put straw bales under it again to help insulate it. Some of the bales I used were ones that we wrapped in plastic last year for the same purpose, but some were just plain straw. I took apart several bales to stuff extra straw in the nooks and crannies where I couldn’t fit a full bale.
As for skirting, we used whatever we had lying around. We happened to have a lot of white paneling lying around that was ripped out of the interior of the trailer, so we used that. Here is a work-in-progress shot of the south facing side.
As you can see I used tuck tape to join the seams between the panels. It’s far from being a perfect seal, but what you’re really trying to do is prevent the wind from blowing under your trailer, so for that purpose, this will work fine.
Here is a detail shot of the area behind the steps under the door. I used some plywood scraps for this. It was also a bit of a pain to do as I had to remove the steps to get that back plate in. As you can imagine, that made the job take a whole lot longer.
Here we are coming around the west side. I switched to various pieces of OSB, plywood and particle board that I had lying around. Some of the OSB was stuff we salvaged from the dumpster.
Here is what it looks like along the back/north side.
I decided early on that when I was going to skirt the trailer, I was going to do the whole thing. That means skirting the slide-outs and the front tongue as well. This created a small storage room under the tongue so we put Kat’s horse storage locker in there.
After several days working on this, I managed to finish it all today and it felt good to get it done. It also helped that it was warm and sunny today too, just to add to that sense of well-being. Some might not call it warm, but 4C (38F) with full sun and no wind in December is warm.
Here is a final shot of the front after I completed it. I also packed dirt up against the bottom of all the panels to prevent the wind and possible creatures from getting in from underneath.
You can see the dirt detail better in this picture at the west side.
Because we couldn’t completely block off the area under the tongue of the trailer, I had to come up with some door type mechanism. I ended up using an old tarp. Using a small board, I wrapped the tarp around it at the top and the screwed it to the trailer. I then stapled it down the left side on to the existing skirting panel. I left the right side open so we can still get in there when necessary. I just weighed it down with a wood pallet and some rocks.
It was quite satisfying to get that done. Now all we need is come cold weather to really test it.
Just in case you thought Kat was taking it easy, here is a picture of her busy at work doing some painting inside.
That was really just a primer coat. We’re still debating on what colours to use. I do have to say that it feels much brighter in here after the walls and ceiling were painted white.
In different news, here I am pretending I’m a bird feeder. The chickadee isn’t fooled though.
Oh well, time to go relax I guess. And what better way to relax than with a kitten in the crook of your arm.
Our food supplies are getting low, but as Kat and I will be heading out soon for the holidays, this is probably a good thing. We did have on hand some really nice banana nut personal-sized loaves of bread that we decided to up the ante on.
On the left we put peanut butter on the bread first, then the sliced bananas and pecans. To top it off I added the chocolate chips.
On the right side we just put the bananas and pecans on the bread and then covered it with some homemade caramel that Kat had made a while back.
Then we warmed them up in the oven. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If the sounds of that doesn’t do it for you, perhaps this picture of Fizgig will 😀
If not, well, there is just no pleasing some people.