Just off the Parkway, a few miles from Carolina Hemlock Recreational Area is the Crabtree Falls campground and recreational area. I recently visited the Pisgah National Forest to do some hiking and stayed at the campground. Continue reading
After a few days hiking in NC, I visited Grayson Highlands in Virginia. The park has everything a hiker or day camper can want. It’s trails are easy to the most advanced.
Took a couple of days off to visit the High Country of NC. Didn’t really have an agenda, just knew was free to do pretty much what I wanted.
I recently visited and hiking the Linville Falls after Hurricane Florence and was not surprised to see that the effects of the storm were evident in the area. Continue reading
After enjoying a good lunch, we decided to go up to Wiseman’s View which overlooks the Linville Gorge in the Pisgah National Forest.
While camping at the Linville Falls Campground and RV Park, Betty and I traveled a few miles to the Elk River Falls. The falls are a popular visit with people from all over the south. Continue reading
The installation of the power center is now here. I ran wiring to the battery under the trailer and pulled it up to the power center area. Now, with the power center installed, all that was left was attaching the wiring. Here are my individual circuits:
2 lights on exterior sides
2 interior reading lights, one on each side at head area
2 interior 12 volt plugs for cigarette lighter type appliances or USB items
2 kitchen 12 volt plugs for cigarette lighter type appliances or USB items
2 interior top lights
1 water pump
3 110 plugs, (2) on interior rear wall (1) in kitchen area
The use of the power center is optional. I felt that with that many circuits, the use of straight 110 plugs and that all the wiring was enclosed in walls required the use of a power point that would give me more safety against fire and damage. The power center is a converter and can power your trailer from exterior power sources.
Here is where you can get the Power Center. Again the use is optional. I overbuilt the trailer in many ways, because I could. I didn’t want to be caught later wishing I had added more circuits or have to tear out something due to a short. Just follow the directions, if you don’t feel comfortable with it, take the trailer to an electrician who has knowledge of 12 volt systems.
As you can see the trailer wiring and electrical system creates many different configurations of lights, power and convenience. I also have an 2000 watt inverter that is stored under the kitchen table and another 500 watt inverter that is installed in the pull vehicle. I carry a spare 12 volt battery (use it with my trolling motor on my kayak), a small lightweight generator and extension cords. My generator has a 35 amp plug that connects to the side of the trailer. Or I can use the plug and cord for campground electrical connections.
Later in the install I added a solar panel on top of the trailer and ran the wire through the wall and beneath the trailer. It’s controller is in my (vented) battery box. I am still working on a wiring harness to the battery so I can charge it on the road from the tow vehicle.
The kitchen build was trial and error. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted and I knew the space I had was limited. So before I started building, I took everything I thought I would need in the kitchen area and laid it out. The items included many things:
Camp cook stove
Utensils (knives, forks, spoons, spatulas, etc.
Bowls, cups, plates
Napkins, Paper towels, washcloths, dish washing supplies
Water bottles, coffee supplies
Spices, Matches, Can Opener
Camp stove gas, grill brush, hatchet
Electrical cords, wasp spray, bug spray, cleaner
At this point, I wasn’t sure what would fit, and still needed to add what I thought would be important to have:
I made some decisions that would hopefully be the right ones. I opted to for a 10 gallon water tank and connected it with a small 12 volt pump and faucet. I nixed the sink due to the need for space and drains. I didn’t think I would be using a sink that much and it took up too much room. I figured that I could always make a portable one. Since I had the pump, tank and faucet, I added an inexpensive shower head to the outside of the trailer. My reasoning was that it would be good to have to rinse off dirt before you got into the trailer. It could clearly be used to wash off dishes if there was a catch bowl.
Once I figured out what I really needed, I built the cabinetry to fit. I must admit, that I made a later decision that has worked out pretty good. On one of my trips, the wind was blowing pretty hard and my gas stove kept going out. It became a real pain in the you know what. So I removed some of the cabinetry and installed a small microwave. Other than the power that it drains from the battery, it really saves time and trouble for many meals. I also have an electric coffee pot that makes the mornings pretty good!
Read the next installment here
Trailer Build One
Trailer Build Two
Trailer Build Three
Trailer Build Four
Trailer Build Five
The trailer frame has been put together, the storage compartments attached, and the floor installed. I used screws to adhere the floor and caulked the outside edges. I also sealed the compartments to the floor. At this point, I think I have a sealed floor from anything below. Continue reading
The exterior of the trailer was probably the hardest part for me only because it exposed my mistakes. I previously stated that I had built the trailer sides to be connected to the trailer’s wooden frame. My thinking at the time was that it would give me a slightly bigger interior and I didn’t know at the time, that decision would come back and bite me. I wrongly assumed that sheet metal could be bought at pretty any length and width. Of course it can if you have thousands to spend. The size of sheet metal (finished) is usually 4 x 8 feet or you can find some specialty sheet metal that is 5 feet wide up to 10 feet long. Because the wood frame set outside the 5 x 8 trailer frame, I needed 5 foot 2 inch wide sheet metal. Needless to say, I could not find it at a decent price and was lucky to find even the 5 foot wide metal close by. I did have to travel about 75 miles to pick it up. If this becomes your situation, be careful, make sure you have it tied down on a pallet and strapped to the vehicle. Not that it will blow off (it will) but because you don’t want to have any creases or bends in it.
Once I got the metal home, it was easy to set a few nails in between the metal trailer frame and wood frame. This is what I set the metal sheet on and aligned it with the trailer side. Once I had the skin set, I screwed the end piece to the wooden trailer side and slowly worked my way down the side. Along the way I would put a screw in the top and bottom at the same intervals. Since the door and window openings were already cut out, I also put a screw at each corner of the door and window openings. After getting the entire sheet attached, I used electric sheet metal scissors ($20 at Harbor Freight) and cut the excess off. It was actually pretty easy. I used no glue and figured that with that many screws there was no way it would come off or ripple. It also allows the metal to expand in the heat.
By this time I had already put luan on the top and created a good base to apply the top sheet metal. Since the top was probably where any water would have its best chance at getting into the trailer I took some spare house wrap and placed it on the sides and rear deck points and also included the cutout for the fan. So in reality, my top had only the fan cutout that water could get in. Again, I started in the rear and slowly laid the metal over the top with it going from back to front. My 10 ft in length metal only made it to the halfway point of the front but I didn’t mind because that was also going to be covered in sturdier material to keep the metal from being damaged from rocks and debris while travel.
I did have some help with this part because it was difficult to work the metal over the top. I also needed help with the slight bend in the metal that corresponded with the cuts on the sides. Again I used screws to ensure the top was square and could be attached properly as I worked my way down to the front of the trailer. After a few minutes, it was done. Take your time and you will have a pretty good finished product.