“Trailer Talk” Makeover Series: The Green Machine…Exterior Updates

Where were you two this past weekend? Here…  Here… And of course every dog friendly beach in between.   We were out exploring California’s north coast to Mendocino. If you follow us on IG you’ve probably seen some of the puppies living it up. (and then crashing…its a hard “dog” life for us) 

 We fell in love hard, (like with every California coastal community we’ve explored) Maybe it was the redwoods and multiple rivers merging with the sea, but the scenery is dramatic and breath taking. I think the hubs liked it better for lack of cell phone service and the solitude at times. (With our jobs we need that disconnect more often then not.) 

In the meantime we can’t wait to explore some more, which is why I kicked it into high gear on rehabbing our vintage Apache Pop up trailer yesterday.  First up removing all the rusted out screws of the exterior and replacing them with stainless steel. 

 Yet replacing the screws wasn’t hard, it was sanding away all the leftover rust stains, with steel wool by hand that made my arms feel like jello today.  


Here’s a perfect side by side to see the before and after: 


Second project up was grinding and wire brushing away years of rust from the trailer bumper, hitch and step… 


After a few hours, (and a metal shard embedded  into my shin- I never complete a project unscathed) I sprayed painted the areas with Rustoleum Rust Reformer in matte black. 

 I sprayed two coats and this stuff seemed to work like a champ, completely covering, and creating a pretty flawless finish. (I still don’t know if it is just a primer and an additional paint is needed? More to come after further research…) Here are some before and afters:  

       Quick FYI- I hurriedly snapped “after” photos before the paint cured, however once dried the finished product is pretty flawless.

Finally, around 9pm at night I made a first attempt to remove the old Apache decals with a heat gun and failed miserably… 

  I barely got 5cm of the decal removed, burned an inch of paint and called it quits. I belatedly realized I need to research this further and 1978 decals were made of stronger stuff than our whimpy modern day decals. 

We may even have to call in the professionals for the bodywork. However, since professional paint jobs are not in the budget I don’t know what we’re going to do?! I wish there was an auto body fairy who would magically grant me a $200 bid๐Ÿ˜‰…More to come as the Green Machine saga continues…Happy Sunday everyone!

“Trailer Talk” Makeover Series: The Green Machine…Water Tanks, Refrigerators, Converters…Oh my!

  We’re back! Sorry we’ve been posting every other Sunday. Remember it’s summer, and we suffer from a severe condition called “wanderlust”. Truly it’s an addiction that requires heavy doses of camping, and the great outdoors…    Also the occasional good brewery or winery is mixed in…  

 We work desk jobs and thus need to unplug from the computer, phone etc, just for our sanity. The dogs are co-dependent of our wanderlust addiction as well…Can you tell?  If you follow us on Instagram you know they were some very happy pups this past weekend. Now all we need is a finished trailer for all our off season adventures… 

 Yuck! Ugh!๐Ÿ˜ Yeah that’s where the old 3-way refrigerator and water tank used to be. To get to these items you have to fold over the sink and counter, then unscrew the plywood cover (or in our case drill out many rivets.) 

 Confusing to me is how these old trailers were designed with the water tanks and sink so close to your main power converter? (water + electricity…really?) 

Anyway here’s what we pulled out of little Green Machine… 

37 year old water tank (Um, yes new water tank please)    

Rusted out 3-way refrigerator 


Since we don’t  want to sink too much money or time into this project we may try to rehab the refrigerator (IF it still even works) this week I’m going to plug it in, see if it at least works in a standard 120, then on 12V battery, and then propane. If it works like a champ then maybe we’ll invest the time and energy to clean it up. 

Considering how pricey a new three way can be we’ve considered just installing a dorm room fridge. Remember we’re summer season tent campers, the trailer was bought to give us freedom for all season adventures. Since most places we intend to camp at during the off-season are on the California coast with full hook-ups, a dorm fridge may be the easiest and most reliable option. Which will leave more money in the budget for new wiring and converter. 

I wish we were further along, but each weekend we are still knee deep into cleaning and all the boring projects of trailer repairs. (Oh when, oh when can I start blogging about fabric and paint colors?! ๐Ÿ˜ซ) 

I give my dad and husband credit for reigning me in and remaining practical. As they’ve reminded me several times, you don’t want a beautiful interior, then come to find the roof leaks water or the trailer frame breaks while in transit. 

Therefore I will just let out a long yoga “OM”, and try to find good deals on new converters, water tanks, etc. However I’m not going to lie, with each dime I spend on boring replacement parts, instead of cute fabrics a little part of me dies inside๐Ÿ˜‰ Hopefully we’ll be further along next weekend. Happy Sunday everyone! …”OMmmmm