“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!😝 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?! 😫) 

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 inside😉 Hopefully we’ll be further along next weekend. Happy Sunday everyone! …”OMmmmm

Little Car…Big Dogs? [And FREE PRINTABLE!]

Taking a break from house projects, let’s talk about summer travel and camping! There are still a few more months left before autumn comes! Perhaps your big summer vacation is already done? Maybe you’re looking for budget friendly weekend jaunts? Are you taking the dogs with you?

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This post includes our printable checklist for camping and travelling with dogs.

Don’t have a truck or SUV?  This post includes how we space save and pack all the camping gear and two big hounds into one little car.

Despite having two big dogs and the ongoing home improvement projects one would assume we had a truck?…NOPE! We own two little cars; one as a commuter and one as our “Cruck” (a car that thinks it’s a truck).

Instead we’re perfectly happy with the “less is more” approach (especially as gas prices go up). Like most dog owners, we’ve also found camping to be the best economically for overnight trips. However it can be tricky to fit an entire camp, us, the dogs and two enormous dog crates in a little car. Therefore we’ve had to master the art of camping and traveling with very little space. No roof rack, no trailer, all the gear in the car trunk! Here’s our gear list and packing tricks…

First all the camping gear laid out…

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Now here’s all the gear fitting into this tiny little rubbermaid…(The kind that slides under the bed as storage)

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A great space saving camping tip is to take a back packers approach to cooking. We bring foods that don’t require a stove or ice chest, and can be boiled like spaghetti, and soups. (Which are fabulosuly inexpensive for the traveller on a budget) Also we use backpackers cooking utensils, such as the GSI kits, and Jet boil heating system, which allows us to ditch the big propane camp stove. If we want grilled or fried we use the campfire.

Need more details? Check out our free printable camping gear checklist! 

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Printable camping list

As the checklist includes, here are the dogs’ gear and first aid kit

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Now for packing the car…

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We normally pack away the two foldable dog crates on the bottom, and place the camp gear on top.The tent packs neatly to the side and if we want, we can store away a small cooler towards the back. This leaves plenty of space for  food, sleeping bags and our backpacks of clothes to sit atop the rubbermaid. As for the aerobeds, pillows and our porta potty…(Oh yes if you looked at the checklist you’ll see those items listed as well.)

These easily stow behind the front seats…

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The dogs foam mattress and blankets go right on top…leaving them extra space to stretch out…

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Luckily once they’re harnessed and belted in, they curl up behind our seats for long naps…Oh yes, like big babies, a car ride puts these two to sleep.

Ready for the weekend! Time to hit the road…We have lakes to play in and hills to hike! Any good packing strategies? The pups want to know!

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