Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Busy with Preparation!

John and I have been doing everything we can to get the trailer ready for the upcoming trip and also plan for our own creature comforts.
First, John replaced the plug in the back of the trailer. It had been damaged by a washing machine shortly after we moved in to our new house and moisture was affecting the wiring. Sometimes my trailer break control would tell me that the trailer was connected even when it wasn't. Notice how the colors on the wires do not match up to the colors etched on the plug. Wire colors are not standard, so you stick with the way the manufacturer sets things up. And take pictures, if you are a smart engineer. Everything works, so I'm not one to argue.

Then we (really, John) adjusted the breaks. I didn't take any pictures of that. Not much to take a picture of. Just John under the trailer for 5 minutes, then we drove around the neighborhood slamming on the breaks, then John went under the trailer again, and we drove around slamming on the breaks. If you are trailer shopping and have the option, go for the self-adjusting breaks!

Another project we have been working on is putting a shelving unit into the trailer! I am super excited about this! Our tack room is small and also doubles as... well... everything. So, it must be functional and organized. A few things I have been wanting are a box to store those items that are rarely used, must haves, that are totally in the way: tools, jiffy jack, ball grease, etc. I also wanted a step to get up into the nose of the trailer easier. The box should double as the step. I also wanted shelves to help utilize the back wall space. It had to be tall enough to allow clearance for my saddle rack/water tank. All of this also had to be free standing because I didn't want to drill into the walls.

After months of searching online and finding nothing quite right, I made up a sketch. After liking the sketch and realizing that no one else would be able to understand my scribbles, I made a 3-d model:

This is where my life gets (even more) awesome. My husband is an engineer AND has a lot of handyman experience. He is a total DIY guy and has a lot of experience building and repairing things. Add that practical knowledge to a trained engineer with a can-do attitude and you get someone who can make things happen in a big way! It was so totally awesome for me to be able to direct this project and tell him exactly what my vision was and have him just make it work! We ended up modifying my original design a little. The big changes were that the box opens down instead of having the lid on top and the dimensions changed very slightly to make the shelves taller.

We started with this pile of wood and a disproving dog to supervise:

John starts the box:

Sanding the box and adding the sides:

Box done, with the door open. Charley demonstrates that it is built to specifications and will be able to hold him up:

Here it is after I painted it. The shelves will come off of the support posts to the left:

Here it is in place with the shelves built:

Here it is painted, with bridle racks installed:

The water tank to the left also holds my saddle. The buckets in the foreground include a water tub, poop tub, food pans, and various other buckets and lids. I guess you could say it is buckets stacked in buckets with buckets on top.

Another awesome new thing for camping is this truck bed tent from John's awesome dad!:

We will be able to set it up with these cots inside of it so that we can sleep a bit more comfortably:

Who is excited to go camping???


Funder said...

You have to tell the story about how the washing machine killed the trailer plug!

The shelves look amazing! And I love the truck tent - I think I'm going to get one of those too. I will probably go with the air mattress instead of a cot, but I'm not sure yet.

Heather said...

Ha! It isn't much of a story, but when we moved to our new house it came with a washer and dryer and we already had a set. So, we had to move the old set downstairs to the garage and the new set upstairs to the laundry room. After a few weeks of having the old set in the garage we took them to a donation site, but seeing as how I am not very strong, John had to lift it into the truck by himself. Luckily, the truck p;lug suffered the worst of it!

The shelves are totally awesome! I am thrilled with them! We decided on cots because we weren't sure we would always have a way to inflate the mattress and also, I think cots will last longer since we are using them outdoors and we have an oaf of a dog...

I'll be sure to post an update on how comfortable (or not) the cots are!

txtrigger said...

If your trailer is a bumper pull, when all done with the tackroom project, and loaded with all your stuff, go check your tongue weight to make sure you are still with in a reasonable amount. I took my truck and trailer to a small local truck stop with a scale, drove the truck up until the trailer jack was just on to one of the scale sections, unhitched, so the jack lowered down, and drove the truck away. Lower the jack to make the trailer the height it is when hooked to the ball. You will then have a tongue weight from the scale. I had a LOT of weight in my tackroom, and had to trim some of it down.

Also, I hung a lot of my stuff not used up high, out of the way. My jiffy jack was up in the corner, near the door, easy to grab, but out of the way.

And I love the cardboard 3D!

joshu said...

Totally Awesome Story! I thoroughly enjoyed it! Dad

Heather said...

txtrigger- the shelves did add a bit of weight, but we have a gooseneck, so it isn't as big of a deal. We are still within safe limits, especially since we usually only haul one horse! I have always wanted to weigh it though, how did you find a scale? Did you have to drive along the highway to a weigh station?

Shanster said...

That is so cool! MORE function! Everything looks really amazing... you'll have to let us know how the cots work out!

Shanster said...

That is so cool! MORE function! Everything looks really amazing... you'll have to let us know how the cots work out!