Teardrop: Finish Work

My home built teardrop trailer has sat untouched in my garage since I moved to Washington in October of last year. The four months prior to that I lived in it, so maybe we just needed a small break from each other. Whatever the case, I started working on it again the other day as it needs a few finishing touches and a leaky spot fixed to be truly called complete.

So far I have…


Trimmed the side doors with rubber automotive trim to hide the raw edge of the aluminum…


Added rubber back washers under the support screws on the hatch to prevent moisture from getting in….


Sealed the gap in the floor with spray insulation foam… still need to do clean up when it’s dry, but it will be hidden under the laminate flooring.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten the past two evenings after work. More to come soon as we plan to tow it to Naches with the Jeep at the end of the month.

Operation colorful trailer – part 1

I couldn’t take the drab tan on tan on tan anymore in my coachman clipper travel trailer. I tried adding color with pictures and accessories, but it just wasn’t enough. I finally bought 4 upholstery fabrics from Joann’s with a 25% off coupon….only cost $45 including my soda ☺️


I just finished phase one – the window and door valances.


Up next are curtains – the multi colored fabric on the door windows and front window, and yellow as privacy curtains for the bunks.

Final fabric will be the dinette cushion backs and possibly the dark brown tweed strips by the top bunk and dinette back support.

Outdoor Mini Kitchen – Summer 2016 Adventure Look Back

A Facebook Memory popped up the other day of my Teardrop Back Hatch kitchen –  it was finally completed and ready for my #BMXGypsy Adventure that would begin in 13 days.  As the 1 year anniversary of my summer of freedom draws closer, it has been on my mind a lot, so over the next 4 months, I will be looking back on my adventure and sharing my insights and struggles and joys!

One five foot by 18 inch kitchen (sink doubles as a washroom sink) fully outfitted with

  • propane stove
  • hand pump sink (with 5 gallon Home Depot buckets for water tanks)
  • pantry (see open area under stove – later had a plastic basket for food storage)
  • 3 cups, 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 forks, 4 spoons, 4 knives
  • 3 pots/pans
  • 1 kettle, 1 hand crank coffee grinder, 1 french press
  • assortment of cooking utensils
  • assortment of spices
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • mirror on extendable arm
  • citronella candle
  • paper towels, foil, zip-lock bags
  • hand soap in a pump
  • toothbrush and toothpaste

That’s all that I needed to survive.. 1 year later I have 3 kitchens (my house kitchen that is crammed with stuff – half of which I don’t use, my teardrop kitchen – same as above, and my new Trailer kitchen that is outfitted with mostly just essentials). May need to reduce the amount of stuff I have again as it just ties me down.

 

Adventure Awaits On the Olympic Peninsula

Goal: Camp at every State Park on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

Started: March 2017

Follow our progress on Camping the Olympic Peninsula

List of State Parks – and the Plan

  1. Potlatch State Park – a 125-acre camping park with 5,700 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal.
    1. 0.2 miles of hiking trails
    2. 38 tent sites & 35 utility sites (max length 60′)
    3. 1 Cascadia Marine Trail Site
    4. POtlatch.jpg
  2. Dosewallips State Park – a 1039-acre, year-round camping park with 5 miles of shoreline on Hood Canal and the Dosewallips River. All camp areas are grassy and located in scenic, rustic settings.
    1. 5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 75 tent sites & 48 utility sites (60′ max length)
    3. 3 platform tents & 12 cabins
    4. Dosewallips-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf.png
  3. Fort Worden Historical State Park – a 433-acre multi-use park with more than 2 miles of saltwater shoreline
    1. 11.2 miles of hiking trails & 8.3 miles of biking trails
    2. 50 full-service site (beach campground) & 30 utility sites (upper campground)
    3. Reservations are highly recommended
    4. Fort Worden.jpg
  4. Bogachiel State Park – a thickly forested 123-acre camping park on the banks of the Bogachiel River. “It isn’t the end of the world, but you can see it from there.” So goes a popular Northwest saying about this vicinity.
    1. 1 mile of hiking trail
    2. 26 standard sites & 6 power and water sites (40′ max length)
    3. All sites are first come, first serve
    4. Bogachiel-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  5. Schafer State Park – a 119-acre camping park on the Satsop River, midway between Olympia and Ocean Park
    1. 2 miles of hiking trails
    2. 41 site total – 9 water/electric, 27 standard, 1 primitive, 4 walk-in, 1 ADA
    3. Part reservation, part are first come, first serve
    4. Schafer_State_Park_Map
  6. Jarrell Cove State Park –  a 67-acre marine camping park with 3,500 feet of saltwater shoreline in the northwest of Harstine Island, in south Puget Sound
    1. 1 mile of hiking trails & 1 mile of biking trails
    2. 22 tent sites
    3. 1 Cascadia Marine Trail site
    4. jarrell-cove-state-park-map
  7. Sequim Bay State Park – a year-round, 92-acre marine camping park with 4,909 feet of saltwater coast in the Sequim “rainshadow,” just inside Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula
    1. 2.5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 48 tent site & 15 utility sites
    3. 2 loops of forested, dry camping site – some very near the water
    4. Sequim-Bay-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  8. Pacific Beach State Park – a 10-acre camping park with 2,300 feet of ocean shoreline. The beach provides a variety of wonders, from dramatic surf to beach exploration
    1. Beach exploration and walking
    2. 18 standard sites & 42 utility sites
    3. 2 yurts and 26 unshaded waterfront sites
    4. Pacific_Beach_State_Park_Map
  9. Joemma Beach State Park – a 122-acre marine camping park with 3,000 feet of saltwater frontage on southeast Key Peninsula
    1. 0.8 miles of hiking trails
    2. 19 primitive tent sites
    3. 2 Cascadia Marine Trail sites
    4. Joemma-Beach-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  10. Manchester State Park – a 111-acre camping park with 3,400 feet of saltwater shoreline on Rich Passage in Puget Sound. Nestled in woods of Fir and Maple, Bainbridge Island is visible from the beach.
    1. 1.9 miles of hiking trails
    2. 35 tent sites & 15 utility sites
    3. 2 Cascadia Marine Trail sites
    4. Manchester
  11. Illahee State Park – a 75-acre marine camping park with 1,785 feet of saltwater frontage on Port Orchard Bay
    1. 0.5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 23 standard sites, 2 full hook-up sites, 5 hiker/biker sites
    3. Children’s Plat Area
    4. Illahee-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  12. Deception Pass State Park – spreads over 4,134 acres, a marine and camping park with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline on three lakes. Deception Pass and the high bridge connect Western Washington’s mainland with Whidbey and Fidalgo islands, creating a gateway for exploration
    1. 38 miles of hiking trails & 3 miles of biking trails
    2. 167 tent sites, 143 utility sites, 5 hiker/biker sites (over 3 locations)
    3. 4 primitive sites on Hope Island north shore bay
    4. deception_pass_state_park_map
  13. Fort Casey Historical State Park – a 998-acre marine camping park with 10,810 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound (Admiralty Inlet); it includes Keystone Spit, a 2-mile stretch of land separating Admiralty Inlet and Crocket Lake
    1. 1.8 miles of hiking trails
    2. 22 standard tent sites, 13 water/electric sites
    3. 4 beachfront pull-thru sites
    4. Fort_Casey_D1_Plan
  14. Twanoh State Park – situated on the shoreline of Hood Canal, features one of the warmest saltwater beaches in Washington state. This is because Hood Canal is one of the warmest saltwater bodies in Puget Sound. The 182-acre marine camping park has 3,167 feet of saltwater shoreline
    1. 2.5 miles of hiking
    2. 25 tent sites & 22 full hook-up sites (35′ max length)
    3. 1 Cascadia Marine Trail site
    4. Twanoh-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  15. Fort Ebey State Park – a 645-acre camping park on Whidbey Island, was originally built as a coastal defense fort in World War II
    1. 25 miles of biking trails & 28 miles of hiking trails
    2. 39 standard sites & 11 electric/water sites
    3. 1 water trail site
    4. Fort-Ebey-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  16. Kitsap Memorial State Park – Proof that beautiful things come in small packages: this 58-acre park north of Poulsbo serves up inspiring sunrise and sunset views. On clear mornings, the east-facing Olympic Mountains reflect pink and orange. On warm summer evenings, their peaks are often cast in silhouette by the glowing red sky
    1. 1.5 miles of hiking trails
    2. 21 standard sites & 18 water/electric sites
    3. 4 cabins
    4. Kitsap-Memorial-State-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdf
  17. Penrose Point State Park – 165-acre marine and camping park on the shores of Puget Sound. The park has over 2 miles of saltwater frontage on Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet.
    1. 2.5 miles hiking and biking trails
    2. 82 tent sites (big enough for a small trailer)
    3. The campground is in the woods, and all sites are shady or partly shady. None of the campsites are on the water, but the beach is only a short walk away.
    4. Penrose Point State Park Map1

We have been to Twanoh State Park, so the big question is…which one next?

WA State Parks

All descriptions and maps from parks.state.wa.us

Coachman Trailer Upgrades

I’m headed over the pass to Eastern Washington for a couple bike races this Memorial Day weekend, and made some more upgrades to the trailer in preparation for that trip.

There will be three girls staying in the trailer Saturday night, so I am excited to see how well we all fit!

 Hanging Shoe Rack

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Shoe rack installed along the dinette and bed base.  Steps to build…I took a hanging shoe rack for the back of a door:

  • cut the sections apart
  • folded over the raw edge and duct taped it
  • installed 1/2″ grommets
  • attached to the trailer with command release hooks and velcro.

There is now storage for 6 pairs of shoes or 12 pairs of flip flops 🙂

Cork Board Travel Art

I have been trying to add color to the trailer since the day I got it.  The inside is all beige and brown, and that is going to slowly change.  I bought a frames cork board that I thought was the right size to go above the dinette seat, but it was too big.  I removed the frame and use command release velcro to attach the cork board to the wall.  I then added some of the fun travel art I’ve been working on and a spot of r my state license plate stickers…so far only Oregon and Washington.  I plan to put an upholstered ledge between the cushion and the cork board that is strong enough to stand on.  It will serve two purposes.  To hold the cushion in place and to step on to climb into the top bunk.  I’ll also trim out the other three sides of the cork board to give it a more finished look.

Magnetic Knife Rack

I finally got the magnetic knife rack from Harbor Freight installed.  There is a 1×2 backer on the inside of the cabinet behind the knife rack to give added support.  Basically everything that I need in the kitchen is now within easy reach.

Cabinet Storage

I also added more in cabinet storage solutions that I didn’t photograph.  There is a wire rack shelf in the cabinet above the bed to make folded clothes easier to get in and out.  I also bought a second wire magazine file that fits in the sloped front cabinet for storing under garments.  The side cabinet above the bed has a large plastic basket for games and toy storage….because that is a must on my world!

The more fun organizational and decorative features I add to the trailer, the more convinced I am that living in it is going to be awesome!

Oregon Sand Dunes


Took Casandra and Fitzwilliam to the Sand Dunes in Oregon this past weekend for my big brother’s 40th birthday camp out.  We stayed at Half Moon Bay at Winchester Bay.  It is a primitive campground, but just right in my mind – pit toilets and no showers, but I have a fully self-contained trailer if needed….it wasn’t needed.

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Stayed in my brother’s driveway in Pleasant Hill, OR Friday night, and then headed over to the coast Saturday morning just before 9.  It had been a while since I rode a quad, but it came back pretty quickly.  I decided that I might need to use my tax return to buy myself one so we can go riding with my brother, sister-in-law, and daddy more often.  What an awesomely fun way to spend a weekend – motorized toys, soaking up the sun on the beach, and family!

img_0410   img_0411

It had been way too long since I got to see all my girls and this needs to happen way more often…since my sister got hooked on quads too this weekend, I think that is the key to seeing all these awesome people more.

img_0412  img_0409

So much fun adventuring with this guy.  I am still a crazy bike girl, but he in combo with my new trailer have created so many more adventures in a short time….5 camping trips and 2000 miles in 2 months!!!  And summer isn’t even here yet.

Travel Trailer Organization


I just bought my 2017 Coachmen Clipper 17′ Bunk House travel trailer and have taken it on one bare essentials overnight.  Now it’s time to load it up with all the stuff that will stay in there permanently.  I want to be able to just throw in some clothes/food and take off whenever I want, so all of the other essentials need a home.

Attempt One – Travel Trailer Organization (I am sure after a few trips this will change some).  I have found most of the stuff below at Big Lots, Dollar Tree, and Target.  I have also been searching Pinterest for ideas, so those links are included as well.  I love bright colors so am spicing up the boring tan and brown interior with an Aqua, Yellow and Red palette that’s a little vintage and a little Boho.

Color Scheme

Color Idea

I spent a couple hours in the trailer over the weekend sorting and putting away, and also made a few more trips to the store.  There are still a few things I need, but the trailer is pretty well stocked at this point, but the colors aren’t really popping yet.  I need more pretty stuff!!

Kitchen

The upper cabinet above the sink/counter is fully loaded.  I used 3 blue baskets from the Dollar Tree for cups, bowls, and small storage, a yellow metal divided basket from Big Lots for plastic utensils and paper plates, an aqua-green metal magazine file for plastic plates and collapsible strainers, and a clear plastic container with an aqua lid for coffee beans.  I need to find a container for the french press, hand coffee grinder, and plastic coffee mugs.


The lower cabinet below the sink and stove is quite large and will fit everything else I need to keep permanently in the kitchen.  It currently houses the two pans (a large 12″ skillet and a 2 quart saucepan, the plastic shoe boxes with extra towels and large utensils, the cutting board, and plastic mixing bowl set with lids.


I mounted command release hooks on the wall behind the stove for the stainless steal serving/cooking utensils, the measuring cups, and measuring spoons.  I need to get a magnetic knife strip at Harbor Freight to put beside the stove for the knives and scissors.  I think I will put decorative paper on poster board and velcro it to the wall under the hanging items in case things rub during transit, they won’t damage the actual trailer wall, and it will add more color to the kitchen area.

img_0263   img_0261
I also want to add some fun memes to stick up in the trailer with command release velcro to add color and inspiration.  I bought the paper at Michael’s and now have a lot of crafting to do!

Bathroom

The bathroom is not a bad size but there are not a lot of storage options, so I have had to get creative. I have a large metal basket that is too big for the bathroom to store bath towels in.  I ended up putting it under the rear dinette bench.  I also have three smaller baskets that I will hang on the wall above the toilet with command release hooks and velcro.  Those are to store washcloths, hand towels, extra TP, etc.

The door is a great space for extra storage, so I added over the door hooks (one inside the bathroom and one outside the bathroom.  I also will hang the TP roll and broom/dustpan on the inside of the bathroom door.

img_0265    img_0264
Other than the two hooks, there is not a lot of room to hang wet towels to dry, so I added a tension rod in the bathroom to hang whatever is needed in there (wet towels, swim suits, etc).

Sleeping

I found a comforter for the front bed, but am still searching for a sheet set I like.  I also want fitted sheets to put on the bunks to add color and protection.  I will probably buy two twin sheet sets and use the top sheets to make curtains for the windows in the two doors, and possible some privacy curtains for the bunks and front bed.

Storage

I am keeping a cabinet empty for each sleeping spot for fellow travelers to store their personal belongings.

Front bed – two cabinets on the front wall of the trailer.

Dinette bed – middle cabinet above the dinette

Top bunk – left cabinet above the dinette

Bottom bunk – lower cabinet across from the bunks

I still have 2 1/2 empty cabinets for food storage. I have inside/outside accessible storage under the front bed for chairs, rugs, etc, and under the bunks for race gear.

Tune in next week as I start making the trailer prettier and finalize the last couple projects!

 

Tattoos, Trailers, Coffee, and VooDoo

Adventures with Cassandra and Fitzwilliam

I had an appointment on Saturday the 4th to get work done on my sleeve, so Friday night we decided to hitch up the trailer Saturday morning and tow it down to Portland with us.  We left Gig Harbor at 8:30 am under beautiful blue skies that turned to rain by the time we got to Portland.  Cassandra (my 2017 17′ Coachmen Clipper travel trailer) was so easy to tow with Fitzwilliam (my 2014 Ford F150 V6 Ecoboost).  We made good time and arrived with time to go to my bank and then make a stop at Big Lots to load up on $85 worth of fun trailer stuff (more to follow in a different post).

I sat from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm while Draygon at Star Tattoo in Milwaukie, OR added color and shading to the lower half of my sleeve.  It was a total of 4 1/2 hours of actual tattooing, and by the end I had about enough being poked for a while, but I love how it turned out.  He is so skilled, I would recommend him to anyone!

Here is part of it the next day.  I will have better photos of it after it heals, but right now it is at the gross pealing stage, so I will spare you all that sight.

We were starving after my appointment was finally over, so grabbed Domino’s pizza and garlic bread knots and headed south to Champoeg State Park.  We ate the Bread Knots on the way, but managed to wait on the pizza until we found a campsite and leveled the trailer.  It was so easy to set up (even in the pitch dark for the very first time).

The trailer worked great and was super comfy and cozy.  On Saturday morning, two pots of french press coffee later, we packed up and headed to Voodoo Doughnuts before driving home.

We waited in line at Voodoo for about 30 minutes and then bough 17 doughnuts (we of course shared them when we got home) – that’s $57 worth of sugary goodness.

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I tried a jelly filled Voodoo doll for the first time.  It was so sweet that I could only eat half of it.  Poor little guy lost his head and arms and was stuffed back in the box.

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So excited for the next adventure in my trailer, and tonight when I finally get to put away all the new fun stuff I bought for it.  My plan is to keep it fully stocked so all I have to do is throw in some clothes and take off!