Friday, August 19, 2016

My New Project: Chapter 1 -- Idle Hands are Tools of the Devil

As I navigate this new kind of August and find myself with more time at the lake than ever, I have room for a new project. I have my writing work, but  I'm a real believer in the benefit of working with your hands as well as your brain.  Somehow this all collided with the ideas of finding a small camp trailer to drag around Alaska for book promotion and the like.  Of course it didn't take much time on Craigslist to find that what I was looking for was hard to find, in bad shape, or expensive.  When a local prospect for a teardrop trailer feel through I fell back on chance and opportunity, "Just keep your eyes open and something will come up."  
Sure enough I spotted a teardrop trailer  
in a local backyard. 
In a couple of days, I had negotiated a deal and that sad little teardrop was in my yard, and I no longer lacked for a project. This little trailer had potential but was going to need a major rebuild.  Madelyn looked askance, but I think she figured I needed a low cost - high labor project to help me sweat out the no-school-this-August demons.   I kept seeing cartoon thought bubbles over her head, "Idle hands are tools of the devil".

I set to work tearing into the trailer and seeing what could be saved.  The trailer frame is solid and it has good tires.  The sides, which are a single sheet of 3/4 plywood with hardboard glued on the inside, are rotten  -- I mean put your hand through it rotten.  Some of the wood frames in the roof were water damaged and the rear hatch cover was waterlogged, wouldn't latch and probably in need of replacement.   Most of the aluminum was useable.

What I a hole I had dug for myself.

Some research online told me this was probably a Kit Kamper, built from plans available from Kit Manufacturing since the late 1940's.  Some of these trailers were built by the company, some were sold as kits, and some were constructed by individuals using Kit company plans.   Since then lots of different little trailers or 'teardrops' have been marketed.  Originally these trailer were basically covered place to sleep with a galley set up in the trunk under the rear hatch.   The one I found was a basic one with only some lighting, a vent fan, and some shelves in the galley trunk which is fine by me.   Simple is good.  

I have a pole shed to work in and rainy weather to encourage me onto this labor.  We'll soon see if this is a prevention of "idle hands" or a product of it.  Stay tuned!

If you Google, 'teardrop trailers'  you find lots of interesting reading and ideas.

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