So this two blog thing can lead to overthinking. I mean, most things can lead to overthinking for me, so it’s not surprising, really. Clearly, posts about actually traveling go on the travel blog, Boxy Colonial on the Road. But what about if we’re not “on the road” but in our driveway, but still in our trailer? What THEN?!
We bought this new toy hauler, and I already talked about it on the travel blog. We traded in our old trailer in Florida over New Year’s and picked up this new one and camped in it for a few nights, and then ran away from a tornado, and then brought it home for less than 24 hours before taking it off to the service place to have some warranty work done and a new hitch installed. But now it’s home, and I wanted to do a post with a tour of the inside and some talk about changes and modifications we want to make, and I spent a long time trying to decide which blog it should go on. And I finally decided to put it here, since it’s really about DIY and decor in a house, only a small one with wheels.
I’m striving to give you these fascinating behind the scenes glimpses here. Behind the scenes, I’m sitting in my dining room and thinking about stuff. Fascinating!
So here it is! So shiny! So new!
Anyway, if you’re thinking, “didn’t you JUST get that first trailer you had a little over a year ago?” you are correct. Here’s the post on the travel blog where I talk about why we decide to trade that one in so quickly. The new trailer is a Jayco Octane SL toy hauler. Toy haulers have a big garage door in back that opens up to a space where you can carry things like kayaks and ATVs and golf carts, or, if you’re like us….bikes. It’s not very hard core, but wrestling six bikes in and out of the narrow side door of our old trailer at every stop is an overwhelmingly unpleasant task, and we’re very excited about never doing that again. There are some other advantages to this floor plan over our last one, too, and I get into all of that (as well as the disadvantages, because RVs are all about compromise) in the post I linked to above.
But in this post I’m going to get into the specifics of our plans for modifying and personalizing the new trailer to fit our needs. One of the great things about the Jayco is that it’s very blank slate-ish on the inside. Our last trailer, if you’ll recall, had a lot of patterns. Not pretty patterns:
The Jayco, in contrast, is all about unobtrusive beige, dark wood, and dark brown faux leather upholstery. This will go really well with the green phase I’m in at the moment, I’m thinking.
Okay, so to get you oriented, you can take a 360 degree tour of our trailer on Jayco’s website….or if you have 9 minutes or so to spare you can watch our first ever VIDEO! I made it just for you! I talk really slowly in it in an attempt to keep myself from saying “umm” too many times. BTW–I need to figure out how to edit the video to clarify this, but at one point I say the bunks next to the kitchen are 58 inches long; they’re actually 68 inches.
But even since we made the video a few days ago, we’ve made some changes!
Here’s what the living/dining/kitchen/bedroom/garage area is looking like right now:
There used to be a table and captains’ chairs where that blue loveseat is now. As I mentioned in the video, the table and chairs just took up way too much space, and it didn’t feel like they were earning their keep. The chairs were comfortable, but they weren’t really practical with the table, because they reclined so much that you couldn’t do much in them except…sit. They’re actually down in our basement movie room now, because Dave and the kids really loved them and didn’t want to get rid of them (plus I don’t really want to get rid of anything we take out, for future resale reasons. Although that won’t be happening again for quite awhile!)
The loveseat is from Overstock. It’s out of stock right now, but we bought it when it was marked down (clearance maybe?) to right at $200, and we’re pleased with it so far. It was fairly simple to put together; it’s a nice compact size for the space (and with room for some storage bins underneath), it seems sturdy, and it’s relatively comfortable. Pretty firm, but not unpleasantly so. Think of it more as a comfy bench than a cushy sofa, and you’ll be pleased. The kids refer to it as the jeans couch. The fabric is, indeed, very denimy. More so than I was expecting, really. But, yeah, I’m going with greens and blues in here, and kind of a simple, modern, streamlined thing. It’s tempting with a travel trailer to go all full on vintage with lots of pattern….but the Jayco seems to want to keep things simple. We will see. There might be some fun yet soothing and nature inspired prints coming into play eventually.
Let’s take a moment to admire those floors. I had a lot of grand plans, had we kept our old trailer, and this is probably pretty much exactly the flooring I would have used in there had those grand plans been carried out. So yay. Also loving the dark wood cabinets over the orangey oak tones in the old one. And those inoffensive faux leather sofas.
So, moving on to those sofas in the back: the very back is the garage door that comes down and makes a ramp. If you’re in a big enough campsite, you can leave that door open and bring down a screen across the back. We’re really looking forward to that. This trailer is so light and bright and airy compared to the old one: big windows all over the place and high ceilings. And an open concept like everyone on House Hunters wants.
The two sofas in the back fold out into beds. Our plan is to put some stuff in the middle to make them one big bed for Ari. Milo will sleep up above, in the bed that comes down with the touch of a button, as if by magic. This is probably the main thing we gave up with the new trailer: dedicated bed space for each kid. It will likely be a bit of pain to convert those couches every night (of course, we can always leave them as a bed, particularly on days when we’ll be gone all day and don’t need the space. There’s supposed to be a table in between those couches–long story; we don’t have it yet–and we plan to use it as our main dining/board game playing area), but we decided that pros outweigh cons here. But we didn’t like the idea of not having a separate kid “room,” so we picked up those curtains you see there at Ikea back on Superkea Sunday. And then we bought a really long tension curtain rod to hang them from (affiliate link). It was really easy to install (with the disclaimer that we have not yet how well it stays put going 65 down the interstate), and now we have a separate kids’ bedroom:
Here’s the view from the other side:
Those two bunks right next to the kitchen are what sold us on this particular model. Abe sleeps on the bottom, and Gus sleeps on the top. Eventually, Gus will be too tall for the bunk, but by then Ari should be off at college and likely only an occasional travel companion (sniff). Also, Milo and Gus can always share one of the big beds if necessary (Ari can’t share with anyone. And Abe only shares with me and Dave).
The kitchen doesn’t have much counter space to speak of, but we have some plans to deal with that. Specifically, we just ordered this little cart (affiliate link) to go between the loveseat and the couches in back. And we bought these sterilite storage drawers to serve as pantry space right next to the kitchen:
Let us stop talking about storage space, though, and reflect again on how light and bright this thing is. I love hanging out in here. Also, the neighbors’ Leland Cypresses kind of make it look like some kind of fake mural backdrop out the window here. So green!
Our bedroom and the bathroom are down the hallway, but we haven’t done anything in there yet, so they don’t make the photo tour (they are in the video tour).
Oh, also? We don’t have an antenna or cable for our house TV, so Abe likes to come out here and watch PBS kids. Bonus!
So more as we go along about the interior of the camper. For now, we’re looking forward to a couple of weekend trips this spring and a week long trip to Charleston to help us get oriented and figure out what works best for our big, two month long trip out west this summer!