Saturday, April 16, 2016

Six Months of Living in a Cargo Trailer

Hope you do not think you have been deserted.  It is hard to believe how busy one can get with all of life’s opportunities.  So where did I leave off…

Digitizing and downsizing…

Yes, this process of downsizing and digitizing is an ongoing process. We purchased two Toshiba one terabyte external USB drives available from Walmart, one to store photos and slides, and one to store home movies.  In one sitting, we can usually get through equivalent of three trays of 140 slides each. We determine what to throw out as we go, so we only have to handle them once.  Our device for converting them to digital holds three slides at a time. I load the device and John captures them on the computer. This is not a speedy process, but working together makes it go faster.
One day as we sorted through the van, we pulled five large boxes (over one hundred pre-recorded movies) that we donated to a local Senior Center thrift store. We regrouped photographs into smaller containers and also donated empty photo albums to the same place.

Crossing Paths…

One of the fun things about living this lifestyle is meeting other Rvers who are also traveling full time.

Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner
Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner was a neat place where we had the pleasure of meeting a delightful couple, Eric and Brittany Highland of one evening. Brittany recently had an article published in the Escapees Magazine.

Eric and Brittany Highland of and Sharon and John
Something else…

Videos are something else I have been working on. This is my first of more to come – it shows scenes of our drive through Hualapai Mountain Park – hope you enjoy!

Can you believe we have been living in the converted cargo trailer for six months?

March 11th marked six months.  This new RV lifestyle continues to present us with new opportunities. Our 6 x 12 space is very limited, which we knew it would be, and often times we do a little re-arranging to make things fit better. With so much of our stuff in the van, it is not uncommon for us to take things out of the van, re-arrange things in the van, and then we find ourselves hunting for items that we thought were right at our fingertips.

What it’s like and things we have learned about the trailer…

1) The entry door opening is approximately 5 feet six inches, which most of the time works well…except when we forget to duck and hit the top of our head. That hurts! Both of us are taller than the door opening, so it requires us to duck our heads whenever we go in and out.

2) Instant coffee has become our coffee choice, because it is easier to heat water and add the granules. We are learning to like instant coffee and prefer Folgers classic roast. With our Coleman butane burner, we can always heat water in a pan. Space is at a premium, so using our coffee maker has not been a priority, even if we have electricity.

3) Sleeping…we have two bunks. The upper bunk is built over the closed compartment accessed from the ramp door at the back of the trailer. John accesses it by stepping up on the end of the piano bench and hoisting himself up into the bunk. The lower bunk is mine at the opposite end of the trailer, and is a couch by day and a bed at night. My head touches one side of the trailer and my feet touch the other side of the trailer.  If I sleep slightly diagonally, I can stretch a little. John has to sleep diagonally in his bunk to be able to stretch out. When we travel every day, we leave my bed made up and put large cushions behind us for sitting. When we are not moving every day, we make the bed up into a couch for sitting during the day.

4) As for cooking, what I fix and how depends on whether we have electricity to run the microwave and/or any of my electric appliances. If we have no electricity, then I usually use the Coleman butane burner and use one pan, or possibly two, to make a meal.

5) To conserve on water and propane/butane/electricity, water for washing/rinsing dishes is heated on the single burner or by using the microwave, usually once per day in the evening. We also have a convenient supply of paper plates/bowls.

6) For all practical purposes I have no oven, unless I set up the Coleman stove and place a portable oven over one of the burners. Since I am a cookie monster, I have made some no-bake cookies, and they turned out very well. If we are hooked up to electricity, I see an opportunity to practice making cookies in the microwave.

7) When grocery shopping, I try to buy things that can be fixed either way, meaning on the stove or in the microwave. Once in a while for variety, I also buy things that can only be fixed on one or the other. The down side of buying extra food is finding a place to store it if my pantries and cupboard get full.

8) Playing my spinet piano is possible, and I have done so, as I can pull the bench out against the cabinetry on the opposite wall and sit down to play.  We have placed the Yamaha PSR500 electronic keyboard on top of the piano. The top of the electronic keyboard has become a place to put folded towels or other light weight flat items.

9) Overall, the trailer has been performing as well as we expected.  Space is limited, but we have everything else we need.

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