Boise, Idaho - Preparing The Trailer
April 21- June 27, 2018
As we get ready to start our RV traveling, we need to get the trailer outfitted. This means work on the trailer and things or toys we are taking with us.
Electric Bicycles and Jack-It Rack
One of the toys we are taking with us on the road is our electric bicycles. Craig built his last fall and just finished building mine. He is putting the last minute touches on it and it is now road worthy!
Since we are taking our bicycles with us, we wanted a bike rack that would fit the bikes on the trailer tongue so that we can keep an eye on them. We purchased a Jack-it Bike Rack and had Barton's (local welding shop ) weld an additional piece to keep the bikes away from the trailer front window and tailgate of the truck. Craig set up a workbench outside of the trailer and just finished installing the Jack-It Bike Rack.
After our first shakedown cruise to Silver Creek Plunge we decided we wanted to have our bicycles covered during our travels. We purchased a Formosa Cover Dual Bike Cover. So...on our next shakedown cruise to McCall on June 9 with Dan and Natalie, we tried it out. It worked GREAT! Covered both bicycles and we were able to cinch the bikes and cover down securely.
One of the things we wanted was a Heater Buddy as an optional heat source. If we are plugged into power, we have the furnace, however if we are boondocking/dry camping (basically running off battery) we do not want to drain our battery power for heat. The Heater Buddy runs off propane and since we have two 30 lb tanks, this should be able to keep us toasty. Granted, we plan to stay in the warmer weather, but it is nice to have the option!
Craig wanted to hook the Heather Buddy into the propane connection for the furnace so he cut a hole in the dining table bench, put the propane connections in and then was testing the propane link for leaks. Tada....the Heater Buddy works and has a quick disconnect to the propane!
Instead of using the one 12 volt battery that came with the trailer, Craig wanted to use four 6 volt batteries for optimum power when we are bookdocking. He wanted to keep them all nice and tidy and searched for a battery box that would hold four batteries, fit across the front of the trailer on the existing tray oh...and...also fit the slope of the front window on the trailer. After an unsuccessful attempt of a toolbox and searching online, Craig decided to build his own box.
Testing the fit of the batteries
Inside of the box is rolled with shower Mapelastic HPG (a flexible waterproof membrane). Outside the box is rolled with Herculiner (thanks to our friend Bill for letting us borrow it)
Of course, he had to install side and rear vents and locks on each side. The whole goal is to be able to quickly and easily access the batteries for maintenance.
Max Air Vent Cover
The trailer has two roof vents. One of the vents had a cover already installed, the other did not. If you are not familiar with the air vents, they are really handy for ventilation. However, if it rains...you have to close them or risk getting water inside. With the vent cover you can leave the vent open and no water comes inside! Craig installed a Max Air Vent Cover over the second vent so we are set!
Modify Kitchen Slide Molding To Accommodate Murphy Bed
In the trailer we have a kitchen slide and a murphy bed that folds down over the couch. It is a compact cool setup. However, you cannot have the slide in with the bed down. The side molding of the slide is a about 1" too wide and hits against the bed leg. It would be nice to not have to put the slide out to fold down the bed, you know for those quick 1 night stays in a truck stop, Walmart, Cabela's, etc. : )
So....being the handy man he is, Craig decided to take off the molding, cut it, reattach it, and....viola!
First cut taking off the side molding.
Oh...did I mention that after the first cut of the main piece and testing it, the bolt of the bed gouged the side higher up. Oops, didn't factor that in. So...cutting a notch a little higher up.
At least he is still smiling!
After replacing the side molding another notch had to be made for the metal slide rail
Sewing Generator Cover
In case you wonder what Holly has been up, you name it. She is NOT sitting around watching TV and eating bonbons. Craig has been calling me his secretary - HA! I have been working on health insurance; registration and licensing; travel route; lodging locations; researching, purchasing, and setting up the printer, movie, and music players; packing food, clothes, inside, and outside trailer, sewing items for the trailer, plus more, and being Craig's gopher!
We decided we wanted a cover for the generator to help protect it from the weather (sun, rain, etc.) during our trip since it will be either in the back of the truck, trailer hitch, or sitting on the ground. After searching for the right size cover and purchasing one that did not work, I decided to make my own. It is nothing fancy, but it will do the job.
Securing Wiring And Installing Thicker Wood Panel In Outside Storage Compartments
Before we start to pack the side compartments of the trailer, Craig wanted to secure all of the wiring and install more sturdy wood panels in some of the locations. He will be setting up solar panels and needs areas he can mount the control boxes and other solar hardware. First, he is securing any wiring, then cutting and fitting a 1/4" piece of plywood.
Do you think if I push hard enough he will fit? : )
Testing Loading The Truck
Well it is 2 days out from our departure and we decided we should testing fitting stuff into the back of the truck. Holly has been loading the trailer, but...we have not had the time to load the truck. On the trip we are taking: 2 dual sport motorcycles (Kawaski KLR 650 (black bike) and Suzuki DRZ 400 (yellow bike), 2 electric bicycles, 2 inflatable paddleboards, 2 sets of golf clubs, and 2 acrobat flying kites, Of course, all of these have some type of gear or other items needed for the activity so that requires more space.
Motorcycles are in. Took a lot of adjusting to get the back tires in far enough and be able to shut the tailgate.
Most everything is in: 2 motorcycles, motorcycle ramp, 2 paddleboards, generator, and propane tank for generator (the generator is a dual fuel-gas/propane so that we have options). It was a bear getting everything to fit. We had to SLAM the tailgate shut and then had a problem opening it because it was so tight. We had to remove the paddleboards, lift/slide the bikes sideways more, and have 3 people push the tailgate in just to get it open. We still need to pack a gas can, 5 gallon water, and....who knows what else.
We both decided that once we got everything loaded in the back of the truck (plus the missing items), that neither one of us wanted to unload anything each time to use it. To get to one thing, something else (heavy) had to be unloaded. We decided to not take the Suzuki DRZ 400. This is Holly's bike and since we can fit 2UP (2 people) on the KLR, we would take only it. This will give us plenty of wiggle room in the back of the truck.
Tiling the Garage Shower
What? You may ask what tiling the garage shower is doing on this page and how it fits? Before we embark on our travels, Craig wanted to finish a project he started on the house. The bathroom in the garage has been built out with the sink and toilet completed for a few years. The shower was the only thing left to finish and...it is hard to leave a project unfinished for a few more years. So....we decided to try and finish up the shower. Craig would work on the tile and while waiting for it to dry, he would switch to working on a trailer project. All of the tile is cut, laid, and secure. He was not able to grout, seal it or put the fixtures in. That will have to wait. Below are just a few pics to show Craig's work. A separate web page will follow later with more details.
This is where Craig will leave the shower until we return from our adventure.
All Loaded Up and Departing Boise - June 27, 2018
Well, after a few days of scrambling with late nights and early mornings we are all loaded up and ready to hit the road! Thanks to Russett, Ginger, and everyone else that has helped us with last minute preparations to make our dreams come true!