So, now we have ourselves a project!  Our new-to-us toy hauler travel trailer had a leak, of which we were aware of so there was definitely full disclosure, no problems there.  Usually this type of issue can be a deal breaker, but we had gotten the truck and trailer combo for such a sweet price, it was heard to be mentioned that we bought the truck and got the trailer for free.


We survey the damage as well as we can from the outside, but Robert knows we won’t know the extent of the damage until he peels back the aluminum siding and takes a look at what’s underneath.  And what’s underneath is a lot of black, rotted wood and fiberglass insulation.  Structurally compromised, environmentally dangerous, due to the possibility of mold.  We’ve got work to do!

Robert replacing rot.
Robert replacing rot.

On a nice stretch of sunny weekend weather, Robert removes the aluminum sheeting from the exterior of the trailer and sets it aside, then saws and breaks apart the blackened wood and dirty insulation, bagging it up.  He leaves the most damage-free, accessible pieces in order to stay able to build from them and reconstruct the shape of the nose of the trailer, where the bedroom is.  The affected walls of the bedroom, nearest the tongue, come down, leaving the parts of the interior supporting a closet and a series of cabinets above the bed frame.  Now the inside of the trailer is open to the great outdoors!  It would be sweet to have alfresco sleeping, but there are just too many cons to this option/not an option, and I suppose if we want to snooze out of doors we can set up a hammock.

New wood paneling with a peek at the insulation.
New wood paneling with a peek at the insulation.

When  we have measurements taken and enough demo has been done satisfactorily, we cruise on down to Home Despot and buy 2×2 lumber, foam board insulation, spray foam insulation and two sheets of thin, birch veneered plywood.  I had the idea to have myself some nice wood paneling instead of the weird vinyl wall covering that was currently on every single wall.  Every.  But I have plans.  More on that later.  In the meantime, Robert has screwed the aluminum siding back into place and we work from the outside in, to piece it all back together.  He replaces the 2×2 framing and fits the cut insulation board between the studs, using spray foam to keep them tucked into place, and while the foam is still wet he screws the appropriate piece of plywood down to form new walls.  Mmmmmm, sandwiches!  Robert and I head back to Home Despot for a sealing agent that can be used to keep the roof from leaking again and seal the seams we had opened.  We decide on a gallon can of white roof sealant, a kind of spreadable putty, and Robert spends a day of unpleasantness sealing all the seams and holes he can find, as well as the entire roof.

Bed platform

My vision for the bedroom is to stain and poly the new walls a light honey color, so as to preserve the “birchness”.  I want to take as much of Alaska with us on the trip as I can, and when I think of birch, I think of Alaska.  Yes, I know it grows in other places, but I do the same thing with aspens and Colorado or dogwoods and Alabama.  They just go together.  So, a light honey color is what I want, but a bit darker color is what I get.  Uh.  So be it, it still looks pretty damn good.

Too dark?

I finish with some trim and a gorgeous tie dyed cloth I got from my mom, for a curtain.  Oh, and Christmas lights, because they just make me so freaking happy!  (I have actually sat on the floor with a lap full of a plugged-in, bright mass of tangles, gleefully straightening out strings of lights and just thinking “Christmas lights make me so fucking happy!”)

Moonlight in her new digs!

The next project?  A symphony (cacophony?) of paint and contact paper.


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