Little House On The Channel- The Sunset Trailer

by | Aug 11, 2020 | Interesting Information | 0 comments

If you have read any of my other blogs about our Little House On The Channel you know we live in a 780 SF home without a basement. If you don’t know about our little house click here to learn more.

My husband has joked over the years that I believe if I have 780 SF we should be able to have 780 people in our house! One square foot per person would be FINE!. Obviously, I do not really believe that, but I do love to entertain and have overnight guests. One of my favorite things is to leisurely sip coffee in the morning with our guests on the deck or on a coffee cruise on our boat. No phones, no screens, no distractions, just good ole conversations.

One would think having only 1 bedroom would mean we can’t have guests spend the night, but, we solved that problem when we did the remodel. Click here to hear about our “sleeping quarters” in the annex.

The first summer we lived in The Little House we had good friends stay with us for a few days.  Even with the Annex we did not have enough beds for everyone.  We borrowed a 5th wheel camper from a friend.  It had a living room, master bed, two additional beds and a 1 ½ baths.  It was 2 feet longer than our house and looked huge in the driveway.  It temporarily added an additional 400 Square feet of living space to The Little House.

The camper was a great solution to allow us to host a larger group.  Our guests did not have steep stairs to climb, they had their own sleeping area and it had a toilet.  Since we live on the water most people want to visit us when the boat can be in the water.  We knew we would not be able to borrow our friends’ camper every time we had guests so we looked into the cost to rent a camper when we host large groups. We decided for the amount of money and the hassle of renting a camper we would look into purchasing one.

Should be simple enough, right? Wrong!  We were surprised to see the price tag on campers that, in our opinion, needed a lot of work.  We looked at a number of ones that smelled bad, had leaks or a layout that would not work out for what we had in mind.

The one we finally chose was a good price, appeared to have only one “small spongy spot” on the floor, the layout worked and the guy would deliver it to our house.  Great!

Our original plan for the camper was to rip out the kitchen area in order to accommodate a queen bed. 2 new twin mattresses, updated toilet, new flooring & a fresh coat of paint throughout & it would be good to go. Then we said those famous last words: “2 weekends of hard work and we can have guests sleeping in it by the end of the month”! We did not think to specify the end of which month and what year we would have guests sleeping in it.

We found out we have a knack for purchasing things with rotted out floors. When we purchased the little house, we planned out ripping out all the flooring. We did not plan on having to install new floor joists & subfloor, however we found out the floor was completely rotted out in one area. Wade was actually shocked the washer dryer had not fallen into the muddy pit.

The one “spongy” spot on the camper floor turned into most of the floor being completely rotted out- as in only sawdust remaining/how was the ground not showing- rotted. Also, the back of the camper walls had rot as well. What started as a” two-week” (the quotes refer to what we thought would be the timeline) project turned into 2 years. Ultimately, we basically gutted the whole thing, leaving only one above cupboard and the cabinet with the heater.

We found out the roof was leaking so Wade patched and filled holes. Since we had to replace the plywood for the ceiling I thought it would be fun to use old gas station maps to “wallpaper” the ceiling. Before the plywood was hung I modge-podged a variety of maps to it. I used maps from all over the USA. I also used maps from countries that hold special meaning to us such as Ireland, Cuba and Slovakia. Our guests have commented on how much they enjoy lying in bed and looking at the maps.
We replaced the plywood on the back wall, some parts of the larger side wall and all of the subfloor and flooring. Wade installed car-siding on half of on the larger side wall, made boxes to cover the wheel wells and installed a toilet. We painted the interior white and 1950s Road map blue.
We put in the twin trundles from the two twin day beds in our Annex. I found an adorable shower curtain from Target for privacy in the toilet area. I modge-podged a toilet paper holder and a lamp. We were gifted and/or found old suitcases for decorating. Made a couple of throw pillows with some camper fabric, found comforters from Ikea in a Sunny yellow and The Sunset Trailer was ready for guests.
We purchased the Mallard (original name) in August of 2017. Wade threatened many times to hook it up to the truck and haul it to the dump! But after many setbacks, leaks, reconstruction, painting, papering, coffee cruises, summer fun, football games, Christmas/New Year’s Eve (X2), selling houses, entertaining guests, visiting family & going on trips, The Sunset Trailer hosted its first guests in July of 2019.

Since its debut The Sunset Trailer has been a welcome addition to our sleeping quarters at The Little House. We have had as many as 15 people sleeping overnight at our little house, with The Sunset Trailer holding 4 sleeping guests (two on a queen air mattress). It was a long, somewhat ugly, refurbish but it is worth it to us so that we host larger groups and can give our guests a variety of sleeping options. With a portable a/c unit and heater we can accommodate guests for almost 8 months of the year.

In 2020, we painted the outside to match our Little House. We are pretty sure our neighbors are thrilled with how much better it looks. It almost blends right into the garage! We (Wade would say I, not he) have a few additional decorating plans for The Sunset Trailer but it is open for guests again this year and we hope many more to come!

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