Friday, March 18, 2011

8. Electrical System

I realized that by picking up my trailer on June 20th, It'll be pretty hot returning to San Diego, CA along Interstate 10.  So I looked at temporary ways to bring electricity into my trailer to run my fan and small fridge.  I'll be staying in RV parks so the issue will be how to get an electrical cord into my trailer so that I don't have to leave a door cracked open.  The quickest and easiest method used by a lot of cargo conversions is to simply punch a hole in the floor and pass the cord through.  But that got me thinking.  If I was going to drill a hole in the floor, maybe I should look at a simple but more permanent solution.  It would also allow me to use my 30amp 125v RV power cord.  The photo below shows my solution.

I bought the yellow "pig-tail" at  It's 30 amp and about a foot long.  It will enter thru a small hole that I will cut in the floor with a 7/8" hole saw and will be reattached to this box I built with parts from Lowes.  The box will be screwed to the wall.  Pretty straight forward.  The black 30 amp RV cord will attach to the pigtail under the trailer and hook up to the park's power box.  The little yellow device in the upper right is a polarity tester.  I'll use it to test first the park's box, then 30 amp cord and finally the outlets in my box.  Clean and simple install.  Best of all, the whole setup costs less than $20.00, not counting the 25 ft. power cord.  I have the hole saw and a cordless drill ready and will complete the installation on day one of my trip.

** Disclaimer:  Please seek the advice of a qualified electrician before wiring your trailer or have them do it for you.  Electricity can kill you.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

7. Updated Drawing

Next Post: Electrical System

6. And the winner is...

After a lot of research and study, I've decided to buy the motorcycle trailer (the red one pictured below).  It costs a bit more but offers more in the way of included options, better construction, and better towing due to less windage.  It is also closer to me, thus saving me $250.00 in gas.

I plan to order the trailer in time for a June 20th pick-up date.  The following is a list of changes I plan to make when ordering:

1.  All white color
2.  Screwless exterior walls
3.  Bar Cam Lock and plastic entry handle not installed (delivered loose in plastic bag)
4.  RV Flush Lock installed (I will add a deadbolt lock later)
5.  (2) 30"x15" windows installed aft (see drawing in next post)
6.  (1) Spare Tire and Alloy Rim (delivered loose for mounting later)
7.  (6) Flush Mount D-Rings (delivered loose in plastic bag to be mounted after vinyl floor install)

Next Post: Updated Drawing

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

5. Finding the Right Trailer

After a few weeks of shopping for a trailer, I've narrowed it down to two manufacturers.  The first, builds a standard cargo style trailer and is happy to make a few modifications for me if I need them to. 

The second manufacturer builds a motorcycle trailer that is lower to the ground due to a 4" drop axle and reduced inside height.  It would be 5'-6" instead of 6'.  Both of these changes make the motorcycle trailer cheaper to tow due to less wind drag.  This builder is also happy to work with me on changes to make my trailer more livable.

I was prepared to install my own windows after bringing my trailer home, however, both manufacturers offer 15"x30" windows installed for around $140.00 each.  That includes the labor of cutting and reinforcing the area around the windows.  Obviously, it's easier and cleaner to frame these out during the framing stage before walls are installed.  An offer too good to refuse.

Another modification I want to make concerns the side entry door.  Both manufacturers offer a true RV door with screen and window for $500-$600 but this add on would brake my budget so I'm planning to delete the usual "cam lock" and have an RV Flush Lock installed for $55.00.  To this, I'll add a dead bolt lock when I get the trailer home.  This will give me the look of an RV door without the hefty price tag.

Another option that I find hard to resist is a Screwless Exterior.  It'll add another $200.00 to the final price but will really add value and curb appeal.  It would be hard to pass this up.

The only other add-on I'm considering is a matching spare tire and wheel.  At $140.00, it's another budget breaker but an important option to be sure.

So much to consider.

Next Post: And the winner is...