Archive for the ‘Cottage On Wheels’ Category

It’s Not a Sham, It’s a Sham WOW!

January 5, 2010

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks, let me tell you.  We drove, we visited, and we ate a ton.  I cooked, I baked and I wrapped.  We got sick.  We got better.  We drove and ate and visited some more and opened a lot of presents.

We got some great stuff.  As for the list of trailer wants (in addition to the grill I mentioned in the last post) we got our screen house.  Thank you very much Auntie Caroline, Uncle Neil and Lilly.  I’m looking forward to using it.  We gave them a tent, so they can start to join us on our little excursions.

I have an amendment to the list, though.  I forgot all about the Sham Wow.  I’ve wanted one for ages.  I’ve imitated Vince and his Sham Wow commercials ad infinitum; to the point that I received 6 of them for Christmas this year.  So, consider the Sham Wow added to the list and ticky boxed off.  I’ve got Sham Wow’s comin’ out the wazoo and I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do with them, but I’m sure I can spare a couple for the trailer.

The decorations are packed up and we’re back to the grind.  We rang in the new year and the new decade and it’s time to focus on the resolutions that will keep us going until the holiday roll around next year.  Personally, I’ve eaten so much in the past month, I shouldn’t have to eat again until March.  Maybe some exercise is in order.

All I Want For Christmas

December 25, 2009

It’s Christmas at last!  I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone out there in the blogosphere a very merry Christmas or a happy holiday of the persuasion of your choice.  Personally I choose to celebrate Christmas because it’s fun and convenient.  You may celebrate, or not celebrate anything you like.  It doesn’t bother me one way or the other.

If anyone’s still looking for a last-minute gift for me and my trailer you’re too late but here is my wish list anyway.

I wanted a campfire grill but not anymore, thanks to an early presy from Ian and Shannon.  Thank you very much!

I’d still love a screen room.  I’ve decided that I prefer the screen room option over the add-a-room.  An add-a-room would cost too much, I can’t let you spend that on me.  A screen room can also provide more flexibility on awkward campsites.

We are still camping without an engraved wooden welcome sign informing passersby of our family name, origin and hobbies.  This is an oversite that I would like to have remedied.

Tin Man

I also desperately need a tin man decoration.  If you’re not familiar with them, they are little painted figures that hang outside the trailer and are made, entirely, out of empty cans and recycled junk and sometimes have a funnel hat.  They are adorable and sell at the Peterborough farmer’s market for $15.  If I don’t get one for Christmas you can get me one for Mother’s Day.

So there’s my list.  I’ll let you know how I make out.  In the mean time, enjoy the holidays and make fabulous plans for the New Year.

That’s A Wrap!

December 16, 2009

The curtain has come down on our family’s first camping season.  We saw a lot, did a lot, put a lot of kilometres on the van and made some lovely family memories.

The trailer is closed up now, winterized and hunkered down in the side yard surrounded by a foot of snow.  I’m hopeful it won’t become a mouse hotel over the next few months.  It’ll be alright.  We mouse proofed it.  I’m pretty sure.

So…hmmm…what do we talk about now?  It’s almost time to start planning for next year.  There’s the big RV show coming up over the winter.  We could talk about winter sports!  I like winter sports better than summer sports.

We’ll muddle through.  If you have any topic suggestions I’d be happy to entertain them.  You can save me from contemplating my navel all winter.

Don’t forget to check in on the Campsite Cookin’ link from time to time.  There’s some fun foodie stuff over there.

Now Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Blog, Already In Progress

October 21, 2009

I feel I need to explain my resent absence.  Having long gaps on a blog is tantamount to having long gaps on a resume.  One must come up with excuses to make the dead time seem as though it was well spent and not just frittered away.

Let me assure you that I have not been frittering.  I’ve been painting trim and visiting with family and friends and performing my wifely and motherly duties.

Lately, the greatest thief of my time has been school work and a couple of seriously ominous assignments.  I have to write a short story.  I don’t ‘do’ fiction.  I certainly don’t do 3000 words of fiction.  The story is coming along now.  I’ve already abandoned one work in progress, but I have a really good feeling about the piece I’m working on now.  Fingers crossed, I’ll have it behind me soon.  Then the world can go back to normal.

To be honest, I’ve been procrastinating.  I’d have the assignment done by now, if I wasn’t constantly finding other more important things to do.  I’ll work on it tonight.  As soon as I’m done blogging and reading Tuesdays With Morrie.

It’s Trailer Day!!!

April 20, 2009

After an agonizing wait, the day has finally come!  We have our trailer!  It was a long, exciting, confusing day.  There’s so much to learn.  There’s definitely more involved in the the set-up and take-down than I expected.  It’s also trickier than I realized to get the thing hitched and unhitched from the van.  Am I sounding like a total novice or what?

We got our new toy home and immediately wanted to play.  We towed it into the yard and then struggled to figure out how the hitch worked.  We struggled to get the trailer set up inside and out.  We struggled to get the awning out and up.   We tried out the benches, the beds and all the windows.  Then we wanted to make it our own.  My husband, Mr. Weather, installed an indoor/outdoor thermometer.  I strung up some solar patio lights, a very tacky wind catcher and my piece-de-resistance, the grizzly bear towel ring.DSC00548

At last, it was time to introduce the trailer to our son Liam and our dog Peggy.  The dog was excited and checked it out from top to bottom, then staked out a spot for herself on the couch.  Liam didn’t like the look of it and refused to go in.  He turned and made a break for it, running across the yard, never looking back.  I had to go catch him in the neighbours yard.  He wasn’t happy when we made him go in, but he soon learned to have fun climbing up and down on and off the bunks.  In the end, it was a great success.

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We haven’t slept in it yet, we’ve just practiced putting it up and taking it back down.  We can’t wait to take it out on the road and our practice in the yard will hopefully make for smooth sailing on our first excursion.  I’m looking forward to updating you with an actual adventure soon.  In the meantime, I’m going to stare longingly at it through my kitchen window.  sigh.

Maximising My Utility

April 3, 2009

viking-2107

In first year economics the prof taught us that a util is a unit of happiness and that a rational person will achieve the greatest possible utility from each dollar spent.

Maximising the utility of every purchase is a challenging, and interesting exercise to go through, but when it comes to big ticket items its something most of us take seriously.

We did our best to maximise the utility of the dollars spent on our trailer.  I’ll run through the process we went through when deciding which trailer to buy.

First, we had to decide that a trailer was something we wanted to buy.  Buying a trailer wasn’t a given at first.  We could have gone in a number of directions.

Option one was status quo.  We could have chosen to do nothing, but doing nothing is boring.  Option two, we could have bought a new tent.  Not my favourite choice so lets just cross that off the list right away.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, we could have looked into buying a cottage.  A cottage can certainly be an asset, but it’s an asset with a lot of expenses and hassles.  A cottage would also mean that we’re spending our weekends in the same place all the time.  Lastly, we could buy a trailer.  A trailer is more comfortable than a tent, but isn’t as elaborate as a cottage and won’t appreciate in value.

Long story short, we decided to go with a trailer because it is affordable, comfortable and can be set up anywhere we want to go.  We had a winner!  Then the task was deciding which trailer to buy.  We wanted to get the biggest bang for our buck without paying for extras we didn’t want.  That’s the essence of maximising utility.

When we started looking at trailers, we went to an RV show and discovered just how many options there are.  We were amazed to see the high-end RVs.  There’s a huge range out there, some costing as much as a house.  There’s certainly something out there for everyone.

We wanted something basic, light and inexpensive to tow.  We decided that a pop-up tent trailer fit our needs best, because there’s so much functionality packed into a small, light unit.  We decided we wanted our trailer to have a space heater, a small fridge, a sink, and a three burner cook-top.  A bump-out may provide indispensable square footage to a larger family, but it seemed like an unnecessary expense for the three of us.  We knew, though, that going too small would result in uncomfortable accommodation and a loss of enthusiasm for our trailer adventures.  So, in the end, we opted to look at units that included one queen bed-end and one double bed-end and an extra bank of seating.

With our options and wish-list narrowed down, we started to look seriously.  In the beginning we looked at both new and used models, but soon discovered that a used trailer doesn’t often offer significant savings over a new one.  I’m sure there are great deals on used trailers out there, but we didn’t find one that met our needs and wants at an attractive price, so we went for a new one.

We found great value in the Viking 2107 and were happy with the price we got on last year’s model.  We’re looking forward to it being our home away from home for many years to come.  We took our time researching our purchase and shopping around.  As a result, we feel really good about our choice. We’re confident that we made a sound decision and are looking forward to hitting the road!  Consider my utility maximised.