Banquette

Sometimes a build will become really overwhelming, and you have to have time away.
We found ourselves in that place for a couple of days, and the only cure was sea air, some hugs and pep talks.
We reminded one another, that all the time apart ( 3 weeks this last month ), and hard work was worth it.
Adventure, our own tiny home, and ability to move anywhere at a moments notice – would soon be a reality

We arrived back at Priscilla with renewed enthusiasm, and had an Elves & Shoemaker moment.
My Dad knew that things were getting tough time wise, and whilst we were licking our wounds and trying to get our heads straight he got to work.
As we opened the door that morning, a beautiful site greeted us.
There in all it’s glory was a Banquette seating area !
My Dad had knocked it up in half a day using some birch wood ply, piano hinges, and lots of love and good thoughts.
It’s so special to us, and when we are enjoying cosy nights by the fire, or eating dinner, or just watching the seasons change through the window whilst sat on that banquette…we will be reminded of how awesome family is.

IMG_8900

Thank you Steve/Dad, you are the best !
And Thanks to my Mum who is going to get crafty with me and make some cushions 🙂

 

Advertisements

Truma Air Conditioning

IMG_6471
It’s been so hot in the city, it truly felt like there was no let up.
As we drove down to the coast to work on Priscilla we were thankful that we could switch the Air Conditioning on before we arrived.
We whipped out our phone, and set the AC to transform the space from ‘Hot Sardine Can’ into ‘Cool Oasis of Calm’!
Sometimes in life it’s worth getting the little extras, and that’s just what we did with the AC – we got all the bells and whistles.

Here’s why we chose it :

The Old AC Was No Bueno
That old Dometic unit was never going to stay, apart from being almost 40 years old, it was big, and a total eyesore (yellowed-plastic-monstrosity).
We stayed in a caravan a few years ago, and the noise from their modern Dometic unit was so annoying.
It drove us mad, to the point that we ended up turning it off and sweating all night instead. We figured there had to be an alternative.

Good People
When we researched one name kept coming up, Truma.
People on forums and review sites were really loving the company and products.
So we contacted Truma for advice, and from the first contact to the installation everything went so smoothly.
Customer service can be a bit of a lost art in the UK, and we really appreciate it when we find a company that is spot on with theirs.
Shout out to Holly who arranged everything for us before fitting, and  Lawrie and Tony who installed the unit – all such nice people.

IMG_6473
Hello Sky !
IMG_6467
Tony & Lawrie Installing our AC

 

Cos …Gadgets
We love the website, it’s like they’ve taken caravanning and made it cool (no pun intended).
We chose the Aventa Comfort model, not only does it cool, it also acts as a heater, plus it has – MOOD LIGHTING !
Then of course there’s the remote controlled option.
To make this awesome unit work with your smart phone, you need the iNet package, install it, put the free app on your phone and voila.
You can turn it on and off from wherever you are, and also put it on a timer.
We may have gone one step further… it had to be done.
We got The Level Control – tells you exact how much gas is in your cylinder and sends you a text when you’re low !!!!
So we won’t be shaking our gas cylinder trying to guess, we told you ‘Gadgets’!

Aesthetics
It looks awesome!
If you compare our big chunky Dometic, and the sleek almost flat Truma.
It’s like Cinderella Vs The Ugly Sister.
When you’ve worked so incredibly hard on a project and trying to make it look pretty, it’s nice to know that you don’t have to compromise that for an appliance.

If you’re thinking of updating your AC, we only have good things to say about Truma !

And now our one month of sunshine is gone, we’ll be switching our AC to hot 🙂

IMG_8394

IMG_6495
So much better than the old AC

Weekend Fun

Once in a while you meet people that you really click with….and a friendship is born.

We’ve met lots of people during our tiny home build ; from people on Instagram, and forums, to suppliers of products.
It’s been so nice to connect, and we know that everything we have purchased to put into Priscilla comes from good people.
And there’s non better that Dawie and Mandy at Anevay Stoves, they’re young, adventurous, so chilled out -oh and they also have 3 of the cutest kids ever.

We approached them as we wanted a wood burning stove for winter, and we really loved that theirs are not only handmade locally, but are also installed in some pretty unusual places (skoolies, yurts, tipis)

yurt

So many people tried to dissuade us from putting a stove in our camper, because :
You’ll die
You’ll get carbon monoxide poisoning
The fire doesn’t even need to be lit – the ash will kill you

To be honest we were a bit put off by these claims, but Dee had stayed on tons of canal boats that all had stoves, and he is still here to tell the tale.
So we spoke to a local supplier of stoves, and he mentioned Anevay – we contacted them and arranged for them to check out Priscilla to see if it would be safe/possible to include a stove.

That was just the beginning. We hit it off instantly, and a few weekends ago we all hung out at the trailer.

There were some haircuts for the boys, a lot of running around, laughing, and an impromptu photo sesh from the talented Mandy

IMG-20180702-WA0026IMG-20180702-WA0030IMG-20180702-WA0032
It was so special to see how Anna,Ezra and Samuel (Dawie and Mandy’s kids) played with our little boy.
They’re so gentle, kind and full of adventure just like their Mum and Dad.

IMG-20180702-WA0016

Thank you for coming to hang out with us !

This blog post was meant to tell you all about the awesome stoves, but has turned super mushy !
We can’t help it, it’s not often you get to make new friends – adulting is hard!

We’re Building A Wall

….and it’s the good kind.

Ah this is such an awesome blog post to write, finally we have walls.
Yes, there is still a long way to go, but it’s starting to look like something !

We created the shower room, with a little alcove to put our shampoo bottles.
We always wanted a window above the shower (inspired by a Modern Caravan build we saw online)
The space is there for it, and it would push a lot more light into the rear bedroom.
That’s the thing about changing the configuration, you have to consider not only the wheel arches (arghhh thats’ been a struggle ), but also how to create light in the new back section.
This is where airstreams have the edge, those beautiful panoramic windows (swoon).
And because the airstream is more common, it’s easy to purchase the configuration that you want – major BONUS
We ummed and ahhh’d about Airstream, but the Silver Streak bug had bitten us hard.
That elusive rear bedroom- Streak never came up for sale during our search.
If you can find the configuration you like, we would recommend going for it – you save yourself so much work (about 50% more work changing the configuration!)
If however you find yourself in our position, know that IT CAN BE DONE.
Might just take a little while longer 🙂

Technical info : We used 5mm plywood for the shower walls.

Note : The stain on the floorboards is what happens when you spill  Corroseal !

IMG_6384-2
The Frame is up
IMG_6388
Feeding the light switch cables in
IMG_6390
Small alcove
IMG_6395-2
5mm Plywood casing

 

Anevay

We found a stove, a wood burning, gorgeous looking, innovative, tiny little stove !

We ordered from a local company called Anevay, owned by the coolest couple (Dawie & Mandy).

Anevay are based in Cornwall, and make awesome portable woodburning stoves perfect for tiny homes.
They’ve put them in all sorts of builds – yurts, bell tents, tipis, sheds, vans, boats, houses, and pretty soon into a Silver Streak (hurrah!).

We went to see the stoves in person, and chose the model for Priscilla.

We met some of the people behind the products, Uldis – who our little boy was fascinated by, and Morgan – a very cool Australian dude.
Both Aldis and Morgan explained to us how the stoves are made, and finished by hand.
It made it so much more special knowing how much care and pride goes into each stove.

Not only did we get a stove for Priscilla, we chose ‘The Traveller’ – albeit a little bit modified – more on that in another post.

15977934_1362909463740494_8106418210549236066_n

We also got a portable stove for camping, and beach BBQ’s.
Mandy was telling us about their eco friendly BBQ’s.
Eco friendly ? You mean those disposable silver foil thingies, that we buy from the garage every summer aren’t good for the planet ?
Well nope, they aren’t !
Mandy explained to us that over 300,000 end up in landfills every year, and they don’t decompose.
Disposable barbecues don’t just pose a waste problem, but the materials used in them are also totally unsustainable .
They use charcoal from tropical forests in South Africa and South America.
To get that charcoal, they burn down acres and acres of forests, that have been there for hundreds of years.
Then they transport it thousands of miles.
We couldn’t believe it, because neither Dee or I had ever stopped to consider the impact that ‘innocent’ BBQ on the beach was having !
Living tiny for us isn’t just about lots of adventures, and flexibility – we also want to try and be more environmentally aware.

Luckily Anevay have the answer, and it’s a good un.
Their portable stoves range from the tiny ‘Horizon’, to the fancy ‘Frontier Plus’ (yep, we got the fancy one!)

Check out what Anevay say on their website :

You don’t need to carry any fuel with you, just pick up a handful twigs or driftwood and that’s enough to cook a meal. That means no gas canisters in landfill and no disposable BBQs burning the grass. It’s smokeless, which is good for the planet and good for those sitting around it on the beach! Our Traveller and Fintan Stoves are made by us here in Cornwall.

We love wood as fuel; it’s carbon neutral and great for the planet. We also plant a tree for every stove we sell

We were totally sold on the idea.

The portable stoves start from £79, which is a bargain considering that it’s a stove you can enjoy for many years, has less impact negative impact on the planet, and also looks very cool (be prepared for people to come over and ask questions and admire your stove!).

 

Chassis Work

We always knew there would be a few twists and turns ahead of us during renovating Priscilla.
One example is the lack of leaks in the roof section.
The floor was perhaps the biggest surprise for us, when we lifted the subfloor we found quite a few sections of cross beams that were past their best days.
Some were corroded, and one had straight up snapped.
This is one of the jobs that we are so glad we did, it would have been easy to just remove the wet pieces of subfloor and replace them.
This way we know that Priscilla is sturdy and we can build our home on her confidently.

We measured the old beams, and had a local company remake them, it took about a week.
As soon as they came back, we began the process of welding them back in, neither of us had ever welded before.

Image-1
That was quite the learning curve, and we cut our teeth when we discovered the 6 beams we had had made were wrong !
Yep, we had only cut one of the beams out to take to the company who remade them.
Here’s the thing, the beams were not all the same width, such a ‘Duh’ moment, because of course there might be variations – we just didn’t realise it.

Solution : Cut the new beams lengthwise, and re weld together….a long and nerve wracking process.
It took all day, but once we stepped back and looked at the situation, we kind of think it was meant to be.
The welding onto the trailer was a piece of cake after this.

Here are some pictures

21A1716C-2D9A-4DC3-ACFF-BDEF32EC16E5

After the beams were in place, we used good old Corroseal to convert any rust on the old beams.
This stuff is really good, and we have previously used a UK brand – it wasn’t as simple or effective.

After the corroseal did it’s thang, we applied an epoxy based paint over the top.

IMG_5587

I forgot to mention, before any of this we cleared out about 560,212 acorns from the belly pan.
A gift left over from a family of squirrels.

We totally forgot to take any pictures of the belly pan work, but after it was finished we decided to insulate the floor.
We’ve already had a few questions as to why we didn’t use spray foam for the floor.
The short answer is : BUDGET
It was a lot cheaper and less time consuming to simply get rolled wool insulation.

Archery

Wheel Archery is what we fondly named this part of the project.

DeeDee and I can’t take any credit for this, it was all down to my Dad.
He used a home made (that’s right, cos we are in the country – and he did it country style) metal folding machine, and folded sheets of aluminium into right angles, then cut and shaped two end caps.

The fit is perfect, and it’s so nice to not have the crushed and twisted metal covering our wheels anymore.

Thanks Dad, we owe you a beer for this one…or maybe a crate !