HERON LAKE SP, NM—Though I probably won’t do anything on this until early next year (unless someone pops out of the blue and buys my truck/trailer), I’ve been tinkering with design plans for my “ideal” rig.
More below the break (huh?).
A high top cargo van. Remove the front passenger seat and put a big easy chair in the front. If it will fit, I’ll stick it where the passenger seat was, thus giving access from the driver’s seat to the back via the center aisle. Otherwise, the chair would be placed in the center and you’d access the rear compartment by the gap left by the missing passenger seat. The chair’s not pushed to the right in the diagram because that’s where the van’s side door is.
Add shelves, a closet, and a sofa/futon that folds open into a bed. I’m a little concerned that trying to sleep across the width of the van will be cramped, so even if sleeping diagonally doesn’t provide enough room, I could rig an extension that pulls out from under the bed (and plop some cushions on it) for my feet. I’d be sleeping crosswise in the bed, which is sideways to the way you normally sleep, but I think it would work.
The layout above is based on a 6′ x 8′ cargo trailer with a side door. The shower is directly in front of the door and you enter through the shower (it’s just a big opening anyway) to get inside the trailer.
I have the holding tanks in a vertical position to save floor space and to make them easier to drain. I’m thinking of attaching a macerator pump between the toilet and the black water tank so the tank only holds liquified waste (easier gravity draining via a standard water spigot). The grey water from the sink (and maybe shower?) would be used to flush the toilet.
The more I think about it though, the more I like the idea of a 6 x 10′ trailer. It would add two additional feet to the back of the trailer (the bottom of the floor plan), but would create a lot more storage which could easily be accessed through the rear doors.
Solar panels on the top, and a bank of batteries under the counters (or in the back storage compartment). An extension cord would run between the van and trailer to provide power to the living quarters in the van.
A cool idea with a set up like this is that the trailer could be shared within a mobile community. Both Boonie and Randy have/are trying to form communities with people of like-minds and a trailer like this would really open up these communities for non-RV’ers (for some strange reason, not everyone lives in an RV). For myself, I’ve often thought that if I started teaching in person, it would be cool to say, “Just pack a tent and come hang out with me for awhile.”
With something like this, visitors would only need to bring a place to sleep (tent, back of an SUV, etc.), some clothes, and a cooler with their food. The trailer’s refrigerator could be set to “freezer-mode” for the community ice for their coolers. Everyone who doesn’t have an RV could share the kitchen, ice, fresh water, electricity, shower, and toilet—all without disturbing anyone else’s privacy or living space.
Hell, with a trailer like this, anyone with a specialty could hold (and charge for) wilderness retreats: A mountain biking retreat, a Hero’s Journey retreat, a nature photography retreat, an “introduction to boondocking” retreat, a “learn the guitar in a weekend” retreat, even a Carefree Diet retreat (OK, that last one is just a shameless plug, but I am down 40 lbs)).
I’m telling you, the more I think about this, the more I like it—and that’s never a good thing.