19 January 2015

SERIES Truck Camper Life - PART 2: Necessary Skills & Mandatory Rules

Location: Turtle Beach Campground, Siesta Key, FL, USA
Yup, that's what I said ... 134 square feet!

Our house is for sale. Once it's sold, our plan is to travel for an extended period of time. We've compiled a bucket list that includes several international trips, but additionally, a portion of our intended travel will be in this truck camper we call LOAF. We've completed road trips in the past of nearly 5 continuous months, but we've never tested ourselves beyond that. During this current trip we are focusing on and trying to identify any issues that could affect the overall enjoyment of a major lifestyle change like this ... do we have enough space to live comfortably, will we get bored, can we get along in such a small space, can we stay fit and healthy, will we miss family and friends, is LOAF road-worthy, properly outfitted, safe & secure? There are many questions that we need to answer.

Apparently, the average, new house built in Canada in 2014 was a little greater than 2000 square feet. Canada rates near the top of the world list for 'new home size', but Australia, New Zealand and the USA are ahead, with 2700 sq ft Australian homes at the top. 

Let's not fool ourselves here, our mobile home is a truck camper ... it's an assembly line built, aluminum-framed, foam insulated, fiber-glass skinned box mounted inside the bed of a pickup truck. 

Now, go to your quiet place ... and 'think to yourself' what, having 134 sqft of this quality of personal living space, available to you ... actually means! Then ... ponder, what it might mean to live in that same space for an extended period of time, for ... say 6 - 8 months. And, finally, consider sharing that space with another person! ... that means, each of you, would live in 62 square feet !!! ... exciting eh! ... guess  We Must Be Crazy ... Again & Still!

It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in our world, it's worth 134 square feet ... what you see below, is pretty much our whole mobile home and it can be captured with just two photographs.

Looking back from the edge of our queen bed, through the kitchen (on the right),
the edge of a dinette (to the left) and a small wet bath (far right corner). 
Wry prepares a lunch ...

Looking forward from the dinette to the queen bed in the cabover.

SERIES Truck Camper Life - PART 1 was posted awhile ago. There's an extensive skill-set required, but, only a single Rule: Just one person inside the kitchen at all times! 

Our TC 'features' a Three-piece Wet Bath. Sounds fancy ... doesn't it? What it actually is ... is a 36" x 37.5" (the half inch is important) x 74" high, pre-fab, fiberglass enclosure containing a very tiny sink, a plastic toilet and a shower spout with a short, spray handle. 'Wet' is the keyword here. What it means is that everything will get wet when you shower. Rule: Remove everything from the room ... toilet paper, towels, waste basket, laundry bag, shower bags and move extra toiletries or cosmetics inside the cabinet or under the sink. Then, place all those items on the floor, outside the door ... there, you can stumble over them when you're standing outside the shower to towel yourself off because there's no room to do that inside the bathroom.

Skill: You need to be extremely flexible. That means, physically capable of extending and contorting your appendages around and up onto the plastic toilet and over and into the tiny sink while clenching the overhead towel bar for balance ... just to reach all those important and 'hard to reach' places. 

To maintain the Sensitive Viewer Categorization for our 
website, Wry demanded I remain clothed for this demonstration.

When you finish cleaning yourself ... everything will be wet (except for those places you couldn't reach), the bathroom mirror will be steamed up, the plastic toilet and the fiberglass floor will be wet and the tiny sink will be full of water (because you forgot to open the drain) ... sounds wonderful, doesn't it? We use campground bathhouse facilities whenever we can. 

RuleThe toilet seat stays down throughout the day, but not overnight. The ladies may not like that one. Two towel bars above the toilet, hooks on walls and a sink edge with stuff on it ... makes the likelihood that something will eventually get dropped into the bowl very high ... we know about this!

Skill: Learn to make a bed while you're in it. A picture is all I need here. There isn't even any room to help, so it's a one person job.

Skill: Learn to dress yourself in that 'wrinkled look'. Clothing in the bedroom needs to be stored in awkward to reach cabinetry with deep shelving. You need to be on your knees or stomach to look down and back into the cabinets and drawers to search for what you need. Consequently, items aren't folded, but instead get piled and shoved in.

All cabinetry storage for food, dishes or supplies must be kept full and each door or opening secured with a strong latch and cupboard bars to keep items from tipping over and falling out. Many of the cabinets are high, deep and poorly lit ... some require a stool to access. Rule: It won't matter how well you organize the cabinet or cupboard. Whatever it is you need will be at the back or at the bottom, requiring you to always empty everything.

Do we miss our house? 

... some common answers ... Yes. - Sure we do. - Sometimes. - Not as often as you might think. - Never! ... pick one. We certainly miss some of the things that living in a larger space have to offer ... acreage, a BIG bathtub, peace & quiet, solitude, privacy, clean laundry facilities. But, we certainly don't miss the work and responsibilities that come with maintaining large properties. We've now replaced the time we used to spend at those working activities with other interests and pursuits that now give us greater pleasure and joy in our lives. 

We'll always need a home base though ... 

Check out the previous post in the SERIES Truck Camper Life ... 
Part 1: Can You Make Gourmet Meals In A Truck Camper
Crusty ... paid attention and stayin' out of the kitchen! 

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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty