The Rolling Workshop

In an effort to live the mobile lifestyle, I’ve purchased an enclosed trailer to use for additional storage space and a workshop area.  The intention is to tow this trailer behind a Class C motorhome.  More on the motorhome at Mobile Minimalism, A Winnebago For The End Of Days, and Dreams With Wheels.  I have a desire to live a more minimalist lifestyle.  The fact I need to tow my crap behind my home shows I have a ways to go.  However, fitting our lives into a 30 foot motorhome and a 7 x 14 trailer is still quite a feat for two people that intended to homestead on a piece of property in West Virginia.  Instead, we’re eliminating the seemingly unnecessary and redundant possessions for the useful and practical ones.  We could almost get away from the need for a trailer except for my habit of fixing and building things.  To acomodate this habit, I require some tools, supplies and a workspace.  That is the trailer.

I went for a 7 x 14 foot enclosed trailer with two 3500 pound axles.  So the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is 7000 pounds.  The trailer itself weighs about 2200 pounds.  A single axle trailer is lighter, but has severely reduced cargo capacity and generally less room and height.  I think a dual axle trailer is going to be easier to distribute weight evenly in it for safe towing.  The dimensions I settled on balanced the need for space, cargo capacity and price.  For another $500 or so, I could’ve gotten an 8.5 foot wide model that had the wheels wells protruding into the interior.  I decided against this because i didn’t really want the additional floor space.  7 feet was enough, and more space will just translate to more stuff. Also, the 7 foot wide model is simply more aesthetically please to me.  Important?  Yes.

So, I got the model with the ramp door rather than the barn doors because I thought the ramp could be useful as a porch to for additional floorspace when working on a larger project.  The company that I bought it from gave me two foam blocks that hold up the ramp at a nice height for this purpose.

The side door of the trailer had no cam bar door lock, but it does have a nice RV stile door latch, a feature other manufacturers didn’t.  For security purposes, I installed my own cam bar purchased on Ebay.  Then it was just a matter of buying some bolts, silicone, and bar stock to make plates for the inside.  All together, a half hour installation.

The day I brought it home, we taped stuff off on the inside and the ramp door, then applied a coat of latex primer.  Three coats of paint followed.  I’m quite happy with the durability of the finish even though I opted against oil base.

A few sets of shelves, the workbench, the toolbox bolted in, a closet door installed later, I’m getting into finding specific places for my tools and stuff.  I shoved a lot of stuff into those blue tubs, since I designed the shelves to accept the tubs as a basic unit of storage.  I felt that size was useful since I could use the tubs or sub divide them into smaller shelves, drawers or cabinets later as I see fit.  Yesterday I began the shelf over my workbench and toolbox.  That will relieve some space and disorganization in the tubs.  The top of the toolbox has a lid and storage space there.  As much as I’d like to use that space, the lid wastes a large volume of space overhead when open.  I would remove it, but the hinges are riveted and I’m not screwing with that.  I considered making a section of the overhead shelf break, and hinge upwards, but that is an unnecessary complication which makes access to the top of the toolbox more of an inconvenience than it is worth.  No, i’ll just leave it empty.

I need to finish the workbench shelves and come up with a good way to keep pipe and scraps on top.  The closet will be closed in with some plywood and will likely get a few shelves eventually.  The closet is mostly for board scraps, oddly shaped items, and the humanure biodigester when it’s constructed.

The trailer needs wired for 110VAC as well.  For now, thats just going to be a pig tail hanging from underneath or a weather proof receptacle box to receive an extension cord.  I have a few fluorescent lights I’ll hang, but I’d really like to go to all 12VDC LED lights.  In time.

Also, I have plans to hang our bicycles on the ramp door such that they can be parked on it when open, and then they are hung as the door is stood upright.  I think it’s a pretty good idea to transport them, but they will be in the way if I want to work in there.

Lots of fun!  More Later!

-M.C. Pletcher

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Posted in Dwelling, Personal
One comment on “The Rolling Workshop
  1. […] gotten into quite a funk here lately which is partly due to to the cold and wet nature of my rolling workshop.  It is hard to get myself motivated when I have to cut and sand wood out in the rain.  The only […]

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