Renovations With Reservations

I told myself I would hold off renovating the interior of the trailer at least until we reached the first extended break from Bethany’s program. Well, actually I told Bethany that too.

The theory: we’d be living in the trailer with limited supplies, materials, outlets, etc… and it would be a real hassle to accomplish anything.
The reality: we live in a trailer in the foothills of the Vaca mountains , miles from town and without cell reception or wifi. WTF else am I going to do?

I set out to find some lumber to construct the bones of the lounge area. I couldn’t locate any reclaimed lumber in our area so I had to settle for the the price tag of new lumber at Ace Hardware in Davis. I ended up paying $3.98 per 8ft. 2×4′.  That price didn’t seem outrageous but it’s certainly not the Rebuilding Center in Portland that I’ve used for most projects to date.

With a very rough plan in mind, I looked at the trailer, then at the stack of 6, 2×4’s. Wash, rinse, repeat until the idea formulates. I’m aware that most people measure, develop plans, gather materials and complete their builds, in that order. I prefer to work this way though. It reminds me of a game I used to play with my sister, one of us would draw a crazy, squiggly line, and the other would have to finesse the existing contours of the scribble to complete the drawing. This process does the same thing for me now that it did back then, it keeps me on my feet, creative juices flowing, and occasionally a few dollars short when I mess something up and have to buy new materials.

After a little finessing…


Then I set out to Velcro the plywood top (that will also serve as the base of the upholstery foam and fabric seat cushion setup). I’ll warn you now, I do not partake in or condone drinking and the use of power tools (obviously, I enjoy the use of my limbs) but after the lumber is cut, HAVE AT IT. However, here’s the warning: your velcro might not exactly line up (like mine) after a whiskey. Also please note, this 15ft package of Heavy Duty Velcro rivals the market price of gold so don’t mess up too bad. See below…

Pulled up to the club with my ceilin’ missin’.

Before setting the Velcro, I used a square to mark the middle of each beam on the plywood so I wouldn’t miss by too much.

Blaze it up and we’ll be cruisin’ with the top down.

After setting up the bones, cutting my lumber to fit, and applying the Velcro, I decided to go looking for some fabric. I met Zac at Davis Upholstery #FTW (FTW = for the win, for the parents reading this). Zac walked me back to his small garage and workspace and proceeded to go through all his clippings and seconds to help me find something to work for the space I was dealing with. We chatted back and forth about getting out of office work, working with our hands, and the feeling of stepping back and looking at something you just made. I picked the fabric, and he’s slated to pick me up some 2.5-3″ foam from the foam graveyards of Sacramento at a reduced price.

The fabric  and a cute tiny plant I found at Lorenzo’s in Winters, CA.


(I get that the fabric is, for lack of a better term, a little “camp(er)y”, but so is velcro-ing plywood seat cushions to a frame. You win some, you lose some. It also seems like it will hold up well against Hamlet who’s recently found the joy in rolling in the dirt and burrs around these parts.)

That’s all for now! Finishing cushions by the end of the week!


6 thoughts on “Renovations With Reservations

  1. Parker, way to go; you’re already making connections, and better than that, friends. Perhaps you will find kindred spirits more quickly than you anticipated. Can’t wait to see the finished product too!


    1. Frankie, I drilled it into some existing metal plates mounted to the camper wall as well as drilling into the camper wall. Just make sure the screws are long enough to come out the other side!


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