Camping Trip – June 9-10, 2018

For our first trip out for the year, we kept it local by going to Misty Mountain Camp Resort.  We’ve stayed there a few times, and it’s always like a mini vacation. 🙂

All set up in site #59.

So nice to sit back and relax. 🙂

Our Scamp, sporting the decorative spare tire cover that I made. 🙂

It was a hot day so we thought about going swimming in the campground pool, but then we met our neighbors!  I’d recently “met” one of them in a Facebook group (and knew she’d be at Misty Mountain), and she introduced us to some of her friends from PA who were camping there, too.  Fun times; you meet the nicest people in campgrounds. 🙂

By the time we’d finished visiting, it was almost time for dinner.  Wayne made a run to a store/deli to pick up a few things, plus we’d brought along some of our homemade soup.  Yum!

  

Later that evening after a few games of pool at the community center (always one of our favorite activities at Misty Mountain), we returned to our campsite.  With rain in the forecast, we opted not to start a campfire.  Instead, we simply sat outside in the dark enjoying our view of the night sky until clouds blocked out the stars.

Shortly after we came inside, it began to rain.  This was the first time we’d been in the trailer during a hard rain, and I wondered if I’d be able to sleep since it was so loud on the fiberglass roof!   Those concerns were unfounded, however, as I went right to sleep!

The next morning we were up early.  We made a quick trip home to feed our cat, then trekked over to feed the feral kitties before returning to the campground.  (Yes, there are advantages to staying close, sometimes!)

We took a couple more pictures of our “little house in the big woods” before getting everything packed up and ready to go.

  

We always test the lights before we get out on the road, and this morning the brake lights worked, and the turn signals worked, but the running lights (marker lights & rear lights) didn’t come on when I turned on the car lights.  Not good….  This wasn’t an immediate problem since we were driving home on a sunny day, but it was still worrisome.

When we got home, I started “Googling” to try to diagnose the problem.  I found a diagram that showed what each “pin” controls, so we knew the “where” of the problem, but still not the “what.”   We checked both the car and the trailer connectors, and there didn’t appear to be any corrosion or water in either….

 

Another Google search suggested that there could be an issue with a fuse, so that was our next step.  We opened up the hood of the car, located the fuse in question, and pulled it out.  It appeared to be okay, too.

After pushing the fuse back into place, we connected the cords again–and everything worked!  Of course we have no idea why the running lights didn’t come on earlier, and absolutely no idea why they did–and that’s still worrisome!

At least for now, though, our little trailer seems ready for its next adventure as soon as we are. 🙂

Another Project Re-Do

We seem to be in some sort of odd loop: complete a project/re-do the project….  To wit, we removed and then replaced some of the hull liner fabric on the ceiling in order to find and repair the last (fingers crossed…) of the tiny pinhole leaks in the roof.  I recently made new curtains for the trailer due to how badly the original ones (made in 2015) had faded, plus how poorly they fared after going through the washing machine.  So with these projects under our proverbial belts–again–that brings us to the latest déjà vu moment: replacing the flooring in the trailer.

While we liked the vinyl plank flooring we installed in July 2015, we were kind of disappointed to see that a few of the tiles were separating, leaving tiny gaps between them. These were put in as tightly and securely as possible, but perhaps the temperature extremes in the trailer–from summer heat to winter cold–was more than this tile was rated for.  Dunno.  Wayne suggested that we put down sheet vinyl for all over, seamless coverage, so that became the plan for this re-do.

It seemed safe (and obviously much faster) to put the sheet vinyl over the planks instead of trying to remove them.  From front to back in our custom interior, the floor is exactly 6 feet, so we bought a roll of sheet vinyl that was 6′ x 9′.  I was intimidated by the thought of just taking it in and cutting it, so we bought sheets of poster board and Wayne made a pattern of our small, unique floor space.

  

After all the sheets were connected with spots of tape, we applied more duct tape to make sure that nothing shifted or distorted when we moved the pattern out of the trailer.

  

We put the poster board pattern on our kitchen floor, wrong side up–and quickly realized that we needed to clean the floor before going any further!   Whoops!  😉

Next, we laid the vinyl on the (cleaner) floor–wrong side up–and placed the pattern on top of it, also wrong side up.

  

With everything taped down, it was very easy to trace around the pattern with a pencil, and we used a strong pair of scissors to cut it out.

Before putting it in, I had to remove the threshold under the table, and the one at the door.

  

The one under the table was easy–I just used a cordless screwdriver in reverse and the screws came right up.  The one at the door, however, proved to be more problematic….

I knew we’d taken it off when we put the first floor in, but I couldn’t figure out how on earth to get it off this time!  Maybe there were screws under the weatherstripping, so I ripped it off.  Nope, there weren’t any screws there.  I used a flashlight and mirror–and ultimately my camera–to look for screws under the threshold.  Nope.  No screws there, either, though at some point there were probably rivets.

Finally, I just started pulling it, gently tapping it with a hammer, etc., and–at last!–I was able to “simply” pull it off.  Well, THAT was easy. (Not).

Okay, on to the vinyl…. Even though I knew we’d been careful with the template, I was still astounded when I rolled it out.  It fit the space almost perfectly!

  

  

This was literally all that I trimmed:

After a couple of hours, I went back in the trailer and carefully applied some adhesive for sheet vinyl just along the edges (not all over the floor).  And a while after that, I reinstalled the threshold under the dinette table and at the doorway.

We might be able to re-use the weatherstripping that I ripped off, but Wayne said he thought we had some that would work better.  I’ll leave that part up to him.

Yes, the light floor will show every bit of grass or dirt that’s tracked in, but the added brightness is kind of nice.

That said, at this point I don’t think we’ll go with a lighter color for all of the wood in the trailer, but with all of these other project re-do’s, you just never know! 😉

I Get These Ideas……!

When we started renovating our Scamp, I admired some of the fancy spare tire covers.  With money being tight, though (and geared for renovation necessities), I opted for a plain white vinyl one. (Functional, but boring….)

I thought about crocheting a cover for it.  Several people offer free crochet patterns, and there are also crocheted covers available for purchase on Etsy.  Really love these bright pops of color and all the designs! 🙂

Yesterday while searching for something else, I found a post in a Scamp forum about a woman who had sewn a tire cover for her trailer using a cute vinyl tablecloth as the fabric.  Hmmmm…….  Sewing…..

And that’s all it took for me to start figuring out how to make a cover for the spare tire on our trailer.  Since I really like the fabric I used for the new curtains in the Scamp–and since it’s an indoor/outdoor fabric–I decided to give it a try!

Sunday morning I bought 1-1/2 yards of fabric and a 2.5-yard package of 1″ elastic.  When we got home, I measured the diameter of the tire (24″), and added an inch for the seam allowance.  Instead of just jumping in and cutting the fabric, I made a pattern out of poster board, first.

The poster board I had was 22″ x 28″ so I cut 3″ off the long end and taped it to the short end to make a 25″ x 25″ square.  I made an X from corner to corner to find the center, and poked a hole in the center with a screw.  I used a piece of cardboard to make a “compass,” measuring 12.5″ from the screw in once end of the cardboard, to a pencil at the other end.  I placed a piece of cardboard under the center (to protect the floor from the screw) and simply turned the pencil and cardboard around to make the circle.  (This can be done by using a string tied to a pencil, but I wanted to be as accurate as possible for the pattern, and the cardboard offered a better option.)

Once I was pleased with my pattern, I spread out the fabric on the floor, wrong side up.  My self-appointed supervisor was very vocal and kept offering suggestions. 🙂

  

I traced around the circle on the fabric, cut it out and set it aside.  Next I needed to do the “gusset” to go over the top of the tire, with enough to go over the edge to the back.  The woman who’d made the cover out of the tablecloth said she’d made this strip 9″ wide, so I figured that would be a good place to start.  But how LONG to make the strip?  That info hadn’t been provided….

I sat on the floor with the fabric on my lap and pondered this for a moment.   (My “supervisor” was happy to take a break.)

I knew I’d want to overcompensate and make the strip longer than necessary, so after finding the circumference of the circle mathematically AND measuring around the tire, I opted to make the strips 90″ long (54″ fabric width + another 36″).  I knew it would be way too long, but it seemed like a good idea–at the time.

I sewed the two strips of fabric together to make a piece 90″ long, then–with right sides together–I pinned the strip to the edge of the circle.  I sewed it all the way around the circle using a 1/4″ seam allowance, but I had to cut a lot off.  All this length also made joining the two ends of the strip a little tricky since it was already attached to the circle.  So here’s what I should have done:

For my tire, I should have made a strip 9″ wide x (approximately) 79.5″ long.  At this stage, I should have folded one long edge under by 1/4″ and stitched it down.

Next, I should have sewn the two short ends of the strips together using a 1/2″ seam allowance to make a loop of approximately 78.5″ around.  THEN I should have sewn the loop to the circle (right sides together, matching raw edges) using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

But with the strip (ultimately) attached to the circle, I took it outside to see how it fit on the tire. It seemed to be okay, so I think it’s safe to say that a 1/4″ seam allowance here works.

When I brought the cover back inside, the next step was making a casing for the elastic.  I folded the edge of the strip over 1-1/2″ and used a combination of pins and clips to hold it in place.  I stitched along the previous line of stitching (from the turned under part) to make a casing about 1-1/4″ wide.

I left an opening in the casing of about 2″, cut a piece of elastic 63″ long, and threaded the elastic through the casing by “inch-worming” it along with a large safety pin.  (I pinned the other end of the elastic to the fabric to avoid having it slip into the casing–which would have meant doing this step all over again.  Been there, done that; experience is my best teacher. 😉 )

When I finally got the safety pin and elastic all the way around and back to the opening, I overlapped the two ends of the elastic by 1″ and sewed them together.  I took it out to try it on the tire again.  I was pleased (very pleased!) with the way it fit, so I sewed the casing shut.

Done!!

  

Yay, me!

Of course I have no idea how well this will hold up, but it IS indoor/outdoor fabric.  It’s designed to deal with the elements, so I hope it will do okay on the back of a travel trailer!

And while this floral fabric may not suit everyone (“glamping,” anyone?), now that I’ve figured out how to sew a tire cover for the back end of our trailer, it opens up a whole lot of possibilities!  Yes, I’ll be making others. 🙂

Again, my thanks to the woman in the Scamp forum who inspired this!