Having it All: A Cargo Trailer Man-Cave

This is a sweet set-up! A ford 4x4  diesel pickup, a small and light camper to live in, and an 8x18  cargo trailer as a Man-Cave.

This is a sweet set-up! A ford 4×4 diesel pickup, a small and light camper to live in, and an 8×18 cargo trailer as a Man-Cave. With the camper off the truck, it’s much more pleasant to drive and he gets 18-20 MPG (or more) out of the diesel.

Today I want to talk about a very practical way to boondock and live very comfortably, cheaply and with great freedom.  Your first thought might be that’s an easy thing to do but the truth is it’s very hard. Comfort conflicts with freedom and is almost never cheap; in fact they are opposites and self-contradictory. To demonstrate that let’s look at some extreme examples like a large RV and Jeep. A big RV is very comfortable but it is anything but cheap and you give up a lot of freedom of mobility to live in that comfort. On the other hand if you live in a Jeep you are incredibly free to go anywhere you want but there is virtually no comfort in your life!

He has all the cozy comforts of home in his camper, and all the luxury of a Man-Cave in his cargo trailer conversion.

He has all the cozy comforts of home in his camper, and all the luxury of a Man-Cave in his cargo trailer conversion.

What’s important for most of us is to find the sweet spot which is the best possible balance of the three factors: 1) Comfort, 2) Freedom of movement, 3) Cheap. Because we each place a different emphasis on the three factors there isn’t one choice that’s perfect for everyone. Here are what I think are the four best balanced choices:

  1. I think the best all-around, balanced choice is a standard van you convert yourself, it does all three well, but none of them great.
  2. If you want more comfort then a Class B camper van gives you great comfort and good mobility and fairly cheap.
  3. If you want it to be cheaper and can live with less comfort, a mini-van is a great choice.
  4. If you want more freedom and mobility, I think nothing beats a 4×4 pickup with a small camper.

My friend Bryce wanted freedom so he lives in a 4×4 Ford Diesel pickup and he carries a small, light camper on it. He loves the freedom and mobility it gives him to go nearly anywhere he wants to go and because it’s diesel he can afford to take trips.

When Judy and I were on our way to Alaska I came across this sign and instantly thought of Bryce, so I got it for him ans a house-warming gift. He liked it so he hung it inside!

When Judy and I were on our way to Alaska I came across this sign and instantly thought of Bryce, so I got it for him as a house-warming gift. He liked it so he hung it inside! Judy wasn’t all that enthused though!

The camper was very comfortable to live in, but after he had lived in it for a year he realized that he spent a lot of his year in one place and while he was there he wished he could have more comfort and room than the camper provided. What he really wanted was a “Man-Cave!” Specifically he wanted:

  • 500 watts of solar on his roof to give him all the power he wanted.
  • A BIG screen TV.
  • A recliner to lounge in comfort.
  • A feeling of openness and room to invite friends in to relax and get put of the bad weather.
  • An X Box to play games!
  • A large Barbecue to cook with. Obviously he cooks outside but he needed a place to carry it.
The Man Cave! a 50 inch TV, X-Box and comfortable chairs. The good life!

The Man Cave! a 50 inch TV, X-Box and comfortable chairs. Everything necessary for the good life!

The more he thought about what would work for him, the more certain he became that the best thing would be an enclosed cargo trailer large enough to do all the things he wanted, but small enough to be easy to tow. I must admit, that I’m egotistical enough to think my example of living in a small cargo trailer may have influenced him. I consider cargo trailers the best compromise I know of.  When I’m sitting in one place (which both Bryce and I do most of the winter) it gives us all the comfort we need, and then when we’re traveling we put it in storage (which costs me $35 a month) and travel free and easy in the van. He seemed to like that example and now he’s doing the same thing!

The Man-Cave looking forward.

The Man-Cave looking forward. You can see his batteries in the plastic box and the Outback Solar Controller mounted to the wall.

This summer he bought an 8×18 enclosed cargo trailer from TrailersPlus.com, which is the same company I bought mine from. We both had a great buying experience with them and recommend them highly! I bought mine and then added my own windows, vents and ladder rack but he was traveling and in a hurry so he had them do all that for him. After he got it, he installed 500 watts of solar on the roof of the trailer which he bought from Northern Arizona Wind and Sun in Flagstaff, AZ. He already had a 140 watt panel on the roof of the camper that met its basic needs.

Bryce, Steve and I kicking-back after another gourmet meal made in the barbecue.

Bryce, Steve and I kicking-back after another gourmet meal made in the barbecue.

One of the best things about having two vehicle-homes is that you can create a courtyard between them. When it rains you can sit outside and be dry or, when it's hot and the syn is beating down on you (like here at our Ehrenberg camp) you can sit outside in the cool shade. He has since replaced the tarp with shade-cloth so it doesn't flap in the desert wind.

One of the best things about having two vehicle-homes is that you can create a courtyard between them. When it rains you can sit outside and be dry or, when it’s hot and the sun is beating down on you (like here at our Ehrenberg camp) you can sit outside in the cool shade. He has since replaced the tarp with shade-cloth so it doesn’t flap in the desert wind.

It’s working out every bit as well as he had hoped! He loves his Man-Cave and his cozy little camper. He has everything he wants, and nothing extra. All winter he lives in luxury and in the summer he can put it in storage to travel. Now that’s what I call the good-life!!

A large barbecue was one of the key elements of his plan. Even if you don't eat much meat, it works perfectly as an oven.

A large barbecue was one of the key elements of his plan. Even if you don’t eat much meat, it works perfectly as an oven.

Bryce cooked a perfect lasagna for us! He turns on the two outside burners so the pan never receives direct heat. That thermometer is up to 400 degrees!

Bryce cooked a perfect lasagna for us! He turns on the two outside burners so the pan never receives direct heat. That thermometer is up to 400 degrees!

bryce=trailer

bryce-whole-camp

bryce-back-left

Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

66 comments on “Having it All: A Cargo Trailer Man-Cave
  1. Avatar CAE says:

    $35/month at about 8 months a year is $280/year. To store the trailer. Not bad for 4 months of much nicer winter living.

    • Bob Bob says:

      I agree! But forme it’s just about opposite of that, I’m in the trailer for 8 months and travel for 4 months. I’m in the desert while it’s hot and then go north to Flagstaff for spring, put it in storage there and then I’m back in it for fall in Flagstaff.

      This year it went into storage on May 6th and got it out in August. Next year I may travel longer. May to September.
      Bob

  2. Avatar jonthebru says:

    Now that’s living! Honestly, I see families buying these enormous 5th wheels and Class A monsters and wonder what on earth they are thinking.

    • Bob Bob says:

      I agree! Bryce’s setup has just about everything you could need!
      Bob

      • Avatar Walt says:

        Some of us have wives to keep happy. 🙂 Seriously, though, comfort is one of the reasons we bought our fifth wheel and why we are considering a Class A as our next rig. I personally think I would love the challenge of trying to outfit a van and a cargo trailer set-up, but my wife would not go for that. I don’t think she trusts my skills for one, and I don’t think she wants anything that needs that much work. I say that based on the fact that every time I see an older Class A or Class C motorhome and talk about how it could be renovated and made to look and live very homey, she does not respond very enthusiastically.

        I also like to cook in a variety of ways, and I don’t think a large barbecue would meet those needs (especially as I eat no meat). I do have a large outside camp stove, but I have never had much luck at keeping the wind from wreaking havoc on the flame. I also like to use a slow cooker and an electric pressure cooker from time to time.

        Just my two-cents worth. As someone posted on another RVer’s blog, there are many different ways to live the life. No one size fits all.
        Walt recently posted…#177 – Season of ChangeMy Profile

        • Bob Bob says:

          Walt, no doubt having a wife complicates the mobile like. EVERYONE knows a happy wife means a happy life so you give them whatever they need!

          It’s pretty amazing just how versatile a large barbecue can be. With the lid down and just the two outside burners on it becomes a great oven. Anything you can cook in an oven you can cook in it.

          Bob

      • Avatar melissa says:

        Except for daily showers: (

  3. Avatar Bryce says:

    Hi Bob, I am really enjoying the Man Cave. The weather here in Ehrenberg Az. Is perfect. Thank you for giving me the idea of fulltiming with a pickup camper and cargo trailer. This is the good life. Bryce

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Bryce. I appreciate you letting me post the story. And even more, all the wonderful meals you’ve feed me.

      Anybody coming for Thanksgiving will find out what a great cook Bryce is! And all you gals can even kiss the cook!
      Bob

  4. Avatar John L. says:

    Now, that’s sweet! I’m happy that set up works for him!

  5. Avatar anewjourney says:

    Hi! Newbie here… I’ve been thinking about stopping by to say Hi in person, this is the closest I’ve been to your camping area (Lake Havasu City)and I need to head north in about a week… 🙂 tomorrow or later this week? If convenient, let me know… Ulla

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ula, I’m here now and you are welcome to drop by. But I am leaving either Friday or Saturday for a week trip to New Mexico, so if you are coming, you should come soon! Wednesday is perfect!
      Bob

  6. Avatar Doug Rykerd says:

    To funny, I just told my wife this weekend that I think my cargo trailer conversion has become my man cave. I’m still finishing the details, but I love to just head out to it even when I’m not traveling and hang out, listen to some music, read, maybe take a nap. I’m so much more comfortable in it than in the house for some reason. I guess it’s the gypsy in me. A couple more years and hopefully I can hit the road on a more full time basis.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Doug, just don’t let her see the sign! For some reason the gals can’t fully appreciate it. Very odd creatures!
      Bob

      • Avatar Doug Rykerd says:

        We’ll have to see if we can get together on a post. I’m still not sure about RTR yet, but if I make it that might be a good time? Send me an email if you have any ideas of how we could make it happen. I still have a few things to do to it, but I’ve done some more since you saw it in AZ. Including some peg board baskets above the front counter – thanks for the suggestion!

        • Bob Bob says:

          Doug, I love pegboard! A post at RTR would be fine. Or you could just write a couple of introductory paragraphs, take photos and write out captions. Number the captions and I’d put them with the photos. That’s basically all it would be.
          Bob

  7. Avatar Calvin R says:

    This could be adapted to become a good idea for those who need to do business on the road. I have been reading the past few days about RVers who have lost tax deductions because their office space was not “exclusively” a business space. The cargo-trailer conversion could meet that need.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Exactly Calvin. Whatever your needs for space are, it gives it to you! It can be a space for a business or crafts or motorcycles/ATVs or just big open space.

      You could hold a dance in it!

      Flexibility gives freedom, and freedom is a good thing!
      Bob

  8. Avatar Ozark Sam says:

    Why Not

  9. Avatar Joe S says:

    What a great set up! I’ve been pulling my hair out thinking about all the different types of set ups that may work for me. I have a V6 Toyota Tacoma with a topper on the back. This has worked well for short expeditions but it’s just not enough space for full timing.

    I like the cargo trailer idea. I just need to find a smaller one that my truck can pull safely (I have a tow package). Then I’ll insulate and customize it.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Joe, I agree for a Tacoma a cargo trailer is a good choice. But be careful with the weights. My 6×10 left the factory at 1300 and I probably have another 1200 in it, so its about 2500 pounds.

      If your Tacoma can handle that, it’s a great solution! I find 6×10 very comfortable for me alone. And you can put it into storage and take the truck for trips and get that great MPG!

    • Avatar dave says:

      With a Tacoma consider a lightweight single axle travel trailer such as a Scamp or Casita, if you can afford them. Or, a pop up camper like a Northstar T600, Palimino Bronco, FWC Eagle or ATC Bobcat. Bob doesn’t like the pop ups, says lots of people go with them, then find the wind noise in the desert to be pretty much intolerable.

  10. Avatar Shawna says:

    That really is very nice! From the female perspective I see a mobile craft room!! 😉

  11. Avatar DougB says:

    This is a decent setup, but it should be noted that, if starting out with nothing, this is one expensive boondocking solution. The cost per square foot has got to be well over twice that of a modest travel trailer pulled by a 1500-class tow vehicle, all while giving up a dry bath and water and waste tank capacities. I assume that some of the many jugs in the photo are for water, and that a bucket has been pressed into service to replace the built-in toilet. It makes good sense if you’ve already laid out for the truck and truck camper, and found it too claustrophobic for long-term use. Outside of that situation, only the conversion of a cargo trailer into a workable living space makes much sense to me. Taken as a whole, this rig strikes me as an inconvenient and costly way to try to compensate for just one of the basic shortcomings of a truck camper as a permanent living space. I sure wouldn’t present it as a perfect setup for anyone starting out fresh, but it certainly is worth presenting as food for thought. I admit, I’m coming from a different world, where crapping into a bucket and driving into town every few days lacks appeal, but that’s just me. Love that “man cave” sign, and cudos to Bryce for making his existing setup more liveable when he needs it to be.
    DougB recently posted…The Victory HighwayMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Doug, I have to agree with nearly everything you’ve said. Had I posted this to an RV forum, it would have been laughed and mocked into the ground! But here, it actually makes perfect sense and is the preferred method.

      When Bryce retired he bought a much larger and heavier camper with full tanks and everything an RVer would want. But that didn’t work for him so he sold it and bought this one which doesn’t even have tanks! He very much wants a small and light camper than can go anywhere. If I were him, I would have bought an even smaller and lighter camper with even less amenities. 🙂

      But then, we aren’t typical RVers are we!

      And you are right, that trailer was not cheap, he could have bought a used Travel Trailer with all the amenities for much, much less. Probably half or a third of the price of what he paid.

      But he wants a big, open space and nothing else will do. Again, that’s not what RVers want, they want little apartments on wheels, but that idea is repugnant to me!!! And I mean it literally makes my skin crawl just to think of it!

      This is what he got for his money:

      1) Quality! As you can attest, old Travel Trailers tend to be crap! The roof is ready to fail at any time and the axles are so overloaded they are ready to fail at any time. You are lucky to find one without water damage, mold or dry-rot. This cargo trailer will be trouble free for decades. It won’t leak, rust or break. Most RVs are made to be the cheapest piece of shit they can get out the door and not be illegal or be sued. The few that aren’t are very expensive and in demand. No cargo trailer is made that way!!!! they are made to last or the companies reputation will be gone and they will go broke.

      2) Much, much lighter than any Travel Trailer except the newest most expensive. It’ll cost less in gas to tow and put much less wear and tear on the truck. That’s critical in the long run.

      3) Much higher ground clearances. It can be taken many more places a TT can’t and do it without being damaged getting there.

      4) They have what I want in them and nothing more. Of course we basically disagree about what we want in them, but that’s why I see this as an ideal set-up and you see it as a terrible set-up. It’s meant for a different audience!

      Most of All this give you FLEXIBILITY! Flexibility means FREEDOM, and that’s what I’m all about! I can easily do without the “comforts” of an apartment on wheels. I CAN NOT do without freedom.
      Bob

      • Avatar ILDan says:

        Often, you show your appreciation for road travelled; unseen by trailers and yet always liked your incorporation of your trailer to your kit. I wonder, Bob, do you have pics of anyone who modified a cargo trailer to add water/bathroom use? (Perhaps the regular/previous van mods apply.) I’ve been enamored w/the cargo trailer idea b/c it’d fit my Barcalounger, which is a must for my comfort and sleep. I love how individual every build-out is. Each is as unique as the owner, I’d suppose.

        I absolutely agree with your desire for the stronger build and the “open floorplan” on the cargo trailer. As I’ve mentioned, I often need my Barcalounger to sleep, so finding an RV with that space is costly. I live outside Chicago, IL and do not find many affordable van/truck/RV options. Costs around here are simply always at the high end of retail.

        Cargo trailers, however, seem to be in steady supply. I’ve seen many sitting all this past year at a reputable commercial truck dealer, so I’d assume the owner would work on price.

        As always, thanks for the inspiration. You are an inspiration. Stay warm, ILDan

        BTW- Is there a difference in insurance b/t a modified utility trailer and a “classed” RV? I’d imagine the trailer is cheaper for insurance and maybe plates, too. (I really don’t know.)

        • Avatar Doug Rykerd says:

          I used a couple Reliance water containers under a front counter in mine – 1 for potable water and 1 for gray water. Then I used a simple hand pump made for popup campers (buy a good one – my first one didn’t pump water even after priming) and a smallish stainless sink. My background is in plumbing, but pretty much anyone can build a simple version of what I did. I use a solar shower bag when I’m somewhere a shower isn’t available, but I might upgrade to a garden sprayer with a shower head on the end of the hose. A water system doesn’t have to be as elaborate as the typical RV, and can still work well. One of these days I’ll get my act together and post a build thread on the forum section as pictures definitely would do a better job of communicating the simplicity of it.

          • Avatar Doug Rykerd says:

            Also, in Colorado the tow vehicle insurance covers the trailer for liability. I imagine if you wanted full coverage you would have to discuss that with an agent. You would probably just have to declare a value on it and the price would be based upon that. Personally I built the inside of mine myself and paid cash for all the materials, so I don’t carry full coverage.

          • Bob Bob says:

            I’d love to do a post on your build Doug!
            Bob

        • Bob Bob says:

          Dan, I don’t know anyone who did a full conversion on a cargo trailer. The problem is by the time you buy all the parts and pieces it will cost you much more than buying a travel trailer and be a lot of work. I think if you want all the comforts of an RV I would look into a Toy-Hauler trailer. They are built to carry more weight and also have lots of open space.
          Bob

          • Avatar Walt says:

            I’m no expert, but it seems you could do a reasonably nice conversion for less than a quality used travel trailer. I recently saw a video on YouTube where the person used a stainless steel bowl to make his sink and had a porta-potti. I imagine you could inexpensively create a shower in a corner and have it either drain to the outside or into a gray water jug that would be emptied every few days or once a week.

            Even though I know my wife would never go for such a set-up, my mind is now racing thinking about the possibilities of such a creation!
            Walt recently posted…#177 – Season of ChangeMy Profile

          • Bob Bob says:

            Walt, those big cargo trailers are expensive so I’m not sure it would be less than a used travel trailer. But the weight would be much lower and the quality would be much higher, so I thinks it’s still a really good idea.

            Something simple like you describe here would be very cheap, easy and light. Those are all very good things!
            Bob

      • Avatar DougB says:

        Thank you for such a thoughtful reply Bob, but I hardly see travel trailers as some kind of universal solution or evangelistic quest. Actually, my planned “RV” when starting out was a converted 18′ cargo trailer, but my available time and money ran out. Mostly time, as I had a hard, short deadline and knew I would not be able to change horses later, on the road. What I started out with, I’d end with, so I may as well enjoy making it work for me. A cargo was a better solution for me than a TT for the long run, but the vintage “Plan B” TT got me on the road much quicker, less expensively (up front), and less traumatically, though I did have to give up a superb leather recliner as a result (sob).

        So my carp is not about the cargo trailer, it’s the truck camper as part of a 3-piece rig. Truck campers are regarded even by their strongest advocates as too cramped for long-term use. It just gets to you. Thus the craving for the “big, open space”. Your article seems to confirm this. I do like the seasonal flexibility the rig now has, as you point out, since the truck and its camper will only run solo part of the year now. Cabin fever problem solved – and that’s the real value of the article. I think it works just right for Bryce, and I appreciate it as such.

        To hold the whole thing up as a universal ideal for vanners only works when you extoll its basic principle of adaptability, and try to avoid any mention of finances or functional value for cost. Looked at harshly, it is a patch on a failed approach, in order to make it more livable for the owner. Because the patch works well doesn’t mean that the whole now represents one of the best of all possible solutions. Great for those who like things like jumping into the frozen lake after the hot sauna, and back again all day every day, but there is no neutral, middle ground to inhabit here, so one will not work without the other to compensate for its individual shortcomings.

        1) Yes, I could scare anyone away from buying a twenty-year-old wood-based travel trailer. Unlike a cargo trailer, they are all already carrying close to their GVWR limit from all the furnishings and service equipment. And this equipment is what causes the dead appliance headaches over time. Avoid it in a cargo trailer, and stay in a dry climate, and it will last forever. Then again, don’t underestimate all the junk you’ll be loading into a cargo trailer, or you’ll be sharing the same highway issues and risks without knowing it.
        2) I think if you weigh up all three components, you’ll find that weight is comparable to a TT and truck, and that the truck camper influences wear and tear on the truck more than a TT’s tongue weight does.
        3) One of the problems I was having to find a way around was poor ground clearance on 14′-18′ cargo trailers. Many now use torsion springs, which allows a lower floor for loading lawnmowers, etc. I was having to scramble to find one east of the Mississip’ with leaf springs and a higher frame, like Bryce’s. Many more recent TTs offer rather spectacular ground clearance in comparison, even obnoxiously long ones with yards of overhang. Tiny cargo trailers like yours can get away with a lot because although ground clearance is very mediocre, they don’t have much overhang at all, and there’s nothing hanging underneath to tear out when they do drag, as you note. My relic TT is awful here. Many half its age are built way up high, making me jealous.
        4) Nothing more: True, but in degrees. Here’s the thing. My Plan A trailer was to use a Luggable Loo or equivalent, and no plumbing system per se. No problem with that. I’ve found I can do without the “comforts” too, but if I’d invested, say, $60,000-$80,000 for a complete rig to camp in, I won’t be able to help hoping for some of those repulsive comforts back – especially if I get the green-apple quickstep in the middle of the night, don’t feel well, or want to be able to cook the dinner I want during bad weather. That’s one little form of flexibility/freedom too, being provisioned to do what you want, when you want, and we’re each a little different there.

        By the way, I’m sure the women see the “Man-Cave” sign as exclusionary, and/or hinting that the trailer is a place of refuge from women in some way or other. That would be most regrettable, as I’m sure they have all been invited in repeatedly to enjoy the wow-factor electronic and furniture comforts of this man-cave on wheels. But don’t touch the sign.
        DougB recently posted…The Victory HighwayMy Profile

        • Bob Bob says:

          I think we have a difference of opinion about the concept of “cramped.” I actually prefer small spaces over large spaces. Bryce had a larger camper and downsized it to a smaller. I lived in a 6×7 camper which was much smaller than what he is in now. Even now I’m in a 6×10 trailer that is smaller than Bryces camper. If anything, I’d like to back to something smaller, I wouldn’t give any thought to something bigger.

          So all our needs are different but one of the basic assumptions I make is that most people come here with the idea of very small spaces.
          after all, it’s a blog about vandwelling and vans have less space than Bryce has.
          Bob

  12. Avatar Naomi says:

    Oh, I love this!
    Love the open space and the recliner.

    I’m wondering if Bryce does anything special to protect the large tv. Seems like the vibrations of travel would not be good for it.

    ~Naomi

    • Bob Bob says:

      Naomi, remember, he doesn’t move it much. I only have a 20 inch flat screen but it works perfectly after two years of quite a few moves. I imagine he lays it down on something to protect it when he travels. Because mine is smaller it’s mounted to a wall on a swing-away mount.
      Bob

  13. Avatar OCEANSIDE7 says:

    Really really nice. But my problem in have all that to play with would keep me inside 24-7. It would be hard to get any work done, your all living the dream I say. For me 15 years seems like a lifetime before I can retire. Your all killing me though with all your toys, travel, and lazy days.

    Must be nice.

  14. Avatar Oregon Sue says:

    This is awesome! I just love it! Gives me a lot to dream about now… 🙂

  15. Avatar Lynnzie says:

    Hey Bryce,
    Cool man cave.
    Wondering where did you store your batteries for your solar?
    And what brand of battery and how many did you get for your 500 watt system?

    Stay as funny and happy as you are.
    Lynnzie

    • Bob Bob says:

      Lynnzie, in case Bryce doesn’t answer the batteries are in the plastic tote against the front wall below the controller. Sorry, I don’t know what brand they are.
      Bob

  16. Avatar LaMarr Harding says:

    I’ve done a lot of dreaming, been retired a year, bought a Ram c/v minivan and modified it this spring. Last month I went on a ocean cruise for two weeks from Florida to California through the Panama Canal. Seeing some tiny house cargo van conversions, and noting how small my interior state room was on the ship, Wanting an Elio three wheeler when they start making them next year, and having a motor bike that breaks down hundreds of miles from home which requires a ramped trailer to get to the repair shop. Seeing tarp between two vehicles for sun and rain protection makes me think this is a great idea.

  17. Towing is for some folks, but not for me. I became more convinced of that as I followed two trailer towing friends three miles down a mildly washboard road at 7MPH. Then there were the times we passed up very nice camping spots because there wasn’t enough length and/or room to turn around. Then there was watching them make laps of a Walmart parking lot (on a crowded Saturday) looking for available double parking spots. The more space you take with you, the greater the limitations. For those who have been living this life for a while and who know where they’re going stay (and it’s going to be a good length of time), then it’s less of a deal. Two or three moves a year—no problem. But even when you leave a trailer somewhere a while, you have to go back for it. Someplace to sit out bad weather? I say screw that, go to where the weather doesn’t suck—which is easier and cheaper if you’re not dragging a big box behind you. But it obviously works for some people.
    Al Christensen recently posted…Back from the no-cell zoneMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Al, I agree with you. If I had to drag mine around all the time I’d dump it in a heartbeat. But, as you know, I sit most of the winter. And when I travel, I can leave it behind with friends for a short time.

      In 6 years we’ll see if you aren’t sitting more!

      And you’ve only spent the one winter out here and it was very abnormal. Normally the wind is terrible and we have many cold days in the 20’sand teens even. Yuma is a little warmer but not much and the wind blows just as bad. The only way to find real warmth is to go deep into Mexico or south Florida. That’s not for me!

      But I agree totally with your basic point that towing sucks! But this year I will tow mine less than 750 miles and I can handle that.
      Bob

    • Avatar John Dough says:

      I did a two week 6 thousand mile motorcycle camping trip 2 years ago, mostly through mountains; Smokies, Ozarks, Rockies, Yellowstone, Big Horn.

      It’s a good perspective as to what you need and don’t need.

      Although, I went to public campgrounds, so it’s not the same as long term boondocking.

      But if you think in terms that ultralight backpackers do, with similar equipment, then moving up to a van becomes a huge luxury.

  18. Avatar Douglas says:

    What is that antenna for?
    Douglas recently posted…Ammunition and electronicsMy Profile

  19. Avatar JimS says:

    Been reading your blog for awhile, and as a future fulltimer, it’s given me much food for thought. I plan to take a motorcycle, which I’ve narrowed down to a 5’er toy hauler, while still affording my space. But I still cringe at hauling such a large trailer all the time.

    This post, though has certainly stretched my idea of space and hauling. Thanks to you and Bryce for sharing.

  20. Avatar Johnny says:

    I loved the cargo trailer man cave. My friends father has a big man cave as an extension on their house. He has it filled with all the animals that he has hunted. It is quite a collection and really fun to look at. Reading about your man cave reminded me of that. This was fun to read. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Avatar Jack White says:

    That is an awesome man cave if you ask me. I would probably paint the walls something else but other than that, I would be in there all day everyday. The best part is, you get to grill right outside. This my ideal Motorhome for going camping.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jack, I agree! I remember the first time I walked in my very first thought was “Why is it so dark in here?” I’d lighten those walls somehow if it were mine!
      Bob

  22. Are there any features you wish your trailer had? What is your favorite thing about it now that you’ve had it this long? My husband and I are saving up for a trailer for these kinds of trips, and I’ve never used one, so I’m not super certain what to look for.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Veronica, it’s nearly impossible for me to answer that because we are all so different. I chose to live a primitive life, whether it will work for you I can’t even begin to guess.

      My trailer has nothing but a built in bed and lots of storage. I have added a full solar system which meets all my needs including a microwave and 12 volt compressor fridge. I use a Coleman stove for cooking and for heat.

      For most people, what’s important is what my trailer doesn’t have–any kind of running water. I must admit that sometimes I miss running hot water, but not enough to do anything at all to get it. Remember, that until the last few hundred years nobody anywhere had indoor plumbing and there were very easy ways around that. There still are.

      The important question is are you wiling to do without it, and only you can answer that. Do you like camping? Do you like primitive camping? If you haven’t done it, give it a try. That may help you see what you need and don’t need to live a good life. That’ different for everybody.

      The goal isn’t to do without or sacrifice, it’s to live your best life and for me that means I don;t want the hassle, work and weight of a plumbing system with its tanks, plumbing and dumping. But for you it may be essential. Neither one is right or wrong, just different.
      Bob

  23. Avatar kay rowe says:

    Bob – I am thinking about buying a cargo trailer and living out of it in Arizona and moving it during hot and cold months. Trouble is, I can’t afford a truck to pull it right now, but do have a 2007 Prius which I will drive to the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous this June, 2016. If I rig out a cargo trailer do you think I could pay someone to move it maybe a couple times a year to better climate locations and maybe store it also when needed. I am a senior woman and want to live like this before I conk out for good. I just can’t afford a truck right now. I don’t mind living primitively without running water and a bathroom. I am looking for a very simple life. With a computer and solar panels, of course ?

    Reply

    • Bob Bob says:

      Kay, I think it is very likely you could. I’m quite sure that if you went to Quartzsite and hung out with our group that most of the time one of us would help you. In the rare event you couldn’t find anyone, I bet you could put an ad on the local bulletin boards and someone would help.

      Another option would be to rent a U Haul van for the day and tow it yourself. So all in all, yes, I think that’s a very good idea!
      Bob

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