Friday, May 9, 2014

Sifting Through Life: Popup Tent Trailer Makeover and Breakfast Burritos

Recipe at the end.

I love trailer life.  I must because I lived in one for a whole year with my family of five in 2010.  To make that dream come true we had to do a lot of soul searching and sacrifices to make sure we were making the right decision for our family and for our kids.

I still stand by our final choice of taking the trip and I have no regrets in doing so.  It was a time in our lives when we had nothing to lose financially.  Life presented a set of problems for us to overcome and we made the best of it.

I guess you could say we were handed a basket of lemons and we made a lemon meringue pie instead of lemonade.  Our ideas of thinking outside the box have carried there share of confusion from our close friends and family.  Living a nomadic life for a year was up there with "totally crazy!"

I will share more of our time on the road and the sacrifices we made to make that happen in a later post. This post is about our new trailer.

Our new adventure.

Sometimes I get these ideas in my head that seem so ridiculous that I wonder if I am actually going crazy.  It is not any surprise that when I mentioned to my older kids that I wanted to buy another trailer they immediately fled the room.  Teenagers and trailers are like mixing oil and water together or at least that is how my two see it.

To this day they won't admit that our time in the trailer was fun.  I secretly know that it was the best adventure we could have experienced with our kiddies.

I immediately explained to them that I was not shopping for a large trailer but a small one.  Something that we could use for weekends.  A small popup tent trailer that we could use to enjoy the outdoors without sleeping on the hard ground.  I wanted a place that we could escape to that would not cost us a small fortune each time we wanted to use it.

I needed a way to escape the doldrums of every day life.  My hope is that the kids will embrace this new trailer and join us for some fun family time.  I have a feeling I may be waiting a while for them to jump on board.  LOL

I can tell you who IS excited beyond belief.  That is Isabella.  Oh my, she is ready to leave yesterday and start living on the road again.  My little gypsy. I love her sweet spirit and willingness to experience life with wide open arms.

So how did I end up with this ugly trailer?  I am not too proud to admit that it was ugly, stinky and well used.  It needed TLC and a lot of it.  The transformation took a few weeks.

 I love it!

In February, a lady in our community, posted a popup trailer on our neighborhood site.  A lot of people had expressed interest in the trailer.  She had it priced really well.  I jumped at the chance to add my name to the long list of hopeful tent trailer owners.  I was a bit disappointed that after a few days there was not any response to me or any of the other neighbors.

Looking to the left when you walk into the trailer.

I accepted the fact that I was not going to get that trailer but it had the wheels in my head spinning.  I couldn't think about anything else.  Summer was quickly approaching and I knew that if I was going to get something finished in a short amount of time I needed to purchase a trailer soon.

Cory had just come home from a trip.  He was tired and overwhelmed.  I had been home with a new baby for five days by myself so I was in the same boat.  In my eagerness to win him over to the idea of purchasing a trailer I mentioned to him that I had bid on a popup trailer and was patiently waiting for the lady to get back to us.  I added, "wouldn't it be nice to have a place to relax in the woods?"

He was pleasantly accepting of the idea and we chatted about what we wanted and how much we were willing to spend on our little "home away from home".

Those dang budgets!  We set out to look at what something new would cost us.  I think we were also curious as to what new gadgets the market was selling this year.  Like with cars, trailers are always being improved with the latest and greatest new "thingy".

I found the tent trailers to be priced within our budget but I didn't want to pay that much for something I felt we could get used and update.  I love the renovation aspect of these DIY projects.

We came home with lots of ideas but no trailer.  The next day Cory took our rent over to our landlord and came rushing through the front door, out of breath, telling me I needed to leave right now.

Hold on just a minute there buster brown...why all of the rushing around?

 He had something to show me.  A trailer.  Okay then, lets go!

It turned out that our landlord's neighbor had a trailer for sale but we had to buy it right then for a $1,000 dollars or he was going to list it on craigslist for the original asking price of $1800.00  That was a huge savings in my mind and very much in our budget with a lot to spare.

To make a long story short, we bought the trailer.

First things first, it needed to be painted.  I came home and that night started searching for popup trailer renovations on Pinterest.  I started a board here.  I know this won't be my last project trailer and so having one area to keep track of my ideas is going to save me in the long run.

I had all of these wild ideas of going with a bright red color and then the reality of living inside of a drop of blood wasn't as inviting as I originally thought.  I stuck with white and I am so glad that I did.

It immediately transformed the inside to something new and fresh.  We used a primer to make sure that all of the brown wood was covered.  It took 2-3 coats on each surface.  I even painted the side bunk boards.

Along with the dingy brown interior the trailer had a musty smell.  I was thankful that the combination of painting the walls, cleaning the insides and washing all of the covers helped this to go away.

After painting the trailer I decided to tear down all of the curtains.  They were the original set and so thread bare in parts that I am surprised they did not fall off of the tracks themselves.  I had plans of also making new covers for each of the cushions.

It is amazing how little time I was able to squeeze out of each day to work on the trailer.  I became a bit discouraged in thinking that maybe I had bit off more than I was able to handle with a crawling baby under foot.

In the end it all worked out but the work did require me to take a weekend to paint the inside and a separate weekend to make all of the slip covers and curtains.   I believe I have slowed down at this stage of my life.

I toyed with the idea of going with a red, white and blue theme. I felt that since the tables were blue I didn't want something that would clash with this color.  I eventually found the color scheme that you see in the pictures.  I did not find the fabric in traditional places though.  I went to several fabric stores and could not find what I wanted.

Looking to the right when you walk into the trailer.
On a recent outing to Target we were going up and down the aisles and I found myself looking at shower curtains.  There before me was exactly what I wanted: greens and blues.  The stripe that you see on the table cushions is what inspired the rest.  I found everything else in the bedding and kitchen section of Target.

I have tried to put prices and short explanations on each photo so that you can have an idea of what I did and how much it cost.  Overall, the trailer was a $1,000 , all of the fabric and hardware estimated to be about $300 and I spent another $300 on things to put into the trailer: a new grill, a percolator, and new flash lights.  We still have to purchase new tires which we are estimating those to be about $200.00 for the pair.

I hope that someone will find this helpful.  I had a hard time find sites that I felt would help me to redo the trailer.  Let me know if you have questions and I will do my best to reply and answer them.


Bee Pillows: $40.00 for two fromTarget.

My kids would eat pancakes and bacon on every camping trip, but sometimes, especially if it is only for one night, I don't want to make a huge breakfast.

I make these instead.  I can pre-make most of the filling of the burrito at home.  This makes the morning assembling process much easier when you have tired and cold kids (or adults).

The only thing I make the morning of are the scrambled eggs.  This is just a personal preference, you could make them before without any issue.  I bring a pan, some butter, and the eggs.  I place my cast iron pan over the grate above the morning fire to preheat the pan.  I add the butter, eggs and cook until firm.

When the fire is ready I place all of the ingredients on the table along with heavy-duty foil squares.  Everyone gets a tortilla and they can start making their own burrito.  Use a Sharpie to tell which burrito belongs to who if you have a large crowd.

It is that easy.  These can also be made at home on the outside grill or inside the oven.

Breakfast Burritos

Makes 1 burrito

2 slices of bacon or 1 sausage patty
1/4 cup cooked hashbrowns
1 scrambled egg
grated cheese, optional
salsa, optional
1 flour tortilla, small

*If using large tortillas then you made need a bit more of the above ingredients to fill the burrito.

1.  Prepare heat source: grill, oven or open fire.

2.  Use heavy duty foil to wrap each burrito in.  Cut size according to tortilla size.

3.  Lay out the filling ingredients on the table.

4.  Have each person make their burrito.  Wrap the burrito's really well.

5.  Lay the burrito's on the heat source.  I would recommend not putting them directly into the fire unless you are willing to watch the closely.  Sitting them on some kind of grate works best.

6.  Let cook on each side for 2-3 minutes.  The cheese should be melted and the insides warm.

7.  Serve immediately.  Store leftovers in cooler.

Written by Sherron Watson


  1. This is so awesome Sherron! I'm so jealous! You're so talented, you guys are going to have so much fun in it. I love the color scheme. You did a great job!

  2. The for posting. You are very creative.

  3. Your camper looks very similar to mine...Ours is a Rockwood, we got it about 1 month ago and are still in the process of fixing it up, actually making it our own. It was in bad shape, especially the canvas, it needs to be totally replaced and that's $1000.00. So I told the hubby to use it a few times before we do that to be certain we like the camping life, lol...We have camped in a tent :( So far we have added the wood vinyl floor, painted the whole thing white on the inside, made the cushions, our is a Red, White and Blue, Nautical theme..The curtains are kicking my butt, it didn't bring any, so I don't have any clips, I'm trying to make up my own.. My tracks are plastic.. Love your ideas

    1. Thank you for sharing with me your project. To be honest, I had so much fun doing this small trailer, that I am now looking for a little bit bigger adventure. LOL Once you redo the first one you will discover how easy it is and how much it "feels like home". When you have your trailer finished, I would love to see a picture of it. We do love camping but the trailer life is so much more comfortable than the tent scenario...LOL Thanks again Ali!


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