Ideas for Travel Trailer Living

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Get your travel trailer into shape for a better travel experience.
Get your travel trailer into shape for a better travel experience. (Image: coach, trailer image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Learn how travel trailers towed behind cars are not just vacation homes, but offer low-cost, year-around housing. Modern mobile homes vary from the classic Airstream with a total of 98 square feet of available space, to larger luxury models. Ideas for travel trailer living include remodeling them into compact homes with room for office spaces, craft supplies and even a traveling store.

Décor Ideas

Factory set ups leave a lot to be desired in terms of décor. Consider remodeling your trailer and optimizing the placement of fixtures to customize to your needs. Painting the walls in light shades and adding matching cushion covers and curtains brightens the trailer. Plenty of pillows in toning shades offer comfort for seating and sleeping in tight spaces. Replace the carpet with vinyl or cork tiles, adding removable rugs for winter warmth, or anything which cleans up fast and feels comfortable to bare feet. To give the illusion of an extra window, mount a framed mirror opposite an existing window. Mirrored portions of walls reflect light and make the living space seem larger than it is.

Space Saving Ideas

To maximize the amount of living space, try replacing the fixed furniture. Typical factory-installed dinette sets up take up far too much room and cannot be folded away when not in use. Replace it with a folding model or table top and legs which can be neatly stowed away between meals. Replace the fold-out sofa with fitted seating units which follow the shape of the walls, leaving an empty central space. These are made from plywood with storage bins underneath and topped with the more modern memory foam cushions. For extreme space saving, a wooden or metal rod serves as a closet. For compact kitchens, wall mounted perforated steel sheets sold by metal-supply shops and cut to size use every inch of space to hang items like cookware. Add storage shelves of varying width everywhere, especially in the unused spaces above doors and windows. At permanent sites, build a high deck for use as an extra outside room and park your car underneath it. Add an awning for roadside and overnight stops.

Power Ideas

Back up your grid electricity hook-up with renewable and free solar power. Solar panels installed on the roof with storage batteries hidden away, but sufficiently vented, offer an alternative source of power for stops at locations such as deserted beaches. Local RV centers are good sources of information on this system; some will offer to install the system for you. You may not be able to power the AC, TV and microwave from these batteries, but still have power for lighting, swamp coolers and radios in remote places. To save power on daytime lighting, install a large central and translucent skylight.

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