The Toy Box v2.0

I’ve had a sudden flurry of activity inside the trailer. It all started when my friend Quinton invited me to ride along on a day trip to Lake Havasu for some errands he was running. That is where one of the two closest Home Depots to Quartzsite is, so I went along and bought the second set of shelves I wanted for the trailer.

At least, I thought I did. I actually got an even taller set with five shelves instead of the one I already have with four. But this isn’t a problem. It was a lot of work, but I emptied the trailer, moved the shorter shelves from the front to the side wall, and put the new taller shelves along the front wall. Then I screwed both shelves into the walls using EMT conduit brackets like I did before. I shook them, gave them a good “That’s not going anywhere,” and loaded them back up — with all the clutter that was on the floor as well as everything I’d removed from the front shelves before moving them.

You may also notice the interior lights I installed are turned on. I’ve wired up one of my old AGM house batteries to a cheap charge controller, and in turn to a 6-circuit fuse box to power all accessories inside. So far I’ve only wired up the lights, using and extending the wiring I used to plug into my Jackery. This is all roughed in for now. I’ll make it look pretty later.

Once I figure out where I want them, I plan to install outlets in strategic places around the trailer. I’ll be able to plug in my laptop and other accessories if I’m working in there. I have a cheap power inverter that is not pure sine wave, but I can install it in the trailer to charge batteries and such. But for now, I’m taking a break from trailer work, and not wiring these in until I get my external solar panel. There’s no point in using more power until I have a way to recharge the battery in here. All the wiring is there, ready to plug in a solar panel at any time.

An important test came next, making sure the bike still fit inside. The side shelves take up some space, and the reason I got the trailer in the first place was to carry my motorcycle inside. It still fits with no clearance issues at all. Even though it’s leaned over on the kickstand in this picture, there’s still plenty of room even when it stands upright, as it does when tied down for transport.

No sooner than I got my trailer mobile again did I end up putting it to use. My friend Arin bought some solar panels today, from the same guy I got my first one from that I couldn’t use. The panels work fine, but not with my 12-volt system. Arin is still building her solar system, so she can choose a charge controller that will handle the higher voltage these panels put out. They’ll work just fine for her.

The panels barely fit inside her converted short bus for transport, and she had nowhere to store them for a day or two until she could get them installed on her roof. I offered to keep them in my trailer until then. She understandably didn’t feel good about having her investment far away in another camp, so I offered to move to where she was. Problem solved!

I moved just after sunset, scrambling to get loaded up, moved, unload the bike, and store the solar panels before we completely lost light. We succeeded, thanks in part to my trailer’s interior lights. I repositioned myself today since I hadn’t wanted to do any fancy maneuvering in an unfamiliar site in the dark. Arin chose this site because of the artsy butterfly stonework in front. I can’t argue with that reasoning. I sure don’t have the patience to create art like that, but I can appreciate it.

This will work at least for a few days until I have an appointment in the Phoenix area on Saturday. I’m looking at a motorcycle…

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