Sunday, August 31, 2014


This morning we successfully stashed our little project at the parents-in-laws' place, where she'll rest until we get our house sold and find another place to live. We were not surprised, and you won't be either, to know that a 1999 Chevrolet Tracker is not a suitable tow vehicle. We were able to tow the trailer and all her bits with no problems, but at highway speed or on anything but a flat road we wouldn't have nearly enough power. We have a lot of other stuff on our to-do list before we get to purchasing a tow vehicle, though!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

On the road, sort of

The temporary subfloor has been installed and, as promised, here is a picture of our Casita getting ready for the big move from our driveway to Philip's parents' place in Leander. Hard to believe all these parts will one day make a little house! Luna looks dubious.

Unfortunately, that's probably going to be the last progress for awhile. Our house will go on the market soon, and once it's sold we'll have to find a place to light. It'll likely be a temporary situation and most of what we own will be in storage, including the Casita. Hate to do it, but our lives sort of unravelled right after we bought the Casita so there are other priorities to be addressed before we can play again. At least we'll have plenty of time to plan and dream!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Well, don't we feel silly!

We bought our Casita in pieces, and there's been (and still is) way too much foundation work to be done to worry about interior layouts, etc. The work has gone very slowly due to a rather daunting list of life experiences that have been handed to us since we bought her. We hadn't really spent much time looking at layouts but we took a closer look this evening and what do you know? We thought we had a 1987 16' Liberty but now we're not really sure what we have. The VIN plate is missing, but the title says she is a 1986, model unspecified, 16' trailer. We should have a better idea of the original floor plan once we haul the partitions down from the loft and start figuring out where they would fit. If that doesn't work, we have the VIN from the title so maybe the Casita factory can tell us.

That said, we're fine with whatever she turns out to be, and find the tiny space charming. Our Casita is a giant jigsaw puzzle, and the advantage that offers is that we can arrange things however we want. It may be that once we finish restoring our Casita, we'll decide we want to sell it and buy a larger one. On the other hand, by then we'll have a 100% custom trailer and we may not want to part with it!

We're getting ready to sell our home and we don't know where we're going from there, so work continues on getting the plywood subfloor temporarily installed so we can fill the Casita with all her worldly possessions (partitions, shower stall, bed cushions, galley, and miscellaneous spare parts) and haul her off to the parents' place until we have a place for her. No new pictures yet, but next time I'll have photos of the completed flooring and all the stuff we have yet to install!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Exploring resources

Our friend Thomas the boatbuilder has been sharing lots of resources on power generation, storage design, and other boatbuilding challenges. I think they're going to be really helpful, since our little fiberglass egg probably has more in common with boats than most RVs. In particular, we've started perusing Bruce Bingham's The Sailor's Sketchbook.

Another great resource was shared today by someone on the Facebook Casita group. The Boat Galley has a wealth of information about living and efficiently using space on a boat.

Our Casita is being prepared for a short trip to parents' property so she'll be out of the way while we put our house on the market. We recently ordered a great set of LED tail lights, which we'll need to get wired up for the move. More on that next time!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Replacing the subfloor

We are in the middle of getting our house on the market and figuring out where to go once it sells, so shortages of time and money have made progress on our restoration very slow. However, we did make some progress this weekend toward getting a new subfloor in. This will be a temporary installation, just enough to provide enough support and stability to tow the trailer to a new location while our house is showing. Additional work will continue once Yaga Too reaches its new location.

For now we cleaned up the old wood chips and adhesive as best we could, then made a paper pattern. The floor sections were cut from 3/4" plywood. In the photos below, two of the sections have been cut and dry-fitted.

Foremost section showing the original condition of the floor.

Aftmost section showing new subfloor dry-fitted in place.

Screws go down through the subfloor and shell into the chassis. That means we'll have to attach the aftmost section in order to hold the shell in place before we can clean up and attach the center section, because the process of removing the old screws will detach the Casita shell from its chassis. Once that section is reconnected to the chassis we'll clean up the screws in the next section and attach it.

We're attaching the subfloor on a temporary basis for the move, but once the trailer is parked at the new location we plan to remove the plywood and treat it with CPES sealer. After separating the shell and chassis, making some repairs and improvements to the chassis, and patching any rivet holes on the bottom of the shell, we'll lay down adhesive and permanently attach the subfloor. (Since everything has been removed from the shell of this Casita, we'll patch all the rivet holes and drill new ones as needed to re-attach the partitions, etc.)

We were both starting to wonder what we were thinking when we took on this enormous project, but just seeing subfloor in there makes a huge difference. It feels like a big step forward!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Poor Yaga

The Casita project is dead in the water for at least the next two months because all of our spare time is currently dedicated to 1) SCARE for a CURE and 2) the five pallets of laminate flooring currently waiting to be installed in our house. Much as I'm itching to get the new floor in that egg, the new floor in the house needs to come first.

Doesn't stop me from thinking and planning and dreaming for when we get back to the Casita, though!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I don't have anything photo-worthy to report, but today I did spend several hours getting the worst of the filth off the bare floor of our little house. We're getting ready to put in a new subfloor - and I can't wait, because it'll be awfully nice to be able to walk around in there without hopping from board to board - but since the camper has been sitting stripped and not very well sealed for years there was a thick layer of dirt on the floor. I tossed in a couple of plywood pads to take my weight, then scrubbed down the entire floor with Simple Green and a scrub brush.

The next step is scraping to get out as much as we can of the residue from the original subfloor. Most of it is gone but there are still some shards of OSB and some glue. We also noticed a previously-undiscovered hole in the bottom of the shell that we'll reinforce before going any further. We'll want as smooth and clean a surface as we can manage before we put down the new floor. There are large gaps around the windows since the carpet has been removed, so I taped over the windows and vents on the outside to keep the camper from getting so dirty again.

It looks like the hot water heater is a dead loss - someone left it with water in it, I have no idea how many years ago, and it's completely rusted out. While we're working on the integrity of the shell and chassis, I'm going to look into the feasibility of replacing that old heater with a tankless one.

Overall we're making slow progress, but you can probably expect the Casita to be put on the back burner for awhile soon. We just ordered 1700+ square feet of laminate flooring, and getting that installed in our house is going to be the number one project for awhile!