I talked a big game when it came to customizing a travel trailer during our research about the best option for our family. We actually started with the idea of buying an ice fishing house - specifically an Ice Castle - because we thought we would live in it during the winter. Then we realized a couple of things….1. Why would we ever stay somewhere in the dead of winter when we are mobile and can choose where we live? and 2. Ice Houses are heavy AF. Not a great plan for mobile living.
But I actually proposed buying an ice house shell and building out the entire thing from scratch. After experiencing just two short weeks of trailer renovations I give that version of myself a nice pat on the head and an “Oh, honey….” Because me and remodels don’t mix well. As exhibit A-E, here are the top FIVE things I learned about myself during the reno process.
I have no patience.
Ideas are fun. Executing ideas that take more than 5 minutes - can’t do it. I have the attention span of a toddler, and the patience level to match. Every day that we were working on the Geo, I expected to be about 50% further along than we were - which Travis I am sure found to be a simply delightful trait.
This lack of patience leads to pure sloppiness.
Every time I started a project, I went into it with this uber-determined mindset. I had such aspirations to accomplish everything perfectly, and to work so diligently to bring this about. Then 10 minutes pass and I start slapping things together. Oh no, I got paint on the light switch? Splattering paint on my face as I quickly roll paint on the upper cabinets? It all devolved into a free-for-all.
I have perfectionism issues.
And even though I wanted everything done immediately while simultaneously getting questionably sloppy, I maintained a meticulous level of scrutiny. I was obsessing over everything from trim lines to tile alignment. Again, so so so much fun for Travis.
I actually love living in a tiny space
Under 100 sq ft for three people is definitely small. Renovating that space with everyone in there is a perfect way to get a taste for how it feels to live in it. And I loved every second of us being in there. While I had my doubts about our last 500 sq ft house prior to moving in, I was surprised to find I thought we could have gone smaller. But going 1/5 the size is a leap, and thank goodness our first taste of this was a good one.
Travis dubbed me “The multitasker master”
I started getting a number of fun nicknames from Travis about halfway through the process. This was one of the few I feel comfortable typing out….but it actually is true. Because renovating a tiny space, two days after a blizzard, with a three year old - that’s a tough one. Thanks to an e-reader, Octonauts figures, and the Sing soundtrack on repeat - we made it. But I did pick up a pretzel with my foot at one point while balancing a paintbrush on a paint cup in one hand and pressing play on “Set it All Free” with the other - hence my super nickname.
As I write this post we are one day away
from completing our remodel projects. And all sarcasm aside - it really was a smooth process. We were able to check everything but the painting off our list within 3 weeks - and really only about 5 days with large chunks of time devoted to it. My experience with this process led me to have immense admiration for people who gut Airstreams or build out Sprinter vans - because I really don’t know that I could handle it. I loved having something that already had components we loved - like the flooring and the layout - because after making these aesthetic adjustments I don’t think I would enjoy much more. If a full renovation is your thing, more power to you, but I like this alternative option of finding something that already checks a lot of boxes.