Project “Roughin’ It”: Part 1

One thing that I like almost as much as cycling is camping.  My parents took me and my brother along on yearly camping trips from a very young age, always bringing our bikes along to the campground.  We would adventure around the campground and explore new territory, eat outdoors, and listen to campfire stories from my dad such as the now famous “Backus Boys” (which, if I remember correctly, were four mean dudes on two motorcycles with sidecars, one with no arms, one with no legs, one with no hands, and one with no head, who would terrorize any kids out past dark in the campground).  In later years when we abandoned Backus Mill in favour of Port Burwell, the story evolved into the “Burwell Bitches”.  You get the idea.

I’ve loved camping ever since and want my kids to have the same outdoor experiences.  We tented it last year for a weekend and it became clear that if I wanted to get the wife and kids out a handful of times over the year that I would need the convenience of a tent trailer, hence the purchase of my most recent project “Roughin’ It”, a 1996 Rockwood Freedom tent trailer.  It needs some work, some cleaning, and some freshening up, but overall is a tight package that should serve us well.  It features a queen bed at one end, a double at the other, 3-way fridge, propane furnace, bike / canoe rack, and running water.



I’ve already removed the curtains, cushion covers, and mattress covers for a stain removal / deep clean as they are in good enough shape to keep.  All the windows and canvas are in good shape and just need a hard scrubbing.  A few zippers are giving me a hard time but I’m going to wax them up to get them running smooth again.



The first major repair is fixing the rotten section of floor.  Seems it had a water problem and rotted an area just inside the door.  I cut back the floor into the good material and installed plywood to replace the bad section, bracing the joint with studs bolted to the trailer frame.



Next on the to-do list is paint the cabinets and lay down some nice flooring.  I also need to test out the propane system and see if I can’t get the fridge working (might be toast).  Stay tuned for more “Roughin’ It” project coverage…..

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