Would like to invite Forum participants to weigh in on the challenges and issues associated with more permanent destination trailer set-ups. Yes, it is still an "RV" - just often "parked".
As previously noted, we have placed our Cedar Creek Cottage beside an old cabin we are planning to restore. A lot of this has been "learn by doing" since we had not previously been a part of the RV community. So we thought we'd list a few of the topics/issues we've had to address here so that others might weigh in with their experience and advice. Each of these could probably be their own "thread", but just starting a list should evolve into more specific topics.
1. Wind Anchoring. Wow, was this a good idea. Engaged a local mobile home guy to help us. Using hydraulic jacks and mobile home trailer mover, we removed the wheel carriage, placed the Cottage on blocks, used 3-foot screw-type anchors, cross tied to the I-beams of the main frame. We have experienced 75 mph winds to date with little movement of the Cottage other than a small shiver in a very big gust. The wheel carriage removal was easy, especially since electric brakes just involve a wire.
2. Freeze protected water lines. Yep. Can't have that water hose connected to the side of the Cottage when it is 15F outside (as was last week). The first order of business was to fill the tank and disconnect the hose. But that won't work long term. So we decided to connect the Cottage to the water supply for the cabin. THIS is an interesting project, with the "final answer" still to be determined. We trenched over to the Cottage with hot and cold water lines. We are going to connect the frost-protected supply to the drain-down locations. This required us to:
a. By-pass the electric water heater - simple with in-line by-pass valves that were already in place.
b. ADD shut off valves between the fresh water supply line and the Cottage water filter (to keep he new "supply" from blowing back out of the side of the unit at the fresh water inlet.)
c. Build an insulated column from below grade up to the drain-down outlet locations to keep the supply from freezing.
So, this setup means not using the cottage pump, filter or water heater. We are, instead, using the cabin pressure pump (set at 30/50 psi) and an on-demand water heater in the cabin basement. In checking with several plumbing folk we are confident (so far) that the Cottage water pump will not allow reverse flow and that we will not be filling the fresh water holding tank.
If this works as planned we will:
d. drain the fresh water holding tank and winterize.
e. drain the electric water heater (f) or keep on some low setting? (Advice?)
3. Sleeper sofa issues. Okay. Where can we get a REAL sleeper sofa for the new air mattress we bought? This fold-out thing will not stay together! The snap-in clips on the metal "arms" just will not hold each time we open and close the sleeper. Is there an easy repair to this sofa? Or do we have to spend more money?
4. Rodent proofing. Wow. Field mice LOVE our cottage. As we inventory penetrations we find TOO MANY PLACES THEY CAN GET IN! Electrical penetrations IN THE ISLAND! Beneath the sink... Tiny gaps at every slide. HELP! Also, when I tried to further "weatherproof" the slide gasketing by adding some more foam rope, it seems to just make the gaps to the outside bigger... HELP?
Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions.
Attached is a recent fall photo from the front door.
Keywords: Cedar Creek, Cottage, destination, permanent, winterize, rodents, mice