Another update to 2013 832 IKBS Full Timing
So it is now May and we have been full timing since Feb, wife is here and settled along with one of our small dogs. Trailer has been great, with nothing new that has broken or quit working, just a couple of minor annoying issues. The minor problems we had with the stove, water heater and propane regulator we still have not had fixed, mostly due to the repair guy being so busy with rigs with critical problems we really haven’t pushed the issue. The issues are not preventing us from using the trailer. So we will get then fixed once he is less busy.
Winter utilities averaged about $85 a month for electricity and another $45 for propane. We heated with both space heaters and the furnace. We are now using the AC a lot more as summer temperatures are starting to arrive. The trailer can get warm fast once the sun gets on it. However, the evenings are cool enough that we do not run it or the heaters.
The most annoying thing we have found so far is odor from the black tank, we seem to occasionally get it inside the trailer, not sure if it is a problem with the campground sewer system creating pressure in the lines. I am considering adding one of those solar powered fans to the vent pipe. Of course having the bathroom or kitchen stove fan on will pull odors into the trailer when flushing but there are times when those are turned off that we still get odor coming up. We use chems with every flush of the tank and have tried a couple of different types. With two of us in the trailer we usually fill the black tank to the 2/3 light within 5-6 days. We leave the gray tank valve open all the time. The black tank has a built in flushing system that works great. I use a two hose Y connector and keep the potable water and black tank flush hose connected all the time, flushing is just turning on the water, closing the grey and opening the black dump valve. I usually let it run till empty and then close the black and let if fill to 1/3 and then reopen the valve.
The second annoying thing is the main entrance door likes to lock itself when you shut it too hard. There are two locks, the bottom one is a dead bolt lock. The upper one has very little tension in it so if you shut the door too hard it will set. Became such a problem that we had extra keys made and installed a key box on the outside of the trailer. Oh yeah, getting keys made was an issue, the Camping World near us said they were “getting out of that business” and was not ordering anymore blanks. I was finally able to find a professional locksmith that could cut the keys. I tried disassembling the lock but it is riveted shut so you can only get so far. I have some shim stock at home that I may try putting around the lock and see if that helps.
Here is a couple of mods we have done. We didn’t really like how the oven cooks food anyways, so we bought a small countertop convection oven. Works great and bakes everything we need quickly. We also built a set of wooden stairs for the entrance. I felt the constant in and out on the steps would cause wear problems to the connection points. The stairs are light enough that I can put them into the bed of the truck when we leave or just sell them to another full timer. Also they have lights built into them, we live on the far edge of the campground and there are no overhead lights on our door side. So there is not enough light to see the door locks and I don’t like to leave the flood lights on all day. So when I built the stairs I put two of the lights pointing up so they illuminate the side of the trailer.
We also bought one of those screens with the magnets that you step thru and then it seals behind you. There is a ton of bugs here in NC in the summer so this was an effort to try and reduce the amount of them getting into the trailer. It is mounted to a wooden frame on the inside of the trailer that is Velcro’d to the wall, we used those 3M ones that can be removed without damaging the wall. So far it works ok.
We quit using the outside BBQ that came with the trailer and bought a used Coleman from one of the neighbors. The one that came with the trailer seemed to use a lot of propane and didn’t get real hot. It was a major pain (and dangerous) to clean if any grease got in the bottom. We use the Coleman one a lot so we don’t have to cook inside. I may try to figure out how to adapt a hose to use the trailer propane connection.
We of course added hooks inside the shower to hang towels to dry as well as hooks on the bathroom doors and kitchen wall. We add two hooks to the forward side of the dresser to hang stuff and use two “over the door” hooks behind the bedroom door to hang more stuff. Now that summer is here we will probably vacuum bag the coats for the summer. We also added a mattress topper to the bed, the one that comes with the trailer is a bit firm.
We also bought a small table that can slide under the lip of the couch; it is C shaped and has a small book/magazine rack on it. When sitting/lying on the couch there is nowhere to put down a drink. They sell these at Camping World for around $45. Doesn’t match the wood trim but solves the drink holding problem.
The AC has been working pretty good so far, hottest day I think has been 85. The AC of course drips water and it runs neatly into the gutter rails and then off the front or back. The gutter rails are small so if anything like seeds or leaves can block them, sending the AC water running anywhere.
I noticed that real heavy rains cause water to pool up on the top of the curb side slide topper. I saw these small inflatable pillows in a catalog that stop this problem. I opted for a couple of $2.48 inflatable pool toys, seems to work great.
Other than that we really like the trailer, we still get lots of compliments on it. I took the wife to another RV show and she couldn’t find another equivalent size trailer that she liked better. We have come to the conclusion that when we eventually bag the house and working life and live full time that we would like to have a fifth wheel or Class A. Mainly just to add washer/dryer and additional storage capability.
We still have not tried towing it yet, our truck is finally here but I need to get new weight distribution bars. I am still on the fence if I need to add sway control bars. So I would be interested in hearing comments on how well this trailer tracks and what kind of tow rig/hitch you use. Also, once you get it all loaded up with your “stuff” how much it really weighs on the scale.