Converting my Homesteader Fury tiny cargo trailer into a sleeper turned out to be a real challenge! It was easy to assume the job would go smoothly since the original owner only had it for a year and was using it to haul around products for a clothing business. So, it was very clean inside. I figured removing the walls to add insulation would be an easy feat. I was right… they came out fairly easily. It was at that point that I found evidence of leaks and subpar craftsmanship in the build. I figured I’d better tackle those concerns while I had already dug into the trailer. That’s when the trouble started.
Removing the walls revealed several roof leaks along the edge, rust on structural members that were not painted during assembly, splintered cut of the floor (dull blade?), the beginning of rot on the floor (on a two-year old trailer), and a rats nest of quick-connect wire splices in the wiring (pictured at right). UGH! Of course, it’s worth noting that the previous owners bear no responsibility for this. Odds are VERY good that they had no idea. I, too, would have been blissfully unaware of these problems if I didn’t remove the walls in the first place. It was very frustrating. You would be correct to assume that I’ll never buy another Homestead trailer! HAHA! But I also consider the possibility that bargain price trailers from nearly any brand may have been built with various cost-cutting methods. Still, this nonsense seems to be a low, especially from a national brand. I hope to eventually replace this with a WeeRoll all-aluminum trailer. Their roofs CANNOT leak. Plus, they’re already insulated. 🙂
I decided to work on the roof first. As I removed the sealant, I discovered that the trim ring that joins the roof to the walls had terribly executed kerf cuts in the nose. Cleaning the sealant away from those areas (pictured) was a huge challenge. Once the roof was clean, I could see that my “one-piece” roof, while indeed one piece, was attached with screws that were driven straight through. A few of those screws missed the frame. So, there were a few holes that Homesteader just left in place without patching. Another low for Homesteader. Working on this mess was very discouraging! By way of comparison, WeeRoll’s roofs are wrapped over the edge and fastened through the sides. Again, they cannot leak!
Before resealing the roof, I thought it would be wise to remove the trim ring to fix the kerfs. That would allow the top of the trim ring to lay flat against the roof instead of in its current “sawtooth” pattern (pictured). Removing the trim ring was a disaster! There were 80+ screws holding it in place. At least a dozen of them stripped when I attempted to remove them. I had to grind them out. The trim ring was practically destroyed in the process. I felt starting from scratch was my best option. I would have loved to replace the trim ring with an identical piece. I couldn’t find one anywhere. I found a suitable replacement and put it on order.
Check out the quality roof construction with the trim ring removed in this picture! </sarcasm> I’ve shared more photos in an album below. Again, very discouraging! I continued by sealing the edges of the roof with Eternabond Tape while I waited for the new trim ring to arrive. I will share that progress in a separate post. Working on this nightmare of a trailer has given me so much to share that I think the story will be easier to digest if I break it into several entries: Problems (this entry), Roof, Electrical, Interior, and Exterior. If you like videos, I have a complete playlist on my YouTube channel.
I feel compelled to point out a discrepancy between the way I’m presenting this material and the way the project actually happened. I’ve broken these write-ups into nice, compartmentalized pieces. But the truth is there was a lot of overlap between them all. For example, some of the photos in the electrical write-up show finished walls, but the interior section shows photos without the 12V distribution panel. The project evolved as things got done… or redone. The truth is this effort took about two years: not because it was extraordinarily difficult or expensive, but because it was frustrating, outdoors (heat, cold, rain, etc), and happening during other large projects such as pouring a large driveway, regrading my yard by hand, placing a shed, and business shutdowns.
The trailer conversion is 99% done. But it’ll take a while for me to compile everything into four more entries. I’ll get it done and wrap it up with a cross-country road trip! 🙂
Get the Popcorn,