This weekend we purchased what seems to be the solution to not one, but three different issues with our Grand Adventure plans.
Firstly, and I’ve mentioned this before, but the trailer has no shower. This leaves us with two options, either a sponge bath, or head for a campground or some other facility with public showers. Can’t say I’m terribly excited about either idea. We’ve purchased a usb-charged hand-held shower unit (see last post) that seems ideal, but still, where to use it? With no water-tight area inside the trailer, choices were in short supply. Outside, or stay dirty.
We had been looking at some of the privacy shelters on outdoor living websites, but the prices seemed kind of steep for something that only has one use. Two I suppose, if you’d like to place a compostable toilet in it. But since we already have a toilet in the trailer, it seemed redundant. Also, they’re built rather small. I have a bit of an issue with entering small, dark enclosed spaces. Well, it’s a bit more than an issue really. I don’t do it. Ever. But I digress.
The second issue is space is limited. In order to sleep (or cook, or anything else) in the trailer, Buddy (the motorcycle) must be placed outside. This not only exposes him to the elements, but to the prying eyes of anyone who happens by. Not ideal in my opinion. We have a ‘toy lock’ that secures him to the trailer and would make it difficult to remove him without our knowing, but the idea that he’s out in the open like a dangling carrot leaves me uneasy. I’ve heard too many stories of riders on the road waking up to find their bikes have gone AWOL.
Lastly, since the trailer is tight quarters, most activities except for sleeping will probably be done outdoors. In the glaring sun. Or rain. Or wind. And always, with the bugs. Not a huge fan of bugs. Of any kind.
Not major problems, I grant you. And definitely not enough to keep us from going. But just annoying little problems that you could really do without. Things that, once eliminated, would make life on the road just that much more enjoyable.
So we think we’ve found the solution. This weekend at Cabela’s in Moncton, we purchased an Eureka Camp Trails Hex Screen House XL. For just shy of $259 + tax, we added a shower, a garage, and added 133 square feet to our living space.
Certainly, the price made me pause. There are many options for screen tents out there, and almost all of them cheaper. But once we got it home and set up, I have to admit, the quality really impressed me. All the seams are double-stitched, the zippers are strong and run smoothly, and the poles are powder-coated steel. Key tension points have heavy-duty elastic tabs built-in to allow for flex in strong winds. There’s nothing about this shelter that suggests ‘cheap’. And looking at the reviews online, Eureka is definitely a leader in the outdoor gear market, and designs their products to withstand the Canadian climate.
The tent is hexagonal, almost 15’ across, with 40D No-see-um netting, so even the smallest creepy crawlies can’t get through. The solid roof provides protection from sun and rain, so cooking and eating comfortably won’t be a problem. It sets up in minutes, and while it’s easier with two people, it can definitely be accomplished by one. It’s firmly attached to the ground with stakes, but if wind is an issue, it also has guyout points and lines to further secure it. Broken down and packed, it fits into it’s own carrying bag that’s about 1ft x 1ft x 3ft, and weighs only 27 lbs.
And as a further bonus, there are two full-size doors with double zippers, allowing the screens to be rolled up and out of the way. We now have a drive-thru garage. The floor space is ample enough that Buddy fits perfectly along one side, and since there’s no floor, we can still hook up the toy lock. So Buddy is protected from the weather, still secured on his leash, and hidden from view. Win-win-win!
But the best part is that the tent comes with 6 full-size curtains that attach to the inside of the shelter. In seconds, you have protection from both wind and rain, as well as privacy. Throw down the outdoor RV mat, and bam! Instant shower stall! No bugs, no wet floors, no peeping toms.
So we still have a hundred logistical problems to solve before hitting the road. But at least a shower isn’t one of them!
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