Innovative Use For A Utility Trailer

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray
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 One of the benefits about doing a blog for Mother Earth News is the amazing people you meet along the way.   One of those people I have met through doing this blog is John Dougherty.  John has undertaken a very unique project and it turns out he owns property and plans to develop that property in the subdivision right next to the one in which we live.  John bought himself a covered utility trailer and is fitting it out to be something he can carry an ATV in, live in, and carry supplies in.  John picked the trailer up new at a year end close out so he got a very good price on it.  Perhaps others have done this type of project but I have never seen it done before and admire John for undertaking the project.

His plan is when he starts to build on his property in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches that he can use the trailer to live in until he gets his house dried in. With our climate it is the perfect solution for this area and at a cost that is not only affordable but luxurious.  I just finished a 6 part series about Ft. Garland and John wrote and told me he has been to each of the locations I included in the series.  John has found the ideal place to locate either his summer or full time home and has come up with a well thought out project to make it all work at a very reasonable cost.

He can camp in the unit at campgrounds, or stay in it while developing his land here in Colorado.  It can be used to haul firewood or building supplies or used for winter storage.  He plans to install a single Murphy bed for sleeping.  He picked up some discounted Pergo flooring that will be used in the front which will be his living area.  The rest will be indoor/outdoor carpet for durability and protection, including the ramp which can be lowered to form a deck area.  He has a two burner LP cook stove that will be permanently  installed in the counter top along with a sink and hand pump for water.  He has a 110 volt 30″ high refrigerator to keep his food and beverages cold.  When he is at a campground he will have all the facilities available for personal hygiene and he also has a porta potty for those instances where he may not have facilities available. 

When he wrote and told me about his project I was impressed with his ingenuity and genius.  As it has developed and progressed and is becoming a reality I am amazed at his workmanship and the thought that has gone into the project.  He is a craftsman and his work is of the highest quality as you can see in the photo.  Those cabinets are so well done and elegant that they  would not be anything you would generally find in any top of the line camping units.  John has designed this unit to fit his specific needs but I imagine that is how a lot of businesses got started in the camping industry.  When I look at our Jayco Baja Z fold down camper I can see John has designed and built something far better and clearly as efficient as our camper possesses and we think it is a high quality camping unit.  I am impressed with his design, high quality of workmanship, and the ingenuity and thought that he has put into this project.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished project when he brings it to Colorado and it is going to be great to have a neighbor like John.    Way to go, John;  perhaps your ingenuity and craftsmanship will inspire other Mother Earth News readers to do likewise.  

For more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray and our friends and mountain living go to:
 Photos courtesy of John Dougherty.