Living and Working From a Trailer

Published on February 12, 2013

Last year, I spent 8 months living and working out of a 5th Wheeler. I did this with my partner, on a public farm, in the city of Vancouver. What were we thinking?!

When the oppurtunity presented itself, we knew we had to take it. After moving every year for the past 5 years, ending up in a basement suite we couldn't afford, and growing ever more sick of city life the choice was clear. At least in retrospect.

A Unique Oppurtunity

Soon after taking a job at the UBC Farm, my partner came across another oppurtinty there: being a caretaker. After some deliberation, we jumped on it, moving onto the farm and into the trailer in February of 2012.

The farm has two caretaker couples, each in their own trailer. We purchased our trailer from the caretakers we were replacing. Caretaking, for those curious, means looking after buildings, irrigation, chickens, gates and locks.

But, this ain't no trailer park, nor the side of the road. The farm provides city hookups for water, sewer, electricty and we even had access to Univercity WiFi. Even better, we had our own private growing space. And a pretty substantial front-yard.

Our front-yard at the UBC Farm

Trailer Life

Again, take into account, this is Trailer Life on some of the most beautiful land in Vancouver. But, basically, this is how it breaks down:

  • You feel like a giant for the first few days.
  • Leaks are pretty much your biggest concern.
  • Do your dishes! (otherwise there's no room to cook).
  • Don't forget to empty the poop-tank!
  • Only one person can be doing a standing activity.
  • His and Her sinks?! Yeah right, morning routines are done in succession.
  • Did I mention do you dishes? Oh, and tidy anything else, otherwise you have no surfaces.
Tiny Apartment

Everything about living in a trailer (with city hookups) is just the same as living in an apartment. A tiny, tiny apartment.

Working in the Trailer

Honestly, there isn't anything interesting to say about this. The desk was a bit small. Sometimes I felt cornered in. But the view was absolutely fantastic. I work well with a good view.

Trailer Workspace

Looking back

We are lucky to have had such a unique living oppurtunity. Living in nature (even if the farm was a popular public place) within such close proximity to the city, was the perfect situation for us. And, the forced simplicity (re: downsizing) was liberating. I've always wanted my posssesions to be focused, and when two people share a closest (that doubles as storage and knive holder), you have no choice.

Our garden at UBC Farm

Even now, sitting in Mexico evaluating our next steps, I've realised how much that space to grow food meant to both of us. Though, we can't afford our farm yet, we know that we want some land of some size. And that's going to dictate or next location.

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