Custom Coffee Shelf for the Casita!

Custom coffee shelf for the Casita

No more knocked over coffee cups!

After knocking a cup of coffee over in bed the last time we were out in the Casita, I decided I really needed a little window mounted coffee shelf.

So I posted on the Casita Forum asking Rob (who is known for his superb Casita mods) for ideas on how to build a small, stable window shelf.

Instead of answering me, he wrote me that he would build one for me, and asked how I envisioned the shelf and what dimensions I wanted it to be.

Casita Mod -- small coffee table

The shelf couldn't possibly be more perfect for me!!!

Since I wasn’t sure how to draw or describe the shelf, I told Rob that it needed to hold a coffee cup and a ballpoint pen, and to use his best judgment on how to build it.

Today I got the shelf in the mail, and it is beyond my wildest expectations.  A truly thoughtful touch is that the surface where the cup sets is white Formica, so I won’t even have to use a coaster on it.

Despite his expert instructions on how to install it, I screwed up the first time.  But Rob very patiently told me how to realign the shelf and angle the screws to make it a perfect fit.

Custom shelf Casita mod

Perfect little bedroom!

I truly don’t have words to describe how much I love and appreciate this little shelf.  I think it is probably the most wonderful gift I’ve ever received….  it was designed for the little Casita that I love by a master craftsman with his own hands… solely because he wanted to do it!!!

I wanted to do something special for Rob and Linda to show my appreciation, but they said no.  They said do something special for someone who is not expecting it…. Pay It Forward.

I have the blinds down for cleaning, but when they are re-installed they will cover the shelf mount when the shelf is removed for storage.

I’m stumbling for words right now and they won’t come.  So I’ll just sign off and post the pictures for you to enjoy!  🙂

This shows the latch on the bottom that holds the pegs into the base.

The pegs slide into the holes in the base, then the base is locked to the shelf

The shelf base is mounted to the window frame

When I reinstall the blinds, they will cover the shelf mount during the day when the shelf is not in use.

The shelf is stored in an overhead cabinet when not in use.

 

 

New Rugs and Table top

New rug and tabletop

 

I didn’t like the cheap brown rugs I had originally bought for the trailer.  So yesterday we went to Target and I found some really pretty ones.  I got one for the little dinette area and another for the front entrance.

They feel good underfoot, and the one in the rear covers the hole in the floor where the original table post went.

I also found the 20″ glass table top I was looking for at Hobby Lobby.  I love this size.  It’s big enough for us to eat at, but small enough to maneuver around.  And when I move the table to the side, it gives us even more walking around room.

When we were at Petersburg campground last week, some days and evenings were too chilly to enjoy.  If we could have kept a fire going the whole time, it would have solved the problem.  But firewood is expensive when you buy it by the bundle.  And although I don’t mind occasionally smelling like woodsmoke, I don’t want to reek of it all the time.

So I ordered the Firedancer propane campfire today.  It has a 5 star review at Amazon.  The propane will be less expensive than buying bundles of firewood, there’s no smoke, and we can turn it off and put it away when we are ready to go inside for the evening.

The Firedancer propane campfire

I’ve wanted one for a couple of years, even back when we had the Aliner.  But I was too cheap to spend the money for one.  Last week made it clear to me that if we are going to camp in cool weather, the campfire has moved from the luxury to the necessity category.

Also, we’ve been doing with a tarp as a a rather unsatisfactory patio mat.  So I ordered a camper patio mat to help keep the mud and leaf litter out of the camper.  I’ve heard good things about this one.  It’s supposed to be lightweight and easy to hose off and clean.

Reversible acrylic patio mat

 

 

 

New Table and Storage Solution

The new glass table with baskets for storage under the rear twin bed

I had planned to build a drop leaf table for the Casita.  But the more I thought of a large expanse of solid wood tabletop and how cramped it would make the area look, I decided against wood.

Then, in searching online for small tables, I found a couple of glass topped ones that I liked.  Best of all,  I loved the idea of how open they would make the space look.

Here the table is slid to the side so we can easily walk past it.

But after pricing them, I wasn’t sure it was such a great idea.  So I headed to the thrift store on a hunting expedition.  I looked in every nook, but didn’t find anything that I liked.  But just as I was leaving, I saw a cute little plant stand and thought I might be able to modify it to make it work.

So I took it home, took it apart and cleaned it.  I gave the metal a couple of coats of spray paint to freshen it up, and discarded the 12″ wood top.

Here the tabletop is placed out of the way on top of a cushion, giving us even more space.

We had thrown out some old wicker furniture a couple of years ago, but I held on to the glass table tops, thinking I might could use them for something else some day.  I’m so glad I did.  The small, oval tabletop is a perfect fit in the Casita!  Best of all, it’s solid as a rock.

I love the small footprint of the table.  When we are not using it, I can slide it to the side to give us walking room.  Or I can completely remove the top and lay it on one of the dinette cushions, giving us even more space to access the storage baskets.  In transit, the glass top will travel on the bed, wedged in with pillows.  And the table base will be wedged between the wall carpet and the mattress to keep it from sliding around.

My beautiful storage baskets!

The wood color of the table base doesn’t match anything else, but I really like it, so I am leaving it as it.

I feel that we have succeeded in making our little 17′ trailer into a camper with the convenience and amenities of a much larger RV.

I also replaced the plastic drawers under the rear bed with pretty baskets.  That was a project!  Those of you who have suffered through descriptions of earlier projects know what’s coming, right?  😀

I found the baskets at Hobby Lobby.  The bases were the perfect size to fit the underbed cubby hole.  However, they had rounded “treasure chest” tops, so they needed some modification to work.

First I used my Dremel to cut through the fat globs of solder that secured the hinges, chain and latch to the basket frame.  After I figured out where not to stand to keep hot metal sparks from flying up my sleeve, the job wasn’t bad.  Just tedious.

Next I ground down all the sharp solder edges until they were smooth and rounded.  Then I rubbed black paint on them to tone down the shiny silver of the solder and to cover the small gouges I put in the surrounding metal so it wouldn’t rust.

Then it was time to make the muslin lining.  EXCEPT there are dozens of very tiny, very sharp little wires protruding into the basket…. and they poked right through the muslin.

So I am going to have to build 1/4″ plywood liners for the baskets.

But that’s a project for another day!

%d bloggers like this: