The Lady Loam (Re)Creation Story

Part 1: Big Dreams require Bigger Decisions

I was always a fort-builder, tree-explorer, and big dreamer. Growing up, I dreamt of a time when I could design and decorate my own home, and equally imagined intentionally merging my life with nature. I was enchanted by the idea of seeing as much of this world as I could, and loved how traveling like a turtle, with my house on my back, is the perfect compromise of having a home while adventuring. Alas, I fell down the rabbit hole of alternative living; the realm of earthships, passive energy designs, permaculture, agroforestry, sustainable homesteading, tiny home living, and vanlife. The most inspiration I derive this interest from is YouTube (as the youtubers Eamon and Bec say, “Youtube University”). My channel recommendations for this passion are as follows:

Alternative Homes: Living Big In A Tiny House, Tiny Home Tours, Isabel Paige, Elsa Rhae & Barron, Wild We Roam, Tiny House Giant Journey, Trout and Coffee, FLORB, Tiny House Expedition Life on the Road: Linnea & Akela, Chrisian Schaffer, Scarlet & Seth, Diving On The Road, Wild We Roam (formerly lived in a van, then a sailboad, then a farm on Maui, now their own land in NY building a shipping container home), Max & Occy (formerly lived in a van, now building a home in the Australian rainforest) Building, Design, and Construction: Laura Kampf, Roaming Wild Rosie, Self Built Stories, Project Kamp, NEVER TOO SMALL

So, after more than 8 years of internalizing alternative living, and 4 years of experience backpacking, camping, and construction through school, I listened to all the many folks who had inspired me; just do it! There will never be a “perfect time”, and there will never be a time when you preemptively know all the skills needed to accomplish the project. So, I started seriously looking for a used van, gutted short bus, retro truck camper, or something of the sort. At this point, I was a full time college student and part-time employee (working 25 hours / week), but I was looking forward to the next chapter after graduation. Scouring Nextdoor for second hand trailers by day and dreaming up the all the interior details by night, I was set in this new dream.

In February of 2022, I made the dream concrete when I reached out to Jesus from South Tucson about his “1963 Pacer” listed for $1250. We drove out to see it, and it was indeed a fixer upper. The trailer smelled like old wood, and Jesus had gutted the inside and began to fill the interior with low quality R-Tech insulation. He had also patched up the corregated aluminum on the exterior with matching vinyl and had it painted to say “A & E Nut Co.”, replaced the door with a cheap insulated one, but made no improvements to the rotting wood floor and ceiling. He had a big lot with a number of motor vehicle projects, all of which were very DIY and very random. He said he bought the trailer from an older lady, and planned to fix it up into a food truck but like a lot of the dusty things around, this one fell through. Isaac and I hypothesized that of anything, we can use the trailer bed and start from scratch. We compared the value of the 60 year old trailer steel bed to our bargained price, and figured just the bed itself was worth the money. I went home and sketched the layout I had envisioned, and begun to get really excited. We thought it strange that the Pacer Trailer design was hard to research online; barely any traces of it’s existance in the manufacturing realm or 60’s travel trailer commercials, (opposed to the king of dreamy vintage trailers…the Airstream) but we decided the deal couldn’t get any better, even with a teardown situation.

We slept on it, and visited again a week later with our friend who can tow a trailer on her truck, and I bargained the price down. We drove to a nearby bank so I could make a withdrawal, and excitedly called my dad to tell him the news. That warm spring day on April 22, 2022, we drove out with the deed in hand and the trailer hitched up. The ride back to our rental house in central Tucson was wild - the trailer creaked and groaned, swayed from side to side, and semi-attached plumbing pipes clanked around. We backed the trailer into the side of our rented house, and that’s when real journey began.

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