Reena Sotropa, who heads up In House Design Group in Calgary, had been scouring Kijiji for a year before she spotted and adopted “Poppy,” a sunshine-yellow trailer from Saskatchewan. Poppy’s previous owner had only done a “lick and a promise” renovation, so Reena and her husband, J, started by dismantling and stripping the trailer back to its fibreglass shell. J, a systems engineer, did all the wiring and plumbing. “It was a labor of love that took two summers to finish,” says Reena. “Anything we could do ourselves we did, so that was a big savings, but I had a millworker make all the cabinets.” She kept the propane cooktop and little yellow fridge, which is more of a glorified cooler. Plus, there’s no bathroom, but on weekend trips, they typically park at campsites with facilities in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.
While friends with big RVs need up to 90 minutes to set up their rigs, Reena says Poppy is ready in 10 minutes, and she’s so light she can be moved by hand. “We can do a water and electrical hookup, but the beauty of this trailer is that we can fit it in the smallest of campsites and be self-sufficient,” says the designer. “We can plug in power for our lights, or we operate off marine batteries.”
In her off-hours, Poppy is compact enough to get parked in Reena and J’s garage and doesn’t require an SUV to tow her. “Our car is the size of a CRV, but even a Mini Cooper could pull a Hunter camper; it’s about 1,300 pounds,” says Reena.
Scroll down to see inside this summer escape on wheels!