It was Friday morning and my fridge was bare.
I don’t like getting groceries on Friday (or even Saturday) mornings but I’d put it off and, if I wanted good grub, I had to do it.
After making coffee in my favorite St Augustine Beach travel mug… I hopped in the van and made the short trek to Freeport to restock the fridge.
Back At The Trailer
I was preparing to put everything in the fridge when I noticed the coil thing-a-ma-jigs (in the back of the fridge) were completely covered in thick ice.
These fridges need defrosting from time to time. I knew it needed defrosting a while back but, since it hadn’t magically melted on it’s own, it was time to do something about it.
There’s no better time to defrost the fridge than AFTER I bought a ton of food that needs to go in the fridge. Right?!?
Defrosting The Fridge
I grabbed a big thermal cooler bag from the van and placed everything from the fridge and freezer in to the bag.
The bag was stuffed but it all fit. I even got the zipper to close!
Then, the defrosting process began.
It was as simple as opening the fridge door, facing my electric heater in to the fridge and turning it on.
The melting ice fell into the drip tray in back of the fridge. The drip tray drains outside so there was no messy slop to wipe up and no worry about it flooding out of the fridge and into the trailer.
The process worked pretty slick! My fridge and freezer were defrosted quicker than I expected.
Since this adventure happened in my kitchen I thought it would be fun to give you a closer peek at my little kitchen…
Good Counter Space
Here’s what my kitchen looked like before I moved anything in to the trailer…
There’s a decent amount of counter space in my tiny trailer. I’ve been in bigger trailers where the counter space isn’t as plentiful.
Here’s the counter as I use it today…
The Stove Area
On the left side of the counter, I added an expandable shelf over the 2 burner stove. The shelf also has space for a little fall decor!
I (almost) never use 2 burners at once and the extra shelf space is nice to have.
In the rare event that I’d need to use both burners at once… the shelf easily moves out of the way.
Between the stove and wall…
I bought a little (black) bathroom toothbrush holder from Walmart. It’s technically suppose to hold toothpaste, hair brushes, etc but I use it to hold the few kitchen items I use most often.
The small holder fits perfectly between the stove and wall.
On the range hood…
I had a slew of magnetic hooks that I used in the van so I brought a few in and stuck them on the metal range hood.
The magnets hold a variety of things that I use and swap out as needed (such as the strainer you see hanging on the left side of the range hood, a dish brush and more).
When towing the trailer…
The shelf and other movable countertop items are stored in a cupboard or under the bed when towing the trailer.
Above The Sink
I added a paper towel holder above the sink and put a clock on the wall.
The clock is held securely in place via Picture Hanging Command Strips. The strips are like velcro and allow me to take the clock down to change batteries or time without having to replace the strips.
The grey basket…
That little plastic grey basket on the counter is used as a tiny countertop trash bin (for things like veggie peels, food scraps, coffee grounds, etc).
When the grey basket gets full I simply dump it in a trash bag.
I keep a trash bag in the tub where it’s out of the way and it’s not a problem if it happens to leak. The trash is disposed of every day.
The Big Silver Tower
On the right side of the counter sits my Berkey water filter system.
The info I previously posted about the Berkey has been deleted so I could bring you this IMPORTANT UPDATE as of February 2022…
I loved the Berkey… until I got very sick.
It’s a long story but the bottom line is, I unofficially-but-you-can’t-convince-me-otherwise traced it back to the Berkey.
Just A Few Of The Details
I (fairly violently) threw up for almost 6 hours before suspecting it might be water related (I had a similar incident many years ago).
After each barfing episode, I’d rinse my mouth and take a few swigs of water (I only had Berkey water on hand).
Half and hour or so later… I was throwing up again.
It was gross to think about but, almost 6 hours later, I decided to stop drinking the Berkey water (not even rinsing my mouth).
Once I stopped drinking the water… I stopped throwing up.
Could this be coincidence? There’s always a possibility.
I only drank bottled water while I decided what to do about the Berkey.
A couple days later…
It was Nikki’s day off from work. We had plans for the day so I picked her up at her house and off we went!
During the day, Nikki filled her water bottle with water from my fridge.
Later that evening… she was sick with the same symptoms I experienced a couple days earlier.
I realized I never dumped the Berkey water I had in the fridge. Nikki had been drinking that water all day.
When she stopped drinking the water… she stopped throwing up.
Granted, it took both of us a couple days to fully recover but we both quit throwing up and started feeling better once we stopped drinking the water.
About The Filters and Water Chambers
I purchased the Berkey in August 2021.
I took care of the filters and chambers per the instructions provided by Berkey. I had an entry on my calendar so I didn’t forget to maintain my Berkey.
My Berkey used 2 black Berkey filters but I had to replace them in November 2021 when they accidentally froze (freezing renders them useless).
Having to replace the filters was my own fault but I point this out to show that my black Berkey filters were barely 4 months old when Nikki and I got sick.
Doing More Research
I’ve since found information (via a Google search) that leads me to believe the Berkey was the cause of our sickness.
I tend to go overboard with research and did plenty of research BEFORE purchasing the Berkey. I’m not sure how I missed this important information but it’s possible I was wearing rose-colored glasses.
Many people swear by Berkey but there are plenty who have gotten quite sick in one form or another.
If you purchase a Berkey… or if you don’t purchase a Berkey… I urge you to do it based on your own research.
As for me, there is no longer a Berkey in my house.
The refrigerator in the trailer is quite a bit bigger than the fridge I had in the van AND the trailer fridge also has a freezer!
Not many people get to peek inside my fridge but here you go:
If you noticed the store bought water bottles… I bought these quite a while ago. I like Fiji water but it’s expensive. So, I buy it, drink it and keep the bottles to refill from the Berkey.
The water bottles fit perfectly in the door of the fridge. Replacing them is as easy as buying another bottle of Fiji water.
Under The Sink Storage
There’s a bit of storage under the sink.
I keep spray bottles and other liquid items in a small (black) trash bin just in case they leak.
The jug is currently empty but I keep an extra gallon of water from the Berkey under the sink (to use for cooking, rinsing veggies, etc).
I don’t use the microwave often but it also serves as storage.
Upper Storage Cupboards
The storage area above the sink holds quite a bit. There’s even room for more!
Those little black bins are mini-crates that I used when I lived in the van.
These little crates make it easy to get stuff down and put it away.
I Love Command Hooks
On the door of the upper cupboard I added a couple Command Hooks to hold my lighter (for the stove) and a pair of scissors.
The bottom part of the scissors is held with velcro to keep it from clanking every time I open the door.
The End Of The Kitchen Tour
That’s the extent of my kitchen area tour (for now).
My non-perishable food, dishes, silverware, utensils and pots-n-pans are stored elsewhere in the trailer.
Some items – along with extra food, clothing, etc – are kept in the van. I’m still figured out how I want stuff arranged so who knows where it will end up.
In a few weeks I’ll begin heading south for the winter. This will be my first time heading south with the trailer.
I’m sure there will be interesting stories to tell and fun adventures to share as I head on down the road with my new cozy little home on wheels!