A New Life for an Old Trailer Sink

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I must apologize in advance because this post zigzags all over the place.  But it’s all related to this tiny enameled sink that I discovered on my husband’s, workbench.

I wondered how long it had been sitting there escaping my attention and where such a small sink could have come from.

sink with damage to enamel
13X17 sink

Turns out it’s an old travel trailer sink that Chris got at a garage sale.  He said he might use it in our Airstream trailer – unless I wanted it for our greenhouse.

Boy did I want it for our greenhouse!  It would be perfect next to the soil basin.  After I potted plants, I could set them in the sink and water them and let them drain.  I could rinse my hands or wash off tools.


Why a Trailer Sink is so Appropriate

It’s funny that Chris started out wanting the sink for our 1966 Airstream but it wound up in our Sunglo greenhouse because the cute curved design of the greenhouse and its aluminum frame kind of remind me of our Airstream.  See what you think.


1966 Airstream Caravel



Sunglo almost completed
Sunglo greenhouse during construction.

Do you see it too or is it just me?  I think they have a similar fun and timeless appeal.

Anyway, back to the sink.

Fitting the Sink

To install the sink, we would need to sacrifice part of one of the four 30″ X 30″  cedar sections that make up the potting bench.

Would that be the point of no return?  Not really.  If we didn’t like the sink, it would be pretty easy and affordable to get a replacement cedar section from Sunglo.

So Chris cut out some of the cedar slats to accommodate the 13″ X 17″ sink and added a center piece for support.  The sink is pretty lightweight as sinks go, so this additional support was all that was needed.

support on bench
The underside of the bench section with added center support and sink cut-out.

He touched up the damage to the sink’s enamel with an epoxy paint.  And then the sink was in.

sink finished and installed

Recycled Water For the Sink

The water for the sink comes from our underground cistern, which collects rainwater runoff from the garage roof.

Our underground cistern is something not found on many urban properties in our area.  It’s original to our 1927 house, which, in 1927, sat on a much larger lot that was situated in farm lands.  The cistern was probably for light agricultural use.

But with the baby boom, urban life expanded and consumed the farm lands.

And so the cistern was abandoned until we bought the house and Chris got it working again, an adventure I hope to write about soon.

Anyway, back to the greenhouse.

When the greenhouse was assembled last fall, Chris piped in a water source from the cistern.  He installed this little hose and nozzle on the north wall of the greenhouse which, since it’s a lean-to greenhouse, is also the south wall of our garage.

greenhouse hose
The little basket the hose sits in is a repurposed bicycle basket that I spray painted with Rust-Oleum Heirloom White.

A Good Triangle

The hose basket sits conveniently opposite the sink so, similar to a good kitchen design, I have a convenient triangle between the soil basin, the sink, and the hose.

sink basin and hose triangle
The hose basket is to the right in this photo, and the sink and soil basin are to the left.

The sink is very handy next to the soil basin.

sink and basin

It’s the perfect place to water plants after they are potted up.

plant in sink

A Low-Tech Drain

So we have a repurposed trailer sink and we are using recycled rainwater in it.  How are we handling the water that drains from the sink?  We are recycling it again.

Water going itno galvanized can

That’s right – the sink drains straight down into a large galvanized watering can.  And that water is used for other plants.

Trying This at Home

Like this idea but don’t have a greenhouse?  This sink setup could easily be done outside – installed in a potting bench near a garden hose.  Just remember to empty the watering can before it overflows.

Posts on this website are for entertainment only and are not tutorials.


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