Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Teardrop Photo

While this "okie-techno" teardrop trailer looks real, it's actually a concept drawing by Solifague Design. The concepts by this designer run the gamut from teardrops to motorcycles and could work as inspiration for you builders out there. The luggage rack is wicked cool...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Away for awhile...

I'm sorry I missed a few days of posting. I was doing some traveling and during that time our area had a terrible forest fire that burned over 20 homes. Things are okay now, but they were sketchy for a while. The worst thing? My husband and I were out of town and couldn't do anything about it.

Photo by RGJ

I'm going to refer to a post I wrote in 2012 about another nearby fire that we did witness and used our teardrop trailer to help with evacuation: The Teardrop Trailer in an Emergency.

We can evacuate in less than an hour with the teardrop since it already has clothes, food, water and other necessities already packed inside. However, what if you can't get to your trailer? We have some wonderful neighbors that can help grab our animals and important papers, and they might be able to save Sunflower as well.

If you have people who you can depend on, they might be able to save your camper from fires, floods, hurricanes, etc. They will need to know where the keys are and how to unlock any hitch locks. They will also need to have a vehicle with a ball hitch in order to get your teardrop to a safe location.

If they are unable to save it and are required to evacuate, you might have to consider your teardrop a complete loss. Before anything like this happens, be sure you have insurance on your trailer.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Quick Teardrop Upgrades for $20

Recently I was inspired by the extreme makeover of my Long Long Honeymoon friends' Airstream. Sean and Kristy did an amazing job updating the interior of their camper and featured the entire process in an excellent video.

I didn't want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on upgrades for my teardrop trailer (I would be hard pressed to even try), but I did want to give the Sunflower a little facelift. So I proceeded to replace out the trailer's original drawer and cabinet pulls and added a new, fancy throw pillow—all for less than $20.

The six sun drawer pulls were purchased for $1.28 each from Home Depot (they are a lot less "brassy" than they look on the website), and the sunflower pillow was on sale at TJ Maxx for $9.99. Not too bad for a few hours of shopping and remodeling.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Teardrop Photo

We found this handmade Steampunk style trailer in a parking lot in on the West side of Glacier National Park. We didn't get to speak to the owners, but their funky trailer was getting more attention than the area's bears.

Monday, October 3, 2016

KOA Memberships: Are they worth it?

Answer: It depends.

This summer we stayed in several KOA Kampgrounds and had a wide range of experiences and amenities. Whether or not you decide to get and keep a KOA membership will depend on the places you end up staying.

KOA Kampgrounds are privately held campgrounds in the U.S. and Canada. There are over 500 of them scattered around North America and they typically cater to larger RVs with dump stations, water, power and cable hookups. They also offer showers, laundry facilities, breakfast and coffee, and other amenities like lounges and playgrounds for children. KOA Kampgrounds also have some beautiful deluxe "kabins." These little wood cabins cater to people who don't have a camper and don't want to sleep in a tent.

We decided to try out a KOA membership for the year and see how they ranked. We purchased a $30 Value Kard to save 10 percent every time we camped at a KOA. You can also earn redeemable points for each stay. Depending on the location, it would still cost us about $40-$75 per night, so the 10 percent didn't really do anything for us. I don't think we will re-purchase the card, but I think we will still stay at a KOA while on the road. This is why:

The five best things KOAs have going are:

1. They are conveniently located

Those little red and yellow signs on the side of the road mean that a KOA is within just a few hundred yards of a highway exit. This is great when you are tired and don't want to drive to a state or National Park for a camp site. Also, many KOA Kampgrounds are within just a few miles of many National Parks and scenic areas. Our St. Mary KOA, while not the best place to camp, was five minutes from the park entrance.

2. They have a great KOA directory

Both the online and print KOA directory is very helpful when looking for a place to stay. I planned my "western state" trip around the availability of KOA Kampgrounds. The paper book came in real handy when cell service was unavailable.

3. Members get priority

From both the KOA App and via phone, you can make a campsite reservation at any location. If you are a member, you get priority if the campground is filling up. This is useful in more popular areas.

4. Showers and laundry

At each KOA we stayed at, the showers and laundry facilities were clean and convenient. The Great Falls KOA in Montana was hands-down one of the most beautiful campgrounds I've ever been in and had amazing showers in an atrium full of plants.

5. Other amenities

It was a blessing to swim in the Green River, Utah KOA swimming pool when the temperatures hovered around 100 degrees. It was also great to have fast WiFi in other parks. These amenities (if they are consistent and useful) will keep me coming back to a KOA.

However, teardroppers might not get as much bang for their buck at a KOA. We do have a choice to stay in a tent spot with no hookups or in a convenient pull-through spot with power and water. However, the price difference is negligible. I stayed in tent sites that were around $35 and a pull-through spot that was $45 per night.

When you stay at a KOA, you are paying for the amenities. So when searching around for a place to stay, check on those and weigh whether or not the extra cost is worth it to you.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Teardrop Photo

During our Glacier National Park trip, I saw a world record number of teardrop trailers on the road and in the campgrounds. This wooden beauty was camped at the lush Avalanche Campground on the west side of the park.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cool Tears July/August 2016

The latest issue of Cool Tears & Tiny Campers is now available. This issue comes with some great news. The regularly bi-monthly magazine will now be published monthly. If you are interested in receiving the magazine, all you need to do is add your name and email to their list.

This issue has a couple of great spreads of teardrop trailers in the wilderness, a feature on the newest PeeWee camper, and an interview with teardrop builder James Caverly.