26 Sep

Girl Camper: Episode 103 DIY Your RV- Small Projects for the Fall

On this week’s show I’m talking about DIY projects for your RV. Whether you own a newer model RV that you would like to personalize or a vintage trailer that you want to refresh, there are simple and inexpensive ways to make your home away from home cozy and inviting. Here are a few of my favorite projects.

WALLS – You can bring light and a sense of space to your trailer by wallpapering, painting or using vinyl cut outs.

I love this British caravan from Pinterest with the floral wallet and painted cabinetry.

This photo was taken many years ago when NJ Monthly Magazine did an article on me. I’m hanging out in my 1959 Field and Stream which I wallpapered with my leftover bedroom wallpaper.

Another detail of the Pinterest caravan that I love is the added real house furniture. If you go this route you must make sure you’re keeping the weight even on both sides.

Vinyl cut decals are a great way to add interest. I get mine from my Instagram friend Brittany at Wordsandsuch.

Quilter Kaye England’s painted trailer is a favorite of mine. The deep color adds so much warmth.

This is my 1966 Go Tag Along. I used garden burlap on the walls in the bed berth. I applied it with store bought wallpaper glue (very messy) and painted over it when it was dry.

WINDOW TREATMENTS- A simple way to add a personal feel to your trailer is to change the window treatments. If the trailer is newer chances are it came with a cornice covered with an industrial styled fabric of brown swooshes with mini blinds behind it!! We can do better than that!

Jennifer Megliore who owns Artware in Hilton Head, South Carolina and uses her vintage trailer as a pop up shop as well as a camping trailer used reproduction state map tea towels as curtains in her trailer.

Last year in my spring clean I took down the mini blinds and added matchstick blinds to my Riverside Retro, the St. George.

Sister on the Fly Carol Thompson cut down thrift store curtains for her 1963 Cardinal. It’s easiest to cut from the top and put in a new rod pocket. Saves a lot of hemming!

I love that sister on the Fly Debra Facer kept the curtains that came in her reproduction Shasta but embellished them with bright red ball fringe.

MESSAGE BOARDS – Adding a DIY message board is a good afternoon project that doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Chances are you probably have all you need to make one in your house. An old cookie sheet, a painted tray or a few Dollar Store metal serving trays can become great message boards. I hang mine with 3M Command strips.

I couldn’t resist this metal board found on a trip. I applied it to my RV fridge with Command strips by 3M.

This Pinterest photo has some great cookie sheet ideas. Cover with your favorite scrap book paper to match your trailer.

I bought this metal map of the US and all the state magnets on vacation last summer for $180! Big splurge! It’s on Amazon from several different sellers for around $80. Don’t tell my husband.

I made the mini message board by the front door for notes and as a place to keep my fishing licenses and the spice racks by the stove from Dollar Store trays. I put them on with Command strips and in the 8k miles I drove in 10 weeks they didn’t budge!

CABINETS – Changing your trailer cabinets can help get rid of the cookie cutter look of most new RV’s and create a more “home” vibe. I painted the cabinets in almost every vintage trailer I’ve ever owned. New hardware also adds a personal touch.

Older trailers with brown cabinets and original hardware are easily freshened up with paint and new handles.

I haven’t done it yet but I want to paint the base cabinets in my Riverside Retro trailer. I love the cozy birch wood but it’s almost too much of a good thing. I haven’t decided on a color yet though. I did switch out the sink cabinet handles.

BATHROOM UPGRADES – I recently ordered a teak bath mat for my Max wet bath. It will sit away from the drain an inch or two and allow me to drop the towel without getting it all wet. I also think I will love the warmth it adds to an all white bathroom. Another plus in wet bath design is a bunch of spring rods to hang towels, shower curtains and when doubled one in front of the other as a handy shelf for shampoo and conditioner.

This photo from the Airstream forum shows a mat similar to what I ordered for the Max wet bath.

I couldn’t resist sharing this Pinterest photo of an Airstream makeovers new bathroom. Check out the teak  floor, bench and penny tile! Swoon!

Lastly the spring rod curtain rods that hold my towels in Max. Inexpensive and effective!


19 Sep

Girl Camper: Episode 102 Girl Camper Danielle Howard

On this week’s show I interview Danielle Howard – Girl Camper. Danielle grew up tent camping with her family primitive style! Each year they took their tents and equipment by boat to an island where they camped without running water, showers or bathrooms. They were her favorite vacations and even though her husband was not a camper, she knew she wanted to camp with her daughter. When Danielle’s young husband died suddenly from a heart attack she made a decision to give her daughter the life she had imagined before widowhood- road trips, adventures and camping. She bought an older trailer without any towing experience and made up her mind to renovate it and learn to tow.

One brave mama and one lucky girl head out on an adventure!

While her daughter napped she took the baby monitor out to the driveway and started making her dream a reality. With help from her supportive dad she rewired and renovated her fiberglass Trillium.  This summer Danielle and her sister loaded up the car and set out with her daughter on a nearly five thousand mile adventure. From there home in Southern California they made there way to the Texas panhandle for a family reunion and then toured Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and everything in between.

San Antonio stop on their epic road adventure!

Tune in to hear this inspiring story from a woman who would not let the crushing loss of her husband take away her dreams for her family.

Danielle mixed up her campground choices to experience state, national and RV resort parks. Ella really enjoyed the Jellystone Park where they started the day with the Pledge of Allegiance with Yogi.

Danielle captured this beautiful bayou sunset on the Louisiana portion of her trip.

12 Sep

Girl Camper: Episode 101 My Top Ten Reasons to Go RVing

On this weeks show I am talking about my top ten reasons for choosing RVing as my favorite mode of travel. As I pondered my reasons I actually had to cut it down to ten. There seem to be so many advantages to owning an RV but here are my top ten.

  1. You can go where you want. What interests you? Fiber arts? Railroad history? There are museums and fairs and towns that celebrate what you’re interested in. In an RV you can travel there at your leisure, in comfort and make all the stops you want along the way.

    Traveling to Yellowstone allowed us to stop at so many places along the way.

  2. Budget Friendly. RV travel allows you to travel as your personal means and style allows. You can stay in state parks over resort RV’s. You can make your own meals and save on restaurants. You can travel longer and farther on the same amount of money others spend on one nights travel.

    I paid $11 to camp at Badlands National Park in South Dakota! Yes, I said $11!!!

  3. Pet Friendly. RV travel allows you to travel with your fur family. You save the expense of kennels and  you don’t have to worry about how long you are gone or how your pet is being treated when he’s away from you.
  4. Nature is a tonic.  Being able to  spend time in nature has a healing effect on the senses. Sitting around a campfire watching the stars and being disconnected from wifi allows you to decompress in a way that hotel vacations don’t.

    Road side picnic stops are my favorite restaurant when traveling.

  5. Visit family and friends. So often we really want to visit those special people in our lives but when we fly over them all the time we never quite make it. Having an RV allows you to visit your roommate from college or your best man and they don’t even have to make up the guest room.

    I got to stop and visit my buddy Mad Dog Grundy at her home in Montana. She just qualified for the International Weight Lifters competition in Moscow! Not bad for 48!

  6. Food. RV travel allows you to control the menu. If you are on a restricted diet or are watching  your waist line  there’s no problem because you are traveling with your own kitchen. You are able to pull over and have last nights leftovers. You don’t have to wait in long lines and overpay for food you don’t even like.  If you deal with food allergies you can control what you are eating.

    I travel with a Dometic refrigerated cooler that lets me have what I want for lunch, when I want it and best of all, where I want it.

  7. Quality time. Road trips give you time to connect. There’s a simple pleasure in following your path on an old fashioned road map on your lap and discussing the upcoming towns, marked historical sites and possible stops ahead. It gives  you the chance to indulge in togetherness without laptops, books or televisions to compete with.

    Road trips give my husband and I a chance to explore new places without phones, televisions or laptops detracting us.

  8. People Friendly. It would be hard to find a group of people more willing to share their experience, knowledge and tips for RVing than those you meet at a campground and the active online community of RVers.  Whether it’s a restaurant recommendation or a tip for keeping your RV running smoothly, fellow RVers are a great source of information and inspiration.
  9. You are always home.  As  much fun as it is to tour your favorite historic sites and National Parks when the day is over it is great to come home to your home away from home. You can relax in your trailer,  sleep on your own sheets and clean up in your own bathroom. As they say, there’s no place like home. When you travel with an RV, you are always home.

    It’s great to come home to my home away from home when I’m done touring for the day!

  10. Backroads America. Traveling the two lane highways of America allows you to get away from strip malls, chain restaurants and toll booths. It also allows you to see where and how other people live. Stopping in a small mom and pop diner and meeting the owners and hearing their story allows us to look at our fellow citizens in a different light. We become less red state and blue state people and more friends in different parts of the country.


05 Sep

Girl Camper: Episode 100 Ageless Aunt Sue

In celebration of 100 episodes of travel inspiration I could think of no better guest than my own Aunt Sue! My Aunt, Suzanne Saunders to the rest of the world, is an 81 year old continent hopping, mountain climbing, adventure seeking, parachute jumping, wonder woman who has inspired me to go places and do things. She has solo traveled the US multiple times in her Class C RV.

Suzanne’s 80th birthday portrait. Like her it’s casual,  chic and a little sassy!

On the Rio Grande, Big Bend, Texas.

She has been to over 70 countries so far and has no plans to stop. She is not one for big city travel to famous European locations but prefers small travel groups and immersion experiences. Her favorite travel agency for far out vacations is OAT, Overseas Adventure Travel. With this group she has traveled to Mongolia and slept in a Yurt with local sheep herders. She has also traveled to all of the “stans” – Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Her coming travels include a trip to Sri Lanka and southern India.

Catching a 21″ German brown trout on the Green River in Wyoming.

She was first on the podcast on episode 38 which generated more mail than any show to date. Women all over with wanderlust wrote in with questions for my Aunt and I put them to her in this 100th episode show.

Suzanne in Myanmar.

Galapagos—in shell of giant land turtle!

“With golden eagle in Mongolia—it’s on my arm!” 2010.

Aunt Sue and I are planning an epic adventure in 2019. I’m letting her pick the location and I’m going along for the ride. I just hope I can keep up!