Starling Travel

June 20, 2012

The Handy Andy Folding Boat: A DIY Boat That Stores Easily

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here is another idea for a folding boat. It’s called the Handy Andy and the plans have been around for ages and you can download them here:

kulpatp on YouTube, made a video of his:

Here he is on his maiden voyage:

If you’d rather purchase a folding boat, the Porta-Bote looks to be a similar plan, but it’s made with lightweight polypropylene (plastic) instead of plywood.

Of course, setting it up could be a little embarrassing:

The price for the Porta-Bote is difficult to find and I needed to register with all my information to get it. Unfortunately, even the least expensive Porta-Bote is FAR outside my price range at $1599.

Porta-Bote Prices 2012

In the end, a little woodworking skills and elbow grease is worth the extra time to make your own boat. Download the plans and get started today!

Boat plans via: RowBoats HandyAndy

June 19, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Filed under: Places To Visit,Tennessee — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Graceland: The Home of Elvis PresleySince Little Rock is so close to Memphis, Mike’s mother wanted to see Graceland, Elvis Presley‘s home and final resting place. We agreed to go with her because it was the only thing she really wanted to do on this trip.

We stayed at the Graceland Campground across the street while they stayed at the Heartbreak Hotel. Both properties were extremely clean and well-kept. It felt like we were staying at The Disneyland Hotel, except instead of going to Disneyland, we went to Graceland.

When the tour bus took us across the street and dropped us off at the famed house, I was surprised at how SMALL the house was compared to my imagination. (Continue Reading…)

June 18, 2012

Kayaking at Sand Hollow Reservoir, Utah

Filed under: Boating,Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

We took the Sea Eagle kayak out on Sand Hollow Reservoir in Southern Utah last weekend and it was a peaceful trip.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

We watched the people jump off the huge cliffs. It was pretty nervous making.

Then, we made our way to the island.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

There, we found a lovely little hollow where we could snorkel and watch the fish. They had NO fear and let us swim right up to them.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

The only problem that we had was with the kayak. The fuss and burden of pumping up the kayak before we went out was bad enough, but once we got out on the water, our SE 370 kept going in circles. We believe the heat (it was 102 degrees), made it so floppy that it just couldn’t track well.

Kayaking at Sand Hollow UT 06-16-12

Stacey and Dan did much better with their fancy boats, but our poor little inflatable just couldn’t take the Southern Utah desert heat. It was a wonderful kayaking adventure, but next time, Mike and I might need something a little more substantial.

June 17, 2012

Welcome To Miami: United Airlines Style

Filed under: Airline Travel,Florida,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Found in Mom’s Basement has a ton of vintage travel posters from United Airlines, but I particularly like this one for Miami.

United Airlines Miami

I love the bold lines and colors that represent a relaxing day in the sun. I hate flying, so the thought of getting on an airplane so I can relax in the sun seems counter-intuitive to me, but I’m sure I’d feel differently if I were suffering through the thick of winter right now.

June 16, 2012

Some Campsites Aren’t Good For A Teardrop Trailer

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:00 am

Mike and I have loved how convenient our teardrop trailer has been, but we’ve actually found a site that makes having one inconvenient.

Some Campsites Aren't Good For A Teardrop Trailer

We were at Quail Creek Reservoir and the campsites have a bit of a hike from the picnic table and shade to the trailer. In fact, we can’t use our little galley at all, so we just set up our camp kitchen under the shade.

Camp Kitchen at Quail Creek

I tried something different with the water in an effort to make a nice water faucet for the sink. It wasn’t perfect, but it worked well enough to wash our hands and rinse dishes.

Faucet for the camp kitchen

You can’t beat the view from my bed, though.

A Teardrop with a view

Despite the inconvenient campsite, we had a lovely weekend at Quail Creek and can’t wait to go back!

June 15, 2012

What Is This?! It Sure As Heck Isn’t A Teardrop American Outbacker!

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was looking at this video when I saw the teardrop at the 2:06 minute mark.

Here is the freeze frame from that video. You can click on it to embiggen:

Teardrop Trailer Gull Wing Doors: NOT a Teardrop American Outbacker

Now, I can’t deny that it doesn’t look very similar to the Teardrop American Outbacker, but there are some distinct differences. Here’s a picture of mine in the same position (pre-restoration) for comparison:


  • The doors are made of thinner plastic (or fiberglass)
  • Body has a different shape
  • Propane tank (could have been added after market)
  • Smaller belly band

I wonder who made these trailers and whether they’re made out of plastic or fiberglass. Are there any on the road today? This photo was obviously taken from eBay (notice the small camera watermark on the bottom right-hand corner). Did someone buy it on eBay? If they did, what do they know about it? Was it a prototype for the Teardrop American Outbacker? Was it a home-brew? I’m so curious!

June 14, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock, AR

Filed under: Arkansas,Bicycling,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

The best thing about the Little Rock North KOA was that they are so close to the Big Dam Bridge. They loaned us bikes and we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery without hauling our own bikes for 3000 miles.

Big Dam Bridge Laura & Mike Moncur

(Continue Reading…)

June 13, 2012

Teardrop Trailers from The Travel Channel

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

During my teardrop trailer obsession, I never ran across this video, even though it has been posted since 2007! It’s a comprehensive introduction to teardrop trailers.

This video is so jam-packed with ideas that I had to highlight them because some of them fly by so quickly that you might not notice them if you aren’t paying attention:

I absolutely love this video, and when they talk about how easy camping in a teardrop is compared with a tent, they are absolutely right. Mike and I were VERY good at putting up the tent and camp kitchen because we had years of practice, but we never got quicker than thirty minutes of hard labor. With the teardrop, Mike and I got our setup time down to five minutes. The bed is already made, we can push the thing into the proper spot and pulling out the camp kitchen and chairs takes hardly any time.

Sure, there’s no bathroom or shower in the trailer, but you cannot believe how many people I talked to on our epic journey who don’t even USE the toilet or shower in their trailers. It’s always easier to use the shower at the campsite than to try to squeeze yourself into a trailer shower.

In the end, our teardrop trailer took us over 3000 miles from Utah to Tennessee and back. It was an easy and economical way to travel the country!

June 12, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Little Rock North KOA, Arkansas

Filed under: Arkansas,Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Little Rock North KOAOn this trip, Mike and I spent the most time in Little Rock. Mike and his father were taking a class there, which was the whole reason for the epic journey in the first place. So, we spent our most time at the Little Rock North KOA than any of the other campgrounds, yet I have the fewest pictures from them.

Ironically, they were the best campground we stayed at during the whole trip. The bathrooms had plenty of stalls and showers, so I never had to wait. They were clean and because we were in a teardrop trailer, they put us close to them so we didn’t have to walk far. (Continue Reading…)

June 11, 2012

Keer Pot: DIY Food Cooler Without Ice

Filed under: Camping,Food — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here is a great tutorial showing you how to make a keer pot, which is a food cooler that uses clay pots and water evaporation to keep food cool.

It seemed to work pretty well for him. With an ambient temperature of 82 degrees, he was able to bring the temperature in the keer pot down to 51 degrees. There are two disadvantages to this type of setup: weight and humidity.

Clay pots, water and sand are very heavy. If you make your keer pot and leave it in your backyard to use during BBQs and other fun events, then it’s not a big deal, but trying to take that monster with you camping is not practical. I realized I had all the parts of a plastic keer pot at home, so I created one.

Plastic Keer Pot

Not only are there logistic problems with plastic pots (the sand crushes the sides in and the water makes the inner pot float), the water doesn’t evaporate quickly enough to create any noticeable cooling effect. Additionally, the laundry detergent bucket weighed so much after I added the sand and water that I could barely lift it. A keer pot is definitely not a portable option.

Since this method of food cooling depends on evaporation, this pot won’t work as well in humid areas. Where I usually camp, Utah and Nevada, this thing will work like a dream, but in any area with higher humidity than a desert, the water in the pot just won’t evaporate. This video was filmed in Florida, however, which tends to be WAY more humid than Utah, so maybe we’ll get even better results in the desert.

I love this idea. It made me want to run to the home improvement store to get the supplies to make one of these for my backyard. I had this image of myself showing it off to my family and amazing them with its ingenuity, and isn’t that the best part of a do-it-yourself project?

Via: Lifehacker – Keep Your Drinks and Food Cool in the Sun with a No-Electricity-Required Zeer Pot Fridge

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