Starling Travel

August 31, 2012

1975 Playboy Land Yacht Concept Pales Compared to Today’s RVs

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 8:54 am

After looking at the Playboy Land Yacht Concept by Syd Mead, I was surprised at how simple it looks compared to the RVs of today.

Playboy Land Yacht Concept from Starling Travel

Here is the description from the 1975 Playboy Magazine:

THE OLD CHUCK BERRY SONG No Money Down told about a fantasy Cadillac with a bed in the back, phone, TV, shortwave radio and other optional extras; but the machine Chuck sang about couldn’t touch what’s pictured here and on the following pages. The land yacht we commissioned Detroit designer Syd Mead to create is a six-wheel wonder vehicle that combines many of today’s mechanical innovations with some space-age technology that you can expect to be incorporated into tomorrow’s assembly-line mobile homes. Not only does it contain almost all the same amenities you would ordinarily leave behind when embarking on an extended trip, or just out for a day’s cruise, it can also drive itself — via electronic sensors — while you and a companion relax in the yacht’s luxurious front lounge.

…you’ll see that the yacht’s pointed nose serves two functions: It provides the aerodynamic styling that a machine of this size demands and it allows for the four lounge seats up front to be arranged at a 45-degree angle to the axis of the vehicle, thus saving considering interior space.

Playboy Land Yacht from Starling Travel

When our land yacht is parked, its brain box (front center) can be closed and pivoted to double as a cocktail table. The bath is shown with its door cut away; to its left are the food-prep unit and audio-video center. At rear, you see the open-air skylight with its electronic sun deck partially lowered.

Playboy Land Yacht from Starling Travel

This is the rear lounge — and that bed, gentlemen, measures seven feet by six feet. In the center, below the TV and the movie projector (a screen rolls down over the rear window, foreground), is the bar capsule; it’s lined with crushed velvet, like the phone container to its right.

Playboy Land Yacht from Starling Travel

Playboy Land Yacht from Starling Travel

The nocturnal view — through the rear window — shows the expandable bathroom wall. Atop is the sun deck; when traveling, a bubble of air arches over the space so that the deck can be open. Obviously, the couple pictured here couldn’t care less about all of this.

Playboy Land Yacht from Starling Travel

For night driving, the yacht’s front lighting consists of two swing-down iodine quartz lamps, plus four normal high/low/intermediate lights, which are folded back when off, swinging out against adjustable stops (for proper aiming) when the sliding cover door is activated. In addition, a front-scanning infrared lamp produces a wide-angle fan of radiation, for pickup on the yacht’s console-mounted TV screen. What you see in the monitor is an infrared-filter view of the roadway. This system is an outgrowth of the exotic Air Force fighter-pilot technology, which produces an animated, terrain-characteristic “picture” in front of the pilot, regardless of the weather or visibility conditions.

Rather than being a futuristic take on travel, it appears to be a relic from the Seventies. In fact, it reminds me more of the vehicle from the 1970s children’s show, Ark II, than of a motorhome of the future.

Ark II Vehicle from Starling Travel

Via: WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, endlessme: Via triumphdisaster Ohhhhh…

August 29, 2012

Life Is Good in a Tent Trailer

Filed under: Camping,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 9:38 am

I absolutely adore this drawing of a tent trailer from Life Is Good.

Life is Good Tent Trailer from Starling Travel

I would gladly buy this t-shirt from Life Is Good, but they only have it in white and in Men’s sizes.

I have been looking for good illustrations of tent trailers and before now, the best drawings I could find were these.

Tent Trailer Illustration. from Starling Travel

Tent Camper from Starling Travel

I especially like this one of Yogi and Boo Boo contemplating tearing open the pop up looking for picnic baskets. I just wish it were a better image.

Yogi Camper from Starling Travel

I think my favorite is this illustration from I just don’t need any postcards or business cards.

Popup Camper from Zazzle

I’m amazed at how quickly I went from “I guess it will do,” to “I LOVE my tent trailer.” We bought the tent trailer because our life changed and we had another human being to accommodate. I didn’t really WANT it. I HAD to buy it. Now, however, I LOVE our tent trailer and I am having a hard time imagining going back to a teardrop. How did things change so quickly?

Photos via:

August 21, 2012

Rocket Science Ice Cream

Filed under: Food — Laura Moncur @ 8:06 am

The folks at RV Geeks visited Rocket Science Ice Cream shop in Nappanee, Indiana. They create your ice cream for you, letting you choose whatever flavors you want. It starts out in a liquid form and then, using liquid nitrogen, they freeze it up for you right in front of your eyes.

Rocket Science Ice Cream from Starling Travel

Here is a video showing the process from RV Geeks:

The next time you find yourself in Indiana, make a detour to Nappanee so you can experience ice cream a whole new way!

Google Maps: Rocket Science Ice Cream shop in Nappanee, Indiana

August 18, 2012

Propert Folding Teardrop Trailer

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This trailer from Australia is ingenious in its folding.

It was built in 1953 by the Propert Family in Sydney, Australia. They build trailers from 1952 until the 1970s when Thomas Propert retired. It looks absolutely adorable when it’s unfolded.

Propert Folding Teardrop Trailer from Starling Travel

I love the design and I’d like to recreate it somehow, but as long as there are three of us instead of two, I’ll have to stick with the tent trailer.

August 17, 2012

A Clever Way to Hang A Vintage Awning

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

The cutest thing about vintage trailers are those adorable awnings, but feeding them through the C-track can be difficult. Just watch this video showing how hard it can be.

Remember that she had practiced putting up her awning before doing this video and she needed a large ladder to get it on. Halekini, on YouTube, however, has found a really easy way to do it using a pulley on the C-track.

This is a brilliant way to to make setting up your awning all by yourself. Here is a closeup of his little pulley setup:

Easy Way to Hang a Vintage RV Awning from Starling Travel

If you are thinking of getting a vintage awning but are daunted by how difficult they are to put up each time, try this clever little trick to get your awning on its C-track without a lot of hassle.

August 16, 2012

Palomino Tent Trailers: How Little Has Changed

Filed under: Camping,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

I was watching this video showing how to put up the new Palomino 280LTD Tent Trailer:

Aside from cranking up the top instead of lifting by hand, very little has changed on the trailer compared to my Palomino Pony from 1988.

The floor plan has changed quite a bit, with a sink, stove and sideways dinette, which explains why the new version is TWICE the weight of my light little 1988 model.

Palomino 280LTD Floorplan from Starling Fitness

I’m surprised at how much is the SAME however. The beds pull out the same. The supports under the beds look EXACTLY like mine. So little has changed that I feel a sort of comfort from Palomino RV. If I ever want to buy a brand new one, I might be tempted to buy this exact one, even though it’s so much like my current tent trailer.

There is something to be said for consistency. Automobile manufacturers change so many things from one year to the next that you can never buy the same car twice. If you really love your current car, except for the fact that it’s ten years old, you’re out of luck. They don’t make that car anymore. With a Palomino tent trailer, however, even if your beloved trailer is almost THIRTY years old, you’ll be able to replace it with one that works and looks almost exactly the same. I find that incredibly comforting!

August 15, 2012

The Most Luxurious Tent Trailer EVAR!

Filed under: Camping,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 8:24 am

This video made me laugh out loud!

It looks like a normal video showing his tent trailer setup, but once you get inside, you really see what he has done to make the place comfy!

Most Luxurious Tent Trailer EVAR from Starling Travel

Check it out for a good laugh!

August 9, 2012

Let’s Go Camping MUST Pack List

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 6:44 am

Let's Go Camping from Starling TravelFamilies that Stick has a great comprehensive list of things to bring when you go camping. Some of it I agreed with and some of it wasn’t enough information. For example, suggesting that you bring age appropriate activities for your children isn’t really an item on a list. It’s just not specific enough.

The MUST pack list, however was spot on:

  • Sanitizing wipes – For hands, spills and hotel rooms, pack travel size packs in each of your children’s backpacks.
  • Sponge – Take a sponge and cut it into 2-inch strips then moisten and place in a Ziplock. These will be handy for quick washing of water bottles, children’s cups, faces and more.  Toss each one in the garbage after use.
  • Earphones – Pack one set per person. Use with the electronics they bring along or for airplane entertainment.
  • Gum – Take along several packages of gum to help prevent ear pain. Chewing gum helps to pop plugged ears as well as keep them from plugging during takeoff and landing.
  • First aid – Create or buy a mini first aid kit complete with bandages, antiseptic wipes and children’s pain relievers.
  • Ziploc – Pack extra, empty Ziploc in the various sizes they come in for dividing snacks, storing liquids items and more.
  • Reusable shopping bag – Great to use as a beach bag or laundry bag and for day trips and bringing home souvenirs in if you run out of space in your suitcase.
  • Plastic grocery bags – Stuff a couple in your carry-on bag just in case you need them for garbage or clothes that get spilled on.

The gum is great for when you’re not flying as well when you are driving through mountainous regions, and the earphones are a godsend when you have more than one person in the car who wants to listen to music, video games or movies. Those plastic grocery bags are a life saver if you have a nauseous person in the car, as well.

The next time you plan to travel, give that big list a glance and make sure you have activities, supplies and meals planned. It will save you time and money when you’re out on the road.

August 7, 2012

Proposed New Trails and Campgrounds at Mount St. Helens

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Washington — Laura Moncur @ 7:54 am

Mount St. Helens Proposed New Trails 2012 from Starling reports that the Forest Service is looking at adding trails and campgrounds to the Mount St. Helens National Monument.

The Forest Service is studying the possibility of adding one or two campgrounds and two trails at Mount St. Helens, including a new climbing route on the north side of the volcano. Plans call for starting the environmental review this summer on a trail that departs from Loowit trail No. 216 and climbs to the Sugar Bowl, a rim at about 6,800-feet elevation on the northeast side of Mount St. Helens. Although the trail would not go to the summit, “you’d be able to look right into the crater,” said Gary Walker, lead climbing and trails ranger, for the monument. Climbing on Mount St. Helens has been done only from the south side since the summit reopened in 1982. The number of climbers is limited during summer. A northern route high on the mountain would need to become part of the permit system.

The second trail would begin near the Ape Cave on the south side of the peak and use a former logging road to climb about a mile to a viewpoint of Mount St. Helens. “There’s no view of Mount St. Helens from the Ape Cave,” Romano said. “This would give a fuller experience.”

Locations are being analyzed for two proposed campgrounds near the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater, the new name for the former Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center. The Forest Service wants an overnight facility near the Science and Learning Center as a means for visitors to extend their stays and for research and education groups participating in multi-day programs. Romano said the terrain does not make locating campground sites easy. “There’s not a whole lot of flat ground out there,” she said. “We’ve identified a few places where a small campground might fit.” The sites would be small, with no electricity, toilets without running water and no campfires. Both campgrounds would be within easy walking distance of the center. “We’re still working on the feasibility study,” Romano said. “We’ll know more in a few months.”

Beaver Bay Campground from Starling TravelRight now, the closest camping to Mount St. Helens is the Beaver Bay Campground, 11 miles (25 minute drive) away. That site is hosted by Pacificorp and is not a state or federal campground, but it has water, showers and a swimming beach. It’s not that far of a drive from Beaver Bay to Mount St. Helens, but I can understand why the Forest Service might want to keep visitors at their site instead of watching them leave the mountain every day.


August 6, 2012

How To RV at a Walmart

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 10:57 am

This is an excellent video about how to RV at a Walmart.

There are a lot of Walmarts that don’t allow overnight parking. It’s easy to see which ones allow it and which ones don’t using the Allstays iPhone App [iTunes link]. They show all the RV parks, but the also list the Walmarts in your area. The ones in red are the ones where they definitely do NOT allow overnight parking. The others, you need to ask the manager for permission.

The next time you are exhausted and can’t find room at an RV park or a state park, try napping at the closest Walmart. They just might be the best camping experience of your trip.

Via: 3 Excellent advice…

Update 09-10-13

Here is another video describing the proper etiquette when staying overnight at Walmart:


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