Starling Travel

November 26, 2012

Popup Teardrop Camper

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

Although it sounds like a description rather than a name, the Popup Teardrop Camper has an interesting take on design.

Popup Teardrop Camper

There is a middle section of the teardrop camper that pops up so that you can stand and change clothes.

Here is a video tour of it on YouTube:

Instead of the kitchen in a back hatch, the sink and stove are inside the trailer right as you walk into the door and under the popup section. There is also a porta potty tucked under the sink.

Popup Teardrop Camper Kitchen/Potty

The bed is to the left of the door and can be converted into a dinette.

Popup Teardrop Camper Bed and Dinette

The website for this camper seems slightly unfinished, but the idea for a pop top teardrop is intriguing as long as the pop hatch doesn’t leak. It’s yet another choice for you when you decide you want to take an epic adventure.

November 25, 2012

Grasshopper Teardrop Trailer

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 8:23 am

The Grasshopper teardrop trailers might not be all slopes and rounded beauty, but they are a teardrop camper in the basic sense. There is a kitchen galley out back and a sleeping quarters in the front. They were built from 1978 to 1980, so if you find one, it will probably be in pretty good shape.

I first saw a Grasshopper on the Jeep Wrangler Forum. Stimpy posted these photos there:

Grasshopper Teardrop Trailer

You can see the rest after the break: (Continue Reading…)

November 23, 2012

T@B CS Plan with a Bathroom

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

T@B Clamshell 2012Ever since hearing about The Return of the T@B Clamshell yesterday, I have been thinking about one with a bathroom. Their catalog said that it could be ordered with a bathroom, but gave no indication where it would go.

I made a mockup of what I thought the floorplan would look like with a bathroom.

T@B CS Floorplan with a bathroom

I don’t think that window over the bench would still be feasible, but it would be nice if it could stay. I guess I have a dream of sitting on that little bench and looking out the window while Mike sleeps.

Of course, the bed would still be far too small for Michael, but it would the absolute dream teardrop trailer for me. I can just sit here, fantasizing about it all day while you folks kill yourself in Black Friday lines and gorge on leftover turkey.

November 22, 2012

The Return of the T@B Clamshell! Plus, A T@B with a BATHROOM!!

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

T@B Clamshell 2012Back in March, Mike and I looked at an old T@B clamshell trailer at an RV dealership. I found out then that the current T@B manufacturers were planning on making the clamshell model again. I talked about it here:

I had no idea of the greatness they had up their sleeves, however. Not only have they started manufacturing the clamshell design again, they have added a model with a bathroom. EVEN better, you can order the clamshell design WITH A BATHROOM! It makes me want to abandon my beloved tent trailer on the spot!

You can read more after the break… (Continue Reading…)

November 18, 2012

The 1972 Toyota RV-2: A Concept RV That Never Got A Chance

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was looking on Pinterest when I found this awesome Toyota car that pops up into a tent.

1972 Toyota RV-2

According to Wikipedia, it was a concept car that was never mass-produced.

The RV-2 was a 2-door wagon concept car shown during the October 1972 Tokyo Motor Show and the April 1973 New York International Auto Show.

Styling was up-to-date with sharply formed edges and large rectangular headlights. The front bumper covered only the corners, allowing the grill to be much more prominent than normal. The roof line terminated behind the large door on each side. Above the rear waistline were a pair of side hinged clam shell doors covering the entire rear section. An integrated roll bar terminated the body work and also formed a place for the clam shell doors to seal. The clam shell doors met each in the middle of the roof with no centre support. When the doors were raised you could stretch a tent between them. Two adults could sleep in the tent section and another two adults could sleep on the front seats, which could fold down flat. Finally, the rear section included a full width tail gate with a wind-down window nestled under the rear roll bar.

A fully working prototype in RHD was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show and reviewed in the August 1973 issue of Penthouse magazine. Toyota also printed a large number of a brochure for the USA market in order to gauge the market reaction. It was generally well received but apparently not enough to put it into production. The brochure included sketches with the steering wheel clearly shown on the left hand side but the photographs of the real vehicle hid the steering wheel – which was on the right hand side.

You can see the brochure after the break… (Continue Reading…)

November 17, 2012

Starling Travel’s Best Traveling Apps

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

After seeing Zadi’s favorite traveling apps yesterday, I was surprised that NONE of my favorites were in the list. After looking through my archives, I’ve talked about these apps a couple of times, but never really featured them. Here are my absolute FAVORITE apps for camping and travel.


Coverage? appCoverage? Shows NO coverage in Valley of FireThe Coverage? app [iTunes link] easily tells you whether you will have cell phone coverage where you’re going. I talked about Coverage? before here:

Back then, I said:

If you look at the map on the right, you can CLEARLY see that there is a big white hole in the middle of Valley of Fire State Park. This is the beauty of the Coverage? app. You can see immediately how likely it is that you’ll have coverage on your travels.

Connectivity is really important to me, so I use this app every time we travel someplace new.


The Allstays iPhone App [iTunes link] shows you what camping sites are near you. This app really bailed us out when we were at a loss for a campsite in Missouri. I talked about it here:

The beauty of leaving our travel schedule open was that Mike and I could drive as far as we wanted and when we were tired we could find a campsite to stop at and sleep. The irresponsibility of leaving our travel schedule open was that we were driving home during Memorial Day weekend.

Fortunately, using Allstays, we were able to find a beautiful campground in a spot we would have never imagined.

Allstays ALSO has listings for gas stations, RV repair facilities and all the Walmart stores that allow (and don’t allow) overnight stays. I talked about that here:

Camp Where

As good as Allstays is, it’s not perfect. The holes in its list of RV campsites are filled nicely by Camp Where [iTunes link] We used it to find the beautiful campground at Gore Landing in Oklahoma. I talked about it here:

We found [the campground] on the Camp Where app. I looked through comments about the site and one of them mentioned that there was no sign for the campground on the main road. They weren’t kidding.

If the app hadn’t been so thorough, we wouldn’t have ever found that campground. We’ve come to depend on Camp Where when we plan a trip and when we are out on the road, dead tired and in need of a break.


When planning a trip, it really helps to know how much it’s going to cost in gas to get there. Cost2Drive [iTunes link] has been really helpful in that matter. In fact, it was the deciding factor when I was doing research on our next epic road trip. I wrote about it here:

I want to go to Disney World. I’ve never been there and I really want to experience all Disney World has to offer. We live in Salt Lake City, Utah, however, so every time I bring it up, everyone in the family says that we should just go to Disneyland instead. It’s almost the same and it’s so much closer.

In order to convince them, I have to do RESEARCH. How inexpensively can we do this trip? Today, I did that research for a trip in February and what I found, surprised me.

Without these few apps, many of our trips wouldn’t have even come to fruition because we wouldn’t have had the information to leave our house without them. They’ve been my faithful friends for months now and I am so grateful I can turn to them when we get the bug to travel.

November 16, 2012

Epic Fu’s Favorite Travel Apps

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

Zadi Diaz at Epic Fu posted a great video showing you some of the iPhone apps that are great for travel.

These apps are pretty good, but my favorites are for camping, so they are a little different. Here are the apps she highlighted:

Stay tuned tomorrow for my favorite traveling iPhone apps!

November 15, 2012

The Del Rey Kamp King Sky Lounge Truck Camper

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was perusing Google images for redneck campers when I came across this blog entry:

It’s about the Del Rey Sky Lounge Truck Camper, which was a feat of engineering.

Del Rey Kamp King Sky Lounge Truck Camper

Built in the mid-Sixties, it was a truck camper with THREE levels. The first level was the kitchen area, the second level was at the fore of the camper with seats so travelers could watch out the front. The third had a bed up and to the middle. Even better, the top popped open so you could enjoy yourself on the roof and the back popped out for more room as well.

I really love the retro look of this camper.

Del Rey Kamp King Sky Lounge Truck Camper

You can see all the photos I’ve found and even a couple of brochures after the break… (Continue Reading…)

November 13, 2012

The Utilitoy: The Perfect Toy Hauler and Teardrop Camper Combined

Filed under: Camping,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 9:21 am

“I’ve been obsessed with teardrop trailers lately,” I said to Matt back in March. This was before I bought the Teardrop American Outbacker (and sold it) and even before we bought the Palomino tent trailer.

“Yeah, me too.” He answered, which surprised me.

“Really? I’ve been trying to convince Mike to let me build one,” I confided.

“Want to see my design for the one I want to build?” He asked.

He pulled up a Sketchup design for a teardrop that could hold his two motorcycles during the drive, but then fold down to a bed for him, Christy and the kids once they got to the campground. It was ingenious and I told him so, but neither of us have the woodworking skills to make our teardrop trailers happen.

Fast forward to November and I was perusing the Net when I came across Utilitoy. It’s a teardrop trailer that is meant to haul your gear and then turn into a couple of beds at the campground. I was shocked at how similar the design was to Matt’s.

Here’s a video giving you a tour:

I love that it’s waterproof on the inside so that you can just hose the mud from the motorcycles out after you haul them home.

I also love the design for the bed. The origami metal fold outs are AWESOME!

Those huge doors on the back make this trailer so useful for hauling gear, antiques or whatever you would have used a pickup for.

Check out how easy it is to put a motorcycle in the Utilitoy.

According to Utilitoy’s Facebook Page, the Utilitoy is very reasonably priced (especially compared to other teardrop trailers):

Brand new fully loaded Utilitoy with AC and 19″ High Def flat screen TV available now for $8700 factory direct.

I, of course, immediately emailed Matt the information about this eerily similar teardrop camper and toy hauler. Matt’s reply? Only three words…

“Requesting a quote!”

November 10, 2012

The Affordability of the Redneck Camper

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

I’ve talked before about the benefits of camping in a redneck camper. You can see that here:

I found ANOTHER one on our local classified listings and I was (again) shocked at the cost: only $250!

Redneck Popup Camper

Now, this redneck camper is a little different because it’s a pop-up, so it’s a little more aerodynamic than the last one I found. Once it’s up, it looks really roomy.

Redneck Popup Camper

Inside, it looks decidedly Seventies.

Redneck Popup Camper

After the top is lifted, it appears quite roomy.

Redneck Popup Camper

There is even a closet for a porta-potty! It’s kind of gross because it’s carpeted, but it’s nice to have some privacy for the privy.

Redneck Popup Camper: Porta Potty closet

Whenever I start to feel appalled at the prices for truck campers, bumper pulls or tent trailers, I fire up the local classifieds and my hope for a good camper is restored. It may not be the prettiest shelter at the RV park, but it’s warm and inexpensive. The next time you are wishing for a warm camper to extend your camping into the winter, take a look at your local classified ads and find yourself a redneck camper. You just might be surprised at what you find.

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