Starling Travel

February 28, 2013

1976 GMC Eleganza II on eBay: Most Tempting

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

This motorhome on eBay is the most tempting thing I’ve seen in a LONG time.

It looks so much like a Barbie Star Traveler that I want to drive on down to Alabama to claim it as my own.

1976 GMC Eleganza II on eBay from Starling Travel

Here’s a photo of my Barbie Star Traveler to compare. Barbie and Ken say, “Hi!” They love it when I drag them out to go camping!

Barbie and Ken love their GMC Eleganza II from Starling Travel

The description leaves a lot to be desired. (Continue Reading…)

February 27, 2013

Old Color Footage of Disneyland in 1956 Courtesy of Jeff Altman

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit,Tourist Attractions — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

This old Home Movie of DisneyLand in 1956 from Jeff Altman really made me happy to see.

He said:

Shot by my grandfather on his Bell & Howell Filmo using 16mm Kodachrome film stock. This footage was taken a year after the California theme park opened.

It was quite a surprise going through this and seeing my grandmother meeting Walt Disney himself! (Continue Reading…)

February 26, 2013

Amerigo Ames Travel Trailers: Hard-Sided Hybrids

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

For only the few short years of 1991 to 1993, Amerigo made some unique travel trailers that were hard-sided hybrids. Here is the 14′ design, the M-145, that I found for sale in Arkansas:

1993 Ames Amerigo 14'  M-145 trailer from Starling Travel

As you can see, both sides fold out for beds, like a modern hybrid trailer, but the sides aren’t canvas. (Continue Reading…)

February 25, 2013

Open Trail Homes

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

I’m not going to be a hypocrite. I have been very negative about the tiny house movement. You can read what I’ve read in the past here:

As negative as I have been about the tiny house movement and the people who write about it, I was not prepared for how awesome it was to see one in person. Open Trail Homes is a Utah-based tiny house manufacturer and I was so impressed with them when they were at the Utah RV Show.

Open Trail Homes on Starling Travel

What really impressed me were the people. (Continue Reading…)

February 24, 2013

1968 Shasta Airflyte for $3600

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I found this awesome 1968 Shasta Airflyte for $3600 on KSL Classifieds and I couldn’t believe how adorable it is!

Loved and cared for with many original features.

Used on a regular basis for camping and showing at vintage rallies.

I love how they painted the Shasta Wings that lovely blue color.

1968 Shasta Airflyte for $3600 on KSL Classifieds

The original stovetop is avocado colored, which I would think wouldn’t go well with that bright aqua, but it works, somehow. (Continue Reading…)

February 23, 2013

Beautiful 1966 Shasta Trailer for Only $4900

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 10:17 am

I love this old Shasta trailer that I found in the KSL Classifieds the other day.

1966 Shasta Trailer for $4900 on KSL Classifieds

It’s the 13 foot design, so you can tow it with a small SUV. The kitchen isn’t all retro because it has a microwave as well as a fridge, self-contained water, and even an air conditioner. (Continue Reading…)

February 22, 2013

Carnival Triumph Stranded

Filed under: Cruises,Travel — Laura Moncur @ 9:18 am

I am seriously disturbed by Carnival’s track record lately. In 2010, an engine room fire stranded the Carnival Splendor off the west coast.

Then in 2012, the Costa Concordia hit rocks and sank, killing thirty-two people.

Now, yet ANOTHER engine room stranded the Carnival Triumph for five miserable days of heat and stench.

Here is a video from one of the passengers, Lance Winder.

It sounds as if the crew did their best to keep things as clean as they could on the boat, but sewage had backed up on the lower decks, so passengers had no choice but to live on the decks under sheets tied up to protect them from the sun. At night, however, it got too cold outside and they retreated inside, where there was hardly any room for them.

Is a free cruise and $500 enough of a compensation? I believe it is, but I would prefer to not have that experience in the first place. At least when my car breaks down on a road trip, it’s my own fault, not something completely out of my control.

I’ve been on a few cruises, the first of which was on a Carnival cruise on a ship with broken stabilizers. I have enjoyed being able to visit many different islands and beaches on one trip without worrying about doing the driving, but in the end, I prefer to be behind the wheel of my vacation. Now that Carnival has a documented history of problems with their ships, I think I’ll avoid them altogether.

February 20, 2013

Göreme National Park

Filed under: Places To Visit,Tourist Attractions — Laura Moncur @ 9:22 am

Sci Show featured Göreme National Park in Turkey. Known for its strangely shaped rock formations, it is one of those truly weird places to visit in this wide world.

Rock formations have been sculpted in a wide variety of shapes by weather and wind, as shown here in a screen shot from Sci Show.

Göreme National Park from Starling Travel

For more information:

February 15, 2013

Apache Hard-Sided Bunk Ends: A Blueprint for Modification

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

Last January, on the way to Quartzsite, we stayed a night or two in Las Vegas. The typical temperature at that time of the year is about fifty degrees during the day and 35 degrees at night. We knew it was going to be a little cold, so we were prepared with a couple of electric heaters.

We had NO idea that we would be staying there on the coldest nights Las Vegas has seen for YEARS. It was a HARD freeze at 28 degrees, taking everyone in that city by surprise. Every one of the huge motorcoaches, in the RV resort where we stayed, had frozen water hoses with no water. And this fountain stayed frozen solid all day and night.

Hard Freeze in Las Vegas, NV 2013 from Starling Travel

Fortunately, our two little electric heaters kept us warm in our little tent trailer, but it was substantially colder on the bunk ends than it was in the middle of the camper. Whenever I was awoken by the cold that night, I tried to think of ways our bunk ends could be warmer.

Try as I might, in my cold-addled and sleepy stupor, I didn’t think of this ingenious origami solution to the problem. Here is the Apache Hard-Sided Popup Camper and how its bunk ends are put together.

The roof folds down and the lifts up like this:

Apache Hardside Popup Camper Bunk Ends from Starling Travel

Then the sides pop in (rather awkwardly):

Apache Hardside Popup Camper Bunk Ends from Starling Travel

If I were to turn my popup camper into a hard-sided camper like an Apache, would it be warmer? What is the insulation difference between plywood and tent canvas. I would think it would be warmer, but it also would be a lot heavier. The Apache seems to have plastic or maybe thin aluminum sides. Are they any warmer than tent material? I have no idea.

In the end, we were able to stay warm enough that night in our trailer, despite the hard freeze. I might fantasize about modifying my popup camper, but it was warm enough to camp in winter temperatures, so I guess it’s not necessary to hack apart my beloved little Jayco just to be a couple of degrees warmer.

February 14, 2013

Upal Auto Tent with a Ford Flex: Could Be The New Campervan

Filed under: Camping,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Tents — Laura Moncur @ 9:00 am

While I was looking around the web, I found some auto tents manufactured by Upal Outdoors. They make a clamshell design.

Upal Clamshell Auto Tent from Starling Travel

They also make a square lift design.

Upal Square Roof Auto Tent from Starling Travel

If you were to put one of these on a Ford Flex, it might be perfect. It has that lovely flat roof that makes it perfect for permanently mounting an auto tent to the top.

Ford Flex 2013: A Great Camping Car from Starling Travel

I first saw the Ford Flex at CES 2012 and I really liked its design. I love how large the back hatch is. It would be perfect place to put a camp kitchen, like a teardrop trailer.

Ford Flex 2013: tailgate would make a great camp kitchen from Starling Travel

In fact the back hatch is so large and tall that I wouldn’t even need a tent to get a little shade or escape from the rain.

If you were able to permanently attach the Auto Tent to the top of the car and cut a hole in it, you’d be able to access the tent from the Sun Roof instead of having to use the ladder. It would be much more efficient that way.

I did a horrible Photoshop job on some images of the Ford Flex to show you what it would look like permanently attached to the car.

Ford Flex Square Auto Tent from Starling Travel

I really liked how the clamshell design looks.

Ford Flex Clamshell Auto Tent from Starling Travel

As much as I’d like to take a Ford Flex and convert it into the ultimate camping car, I can’t see a way to purchase these auto tents in lots less than twenty. It looks like this idea is going to have to be for someone with a lot more capital at their disposal.

Until then, I can dream about a perfect camping car.

Photos used for photoshopped images:

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