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.
I love this old Shasta trailer that I found in the KSL Classifieds the other day.
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…)
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.
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.
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:
Then the sides pop in (rather awkwardly):
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.
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.
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.
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.
I really liked how the clamshell design looks.
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.