Starling Travel

December 14, 2014

Why RVs Are Better Than Hotels

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 10:25 am

This video is EXACTLY why I love my tent trailer and would rather stay in it than a hotel room.

Here are Chuck’s reasons RVs are better than hotels:

  • You load your luggage once. No packing and unpacking in each city you stop.
  • You have your own closet and sleep in your own bed.
  • You have your own stocked refrigerator, not a mini-bar with overpriced items in it.
  • You can cook healthy meals in your RV and save money.
  • You know who slept in your RV bed the night before.
  • Your RV is cleaned by you, so you know how clean it is: no bed bugs, strange bodily fluids or uncleaned glasses.
  • Hotels are not always near the places you want to visit.
  • No elevators or long hallways to negotiate with luggage. Just pull into your spot and go.
  • You meet cool people at campgrounds.
  • Campfires!!
  • RV campsites cost less than hotel rooms and are sometimes free.

This is a great list, but it’s kind of skewed toward luxury RVs, which are EXPENSIVE!!

We have a tiny tent camper with no bathroom or fridge. You can see it in this photo compared to a large fifth-wheel next to it:

Even A Tiny Camper Is Better Than A Cheap Hotel from Starling Travel

How does it compare to a cheap hotel room?

EVEN BETTER! Here’s why:

  • Easier to park than a huge camper. We literally can ROLL it into the campsite by hand if we need to.
  • A spot near the campground bathroom is WAY better than emptying a black water tank.
  • We only spent $1200 on the camper two years ago. No payments. Those inexpensive campsites really do cost LESS than a cheap hotel room because we didn’t pay a ton of money for our camper.
  • We can still sleep in our own bed and cook our own food.
  • We get 25 mpg with our car pulling our tent camper, so gas is as cheap for us as it is for a hotel traveler.

I have no desire to go back to hotel traveling. Whenever I have to stay in a hotel, I feel put out and miss my little tent trailer. If you feel as if camping in an RV is roughing it, you have the wrong idea. If you WANT to rough it, then I understand how sleeping in an RV might not feel right, but if you just want to travel the country and enjoy beautiful views, then an RV is the best way to go.

November 8, 2014

RV and Motorhome Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN

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

This video is a nice and quiet walkthrough of the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

I so want to go there and look at all the old trailers in person!

November 7, 2014

No Synonym for God Is So Perfect As Beauty

Filed under: Camping,Hiking,Photos — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This quote about beauty reminded me why I love to go to the mountains.

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty! John Muir from The Quotations Page

It reads:

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!

  • John Muir

This is why I go camping and hiking, to experience that overwhelming spiritual feeling of pure beauty. When I go too long between camping trips, my feet become eager to leave home behind and go in search of the mountains.

November 6, 2014

Camp Kitchen from heztherock on YouTube

Filed under: Camping,Food — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This is a pretty good chuck box made by heztherock on YouTube.

Camp Kitchen from heztherock on YouTube at Starling Travel

He seems to have everything that you need.

Camp Kitchen from heztherock on YouTube at Starling Travel

It’s a pretty small box when it’s all folded up.

Camp Kitchen from heztherock on YouTube at Starling Travel

I like how the shelves pull out like drawers.

This is a good video showing the camp kitchen setup.

Here it is full deployed on a campout.

November 5, 2014

Camp Kitchen from PNY Prepper on YouTube

Filed under: Camping,Food — Laura Moncur @ 1:00 pm

I am impressed with the ingenuity of this camp kitchen from PNY Prepper on YouTube.

Camp Kitchen from PNY Prepper on YouTube at Starling Travel

He started with a Hitch Cargo Carrier and built his camp kitchen to fit within it.

Camp Kitchen from PNY Prepper on YouTube at Starling Travel

It looks great all set up!

Camp Kitchen from PNY Prepper on YouTube at Starling Travel

I love how he shows the design details, like this pvc pipe that provides support for the lid/counter.

This video is a little long, but it’s a really interesting version of a camp kitchen.

October 10, 2014

How To Make Coffee With A Percolator

Filed under: Camping,Food — Laura Moncur @ 12:47 pm

We always stay at a campsite with electricity, but I keep hope alive that someday we will boondock, so when we do, I want to be able to have a good day and a day isn’t good unless I’ve had my coffee.

So, I found this percolator at the local thrift shop:

How To Make Coffee With A Percolator from Starling Travel

If you aren’t lucky enough to find one at a thrift shop, you can find one here at Amazon: Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator at Amazon.com

I remember my grandmother making coffee every morning with one of these, but I had no idea how to use one. This video helped me greatly.

I never remembered my grandma having filters, so I tried it without them. It wasn’t a good idea. I had a lot of grounds escape into the pot.

Use A Filter When You Make Coffee With A Percolator from Starling Travel

And into my cup.

Use A Filter When You Make Coffee With A Percolator from Starling Travel

After buying some filters (they were at my local grocery store), I felt like an idiot because they were so cheap. I tried again, and I didn’t have any grounds in my coffee that time.

Other than the lack of filters incident, the percolator worked out really well. The video recommends percolating for fifteen minutes. That time depends on how far up the mountain you are. Where I live, ten minutes was great. I’m sure you need less time if you’re near sea level and more time if you’re up high in the mountains. Be forewarned that it might take a couple of tries to get the perfect cup.

Additionally, there are a few other options if you are boon docking. Here is a propane coffee maker from Coleman: Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe at Amazon.com

Coleman Portable Propane Coffeemaker with Stainless Steel Carafe at Amazon.com

This guy thought it was pretty good:

It costs 84 bucks, which is WAY more than the four dollar thrift store find, but more importantly, it takes up so much space! That little percolator can double as a simple pot to boil water in, so it takes ZERO space in my trailer because it replaces my old one. If I do have electricity, I can just use a hot plate and the percolator instead of packing a automatic drip coffeemaker. The only benefit to that propane coffeemaker is that it is quick. You don’t have to wait fifteen minutes for the coffee to brew.

There is also this option that works on 12 volt power: Roadpro RPSC-784 12-Volt Quick Cup Coffee Maker with 16 oz. Metal Carafe at Amazon.com

Roadpro RPSC-784 12-Volt Quick Cup Coffee Maker with 16 oz. Metal Carafe at Amazon.com

This one works by plugging into your car or RV 12v system. The only problem with it is that it’s just as slow as the percolator. This guy tested with his solar system. It doesn’t draw much power, which is good, but it takes fifteen minutes to brew a pot.

Additionally, it only does a couple cups of coffee. With a good percolator, you can make 10 cups in the same amount of time. So, I decided on the percolator: small, easy to store, and inexpensive.

Now, I just need to convince Mike that we can do boondock camping…

September 17, 2014

A Perfect Campsite

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 12:56 pm

I saw this picture on truckinu’s Flickr site and it looked perfect to me!

A Perfect Campsite from Starling Travel

From the modern teardrop trailer to the changing tent to the tarp on the picnic table, this campsite looks like the perfect place to relax.

March 14, 2014

Camping 30s Style

Filed under: Camping,Tents — Laura Moncur @ 10:08 am

I love this photo of a camper and tent from the 1930s.

I just realized that we are a mere sixteen years away from 2030 and only six slim years from the 2020s. It seems crazy to me because the phrase The Twenties refers to the 1920s in my mind, but suddenly, we are on the cusp of a different Twenties.

And as strange as that sounds, humans have been living in tents for THOUSANDS of years. Sure the animal hides were replaced by canvas and then replaced by lightweight nylon, but the basic shelter of the tent has been around for longer than the memory of man. It’s awe inspiring to me and it answers that question I keep asking, “Why does it feel so good to go camping?” Because it is hardwired into my cavewoman brain.

March 12, 2014

RVillage: It’s Our Village

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 1:10 pm

I’ve just heard about RVillage and signed up for it. It’s a way for fellow RVers to get in touch with each other and for you to see who is in the RV site where you may be.

RVillage is a new site for RVers

Here’s the description of it from Technomadia:

The core idea of RVillage is to create a very simple (and free) tool for RVers to connect with each other – not just online, but right in the RV parks and places they are currently staying in.

When a user checks into a location in RVillage, they can discover the things that they have in common with other RVers right around them.

This sure beats leaving connections up to chance encounters while walking the cat, or the random stranger coming up asking “what type of engine is in that thing?” while you are busy dumping the tanks.

I like the idea of seeing other people who might be in your campground before we meet them, but it seems strange to me. What do I do? Just start wandering the campground calling the name of fellow RVillagers? I like the idea and I think it’s a great idea to do meet ups, though. I’m giving it a try and I hope you do as well. Then all my best friends will be signed up and ready to roll!

February 26, 2014

Tent Camping and Kids Up A Tree

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 9:00 am

I adore this photo I found on Flickr today.

Tent Camping and the Kids Up A Tree from Starling Fitness

Keep River National Park is in the Northern Territory of Australia. Here is a map:

Yesterday, I said that RVing gave us a freedom to travel that we didn’t have before, but I was fibbing a bit. We had that freedom of inexpensive travel when we tent camped like the people in this photo. The freedom that the camper gave us was the ability to travel almost all year long. With the tent trailer, we can travel even with temperatures as low as 28 degrees. We could have never done that in a tent because I froze every night the temperatures dipped below 45 degrees and that was in our nice Springbar tent.

I love this picture because the tent has a solar panel and the kids are just climbing the trees like monkeys. I don’t want to go back to tent camping, but I do love seeing a well-pitched tent.

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