When we were camping at Lake Havasu in January this year, I saw this centerpiece on a picnic table.
It’s an inexpensive solar light that has been mounted on an inverted terra cotta pot. It is utilitarian, but it provided a lot of light at that picnic table that night.
I have been trying to find a pretty way to have a solar lights at the campground. I had made some hanging solar lights, but the wind damaged half of the eight that I made, so I gave up on them.
I then put them into a candelabra, but the wind knocks it over as well.
The terra cotta planter is impervious to the wind, but it’s not very pretty. I’m still trying to find a way to make a beautiful solar lamp for camping that won’t blow away in the wind. When I find it, I’ll share it with you.
From the canoe to the SpringBar tent, this photo is like stepping into a camping trip. It was taken in Marion, Pennsylvania, probably at Bald Eagle State Park. I can just imagine them canoeing on Foster Joseph Sayers Lake.
The next time you are feeling trapped at work, take a moment and really let yourself step into this photograph. Take a deep breath and smell the damp air blowing off the lake. Relax in the chairs or take a nap in the tent. After just a few minutes imagining yourself into this photo, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day anew!
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.
I was under the impression that they did not fold up, but one of our readers, Al Massey, corrected me in the comments:
i borrowed one of these trailers and they do fold down , we liked the style so much sourced same style out in alberta ,we located one built in edmonton that folds up it is insulated ,has a propane grity furnace and propane fridge i installed , we have taken across canada and into bc many times ,we’ve had it for about 12 years. best unit ever! it’s our “swiss chalet” (wife is swiss)
I was so excited to learn more and he graced me with a couple of photos and some of his memories.
there are two bars on the inside that hold up the walls ,we use them for coat hangers as well as shelf supports,after you remove them the left wall comes down and rests on a fold out leg then the right wall comes down then the rear roof folds down then finally the front roof folds down and gets buckled for travel,
sleeps 4 comfortably, I’va made cabinets inside that stack when up thus giving tons of storage for long trips , my twin 10 year old girls are quite attached and have fond memories growing up with this trailer ,
i park it inside my garage now so the snow and ice wont kill it so it should live a long time yet ,always a conversation piece at camp grounds , it makes an awesome ice breaker to meet people from all across the world.
I cant find my photos of the inside or it folding up right now, but I’ll keep looking. It was mftd in Edmonton by “national trailer” in the early sixtys ,cant find anymore info about it and only seen 1 the same make a long time ago.
Thanks, Al, for the lovely photos. I especially like the Canadian flag flying. It looks so good in contrast to the trailer. Thanks again for sending the photos and may you have many more happy years in your DualCraft Chalet.
Even though I now have a kitchen in my tent trailer, I am still obsessed with camp kitchens and chuck boxes. I believe Springtime designed by Bloondesign is an ingenious idea. It’s a picnic basket, a picnic table and stores your food and utensils.
Gem is right! Camping not only has beautiful rewards in the form of sunsets, forests, mountains and deserts, but it has beautiful rewards in the form of family memories and exciting venues. The next time you’re feeling like life is ugly, plan a weekend trip camping and enjoy it. You’ll come back feeling as if at least one thing in the world is beautiful.