Starling Travel

March 16, 2013

All-In-One Toasters: Tiny Appliances for the Camper

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

When we are camping at a place with electricity, it makes cooking food so much easier. I found a bunch of all-in-one toasters that act as a coffee maker, tiny oven and cook top all in one.

This one is my favorite: Nostalgia Electrics 3 in 1 Breakfast Station.

Nostalgia Electrics 3 in 1 Breakfast Station at

Honestly, the reason I like it so much is (Continue Reading…)

March 11, 2013

Solar Light Centerpiece

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

When we were camping at Lake Havasu in January this year, I saw this centerpiece on a picnic table.

Solar Light Centerpiece from Starling Travel

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.

How to Make Hanging Solar Lights from The Gadgets Page

I then put them into a candelabra, but the wind knocks it over as well.

Solar Light Candelabra from The Gadgets Page

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.

March 4, 2013

One Minute Vacations: A SpringBar Tent, A Canoe and You

Filed under: Boating,Camping,One Minute Vacations,Pennsylvania,Places To Visit,Tents — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

There is so much awesome going on in this photo from URTrekking, that you really have to click through to the full-sized image to fully enjoy it.

SpringBar Tent from URTrekking at Starling Travel

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!

March 1, 2013

The 2006 Fleetwood Scorpion Toy Hauler: A Tent Trailer on Its Side

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

While I was at the RV show the other day, I saw a photo of a used tent trailer they had for sale that wasn’t at the show. It looked so different that I snapped a picture of it.

2006 Fleetwood Scorpion Toy Hauler from Starling Travel

When I came home, I found out what it was: a 2006 Fleetwood Scorpion Toy Hauler. It was different than any toy hauler tent trailer I had seen before. (Continue Reading…)

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:

February 13, 2013

Al Massey’s DualCraft Chalet

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

A while back, I wrote about the DualCraft Chalet. It was the first A-Frame trailer manufactured in the Seventies.

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.

Al Massey's DualCraft Chalet Trailer open

Hi Laura,

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,

Al Massey's DualCraft Chalet Trailer closed

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

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.

February 12, 2013

VW Beetles with Cartop Tent Campers

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

A few days ago, when I was feverishly searching the Internet for information about The CarBak Cartop Tent Camper, I found a TON of pictures of VW Beetles with cartop tent campers.

Cartop Tent on a VW Beetle Bug from Starling Travel

As a former Bug owner, I fell in love with each and every photo, wishing I could find a Beetle of my own to camp in.

They all look so good that I thought I’d share them with you. (Continue Reading…)

February 10, 2013

The CarBak Cartop Tent Camper

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

It all started with this photo:

Carbak Cartop Tent Camper on a Beetle from Starling Travel

I found it on the Classic VW Beetle page and with a simple description:

Here is a VW Camper Bug

It was obviously an oddity because the picture shows a plaque next to the vehicle. How I wished I could read that plaque. What does it say and what the heck IS that thing?!

I found another photo of the same tent camper from a different angle on The Samba:

Carbak Cartop Tent Camper on a Beetle from Starling Travel

The person on that forum said:

Does anyone know if these roof top tents are worth anything.

I have never seen one and I think they are cool.

No one had an answer for him, though.

It took a lot of searching, but I found out what they are and found a bunch of other pictures of them. (Continue Reading…)

February 8, 2013

Bloondesign Springtime: A Picnic Basket and Picnic Table All In One

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

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.

Springtime Picnic Basket Three Steps

It’s a clever design, as you can see from the original sketches. (Continue Reading…)

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