Starling Travel

February 21, 2014

2009 Keystone Outback Loft: A Two-Story RV

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The 2009 Keystone Outback Loft was a MASSIVE camper that I really don’t have a vehicle to tow it, but it was sure impressive. Just check out this video of one:

I like the floor plan.

Keystone Outback Loft floorplan from Starling Travel

The pictures remind me of The Del Rey Kamp King Sky Lounge Truck Camper.

Keystone Outback Loft RV from Starling Travel

It doesn’t look like Keystone is making these campers anymore, so that’s a shame. It looks like a great toy hauler with a loft and a view!

Photos and floorplan via: Trailer Life – Keystone Outback Loft

February 20, 2014

The Highways of 1976: How I Wish!

Filed under: Road Trips,Travel — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

This old General Motors video about how a road trip would be in the future of 1976 is painful to watch at first, but there are some interesting things about it that I wish were true.

If you can get past the singing and spoken poetry, then you’ll get to see the interesting ideas for the future of road trips. The car that drives itself is the first dream for the future that never came to be. Here’s a picture of the “Electronic Control Strip” that supposedly drives the cars.

Electronic Control Strip in Center Lane from Starling Travel

Google has been working on a car that drives itself for a long time now and we still haven’t seen it.

The idea of having a car that dispenses ice cream and sodas seems a bit over-the-top. Not even the high-end RVs have that. It would be cool, though.

Ice cream and drink dispenser in the car from Starling Travel

I really like this fold-down tray, though. Why don’t we have these in the back of cars.

Fold down tray in a car from Starling Travel

I love the design of these roads. It looks like it was set in a futuristic Zion’s Park.

Those new-fangled roads of 1976 from Starling Travel

When the family got tired, the “Tower Man” recommended a hotel for them. At least we have a similar thing to this with all the information on the Internet.

Tower man recommends a hotel in futuristic 1976 from Starling Travel

On a whole, this vision of 1976 was WAY better than the real 1976, but pales in comparison to now. I’m pretty happy with how the future turned out and no 1956 concept of the future can compare to it.

Via: A Family of Singing Time-Travelers Drive the Highways of Tomorrow

February 19, 2014

Piggybacking Is Dangerous

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Over the President’s Day weekend, we saw this double-towing accident waiting to happen.

Piggybacking Is Dangerous from Starling Travel - Don't Double Tow!

This is called Double Towing, Tandem Towing, Triple Tow or Piggybacking and it’s DANGEROUS. It’s not legal in many states and many other states allow it only if you have a special driver’s license. This particular vehicle was towing in Utah, where it is legal with only a Class D license, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous.

You can find out whether this is legal in your state, or any states you might be driving through here:

There is a discussion about it here:

The best answer to the question came from luckyinkentucky:

It would be a heck of a lot cheaper AND wiser to teach your wife how to tow a trailer, and have her follow you in the minivan or whatever. Sorry, but I think the only people who should be allowed to tow 2 trailers are people with a CDL license.

If you have a boat (or ATVs) that need towing in addition to your camper, be smart and stay away from piggybacking. No vacation or trip is worth the risk to your family.

February 18, 2014

Towing with the Subaru XV Crosstrek

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 11:20 am

We just got back from a lovely trip down to Sand Hollow State Park in Southern Utah, just outside of Zion’s National Park. It was the first time we have camped with our trailer since we bought the Subaru XV Crosstrek and I have to say that towing with that car is a dream.

Towing with the Subaru XV Crosstrek from Starling Travel

(Continue Reading…)

February 6, 2014

Overcrowded Disneyland 2010

Filed under: Amusement Parks,California,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 1:16 pm

Right after Christmas in 2010, we took a trip to Disneyland with my sister and her husband.

It was unpleasant.

There were so many people that they LITERALLY stopped letting anyone in. I snapped this photo in front of New Orleans Square, just trying to get past the Haunted Mansion. Click to see it full-sized.

Overcrowded Disneyland 2010 from Starling Travel

We had reservations at the Blue Bayou for an early dinner, but Dan had to work earlier in the day, so he didn’t try to come in until about 3pm, but they wouldn’t let him in. It took us multiple calls to the restaurant just to get him into the park so we could have our dinner.

At the same time, we couldn’t get on any rides. Mike and I rode the Pooh Bear ride (twice) and that was all we did that day. EVERYTHING was so packed that we could barely walk through the park without a crush of the crowd all around us.

Whatever that number is that makes them stop letting people into the park, it’s WAY too high. I have been to Disneyland since, but I will never again go right after Christmas. It was a miserable experience and a WASTE of money.

February 5, 2014

Dometic Portable Toilets

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 10:43 am

This video has been very helpful to show me how a portable toilet is used and emptied.

Dometic 975 Portable Toilets 5 Gallon at They are showcasing the Dometic 970 toilets, which are VERY affordable:

I talked about portable toilets a little over a year ago here:

Back then, I said:

Folding Portable Toilet at Amazon.comWe ended up buying this Foldable Toilet at Sportsmans Warehouse for only $14. It is lightweight, stores absolutely FLAT and takes up hardly any space in the trailer storage bins. I tried sitting on it to see if it would hold my weight and it performed beautifully. It’s a little shorter than the Luggable Loo and the Thetford Curve, but not so short that I have to squat uncomfortably to sit on it. I really liked that I was able to use it with the Double Doodie Bags, so the smell wouldn’t be that bad. I found a video about it on YouTube. You can see it here:

It has been a year of camping almost every month and we have yet to use the portable toilet. It still lies under the dinette seat with its bags, untouched. The one time I was tempted to use it, we were in a KOA in North Dakota. It was the middle of the night and we were in the middle of a HUGE downpour. Our campsite was FAR away from the bathrooms, so I suggested we break it out, but Mike’s calm mind prevailed. He said, “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting into the car and DRIVING to the bathroom.”

It was such a stroke of pure logic that it shocked me. Why didn’t I think about that? We have yet to boondock anywhere that didn’t have at least vault toilets, so I don’t know why I obsess about this issue so much. Those Dometic toilets look great, compact and easy to use, but not nearly as easy as taking the walk to the campground bathrooms.

January 28, 2014

A Teardrop Tent Trailer

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 6:07 pm

I found out that half the roof of our tent trailer has wood rot. It will easily last another five years or so, but it got me to thinking what I would do if we had to replace the roof.

Jayco Eagle 8 Tent Trailer from Starling Travel

In all honesty, we’d probably junk the trailer and just buy a new one, but if I got creative, I might be able to replace the roof with something that might make the trailer look interesting and give us a little storage space.

What if I made the tent trailer into a teardrop?

Teardrop Tent Trailer from Starling Travel

Here’s what it looks like when I paste the top of a T@b trailer onto my tent trailer. It would open the same as a tent trailer and give us a TON of headroom and storage along the sides. I would have to make a spot for the Fantastic Fan, because the addition of that has been a godsend on those 104 degree trips to St. George. I don’t think I’d even have a window or that door because then there would be more room for storage.

This idea has gotten me all excited about replacing the roof of our tent trailer. I could turn it into something adorable AND have all the space I could dream of when the trailer is deployed. I have absolutely NO idea how to make this a reality, but I want it!

January 26, 2014

1976 Chevy Blazer Chalet Popup Truck Camper

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 11:59 am

I was looking at KSL Classifieds and saw this interesting popup truck camper called the Chevy Blazer Chalet.

1976 Chevy Blazer Chalet from Starling Travel

The owner described it here:

i have a chellet camper desighned for full size gmc/chevrolet blazers. it is in good condition, it has a 2burner stove,fridge and a furnace. it has bench seats that fold for a bed, and is desighned to be open into the cab of the blazer. the top pops up single hadedly.and reguiers no drilling or mods, it bolts on to the exsiting hole for the shell bolts this camper was built will fit all modles up to 1989. i belive these campers wher only made for a few years in the 70s.

Here are the rest of the photos:

1976 Chevy Blazer Chalet from Starling Travel

1976 Chevy Blazer Chalet from Starling Travel

1976 Chevy Blazer Chalet from Starling Travel

I found some photos of a fully restored one here: Photo Gallery – Automobiles




There is a Yahoo! Group Forum for these truck campers: The Big ‘Nook. – Yahoo Groups

I love this advertisement for it that I found here: Pop-Up Truck Camper, The Blazer Chalet From 1976 | Motornomadics

1976 Chevy Blazer Chalet Advertisement

The reason these campers look so good is because they were designed by Chinook. I love how streamlined they look with an original Chevy truck. They’re not the right camper for me, but they definitely have that cool retro style!

January 14, 2014

Daybreak and Oquirrh Lake in Winter 2014

Filed under: Places To Visit,Utah — Laura Moncur @ 3:01 pm

I’ve talked before about Oquirrh Lake and how beautiful it is. Here is a walking video that goes past the lake from Starling Fitness:

The next time you’re feeling trapped and want to escape, take a few minutes and watch this video. You’ll be transported to a Utah wintery walk and return to your life refreshed and a little chilly.

January 13, 2014

A Hy-Lander Fifth Wheel, A String of Fish and You

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 8:34 am

When my grandpa died, I scanned every photo that was in his house and gave copies to all my relatives, but I didn’t really look at any of the photos. My grief was too sharp to reminisce.

The other day, I was looking at those photos and this one looked very interesting.

A Hy-Lander Fifth Wheel, A String of Fish and You from Starling Travel

The man on the left is Lawrence “Shorty” Lipe, my great-grandfather. The man on the right is Wayne Wilcox, my great-uncle-in-law (he was married to my grandmother’s sister). I absolutely adore this photo because Uncle Wayne looks so happy and proud of those fish, whereas, Shorty just looks confused.

In the background, however, is a rare, Hy-Lander Fifth Wheel camper. Hy-Lander was one of the first companies to make fifth wheels.

sirdrakejr: The Hy-Lander was 1st introduced about 1965. I tried to get a franchise in California but they were not approved for sale in that state due to electrical and plumbing concerns. later on, two large RV sales giants stated in CA with that 5th wheel. Hy-Lander was the 1st to market a 5th wheel for large scale sales. But they were also not very responsive to user compaints and they had other problems that led to their demise. Many dealers dropped the line when the dealer had to assume the repairs when the manufacturer would not.

I never stepped foot in that camper, even though Uncle Wayne hosted many fun adventures. He took us to Lava Hot Springs, flew us in his airplane to see the damage from the Teton Dam disaster, and took us hiking all around Idaho Falls. All of that, but I never saw that camper. I suspect that by the time I started coming to Idaho Falls (around 1977 and later), it had already been retired.

I wonder what towed the fifth wheel. The only vehicle in the picture is that late Sixties Jeep Wagoneer in the background, but it couldn’t tow a fifth wheel. Uncle Wayne must have owned a pickup back then.

It doesn’t surprise me that Uncle Wayne was an early adopter. He owned the first fifth wheel, just like my grandpa owned computers as soon as they were available and useable. Both of them were willing to be on the cutting edge, even if they got sliced up sometimes.

No wonder he looked so proud…

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