Starling Travel

July 13, 2015

Yoga Mat Foam Gasket To Keep Your Cooler Cool

Filed under: Camping,Food — Laura Moncur @ 12:10 pm

Camp Cabela’s – Cooler Tricks has a great idea to keep your cooler cool.

Yoga Mat Gasket To Keep Your Cooler Colder from Starling Travel

To prevent cool air from escaping seal the top of the cooler with a DIY cooler gasket. Cut a sheet of thin closed-cell foam the exact dimension of the cooler interior. You can find such foam at most sporting goods stores. Or recycle an old foam sleeping pad. Just place this cooler gasket on top of the loaded ice chest. No foam? No problem. Several layers of newspaper will work wonders.

I’ve never tried this, but these southern Utah summers just kill ice in a cooler. Heck, a fourth of the bag melts on the drive from the convenience store back to camp. I’m about willing to try anything to keep my cooler cold.

July 10, 2015

Yet Another Seating Patent To Make Flying Miserable

Filed under: Airline Travel — Laura Moncur @ 3:25 pm

My friend, Tracy, posted this on Facebook with the best comment:

Should this catch on, I will never fly again.

She was referring to this article from NPR:

A company from France called, Zodiac Seats France, has applied for a patent using hexagonal chairs that face each other to save room.

Nightmare Airplane Seating from Starling Travel

Instead of the relative privacy of sitting in a row, you have to endure another person (or two) facing you the entire flight.

Nightmare Airplane Seating from Starling Travel

This isn’t the first time a company has tried to cram more passengers on a plane. Back in 2013, an Italian design firm thought that switching out your uncomfortable plane seat for a saddle would be better.

Airplane Torture Seats

Back then, I said:

THIS is why I drive our trailer all over the country instead of “saving” time flying. They don’t care about me. They don’t care about my comfort. All they care about is cramming me into a tighter and tighter space to maximize their profits.

To the airlines, we are not humans. We are cattle. We are to be packed into a plane so tightly that we cannot even move.

There is a special hell for the designers of both of these seats. They are continually trapped on the tarmac, waiting for their flight to be cleared in the bad weather. The fasten seat belt light is forever on and they are enclosed in their own inventions.

July 7, 2015

Trailer Flips on I-15… Again…

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 9:01 am

Every two weeks, a camper flips on I-15. This week, the unfortunate souls were traveling from California, heading home after the Independence Day weekend. Thankfully, none of the passengers in the truck were injured, but their camper looks like a total loss.

Trailer Flips on I-15 from Starling Travel

These photos from STGnews show the damage to the camper after it had been put upright. You can see a video of the damage on the STGnews website.

Trailer Flips on I-15 from Starling Travel

As wonderful as our campers are, they can’t withstand the forces of wind from turning them topsy turvy. A little bit of sway can turn into a lot of heartbreak. Seeing the sides of this camper ripped out as if they were made of paper reminds me of how fragile they are.

Trailer Flips on I-15 from Starling Travel

This was my biggest concern when I worried about getting a bigger camper. Having a tent trailer, means that it’s almost impervious to wind. It was even better than my teardrop camper in that respect.

When I see a fifth wheel or huge bumper pull camper being pushed off the road like a toy by the wind once or twice a month, I remember why I put up with popping the trailer every time we camp and I’m grateful.

Photos via: Trailer flips on I-15, spills contents into roadway; STGnews Videocast

July 2, 2015

myPod Trailer Tour from Princess Craft RV

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 1:04 pm

This video is LONG, but it shows you every bit of the myPod trailer.

I love how detailed she is about the features inside and out. There is no galley on these campers, so they are just for sleeping. At only 635 pounds, though, they are a PERFECT choice if you have a small car like a Smart Car or a Prius.

I especially like the windows and their shades.

myPod Windows from Starling Travel

You can have privacy with the little shades and light when they are opened. The shape of the window really makes the myPod seem so cool and spacey.

What I don’t like is the entertainment system.

myPod Entertainment System from Starling Travel

I don’t WANT a TV, stereo and speakers. I just don’t want them. I have an iPad. That is good enough for me when I’m traveling, so adding all that other stuff is just an added expense and waste of space as far as I’m concerned. I would much rather have a galley.

The myPod isn’t what I’m looking for in a teardrop, but the fact that it’s so lightweight that it could be pulled by my Prius is VERY inviting. I am always impressed by Little Guy and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

June 24, 2015

Let Your Memory Be Your Travel Bag

Filed under: Travel — Laura Moncur @ 9:43 am

I saw this quote today and I believe it, but I want to argue with it as well.

Own only what you can carry with you know language know countries know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Alexander Solzhenitsyn from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Yes! It’s important to learn the language, the terrain and the people of the place that you’re visiting. It is important to prepare for a far away trip in every way you can.

My toiletry bagNo! It’s ALSO important to pack the necessities. I still have a toiletries kit that I keep stocked for travel. I talked about it here:

I have a very similar bag in the camper, although the medicinal items are in a separate first aid kit. You MUST bring the things you need to SEE, BREATHE and stay alive. If let your memory be your travel bag, you’re going to be paying lots of money for replacement contact lenses if you lose one or be searching the tiny town in Ireland for deodorant.

It is essential to pack both your mind AND your bags properly for a trip.

June 10, 2015

Nikoli Waller’s Blue and Brown Kenskill

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 9:28 am

Nikoli Waller posted a picture of this camper on Glampers on the Loose and I absolutely LOVE the color scheme.

Nikoli Waller's Brown and Blue Kenskill from Starling Travel

I love the coordinated colors that match inside and out.

Nikoli Waller's Brown and Blue Kenskill from Starling Travel

The ornate hardware on the simple drawers just make it look awesome.

Nikoli Waller's Brown and Blue Kenskill from Starling Travel

There is plenty of sleeping space with the gaucho couch and the dinette.

Nikoli Waller's Brown and Blue Kenskill from Starling Travel

Photos like these really inspire me. I want to do something VERY colorful with my next camper. I was so conservative with the Tangerine Turtle. The next time, I’m going to do something bright like this.

June 5, 2015

The Chinook at The Egg and I

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 6:58 am

When we went to breakfast at The Egg and I a few months ago, I saw this awesome tiny motorhome.

Chinook at The Egg and I from Starling Travel

It’s a Chinook and a highly efficient one. The cab is perfectly sized for exactly two people and they have to be short and physically fit people.

Chinook at The Egg and I from Starling Travel

The summer sun in St. George is oppressive, but we were in the winter, so I don’t know exactly why they had a shade up unless it was for privacy in the camper.

Chinook at The Egg and I from Starling Travel

I’m so used to seeing the doors of campers and motorhomes on the passenger side of the vehicle that I was surprised by this because the door was at the rear.

Chinook at The Egg and I from Starling Travel

We never saw the owners of the camper, but I would have loved to talk to them and loved to see the interior even more. The camper was only slightly longer than the typical car, but I’m sure there was room for two to sleep. I wish I could have seen more of this camper, but in the end, it continued on its journey without us.

June 3, 2015

Maps Encourage Boldness

Filed under: Places To Visit,Travel — Laura Moncur @ 7:46 am

I found this quote on The Quotations Page and it made me so excited to travel.

Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible. Mark Jenkins from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Maps encourage boldness. They’re like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible.

  • Mark Jenkins

I have the same feeling about maps. Whenever I was riding in the car on the way to or from my grandparents’ house in Billings, Montana, Grandpa would throw the map in the backseat and tell me to navigate. It helped me so much to learn how to find ourselves on the map and to plot where we would be going next. We always went the same route from Salt Lake to Billings: through Idaho Falls, over to West Yellowstone, up to Bozeman and over to Billings. Even though they were smaller roads that route, it was faster for us to go that way (unless West Yellowstone was snowed in).

Now, Google plots it all for me, assuming that I can go the speed limit, not knowing that my tiny trailer’s tires top out at 65 mph. So, I change the route. Smaller roads don’t slow me down because I can only go 65 mph anyway. I’m already slow.

The next time Google plots a route for you, try going a different way. Really USE your map and choose a route that has something to look at on the drive. And when your first instinct is to fly, suppress it. Take the car and actually SEE the places you pass by. Let the map give you boldness!

May 30, 2015

Uncle Wayne’s Boat

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 11:41 am

Uncle Wayne and Aunt Babe from Starling TravelMy great uncle-in-law Wayne was rich (or at least we thought he was). I’ve talked about him before here:

In those scans of old photos, I found these photos of his boat with my grandma, grandpa and uncle Bruce. I can’t tell what kind of boat it was, but it looks pretty swanky.

Uncle Wayne's Boat from Starling Travel

Here is a picture with Uncle Wayne posing and my grandfather completely oblivious to the camera. The name of the boat was Ann, which was the name of my great aunt Babe. Everyone called her Babe.

Uncle Wayne's Boat from Starling Travel

Seeing these photos and how happy and excited my grandma and uncle look reminds me of WHY we like to go outdoors. We have little adventures and remember them when times aren’t quite so happy. It doesn’t matter whether we own the boat, borrow it from a relative or rent it from a spot at the lake. What matters is the fun we all have together and the memories we create.

May 27, 2015

Winnebago: The 52 Week Funhouse on Wheels

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 8:13 am

I love this old advertisement for Winnebago that I found in the April 1970 issue of National Geographic.

Winnebago Ad from National Geographic 04-1970 from Starling Travel

It reads:

Exciting Winnebago “motor homes” are not to be confused with those other vehicles called “mobile homes.” We make a self-propelled, self-contained, fifty-two week funhouse on wheels. We make them in 10 different models, 5 different lengths, 7 different floor plans and from standard to luxurious. And we make them for people like you to go places and do things and have a downright good time while you’re at it. Like touring. Vacationing with your family. Taking the gang to the ball game, or your cronies out duck hunting. You could even supply the ski lodge on your next Aspen outing. Or provide the warming house for any winter sport. It’s your lounge, your kitchen, your dining room. Your shower and bedroom. Plus your transportation. You see, a Winnebago motor home is anything you want it to be anytime you want it to be. Find out more about the Winnebago fifty-two week funhouse on wheels and what it can do for you.

I love how they tell you all the things you can do with a camper. They didn’t even get the full list.

  • Touring the country.
  • Vacations with the family.
  • Taking a large group of people to an event.
  • Tailgating at a sporting event.
  • Hunting.
  • Staying in locations where there aren’t any hotels.
  • Guest room for when your house is overflowing with guests.

Sure, that’s what I get from my camper when it is being used, but I also get so much more from it.

  • A project to make my own.
  • A blank canvas to work with.
  • Something the family can work on together.

All of these aspects of owning a camper only come when you buy a piece of junk and make it awesome. That feeling of finally camping in a camper that you have worked so hard to make great is beyond anything that I could ever get from buying a brand new camper. I think that’s why I’m always on the lookout for a new project.

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