Our Tiny Red Caravan
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Once upon a wet tent. How we ended up buying a tiny camper.

Sometimes you know its time to trade in your big tent for a tiny camper. That epiphany happened in the Shenadoah National Park, after 5 days of rain. Now our tenting is saved for a tiny two man tent that we carry for backpacking. 

Where it began…

I fell in love with camping in high school. I was president of my high school outdoor society, the Naturalist Club. (We probably needed another name.) Backpacking, canoeing, spelunking. Great times. College put all that on hold. Then adulting pushed the hobby further back in the closet. Then married life and kids. But like that old pair of shoes you keep stumbling across in the floor of said closet, the idea was always there. In the back, waiting to be pulled out and dusted off and tried on. This happened sometime when my kids were 1 and 5. A tent from sears, a lantern and a propane stove. We’d pack everyone up and head to the beach or mountains about 3 times a year. But as my kids became teens, we decide we needed our own friends and more outdoor time so we joined a local outdoor club. (See a pattern here??) camping, kayaking hiking. Great times again! Mike and I began to venture out ourselves, sometimes three weeks at a time. And this is how we decided it was time to rethink the tent and buy a base camp camper.

I love my tent, I love falling asleep with all the sounds of nature, streams, critters, rain bouncing off the nylon. What we didn’t like was taking it down and putting it up in the rain. Sitting in it in the rain and cold. (e.g.  Florida at 6:00pm it’s dark, 35 degrees and rain. Not to fun in a tent.) There was also the tentative plan of driving out west to Glacier and Yellowstone, and I was not camping in grizzly territory in a tent! (This will be a very long blog post in the future. We did go to Glacier, there where grizzly bears and they tossed all the tents out!)

And where it starts…

I’d been on Pinterest pinning vintage campers for over a year, Shasta’s and Scotty’s. Anything that was cute and old! But after some serious talking we realized that the really old ones were just a little heavy and more work then we wanted. Then one day a little round fiberglass tiny camper popped up. It was perfect! Small, lightweight, affordable and customizable. Perfect. The only problem was finding one. Craigslist became our habit! We looked at a U-haul that someone was trying to sell before their ex-husband found out. He found out. We looked at one that someone was living in, in their parents driveway. Ewww. We tried to look at several more but for one reason or another it didn’t work out. Mostly because we called within and hour of a listing and we were 3rd in line or they were already sold. Then one day on the way home from camping in Florida, I walked out of a yarn store in St. Simons Island, Ga. and Mike told me “We are driving to Alabama tomorrow” and so we did with only a promise that it would be there and not a scam. And it was there!

So we hitched it up our tiny camper and drove it home. Through Atlanta rush hour, at night in the rain! Hindsite, this was probably not the wisest choice for our first time towing something.

And then the real fun began! Gut and remodel time! But that is a story for another post! Or two…


Tiny Red Caravan before photos.

Picture 1 of 13

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