New Reflectix Insulation

The torrential rain we had last weekend confirmed that we HAD found all of the leaks in the trailer forward from the ceiling vent.  And, indeed, it was the loose curtain rod bracket that had caused the largest leak in the front dinette area!

Armed with a can of 3M Hi-Strength 90 spray adhesive, I put up new Reflectix insulation on April 22nd.

I purposely used small pieces of Reflectix instead of trying to run long pieces from front to back.  For one reason, I was working by myself and didn’t want to have something so long that I couldn’t easily handle it easily by myself.  More importantly, I felt that multiple “small” pieces would stick better and be less likely to pull down once the weight of the hull liner was added.

While I’d hoped not to deal with tiny pieces, some of those had to be added, too:

So in the center of the roof–from the vent to the front window–new and extremely-well adhered Reflectix is in place.

While we could probably add new fabric (marine-grade hull liner) by next weekend (a much more challenging project since I will want to use large pieces to avoid lots of seams), I’ll need to make a decision….

There’s some sagging behind the vent to the rear window–and along the rear quarter on the driver’s side.  I’m wondering if I should just rip out the old Reflectix and the not-that-old fabric and start from scratch.   🙁

While the thought has zero appeal (I keep saying I’d rather go camping with the trailer on a free weekend instead of renovating or repairing something!) it might make sense to go on and do it.  Ack.  Always something….

Waiting for the Rain….

On Saturday, April 14th, we tentatively planned to buy a taller ladder to allow easier access to the Scamp’s roof.  We figured we needed this in order to patch the spots I’d identified last month as the source of some small leaks.  But I guess frustration was starting to take its toll regarding the ongoing work on our trailer, because we impulsively made a trip to Ashland, VA to visit a couple of RV dealerships.

If money were no object–or if I didn’t have a problem with the thought of financing a brand new travel trailer for 10 years–I would love to have an R Pod.  These are the best-selling travel trailers under 23 ft. in the country now, and after getting a firsthand look at several different models, I can see why!  With their funky, aerodynamic exterior design, rubber torsion axles, and an assortment of convenient features in a small package, these are incredibly cool little campers!

At the next dealership, we were most interested in a 2015 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 185RB.

The price and features were good–and the salesman really worked with us regarding the price and financing options.  For a relatively small trailer, the interior was spacious and open, and its weight was well within the towing capacity of my small SUV.

We both really liked the trailer.  It would be all we’d need for an extended cross-country type of camping adventure with its A/C, furnace, 3-way refrigerator, propane stove, microwave, bathroom, permanent bed, side dinette, and abundant storage space.  But–bottom line–we just didn’t love it.  🙁

Compared to our Scamp–and even the R Pods that we’d just toured–the Jayco seemed so big and boxy and … rectangular….  We looked at it a second time and continued to talk numbers with our salesman, but in the end we decided that it would make an absolutely wonderful camper for someone–but not for us.

On Sunday afternoon, we took the tarp off our Scamp and leaned a foam-padded extension ladder against the exterior (since we still don’t have a step ladder tall enough to reach the roof!)  The pinholes on the top aren’t visible at all (which is why this has been so frustrating), but by measuring and comparing the circled spots on the ceiling with the corresponding locations on the roof, Wayne was able to add another generous coat of Tropi-Cool roof sealant on the suspicious areas.  For good measure, he used some “Seal-All” inside on the ceiling.


As I’ve said previously, these little pinholes still can’t explain the water that’s appeared on the front dinette bench.  Even though we used butyl tape under the screws when we mounted the brackets for the curtain rods, when I checked one of the brackets, I was shocked to find that it was loose–like wiggly loose!  Could something this simple be the source of the leak in the front dinette?

Wayne tightened both screws in the bracket (yes, we could have used a shorter screw…), and we also found a couple more that weren’t as snug as they should be.

So now we wait.  With heavy rain and storms moving in, I am hopeful that our little trailer will stay completely dry inside!

“Aha,” but also “Hmmmm…..”

It rained during the night and it was raining this morning, so I went out to the trailer to check the exposed ceiling for leaks.  There was a small puddle of water on the front door-side dinette seat, but still no obvious source!  I also saw one drop of water fall from the spot in front of the vent.

I wiped up the puddle then headed to work, and Wayne went out and put a plastic bag on the bench with a towel on top of it.  He also set a couple of buckets under the suspicious spots.

When I got home I went out to the trailer with a magic marker–and a plan…. I took a single layer of toilet paper and pressed it against the pinhole near the vent.  Yep–even though it wasn’t raining right at the moment, the paper was wet (despite the two coats of roof sealant…)  I circled the spot with the marker.

I slowly worked my way to the front, pressing the paper against the ceiling, and I found two more spots that were slightly wet.


While it was “good” to find these leaking pinholes, they still didn’t explain the puddle on the front seat.  I checked rivets and other places on the ceiling, but I guess we’ll have to consider the front window again.  Early in the restoration we sealed all the way around it, but maybe there’s still a way that water is coming in.  Just don’t know….

But with significant snow in the forecast, this evening we put a tarp over the trailer.

At least this should keep everything dry until we can start doing repairs. (Sigh…)

Another attempt to fix an unknown leak, and preparing to re-do the ceiling. :-(

Last July, probably to the horror of many fiberglass RV enthusiasts, we painted the entire roof of the Scamp with Henry Tropi-Cool silicone roof sealant.

We’d dealt with a persistent leak of unknown origin, and really felt that using 2 coats of this special paint would take care of it.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  In heavy rains, a tiny trickle of water would still come from under the insulation and headliner fabric and run down the front window.

Additionally, the ceiling was starting to sag quite noticeably.  This probably had nothing to do with the leak and was more likely due to the fact that a previous owner had ripped out all of the headliner fabric, but left the original insulation.  When we put up new fabric, we (mistakenly) assumed that the insulation was still holding tightly to the ceiling, but the pulling and tugging that he had done to remove the fabric must have weakened the bond of the insulation to the ceiling. Oh, well!

I didn’t think to take any “before” pictures today of the sagging fabric on the ceiling because as soon as I had a warm-enough day to start a project in the trailer, I started pulling and cutting out our (new) headliner fabric along with the old insulation.  I really thought that the leak was probably coming from around the vent (which had been replaced) but there was nothing at all obvious there.  Rats…. And so I continued to cut my way towards the front of the trailer until the center of the ceiling was completely bare from the vent to the front window.

The dark spots on the ceiling look a little suspicious because in 2015–before we put up the new headliner fabric–we dealt with a leak over the door with dark spots around tiny holes that looked like these.  We still have no idea what had caused these tiny pinholes on the roof, and last spring or summer we’d patched everything we could find on the top BEFORE our “last resort” of using the 2 coats of sealant on the roof.

In the pictures below, you can see the patching (done from the top) around some of the dark spots:


The ONLY truly suspicious spot I could see today was a tiny hole about 2 feet towards the front from the vent.  It’s one we hadn’t patched, and you can see the white of the silicone roof sealant through it.  Was this enough to cause the current leak??

I wondered if we should go on and patch all of this, now, from the inside, but then we decided that it might be best to wait until we have a steady rain to see if we can figure out exactly which spot is leaking.  After that we’ll patch everything from the inside, put up new Reflectix insulation using 3M-90 spray adhesive, and–one more time–the headliner fabric.


Fortunately, we have enough fabric left over from when we installed it, initially. And to clarify, it’s not really headliner fabric, but Silver Gray Stratos (plain pattern) marine hull liner that we ordered from PerfectFit.  I can’t remember how many yards we ordered, but I’m glad we won’t have to re-order it.

Being out in the trailer again makes me want to go camping as soon as we have a relatively warm, dry, and open weekend.  As I told Wayne, if an opportunity comes up before we have the new Reflectix and headliner fabric up, we should go anyhow!  I still haven’t ruled out the possibility of adding a sink and propane stove at some point, but as we’ve found already, our little mobile bedroom and dining area are really all we need for a fun camping adventure!

Camping Trip – July 26-27, 2017

With summer winding down, we’re scrambling to finish various projects AND to get in more camping trips! With a little window of opportunity on Wednesday and Thursday, we decided to do another quick trip, this time to Sherando Lake Recreation Area.

Even though it’s called Sherando “Lake,” this recreation area and campground in the Blue Ridge Mountains actually has two lakes.  The larger, lower lake has a beach area for swimming, and the upper lake is for fishing.  There are hiking trails around both.


Since we were too close to the date to be able to reserve a site online, we decided to try the “first come, first served” option.  We drove over (without the trailer) on Wednesday morning, and the young park ranger who greeted us at the gate told us that a site in “B” loop (River Bend) had just opened up.  We paid for one night, and when he suggested that we put something on the site as a visual notice to mark that it was reserved, we asked if our camp chairs would be enough.  When he said yes, we drove into the campground to claim site “B1.”

In the previous post, I mentioned that our car (a Kia Sorento) did great as a tow vehicle.  This trek–though only 25 miles–offered the new challenge of crossing Afton Mountain, westbound on I-64.  While it’s not especially steep (about a 1200 ft climb over 5 miles), and we know we have more than enough towing power with the Kia given the weight of our trailer, it seemed like the car struggled a bit trying to find the right gear.  We were in “sport mode,” as before, but according to some feedback on a Kia forum, I probably should have also used the “manual” gear options.  I’ll try that next time…

In case you’re not familiar with “The Mountain,” this video show eastbound and then westbound travel over Afton Mountain on I-64. It’s definitely a pretty drive. 🙂

Once we were over the mountain, the car pulled the trailer with absolutely no problem, and soon we were backing into our site.   It didn’t take us long to get set up; I think we’re getting better at this….


You meet the nicest people at campgrounds!  In fact, sometimes you meet your cousin!  My cousin, Mary, was camping at Sherando, too. 🙂

After a short visit with her, Wayne and I went back to the trailer, changed into swim suits, and went to the lake.


We spent an hour or so enjoying the water and scenery, then drove back to River Bend Loop.  We both still smile when we see our trailer sitting at a campsite; given what we started with, it’s awesome that we’re now able to use it. 🙂


Time for dinner!  We brought homemade Chicken, Cannalinni Bean & Mushroom soup from home and heated it up on the camp stove.  Another delicious, quick meal….


Just before dark we started a campfire, and Mary and her husband, David, came over to our campsite.  I tried to take a picture with “natural” light (which didn’t work), so I blinded us all for a moment with the flash. 😉

After Mary and David went back to their campsite, we continued to sit out by the fire.  SO nice and relaxing!


Later, when we walked up to the bathhouse, we paused for a while to enjoy the night sky in an area with fewer trees.  Just in the 5 minutes or so that we were standing there, we saw a couple of meteorites and a large, bright satellite.  (The “shooting stars” were probably part of the Perseid meteor shower which will peak around August 12th.)  Last August when we were camping at Sherando, I took this picture of the stars:

It was starting to get cool (which was actually very nice in late July after all the heat and humidity we’ve had!), and the sweatshirts we’d brought with us felt good when we put them on.  Ah, a campfire and katydids; yep, we were happy campers. 🙂

By the time we came inside, it was close to midnight and the fire had burned down to embers.  With the windows open in the trailer, it was definitely “good sleeping weather,” as the old folks say, but at some point during the night,  I realized I was cold!  No worries–I shut the large back window behind the bed, pulled an afghan over me, and drifted back to sleep.

The next morning was clear and beautiful, and we talked (some more) about the feasibility of staying another night.  But with cats to feed and with other “outside world” obligations (there’s no cell service or wif-fi at the campground), we knew we needed to come home.

Before starting to pack up, we walked over to Mary’s campsite (David had left for work earlier in the morning), and enjoyed another chance to visit.  Their trailer is just a bit bigger than our trailer, wouldn’t you say?   But it still wasn’t anywhere close to the size of some of the absolutely enormous trailers and motor homes in the campground!



Mary and I agreed that we’d have to plan a multi-day camping trip together next year at Sherando, but we were glad that we’d wound up there at the same time this year! With goodbyes said, we walked back to our site to get ready to leave.

We’re getting better and faster about getting everything travel ready, too, and we left the campground with a minute or two to spare before the 11:00 a.m. checkout time.


Homeward bound once more, with our little house on wheels following behind. 🙂

Camping Trip – July 22-23, 2017

Misty Mountain Camp Resort is less than 5 miles from home, and sometimes staying so close has advantages: we can pack lightly, come home to get things we inevitably forget (cell phone chargers…), and also take care of our kitties without having to arrange for a pet sitter.  And each time we go somewhere in our Scamp, we learn things that will make the next trip even easier/better, plus it helps us think of some day using this as a true “travel trailer”–when time and circumstances allow.

This was our first camping trip with the Kia Sorento as our tow vehicle.  We recently learned that the trailer weighs just 1680 pounds, and the Kia is rated to tow up to 5000 pounds, so we knew we should be good.  It did fine on a test run last weekend, and of course this was also a short hop with no mountains.  But even with the extreme heat, the car did well, and it seems that using “sport mode” will be the way to go; plenty of power going up the steep hill to site #57.

But heat?  OH, yes–about 95 degrees when we left home, and closer to 100 late in the afternoon.  At least we had a bit of shade–for a while–at our campsite.


After we got set up, Wayne sliced chunks of cold watermelon, which was a most excellent idea!

We’d turned on the air conditioner in the trailer and closed the curtains, but the sun was shining directly on the back of the camper.  I got a sun shade out of the car and put it in the back window, and it seemed to help.  This gave me the idea of making custom sun screens for the trailer windows using Reflectix.  With a couple of pieces of Velcro on them, we’d be able to attach them to the marine hull liner inside.  I’ll add this project to the “to do” list….

It was “Christmas in July” weekend at the campground and some folks really went all out with huge inflatables, Christmas trees, etc.  We kept it simple and just strung some lights around the belly band and the door.  (Oh, do you see the sheen on the front of the trailer?  It looks so much better since we “Zepped” it!  Before, the finish was completely dull and chalky.)


As we lost our shady spot and the day became even hotter and muggier (how was that even possible?), we drove down the hill to the pool.  Even though a lot of people had the same idea, it felt GREAT to get in the water.


Aw, he likes me. 🙂


From swimming pool to playing pool–another fun thing to do at Misty Mountain.


After a couple of games, we went back to our campsite to start dinner.  The previous night we’d gotten Chinese food, and we brought the leftovers with us in the cooler.  Wayne used our propane stove to heat it up for a quick, easy dinner.


Just after we finished eating and had cleaned up, we had visitors–several visitors, actually.  The owner of a 13 ft Trillium trailer came by (he was from Illinois, traveling with his wife and daughter), and several people from the lower level of the campground (in a vintage Airstream and in a Jayco Kiwei hybrid) also stopped at our campsite.  They were all very curious about Scamp trailers, in general, and also interested to see what we’d done inside, once we told them we’d started with an empty shell.  Earlier in the day, Wayne and I had talked about how everyone in a campground is part of a unique, temporary community, so it was fun to meet fellow campers and to show them our trailer. 🙂

We made a quick trip home after that to get my cell phone charger and to feed the cats, then we went back to the campground.


There were activities in the community hall (karaoke and some other contests), but we enjoyed simply sitting outside by our festively-lit trailer.  We thought about building a campfire, but decided it was still way too hot to really enjoy it!


I was fascinated by the moving laser lights that another camper had set up under a canopy of trees….


Like thousands of fireflies twinkling on the leaves, the effect was absolutely magical, especially with a chorus of katydids supplying the soundtrack.


We noticed a lot of “heat lightning,” but then realized we were hearing thunder–uh oh….  We weren’t really surprised that we’d get a storm (given the day’s heat), but when a weather app on my phone flashed an alert about a severe thunder storm warning, we got moving.  We put the chairs, camp stove, and Wayne’s guitar in the car, and ducked into the trailer just as the rain started.  It poured for a while, and I actually enjoyed hearing the pounding rain on the roof of the trailer because it reminded me of some of the camping adventures I’d had with my parents when I was a kid.  I think that’s a lot of the appeal of camping for me now–while Wayne and I are creating new memories, it also helps me remember simple–but special–times with my parents….

Fortunately, the storm didn’t last too long and it wasn’t severe in our area (other parts of the state weren’t so lucky…), but there was still some vivid lightning, and a few rumbles of thunder shook our little house on wheels.   But good news: everything stayed completely dry inside.  We’re hopeful that the sealant we recently put on the roof closed up any tiny, essentially invisible pinholes that had caused a persistent leak near the front of the trailer.  I guess we’ll need a sustained rain to know for sure.

As usual, I slept soundly in the Scamp.  This was the first time we’d ever left the A/C on all night, and I’m sure that helped immensely.  Another storm may have moved through at some point (I’d looked at weather radar before turning out the light), but if it did, I didn’t hear it.

In the morning, we ate a quick breakfast of coffee and bagels out on the still-damp picnic table.  We had time to go feed our cats (as well as the feral kitties that I care for) before the noon checkout time.


On our way out to run these errands, we stopped by the lower camping area to see some of the folks who’d visited us the night before. Again, there was this sense of “community” as we talked with a private school administrator, a French teacher, and with the Airstream owner who showed us some of the modifications he’d made on his trailer.  Good people, one and all….

When we got back, a lot of campers were on the move–heading home or heading out to continue their vacation travels–and it was time for us to pack up, too.  We thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to be a part of this special “neighborhood” at Misty Mountain, even if it was for only one night. 🙂

July 15, 2017 – Scamp-centric Day!

What a busy, productive day!!

We got up early and started working on the trailer.  Since we bought it in November 2014, we’ve had some minor leaks inside which are probably due to tiny pinholes on the roof (that are essentially invisible).  We’d patched all that we’d found but still had some leaking after heavy rains,  so we decided to do an all-over roof sealant.  Fingers crossed that this will fix it, once and for all…


By 10:00, Wayne had the first coat of sealer on the roof, and while we waited for that to dry, we drove over to the local landfill and had our car weighed; 4620 lbs.  The woman at the scale said it would be fine to come back later to get the weight of the car and trailer, so that became part of the afternoon’s plan.

16′ Scamps can weigh anywhere between about 2200-2800 pounds (or more), depending on how they’re equipped and packed, but the weight of our trailer has been a mystery since we bought it.  It was basically a shell before we started renovating it, and everything we built (counters, cabinet spaces, benches, permanent bed in the back, etc.) was made with 3/4″ plywood–certainly heavier than the fiberglass components that are found in traditional Scamps.  On the other hand, we only have an A/C in the front closet, and don’t have a refrigerator, stove, heater, water tanks, and other things that you’d find in a trailer fresh from the factory.

Last September when a friend had to tow our trailer home after our Toyota 4Runner broke down on our way to a campground, he said it felt really heavy to him–possibly as much as 3500 pounds!  Yikes!  It seemed impossible that we could have added that much weight with the wood, but we’d started wondering if we should try to make some modifications inside to make it lighter.

Our 2000 4Runner served us well (most of the time…) as a tow vehicle, but last August I bought a Kia Sorento with the intention of being able to use it to pull our trailer.  Rated to tow 5000 pounds, I finally had a hitch, wiring harness, and brake controller installed early this summer.  Since it was too hot (and WAY too bright!) to try to get the second coat of sealant on the roof during the middle of the day, we hooked up the trailer to the Kia to do a test drive.

The hitch on the Kia is much lower than the one on the 4Runner, so I got a 4″ rise mount and hoped that would be enough to keep the trailer level while towing.  Also, the new brake controller was different from the one on the 4Runner, and we needed to figure out how to use it.

The reviews for the Tekonsha Voyager brake controller were quite good, but after reading the manual, it seemed much more complicated to calibrate than the one we have on the 4Runner. Once we had the basic adjustments figured out (while still in our neighborhood), we made our second trip of the day to the landfill.

I could definitely feel the trailer behind me (these little single-axle trailers bounce like crazy…), but the car seemed to handle it without a problem.  Also, while we’d attached towing mirrors to the regular side mirrors on my car, I found I could actually see better just with the Kia’s wide side mirrors.  (We’ll probably try these towing mirrors again at some point before deciding, for sure, that we don’t need to use them–or that we need to buy a different style of mirror.)

We got to the landfill, waited until the attendant (a different person) waved us onto the scale, and explained that we’d like to get a weight on the car and trailer.  If we’d wanted an “official” weight with a printed receipt, there would have been a charge, but there was no charge just to have it weighed. Nice!  With a combined car/trailer weight at 6300 pounds, we were delighted to learn that the trailer weighs just 1680 pounds!  MUCH better than we’d anticipated.

Virginia law states that trailers over 3000 pounds are required to have brakes, but as people in RV forums always point out, it’s not just a matter of how much your vehicle can safely tow, but how much it can safely stop.  Since the brakes on the trailer were fully warmed up, we continued to drive around, making adjustments on the controller.  At one point when I felt the brakes “grab” when I was stopping, I turned the power down.  But then when I didn’t feel them activating quite enough, I moved the power up a bit.  After more back and forth tweaking, we finally we seemed to find the right degree of braking power.

I also wanted to check to see how level the trailer was, so we pulled into a parking lot to check the car, hitch, and trailer, and to take some pictures.  Seems to be quite level.  I’d bought a ball mount that offered a bit more space from the back of the car to the trailer because I wasn’t sure if a standard one would allow us to open the hatchback without hitting the jack on the trailer.  I think either would have been fine.


Wayne wanted to get a picture of me with the car and trailer, but oh my….  Yes, here I am making quite the fashion statement, still dressed in my early morning goofy painting garb. 😉


We drove for a while at highway speeds on Rt. 250 because I wanted to experiment with the “sport mode” on the Kia.  Many people recommend using this engine mode when towing a trailer.  (This model of Sorento has normal, eco, and sport modes.) At this point, I’m not really sure what I think of it; I’ll need to read more to see what the advantages are–and tow a bit more to see how the car responds–before knowing if it’s the best mode for us to use with this particular trailer.

When we got home, I had to back the trailer into the driveway.  Ugh.  While I DO understand how to do this–in theory–it is still a miserably slow process, even with Wayne’s patient assistance.  Finally, finally I had it backed up into the right place, and overall we agreed that we were pleased with the way the car had performed on this short trip out and about.

By late afternoon, it was time for the second coat of roof sealant.  Again we used painters tape and newspaper to make sure that the sealant stayed just on the top of the roof.  I guess this time it went on faster, but by the time we’d finished we were both sweaty, exhausted, and ready for Ibuprofen.

So after a few Scamp-centric days, we got a lot done!  The main body of the trailer is much shinier than it was (and hopefully easier to keep clean); the roof has been sealed and is now a very shiny, bright white; we know what the trailer weighs; we know that the car will tow it just fine; and we know that the brake controller will stop it.  Now to find time to actually GO somewhere with it! 🙂

July 13, 2017 – Shiny!

Well, at least “shinier.” 🙂

Last year when we waxed the Scamp it looked pretty good, but the shine didn’t last long at all.  While we don’t know the full history of our 1995 trailer, we can assume that not much has been done to maintain the exterior over the years; any gloss or gel coat was long, long gone by the time we bought it.  The surface turned very “chalky” whenever we washed it, and the water we rinsed it with actually looked “milky.”

We cleaned it up last Spring for a quick camping trip, but by June it looked worse than ever!  There were green streaks on it, and an amazing amount of dust and dirt.  When we washed it again in early July, it literally took hours to get it clean.  WAY too much work…

We kept it covered with a large tarp after that while we tried to figure out what to do.  We were disappointed with how quickly the wax coating had faded, and weren’t sure we wanted to go that route again.

I’d read about people using Zep floor polish (!) to make old fiberglass trailers shiny again (and therefore easier to keep clean), and while some people don’t recommend using this because it has no UV protection, we decided to give it a go.

I didn’t take any pictures before using the Zep, but this is what the trailer looked like last April after we’d washed it for our camping outing–clean, but with a dull finish.  That’s basically how it looked after our most recent washing and scrubbing session.

So we bought a gallon of Zep and some microfiber towels (use white or light towels–we discovered that a yellow towel started leaving yellow streaks!), and started wiping on the polish on Wednesday, July 12th.  We didn’t notice much of an improvement after two coats, so we added a couple more coats.  Finally–as we reached 7 or 8 coats over the course of two days–we were able to achieve a nice gloss.

Having the trailer look nicer was certainly one of the goals, but from what we’ve read, it should be much easier to clean in the future.  Fingers crossed!

Oh, did you notice the blue painter’s tape along the roof line?

Since we’re still apparently dealing with some tiny, essentially invisible pinholes on the roof that have caused some leaks, our next project will be painting the roof with a sealant.  After that, we’ll need to reattach some of the hull liner and insulation that have started sagging inside as a result of the leaks. (!)

Before we fix the ceiling, however, we might try to get in some camping trips because the summer is going way too quickly, as usual.  I’ve finally got the Kia set up as a tow vehicle (same tow rating as our 4Runner, 5000 lbs.), but first we need to figure out how to set the new brake controller. (It’s much more complicated to calibrate, but it’s probably a better product than what we have on the 4Runner.)

We do love our little trailer, but it seems we’re still in a pattern of restoration–and then fixing the things we’ve already fixed!  Always something. 🙂

Impromptu Camping Trip – April 8-9, 2017

Saturday, April 8th was gorgeous–really the quintessential Springtime-in-Virginia type of day.  We had a slow, lazy start to the morning, and then thought about working in the trailer.   We also thought about “driveway camping” that night since the weather was so nice, but then Wayne said we should actually go somewhere with the trailer.  Hmmmm…. I knew that a couple of relatively close campgrounds were already full (I’d checked earlier in the week, just in case), but then he suggested Misty Mountain, which is literally right up the road from us.  It was 12:30 in the afternoon, and I wasn’t too optimistic since it’s a very popular campground.   When I called, however, they said they had a few open sites, so I quickly made a reservation for that evening, and said we’d be there within an hour.  Things didn’t quite work out that way!

Once we took the tarp off, we could see that the trailer was really dirty, plus I noticed that the tires looked low.  Wayne tried to inflate the first one with a manual pump, but it actually let air out of the tire. Not good….  Ultimately, he had to go buy an electric pump, and while he was gone, I cleaned off the outside of the trailer as best I could to make it a bit more presentable.  The next challenge involved getting a car close enough TO the trailer to be able to connect the pump to the cigarette lighter in the car and still reach the passenger side tire.   Anyhow, a couple of hours later, we were hitched up and pulling out of the driveway. 🙂


Our site was #49, and since there was a little pop-up trailer in #50 (and no vehicle at the site when we got there), we were able to pull through instead of backing in.  This is always a good thing!

By not planning ahead for this trip–and knowing we were close to home–we brought very little “stuff.”  The advantage to this is that we were set up–and relaxing–in no time. 🙂  With few leaves on the trees, we could see the Blue Ridge Mountains from our site.


The trailer looked so pretty inside with the late afternoon sun shining in.  Yes, we’ve still got a lot more we want/need to do with the trailer, but we’re so glad that we can use it! After a lot of hard work, it’s become a comfortable little home on wheels.


The disadvantage of bringing “very little ‘stuff’,” however, meant that we didn’t have our camp stove or cooler with us, and we didn’t have anything for dinner.  No worries–Wayne went out foraging (to a place a couple of miles away),  and came back with fried chicken, macaroni salad, potato wedges, and some drinks, which we ate while sitting at the picnic table.

Misty Mountain has lot of scheduled activities (and LOTS of things for kids), so we decided to go down the hill to the community building at 7:00 pm to check out the live music.  We were in the upper camping area, and there are two lower camping areas (past the little pond).   There were two other fiberglass “eggs” in the lower campground Saturday night–a Casita and a 13-ft. Scamp.

Before going in to listen to the music, we decided to make a quick trip to the house to get our cell phone chargers (which we’d forgotten), and some yogurt for breakfast (that we put in an insulated backpack).  After giving the kitties a little more food, we drove back to the campground community building.

Yay!  Live music!  Pool tables!



We played four games of pool while listening to a couple of sets of music by the groups, and drove back up the hill to our campsite a little after 9:00 pm.  We’d left our Scamp’s “porch” light on, and an almost-full moon was rising above it.

The crystal clear skies brought falling temperatures, so Wayne started a fire and got out his guitar.  When I took this picture, I didn’t expect the flash to go off; I thought I would get his silhouette.   As a result, the picture is too bright, and the video clip is too dark. Reality was somewhere in the middle.   🙂

We turned on our little ceramic heater to let the trailer warm up, and we continued to sit outside by the fire, moving closer and closer to it as the night got colder.

When I started getting shivery–and the fire had burned down to embers–we went inside, where it was quite cozy.  I always sleep incredibly well in the trailer (we have a full size memory foam mattress that we cut to fit the curves of the trailer), and this night was no exception. Even though the temperature dropped to the low/mid 30s outside, we were warm and comfortable in the Scamp.

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we fixed coffee (always a priority) and ate breakfast in the trailer (yogurt, plus peanut butter on bread).  The dinette was a huge project last summer, and this was the first time that we’d had a chance to use it.  🙂

We were blessed with another beautiful Spring day, and it warmed up quickly.



Can you see me through all the reflections in the window?


I finally ventured out, and we enjoyed a few more peaceful, relaxed hours at Misty Mountain before heading home.

Yes, indeed, happy campers.  Very happy campers. 🙂