Happy Campers

Picking up the camper pretty much shot the whole day yesterday, but it's home now, and we've put most everything away. Snow has been falling off and on all day, and we're expecting a deep accumulation over night. As I'm writing this, Mike has gone off to his workplace to pick up a few things so that he can work at home tomorrow if necessary. As for what I have to tell you, I'm afraid it's all camper today. If that doesn't interest you, you might just want to move along to the next blog on your list, because I don't want to bore you. If you are interested though, sit tight because I'm just about to tell you more about the camper than you ever wanted to know. Ready? Here we go.

Loadin 'er up here boss. That's Ned there between the truck and the camper. Very nice guy who did the walk through with us and then helped us get on our way. Lovely weather we were having.

When we got it home, Mike took it off the truck and left it there next to the house. Also we extended the awning so that we could stay dry as we loaded our crap back inside. It's the first electric awning we've had, and Mike was feeling pretty smug pushing the button and having the thing go out all by itself. There's a row of LED lighting there on the outer edge. Cool, huh?

The drain in our driveway is always plugged, and that's Lake Stanbro off to the right of the image above. The camper has slides on each side and in the back, and that is what accounts for its bigger-on-the-inside-than-it-looks-from-the-outside appearance. 

Inside, the dining table and chairs are located in the rear slide. I love that big window. Space was at such a premium in the previous camper that we got accustomed to using that silverware caddy you see on the table. It stays put even going down the road because of a non-skid shelf liner cut to size and placed underneath. Also, those placemats will stay put since they're made from the same material. Up above, there is quite a bit of storage space for extra paper towels, maps, books, paper plates, and the like.

Oh yes...can't forget to tell you about this little pin my friend Sue gave me. It was in the other camper too.

In case you're wondering, the chairs strap to the leg of the table when we're in motion. The table is bolted to the floor. There is a leaf that extends out if you want more room at the table.

Also, the back part of the table lifts up and there is some storage space underneath. The table in our fifth wheel is like this too, and my laptop rides nicely there. This is where I sit when I write my blog posts.

Also, the seats of the chairs lift up for more storage space. This is a good place for storing napkins, a deck of cards, coasters...that sort of thing.

To the right of the dining table is the driver-side slide where there is some "theater-style" seating. The chairs recline back and the foot rests pop out. This was our biggest reason for wanting a larger camper...comfortable seating. The window to the left of the seating is where the catio will fit eventually. We're going to need to replace that window, however. The windows are a frameless style, and the bottom section only tips out just a few inches. We need something that will slide open so that the kitties can have access to their catio. Having enough space to bring the kitties was another big part of the reason for wanting a larger camper. We don't like leaving them at home, and we miss them when they aren't with us.

To the left of the table is the door to the camper and the passenger-side slide where the kitchen is located.

It's a very nice molded sink with full-sized drains. Usually RV's have these little tiny drains with stoppers that have to be pushed in and twisted. We're really happy about this sink. There's also a spigot there for filtered water, and so wherever we're camping, we'll always have filtered water. The faucet for the sink has a pull out spray nozzle just like the one in our kitchen at home. (Those are pretty standard on RV's these days.) I like this kitchen set up because two people can stand on opposite sides of the counter and work. Living in a small RV is as much about the choreography as it is about the efficient use of space.

There are two shelves in the space under the sink. The coffee pot was the first thing to get put away.

In the image below, you can see the rest of the kitchen. There's a good amount of counter space.

Above the cooktop is a combination convection/microwave. The microwave operates with a turntable, and there are also metal racks to be used with the convection oven. The round metal rack is to be used for cooking with a combination of convection and microwave. That seems a little weird to me, and I can't imagine doing both at once...but who knows? I've done some strange things while cooking in an RV.

Below the microwave/convection oven is a cooktop. The lid closes down and it can be used for more workspace. (I like the little spice rack behind.) Oh yes, and there is a ventilation fan on the bottom side of the microwave.

When you lift the cover on the cooktop, there are three burners beneath.

By having the convection oven in the microwave, it opens up this area below the cooktop where the oven would ordinarily be. The oven has been replaced by three much-appreciated drawers for storage.

The top drawer is not quite as deep as the lower two, but it still holds a ton of cooking tools. The two drawers below hold a ton of crap as well.

Just to the right of the drawers is this pull out pantry. Nice, huh? I don't have much there, but I doubt it will take long to fill in that space.

To the left of the cooktop is a nice sized refrigerator. This is as large as the refrigerator in our fifth wheel, and we can easily fit food for a week or more in here.

Above that, a freezer, complete with ice pack for the weak-kneed people. The little plastic bucket there is our ice bucket.

On the wall opposite the refrigerator is a nice big blank wall, and that's where my Wheel Estate quilt is going to hang when it's finished. That leads to the over cab portion of the camper and Mike's side of the bed.

Still from the table, turn around 180° and there's a sort of media center. There's a good sized TV, radio, DVD player, etc. So far, those cabinets below the TV are empty. We'll probably use those for DVD's, remotes, etc. Mounted on the wall just below the TV there are a couple of USB ports for charging cell phones.

Behind the media player and right in the middle of the camper is where the bathroom is located. On either side are the passageways leading to the over cab portion where the bed is located. This is my side of the bed, and you can see that there's no longer a need to climb up into the bed. The whole camper sits above the rails of the truck bed, and so everything is higher up. It's still a big step up for me, however, and my knee won't allow me to crawl in that way. We're going to put a folding step stool there, and that will make it easier for me to get up and down.

As for the bathroom, here's how it looks. That's a fold-down clothes-drying rack on the right side of the shower there.

There's a tiny sink and a shower to the right with a shower curtain that will keep everything from getting wet. All those suction cup bins are just stuck there temporarily. We'll probably relocate them eventually, but for now, they're out of the way. There is a medicine cabinet behind the mirror, as you might expect.

Above the toilet is another cabinet and a woefully inadequate towel bar. We'll probably put another towel bar, or a ring, or maybe just some hooks for hanging towels and clothing. Also, there is a pocket door there for privacy.

Turn directly around from the toilet, and there is a "wardrobe/dressing area." The drawers below are a good size and will hold plenty of clothing for the journey.

Inside the doors are some adjustable shelves and a place for hanging clothes.

Finally, if you can believe this, there is a king-sized bed over the cab of the truck. 

The overhead storage there will probably be comandeered by kitties. It's inconvenient as storage space (and conveniently located for banging your head). The kitties like having their own bedroom cubbies, and so we'll set that up with some thin pillows and doll quilts. What's that? Our kitties are spoiled? Now, why would you say something like that?

There are storage areas on either side of the bed, and that will be nice for stashing jammies and shoes. 

Also, I wanted to mention the bed "linens." This set-up will save a marriage, and Mike gets all the credit for discovering it. First, we've put a tempurpedic mattress pad over the bed, which makes it very comfortable. Then, the "linens" consist of a king-sized sleeping bag that zips all the way around. Because it's a sleeping bag, you don't have to mess with trying to make the bed with conventional sheets. On the inside are removable sheets that can be taken out and laundered.

 The "shell" is of a regular fabric on one side. In warm weather, this side goes up. 

The other side is a comforter-weight cover. In cold weather, that side goes up. Nifty, huh?

There's another TV in the bedroom that can be watched while lying in bed. (Frankly, I'm not sure why such a small space needs two TV's, but there you go, like it or not.)

Straight over the bed is a nice big skylight. This will open to allow air in, and it can be closed off for darkness as well.

And that's pretty much it. Smitty is bored with all this camper business, but he's happy that the boxes have been emptied out in the process.

This being Super Bowl Sunday, I'm making snacks throughout the day. Right now, I have some chicken wings marinating for Spicy Baked Chicken Wings. I made these last year, and they were quite a hit.

Also, I'm making potato skins the way the Pioneer Woman makes hers, although I've substantially reduced the recipe from feed-an-army size to potato skins for two. Finally, now that I've gotten over my fear of pizza dough, I'm going to try a new recipe for Pizza Margherita, which I happen to love. I've had pretty good luck with recipes I've tried from the NY Times Cooking section, and so I'll give theirs a try. It's pretty straightforward, but I like their note about making the pizza sauce from canned tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, and a little salt.

So there you go. I hope you weren't expecting any sewing...I'll get back to that tomorrow.

25 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Beautiful Truck and Camper. Happy for you. :)

Ioleen Kimmel said...

Absolutely a beautiful home on wheels. You, Mike and the kitties well enjoy every minute.

quiltzyx said...

The camper is a beautiful mini-home-away-from-home to be sure! Thanks for the tour.

I was thinking about trying some "cheeseburger garbage bread", but decided it is too much for just me. So that will have to wait until someone has a party.

Lucky Smitty, a new box to sit in!

Sandra W said...

That was fun!

claudia said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour de camper! Boy they sure pack a lot into campers these days, but that's good thing. Two TVs? that will save a marriage too, just in case you can't agree on what to watch!
Thanks for sharing your new toy!!!

Kristin in Alaska said...

For the life of me I can't figure out how there is so much space in that truck camper.... Looks like it has more space than some travel trailers w/o pullouts that I've been in...

Quilting Babcia said...

That looks like an amazingly comfy home away from home! I'm sure you'll be taking it on its maiden voyage as soon as the snow melts. Sorry to hear another storm is headed your way.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you for the tour of the new camper - fabulous! We are expecting more snow too.

WoolenSails said...

Looks like a great space for travel and storage for all your projects;)
I don't understand the tv myself, I don't use it, I sit outside and watch the fire, lol.
But, I do know if it is raining or I got sick, nice to have it, but in mine is is over the dining area, nothing in the bedroom, so I would just use the computer anyways.


crazy quilter said...

I sure love your new camper! How wonderful it is! I know you and the kitties will love your new space on the next trip . Enjoy! How exciting!!

Robin in Portland Oregon said...

Wow! How Fun! Thanks for the tour it was very interesting. Love all the hidden storage places. My father was Air Force so I grew up in what were called then "Trailer Houses". I've always loved small and snug places like this. My husband though feels claustrophobic in them, so no campers for us.

Brown Family said...

It is fun to see the progression of a camper. I remember the ones that fit inside the bed of the truck and you had an airplane aisle down the middle. You are going to have so much fun!

liniecat said...

That looks to be a comfy and practical camper am sure you'll enjoy your travelling even more now.

Motherdragon's Musings said...

Thank you for showing us around your new camper. It is magical. You will have many days of fun in this.

Gretchen Weaver said...

Jsst curious, do you know where your camper was manufactured? The county I live , Elkhart County, northern Indiana, is know as the RV capital of the US. More RV's are made in our county than any other place. Just wondered if it was one of 'ours'. Enjoy! villacrestfarm@gmail.com

Dana Gaffney said...

I love all of the storage, it looks like they used every possible hidey place for it. It's like a Tardis, so much bigger on the inside.

Debbie said...

Thanks for the great tour. Looks like you have things figured out for some enjoyable times! The slide outs sure make a big difference., So much nicer that the gypsy one---caravan type-- my Dad had ages ago.....but we loved it then.

Sherry said...

Enjoyed the tour, lovely home away from home. I am sure you will have many happy hours traveling in it. Looks as if there will be room for a machine and sewing supplies too! Happy traveling....

Vicki in MN said...

Thank you for the tour! It's amazing how much storage and how much one can pack into a camper isn't it! Our refrigerators are exactly the same:)

Shari said...

Great tour! I know yu will enjoy it!

Dar said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the camper and would love one just like it. You didn't tell us the brand and model #. Of course, we don't have a truck to attach it to. Do you think a little Honda would do the job? lol
We are having a big RV show right now in our city. I love going and walking through all the models dreaming of how fun it would be to hit the road and see the good ole USA!! We are having spring temps this week - high 50's and 60's, so I'm ready for outside activities for sure. I'm sure that won't last until Spring though.

Kate said...

Wow! Thank you for the tour. Campers have come a long way! Looks like a great way to enjoy traveling and hiking. When does the camper take it's first voyage?

Lyndsey said...

Loved the tour of the camper, you, Mike and the kitties should be very comfortable on your trips.I love following along on your trips.

Jenny - the lilac cat said...

Wow. It's like the Tardis but much more comfortable and clever!!! Loved the tour and look forward to your first trip. We don't have these in the UK so it was particularily interesting. I'm guessing your fifth wheel is bigger? And what will take you on your grand tour? And I thought the sleeping bag idea was ingenious. The sort of clever thinking which keeps a marriage happy and strong!

gpc said...

What a beauty, and how exciting to look forward to your next big trip! Ahh, Pioneer Woman . . . her potato skins are a family favorite.