This past weekend, we took the kids for a long weekend in Gatlinburg. Truth be told, it was maybe the first time we have taken them anywhere that didn’t involve visiting family. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but even this trip wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been conned into buying a “vacation” from a time share place…because I was never told was a time share gig.
So yeah, we had to listen to the pitch and all that. It wasn’t super awesome, but we did get $100 out of it…and it got HandyHubs and I talking about vacations in general, and realizing that we wanted to make it a priority to spend time taking the kids to see and do things outside of our general vicinity. I.e., vacations.
(For the record, I consider traveling to stay with family as “trips,” an traveling to do stuff as “vacations.” Sometimes they overlap, but the point is, our lives are full of trips and devoid of vacations.)
HandyHubs loves to camp and backpack and has lots of memories camping with his family when he was young. I’m more of a comfy bed and air conditioning type of girl. But I love being outside, especially when shade and cool breezes are involved.
So we have been talking about doing some camping this summer, and realized we’d need to put at least $500 into gear to make it happen. We’d need a family-sized tent, and I’d need some accommodations to keep my back from putting me on the DL our first night out.
Now, we’ve also talked for years about finding an old Airstream and fixing it up someday. Someday. You know, budgets and all that. But we’re not afraid of things that need work. We have vision. And HandyHubs can fix just about anything. He has background in graphic design, tool & die machining, carpentry, furniture design, prototyping, sketching, and industrial design. Soooo, he’s got it covered.
I’m bringing up the rear with research skills, bargain-hunting skills, list-making skills, cooking skills, delegating skills, and photography skills.
We’re a great team.
Last year I started looking into popup campers as kind of an Airstream-for-now plan. Air conditioning was a MUST. And a slide-out dinette was ideal. But $5k we did not have, and a popup we did not buy.
So back to our talk about what matters. We both agreed that more vacations were in order, and as we were driving home from Gatlinburg, I scoured Craigslist for deals on our dream popup and Googled “pop up camper mods.” And that’s when I came across my new favorite website, The Popup Princess. I told HandyHubs we’re doing it. No arguments, we were buying a popup and modding it.
The next day, I found a popup that looked promising about an hour from home. All the features we were looking for, and a pretty great price. We went there ready to bring it home, but it needed more work than had originally been disclosed, and we walked.
The next morning, I checked the same ad again, and the guy had dropped the price 33%. We couldn’t say no.
So after a series of unfortunate events while picking it up, HandyHubs endured, overcame, and safely brought home our 2001 Coleman Utah.
Albeit without the key to the camper.
Maybe it will arrive in the mail today, lol. When it gets here, we’ll pop ‘er up and get some before photos, mouse poop and all. And with the help and experience of many who have gone before us (and have been kind enough to document their progress as we hope to), we’ll get this puppy camp-worthy.
It won’t be easy. But it will definitely be worth it.