On our last stop in Vegas we were next door to a Casita.
For those wanting something small to travel in these side by side photos giveyou an idea of how tiny they are. Our little Airstream is only 22ft., which by most RV standards is small,but when seen beside the Casita… looks large. The owners have had it for a year and use it for short trips.
They like the convenience of it and said it works for them (primarily) because they are both small in stature, otherwise they don’t know if the bed would work as it is only a full. I know the hubby and I would never make it in a single full size bed… never. make. it.
Anyone interested in a tiny camper like this might also check out Burro’s and Scamps.
On our last stop in Vegas we were next door to a Casita.
Some before & after photos:
Oh my. A diamond in the rough.
WOW! 100% Amazing!
Stephanie & Taylor evaluated things in their lives, considered a year long journey on the open road,
and due to economy, hesitated to make the leap.
A visit with friends, pondering life, love, and everything in between…and they were ready to jump.
And they did. For a whole year. In a tiny little Scamp. (makes eddie seem huge!)
The above before & after photos will hopefully inspire those of you who feel new is out of reach.
Showing what they started with and what the outcome was…talk about about a transformation!
Plus, Scamps are lightweight, allowing a wider range of vehicles to pull them.. definite bonus.
They designed the renovation, and Taylor did all the work himself, which includes:
(here is where you remember that little tip of evaluate your time and abilities.. see here.)
brand new axle, wheels and tires
new spare tire and rim
fiberglass shell made water tight
fiberglass shell re-enforced around frame
door was re-fabricated and sealed
semi-primed and ready for paint job
new door locks
all new exterior outlets and connection (city water, electrical, etc)
new plug for exterior power chord
new trailer lighting harness
new reflectors on all sides
includes hitch with double bike rack
trailer tongue lock, ball lock and hitch lock with master key
brand new faux hardwood floors
new vintage color green upholstery
new paint everywhere
custom cabinets and new hardware
new table top
customized temper-pedic bed topper
installed window ac unit
plug-in space heater
camper toilet (stows in built-in cabinet)
electrical wiring completely redone
new GFCI outlets (4 outlets total)
new plumbing including faucet
sink drains to grey water tank
city water connects to faucet
new electrical fridge
18″ flat screen HDTV with AV connections for laptop or DVDs
track lighting with dimmer and frosted glass shades over kitchen
closet refitted with drawers for storage
new bungees for securing doors while driving
new Coleman propane stove, for use indoors or outdoors
As you can see, a good amount of work went into their renovation
(but just one peek at those B&A photos & we knew that!)
But, still very reasonable and it got them on the road and living a dream.
Stephanie and I chatted and she did a Q & A for all of you, enjoy!!
1. What made you decide on a Scamp?
We discovered travel trailers on Craigslist while searching for an RV. These egg campers were so cute and affordable, we began searching for Casitas and Burros, but never found a used one in good enough condition. So we began thinking about how to go about renovating one. When we found our Scamp on Craigslist, it was totally trashed, used first as a hunting trailer (it had camo EVERYTHING inside) and then as a band’s gear-hauling trailer. We knew we’d found our trailer, ripe for the renovating and cheap to boot! It took us 6 weeks to renovate that thing, but we love it now!
2. Were you worried about being in such a small camper for both of you for a year?
YES! Everyone who hears about our year in that tiny space marvels at how we didn’t kill each other! Ha ha! But it actually forced us to learn to work together as a team better. Our very first night Scamping, we quickly realized that only one person at a time could stand up in that thing! That really changes how we do things- we had to take turns!
3. What are your top loves about your Scamp and what would you change if you could have?
Oh my gosh, I love our Scamp- it’s like our baby. I don’t ever want to get rid of it! I really love the colors and patterns we picked for the interiors. The bed is remarkably comfy! I think Taylor would say he loves the flat screen TV on an adjustable arm. We watched a lot of late night movies in bed while we camped!
4. Did you follow any sort of daily routine?
Well, it depended on where we were (mountains skiiing, redwoods camping, or in a city sight-seeing). Generally, we’d wake up, get ready and start cooking breakfast. We’d leave the Scamp at the campground and drive to whatever we wanted to see or do that day. By the time we came back for the evening, usually with some dinner groceries in tow, it was time to start making dinner and snuggle back into our Scamp for the night.
5. Did you stay mostly at state parks, private, or both? And do you have a preference? If so, what & why?
Well, we thought the Walmart idea would be a cool/free way to camp- but it was creepy. We only did that twice. We stayed at a couple private RV parks, but preferred state parks. Especially Oregon state parks- they were incredible! Great amenities and beautiful scenery!
6. Was the switch to using campground bathrooms a hard adjustment? Any tips to make the transition easier for those not on the road yet?
Some are better/cleaner/nicer than others. If you can choose your campground based on the bathroom, do it. Have a bathroom kit (kinda like a college dorm bathroom kit)- toiletries, shower flip-flops (A MUST!), scrubbies, etc… we learned to shower without touching anything but the water in those public bathrooms. Eeew. You just have to do your best.
7. For your year long journey you stayed primarily on the western side of the United States, was that intentional?
NO! ha ha, we wanted to do most of the U.S and then leave the Scamp in Texas and backpack Europe, but we ran out of time! Besides enjoying the West so much, my dad was in a pretty terrible car accident, so we spent 2 months during the summer back in Texas with my family. He’s ok now, but it was a pretty horrific scare! Family crisis aside, there’s so much to see and do- we decided to enjoy ourselves and not follow a strict schedule but just travel where we want and stay as long as we want. It made everything so much more easy going.
8. How did you spend your time when you were caught in inclement weather?
Um, we kept traveling. SCARY! And maybe not the brightest idea. We actually pulled the Scamp through a blizzard near Wolf Creek in Colorado. Taylor will tell you it was the scariest time of his life driving that. Oh, that and driving the treacherous mountain roads near Durango CO. Colorado has scary roads, when it’s cold!
9. What comforts of home did you miss the most? the least?
Did NOT miss TV, oddly enough. I mean, we watched movies some nights, but we didn’t have cable and we didn’t miss it. I missed having a bathtub- I love bubble baths! And of course, I super missed my mom.
10. Can you share your top tips for future and wannabe travelers?
If traveling with a husband/friend/other, learn to cooperate early! Traveling can be stressful when you have to share a vehicle, camp spot, schedule, etc. So work towards always pursuing peace rather than getting what you want.
Sight-seeing is great, but don’t forget to visit places where you have friends. Some of our favorite places that year weren’t because of the place but because of the people we met up with, like old friends we hadn’t seen, etc. That makes a great visit!
Be friendly wherever you go- you never know if you’re going to make a friend!
Financially, we didn’t have enough money to last the whole year, but felt like God would take care of us- and He did! But it was scary. If I had to do it again, I would have trusted so much more.
Trust. A good lesson for all of us. Thanks Stephanie & Taylor!
There are so many travel trailers to choose from, and many that are lightweight and require no more than a mid-size car to be able to hitch up and go! The first picture is of a Shasta, these are so cute and you will see them painted in all kinds of fun, bright colors, if you want something small you would be hard pressed to get a cuter, lightweight towable, the last picture is of a Scotty and they are super cute, and lightweight as well.
This is just a small sampling of some vintage models, although the Scamp is still being made so it is available new too. (If you like the scamp you might also look at the Casita, and the Burro, they are very similar) Some of these models are quite small but depending on your needs could be just the thing.
We love vintage and the good news is you can buy fully restored vintage if renovating isn’t your thing. If you are up for doing your own restoration, with consistent looking, good deals are out there all the time. Keep in mind though, aside from what you can see when you check one out, you can count on 20 things (at least) that you can’t see. In the little trailers there is wood in lots of them and wood + age + water can = major restoration when you go to work on floors and plumbing. That isn’t a reason not to buy, but is a reason to think long and hard about the time you can invest, the price you pay, and your abilities! We would love to see pictures of your vintage travel trailers, send them our way so we can share!
(picture sources: shasta – nat’l serro scotty, scamp, viking caravan – snailtrail)