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stephanie & taylor evaluated things in their lives, considered a year long journey on the open road and due to the 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. they designed the renovation and taylor did all of the work himself. (see the massive list) and thank goodness after seeing these before photos (this is where you must evaluate your time and abilities). thanks for sharing you two!
Exterior: 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, bumper re-painted, new reflectors on all sides… includes hitch with double bike rack, trailer tongue lock, ball lock and hitch lock with master key.
Interior: brand new faux hardwood floors, new vintage color green upholstery, new curtains, 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, coat hooks, closet refitted with drawers for storage, new bungees for securing doors while driving
new Coleman propane stove, for use indoors or outdoors
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!