The Southern Glamper: 2019


Pay Your Taxes - 3 Tips for Purchasing Your RV Out of State

Monday, July 22, 2019

We made a few mistakes when purchasing our new RV that added up to unexpected costs after the sale.

If you are about to purchase a new RV, you may or may not find the camper of your dreams in your home state.  No problem.  These kinds of things happen all of the time.  However, no matter what you purchase and where you purchase, taxes are a fact of life.  Don't get stuck holding the bag when you get to your home state's tax office.

Commemorating Your Journey with Souvenirs

Friday, July 19, 2019

What souvenirs do you collect on your journey?  Are they just collecting dust?
Even though I've been accused of having a love for useless things, I'm not a fan of collecting junk.  We have a small camper and a small house.  I'm not trying to fill up either with stuff I don't need and love.  After reading Marie Kondo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up", I began to take a different approach to the things I purchase and bring into our home.  This includes souvenirs.

Your First Night in a New RV

Monday, July 15, 2019

These are the items that we used on our first night in our new RV.

I'm all about the decorating and color schemes, and I can't wait to start putting our new camper together.  But, there are some things far more important than the pretty palette you have selected.  What do you actually need to take your camper out for that first time?

13 Lucky Tips to Make Your Next Beach Trip the Most Memorable Yet

Friday, July 12, 2019

The beaches along 30A in Florida are my absolute favorite in the Southeast.

Maybe you have already taken your family vacation for this year.  Or maybe you will take a late summer trip.  But, if you are planning a trip to the beach, I'd like to share a few tips from over our years of traveling both as a couple and as a family.

Shopping for a New RV

Monday, July 8, 2019

If you have ever been through the RV shopping experience, you could probably tell a story or two.  Shopping through individual listings and dealerships can leave you either scarred or elated.  We rode this roller coaster for several months, and I'm glad to be done.  I'm also thankful that we didn't rush through this process.  It was a tremendous learning experience for both my husband and I.  So what is the best way to score the camper of your dreams?

How to Care for Your Awning

Friday, July 5, 2019

We replaced our old bag awning with a new Shade Maker bag awning this year.  Keeping the awning clean and preventing stains from day one makes a difference over time.
Have you gone out on a camping trip and unrolled your awning to discover mold and mildew?  Awnings are great for providing extra shade and outdoor living space, but they can also trap a lot of moisture that sits and breeds gunk.  Giving your awning a good scrub with the right tools can make all the difference.

Prepare for Summer Heat and Camping with an Outdoor Water Station

Monday, July 1, 2019

My outdoor drinking water station complete with a collapsible Wolverine Smart Bottle and Zero Water Pitcher.  I always have clean water right when and where I need it!
If you are camping without full hookups, you may be limited on water supply.  Or, maybe you are tent camping.  You might even want to keep kids from running in and out of the camper over and over.  Whatever set up you have, you can create an outdoor water station that will make life easier at the campground.  I've created an outdoor water station for both drinking water and washing dishes.  Be prepared for the summer months ahead with this simple set up.

Upgrading your rig—is it worth it??? ABSOLUTELY!!!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Guest blogger, Christy Rogers, keeps her camper on a seasonal site at Logan Martin Lake in Alabama.

Friend and guest blogger, Christy Rogers shares about her experience of upgrading her camper.  She made the decision to move to a bigger and more accommodating floor plan this year.  Christy keeps her RV on a seasonal site and loves everything about the lake life.  Find out more about why she felt like upgrading was the best decision for her.

Directionally Challenged! - And Other Pop Up Bedding Lessons

Monday, June 24, 2019

Pop up camper bedding can be a challenge but it doesn't have to spoil your sleep.

One question I get regularly is about what direction we sleep in our pop up.  There isn't really a right or wrong answer to this question.  It comes down to how big your beds are and how tall each person is that is sleeping in the bunk ends.  After all, size does matter!

Yankee Doodle Dessert Ideas for the Fourth of July

Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer desserts with fresh berries make some of my favorite treats!

If you are gearing up for the 4th of July, I have 3 easy and festive options!  Summer fruit is plentiful this time of year, and you can incorporate it into your menus for colorful options.  Some of the best places to find seasonal fruits are at roadside stands as you travel.  Today, I am sharing some dessert ideas, but I am also adding a few ideas for additional options for other meals.

Tips to Get Your RV Ready to Sell

Monday, June 17, 2019

Peggy Sue the Pop Up right before her sale.

Making the decision to sell your RV is a big one and how to do it is an even bigger decision.  You may get way more selling your camper on your own rather than trading it at the dealership.  I would recommend this route if at all possible.  This is especially true if you have done a big remodel.  It can be a lot of work, but you can do it!  So, what did I do to get Peggy Sue ready to sell?

Out of the Box Camping Review

Friday, June 14, 2019

Out of the Box Camping Subscription Box Summer 2019
Subscription boxes come in almost any flavor.  From beauty products to children's gear, I've tried quite a few.  When that box arrives, it's like unwrapping a present for no reason.  This is one of the appeals for me.  Call me silly or childlike, but it's true!  Out of the Box Camping is a subscription box for camping enthusiasts.  This quarterly box contains 6 to 8 camping related items that are practical and fun.  It's a great way to try out new products.  So what arrived in my Summer 2019 box?

Giant City State Park

Monday, June 10, 2019

A trip to Giant City State Park is a welcome change to the ordinary pace of life.  We love how green it is here along with the abundance of outdoor activities.
**Updated June 2019**

When our family first started camping, a couple of hours from home seemed like a trip around the world.  We finally are venturing outside of our comfort zone and geographic region.  It has been exciting to be more confident campers.  For Memorial Day Weekend, we camped at Giant City State Park in Southern Illinois for two years in a row.  I think this might become a family tradition.

Father's Day Finds

Friday, June 7, 2019

Dad [Noun]: Provider, Hero, Protector. 
We all have our own definition of what a father means to us.  But no matter how we define this role model, Father's Day is an opportunity to celebrate someone special in your life.  This Father’s Day say ‘thank you, Dad’ with a unique gift that reminds you of the love, life skills, and important lessons he’s taught you throughout the years.  For me, this was fishing, hard work and how to be resilient.   

Summer Gear Guide 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

While summer is still technically a few weeks away, this Mississippi heat is telling me that summer is already here.  And regardless of the calendar, we are thinking about summer camping and enjoying longer days.  Now is the time to get your gear in check and ready to hit the road.  As you prepare for those summer road trips,  I've prepared a gear guide just in time for you!

American Made Camping Gear

Friday, May 31, 2019

"Labor Day is a great American holiday where people celebrate by going out and buying products made in China."  - David Letterman
I love the adventurous spirit of camping.   While not entirely American, camping is an American tradition for many.  Pioneers set out across the American West in search of new places and opportunities.  Camping is a modern day version of pioneering as we venture out beyond the borders of our homes and towns.  As I travel to many of our nations beautiful locations, it only seems fitting to celebrate who we are and the people that are the backbone of this county.  Supporting American workers is important.  It keeps food on the tables of many families working hard each day, and it is for this reason that I do seek out American made products for both home and camping.

7 Tips for Buying a New Tow Vehicle

Friday, May 24, 2019

Our new tow vehicle is perfect for our family!

When we bought our Pathfinder, we noticed that it had a towing package and toyed with the idea of a small camper.  After owning Peggy Sue for a few years, we decided was time for an upgrade.  Our family is quickly outgrowing our pop up, and this means a bigger camper and tow vehicle.  There was a lot of learning ahead before making this purchase.   Today, I'm sharing what we learned and our tips for scoring a better tow vehicle.

Read, Write and Sleuth - Scavenger Hunts for the Campground

Friday, May 17, 2019

Memorial Day Scavenger Hunt printables you can use!
My husband loves a good pun more than anyone I know.  When I titled this post, I felt like a champ.  He is the king of corny jokes, but I love a good game and activity.  He, on the other hand, loves a good nap and would rather not be bothered.  With Memorial Day kicking off the summer camping season, scavenger hunts are a fun way to get everyone involved in a game or activity at the campground or anywhere your crew may gather.  I have a couple ready for you to print and use!

Bug Off! - Safe and Effective Insect Repellents

Monday, May 13, 2019

Ticks are no joke and can make you very sick.

Its that time of year when bugs are starting to be out in full force.  If you live in the Mississippi Delta, you more than familiar with mosquito season that can encompass all 4 seasons of the year.  I have honestly seen mosquitos out in January in the Delta.  And if you think mosquitos are the worst, you are mistaken.  I was bitten by a tick on our Easter weekend camping trip.   I don't know if they are 'the worst', but they are way up there for me.  So, what do you do to protect yourself against ticks and mosquitos?

Life After the RV Makeover - Is it Worth the Work?

Friday, May 10, 2019

Now that we are done with our RV makeover, we can enjoy camping!

After having spent nearly 18 months working on Peggy Sue, there were times that I felt like there was no end in sight to the work.  But, now that all of the work is done, what next?  It is not to have an endless list of projects to do and just to be camping this year.  I feel like I can return to my normal life.  If you are finishing a remodel, maybe this is what you need to motivate you to push through to the end.  Or maybe you need to put it on hold while you regroup.

Orca Cooler Review

Monday, May 6, 2019

Our new Orca 58 Quart cooler has been the right cooler for us!

After nearly a year of researching and pricing coolers, we finally pulled the trigger on a new hard side cooler.  You may be one of those people that think that paying upwards of $300 for a cooler is crazy.  I thought the same thing at one time.  But, before you run out and buy a cheaper model that is "just as good", stop and do your homework.

3 Steps for Easier Camping Prep

Friday, May 3, 2019

I start collecting and organizing my camping gear several days before we leave.  My stash normally starts with my storage drawers of clothes at the door.
All of the prep work that goes into a camping trip can be stressful, but not if you are organized and have a plan.  I start several days ahead.  I'm a planner.  This makes trips manageable and enjoyable for me.  Today I'm sharing some of my tips that help make planning a breeze.

Deerlick Creek Campground Review

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Deerlick Creek Campground has plenty of amenities to keep the camper busy in nature but close to the action of the University of Alabama nearby.
 In the heart of SEC country where the tide rolls, is a Corps of Engineers Campground.  Tuscaloosa, Alabama is the home of Deerlick Creek.  This shady park has friendly staff and well-managed grounds.  If you are looking for a quiet spot to relax and camp but still be close to the action of a college town, this is the perfect spot for you!

Spring Camping Survey Results

Friday, April 26, 2019

I did a short camping survey last month.  I hope to do more than one survey over this year.

Last month, I did a quick survey as part of my newsletter.  I wanted to get some feedback from readers about how they camped.  And I liked what people had to say.  Reading through the comments were really interesting.  So, when you camp, do you feel like the typical camper?  Or do you feel like a fish out of water?

Outside Kitchen Set Up

Monday, April 22, 2019

I made these cinnamon rolls in my Coleman Camp Oven at the campground.  I even prepped them on my little prep area.  You can do quite a bit with a little space!

While there is no place like home, there is also no place like cooking outdoors for me.  Creating an outdoor kitchen can create some challenges, but I have also learned that simple is best. With a few well-placed tools, I am able to create excellent meals at the campground for our family that we all enjoy.  Today, I'm sharing what we use on each trip to make memorable meals. 

Spring Camping Playlist 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

Spring camping season is officially here, and if you are headed to the campground this weekend, I have put together a playlist to get you going.  As a child, I spent a lot of time riding back roads and listening to old school country music.  Every spring I always find myself back in south Mississippi in the familiar places and spaces that I once called home. 

Camp Oven Comparison - Dutch Oven vs. The Coleman Camp Oven

Monday, April 15, 2019

I've done everything from bread to enchiladas in our Dutch oven.

The first camping gift that my husband gave me was a Lodge Dutch Oven.  I wanted something that I could use for everything.  This piece has lived up to all of its expectations.  Last year, I decided to give the Coleman Camp Oven a try.  Not because I don't love my Dutch Oven.  I just don't always want to heat up charcoal for cooking first thing in the morning if I want to bake something.  I wanted to simplify my cooking process, and I felt like the Coleman Camp Oven would do this.  If you are evaluating camp kitchen gear for a small outdoor setup, this comparison could help you.

Camping Easter Menu Ideas for a Brunch

Friday, April 12, 2019

Last year, we camped at Desoto State Park in Alabama for Easter.  It was chilly, but we still enjoyed Easter brunch.
If you are planning to camp for Easter, why not plan a holiday brunch for that weekend?  This works to schedule a meal for those like breakfast foods but won't wake up early for breakfast.  Plus, brunch is that leisurely "start the day anytime I please on a holiday weekend" kind of way.  After all, isn't that what holiday weekends are all about?  Here are some ideas to help plan a simple holiday meal with some of the traditional touches with twists to make it camping friendly.

Hard Side Cooler Comparison - The Great Cooler Debate

Monday, April 8, 2019

Yeti may be at the top of your list and the top of the pricing model, but is it the best cooler for you?  Before you buy, do your homework.
We have been debating a new cooler purchase for some time now.  It is easy to find recreational coolers that boast of long-standing ice retention, rugged construction, and long term reliability.  Not all coolers are made alike, and how do we tell them apart?  I've done quite a bit of research on this quest to find the right cooler for our family camping excursions, and maybe this can help you!

Replace Your Bag Awning on Your Pop Up Camper

Monday, April 1, 2019

Our new awning is a Shade Maker awning.  It is similar in color to the original one but is a marked improvement in the overall quality.
Replacing your bag awning for a pop-up camper may be more cost-effective than you think.  If you have an older pop-up camper with failing parts, consider that the cost to replace a basic bag awning could be only slightly more than the cost of purchasing parts to repair an older awning.  We repaired our original awning for half of what it cost for us to replace our awning.

5 Family Friendly Card Games to Pack in Your RV

Friday, March 29, 2019

This pack of classic kids card games is an easy way to introduce children to playing cards.

Playing cards are one of my favorite parts of my childhood.  I grew up playing cards with my cousins and aunts.  I still play cards with both at family reunions in the summer.  I have fond memories of my My grandmother's sisters visiting from Texas in the summers.  There would be afternoon and late-night card game on the porch and in the kitchen at my grandmother's house.  The sounds of crickets and cicadas in the early evening as we played and laughed still lingers in my mind.  I have long since learned how to play Skip-Bo, Uno, Rook, and a host of other games.  Its a long-standing tradition in my family.  When I think about fun activities to do with my family, I naturally gravitate to cards.  The best thing about cards is that they are compact and easy to store.  This makes them the perfect activity to pack and take on any trip - especially to the campground!

MS River State Park - Camping in the Arkansas Delta

Friday, March 22, 2019

Our picnic table had a nice view of the water from our site.
Our family has camped primarily in state parks.  Arkansas has been on our radar for some time.  It is in my territory for work, and I have been talking to persons about places to go and watching enviously on my social media feed.  Of all of the places recommended to me, our family ended up in an entirely different location.  And now, I'm ready to recommend a new camping gem to you!

Cool Down This Spring and Summer with a Portable Ice Maker

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Our portable icemaker was on my Christmas Gear Guide and has been an excellent addition to our camping gear!

Spring and summer camping will be here before you know it, and so will the long hot days that come with warmer weather.  When you are lounging in your camping chairs, there is nothing better than an ice cold beverage.  I had been pricing and eyeing portable ice makers for months.  Finally, I have one and feel like it is the perfect partner for the Mississippi heat where we live.

Can You Cheat Mother Nature? Last Minute Changes to Beat the Rain!

Friday, March 15, 2019

We changed our camping plans for better weather and less rain recently.  It wasn't all sunny skies, but I still feel like we came out a winner at MS River State Park in AR.

I have learned that March may be ideal timing for camping, but it is not ideal camping weather.  March is tends to have unpredictable weather.  In Mississippi, the weather is warm enough to camp but still cool.  However, we also fluctuate between lots of sun and lots of rain.  I feel like we are living in a monsoon right now.  If you have plans for camping that call for non stop rain, can you cheat mother nature by changing your plans?

Applying for a New RV Title

Monday, March 11, 2019

After 4 months we finally have our new title and tag in hand!

We had a title in hand when we purchased Peggy Sue. It was not until 2 years later that we discovered that there was an issue with the title.  I know.  Shouldn't we have discovered this as soon as we bought our camper?  I was in an RV store looking for a new brake light and was recommended the kind that would allow me to hang my tag.  What???  I had no idea I even needed a tag until that moment.  The guy actually said, "Well, unless you are towing your camper out of state, you probably don't even need one."  I still laugh and say this is the most Mississippi answer ever!  But, being a tax paying and law abiding citizen that does travel out of state I decided to do the right thing.  With my title in hand, I went to the courthouse to get my tag, and that is where my problems began.

How Do We Teach Our Children About Wildlife and Animal Safety

Friday, March 8, 2019

This rubber snake was a bad idea at Christmas that I would discourage other parents from buying for their children.

Last year, I used some poor judgment when shopping for stocking stuffers for our son.  Christmas morning he was not amused when he pulled a rubber snake out of his stocking.   Quickly, he asked me to get rid of it.  He didn't think it was funny and wanted to know why Santa would bring him that toy.  His cheerful face had turned to a serious inquisition that was almost sad.  My mother even scolded me for having gotten him that rubber snake.  I'm wondering the same thing now.

Spring Camping Gear Guide

Monday, March 4, 2019

Camping themed toys are in full rotation in our home right now!

"I don't need therapy.  I just need to go camping."
If you are a camper, you need gear for that hobby.  I've mindfully selected each recommendation based on our own camping experiences. My Spring Gear Guide is divided into three categories:  Campground Kitchen, General Gear, and Health and Beauty.   There is something on this list for everyone in your group, and everything is under $75!

Are You Getting Ready for the First Trip of the Year?

Saturday, February 23, 2019

S'mores is a camping tradition for us and many families.  I cannot wait for that first campfire of the camping season!

Are you getting ready for the first camping trip of the year?  Me too!  As I'm writing this, we are two weeks away from our first trip of the year.  Our January trip was canceled.  And, while we were disappointed, I'm not looking back.  I'm looking forward - to camping fun!  I have a checklist to help you develop a system for seasonal prep.

Pros and Cons of Taking an RV Factory Tour

Friday, February 22, 2019

We took a factory tour at Grand Design in Middlebury, Indiana, last November and really enjoyed it!

In the US, many of the RV's that we buy are all manufactured in one corner of Northern Indiana. Elkhart and Middlebury, Indiana are both homes to big RV names.  Many RV manufacturers offer tours.  It is an opportunity to learn about a brand and product on location.  We took a tour at Grand Design in November of last year, and it was a great experience.  But, this may not be the right thing for everyone.  We are glad we took advantage of this opportunity, and feel this will help us when we move from a pop-up camper to a travel trailer.

What Inspired Our Family To Start Camping

Monday, February 18, 2019

Our home away from home is cozy and comfortable and makes it a welcome place to rest at the end of the day.
Ask every person you know that camps what inspired them to start camping.  You will get a different answer from each one.  Many times, those answers are uncomplicated and unselfish.  You may even find unexpected responses.   For my husband and I, we have both similar and different reasons as to why we enjoy this hobby.  I even asked our son when writing this piece because it is important for me to always remember why we are on this journey together.

Stop Before You Modify Your Pop Up

Friday, February 15, 2019

Before you start to modify your pop up camper, think about how you want your camper to function at the campground.  Can you live with those changes permanently?
Nearly once a week, I see a question in social media groups asking about pop up camper modifications.  People poll for advice about what they should or should not remove from the interior of a pop-up camper.  Everyone has their own opinion and experience with these renovations.  And, I have my own thoughts.  If you are about to gut a pop-up camper, stop before you get started and really think through to that first camping trip.  How do you want your camper to function?

New LED Interior Lights for Your RV

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Green Long Life LED Lights provide plenty of interior light for RV's.
While everything inside of our pop up camper worked, our interior lights did not.  I just bought a cute lamp at Kirkland's and let it go for two years.  Lamps can clutter your counter space and add to what your storage gear between trips.  Working overhead lamps eliminate both of these unnecessary extras in a small space.  I have found the perfect interior lighting for your pop up camper.

Spruce Up for Spring - 3 Safety Updates

Monday, February 4, 2019

The Tundra fire extinguisher is small and light but the perfect size for a pop-up camper.
This is the part of winter where I am dreaming of spring.  I can almost see it and smell it.  Tonight while getting ready for bed, our son asked me when we were going camping.  We all know it is going to be time to go soon.  And, I'm doing a few last minute things to get us ready to go.  This means tackling some important safety updates.

Campground Meals Just Got Easier with Curbside Pick Up

Monday, January 28, 2019

Walmart Grocery Pick Up is free to customers and readily available at many locations nationwide.
On a recent trip to Indiana, we rented a large Air BnB for all of my husbands family to stay together.  We were anticipating a lot of snow, and it would be hard to get large groups in and out of restaurants in a small, rural town with limited choices.  Dining in was the best option.  On our way, I created a Kroger Clicklist order that I was able to pick up when we arrived.  This trip got me thinking about camping.

3 Tips for Unpacking From Your Camping Adventure

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Don't overlook plans for a successful return home after camping.

You've seen the signs, "I'm sorry for what I've said when setting up."  You may have even said it.  I feel certain my husband and I both have.  We seem to have improved our set up game.  When that trip is over, now what?  How do you tackle getting everything unpacked, cleaned up and back to normal?  You may think that planning for your camping trip is the main part of the work.  Planning for the return home is just as important as planning for your trip.

Pop Up Camper Modifications That We Love the Most

Monday, January 21, 2019

Peggy Sue looks better than she ever has.

Pop up campers are an economical way to get into the RV lifestyle.  Some of us fall in love and can't ever seem to breakup.  I'm finding myself in that category right now.  We updated our pop up camper in ways that functionality and aesthetics would be improved.  The return on my sweat equity investment paid big dividends.  Here is my favorite pop up camper modifications that we did.

Camping the Right Way? Don't Let Other's Spoil Your Fun

Friday, January 18, 2019

Where are you chasing your dreams this year?

The minute you buy a camper or camping gear, you may find a line of people waiting to tell you what you need to be doing or buying.  Just remember...there is no right or wrong way to camp.  There is gear that you need based on what you like to do and the seasons.  You need to be safe.  But, outside of safety, food, and shelter, you do you!

Make a Backsplash for Your Pop Up Camper - Spruce Up for Spring

Monday, January 14, 2019

My completed pop-up camper backsplash.

I'm starting the new year with a series called "Spruce Up for Spring."  Each month, I'll share a different project for your camper.  Over the past 2 years, I have scoured the Internet for a good backsplash tutorial.  I came across articles showing how to dress up an existing backsplash or beautifully staged photographs with no instructions.  I couldn't find the concrete directions to build a backsplash from scratch, so I decided to figure it out on my own.

Stop Letting Your Mobile Device Control You in 3 Easy Steps

Friday, January 11, 2019

Putting down your mobile device is easier than you think and will give you more time to do the things you love.

I've read several articles lately with tips on increased productivity and fewer distractions with mobile devices.  Its the yin and yang of owning a smartphone.  Many of us need our phones for work and daily tasks, but we could all stand to use our phones less.   How can we unplug to live in the moment more and remain productive at the same time?  Simple.  Decide if you are going to control your device or if you are going to allow it to control you.  Believe it or not, using your phone less can help you to be more productive and fulfilled in your daily life.

Collapsible Camping Gear We Love

Monday, January 7, 2019

A silicone pour over not only saves space.  It also makes a superior cup of coffee.

Collapsible camping gear can be really practical.  These products save space but are also functional.  Storage space in our pop up camper is really limited, so every piece of gear does count.  We have multiple pieces of collapsible gear.  Over time I seek out these options whenever possible because they really have become some of my favorite things!

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