The Southern Glamper: 2019


What Changed When We Moved from a Pop Up Camper to a Travel Trailer

Monday, November 11, 2019

While we were sad to see Peggy Sue, the pop-up camper go, we love our new travel trailer.  It was the right decision for us!  You can see Peggy Sue in the background as we were camping with our friends that bought her that weekend!

When we moved from a pop-up camper to a travel trailer, we wanted an easier setup and pack up process.  Sure, pop up campers are lightweight and inexpensive.  There is also a lot of work in setting one up.  No matter how you camp, however, there is work involved.  Three things never change - prep, set up and takedown.  So, why change if you are still doing all of the same things?  Well, its a lot of things really that can and do change when you transition from a pop-up camper to a travel trailer.  For us, it was the next logical step.

Tips for those Last Minute Camping Trips

Friday, November 8, 2019

Last-minute camping trips can be fun if you think through the details and set yourself up for success.

The freedom of owning an RV is being able to just hitch up go.  Every trip does not have to be a bucket list extravaganza.  Sometimes, it is fun and worthwhile to plan a spontaneous adventure.  It may seem like it is not worth the work, but you can do this with much less effort than you think.  What are my tips for a last-minute campout?

Favorite Fall Camping Recipes - 7 Comfort Meals We Love

Monday, November 4, 2019

Set your table with delicious comfort food this fall at the campground.
Some people are putting their RV's to sleep with bottles of 'pink drink'.  In the deep south, we are still camping.  Sure, temperatures are diving into the '30's at night, but the days are still nice and fairly warm.  In many ways, this is the perfect camping weather for us where sweltering days last for months.  The break in the heat is the perfect excuse for cozy nights by a fire and comfort food.

Installing an RV Slide Awning

Friday, November 1, 2019

Our Alpine Slide Awning from Carefree of Colorado is perfect for our new RV.
My husband and I have completed both big and small RV projects.  We started out with our pop up camper that we remodeled.  Over that process, we decided to pay to have some things done professionally.  For some projects, it is worth the money.  However, there are some projects that just make sense to take the DIY approach.  We made the decision this fall to install our RV slide awning.  So, how hard was it and was it worth the time and effort?

Kentuck - A Utopian place and home to a heavenly art festival

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Kentuck Art Festival offers unique pieces from artists all over the country.

Just outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama is the town of Northport.  This community began as the settlement of Kentuck.  In 1871, Northport achieved its name as the northernmost point of the Black Warrior River.  So, where did the name Kentuck come from and how did it become the art festival that it is today?

Does Tank Size Really Matter?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Deerlick Creek Corp of Engineers Campground is located outside of Tuscaloosa, AL.  They have water but no sewer hookups at the site.  
Campground amenities and hookups vary from one to the next.  If you camp solely at sites with full hookups, you may not think that tank size matters on your RV.  However, having the ability and capacity to camp at a variety of locations will open up the doors for many different experiences.  In the end, tank size does matter.  Even if you don't think it will now, you don't want to limit your camping abilities from the start.

How to Install the RV Lock Keyless Entry on Your RV

Monday, October 21, 2019

The RV Lock Keyless Entry system has been one of the best upgrades that we have made to our RV.
Right after picking up our new RV, we closed the door with both sets of keys sitting on the counter.  We found ourselves locked out with a malfunctioned lock.  $50 dollars and a locksmith later, we were back inside of our RV, but who wants to risk that?  A keyless entry lock is an excellent upgrade that is easier than you think!  And it can help keep you in business with or without a set of keys.

Sleeping Comfortably in Your RV Murphy Bed

Friday, October 18, 2019

Our new RV mattress for our Murphy bed from Tochta.  

I tend to painstakingly make decisions about RV upgrades and projects.  I research, read reviews, look at numbers, and mull it over in my head.  I will make a decision but wait to pull the trigger only to change my mind.  This may happen several times.  Then, it is go time.  And, when a decision is finally made, I am glad I waited.  Our RV Murphy bed was no different.  I wanted easy bedding and a comfy mattress.  But, not any mattress or bedding works best for the unique set up.  I finally have everything just right and want to share it with you.

RV Medicine Cabinet - What Do You Need Now?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Our RV Medicine cabinet includes the basic items that we need on the road.

Several months ago, I went out and purchased a few standard items to keep in our RV medicine cabinet.  I thought we had everything we needed.  But, after a yellow jacket sting to my face over the weekend, I realized that I might be short a few things.  I took a little time at the end of our last trip to re-evaluate our current stock and made a list of what we need to add.  What do you need to keep on hand when you travel?

Host a Camping Themed Birthday Party

Friday, October 11, 2019

The decorations for our son's camping themed birthday party was easy and festive.  I found these little lamps at Dollar Tree.

I've seen quite a few posts on social media lately about hosting a camping themed birthday party.  There are so many different ways that you could make this theme a reality.  We recently celebrated our son's birthday with this very idea.  I felt like it was a huge success, and it was an easy party to do!  If you love camping, glamping, camping decor or just being outdoors, this party could be just right for you or your loved one.  Once you see how I pulled this off, you are sure to agree.

Organizing Your RV Kitchen

Monday, September 30, 2019

My camp kitchen is a mix of pretty and practical.

Even if you have plenty of storage in your RV, this can be a relative concept.  Let's face it.  RV's are smaller than our homes.  And, the bigger your RV, the more stuff you will have to fill it all up.  We transitioned from a pop-up camper to a travel trailer.  While there is more space, it has filled up quickly.  There is no way that any home cook can mirror their sticks and bricks kitchen without overfilling your RV to maximum capacity.  How did I organize my RV kitchen?  And what are my kitchen essentials?

Why You Need Classic Coleman Camping Gear

Monday, September 23, 2019

Our Coleman camp stove set up.

We have all seen the iconic green 2 burner camp stove from Coleman and the matching green lantern.  Those two items are synonymous, in my mind, with camping.  Its how many families started camping, and they are reminders of nostalgic adventures.  Regardless of having a full indoor kitchen, I still love camping outdoors and classic Coleman gear will get you there.

Out of the Box Camping - Fall Box Review

Friday, September 20, 2019

Fall 2019 Out of the Box Camping - Around the Campfire

By now, you may have heard of Out of the Box Camping.  It is a camping themed subscription box that I have tried twice now.  The cost is $55 per box, and I think it is well worth the cost.  Each box contains well-curated items that I might not have discovered on my own.  What was included in the fall 2019 box?

4 Family Friendly RV's under 25 feet

Monday, September 16, 2019

Our Grand Design 19BWE has the features that love and enjoy on the road all under 25 feet.
You may think that you have to go big to get a family-sized travel trailer, but we know that good things come in small packages.  When we set out to upgrade from our 2001 Jayco Qwest Pop-Up Camper, Peggy Sue, we knew that we didn't want a huge RV.  We wanted bunk beds, a designated bed for us (mom and dad), a contained kitchen and bathroom.  This all needed to fit into less than 25 feet.  I had several people tell us what we were crazy, but there are so many RV's out there that its crazy to think that you can't find what you want.  We found what we were looking for as well as some other floor plans that might fit your small trailer needs.

Yogi on the Lake - Campground Review

Friday, September 13, 2019

Our sunset view at Yogi on the Lake from our campsite.

We visited Yogi on the Lake in Pelahatchi, MS, for Labor Day Weekend.  This Jellystone campground located in central Mississippi has lots of amenities and provides accommodations for every camper.  From tents to cabins and RV sites, anyone could come to Yogi on the lake and have an excellent time.  As a private campground, how did this resort-style camping experience stack up to our expectations?

S'more Ideas for Fall Camping

Monday, September 9, 2019

Homemade graham crackers and marshmallows made these s'mores a Thanksgiving favorite a couple of years ago!
I have a slight obsession with s' mores.  Over time, I have experimented with homemade marshmallows and graham crackers (which are delish by the way).  They are crunchy, sweet and gooey.  Making a dessert over an open flame can bring sheer joy.  We have been experimenting with some new flavor combinations.  While I love a classic graham cracker and milk chocolate s' more, there are so many other options to discover!  

Fall Gear Guide 2019

Friday, September 6, 2019

Fall camping is the best!  There is nothing better than waking up surrounded by colorful foliage.

If you think the end of summer means the end of camping season, some of the best camping is in the fall.  As the temperatures start to cool, this is the prime time to enjoy the crisp air, colorful foliage and nights around the campfire.  Get your gear in check and ready to hit the campground for one of my favorite seasons of the year.  What made my fall gear guide for 2019?

3 RV Trends Worth Watching

Friday, August 30, 2019

Our Grand Design Imagine XLS 19BWE follows both the trend of a smaller RV and a Murphy bed.  We love both!

The words RV and trendy don't seem to go together for me.  Classic or travel are words that come to mind when I think about RV's. But there are trends in every industry, and the RV industry is no different.  Sales were on the rise in previous years.  Even with the current decline in sales, manufacturers do have a pulse on what the buyer wants.  When we were shopping for our new RV, we noticed several trends over and over.

3 Easy Steps to End of Summer Maintenance

Monday, August 26, 2019

Take care of your RV, and it will be part of your family for a long time!

We are nearing the end of the hottest days of the year.  As we transition from Pina Coladas at the pool to pumpkin spice lattes and flannel, pause for some end of the season maintenance.  What can you do now to protect your investment?

Tips for Planning Big RV Trips

Friday, August 23, 2019

Wise planning decisions can have you hitting the open road like a boss!
Are you dreaming about new places and locations to explore?  Don't put off those bucket list trips.  There is no time like the present.  Planning ahead and being organized can help you get there and feeling like your own personal travel agent!  A successful trip can make anyone feel like a total boss.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the long haul, you can do it. 

Renting Your RV Through Air BnB

Monday, August 19, 2019

Welcome to our Air BnB!

I've had more than one person tell me that I'm crazy to rent out our new RV.  It certainly is a risk.  No one is going to take care of your personal property as you would.  Some renters may do a better job, and others may disappoint you.  If you are nervous about letting someone pull out of your drive with your RV, Air BnB could be a way to rent your rig at home!

Organizing Your RV Storage - Hoses, Cords and Gear Oh My!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Hose bins make it easy to separate sewer hoses from freshwater hoses.
All of those hoses and cords in an RV can become a tangled mess!  You know the scene, all of your hoses for connecting your RV somehow ending up tossed into a bin or a box.  They can become unsanitary and difficult to find.  How do you tame the tangle of cords and hoses in your RV?

Adding Farmhouse Flair to Your RV

Monday, August 12, 2019

Our finished farmhouse wallpaper lightens up walls behind the bed and sofa.
 Adding decorative touches to a space is something that I have loved as long as I can remember.  As a child, I spent hours making paper snowflakes to hang from the ceiling of my room to create a "winter wonderland" theme.  I am no longer in the business of making snowflake scenes, but I love decorating all the same.  How can you make customize your RV with little time, effort and money?  I'm going to show you how to add a little farmhouse flair to your RV that anyone can do!

10 Things You Didn't Know You Needed for Your New RV

Friday, August 9, 2019

What are the RV items you need that are beyond basics?

If you are a new RV owner, there are some things that everyone will tell you that you need like basic hoses and RV toilet paper.   But, what are the things beyond the basics that you are going to need and want?  We felt like we knew what we needed because we were moving from a pop-up camper, but we quickly learned about new items that were not on our original list.

Safety at the Campground - 4 Tips for Your Children

Monday, August 5, 2019

Safety at the campground is more than just having a first aid kit.  However, this Surviveware First Aid Kit is handy, and I recommend it!

Camping can feel like this bubble of good times and fun.  Children latch onto this feeling of freedom as they race through the campground on bikes, scooters, and foot.  They can play outdoors after dark and enjoy running free for hours.  But, you also have to encourage some good habits and solid rules so that everyone is safe.

Top Tips to Spruce Up Your RV

Monday, July 29, 2019

This is my shelf over the bed.  When I pull the Murphy bed down, it's like a little hidden surprise here.  I picked up all of these things from Dollar General.
If you have a new RV, whether it is new to you or a brand new off the lot, most people want to personalize that space.  Three years after a complete remodel of Peggy Sue, we are starting over with a new canvas.  One person a few years ago said that she wished she had a used RV so that she could make it a little more customized.  I think you can customize any space you are in with some creative touches.  Where are my spots to grab the best decorative touches for our RV?

Meet May Belle - Our New Grand Design

Friday, July 26, 2019

Welcome to our new RV.  

When our family started out with a pop-up camper, our intention was to test the waters and see how much we enjoyed camping as a family.  Over time, we started thinking and talking about a possible upgrade.  And our factory tour at Grand Design last fall, it was all over.  An upgrade was going to happen.  We considered waiting, but why?  There wasn't going to be a perfect time.  So, this spring we started looking and finally pulled the trigger!  Meet May Belle.  I'm pronouncing it just like Mabel.  She's our new Grand Design, and we are in love.

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!

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