Making Movie Magic

Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of headache in owning old stuff. When things break I don’t just run down to the Vintage Trailer Store in Anytown USA and grab a new widget to replace the one I broke while backing into a tight spot. It takes heart and no small amount of ingenuity to keep these old girls out of the boneyard.

Maintaining old stuff might be a lot of work, but the old adage of, “They just don’t make things like they used to” is true. It’s more than just the materials of today compared to yesteryear. It’s the design, functionality, feel and look that’s missing from a lot of today’s ‘things’. Look around and you’ll see that some of the most popular things of today are simply a re-hash of old stuff. Even so, it’s the authentic old that trumps the new ‘old’. People of all ages love to come look at my ‘old’ trailers and I love to have people appreciate them. They’re not going to last forever.

This week the ad agency my husband works for was filming  television commercial for a local brewery. The shot list called for some young, hip cats hanging out at a tailgater or camping with a cool, old trailer. They asked if one of my trailers would play a supporting role in the commercial and I said, “Sure!”. What better way to let one of these cool, ‘old’ trailers live on forever than in film.

Having the old stuff my be hard sometimes, but it’s fun to share.

I’ll be sure to post a link to the commercial when it’s available. Here’s a few photos from the shoot.

The producer and director blocking in the first shot

Mike and Ian ‘block in’ the establishing shot.

People drinking beer and hanging out by the trailer

Hanging out with Auntie Mil

1970 Shasta Trailer and 1974 Honda Motorcycle

Auntie Mil and Piglet (1974 Honda motorcycle). I wonder if Auntie Mil wanted her own trailer. You know how hard actresses can be…

Close up shot of can

I’m ready for my close-up

Group of people enjoying Hop Valley Beer next to 1970 Shasta trailer

Tattoos, flannel, beer. Kids today…

Don’t Rush, This Is Important.

A great time to slow down before or after the frenzy of living life, can be as easy as a Sunday drive.




Thank you to the Briggs for taking Auntie Mil the 1970 Shasta trailer out for an adventure, then sending back some snapshots. I know baby X is due to arrive in a couple of months, and I can’t imagine a better way to getaway for some great mom and dad alone time. Vintage Roving loved hosting you, come back again anytime.

Letting go, to something new



There was a time when one of my biggest accomplishments as a young adult of 20-something was buying and paying cash for a Honda Elite scooter off the show-room floor. It flew in the face of logic, especially with the whole new world of 5 lane boulevards and crazed drivers I had become all too acquainted with as a walking, single car, new bride. It seemed to be the kind of wreckless decision that people make when they are old enough to make right-wrong decisions for themselves. It felt dangerous, impractical, cool and a little irresponsible all at once. I was a newlywed of 22, living away from where I had grown up in the Oregon valley and freshly transplanted into the heart of sunny California.

I was living the dream… someone’s dream anyway.

I learned about real traffic and that gas was expensive ($1.24 a gallon!). With eggs running .86 cents a dozen, rent being $700.00 and living on a two person income of less than $11,000 a year I needed to economize quickly. My new husband and I decided to throw caution to the wind and make a second car choice that looked like a scooter, something that would outpace the economy of our 1980 Toyota Celica. At an easy 90 milers per gallon, I could go almost 200 miles on a tank of gas and in my mind, look pretty cool doing it.

Sitting atop the wide black Naugahyde seat, I thought I was the short legged, stocky-redheaded California version, of a California babe while atop this little pony. For me, it was throwing caution to the wind to ride a scooter, and one that revolutionized the look of scooters to boot. It was a showroom new, 1984 Honda Elite 125cc, complete with pop up headlight, in sparkling mica ruby red with sleek black accents.



Of course I had a helmet to accessorize my bad girl look, and the built in tootsie warmer that kept me cozy on those chilly, 70* mornings on the way to work was a nice bit of rich girl glamour.

Truth be told, I was a little underpowered for all that “perceived cool”. I felt a little like a Poser. One of my favorite things about the scooter was it had an automatic start and clutch. No kickstart, shifting or talent required. Now, if I could just lay aside my fear of big trucks and unattractive smashed helmet hair when I got to work. Ya, a bad girl I wasn’t. I can be more honest with myself 25 years later. Eventually, I learned to navigate the scooter and boulevards with confidence and could whiz in and out of So-Cal traffic from my home in Mission Viejo, to the swanky beaches on highway 101; and do it all with a detached casualness that added a cool sophistication (in my mind).

As life’s events would have it, long about the time I grew into my ‘devil-make-hay’ youthful swagger, I moved back to the rain of Oregon and shelved my little independence maker. I took her out in the summer evenings, but since she topped out at 55 mph on flat ground and I lived in the hilly Willamette valley I didn’t feel safe. Then came babies over the next 10 years, and with a new infusion of responsibility, I didn’t feel right about risking my life for the sake of adventure with three little ones counting on me. I still felt ultra ‘UN-mom’ and a little racy when I pulled the sheet off of her and would turn her engine over. We still had our secret kizmit. That headlight would pop up with a Kah-link, and with that sound, it seemed my youthful passion would click into the top gear memory banks of yesterday. She was still my quiet, sexy, eternally youthful alter-ego, ready to live a little closer to the edge of danger and take me with her.

As calendar pages turned and years crept into the space where summer rides used to reside, I knew it was time to give her new wings. She needed, no she deserved to have a life I couldn’t give her. It was time to adopt her out. Craigslist classifieds.
It was an ad that my understanding and car-speak literate husband wrote for me, but as I read it, it read like a fact sheet:

Craigslist ad

The ad seemed so impersonal, but it had to happen…

It seemed to me the photos and ad were listed for sale in the wrong category. This joy of my youth, my friend, my alter-ego, should have been categorized as a personal ad. It needed to show her heart not her cc’s. As I read and reread the facts, inside my heart I thought it should be rewritten. Something that would read a bit sappy, like an old Jimmy Buffet pop song lyric:

‘If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for write to me and escape’.

..That kind copy represented the Honda Elite I knew and loved.

Well, there were people that responded, but nobody was a fit adoptive adventure partner. About the time I got ready to just cover her up and keep her for myself a man called. He seemed to me to be a bit brash, demanding and he wanted to have her for less than her value. But you know what? He was just the right fit. He was a man of gray, but with a vibrant spirit for life. An energetic and sharp man who was a world traveler and former ski instructor. He oozed life from behind the wrinkles of age in his strong hands. They would age together and she would make them both feel the winds of adventure again.

As we left the DMV where we met him and transferred adoption papers, I waved goodbye. Mr.Former Ski Instructor looked up about then and thought I was waving good bye to him; he waved back energetically with a confident and engaging smile. He will never know I was waving goodbye with a teary smile to the last of an old dream…and hello to the first leg of a new adventure of my own. Hello leg two. I open my hand and release a little scooter of my youth so I can embrace the bigger dream of Vintage Roving.

Vintage Roving Adventures

New adventures await


DIY Results of recovering dinette cushions in a vintage travel trailer



This look was once an update. Someone took the birch paneling, painted it hot dog barf beige. They took the upholstery and covered it in off-white canvas, then kicked it up a notch with navy pillow case style slipcovers, capping it off with worn out bed sheets seamed into clip on curtains. I can only imagine what it looked like ‘before’ to inspire this look as a way of improvement.

Next owner (me), came in and updated it again. Cleaned up the man-hunting trailer theme of the place, added some tidy fresh paint in cheerful colors, made new curtains and removed the funk smell. The smell removal was the toughest part.

After Boot Camp style cleaning and fresh make-up she is ready for company.

After Boot Camp style cleaning, painting and redecorating there is a big improvement.

On my first round of updating I used items I had on hand to keep costs to the family budget at a minimum. Borrowing a dab of paint from a friend who was building a home, a tablecloth from my linen closet and some upholstery I found when cleaning out my mothers home when she passed, really helped with a new look very inexpensively. A year passed and choosing to share my trailer Thelma Lou with others, required me to give her yet one more face lift. A look that both men and women would feel comfortable in whether for dinner or an overnight stay. Shown below is the kind of fabric I was hoping to find for the new update. Look at the bench shown here in the back of Roxy, my 1963 Aristocrat Lo Liner.

1967 Lo-Liner Stove

The fabric seen here is actually in another trailer of mine. The cushions had the same original upholstery though, so you can see what the fabric was that inspired my new covers.

My latest update had a vision to bring back some ‘old’ feeling. I purchased some indoor outdoor fabric for durability on this round. I wanted the look to be similar to the original upholstery from 1965 shown in the photo above. After locating something with that same basic visual feeling, I followed up my purchase of new fabric by searching and watching YouTube style videos online. I needed to learn how to sew this idea into reality. I can add this to the list of skills I am practicing/learning with these travel trailers. After some stalls in my confidence, I overcame fear and designed a version of an envelope pillow (my newly emerged designer skill). Using this basic skill idea, I made new dinette cushion covers with no zippers or velcro. It took some serious wrestling moves to get the foam inside on the first cushion, but after a few attempts I learned some tricks that made it doable. All the hours spent on a bench at wrestling meets paid off here. The little trailer, near 50 years old is schooling me in all kinds of ways and all kinds of growth. This cottage feel that is inherently Thelma Lou, makes me feel happy when I open her unassuming and plain little door, a nice cozy surprise from a somewhat lack luster exterior. Here is her latest update. New cushion covers for the dinette/bed conversion.

My camera has decided not to talk to my computer, so I had to use an ipad for the photo using natural light. Forgive my grainy photograph, but even so, I think you can agree there is a good thing going on here. At least you should be able to agree it is a positive upgrade compared to her prior owners vision. I’m pleased with the way this update gives an old cottage feeling with a nod to the original fabric on her dinette. I liked using the new improved Sunbrella fabric over the old cotton duck cloth because it is so stain and moisture resistant, but comfortable to touch. The cushions are reversible so I can change up the look easily. In the photo below I have one of the cushion backs turned over to show the stripe as seen on the right bench.

TL with sunny dinette and red pillowsThelma Lou is ready for company, or in this case, an Adventure rental or perhaps a mobile Guest Cottage at your house.


Travel. The only thing you buy, that makes you richer.

There is something to be said for staying home and just kicking back.
Having said that, there is something restorative about getting out of Dodge and relaxing outside of your regular environment. One thing I love about the vintage trailer experience is that it allows me both luxuries.

For me, relaxing is nothing to do but read, go for walks or bike rides, journal, explore, and munch. For others it looks different, but one thing vintage travel trailer unwinding offers, is that it can be such a custom experience. You make the adventure, you set the time lines, you control the environment. Tent camping has some of those features. I tent and car camped for 25 years. The one twist, is the tent itself, even a big tent, never seemed cozy or refreshing. Utilitarian and perhaps on the right trip even comfortable, but never cozy.


Not having to worry about outdoor conditions like wet or dry, mud or dust, cold or muggy heat with no wind, can open up your possibilities for relaxing. Not having to stow your gear in a fashion wild animals can’t get at it, and being able to lock the door on your sleeping accommodations offers some sense of security as well. I love, absolutely love a good campfire roast or sing along after dark. Cooking scrambled eggs in the rain and getting coffee started by means of getting a roaring fire going with damp wood, not as fun. Sleeping with rocks underneath me is also less exciting at 50 than it was at 20 something. I am not saying I haven’t loved those adventures, in fact  it’s how I chose to spend my honeymoon over 20 years ago, and I am willing to do it again.

Even though I love traditional tent camping, it is so nice to have food inside when it’s preferable, no rocks under my hips when sleeping, no soggy sleeping bags, and coffee or a hot meal at the flick of a gas burner, then stepping outside to enjoy nature until bedtime and locking the door when I go to bed.


The old saying aptly reminds us:

“Travel, the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I would agree with this wholeheartedly. Something changes in a person when they get outside of their usual environment. You see yourself and others with fresh eyes. I am not a worldly traveler. I have a passport now because it was a priority on my bucket list. I have not used it once since I have owned it, but it gives me freedom just knowing I have it. My possibilities are enlarged. Having access to a travel trailer that is small, comfortable, and Lo-tech offers me a different kind of passport. It beckons me to come slow down without the trappings or obligations of an address, but gives me the old fashioned sense of a dwelling.

The travel trailers have amenities, but not bells and whistles. They have the basics, but not the instant gratification of satellite tv. You have to slow down and engage. You have to make the coffee on the stovetop, plan a meal, use a rotary can opener, and pull the sofa into a bed. It has the earmarks of slowing life down and enjoying the process more than hotel resorts that do absolutely everything for you, yet leave you by and large unengaged. In the vintage trailers you step outside and you are in nature choosing what comes next, not on a stuffy tour bus. The experience repeatedly reminds you that you have stepped back in time a bit, without the modern push button experiences.

There is some old fashioned waiting for things, but since you are on vacation, you don’t mind. It is centering to get out of the noise of instant, and relax with the quiet, where the whirring you hear is from a cricket, not a game console or microwave fan. It is letting the batch of brownies in the oven baking give you time to set out the outdoor table with a tablecloth and watch the sunset on the landscape overtake the daylight. It is the choice of napping, or reading in the shade, or on the sofa lying on the down comforter. It is opening the window to smell the ocean breeze, or take in the earthy forest outside your door, instead of switching on the air conditioning. It is traveling and resting, all in the same deep breath.

It’s having coffee in bed in the morning.


If you would like to experience traveling in the slow lane, choosing the pace and arriving to a turnkey camping experience, might I suggest contacting us today about renting one of our vintage trailers.

Auntie Mil or Thelma Lou can help you slow down and recharge;

 All you will be in charge of, is when to turn out the lights.


Adventure, Retreat, Repeat

From the time I was a young girl and saw my first travel trailer I’ve known I would have one for myself. The dream has been decades arriving, but I now have my own trailer and it’s possibly the most rewarding ‘thing’ I’ve ever owned.


Vintage Roving is more than just vintage travel trailers, it’s a vision that has been taking shape over my lifetime, I just didn’t know it until 2 years ago when I drove 225 miles to buy Thelma Lou. On the journey home something changed in me. My new trailer in the rearview mirror carried the last piece of an incomplete puzzle I had been discovering since childhood.

Owning a trailer is fantastic – for me. It’s not for everyone…

The thirst for adventure though is nearly ubiquitous. When I pull my trailer I always feel as though I’m on an adventure. I’m open to possibilities as endless as the road before me and I’ve got the world by the tail. My trailer gives me the freedom to park, disconnect and rove the countryside – all the while knowing I have a welcoming bed and a cozy place to reflect on my days adventures.

Auntie with the newly sewn upholstery I made.

Auntie Mil the 10′ vintage Shasta and her the newly sewn curtains and upholstery. Perfect for a couple or even time alone.

I’ve found that this portable sanctuary of respite is what helps me remember and imprint my experiences after a day of roving. It’s like using something to set the color of your Easter eggs, or waxing some old piece of wood to bring out the true character. Respite is in short supply. Time away is even more precious.

The Missing Piece

As it turns out it was not adventure or owning a trailer that was calling me,  it was respite.  As a girl I knew a little of the importance of retreating and gathering my experiences to the canvas of my mind and allowing the colors to set. It wasn’t until I grew up and let life run roughshod on my days, that I realized just how important it was to retreat and recenter.

Towing Thelma Lou across the mountain pass between her neglected storage area and my driveway gave me lots of time to think – and get hungry… In the little town of Sisters, Oregon my husband and I stopped at a store, picked up some chili, a bag of Fritos, crossed Highway 26 and parked in the elementary school parking lot. That inaugural trip  became the catalyst for more than a meal on wheels. It became a measure of quiet in a noisy world. After twisting open the propane bottle and firing up my new (to me) cooktop to heat our dinner, a lifelong missing piece snapped into focus…

Getting this trailer home,  it was time to get her road ready. That took not only vision, but a good deal of elbow grease. While pulling an all nighter doing clean up, updating and repainting, it was in the wee hours of the morning it struck me like thunder, I found a clear calling. I realized this trailer isn’t just for me. It was mine to own, but more importantly, it was mine to share.

paint cans in thelma lou

It was like seeing my grandmother’s missing earring in the carpet, years after I had given up looking for it;  A prized heirloom restored to me.   The missing piece of my life is not a travel trailer,  it’s sharing a recipe of rest and refreshment. So, here it is my friends – the big reveal on why Vintage Roving exists…

Mil, Kayaks, Ruby, Praise at PRAISE

10′ 1970 vintage Shasta Travel Trailer ready for a unique rental travel adventure. Getaway to recenter, alone, as a couple or even a family.

The Mission

Provide rest and adventure through renting vintage travel trailers, pre-delivered to various destinations.

It’s a simple concept who’s time has come and I believe I’m the one called to make it happen. Truth be told, I couldn’t be more pleased.


1970 Shasta with wings, 1965 Kit Companion

Here are the girls on their first mission as Mobile Cottages. Wilma the 1979 Jeep Wagoneer delivering Thelma Lou the Kit Companion, and Ruby towing the 10′ demure Auntie Mil, the 10′- 1970 Shasta with wings.


Contact me today about bringing one of these welcoming girls as extra guest space ( Mobile Cottage), or let me help you plan your own refreshing rest with a Vintage Roving Travel Adventure.


Mobile Cottage Rentals or Road Trip Vintage Trailer Adventure Packages