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…

Courage is contagious


As with any good enthusiast, I am a member of at least half a dozen Facebook pages related to the vintage travel trailer world. In the winter months, many of us with small trailers store them, wrap them, move them to high ground, or otherwise put them in a form of hibernation. As I write this I have learned the highway just above my home has had a slide and a lane fallen off the hill. We have had snow, drought, and flooding in the last few weeks. Things are muddy, soupy, and puddles or ponds of standing water with flood warnings all around.


It was my plan to travel extensively in the winter with my trailers. I have come to realize some of the rouge has worn off that idea. When it comes to setting up in hurricane wind and rain scenario, I have taken on some pretty big weather conditions in order to take my girls on an adventure. I will admit, I even felt smug about being tough enough to do this all by myself. Truth be told, I am always far more relaxed when my husband is driving. He is a superstar at handling whatever mom nature hurls at him. I both admire it, and deep down, I am intimidated by his ability to drive a rig in bad weather and then blindfolded, back a trailer into a spot with the precision of a rare diamond cutter. It is a thing of beauty that comes naturally to him. I can’t even run the Wii game controllers without my family forcing themselves not to complain or roll their eyes. We have had the games for several years I might add. I lack something in the hand eye coordination that seems effortless to them.

Today on the Facebook group Tin Can Tourists, I met a new trailer owner named Pat. She wrote a post that inspired me this morning. She wrote about her accomplished adventures this winter. It reminded me of something I am not very not proud of, I put my enthusiasm into hibernation. I have a list of reasons, a few excuses, and yet here below is the very heart of why I own them to begin with. So with my friends note below I lift a cup to Spring. Here is to the hope that springs forth after a long dreary winter, tiring both earth and soul. Pats courage, is contagious. Here with permission from the author, is courage penned and I am thankful for her contagious enthusiasm.


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


Dialing Down

Dialing Down

Autumn. A time to ‘Fall’ back on all things restful, comfy, and slowing the pace of life. Are you ready to dial down and get recentered after a busy summer and before the holidays? Vintage Roving Trailer rentals can be just the quiet luxury you need to get back to the basics. Let us deliver a trailer for you. Oh, your job? Rest.

The Delightful Slower Pace Of Autumn

The Delightful Slower Pace Of Autumn

It is a time for gathering. Gathering our harvest, our thankful heart, gathering indoors with friends. A time to quiet the busy of summer and gather in our thoughts as we refresh. Auntie Mil is the perfect avenue for finding a cuppa or a special glass of wine, a good book, music, and just relaxing. Let us book a quiet place for you to restore today. We can even take care of the meal on the first night.

Sister Sister Sale

Related or not, many of us have a soul sister.
She is that friend that spending time with, refreshes us to our core. Chances are good, you had someone in mind the second you read the post title.

Sister Day is in August and to celebrate, we are having a local sale on Cottage Rentals.

Rent Auntie Mil or Thelma Lou for 3 consecutive days during August and save $45.00 off the regular price. This offer good for a 40 mile radius of Salem, Oregon only.


We will deliver a small vintage trailer and set up a (mobile cottage) to your driveway for your girlfriend sleepover. Cottages have cook top stoves, working ovens, water, 12v lights, fridge or icebox, porta potty, and a place to just unwind.  Watch a movie on your laptop, read, drink some good wine and perhaps scrapbook, or giggle all night, no cleaning the guest room required.

Home away from home in a vintage travel trailer.

Auntie Mil the 1970 Shasta interior

Cozy place to catch up with a friend over a glass of wine or a nice dinner. Auntie Mil the 1970 Shasta sleeps 2 in two single or one king sized bed. Set up for indoor or outdoor dining. Kitchen with icebox, stove,  and sink.

Thelma Lou is a fresh cottage feeling trailer full of sunshine. 2 full sized beds, full kitchen, portal potty.

Fresh cottage feeling in this 1965 trailer full of sunshine.  Thelma Lou has 2 full sized beds, full kitchen with turquoise appliances and sink, portal potty available.

Higher Rates for RV’s in OREGON state parks?

What do you think about raising fees in the OREGON State Parks for RV users?

State of Oregon proposes RV rate increase in State Parks

It could cost you more to enjoy the great outdoors from a State Park next year. 


Is it time to privatize the management of our state parks?

Do you think the fee increase is reasonable or unreasonable?

The folks who make this decision would like to hear from you. Follow the link for the KVAL news story, more information, fee tables,  and how to contact the state with your thoughts.



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.