“Trailer Talk” Makeover Series: Meet the Green Machine…Our Vintage Pop up Camper Trailer

We’re knee deep into spring, summer almost here, and we’re happily stuck at home. Wait?! What?! 

You two trailmix eating, take your dogs everywhere, wanderlust, camping addicts are not travelling?! What gives?! 

Well, one big reason we’re not brewing coffee on a campfire this morning is because we have this project to work on…   Ummm, what is that? Was the hubs famous words when I showed him the craigslist ad. 


That my dear husband is called “compromise”… 

For 6 long years I’ve wanted a vintage trailer. Airstreams were my first love, followed by Canned Hams, Shastas, Aristocrat Lo-liners, Casitas, the list can go on and on. Problem has been, so has everyone else. With TV shows like Flipping Rvs now, restoring vintage ️trailers is the new “thing”. Leaving only  the trailers (that met our minuscule budget), were the hopeless, rotted out, run-from-screaming kind of projects. 

Another obstacle in our search for a vintage trailer has been the size requirements. We literally have the perfect space for storing a trailer, but it had to be under 7.5 feet wide to get it through our gate. Nor did we want to pull some massive beast, guzzling up gas along the way. 

There were other issues to consider, when you chose to go small, and vintage. The creature comfort of space, and lack of future upgrades like refrigerator or AC (due to the aforementioned lack of space). Hubs and I went round and round over things he and I wanted: 


1. Not a money pit (newer preferred)

2. Something I can see over/low profile while driving

3. Can I get a king bed? Or at least not squished together on a full size bed.


1. Vintage project! (Who cares if it’s a money pit)

2. Umm who says you get to drive and haul it all the time?

3. Agree, but I’m thinking about where to put the pups?

Unfortunately as we researched and shopped, all signs were pointed towards a newer (1990s) trailer or pop up tent trailer. My dreams of vintage fixers were sadly fading away. 

It wasn’t until I saw a 1970s Apache hard sided pop up listed on Craigslist last month.  I was literally the fourth person to call the seller. Five minutes later the ad was taken down (apparently there was so much interest and potential buyers the poor guy had to remove the ad) he had three buyers lined up already for Monday morning.  

Well after some research the  solid state did get me…I sat for two weeks thinking I missed the opportunity of a lifetime; perfect price, met the  hubs wish list, and I’d still get my vintage fixer. I won’t lie I moped a little, and we continued shopping for those newer tent trailers…ugh😝

Then the same Apache trailer craigslist ad resurfaced (not lying) morning of my birthday. This time the price had been increased by almost $400. Originally the seller hadn’t realized the cult following of these solid state beauties. 

Luckily we drove 70 miles for an “as is” trailer, only to find out it was in better condition then expected. Garaged most of its existence, you could tell it was once well loved. Two owners only (including the seller), and a clean title, with all original manuals. The current owner had planned to rehab it as a side project, but realized he didn’t have the time for it. (He also admitted he was tired of the selling process and Craigslist “flakes”…I guess persistence pays off😉) In the end he sold it to us for the original listing price and threw in for free the $250 worth of replacement parts/materials he previously purchased. 

Now here she is our little Green Machine, or as a friend called it our “transformer”…Pop-ups in disguise…


We’ll be working on this project over the summer, ending with a “maiden voyage” camping trip in Santa Cruz. There is so much design potential, and we’ll also include important nuts and bolts of trailer repair. Luckily for us rookies, there is a plethora of websites and groups focused on rehabbing vintage Apache pop ups. Our goal is to condense these great resources down into bite size pieces and specific projects in this makeover series. Right now she’s  hanging out at the parents house waiting to be lifted. (More to come in the following weeks!) Happy Sunday everyone!


Happy Fathers Day!

Better late than never…We only sort of fell off the face of the earth this weekend…Or at least we could’ve stepped off it…

This was one of the many beautiful views from our Father’s Day weekend. My dad is a hang glider pilot…41 years he’s been jumping off mountains with nothing but essentially a kite…And for 31 years I’ve been his kid; camping, trekking and driving to some of the most gorgeous views (and a few not so gorgeous campsites) all over Northern California.


This was Eric’s first time (and the pups) to experience the hang gliding “culture” first hand. A group of awesome guys and gals (with just enough adrenaline addiction) to soar motor less 14, 15, 16,000 feet in the air.
Do I hang glide? Absolutely not! Scared out of my pants of heights! Only one in the family to not have jumped out of a plane or soared in the sky. But I do have an incredible appreciation of the nature, company and camping experiences that come with the flying community.



Thanks pops for raising a daughter who loves Northern California, would choose a pair of hiking boots over high heels and a deep respect for Mother Nature. Happy Father’s Day! And happy Sunday everyone!

PS…We’ve received a lot of “travelling with big dogs” questions this past year. In the coming weeks we’ll be showcasing our favorite travel and camping gear for pups just in time for summer trips.

Little Car…Big Dogs? [And FREE PRINTABLE!]

Taking a break from house projects, let’s talk about summer travel and camping! There are still a few more months left before autumn comes! Perhaps your big summer vacation is already done? Maybe you’re looking for budget friendly weekend jaunts? Are you taking the dogs with you?

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This post includes our printable checklist for camping and travelling with dogs.

Don’t have a truck or SUV?  This post includes how we space save and pack all the camping gear and two big hounds into one little car.

Despite having two big dogs and the ongoing home improvement projects one would assume we had a truck?…NOPE! We own two little cars; one as a commuter and one as our “Cruck” (a car that thinks it’s a truck).

Instead we’re perfectly happy with the “less is more” approach (especially as gas prices go up). Like most dog owners, we’ve also found camping to be the best economically for overnight trips. However it can be tricky to fit an entire camp, us, the dogs and two enormous dog crates in a little car. Therefore we’ve had to master the art of camping and traveling with very little space. No roof rack, no trailer, all the gear in the car trunk! Here’s our gear list and packing tricks…

First all the camping gear laid out…

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Now here’s all the gear fitting into this tiny little rubbermaid…(The kind that slides under the bed as storage)

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A great space saving camping tip is to take a back packers approach to cooking. We bring foods that don’t require a stove or ice chest, and can be boiled like spaghetti, and soups. (Which are fabulosuly inexpensive for the traveller on a budget) Also we use backpackers cooking utensils, such as the GSI kits, and Jet boil heating system, which allows us to ditch the big propane camp stove. If we want grilled or fried we use the campfire.

Need more details? Check out our free printable camping gear checklist! 

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Printable camping list

As the checklist includes, here are the dogs’ gear and first aid kit

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Now for packing the car…

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We normally pack away the two foldable dog crates on the bottom, and place the camp gear on top.The tent packs neatly to the side and if we want, we can store away a small cooler towards the back. This leaves plenty of space for  food, sleeping bags and our backpacks of clothes to sit atop the rubbermaid. As for the aerobeds, pillows and our porta potty…(Oh yes if you looked at the checklist you’ll see those items listed as well.)

These easily stow behind the front seats…

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The dogs foam mattress and blankets go right on top…leaving them extra space to stretch out…

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Luckily once they’re harnessed and belted in, they curl up behind our seats for long naps…Oh yes, like big babies, a car ride puts these two to sleep.

Ready for the weekend! Time to hit the road…We have lakes to play in and hills to hike! Any good packing strategies? The pups want to know!

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