Posts tagged camper

Time to upgrade…


If you would have told me three months ago I’d be the owner of a travel trailer in early December, I likely would’ve looked at you, tilted my head, and would’ve said “Huh?” Well, it is true, and I’m quite happy I own one, a 2010 T@B TQ.

We bought this little guy in September after a series of events transpired on a Route 66 motor tour we were on in Missouri. We have no regrets after purchasing our T@B. We’ve had 5 camp outs in it, met some great new T@B friends, and have even spent numerous nights “driveway” camping. We’re hooked and there’s no turning back!

After camping out a few times, we realize whatever our next trailer would be, we want something with a shower/potty combo. We found a few small trailers on the market and like the longevity of the Casita.  But there was one issue I had with the Casita that I’ve been having trouble getting over. My apologies to Casita and its owners, but this thing to me is just ugly!

After having the cool looks of the T@B, it would be hard for me to own this. Make no mistake, I have the utmost respect for the Casita and their longevity. But the T@B just has that “Wow” factor. I would have settled to have one if that’s all there was in our price range, but fortunately something else came along that met all our requirements. It has the shower/potty combo, it has retro styling, and it’s got the “Wow” factor. It is the Serro Scotty HiLander.

Serro Scotty was a company that began producing small “canned ham” trailers in the late 1950’s. After a fire at their Pennsylvania plant in 1997, they got out of the RV business and focused on, ironically, building mobile fire safety houses and are now known as Mobile Concepts by Scotty. In 2006, an RV dealer in Pennsylvania, Bill Kerola, purchased the rights to the Serro Scotty name and began having a few of the more popular Scottys from the 1960’s reproduced, retaining much of the original look, but with 21st century technology.

We took a trip to Collinsville, Illinois to an RV dealer there who sells the new Scottys. We were very impressed with a number of things with the HiLander he had for sale. It appeared to be constructed quite well, the oak cabinets were put together well, it had a nice amount of usable floor space, it had a nice amount of head room compared to our T@B, the shower/potty combo looked ample, and oh yeah, it had that “Wow” factor!

We’ve learned the new Scottys are being produced by Sierra Motor Corporation in Bristol, Indiana that makes living quarters for horse trailers. Jennifer talked to Tom at Serro Scotty Worldwide, the general manager, and he did a fine job answering all the questions & concerns.

So…it looks like we’re going to make the commitment to get a HiLander for our camping adventures. Ahh, but one issue first: We have to sell the T@B. We’ve begun the process with an ad on Craigslist. We’re not too worried if it doesn’t sell right away, as we don’t feel there’s a big rush. But, we’re really getting excited about one day getting the HiLander. And we’re pretty sure we’ll hang on to that one longer than 3 months.  :-)

October 2009: Summit Lake State Park – Our first T@B camping trip!


Friday, October 16, 2009

It’s been exactly a month since we picked up our T@B from Tiara RV. We “camped out” (i.e., slept in and watched a DVD the first night we brought it home). We hadn’t had a chance to really camp in it, since we needed to get a tow vehicle first. Every other weekend I have been busy “fall cleaning” the house. To our delight, several members of the T@B / T@DA Yahoo Group were getting together this weekend. We definitely wanted to go and were excited about it. We made reservations at the campground and toward the end of this week, started getting more items, packing, etc.

We took Friday off, and in the morning we registered the T@B with the BMV. Of course, they have a new computer system, basically a “blank slate” and T@B was not in their new system. It took a few calls to the main BMV department but they got us added to their system and registered. *whew* We made a few last stops for needed items, then went home to pack.

Since this is our first trip, we sort of were “winging it.” Hopefully we had everything we needed, but it was also a learning experience on our part to see if we brought too much, forgot anything, etc. I’ll be writing up a complete checklist for us to work from, but I was too busy for now…

We arrived around 5:30 or so and was quickly greeted by Alan, followed by his wife Carie, then Tom & Ella. Alan immediately gave us advice and tips on our T@B – VERY much appreciated!!! We are clueless, after all!  LOL

Tom, the Archwing canopy expert, helped us put it up – big thanks there too. It was our intent to practice putting it up at home, but Pat got sick last weekend, which put the kibosh on those plans.

Next, Julia showed up with her white & yellow T@B.

It was cold and drizzling, but we hung out by the campfire for a while. My allergies and lungs held up very well, thanks to my new allergy medications! Pat and I went back to the T@B to watch a movie and head to bed, but didn’t watch much of the movie after all…

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I woke up around 6:00 and went to the nearby facilities. It was very dark and cold, but the weather cleared up and the sky was beautiful with a billion stars! Once we were more awake and coherent, I made breakfast (eggs and turkey sausage), then made some apple crisp for the potluck supper that afternoon. Ella gave us some Amish Friendship bread…it was awesome! Thanks to Ella for that. mmmmm..

Pat and I went for a walk around the nature trail and found a geocache in the park. Here are two photos from along the nature trail:

Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

We came back to our campsite and Pat put together the new grill we bought, a Safari Chef. It’s a regular grill, nonstick grill, griddle, a wok, or a stove to boil water. The wok is also a cover. Pretty nifty! I made some grilled vegetables, in addition to the apples.

I also played around with our Route 66 throw, draping it over the back of the dinette. We also brought our Route 66 napkin holder, sugar and salt & pepper shakers.

 T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

We had a very nice get-together…dinner was great! We hung around the campfire for a while, then Pat and I went back to the T@B and played a few games of Yahtzee. We were pretty tired, then went to sleep.

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It was late when we woke up today, about 8:10. We didn’t want to miss saying goodbye to anyone, so we cleaned up the trailer and ourselves, and had a quick breakfast. Tom and Ella left early, as Tom wasn’t feeling well. We talked to Alan & Carie for a while, then said our goodbyes to them and Julia. Pat and I were going to stick around for a while, go for another walk and take some photos, then have lunch. First, a photo of our campsite:

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana
So, we walked around the campground trail, but probably took an incorrect fork and ended up walking longer than .9 miles!  LOL It was really comfortable out. Today was the warmest and most beautiful day…very sunny and a few clouds. Just perfect!
Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

We were among the last in the campground to leave, there were only 3 others remaining. It was time for us to break down our campsite, pack up and head home (we didn’t want to!)….but this is only the first of many fun outings for us!

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

Slideshow of Jennifer’s Photos

For more details about a particular photo, click on it in the slideshow and it will open in my Flickr site.

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Slideshow of Pat’s Photos

Below is a slideshow of all photos from today.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”11019355@N03″ id=”72157622489780843″ width=”600″]

Our new T@B Trailer


For several years, Pat and I talked about getting a teardrop trailer/camper. We had seen the traditional teardrop style, and thought it was cute. A traditional teardrop trailer is small, and the inside is just a bed (can’t stand up in it). The back hatch opens up to a galley kitchen. Some are very basic, whereas others are more elaborate, with air conditioning, a refrigerator, sink, cable TV…the sky’s the limit on customizing these. Here is one made by a company called Cozy Cruiser:

We looked into them several years ago, but at the time, weren’t ready to purchase. So we kept taking our road trips and staying in motels as usual. This past weekend, we attended the 2009 Missouri Route 66 Association’s Annual Motor Tour. There was a couple on the tour, traveling with a teardrop trailer, decked out in a Route 66-theme. How cool!

Route 66-themed teardrop trailer

Not only cool, but for sale too. We were very interested in it, and thought we might catch up with the owners again and talk about it.

During the tour, one of the passport stops was at a town festival in Strafford, Missouri. There was an RV display with a full-size RV, a camper, and a teardrop-esque trailer, called T@B.

While not a “traditional” teardrop, T@Bs have the same general shape of a teardrop, but taller and longer. It’s exterior dimensions are: height –  7′ 9″, length – 15′ 6″, width – 6′ 7″. It’s interior height is 5′ 9″. This particular model has a toilet compartment inside. Other features common to all T@Bs are a dinette which converts to a bed, interior kitchen with stovetop and sink, and cabinets. Options include fridge, flip-down TV/DVD, air conditioning / heater, porta-potty, awning, screenroom, and more.

Here is the dinette area:

T@B Mini-rally at Summit Lake State Park - Indiana

And the kitchen area:

Camping at Little Farm on the River - Rising Sun, Indiana

Another passport stop was at a Route 66 RV park / motel, and we talked to the owner for a while. He highly recommended Scamp or Casita. Both fine trailers, but we preferred the teardrop style. The T@B combined the best of both worlds: teardrop shape, but bigger inside, with a kitchen and seating area. On our ride home, I was searching the internet on my smartphone for trailers, but that was challenging!

When we got home Sunday, we started searching…continued Monday night…Tuesday, I found a Yahoo Group for T@B owners. I joined, and started asking questions. Pat found out that Dutchmen was discontinuing manufacture of the T@B, but the enthusiastic and friendly members assured us that purchasing a T@B was a good idea and we would have loads of fun in it. The members are also very knowledgeable and an amazing resource for all aspects of owning a T@B. Pat and I talked alot, asking ourselves if we wanted a traditional teardrop, would we really be comfortable inside it? If it rained as we had to cook in the open galley in back? Not that there’s anything wrong with them…they’re still cute, but the lure of the T@B keep pulling us back.

So, we finally forged ahead with wanting a T@B, searching new vs. used. We made a few contacts through Craig’s List, but they were very far away. We ended up finding a dealer with new 2010 T@B models, right here in Indiana! Their prices for new were very reasonable, far below what we had seen elsewhere on the internet for new models from dealers.

By Wednesday, Pat and I were so enthralled, and seeing the price for the new T@B, decided to plunge headfirst. We’d been corresponding with Deb at Tiara RV, and so once Pat and I made a definite decision, I called Deb, and the deal was in motion.

Here is the one we selected:

We made an appointment to pick it up Saturday. Now, here it is, Saturday morning, and we’re getting ready to head out. I slept well last night, but I guess I was so excited, I woke up at 4:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep!

So, I’ll post more of my own photos later when we get home with our new baby!!

Here she is!!

This cool motel sign was in front of the RV dealer. We pulled up with our red T@B and the dealer had a yellow model on display out front. How well they coordinate with the sign!

T@B - TQ Teardrop Trailer

Stay tuned for our travels with our “Cherry Bomb.”

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