Camping like a Girl

There’s no other way to describe it – a perfect weekend of camping and camaraderie.

Girl Camp Canada’s vintage trailer and RV show and shine August 21 in Warkworth, Ontario was the best event we’ve attended this year. The fun started the day before in a grassy field on the farm of Raquilda and Lion Van Zoeren. We parked the Travco in the shade with a Boler, Scottie, Shasta, Argosy and even an Airstream.

For dinner everyone chipped in on crusts and ingredients. We laid out the bounty on an empty hay trailer and one of the ladies with a propane fired pizza cooker created stone-baked pizza for everyone. Delicious!

After dinner everyone got dressed up in gypsy style and we went around taking photos of ourselves all over the farm. We ended up at our Travco for a group shot.

The day ended with a social time around the campfire. This was special for us, as the community has had an outdoor burning ban in place since July 2 and it had been lifted earlier that day, as if just for our event.

The next morning everyone hitched up their trailers and drove them to Warkworth’s Main Street for the show and shine. We lined them up on either side of the road, and many of the ladies brought out vintage collectables to sell. The public marveled at the tiny treasured trailers decorated in many different themes from ultra modern to Boho to the Wild West.

In past years an event called The Long Lunch would have been in the middle of the street, but due to a morning shower, the luncheon moved to the local arena. We took a break and attended the meal. Ham, roast beef, salads, home baked beans, buns and a slice of homemade fruit pie. Yummy! I felt like closing the door on Lucky Seven and having a nap after that feast.

At the end of the day we had around 100 people tour Lucky Seven. Not one of them had ever heard of the Travco brand before, and we enlightened them all on our special RV.

We made some wonderful new friends and the time of our lives at this event. The tranquil beauty camping at the farm was the perfect venue to lead into Sunday’s show. At the end of the day we all exchanged email addresses and followed each other on Facebook to make sure we meet up again same time next year.

Who knows? We may get together for another campout before this season ends.


The Girl Camp Gang with Lucky Seven at the Van Zoeren Farm.

Wonderful hosts!


Children loved touring the Travco.


The Van Zoeren girls got in on the show with their own tiny trailer vintage shoppe

More of the awesome GCC ladies’ custom trailers.


The ins and outs of heat sources

I’ve been assured the welding job to be done on the Travco before November 8 was started yesterday.

After another month of restless waiting, I am again thinking about the customization to be done over the next 6 months or so. We vintage RV owners kid ourselves things will be done without a hitch and in a reasonable amount of time, and come in under or on budget. LOL.

But I can dream. A couple innovations have caught my eye. One is for the kitchen. As I’ve noted in a previous post the propane stove top in my Travco was ruined by rust. I don’t expect to be able to repair it. Not sure that I want to replace it with a similar unit. I use the propane burners for cooking breakfast only, and the oven only for extra storage.

An all-in-one type insert was brought to my attention through the ladies of Girl Camp Canada. It’s a mini kitchen: single sink with two electric stove burners beside it and a mini-fridge with icebox below. This sounds pretty cool and space-saving to me.

It brings up a few conundrums for me as a first time restorer. Would this unit be hard to wire/plumb into the R/V? Would it draw too much power? And on a personal note, once it is installed, will I find the single sink and half fridge too small to be practical?

Danby all in one unit
Danby combo kitchen as seen on Kijiji Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This change got me thinking about a more luxurious option. If this triple-unit saves me a bunch of space, could I possibly eliminate the propane furnace and swap out for a fireplace or woodstove? I’ve seen many Pinterest pins and Youtube videos on the installation of a “mini-stove” in tiny houses and RVs. Lots of questions to be answered about this option, though.

I grew up in rural Eastern Ontario Canada and have lived in homes with both fireplaces and woodstoves. The dry heat appeals to me, as RVs often seem innately damp. As well, to me camping isn’t camping without the scent of a campfire. Watching the coals glow, toasting marshmallows or hotdogs and hearing the crackling flames is the highlight of my camping experience.


Hobbit stove
Restored Hobbit mini wood stove in a 1972 Airstream trailer. (Pinterest)

This brings us to the issue of safety. I have no desire to take my Travco out on her maiden voyage only to have Camp Wannahockalogie go up in flames. Not only would I have lost a lot of cash and sweat equity, that bus only has one door. Not exactly good for emergency escapes.

The walls, ceiling and floor around the unit would have to be somehow fireproofed, especially where the chimney pipe goes through the roof. It would have to be properly ventilated and sealed against water leakage. And how high would the pipe stick up? It may get snapped off by a low branch or bridge.

chimney vent on boat
Chimney vent on a boat (Pinterest)

The mini wood stoves aren’t a cheap option either. You can get a portable military “tent stove” for well under $100 but at that price, I’m concerned about durability. The cast iron, enameled units with small windows so you can see your fire are pretty expensive. Up around $600 to $1,000 and higher. Apparently there’s a unit they install in boats that is supposed to work well.

Green woodstove
“Little Cod” marine wood stove by Glass door costs an extra $150. Unit costs $1,535 CDN, plus stovepipe.

The major unknown for me is movement. This isn’t a tiny house or cottage. There’s going to be a whole lotta shakin’ going on while the RV is on the road. If I go to all the work to repaint and decorate this beast, there’s no way I want a stovepipe collapsing in a shower of soot in the middle of the floor.

Maybe there is a propane option which would be simpler and safer? My only issue with this is the end cost. Using up more fuel and having to go find a place to purchase a refill is inconvenient. As well, it wouldn’t last very long if you were boon docking.

There’s a pretty informative article on propane vs. wood for tiny houses, but it’s not exactly what I need to know.

I’d sure appreciate some advice from any of you who have attempted or seen these conversions. I’ve found that my readers are the best source of sage advice, ideas and innovative suggestions. So let me have it. I have a few months to ponder my decision and I want to make an informed decision.

PS: For those of you who have been following this blog, I realize I can’t use my blowtorch fire starter inside the Travco. Damn.




Comfort food – Turkey soup

Not much going on in my Travco universe right now, so I thought I’d share my turkey soup recipe with you. Freeze your leftover Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey carcass so you can make it ahead for a camping trip. I especially like using a bird that was stuffed, as the bits of savory bread thickens and adds flavor.

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Turkey Soup

1 leftover turkey carcass

2-4 tbsp olive oil

2 litres (8 cups) chicken broth

2 litres (8 cups) water

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 cup cauliflower, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

½ tsp each basil, thyme, sage

1 cup uncooked instant brown rice or elbow macaroni (cook’s choice)

METHOD: In a large pot, brown the vegetables in the olive oil on medium-high heat (5 minutes). Once softened, add the mushrooms and heat through another minute or two.

Place the turkey carcass in the pot and fill with the chicken broth and water until the bones are mostly covered and/or the pot is 2/3 full. Add herbs. Bring to a boil and simmer on the stovetop until the carcass falls apart (30-45 minutes).

While the pot is simmering, cook the rice or macaroni according to instructions. Using a slotted spoon, remove the turkey bones. If there are any large chunks of meat, you may want to cut them into spoon size bits.

Add the macaroni or rice, stir well and serve.

Makes at least 6-8 bowls. Batch may be doubled.

NOTE: You can vary the quantity of vegetables and rice or macaroni to taste. Also if you prefer, you can cook the rice/macaroni in with the soup, but I prefer the texture when it is added at the end.

If you like this and would like to see more of my soup recipes, let me know. My husband and I enjoy creating soups together and have several successes we’d love to share.