You Go, Girl!!!!

My sister Gail’s first solo campsite!

I’ll tell you a secret.  All of my sisters and I are fraidy cats. Camping alone is a BIG DEAL!

BUT my sister Gail took her van out alone for the first time this past weekend and had a marvelous time.  She enjoyed every peaceful, happy minute!  She cut the trip a day short only because today was predicted to be 104 degrees and she was having trouble keeping the van cool enough for comfort in those extreme temperatures.

Now she is looking forward to a lot of trips by herself in the future.  What’s really cool is that her hubby enjoyed the time at home by himself, so it was a vacation for both of them!

I am so proud of Gail.  She bought the cargo van and remodeled it into a beautiful little motorhome.  And now she’s doing what she dreamed of for years…  weekend freedom escapes!

A Chicken & Dumplings Day

The kitchen in Gail's van

Gail and Mike in their van, and we in our Casita, have our own little Gypsy camp on Mom’s property.  It is so much fun to be temporary next door neighbors with Mom, Hope and each other.  Gail and I marvel at the miracle of our little houses on wheels and all the possibilities they open up to us.

Today Hope, Gail and I went shopping — first at the Boy’s Ranch Thrift Shop looking for a 25 cup coffee maker for Gail to use as a water heater in the van.  Then the guys met us at Dairy Queen for ice cream, then we girls split again from the guys for more shopping.

When we got back to Mom’s, I cooked a big pot of chicken and dumplings outside on the picnic table, then made garlic bread to go with it in Mom’s broiler.  I think I probably enjoyed the chicken and dumplings more than anyone else.  Oh well, every

Gail loves the shelves that keep everything organized and easy to reach.

meal can’t be a masterpiece.  🙂

Gail and Mike are going to Jacksonville tomorrow to visit friends and to put flowers on some of Mike’s family’s graves. We’ll visit with Mom and Hope tomorrow while they are gone.

A Beautiful Home-Built Camper Van

The new kitchen

My sister Gail and her husband continue to improve their van.  Gail has tweaked the insulation and done a lot of interior upgrading since I last posted pictures of their project.

The photo to the left is the kitchen Mike built in time for their Labor Day camping trip.  It has a hand pump water system,

Storage unit at end of bed

small gray water tank, microwave, refrigerator, and a 15″ round, deep sink.  Their stove is a camp stove that can be used indoors or outdoors.

They also built a new shelf unit at the end of one of the beds to hold shampoo, soap, and other supplies.  Clothes and other necessities are stored in bins under the beds.

The ledge above the cab is a storage area which also holds and supports their solar shower when in use.  They can let the sun warm the water, or they can fill it with warm water from the stove.  Because the water bag lies flat on the shelf, it’s well supported.  And water pressure is higher than if the bag hung down on a hook.  They clip a shower curtain to hooks on the ceiling, stand in a plastic pan, and can enjoy hot showers inside!  The pan is small enough to easily pick up and carry to dispose of their gray water.

Another view of the kitchen.

I am in awe of all they have accomplished, starting with a used cargo van.  It suits their style of camping perfectly.  And best of all, they don’t have to worry about potential plumbing problems associated with a a pressurized water system.

The van's twin beds

They have a small, free-standing air conditioner/dehumidifier that vents out the side.  It’s so efficient that they were able to nap and sleep very comfortably in Texas heat last weekend!

[on edit — click here for full details of Gail’s camper van build.]

If we are able to get our next camper before Thanksgiving, they plan to meet us at Mom’s in Florida for a family campout!

Now back to my mundane little world.  The doe and two fawns that Ron saw in our yard yesterday morning sampled the toy garden’s lima beans and collards last night. 🙂

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