Monday, March 21, 2011

Wagons Ho!

A 1966 West, 10' Camper
Pearl and I ready for our new on-the-road antiquing life!

I did it! I got my little camper in Warsaw, Missouri on March 19th, hooked it up and took a few test spins around KC, loaded it with necessities and hit the road. (That is the very condensed version of what transpired!) Pearl and I are currently in Round Top, Texas at the world famous antique show. I dusted off my boots, packed the bandannas and after many mechanical check-ups for my van and camper, we arrived here last Wednesday. We are spending our days shopping the fields, the tents and every podunk vendor set up on the side of the road.

I have been going to Round Top, on and off for ten years now and each and every time its a feast for the eyes, a lesson on navigation and a homecoming with friends. This trip feels like a new beginning now that the store is closed and I have less to worry about. I don't feel the added pressure of hurrying back home to be in the store or finding bigger items to make the trip financially worth while. Its also nice not to have to drive the fields with a 20' truck!

I am camped out at the Blue Hills Event Venue in Round Top, owned by Kansas City dealer Mike Peters. I sent Mike a plead to just let me park on his property and he responded with, "We have full RV hook up with guest bathrooms and showers!!!" Whoo-hoo! I am all set and did not have to deal with using the bathroom in my little camper!! He even had hired help to pull me in place and set up the water and electricity to my little home. I could get used to this!

Of course, makeover pictures to come.
(You didn't think I was going to leave it like this did you?!!)

Once I left home, the drive from KC to Wichita was not pleasant. The winds were at full force making me feel I was driving through quicksand. I was intimidated enough pulling this for the first time but once the winds died down, all was good. Pearl and I slept inside for the first time at a truck stop in Oklahoma and I found myself giggling as I cranked open the windows and snuggled with her under the covers for our first night on the road!

After we arrived in Round Top and unhitched the camper I drove around town seeing who was still open and ended up at Royer's having a beer with Bud the owner and Grand Marshall of this antique weekend. He caught me up on the latest news, telling me of Rachel Ashwell's venture with her new B & B miles away and then showed me pictures of his amazing home in Austin! OMG! Why someone has not featured this place in a magazine is beyond me. It looked like Uncommon Objects Gone Wild!

Since hitting the road, there have been many amusing anecdotes of which I will call the Curious Camper Diaries one day. (A new blog starting soon!)

To name a few:
- I forgot there are bugs and dirt while camping! How quickly we forget.
- Living in a 6' x 10' space is all about organization; lots of bins and bags and multiple hooks are needed to keep things off the ground.
- Do not be stupid enough to think you are going to completely redecorate your new abode on your first trip out. Learn how to live in it first. (This lesson was painful, you should see all the crap I brought with me!)
- If you camp near bathroom facilities, you will almost feel human.
- Be prepared to be without internet connection and living by your iPhone. (Second tough lesson.)
- Using propane to boil water brings a new found joy and a caveman-like accomplishment. (Even if it is for Ramen noodles.)
- Your beloved canine has no place else to go but in bed with you. Be prepared to sleep with paw prints and dirt.
- Have a local vet handy when your fluff-ball experiments with Texas rat poison. (Oh yes, mother and daughter now doing fine.)
- One minute you will love the simplicity of camping, the next minute you will want your MTV.
- Have many lavender sachets handy to bury your face in when a skunk wanders near your camper at night. (I thought I was gonna die!)
- ENJOY the junking and gathering great items for myself, the camper, the website and photo shoots.

More stories when I return!


  1. Spectacular, exciting!! I am so jealous. i dream about a cute vintage camper. Hope you and Pearl have some great times together.

  2. Love your new little adventure...I have a feeling this change in your life was meant to be and awesome things are going to happen for you! I would love to travel in a little RV. Can't wait to see the makeover!

  3. Hi Debbie-

    What a fun adventure. I would love to do what you are doing someday.
    Can't wait to see how you are decorating your camper.
    My best- Diane

  4. Oh I'm jealous. Love Round Top...I've been once, and need to go back! And camping? Well, I don't know if I could that part...bugs? Aack!

  5. I love your new camper! Sounds like you already had a great adventure with her. I look forward to seeing the renovation process.

  6. I'm excited for you & can't to hear of all your adventures with Pearl! She looks so cute in the van waiting for you. She must be a great travel companion. Girl - you are fearless!
    I can't say I could stay in a truckstop alone w/ my pup but I love that you are digging this new adventure in life! God bless!

  7. You are living my dream. I envy you! Lori L

  8. Good for you! I am so envious. I did a RV trip last year with husband and son in tow and it was a disaster! My husband booked a site with no water or electricity hook up, no on site showers and it was 100 degrees everyday! Not a pretty site I can tell ya! But you and your pooch sound like you are doing it right and only a few lessons learned. Enjoy the rest of your trip - god's speed!!!

  9. Having one of these little treasures is on my bucket list! And I know they are not in your color scheme but I ADORE that aqua sink and stove top - too cute!!! Want to mail them to Arkansas? Or drop them by on your way back from Round Top? Have big fun - can't wait to see what is next for the little camper! PS- Have you named her yet?

  10. I'd be intimidated to venture out in a sweet little camper all by my lonesome, except for my furry friend. What a feeling of independence! Sounds like it was a wonderful experience. Look forward to seeing the "after" photos of your new traveling abode.
    ~ Iva

  11. I don't know which is cuter..Pearl or the camper? hmmmm...Pearl. :)

  12. Deb, I love your Wagons Ho adventure....everything except the late nite skunk and Pearl's suicide attempt with rat poison. Keep blogging so we can keep you company along the way! OX

  13. What a blast!! Have many wonderful adventures in your new gypsy wagon. LOVE the turquoise sink and stove!
    Happy Trails and safe travels...

  14. Your little camper is darling. I'm sure it will be decorated to the hilt when all is said and done. Looking forward to the Curious Camper Diaries.
    Linda from Columbia, Missouri.

  15. Very fun post, Debbie!! Hope you're havin' the time of your life!

    Another jealous fan!

  16. Oh Debbie, you crack me up!!! Please keep sharing your experiences with us....I grew up camping with my family so it all sounds very familiar to me ~ and I love that you've shown us a few peeks of the camper now....I can't wait to see your magic! xxoo, Dawn

  17. How fun! Honestly, I'm a hotel/motel kind of girl, but this is sweet!

    I can't wait to see what you brought home. Your blog about your adventures with Pearl sound sweet and I can't wait!

  18. Honey, I am SO WITH YOU on your great venture-adventure. Good for you and Pearl. You are gutsy.

    I too had my own antique shop and drove from California to Brimfield while sleeping in my van or horrible (cheap) hotel rooms. My son accompanied me and I think I soured him on antique shows.

    I loved reading this and KNOW you'll doll up your little abode on wheels asap. This could be a great book for you to write (in your spare time).

    All joys to you and travel safely,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  19. How fun you are and are we all jealous!
    Just now realized that everybody else has said they are jealous before I did!!!Well, there you go!

  20. i'm thrilled you adopted a vintage trailer baby! i have two vintage trailers and we show (all staged and stuff) them in vintage trailer rallies. awesome fun! my new baby is a '62 totem and she's all of 8 feet long - just for me.

    check out
    i'm sister #1818. you can see both my adopted babies there, along with oodles of others.


  21. Bring on the camper photos! Can't wait to see 'em!!

  22. If you get an electric hookup, consider the value of a toaster oven. I can't live without one in my trailer. Also, get a memory foam matress topper. If you need to cut it down to fit your mattress, it's easy. And it make the RV spring matress much more comfy! As for Pearl's muddy paws, that is what wet wipes are for! Wet wipes are an RV campers best friend....

    Sounds as if you are having fun!

  23. Three suggestions to help your quality of life: A toaster oven, wet wipes and a foam matress topper. Can't live without those in and RV! Sounds like you are having fun....

  24. I love the blue burners and sink! I am so happy you had an adventure. Love your blog! :)

  25. It is just pickin' fun to read this blog and go along with you on these adventures. To say that you are livin' the life is just not enough!

  26. It is just pickin' fun to read along with you on this blog. To say you are livin the life is just not enough!

  27. I'm sooo extremely happy for you. I have sold my shop in Payson Az.I still have my 2nd location in Posies in Arroyo Grande but it's like a mall so I don't have to be there and still can decorate and make a little money on the side.Love your idea of a traveling diary. My husband just bought me a 1993 prowler 5th wheel. 21" of pure paradise.I know I have to much stuff for it.Will be posting before & after pics on my blog.My little rig arrives tomorrow and I can't wait to go on my first trip.

  28. woo hoo...I restore vintage trailers so I am proud of you for your first did good!!! It is just great to pull your little bed behind you...can't wait to see what you do with it!

  29. I've been in the midst of diapers!! Although sweet Vivian is a fun surprise after two boys!

    I'm finally sending "best wishes to you" after a new chapter has unfolded in your life. I love the camper and once upon a time I found a vintage plate for my friend's camper. It said simply, "God Bless our Camper"! Passing on the same sentiment to your cute it. May you have safe travels where ever you go....

  30. Thanks to all for the well-wishes. It has been quite the experience getting to know this new home!

    I know that plate! I just saw one on Etsy!

  31. Glad to here your Roundtop adventure went off without a hitch (no pun intended) .... but WHAT HAPPENED TO PEARL???

    Juliann, the fellow dog lover from Vagabond

  32. What a darling camper! I want one so bad, thought about living in it for a bit lol!

  33. Oh.. your camper is just so darn cute...I can't wait to see the after pics! I went to Round Top for the first time,my friend and I drove from California....picked up a trailer there and filled-r-up...had a blast. Dinner at Royers was a kick too! I am so ready to go back already..maybe fall?



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