Awning Pole Flowers – Popup Camper Mod

Awning Pole SupportAre you tired of tripping over the  ropes that anchors the camper awning to the ground?  Is the ground too hard to hammer stakes in for the awning anchors?  Camping at home on the drive way and no way to secure the awning to the concrete without stealing bricks from around your neighbors garden?

Here’s what I put together to solve some of the problems with awning ropes and securing the awning when camping in “difficult” locations.  A trip to the local home improvement store and Voilà!  Homemade awning supports that also pretty up the camp site!

I put these together one at a time so that I could make sure I got everything in place before the cement became too thick to work with.  Continue reading for a list of the items needed and directions on putting them together.
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Indoor and Outdoor Towel Racks – Camper Mods

I got a little creative today. Two different clothes racks and all made in a little under an hour. Most materials I had around the house and the snap kit I picked up at Home Depot a few months ago. Each rack is pretty easy to construct.

Outdoor Towel Rack

Outdoor towel rack for those times when you don’t want to hang wet stuff inside and the campground doesn’t allow clothes lines.

For the outdoor rack I used a longer dowel and attached straps to the bottom of the bunk. I added a washer so that the screw doesn’t pull through the strap. Make sure the wood screws you use aren’t too long as they may damage the bottom of your mattress. If they do go through a little bit, either nip off the end or make a cover that will protect the mattress. There are also snaps attached to the bottom of the bunk so that the straps can be snapped up out of the way when not used. The dowel will be stored inside the camper in one of the cabinets when not in use.
Indoor towel rack that uses the straps and snaps that hold the door to the ceiling when stored.

Indoor towel rack that uses the straps and snaps that hold the door to the ceiling when stored.

What’s next? I’m not sure, but it would be nice to recover all the cushions!

Popup Camper Mod – LED Interior Lighting

New LED Lights!The new LED bulbs arrived this week! Just in time for a long weekend of doing a few repairs on the Coleman PopUp Camper. It’s incredible how hot the old bulbs would get and it is a wonder they didn’t melt the lens covers. These bulbs do get warm, but nothing like the old 1141 incandescent bulbs. I bet the battery will last a lot longer now!  This has been the easiest mod by far and the only hazard was removing the old bulbs too soon after the pictures without letting them cool.  What will I do with the old bulbs?  Those bulbs are now spare bulbs that will go into the tool box in case we ever have a bulb go out for any of the other exterior lights.  For more information just click on the bulb photos.20141011_175939LED_MOD
Order new LED 1141 Bulbs from Amazon

Popup Camper Mods – LED Lights

In June 2014 we purchased a used popup camper from a dealer 98 miles from where we live.  I researched the brand, model, year, and extra only to decide it was the perfect camper for us!  Tent camping was fun, but for us this was a step up off the ground and into something more like cabin camping.

Coleman Fleetwood Niagara Grand Tour Elite

Coleman Fleetwood Niagara Grand Tour Elite – after her bath and all gussied up on the inside.

The camper was a deal and the only catch was the 2 hour drive to pick her up and then the same for the drive back. She’s awesome even though I had to clean out enough dog hair for a small sweater. The fun part is changing out her parts and bringing her up to current standards. Next on the block to tackle is lighting. The original lights are great, but they use a lot more battery power and they get hot. I’ve decided to use these: after doing a bit of research. Well they arrived today and will go into the camper as soon as we get everything set up. Battery power should last a lot longer and during the summer the lights won’t give off as much heat. Great service from Amazon and the packing from GRV was great!
New LED Lights!

Staycation – Backyard Camping

This past weekend was a busy one, but we wanted to try and get away for just a little while. Since we’ve been talking about going camping sometime soon we got out the tent and set it up in the backyard. It has been a few years since the last time we went camping and that trip everyone got soaked…every night! Nothing like going to the laundry mat in town just to dry out your sleeping bags!
So the plan was to get the tent out, see if all the parts were still there, clean it up if needed, then pack it back up the next day. Well we decided to sleep outside Friday night. Nothing exciting since the rain wasn’t going to be here until around 10am on Saturday.

Sears Hillary 2 Room Tent with Rain Fly- Great for clear weather, but leaks pretty bad if it rains.

Plenty of time to enjoy a night of backyard camping. Add to that we decided to bring Libby our dog along too. We weren’t sure how she’d like it, but after about two hours she finally quit wanting to bark at every weird noise she heard. Ok, I will say that the coyotes in the woods carrying on was a little nerve wracking for a bit, but I was finally able to get to sleep. We even got out the air mattresses too. I was afraid my back would complain since we’ve not been camping since both of my back surgeries. The air mattress was just great and neither one leaked either.

Saturday morning we woke up quite early.  Since the tent is white it blocks very little sunshine.  We didn’t notice that much when we used it last since we were in the woods under some large trees at the beach.  Around 10am the rain started so we just left the tent up to give it a good washing.  After a day of constant rain I decided to run out and check the inside of the tent for leaks.  Nothing leaked under the rain fly, but the floor looked to be leaking everywhere a stake strap was sewn in, and around the tops of the vestibules.  If I could find two more rain flys I could probably remedy the majority of the leaks.  Well it’s still raining today (Monday) and I’ve scooped out more water from the inside.  Hopefully everything will dry up soon and we’ll try a little waterproofing.  I’ve also thought about getting a very large tarp and create a new improved larger rain fly.

I’ve debated keeping the tent or going to a newer model that has better reviews.  Then I think of the age of this tent, it’s good condition and the fact that we could probably remedy the leaking quite cheaply.  Plus I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been camping.  Hopefully next time we go camping will be soon, dry and uneventful. At least this time we didn’t get wet!

PS, this tent is a 4-5 person tent.  Even with just the two of us and a medium size dog it was quite cozy.