Planning a trip? Dreaming of travel? Perhaps some of our adventures could inspire yours! Over the last several years we’ve had the distinct pleasure of many cross country journeys traveling though the Lower 48 in tents and our various teardrop campers as well as an amazing Alaska adventure that did not involve a camper. To learn more about our day to day adventures, recent blog posts are below. To learn more about Steve & Karen, click on the About Us link. All Things T@B is about using and caring for T@B trailers. Every other link is about travel adventures. Enjoy exploring, and leave us comments! We love hearing from you. And if you’d like to follow us, Subscribe by signing up at the bottom of this page.
As we met with Julie over lunch today and discussed plans for the upcoming üCamp21, hobnobbed with some of our long time nüCamp friends, and toured the nüCamp factory, we realized that it was exactly twelve years ago today in 2009 that we met Joe Mullet in the three car garage in which he was building Silver Shadow trailers one at a time.The one that he was building that day became our first RV. And we blogged about it. Fast forward to 2021 and we have spent more than 1200 nights in our various nüCamp trailers. Moving from the Silver Shadow to a T@B 320 Clamshell in 2013 and one of the earliest T@B 400s in 2017. All the while we watched the company grow moving to progressively larger rented factory spaces to their current location in 2015. Today there were fourteen T@B 400’s on the line, and who knows how many on the 320, T@G, and Cirrus lines as well as plans to build an expanded service shop and training center across the street. Through the years we have been blessed to enjoy some amazingly hand crafted trailers and incredible customer service. We are indeed celebrating an amazing relationship with the organization that Joe has built through the years and with the community of users that feels like family!
A week ago we backed Sc@rlett into our son’s driveway and commenced a delightful visit that has involved so many great activities. We helped plant seeds for this year’s herb and vegetable garden, roasted S’Mores with granddaughters in the backyard over our new Solo Stove, made a couple of meals on the Camp Chef griddle, played with the four cats, relaxed on the great big sofa in the family room to watch movies, walked in the neighborhood, headed off to Amish country for some treats and scenic views, savored some restaurant meals, and just enjoyed being with family live and in person! Life is good!
Although the two of us visit the Canton/Sugarcreek area often and have stayed at several campgrounds in the area, the Nimisila Reservoir Metro Park Campground between Akron and Canton, Ohio had not been on our radar until Jenn (check out her Blog for videos on caring for and traveling in a T@B 320) invited us to join her for a camping weekend. Although we were unable to reserve one of the six sites available in April, this lovely place is definitely now on our list of potential camping spots. Even without an available reservation, we joined her for pizza and a most enjoyable afternoon visit. Later on Andrew joined us and after an initial tour of his nüCamp T@G (Check out his Vlog Season 5 to follow his T@G Travels) we settled in for some delightful conversation about travel, content creation, and most especially our appreciation of nüCamp RV including the quality of their craftsmanship, their dedication to customer service, and their role in fostering the feeling of family in their community of users. Looking forward to spending more time with them when we gather in Sugarcreek in June for üCamp21.
Redford, our Ford F-150 has been itching for adventure ever since joining the family in October 2019. Yes, he and Sc@rlett have partnered with us for a few shorter excursions but today we are getting an early start on our Summer Ramble. First stop, Easter with family in Ohio! To say that everyone’s excited after a year of conscientiously staying home, is quite the understatement! Even as we continue to mask and socially distance, we’re incredibly excited to resume our wanderings!
Today we celebrate! We received our second vaccine doses two weeks ago today. We invited Steve, our neighbor and pod member, to join us as we headed to the deck, opened a bottle of bubbly, and shouted “Freedom!” We then crafted some spritzers and enjoyed conversation with Steve as we learned about progress on the construction of their new house and shared our plans to embark soon with truck and trailer. After a year of deliberately staying home and avoiding opportunities to contract or spread a certain virus, we are more than ready to leave this lovely home and head out in search of adventure!
Today we’ve done two of the things that we do every Spring, bring the hammock out of storage and begin to prepare the trailer for travel. It’s another gorgeous sunshiny day and once we hooked the hammock onto it’s stand we just had to give it a test run. Truly, with the temperature only in the upper 40’s and a bit of a breeze, we weren’t tempted to linger long but it’s still fun to lie there and savor the view of the beech tree and rest for a few moments before heading back up the trail and resuming other tasks on our list. We’re also in the process of assessing all the items we carry in the trailer, thinking about whether to rearrange the way we store things, and cleaning her up inside and out. It’s looking like we’ll be heading out in late March or early April. By then we should be fully immunized. At this point we don’t know where we are heading or how long we will be gone. In fact we wander. We just know that we are truly looking forward to the joy of the open road and the freedom of boondocking! Hooray an off-grid life in a cute camper!
Over the last year we’ve spent many a happy evening in the company of Mary & Steve, our neighbors, our pod members. Beginning in mid-March we all adopted the practice of limiting our contacts, social distancing, masking wearing, and staying home as much as possible, but sharing drinks and dinner with each other on Friday nights. That is until they moved to Greensboro to supervise the construction of their new house near their grandsons, daughter and son-in-law. Now we celebrate every time they are back here on the mountainside and this evening we raised glasses of Aperol Spritz to celebrate just such an event. Cheers!
Normally this would not be a blog-worthy event, but for the past year we’ve stayed true to our local Covid mitigation guidelines and in staying home as much as possible, we’ve been making all of our food and drink in our own kitchen. Today we made a tentative first step toward resuming our pre-pandemic life and after an appointment in town we stopped by The Farmhouse Mercantile & Coffee Bar, one of the newer additions to the downtown Sylva scene. We were masked while practicing social distancing and didn’t linger long. Instead we did a little shopping at Black Balsam Outdoors and B&B Gifts before heading off to Franklin on another errand and sipping coffee along the way. We’re a long way from feeling “normal” but just knowing that we have begun the immunization process and that as a society we’re headed to herd immunity makes us feel hopeful.
Technically last day of February is the last day of meteorological winter, but it sure feels like Spring to us. It’s a glorious day here in the mountain cove. It’s so warm that we’ve opened the sliding glass doors not only to let fresh air in but to make it easier for us to go in and out. We’ve checked out the daffodil shoots down near the creek and planted some cilantro seeds in a couple of pots but the most exciting event has been taking the cover off Sc@rlett, our 2018 T@B 400 by nüCamp RV. On top of that we’re celebrating the fact that we are now more than two weeks out from our first Covid-19 Vaccine. Adventure is on the horizon! Where will we go once we’re free to move about the country? We don’t really know. We do know that we will be traveling by way of Sugarcreek, Ohio. We do expect to be eminently prepared to camp primarily off grid since campgrounds are more crowded than usual. Perhaps we’ll also see this as an opportunity to do more moochdocking than usual and enjoy more opportunities to enjoy friends and family in person. FaceTime and Zoom visits have been wonderful but real live in-person time together will be oh so much better. We are so ready!
Finally, Labor Day 2020 has come and gone so the camping season should begin winding down. Although we’ve stayed isolated at home since mid-March (with the one exception of a quick trip to Sugarcreek), for many it’s been a year to foray into the world of RV travel. Folks that we know and those that we follow on YouTube have been reporting unprecedented crowds at campgrounds this summer, so although camping is a good way to practice social distancing, we chose not to participate until after the holiday weekend. For us it’s been a good summer in many ways. We’ve developed some excellent new lifestyle habits, done some nice home improvements, and acquired products to enhance our life in the T@B. At long last we have now ventured out in Redford with Sc@rlett in tow. Standing Indian Campground in the Nantahala National Forest near Franklin, North Carolina was our first outing. Although visitors to the area tend to flock to the campgrounds in the nearby Smoky Mountains Park, Standing Indian is a favorite among locals. It’s lovely. At 3800 feet above sea level, these September days have been cool in the mornings and warm in the afternoon. The sites are widely spaced. We chose #53, not far from Kimsey Creek, a First Come site, because it was the sunniest spot available when we arrived and registered for three nights. Our plan was to test our upgraded dry camping capabilities. We now have rooftop solar as well as our suitcase panels to feed our batteries. Those batteries have an additional load on them now because we are now carrying a portable chest style 110V/12V compressor driven refrigerator to help the existing 110V/12V Norcold accommodate all the fresh foods we are eating these days. Also new is a drinking water filtration system so that we feel comfortable using the water from the fresh water tank for our beverages. After the first three nights we assessed the levels in our tanks and how much we’d been using our generator to supplement our solar, and registered for three more nights. Ultimately we stayed five nights. We learned that although we can do a great job of managing our fresh water usage and our gray water accumulation, the capacity of our black tank is our limiting factor. We also learned that although we appreciated the extra refrigerator space, the extra compressor was enough of a draw that with some shade, some clouds, and the shorter days of late summer that our solar array couldn’t totally meet our power needs. We needed run the generator daily, sometimes just two hours and up to six hours on rainy days. We also learned how much we enjoy internet connectivity. In some ways we enjoyed being unconnected. In other ways we regretted not having downloaded some extra ebooks, music, podcasts, and movies before we left home. We also appreciated the time to read books that we did have with us, work on some hobbies, and organize the bed of the truck. And best of all, we took long walks, had some great conversations with other campers, saw an awesome restored vintage 1960 trailer, met some T@G owners – an Atlanta based couple, and crafted some fabulous meals! Looking forward to our next expedition!