|At home in their little trailer|
When it comes to tiny trailer camping, the Smolaks decided to go classic with a 1979 Trillium travel trailer. "We bought it in January 2020, right before Covid hit. We were SO so lucky. We had been looking for about a year for a fiberglass camper. We wanted something light that we could tow with our Outback and didn’t require much maintenance or difficulty in upkeep with a bathroom or extras."
|1979 Trillium and Subaru Outback|
The Smolaks tent camped since they had first met in 2006. "We always loved tent camping, and it allowed us to travel without the crazy cost of a hotel." Having their first child seven years ago didn’t slow them down, either. "Our kids love it and still ask to tent camp! However, camping with kids is a lot of work." After years of practice, Ashley knew she wanted a sink with a water tank. That was her only request when they began their search for a camper. "I knew it would make life easier to be able to wash dishes and babies and have water right there and ready."
|Added shelves for storage|
Other additions are more for swank and comfort. "The newest addition is a three-inch bamboo and charcoal memory foam bed topper. What luxury! Sleeping on forty-year-old dinette cushions wasn’t cutting it anymore! I decorated with inspirational prayer flags in the back window, a national park scratch off picture inside a cabinet door, and a vintage poster of Acadia National Park hangs on the outside wall of the tall cabinet."
|Bunk set-up from another site|
|Efficient use of space|
All of the family's clothing and hats and coats fit into the vertical closet. "We built four shelves and pack efficiently. I roll our clothing and have drawer organizers on each shelf. We use coats that pack down also. Our shoes fit under the bench seat in the cabinet. I use a big laundry bag for dirty clothes and keep that in the back of the car."
|A camp bath!|
"Camping with kids is great," Ashley says. "They are so much more likely to entertain themselves when we are out in nature. I do keep a basket of small toys, bubbles, coloring books, and a board game in the camper, but my kids are happier exploring outside with sticks. We do a lot of hiking. Most campgrounds have a playground too which is a highlight for them. And if there’s a creek nearby--big bonus!"
|At home on country roads|
The Smolak family have camped with their trailer about twenty times in the short amount of time they've had it. They feel they are lucky to live in an area with great sights to see and a lot of camping options. Although they have mostly stayed in state parks or the Allegheny National Forest, they would like to explore more off-grid or boondock camping. They mostly travel to mountain areas with water access in northern Pennsylvania, with fall being their favorite time to camp. "Cooler temps and fall foliage is heaven to me!" says Ashely. "We’ve also winter camped three times with snow on the ground and night temps in the 20s, and it has its perks. Way less people out and solitude. We also enjoy the snow."
Ashley and Nick are fortunate to have found a camper that fits them so well. They are also wise campers to have realized that learning to adapt is important for happy camping. Their dreams of ranging farther north and west on their travels are grand, but what is really inspiring is that they are living the dream now, living outdoors and enjoying that fleeting, beautiful time when their children are growing up, stars gleaming bright and shiny in the summer sky. The Trillium is a flower "found in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States." There are about fifty species of this genus. This is such a wonderful symmetry: a beautiful Trillium trailer, a beautiful genus of flowers, and a beautiful family--all out and part of the beauty of nature. May all of Green Goddess Glamping's articles end so auspiciously!
|Available at Amazon|