Little Red Retro

Our blog is all about
life as seniors, our love of camping and so much more. It's named after our sweet little red Riverside Retro RV - our very first camper. We hope to share ideas, campground info, recipes and just thoughts and feelings. At this stage in life we are going through so many changes and we hope to share our journey and learn from others as we navigate this time in our lives.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Camper Decor....Oh My....

We have decided to agree to disagree on this topic.  Greg likes things clean and clutter free with no or few doodads.  I love knickknacks and all sorts of goodies - especially anything retro/vintage.  One of the things that drew me to RV camping was all of the pictures on blogs and Pinterest of beautifully decorated the way I admit to being Pinterest obsessed!! A link to mine is above.  You can find all sorts of things like this one on Etsy.  Sadly for Greg - I have a Cricut Machine and I'm not afraid to use it!!  Even when we tent camped I liked to make the tent homey and the kids loved to set up their little space too.

So we now have a garage full of the contents of Little Red.  He has already been dropped off at the dealer and we should be picking up the Premier next week.  While I don't want to clutter the new guy up, I do want him to feel as homey as Little Red did.  If you've ever had the opportunity to walk in one of the Retro RV's then you know there is the smell of wood and the cozy factor is way up there.  I will admittedly miss that and I want to compromise in getting the "cozy" into this new camper.  Our kids have given us so many amazing camping goodies and they will be put to good use in the new guy.

Then there's also the issue of a new name.  We obviously can't call this guy Little Red although I do plan to keep that name for this blog and Instagram for Lucy Loo.  We will always be Little Red because that's how we started our RV life.  So what do we name this big guy?  That may take some time and we may have to try him out first to come to a conclusion.  It's fun coming up with ideas and hopefully we can agree on one.  😊

Well we are getting more excited each day to get back out on the road.  We're thinking our August trip will be to Savannah and the new CreekFire Campground.  If you haven't heard of this campground do check it out.  It looks like a really fun option.  I'll keep you posted and update here as soon as I know more. See you on the road....

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Camping With Pets...Camp Ramblings and Such.....

This is our little thinker Lucy Loo Lee.  She is just the best camper - she loves the campgrounds, the other dogs and meeting and greeting.  Her very favorite thing is taking walks and meeting all of the other camper dogs.

But...she absolutely hates the ride in the car.  We have tried medications, etc. and they don't help and some even make it worse.  The one thing we have found that helps a little is her little car seat and fastening her in tight.  If she has any leeway she will get angsty and hastles herself into a fit.  Camping without her is just not an option so we keep trying to figure out ways to help her through this.  We make lots of stops and walk her as much as we can.  She gets lots of treats and goodies along the way too and hopefully that makes it worthwhile.  Now that she is our only little four legged cutie we keep thinking that maybe another pet that could camp too might help.  I would love to know if anyone has had luck with that.  We see lots of campers with multiple cats and dogs.  Now that we will have more room it may be a consideration.

In changing to a different type of camper we are trying to figure out what kind of set-ups we need. We currently have a sway bar which has been necessary for our little guy to keep him from weaving like a balloon on a string.  We aren't sure if we will need this with the larger camper.  Also with a double axle we are researching different chocks to be sure we have it secured when parked.  Thank heavens for YouTube....don't know what we would do without it.  Also we definitely need a back-up camera for the camper.  With an additional 11 feet to worry about that is non-negotiable.  The Keystone is wired for the camera so we plan on ordering it before we pick it up.  We'll have to practice backing with it and not coming to blows on the right way to do it.  Parking a camper under any circumstances can be stressful so this is another new learning experience.
Can we talk about all of the STUFF we campers take with us.  Greg just finished cleaning out Little Red to get him ready for his ride to the dealer.  Oh my much stuff.  I truly didn't realize.  I know there are things that you take just in case you might need them and there are things that are just unnecessary. We're working on honing that kind of clutter down and be more mindful about what we take inside the camper.  With more space to fill up it will be a challenge to not do the same thing.  I'm watching lots of videos and perusing Pinterest.  Click on the graphic to read an awesome article on storage tips.  More ideas to come.

We are busy planning our first outing in the Keystone and I will post more info on that as we get closer.  Getting excited...hopefully the week of August 6th will be our delivery date.  Yay!!

See you on the road.....

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Ugh.....Ive been dreading this post but looking forward at the same time.  We have been going back and forth for a couple of years now about moving up to a little larger camper.  We are so very emotionally attached to our Little Red Retro and the brand.  One minute we tell ourselves that we have to find a larger camper in the brand and the next we are looking and ogling less expensive options with more room for the money.  Our biggest challenge where we live is finding the Retro we want in our area without going through a long order process and again getting a camper that we have never seen up close and personal.

If you have ever traded a camper - just like a car, there is a lot of depreciation and of course a dealer has to make money reselling.  For some reason the idea of selling our little camper to someone else was making me feel a little sick but trading it made the idea some how easier.  But you loose a fair amount on a trade versus selling on your own.  We have been working with the same dealer - John's RV in Lexington, SC and they were able to work the numbers out in our favor so that we aren't really loosing much by trading our little guy over selling it ourselves.  Shout out to Caleb Gillette!  He is the best.  Good News!! 

Well yesterday we pulled the plug and signed all of the paperwork to purchase the camper pictured above and we traded out little guy.  He's still here with us until they have our new unit ready to pick up.  We have to get out belongings out and clean him up a bit before we take delivery of the new camper.  This is bitter sweet but we are excited about the possibilities. 

We decided on a Keystone Premier 22RB.  He's almost 27 feet long - 26 feet 11 inches to be exact.  It checks off everything on our list of wants...and then some.  As older/senior campers the bed placing is so important and this guy had a walk around bed with a spot for Greg's sleep machine.  For the past 3 years we have been leaving it at home and that's a real no no!!  The color scheme is just perfect with white cabinetry making it feel open and spacious.  The ceilings are high with the rounded top which gives Greg more head room and also adds to the open feel.

The u-shaped dinette is perfect for so many things and gives the kids a full size bed if they ever decide to camp with us.  I love the easy raise shades and no more bumping into mini blinds in the middle of the night on both sides of the bed.  The bathroom is a dream and just what we wanted.  Having a dry bath with a contained shower and an actual sink is so exciting.  No more brushing my teeth in the kitchen sink.  😆

So here he is in all his glory.  As hard as this decision has been we are excited to move on with this guy and enjoy all that our travels have to offer.  We plan to continue to be Little Red Retro in honor of our first little RV and we will sprinkle lots of red and aqua around this camper as well as lots of retro types of gadgets.  Before we know it I'm sure we will feel at home and enjoy the ride.  See you on the road.  

Monday, July 8, 2019

So What Have We Learned....Life in a Tiny RV

Camping in an RV has been such a learning experience for us.  While we camped for years it was always in tents.  Almost three years ago when we made the leap and brought Little Red home we had no idea just how different it would be.  Life changing for us!  This pic is from Google Images and our campsite sure never looked like this.  There was usually lots of dirt...everywhere, so much heat and freezing when it was cold and rain....the rain is just too much fun!  Once we even brought an electric blanket with us on a particularly cold outing. That was life changing at the time.

Since we've been tiny RV campers we have made lots of mistakes and learned so much.  I believe this has made us a little better but we still have so much to learn. I guess that never ends and that's what makes it all fun and exciting.  Here are a few things I wanted to share that I wish I had known in the beginning.  Enjoy!  😆

1.  Always always unhook your chains before you pull your tow vehicle forward!  That lesson only took one try and Lucy and I were inside the camper when Greg pulled this trick.  It was quite a jerk...we're not a fan!

2.  Don't leave your sink running while you run outside to see the latest dog walking by!  I did learn that our little camper is sealed up pretty good.  The water ran down through the drawers and to the floor across to the dinette. It was an easy clean up but just don't do it!

3.  Be sure your spouse/significant other is out of the way when you are parking the camper.  Hitting this person or your dog with the camper can truly put a damper on the whole outing.  Luckily I move pretty quickly when necessary.  No more details necessary.

4.  Apologize profusely for your actions when you are backing the camper into a difficult spot.  Stay calm and take your time and remember that you have to camp with this person after you accomplish this task!

5.  Take alternative activities because many times even your cell phone won't get reception and if you're an addict (Greg) you won't be happy.  😛 We take a few games, books, cards, etc.  I know this sounds like simple stuff but I can't emphasize this enough if you're a new camper.  When we were younger we had kids to occupy our time.  As seniors it can get pretty quiet.  Scrabble is one of our favorites!

 6.  Don't take too much can buy more most of the time and it's actually fun to visit local stores/markets.  We love to eat and get way too excited about meals and filling up the fridge and cooler as well and more.  In a small camper there isn't much room for dry goods and the fridge isn't that big either.  So we are constantly moving and shuffling food and then end up taking a good bit back home with us.  We are really working on getting this under control because nobody wants heavy canned goods falling on their head when their significant other is digging through the cabinets.  Lucy has no patience for that foolishness!

7.  BUG spray is an essential.  When we tent camped we knew this but somehow forgot with our RV.  For some reason I'm a bug magnet - Greg not so much.  A lot of the places we camp are inundated with bugs and that can really put a damper on things.  We have found Skin So Soft from Avon truly works and there are no dangerous chemicals, etc.  It smells pretty good too.  Greg goes for the industrial stuff that would knock a bug dead at 50 feet.  He stinks but it works.

8.  Leave stuff you don't need at hand in your two vehicle.  We have very limited space and trying to take shoes, too many clothes, too much food, etc. all in the camper at once makes for lots of irritability and falls getting to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  Now we leave everything that's not needed in the car and we get what we need when we need it.

9.  Don't spray lots of aerosol air freshener in a small camper....even if for obvious reasons!  It will set off your carbon monoxide alarm and that's just no fun!  It takes forever to clear it and make it stop.  Just don't do it!  Open a window. Buy some of this stuff - it works and doesn't cause a vapor.  

I think that's enough for now but we have made so many more mistakes that we can share.  Sharing is caring....😏  See you on the road.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Mountain Traveling, Life and More...

In June we visited Devils Fork, SC again - one of our favorite places to travel to in the summer and fall.  This campground is located on Lake Jocassee and offers some of the best scenery in the state.  It's cooler there than where we live in the middle of the state.  This beautiful lake never disappoints!  We hung out there for two days and would have stayed a third night but there was a good bit of rain and storming so we decided to move on up to our next destination ----- Bryson City, NC!!!

Oh my gosh - I have been dreaming of this trip for a good while.  I have read so much about the area and I follow a local celebrity - Ashley Hackshaw - AKA Lil Blue Boo!  She is a local artist and she and her husband have been such a boon to the area since they moved there.  We visited their store Bryson City Outdoors and its just as the name implies - everything you need for doing the outdoor life!! Go over and follow Ashley on Instagram - she is amazing and takes you along on her adventures of living in Bryson City and raising chickens, rescue pets and their beautiful daughter along with Bret.  They also restored an amazing property available to rent during your stay at Sixty One Park.  That's on my bucket list too!!!

While visiting Bryson City we camped at a small campground in Almond, SC called Turkey Creek!  I can't recommend this little gem enough.  Its run by Mike and Ramelle Smith.  It's very wooded and natural. The bath house and laundry room are clean and spacious and the campsites are remarkable well cared for and clean.  They have been running this special campground for many years and their touch is very evident in every square inch. Their dog, Huey, the best concierge and retired trail guide, is a friendly greeter and always available for a head pat.  Lucy loved him and couldn't wait to give him a kiss.  This campground is perfect for tent campers as well as RV's.  We will definitely be back. It's about 5 minutes from the lake and Bryson City.

Another gem we found there was the Mountain Perks Espresso Bar and Cafe!  Oh wow - don't miss this little bit of awesomeness when you visit the area.  We had a delicious lunch there followed by the best cappuccino I've ever sipped on.  The owners are so friendly and gave us so much info on the area and places to visit.  We truly didn't want to leave when we finished up.  The atmosphere is quaint and cozy and the food is so yummy.  I had the cheesy potato soup.....drool worthy!  If we lived in the area this would definitely be a regular stop. 

As I write this post I'm dreaming of returning to both places we visited.  At some point we hope to take longer trips and spend more time in areas we really love.  These two are definitely on our list.

Life here at home with no kids is flying by.  We are learning to make food for two - not an easy feat after so many years of making way to much.  Unfortunately when we returned from this trip our cat was not feeling well and after a vet trip we had to put her down.  She was 14 and lived a great life but I sure do miss her.  Greg was her favorite but she was great company to Lucy and I even though she was a grumpy curmudgeon most of the time.  We miss you Jessie Kiki and hope you are frolicking away over the Rainbow Bridge. 

Update on our research into a bit larger camper.  We hung out at John's RV Center - the place we bought out Retro, for a couple of hours last week.  They are very heavy on Airstream right now and we were surely tempted but for the same money we could get the Retro or our dreams - the 189R - Silver Edition and have so much left over for awesome travels.  We'll keep you posted on the journey. 

We aren't sure of our next destination but hopefully it will be in August.  Maybe a beach landing this time.  Take care and we'll see you on the road.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Island Hopping....Edisto and Hunting ......

We had fun adventure last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  I never got around to writing this one up.  Greg made reservations for one night at Live Oak Campground at Edisto State Park and the following two nights on the beach side.  Reservations at Edisto are very hard to come by and we have tried many times so we were thrilled to get these even with having to move.  Now when I say Beach side - I really mean beach!!  It was amazing!!!

Our site at Live Oak was cozy and we really enjoyed being there.  There were lots of places to walk and enjoy the nature all around the campground. We were a little sad to move until we saw our site on the beach side campground.  It was amazing and literally right on the other side of the dunes with a walkway just near our site.  It was site #13 but it appears that it doesn't exist now as we checked on reserving it again and it no longer shows on the map.  It was really one of the best sites we have ever had and our only regret was that we couldn't keep it longer.  We stalk the reservation site hoping to find one similar there again. 

One other awesome find was Botany Bay - my brother had told us how amazing it was and we spent hours there.  If you ever get a chance to visit make time to ride through.  It's just beautiful and there is lots of history so take your time. We took the walk to the beach and it's a trek but totally worth the effort.  We saw so many shells and so much more.  Check out the link above to see more pictures.

Since we weren't ready to head home just yet, Greg checked online and was able to get a reservation at Hunting Island State Park.  We hadn't been back since the last hurricane hit there - I believe it was Michael.  This is one of our very favorite spots and as I have mentioned too many times, we spent a part of our honeymoon there 34 years ago.  I have to admit when we drove into the park it took my breath away just a little - it was just so different.  After a bit we realized that it was still a beautiful nature filled adventure it always has been.  When we got to our site we were surprised to find out the site we had reserved was the very same as our last visit.  Even with the storm damage and reduced shoreline it is still an amazing campground.  Most of the ocean front sites are gone but there is still a lot of work going on there to restore as much as possible. 

This view is from the lighthouse side and it's well worth visiting too. There are tables and places to grill and hang out on this side and it's just so peaceful there.  Tons of crazy birds hang out there too.

After a couple of days we headed home.  This was such a fun trip and it's so nice to be able to pack up and move on to the next adventure.  That was so much more complicated when we tent camped.  We have done this on a couple of trips and we really enjoy it.

We have our next trip planned in June.  We will be heading back up to Devils Fork for a few days and then on up to Bryson City!  I have wanted to go there for years and we are finally going to make the trip.  We hope to ride the train and see a few other sites while we're there.  We have reservations at Turkey Creek Campground.  We have heard so many awesome things about this campground and the couple who run it.  Check it out if you are ever in the area.  We'll post some pictures after our trip.  They also have an awesome Facebook page.

On another note, we are settling into our new normal as empty nesters and learning it's going to be ok.  We are still struggling with the thermostat but it seems we have the Google Home and wireless down.  Now if we could just get the Amazon Fire Stick functioning again.  Oh day at a time.  See you on the road....

Monday, April 29, 2019

Our Favorite Campground, Empty Nesting, Meal Planning and More....

Well we did it again....if I'm counting right this was our fourth trip to Myrtle Beach State Park!  This has become our favorite place to camp and our go to for relaxation.  If you haven't been you may want to put it on your list.  It's wooded, lots of cool breezes, short walk to the beach and so much more.  If you are not a fan of the hustle and bustle of Myrtle Beach but love the beach this is a great choice.  Once you are in the park you won't even know you are in the middle of a tourist city.  It's just amazing.  There are trails for adventuring and in the off season there are beautiful horses that you can ride on the beach.  Pets are allowed all year, different times in the busy season, but they are allowed all day in off season.  Lucy loves it and being with all of the other pups is so much fun for her.

Greg works a lot of hours and getting away to a place where we can actually relax is so important. We talked to our neighbors and they visit this campground for two weeks twice a year.  They also had a sweet dog that Lucy made friends with.  She loves the screened room with a breeze where she can dog watch. 

 I'm looking forward to Greg retiring so that we can take trips like that. Working towards retirement is something I would like to touch on here too.  Greg will more than likely need to retire at 62 due to his health.  He may be able to do some part time things that I hope will be mobile so that we can travel and he could still be able to work.  Life is short and we know so well how fleeting it can be.  After the last year and a half, we look at things differently and our priorities have definitely changed.

Meal planning is something important that I need to focus on.  Since I am already retired I hope to take on that project with Greg's help.  I've never been good at planning - I would just wing it and we ate out way too much which is such a huge expense.  So...I hope to share some of what I learn on that subject.

We are now empty nesters and for the first time in our lives we are living alone together.  I had two little boys when Greg and I got together and we raised them along with the two we had after we married.  This is so new and different for us and we are celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary in May and we have been together 36 years.  Holy cow...I have not lived without at least one of our kids since 1978.  Truly!!!  It's an adjustment for sure but we are going to be fine....I hope.  If we can just figure out the thermostat and WIFI.....😊  Oh and scrabble matches are saving our brains least we can hope!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

We Lost our Camping Mojo....

I know others this has happened to!  I've seen lots of campers for sale over the years and many of them in fairly new unused condition.  We said that wouldn't be us but life happens.  This is the first winter that we haven't camped at all....none....nada.  I see Little Red outside our kitchen window and I want to go hang out and when I do I immediately feel the pull the get him back out on the road.  But then I go back inside and the idea passes.

I have to admit that photos like the one above from Myrtle Beach State Park give me the fever and make me want to load up and go.  This has happened to us for a couple of reasons one of which is our health and Greg's work comes in a close second.  As older campers, being able to move and have energy is key.  If we had a huge comfy camper then it might not be as important but with our little guy we have to plan on what we are actually able to do.  If we have bad weather the close quarters are definitely an issue.

Well spring is here and we are determined to get back out there even if its not with the vigor we once had.  Our first year and a half we camped almost every month - if Greg had a weekend off we were camping.  Now we're being realistic about our new situation and just hoping to get a week trip in along with a few weekends over the summer if possible.

I also believe that our desire for a little bit larger Retro is weighing in on our decision.  We really need a walk around bed and I would love to have a dry bath but those are dreams for down the road.  Every time we camp we spend time walking around the park checking out other campers and set-ups.  I well remember the years we were camping in tents and just dreaming of the day we would have a real camper.  Now we have one and we need to enjoy it when we can.  We are truly campers at heart and I'm hoping that will never change. We even camped on our honeymoon!

We are hoping our next outing will be either in North Carolina, possibly Bryson City, or the beach.  We'll keep you posted as always with lots of pictures.  Lucy is excited too!!  I'm so looking forward to this view again.  This is one of our very favorite state parks in SC - Devils Fork.  I'll update when we have our plans set up and as always we will see you on the road.