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.

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.