Nothing new there. But, occasionally rolling down the road is an RV that’s so unusual that it requires a double-take.
A SMALL HAUL
Take, for example, the trailer towed by David Hunter and his wife, Lynda Barber. Amidst a sea of relatively big, modern recreational vehicles at the Tropic Island RV park on Cut-off Road, the Hunterand Barber trailer stands out as an astonishingly small and quaint abode with customized touches that Hunter created with his own hands.
It’s a 1974 Burro Travel Trailer, and it’s a miniscule 10 feet 4 inches long. With furniture and appliances lining the walls, floor space is so limited that you can’t walk more than two paces before having to stop and go back the other way.
Towing the trailer with a Hyundai Santa Fe, the couple left their home in Newport Center, Vt., on Nov. 19 and arrived in Port Aransas Dec. 3 after stopping and visiting a few other towns along the way .
What’s the trick to living in something so small for weeks and weeks on end? For one thing, it’s important to avoid making the trailer any smaller than it already is.
“We really have to pay attention to all the things we use and make sure everything goes back to where it came from right away,” Hunter said. “It’s taking care of the clutter.”
“We’re not in it 24-7,” Hunter said. The couple spends a lot of time cycling, kayaking and birding in and around Port Aransas.
The trailer actually has room for more conveniences than you might think. It has a bed that sleeps two (the bed takes up roughly half of the interior), a kitchen sink, a two-burner gas-powered stove and storage areas under the bed, in cabinets, under a bench and in a closet. And, if you’re not more than six feet tall, you don’t have to crouch while standing in the trailer. (Neither Hunter nor Barber is that tall.)
Hunter is an artist and semi-retired tile setter. He tiled the kitchen area counter in the trailer with retro-looking tiles.
Actually, since it was manufactured 38 years ago, the trailer as a whole has a classic look to it.
“We love retro, and we love the curves and the lines of this trailer,” said Barber, a freelance writer who has penned several children’s books, among other works.
There are advantages to the trailer’s small size. A mere 900 pounds when empty, it’s easy to tow, for one thing. And housekeeping is a snap.
“It’s easy to clean. I like that,” Barber said.
IN GOOD SHAPE
Another unusual-looking trailer in Port Aransas is at Pioneer RV Resort, on State Hwy. 361. Pierre Landry and his wife, Odette Caya, have an alto, made by the Safari Condo company.
The 17-foot alto is shaped roughly like a teardrop, with glass windows that stretch in stylish arcs all the way across the left and right sides of the trailer.
“The bigger windows make it feel like the inside is bigger,” Landry said.
Landry and Caya towed the trailer to Port Aransas from their home in Quebec, Canada. They like their home away from home.
“It’s light, easy to pull,” Landry said. Three couches fold together to form a bed. If they remove a table, they can make a second bed.
The trailer also has a stove, refrigerator, toilet, air conditioning and heat.
The little vehicle also has sliding parts that allow it to collapse to about two-thirds its original size. That makes it still more aerodynamic when towed.
As for Lee and Beth Levick’s motorhome, it’s not the RV itself that’s unusual so much as what’s on top of it.
The couple has four solar panels lining the roof of their 32-foot Carriage Cameo. Each panel puts out seven and a half watts of power. Lee put the panels on himself. They cost a total of about $4,500.
“The alternative is, you have to run a generator, and that’s noisy, and it costs money too, for fuel,” Lee said.
When it’s sunny, the panels allow them to power everything in the RV, including a television, stereo, hair dryer, toaster, coffee maker, sewing machine, computer, printer and power tools.
“I’m a retired building contractor, and I can’t control myself, so I’m, remodeling my trailer,” Lee said, laughing.
The Levicks will sometimes use a generator when it’s cloudy, but that’s not often.
The solar panels don’t collect enough power for air conditioning or a microwave oven, but no matter. The Levicks use neither.
Originally from Virginia, the couple travels around the country fulltime in their motorhome.
“If it starts getting hot somewhere, we go someplace where it’s cool, and vice versa,” Lee said.
Questions? Comments? Contact Dan Parker at (361) 749- 5131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.