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Glamorous Camping Without The Glamorous Price Tag: How To Amp The Glamp For Less

If you've been looking to join the glamping craze, but feel you can't afford to do so, think again. As with any venture requiring your hard earned capital, your smarts and savvy can lead the way. Here is a "rough" guide to easy glamping.

Investing In a Camping Trailer

Your trailer options are vast, but being practical, you want the most basic, sturdy and functional unit for your money. Over the course of a few months or even years, you can add your own customizations and personal touches, meaning you can lower the upfront expense of all those bells and whistles. Whether new or used, consider the following criteria to narrow your search for the most suitable camper:

  • Space needed for people, pets and gear, including head room and sleeping arrangements
  • A workable floor plan/layout
  • The weight of the trailer and your towing capacity
  • The time required to set up the unit once you're out in the wild
  • Initial and maintenance costs, including taxes and registration
  • Condition of the trailer if you're buying gently used
  • A warranty that provides you with a sense of security in buying

Once you've hammered out your general criteria, visit a trailer dealer who can then recommend specific models. Because there's so much you can do yourself to create the trailer of your dreams, ask to view the most basic options they have. This will keep your costs down and your options open. Furthermore, be prepared to answer the following questions, as they will assist you and the dealer in landing the most practical trailer for your specific purposes:

  • Are you going to use all the bells and whistles the model comes with?
  • Can you picture yourself hauling the trailer up mountains, over open highways and through treacherous potholes?
  • Does your towing vehicle meet all specifications?
  • Is the trailer going to be used for short or long trips?
  • What types of terrains (mountainous, woods, flat, sand etc.) will the unit likely be parked at?
  • Can your tow vehicle and camper pass through the roads leading to where you want to go?
  • Is the unit itself the primary sleeping, cooking and entertaining area or more a vessel to get you to such places?

It's important to know your specs and have them ready when you go shopping. From little teardrop style campers to pop-ups to hybrids, there are so many models designed for so many purposes, family sizes and budgets.

Modifying The Camper To Your Personal Glam Style

Technically, you could purchase the most basic of campers and engage in lots of DIY remodeling, building and customizing. While structural integrity, function, safety and comfort are all at the top of the list, consider the costs of materials and your end-goals, in terms of the glam factor. Also, if you've never stayed in a camper, it's important to keep the cramped-style in mind when adding anything to the unit. If you've taken the gently used trailer route, the following remodeling jobs may be in order and are relatively surmountable with proper instruction and materials:

  • Replacing linoleum or carpeted flooring
  • Changing the upholstery on furniture
  • Altering the window coverings, frames and other decorative treatments
  • Painting the interior walls or redoing them in another surface, such as wood
  • Remodeling the dining area

Add your own creative genius to the mix with themes, colors and frills. The sky truly is the limit when customizing your camper, so long as you keep safety, function and space a top consideration.

The Necessities That Separate Glamping From Camping

Glamping simply tries to make ordinary camping a luxurious or less grueling experience. However, there are no rules set in stone as to what defines a comfortable, successful outing. Add your glam with an awning, curtains, tablecloth and bedding that all coordinate with the main color theme of the unit. In addition to the camping basics, consider how the following touches will amp the glamp for you personally:

  • Removable pillows and air mattresses for extreme comfort
  • A portable fire pit
  • Great recipes to make from scratch, as opposed to restaurants or prefab foods
  • A way to hear your favorite music (such as placing your cellphone in a ceramic mug for great acoustics)
  • The means to make a fantastic cup of coffee, like using a French press
  • Burning sage for ambiance and mosquito repelling
  • Dried Rosemary to lay directly on the flames when cooking chicken
  • Reusable, nonbreakable flatware and dinnerware that look pricey, but are really knockout plastic knockoffs
  • A bag of chips for fast and easy campfires

Renting Your Camper Out For A Major ROI

If your trailer is durable and has a strong wow factor, you could recoup more than what you put into it by renting it to fellow glamper wannabes. Aside from the financial return on your investment, this could also be a great way to help others and meet new like-minded people. However, make sure you're completely prepared for such a venture:

  • Secure all fixtures, decor and other elements to protect them from damage
  • Screen renters carefully and check backgrounds
  • Obtain a deposit for damages, as well as a deposit on reservations, for your convenience
  • Prepare a thoroughly detailed and legally binding contract
  • Accept only credit card or PayPal purchases for additional screening, security and authenticity
  • Verify identification and make copies of them
  • Call at least two references renters provide
  • Add a cozy, personal touch, by leaving a dozen homemade muffins on the table
  • Set aside a half an hour per renter to showcase and demo the unit and to answer questions

Glamping takes the sting out of rough, outdoor camping and your smarts and savvy can take much of the expense out, too. Be creative, resourceful and learn to improvise - three important basics that every camper needs to master anyway. 

For more information on trailer dealers, contact a company like Camping World of Ocala.