Camping Out

When the camper arrived, the girls were excited about it, but Cassandra and Alya had been nagging the heck out of me to let them try it.  When Evil Twin said she was coming, I told them they could try it out as long as Trudy and her friend Chantelle were interested.  The girls decided it would be fun, so they set it up out in the back yard along with two tents.

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“We’re really glad you guys thought this would be fun to do, we’ve been dying to try out the tents and the camper,” commented Alya.

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Just then they heard a scream come from one of the tents and out popped Trudy. “There’s a giant spider in there!”
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Alya to the rescue! “Oh good heavens Trudy, it’s tiny. I’ll kill it though if it makes you feel any better.”

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The girls were just sitting around the fire talking when Chantelle whispered “guys, I don’t mean to scare you, but I think I just saw a skunk!”

All of the girls jumped up and ran to the tents, jumping in, head first!
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Once in the tents, the girls didn’t want to leave for fear of encountering the skunk.  The campsite looked rather deserted…

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They also realized they had a slight problem: the sleeping bags and pillows were all in the camper! No one wanted to venture out to go get them though, they were too afraid of getting sprayed by the skunk. I can’t say that I blame them, I’ve had to give a skunked dog a bath and it was not fun. All four of them decided to tough it out for the night. At least it was warm out.
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The next morning, four very tired looking girls crawled out of the tents.
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“I think I slept on a rock…” groaned Cassandra. “My back is killing me.”

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“I spent the night killing spiders, yuck!” whined Trudy.

Just then, Louisa came walking into the yard.
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“Hi guys! Hope you had a good night camping. You didn’t happen to see Finn last night? I was watching him for Mrs. Davis since they are all away and he got away from me, the brat.”

camping 13 “WHAT?!?!?!”

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“Yeah, he took off this direction last night, just as the sun was going down. I hope I find him, if you see him, let me know!”
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“The name’s LePew…Finn LePew!”

Review of the American Girl Adventure Pop Up Camper

It’s here!!! It’s here!!!!  I can’t believe it, but the camper has arrived!  It arrived yesterday, I only ordered it on Thursday, that was fast!  Talk about stalking the Fed Ex guy though.  Every time I heard a vehicle outside, I had my fingers crossed it was him.  Sneaky devil though, he was super quiet and I didn’t realize he was out there until he was heading back to his truck.  Warning in advance, this post is full of photos.

Here it is still in the box.  This is a large item, so it only comes in a standard shipping box, no special AG box:

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Out of the box, it has the camper with two bags of stuff.  The one you see in the boxed photo on the top is the outside of the tent part of the camper and a cushion.  Then you get a bag that holds all of this:

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Lots of little goodies! Let’s look at them first, they are so cute! (can you tell I’m excited, all these exclamation marks!!!)
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Some paper items, stickers, a loaf of bread.  LOVE the cooking utensils, the spatula is made out of metal.

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Here we have some food items and some green spatterware style dishes.  I am pleased to see that the dishes all come in 2’s, no more dining alone!  My complaints have been heard perhaps?  The sporks are also made out of metal.

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And lastly, a jar of grape jelly and decorations for the camper. I know this kind of seems like an odd pairing, and it is. I’ll be honest, the jar of jelly got buried under something else and I missed it. I didn’t feel like setting the other stuff up again, so just take it or leave it! (just kidding) 😉

Okay, so now that is out of the way, let’s get down to business! TADA!!!! The camper!!!

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I included pictures of all of the sides so you can see all of the details.  Love the signal reflectors as well as the mini propane tanks, very accurate details.  I included the shot of the underside so that you can see that the wheels are hollow.  They also do not turn.  That was only slightly disappointing, I suspect it was a sacrifice made to improve the stability of the whole piece for play, so I can live with it.

The top of the camper is in my opinion, engineering genius.  They turned something as mundane as a luggage rack into a very useful piece, and not something that you store out of the way that doesn’t get used.  More on that later though…

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Once removed, you have a flat area…

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You simply push on the latch and pull up on the side on the left like this:

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On the right side, you pull up on the post piece.  It fits into the camper hitch to add stability.  Mine doesn’t fit all that well just yet because it is still kind of tight, but I’m sure as it gets used, it will loosen up.

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Both sides open the same way to lie flat.

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See that white piece behind the stove?  That now flips up to add more stability to the tent frame:

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And on the other side:

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And that green piece???  That’s a bed that folds out!  I can’t believe AG didn’t show any photos of that in the product description.

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On to tour the interior!

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The interior space is decent and allows you the ability to store the tent part of the camper and accessories inside, making it all self contained.  LOVE that part since space is at a premium around here!

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The stove is really cute, the knobs turn and make a clicking noise like a real camp stove.  The little cupboards below are fake, but they look cute.  I love that they have dimension instead of just being stickers like on a Barbie piece.

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The bench on the other side opens for additional storage.  A good place to put plates, cups, etc.

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On one door we have a rack for magazines and a flashlight that the dolls can actually hold.  Very cute!  And a necessity when camping.  The flashlight does not work though.

Now to my favorite part, the kitchenette!! I thought this was very cute and well done.  Unfortunately, employees at the stores apparently either A) didn’t understand it or B) didn’t read directions.  I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve seen of this part at various stores not put in it’s proper place for display! ARGH!!!!  When you open up the camper, it is in the down position.  You simple pull up on it to snap it in to place.  It’s not difficult at all, it moves easily.

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Once you snap it in to place, the faucet assembly flips up and you are ready to go!  The drawer on it does not work, but the refrigerator does open.

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Assembly of the tent part of the camper is super easy and very well thought out.  The cross bars of the luggage rack pop out…

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The top of each piece has a notched key type design.  You attach two pieces together to make a long pole by inserting one into the other and then twisting so they lock.  The nice part is all of these pieces are uniform, so you don’t have to worry about which one you pair up.  Once you get all four poles assembled, they hook into the luggage rack frame.

Once you get that all put together, the frame then rests on these white posts that you will find in each of the four corners of the camper.

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Now it’s time to add the tent.  This too is very well thought out.  It fits the frame nicely and has Velcro to help hold things in place.  There are Velcro straps that attach to the posts and then this:

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Once you get it in place, you need to attach the back flap via the buttonholes, they fit over the two little posts that stick out.  One last thing to do…Rebecca!!!

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She couldn’t wait to try this out, so I thought I’d have her help me.  As you can see from this photo, there is plenty of room for a doll to stand.

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There are two elastic pieces on the front that flip around and hook on the pieces that stick out from the luggage rack.  The hooks are also a nice place to hang decorations.

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Rebecca wanted me to show you how the bed looks with someone in it.  First you have to push down the faucet into the sink and move the kitchenette so it is flush with the top edge of the camper:

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Plenty of room for a doll to sleep!

Now it’s time to get things put away.

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Rebecca thinks it’s time to sit and have something to drink!

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Overall, I think this is a terrific set and is very well thought out.  Kudos to designer Matt Wahmhoff for the wonderful job he did on this, it’s doll engineering at it’s best.  I love all the little details in it and how it is designed with play and storage both in mind.  FYI, the window at the back is open, it has no covering, I’m sure that is so more than one child can play at a time.

I especially like the way the tent portion attaches.  The seamstress in me not only appreciates it, but it also gives me lots of ideas on how I could personalize this tent or even make a completely different one if I wanted to.  It is very stable too.

I give this set an A+!  I do think at $185 it is a bit on the expensive side though.  This is the first super pricey item I’ve purchased from AG, I usually either pass on them, or wait for a good sale, but this was something I just HAD to have.  It didn’t hurt that after I posted about it before, Evil Twin called and told me she would give me money towards part of it as my birthday gift.  How could I say no?!?!

That’s all folks!  I hope you have enjoyed this review, and if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask in the comments section.  See ya! (wave goodbye Rebecca!!)

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I had a request to see what it looked like with a doll beside it folded up as a size comparison.  Excuse the poor photo, I took it with my iPod and it is lousy for photos indoors.

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