Slim Potatohead in the Sun

No, this drawing didn’t come from a cabin-fevered mind under the effects of quarantine.

I ran across the “Slim Potatohead” series on YouTube a while back. At first, I thought “SP” was just another random traveler who liked to make videos while on the road. Turns out he has, as of this entry, 97.4K followers on his YouTube channel.

Don’t ask me why the name. He’s definitely slim, but the Potatohead part, I don’t get. Never mind. “SP” it is. It’s easy, however, to tell you why I was immediately drawn to his videos and personal style. Here’s a guy who notices and quietly appreciates the daily details of life. He knows what works for him, and what doesn’t. He easily accepts others’ differences.

“I personally am a vegetarian…” he states in “How’ya Do It? Solo Travel on a Budget“, “but I don’t really care if someone’s a vegetarian or not.” He goes on to describe his routines for stocking his camp kitchen and fixing meals. “How about a cheap and easy solution for lunch? Boil some water, throw in some instant noodles, and a ripe avocado.” A gourmet cook, he is not, but he eats well.

In “Herbal Tea and Stonehenge: Boondocking in Washington State,” he shows his dry sense of humor and bent for the road not taken. “I picked a nice spot under a dead Ponderosa Pine just to freak out all those who tell me how dangerous it is to camp under trees.” Remembering a time watching most of a cottonwood spontaneously break off and fall, I shuddered, but have I ever found that perfect spot by a tree I shouldn’t have camped under?

I introduced some friends to Slim’s videos with “Nobudy’s Purfect,” which had all of us in stitches. Slim has the ability to make mistakes, recognize that he’s goofed, gently rib himself about it, and accept it. Lucky us, we get to laugh along with him, and maybe have some of that attitude rub off.

The guy’s a DIYer’s dream. Who knew a person can make an A-frame roof lift assist for $10? When I had an Aliner, I tried it. Scrounge one 2×4, alter a plastic cutting board, find a few nuts and bolts, and put it all together. Slip the contraption under the roof’s edge, lean, and up she goes! Is lifting still a little too hard? Fill an empty milk jug with water, run a string through the handle, cut a notch in the “lift mechanism,” and hang the jug to add weight. Voila! My kind of engineering!

Viewers’ comments show they love Slim’s budget-minded and practical approaches to trailer mods. From adding solar power, adapting RV refrigerators, to trying out wood stoves, Slim does not shy away from minor tinkering to major transforming. He does, however, know when to quit. Well, he mostly knows when to quit. How many homemade camera stabilizers did he fabricate before concluding that there are times it makes sense to just buy the right tool?

As for home decor, there are those eye-catching pillows in “Trailer Makeover Part 1: Turf the Elephant. “How did he choose the fabric?” I asked. My question wasn’t wrong, but it turned out to be irrelevant. His reply? “Debbie, the pillows were…only thing available! If they had pink elephants or action heroes I would STILL have bought them! SP”

I laughed, and was not surprised. The pillows’ style is consignment, and their bold design…iconic! “Why not have fun with this,” I asked myself, and in an evening effort to make the walls of my own home disappear for a bit, I came up with “Slim Potatohead in the Sun.” You may notice a similarity between “Slim in the Sun,” and the photo of the guy reading in his new trailer.

During these Twilight Zone times of quarantine, we watch over our shoulders for “The elephant in the world,” as a friend put it. To keep from looking over my shoulder too often, I need a place to go while staying in place. Slim Potatohead’s videos provided that kind of place before the virus, so I turn them on now as I work. Turns out there are “a few” more I haven’t watched yet, for which I’m grateful.

What do I like best about the videos? They give me the ability to travel to places I’ll never see, to get into fixes, be philosophical and share a laugh about it, and get the problems solved…to share and appreciate the small details in towns, and in grand and quiet places.

“I found a dimple in the sand dunes, big enough to fit me and my trailer…” SP

Thanks, Slim.

3 Comments

  1. Hmmm. Seems like someone has a bit too much time on her hands. Cabin fever? Just saying…. Or maybe the eternal wait this year for spring has you dreaming of the Arizona sunshine.

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  2. Aha! Your entry did indeed fill in all the details, and set a new batch of camping fantasies racketing through my brain. Someday, maybe…

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