On RV Camping

by / 0 Comments / 128 View / July 28, 2016

I bought my first, and so far, only travel trailer back in 2007: a pop-up camper. I thought about the purchase for several years before making the decision to buy it, because I wanted to be sure I had the right equipment to meet my needs.
The pop-up turned out to be perfect for me. My first trip was to Lost Maples State Park in October of 2007. The fall colors in the park were especially nice that year and I enjoyed a couple of days hiking the trails. I’m able to work remotely, and I was interested to see how that would go during the three days I was there in the park. The WIFI there was not very good, and since then, I’ve found that to be true in most of our state parks and in campgrounds generally. I also found out that, like me, people enjoy bringing along their dogs. Except mine didn’t bark at night or when I was away from the camper.
Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have taken the pop-up to some of the most beautiful locations in the U.S., like Big Bend, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. I found that I could travel almost as fast in my truck as I would without pulling the camper, although the gas mileage dropped from 17 to around 13 miles per gallon. I was usually able to drive 400-500 miles per day.
The nuances of RV camping can be quite interesting. It’s quite a challenge to take essentials without transporting an entire home. By watching other campers and noticing what accouterments they brought, it wasn’t long before I became a seasoned veteran. In the larger campgrounds, most people have trailers, fifth-wheels, or buses. Those RVs have built-in toilets and showers – many times, I had the public restroom and showers to myself. After camping for a couple of years, I had a good system that didn’t require much effort. And the expense of camping with a pop-up is minimal. There was little about it that required much in the way of repair, except for the awning, which I had to replace twice. And, it only costs between $20 and $30 per night to stay in a public or private campground.
Today, I no longer have the pop-up. Try as I might to make camping comfy, my daughter’s and son’s families were growing and needed much more space. Plus, the ladies wanted their own toilets and showers. One Saturday last July, we all met at the RV headquarters in Buda, and my son and my daughter each bought travel trailers. I figured I would be mostly traveling along with them, so we just used the old pop-up as a down payment. This past year has been terrific. We have all gone together on several campouts, where I can just show up, help cook meals, and play with the grandkids.
No longer having the pop-up puts me back where I was in 2007, trying to decide how best to travel and camp by myself. I think I’ll give truck-camping a try. I have a good tent, all the other equipment I need, and everything will easily fit inside the truck bed under the topper I’m planning to get. I’ll be able to make better time on the road at less expense. At the top of my travel list is a trip to Alaska, with time spent along the West Coast. It may be a few years before I can do it, but I can almost hear the Pacific Ocean, and in my mind, I can picture myself hiking near Mt. Denali.