Camping Season is HERE!! Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad!

This is How We Roll!The RV is geared up & loaded back up for the season. All we need is the food and frosty beverages, now, for a weekend of happy, happy, happy!!  Good thing June is National Camping Month!!

I love to camp! OK…I can’t do the tent-sleep-on-the-ground-pee-in-a-hole-no-shower kind of camping anymore, but I still like to camp. I love the get-a-way it provides. (Although, in a slick RV, I should really classify it more like “glamping” than camping!)

My husband Chad & I bought our rig in late August 2013 and haven’t looked back! It’s really too bad that work gets in the way of having a really good time! Ha! Actually, we already did the inaugural camp trip of the season earlier this month. We took our daughter, Kim with us and had a quick but really fun time!  she helped Dad do the outdoor set-up while I worked on readying the inside.   Chad is the King of the Checklist, so, I must say, it makes it pretty easy to remember most everything to do and in what order.  (You can pull the boy out of Quality Control for the weekend, but you can’t pull the Quality Control out of the boy!!)

Scouts Aren’t the Only Ones to “Be Prepared!” We have discovered that even a short, weekend trip – close by the homestead, but far enough away from the daily grind – allows us the opportunity to make sure we have all our ducks in a row for the big trips we plan for the rest of the summer. Ensuring our electrical, water and sewer connections, the slide-out, LP gas tank and connections, generator and any other systems all function properly becomes the main focus to the first trip out. I can also make a list of everything I may have forgotten so I don’t screw that up next time, or on a really big trip!…It happens, even when you try so hard not to forget stuff!

This year, we had a solar panel placed on our rig. Just a small ZAMP unit, but enough to give usrv solar the trickle charge on the house battery should we go dry-camping. That’s a pretty slick little deal, by the way! So far, we’ve only used it while loading the rig and prepping for the past trip. We ran the house power and TV for about 4 hours on a beautiful, sunny day, and barely made a dent in the battery charge, thanks to the panel. Gotta love that!  Plus it’ll come in handy if we ever decide to camp at a Walmart!

Chad also changed out all the house lights and the map lights in the cockpit to LED lights. What a difference in the amp-usage in the rig! Keeps it cooler, too! He found a great website that manufactures and sells all kinds of LED lights; just about anything your rig (and other vehicles) has, with three color ranges, reasonable prices and fast delivery. (If you’re interested, check out M4 Products, a company out of California.)

Nothing Better Than People-Watching at the Campground! I must admit, I love to people-watch while we camp! It’s like being at the mall, only with tents and campers! You see everything – and I do mean everything!

We once watched an older couple set up their  table & chairs, astroturf mat, awning and a huge (area-wise) fence on their site for their four, little, poop-n-bark dogs – only to spend one night pet fenceon the campsite and pack it all up early the next day to leave! That’s a lot of work for an overnight stay! We figured they were there for a few days, the way they put out their spread!

During a big wind storm in Northern Idaho, we had brought in our awning so the wind would not rip it off our rig. There were gusts of 30-35 mph and a pretty strong 10-15 mph wind otherwise. This lady kept bugging her husband to put their awning out so it would give her shade. She didn’t want the sun in her eyes. We must have listened to them argue about it for over an hour. The guy kept telling her that it was too windy for the awning and it would be blown off the rig. She insisted that “this is why they have the awning de-flappers” – they were meant to keep the awning from blowing all over. Well, the guy finally succumbed to his wife’s ill-advised wishes, grumbling all the way. Within five minutes, a good gust came a long and bent the awning frame backward over the top of their Big Class A! Snapped on of the retracting arms right off. He was pissed!! She went inside and came back out with a martini for herself!! We’ve laughed at that for over a year, now!!!

Then there was the time we walked in on three 14-year olds (one boy and two girls) as they were skinny dipping in the KOA hot tub! That was interesting! OY! (Chad was so embarrassed!! And a good boy…He made a bee-line to the exit and didn’t even look!) The camp personnel ended up posting a person at the tub because these girls kept doing it! Kids! Makes ya want to have a million of them! Also…Where were their parents? No one under 16 is allowed in the hot tub without a parent! Sheesh! (OMG! I sound just like my mother!!!)

Most often, people are super nice and fun when you encounter them in the camp areas. But we have come across some undesirable neighbors…Like the drunken, obnoxious college kids at an RV Resort on Bead Lake, here in WA State. It was supposed to be a really great place. We got there early on a Thursday for a long weekend, squeezed into our tiny, over-crowded camping space, and began to set up. The first sign of “Oh, Hell no!” should have been when the security team that escorted us to our site warned us about the tent campers behind us; a group of about 20 college in a colony of five tents with coolers full of booze and their daddy’s boats! They kept walking through the camp sites, would plug in their cell chargers in to other peoples electrical, and were just totally rude with no regard for other campers (me being the quiet, petite-flowere that I am, i almost got into a fight with one of the drunk guys…I could’ve taken his candy-butt!)  We kept a count as to how many threw up each night! It was like dinner and a show, only a really gross show!! The “best” part of the weekend was the dork who announced every drunken activity with a megaphone and blaring his f-bomb laced music over the Big A$$ speakers on daddy’s boat! Many complained, management did nothing, so we left early and will never go back! (I gave them a scathing review on several sites, too – the lowest I could give!  Again…sounding like my mother!)

Finally, the nasty habits of people come out while camping. More like when breaking camp and visiting imagesCAH7XZRAthe dump station. Do you know how many people empty their rig’s black water tanks without wearing gloves??? EW, people!! Just EW!   You are handling your own fecal matter! I watched one guy hook up his drippy sewer hose to the dump station and then immediately wipe his face, then wipe his hands on his shirt and pants! I nearly hurled! Wear gloves!!!   This is how disease is spread in a lot of third-world countries! We have the fortune of fresh water and gloves! Use them, for crying out loud!!! Amazing to me!

Nice Rig If You Can Get It! In our people-watching, comes also the observation of the different rigs people have. They come in all sizes, designs and ages, too. It’s kind of fun to contrast and compare what others have and what we have, not to critique others, but to pro & con the various rigs, the potential amenities, etc…Especially with the newer rigs. I also like to see the rigs that are obviously more than a few years old. It is a reminder of how far RVing has come over time.

But it’s not only the rigs, but the gadgets and gizmos people come up with for their camp site! Hilarious stuff like these:

portapotty!

Now, THIS takes genius!!!  All you need is a 5-gallon bucket, a tall kitchen garbage bag and a swiming noodle and you have yourself a instant crapper!  And the handle doubles as a toilet paper holder!

 

 

camping-diy-ideas-howtos-lifehacks-13

 

Or, if you prefer a more stable pooper, get a milk crate and oilet seat…      Attach to the lined bucket and viola!

 

 

camp chair potty

 

Of course, a cheap, plastic chair works great, too!

Personally, I think I’ll stick to the potty in my RV!

 

Camp Hand Washing Station

 

 

This, however, I thought was genius!! Especially for those who tent camp or don’t do the full hook-ups thing. It’s a hand washing station made out of an old liquid laundry soap container! GENIUS!!!

 

 

 

To Tow, Or Not To Tow….That Is the Question! When we go camping, we usually have a car with us, too, since it really isn’t practical to pack up the motorhome each time you want to go into town, or sight-seeing while on your trip! Since we went from tent to Motorhome ownership a few years ago, we have been curious as to what we can safely tow. We were under the assumption that a Class C Gas motor home would not easily pull our 2012 Ford Escape, as the tow capacity was 5,000 lbs. We figured it would be too heavy. So we have had Chad driving the RV and me following in the car, or we just rent a car when we get to our destination, if we need one. Kind of a hassle!

Over the past few weeks, we saw several Class Cs pulling Small to Medium SUVs like ours. Made us go, “Hmmmmmmmmm!” So we are going this weekend to not only weigh our Escape with the bikes and bike rack on back, but also a full tank of gas in her. If we find it is under say, 3,800 lbs, next year’s de-winterizing visit to RNR RV will be to add a tow package to the SS Maranatha!! No more driving the RV and me following in the car, communicating on the walkie-talkies!

Needless to say, we are ready for adventure this summer! Buying the motorhome has been a great experience. Is appeals to both Chad’s and my nomadic spirit. It will be something we continue together after retirement years finally get here. We may upgrade to something larger with newer features since we’ll be living in it more often by then.

The point is, God created such a big beautiful world for us to live in; we look forward to getting out there and exploring it…one summer at a time.

See you on the road somewhere!

Sunset in Newport, WAI-90 Along the Clark Fork River, Eastern Montana

 

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