Filed under: Comfort at Camp, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Entertaining Kids at Camp, Grandparent Hints and Tips, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, Preparation & Readiness, RVing with Grand Kids, Safety on the Road
The “New” 2005 Travel Trailer
Woodall’s vision for the blog section on their web site is to provide a focus on family camping. Both new and seasoned campers should be able to find information here that can enhance their pleasure when camping – especially family camping.
For me to be writing here is somewhat of an anomaly. The vast majority of my writings have been technical – both professionally and pleasurably. I typically write articles about solar power, generators, batteries, satellite TV, and most anything else that uses electricity or some sort of containerized fuel. I build things, lots of things – many specifically related to our camper. In fact, for me much of the pleasure of RV’ing is the opportunity to make or improve something we use when taking our RV out that works a little better or offers a little more than the standard provided by RV manufacturers and accessory vendors.
Hold that thought a minute while I completely change topics:
Our children are grown and gone. We are now blessed with six beautiful grandchildren, ages 5 to 15. Four are boys, two are little girls. We take at least one of the grandchildren with us on most of our camping trips and all of them at one time or another has enjoyed the fascination and comfort afforded by a campfire and toasting marshmallows. Until this week, none of our grown children owned a camper. All four of them wanted to, but the financial responsibilities of many young couples in our current economy require that items other than campers come first.
Our oldest son has talked about buying a camper for years. With two children growing up faster than wild rye grass, he knew that if he was to give them the opportunities and experiences he had as a child on family camping trips that something would need to happen soon – or they would be grown and gone!
He really surprised me a few days ago when he asked me to go with him to look at a 2005 Salem travel trailer that was for sale by the parents of one of his co-workers. It turned out to be an extremely well cared for trailer that matched both the size and price that he and his wife felt that they could handle.
So, last night, with the wind whistling and a chill factor well below 30 degrees, I went with him to pick up his new trailer. The first order of business was to adjust the hitch to match the height of the trailer and his pick-up truck – which will henceforth be known as a TV. This is not the type of TV you watch, it is a Tow Vehicle – or TV in camper jargon.
Once all was properly and safely mated, plugged in and tested, we headed off to the camper’s new home.
I was over at his house this afternoon directing the final adjustments for the hitch and brake controller while smiling at the excitement from not only the two children but their parents.
The questions were flying at me like machine gun fire. “How does the refrigerator work on gas and electric?” “How do I know when I need propane?” “What kind of sewer hose do I need to buy?” “Should I be putting some chalk around this seam?” “What pressure should I be running in the tires?” ….. and on and on.
I was more than glad to answer each and every question. At one point my son’s Mother-in-Law commented it was good that they had an expert to help (me). Well, I am no expert – but I do have a lot of experience with campers and do have a lot of correct answers for the bombardment of questions.
Coming full circle, this brings me back to the technical part I began writing about at the beginning of this posting. My son is not unique in asking all of these questions. Anyone starting out with their first camper will have many, many questions and they will need someone to answer them.
From time to time I will be sharing some “technical” observations and recommendations in my blogs that will most certainly be prompted by my son’s real-life experience of learning all about their new camper.
Remember, camping is all about fun. But it is no fun when something goes wrong that you are totally unprepared to deal with. Beginning camping is a learning experience. Hopefully this seasoned camping Dad will be able to give the needed guidance to be sure these new campers are well prepared.
I invite new campers to submit any of their technical questions. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question – there are only dumb answers. I also challenge all seasoned campers to step forward and become a mentor to a new camper so that they may quickly learn how to camp safely and trouble free.