Practice was important for us!
In my last blog post on RV Camping I laid out, pretty clearly, that we are newbies when it comes to this pulling an RV Camper. Camping we were great at…trailers…not so much. To be adults about this, we decided it would be necessary and helpful to plan some “practice” trips close to home. This would give us a chance to “run back” to the house for additional items or to ask my husband’s father to help us. This turned out to be an excellent and adult decision on our parts.
Hooking up and packing up the camper were empowering events. Hubby played in the SC Retreat Center Golf Tournament, and I was worried if he didn’t get home until dark on Thursday night that we would struggle to get the camper hooked up. So, I got the kiddos off the couch and made them help. Help indeed! It only took us an hour to get everything in the camper and get it hooked up!
Boogie Man helped get things into the camper and raised all the stabilizers. Little Bit put the hitch in (like 80 lbs) and helped me line up the hitch and trailer to get it hooked up. We did have to call my dad a couple times. It is really hard for my brain to “believe” that that one little lever can keep that entire trailer attached to that ball on the hitch. My father, in all his amazing wisdom turned it back on me, “Don’t try to make a perfect piece of engineering more difficult than it needs to be. It works. Trust it.” Head handing…yes sir…
We even (almost) got both sway bars on. We needed help from hubby to get the last one pushed all the way in once he got home. But basically, the kids and I hooked up the entire camper! One of my goals! Woot.
Once we got to the campground, Hubby and I realized that practice backing is going to need to continue. We were frighteningly clueless at how “unlevel” some sites, even pull-through sites, might be. We needed a lot more boards for leveling the camper than we had brought along. We gave the neighbors a great show going back and forth trying to line up the camper and level it. All in all, though, it only took about an hour and we were ready to get the kids after school.
Purchasing the camper was one of the best married decisions we have ever made.
I don’t know if I suppressed the true “joy of camping” that I had experienced in the past, because it helped me cope with the grieving process of loosing that portion of my identity, but I/we really had missed having camping as a part of our lives. Yes this is “glamping,” but it still got us out in the campground, the state park.
The trees, the ripples on the lake, the tree frogs, the children playing in the path, the smells of the grills, the polite waves, the sitting together to eat every meal, the pitching in and helping out with set up and take down, the ownership, the complete disconnect. Vacations are great. Being entertained is great. But being in a campground and in the midst of nature is beyond entertainment. It is release. It is a self-awareness and presence of the Holy Spirit that fills a void entertainment can’t reach.
Boogie Man laid his phone on the couch and walked across to the lake and played with the neighbor children for three hours. He found clam shells and other shells. He just jumped right in, shorts and all. (Thanks Mike Cousins and Boy Scouts) As he played, I sat outside keeping an eye on him and worked on patterns. When I am home in my studio, I don’t spend as much time designing, because there is pressure to finish a quilt for a publication. It was lovely to get away and design. Being in nature brought out all levels of creative juices that had been tabled a bit.
Little Bit was inside for a LONG time, so after a while I went in to check on her.
“Mommy….(eyes wide and filled with so much joy)…it’s like I have an entire house to myself. NO one is bothering me. It is completely quiet. I can get a soda if I want. Eat a snack and keep on drawing.”
I smiled with a little giggle, because I totally appreciate this amazing introvert with a wild extrovert little brother.
“Mommy, I really love this.”
Yes. We had made the right decision.
Date: October 5-7, 2018 (Although I paid for extra nights on the front and back end as a cushion. I was concerned we would not be able to pack up before church Sunday morning. We went back after church and packed up before hubby’s next meeting. Excellent plan!)
Location: Greenwood State Park, Greenwood, SC
Site: 54 Loop #1 (Pull Though/Full Hook Ups) We learned from this site that we really needed a LOT more boards/blocks for leveling the camper. We had to go back and get more. Hubby is now designing new wooden blocks that will fit our needs better in the future. We also learned we needed a much longer “poop” hose, which we took care of as well.
Meals to Repeat:
- Japanese Beef Noodle Soup the first night.
- Tuna on the “Shuba” with greenbeans in the oven and dipping bread.
Activities: The Lake!! It was warm enough to swim, but none of us thought to bring suits in October. We talked to some folks with kayaks and we are thinking that sounds pretty exciting for another time. We did a lot of walking and found a cute little nature trail along the lake. Next time we need fishing rods too.
For Next Time:
· Bring more boards!
· Get a larger Rubbermaid for all the poop tubes
· Fishing rods