I was in the camping world less than ten hours and already had camper envy!
Mitch and I decided that we were going to do it! Pick up our pop-up camper in Arkansas, a short 1000-mile drive from our home. We broke this up evenly between two days by driving 16-hours on day 1 and three hours on day 2. Well, maybe not that even.
The only public place we stopped along the route was to get gas. Oh, and we did stay in one hotel.
I registered for the hotel using my phone and received a digital key – we did not see another person.
Once we entered the hotel, Mitch stopped at the elevator for a lift until he saw my reaction. My uproar was much larger than his infraction, so he joined me on the stairs, without comment. I received his standard “your ridiculous” eye roll and sigh.
Once in the room, I “re-sterilized” every surface and deemed the place OK for one-night lodging. My friend Tami told me about disposable sheets and I purchased a set from Amazon to add to my Anti- Coronavirus arsenal of tools.
The sheet set was folded so lovely and clean in its small envelope. I envisioned two pillowcases and a king-size flat sheet. What I got was a twin size piece of paper. Yes, I bought a big piece of paper, I guess I should have read the reviews.
Anyway, I mummified myself in the paper, while Mitch nonchalantly used the hotel pillows, sheets, and blanket (yuck!)
Our new vacation home
The next day we drove to the dealership and saw our new vacation home for the first time! It was beautiful, it was perfect. Everything appeared to be in pristine shape, but what do I know – this was my first time in a camper.
We were thrilled with the grained wood flooring, our cute double burner gas stove with glass top which doubled as workspace, stainless steel sink, fabulous refrigerator, AIR CONDITIONER!, seating area, kitchen swivel table, and queen size bed on what I like to refer to as our second floor. The second-floor bedroom is a spot over our truck cab (new word for me, it means where the driver and passenger seats are located).
If you are thinking we are missing an important room, you are correct. More on the bathroom accommodations in the next blog.
It only took about 7- hours of learning and waiting and relearning and waiting again for the camper to be installed onto our Ford F150 truck.
Typically, newbie owners such as we spend one night at the dealership to become accustomed to everything and ask questions in the morning. Not so for my husband.
He confidently said we can drive to our first campsite. I agreed to this because I did not want to stay in Arkansas for more than 24 hours since it is a Cuomo NYS no-no state.
We drove about 1-hour and realized we were exhausted and needed to stop. I saw a cute sign that said RV campsite was less than one mile away, so we took a chance that they would have an opening.
We drove our shiny new camper into the campgrounds and was quickly registered and given a parking spot.
I got out of the truck and gasped at my next-door neighbor. It was an RV mansion! I could see the large screen TV gleaming from the window. The multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and couches. YIKES!
The owners and their dog sat in their lawn chairs, nice and comfy, and watched us try to set up our camper for the first time. So, where is the electricity? How do you raise the pop-up? Are we ever going to eat and DRINK! He watched Mitch, and I go from our truck to the camper, repeatedly getting supplies. We had no system. We must have been more entertaining than his big screen because they watched us with amusement for a while.
Yes, I am embarrassed to admit that my first outing filled me with camper envy. Not sure if that is a real term, but it described my initial feeling. Mostly because of the bathrooms and shower. Ok, and the big screen TV.
Size Does Matter
After a few days of experience, I realized that size does matter, and our small but comfy camper is perfect for us. The flexibility we have is precisely what we wanted, and we can easily travel without worrying about a trailer or driving a rock star bus. But on the other hand TV’s and Bathrooms do have an appeal!
Next in the series: Day to Day Living in a camper