Camper Envy Continued: The Answer to That Burning Camping Question

I am from Long Island, and camping with or without a camper was never in my vernacular. Yes, I went to camp, but camping is a whole different mindset.

When I was a kid in the mid-seventies, our school would end for the summer break on a Friday, and I was on the camp bus headed to the Catskills by Sunday. Was it me going on vacation or my parents?

Camp Ma-Ho-Gee was located in Monticello, New York, and was rustic by Long Island standards. During my final years at camp, my lodging was a converted motel where my one roommate and I had our own bathroom. This is what camping was for me!

Fast forward, “gulp” 47 years, and I am camping again. This time with our new NorthStar TC650. (Before last month, the previous sentence would never have come out of my mouth).

As mentioned in last week’s Blog, our first experience was memorable. One of the biggest questions I received – was about the bathrooms. Or better said, the lack of bathrooms.

Let me remind you that prior to this camping was the converted motel in the Catskills with a private bath.

If there was ONE big reason why I didn’t want to join my husband Mitch on this retirement odyssey, it was the lack of facilities. Pre-Covid, this was not a problem because campsites provide clean restrooms and showers. 

Post-Covid, I am not stepping foot into a public bathroom!

So now what? Mitch had several ideas that were extremely unappealing. And so he continued to research.

Meanwhile, we did solve the shower problem, at least during the warm months. Our camper has a hot-cold spigot on the exterior and a cute blue hose with a spray nozzle. Ok, that sounds promising, but do I disrobe in front of our neighbors with the rock star motorhome? I am learning campsite etiquette, and I am pretty sure that this is not on the list.

Mitch’s goal during his meticulous planning was to get me on board. He spent way too much time trying to find ways for me to feel like I was camping in my living room while sitting in a camper without certain accommodations.

He found a shower tent (see photo); it worked great if one held the tent while the other showered (see the second photo). The water was warm, the shower was private, and it was a delightful experience.

Pre and Post Shower Requirement
PRE and POST Shower Requirement
Camper Shower Stall
Camper Shower Stall - Don't let this happen!

recently joined a Facebook group of NorthStar enthusiasts, and one person suggested No Rinse Bathing Wipes Adult Wash ClothsBrilliant! I quickly purchased these for when the weather is cooler.

But there was a more significant issue, as many of you can guess, and more of you have asked. What about the potty. I will try to describe this as delicately as possible to preserve my girlish reputation.

Think Human Litter Box…. Do not think too hard, especially if you are reading this with breakfast. (THIS IS ONLY For TINKLES! (pee)). Our friend Jeff said he solved this problem with horse pellets and cedar wood chips. We could not find horse pellets at the local Arkansas Walmart, so we settled for Ferret Pellets. (no words…. And I am a writer) Mitch pulled out the trusty bucket that we used to escape Florida in March, and we created our litter box. 

The Trusty Bucket VS The Two Bathroom Rock Star RV

I will admit it did the trick. We were able to have privacy in the camper. The pellets and wood-shaving always smelled like the outdoors, and daily clean-up was easy.

As for the rest of the story, TMI, Mitch bought a special portable thingy that worked well and was private, and that is all I am saying on this matter.

Yes, this Long Island girl who dreamed of living in a city all those years ago is roughing it more than I ever thought. And loving every (ok, mostly every) moment of the adventure!

12 thoughts on “Camper Envy Continued: The Answer to That Burning Camping Question

  1. Teresa

    I love your perspective. My husband is trying to get me on board with exactly the same style of camping. Last year we were originally talking about buying a smallish used travel trailer. Now, Dave wants a slide in camper. So, i conceded to the idea with the stipulation that we need a bathroom of some sort. Well, we have an F150. Not many choices in slide on’s that fit the weight stipulations. Needless to say now Dave is trying to get me to give up the idea of a bathroom. That aside, you truly made me laugh out loud with your blog.

  2. Jane

    Larry and I started ‘glamping” a few years ago. He wanted the camper you and Mitch have. I, like you, a NYC (on the city side of Floral Park), girl, who needs to tinkle during the night, needs facilities. We started with a class C. Liked it but wanted more space so got a class A with a king bed, about a year later. Liked that but everything we touched seemed to break so we upgraded again, about a year later, to a bigger Class A. Liked that a lot – king bed plus a bath and a half. Problem with that was driving. Won’t discuss how many minor sideswipes we had, or the ruined-from-backing-up $1000+. tow bar, (because with these babies you need a car-can’t just pull in someplace and sightsee with this monster!), Now we’re up to (or down to?) a fifth wheel that’s huge – so huge that our truck isn’t big enough to tow it – (takes driving a huge tin box out of the equation) – and it stays parked in AZ where we snowbird which is why we’ve been thru 4 RV’s in 5 years. We love the 5th wheel – figured out the cost is about the same for staying in a campground with an RV, or driving in a car and stopping at a motel. We’ll hopefully be keeping this for a while. If we want to move it we’ll have to find someone who has the right truck and knows what their doing. The class A in your picture is gorgeous. Wonderful to live in. Driving – hitting the open road – not bad. Gas – wow! Sightseeing, not easy to do. If you need, try Good Sam if you haven’t already. They rate campgrounds pretty well. Public bathrooms – in campgrounds are pretty decent and usually very clean. Good Sam has a rating system for them. Eve, with the virus, they’re really not bad. Camp ground showers are also clean if it’s a decent camp ground; good Sam will rate this info too. Be prepared – most of our camping friends – those we’ve meet in our travels have also been through several campers in just a few years till they found what works for them. Have a great time!

    1. raisingjessstory Post author

      thank you so much first for reading and second for all your info! We have three young grandchildren and if they like camping, our camper will need an upgrade. our original thought, before VIRUS, was to get the camper to drive cross country, a trip we have been planning for 40 years but was canceled due to COVID. since we had already bought the camper, we started enjoying it….trying to learn everything before our big trip (hopefully next year) – our biggest issues now are trying to get it on the dolly to put in our garage and we haven’t backed up to install camper on our truck yet! this could be a future blog! LOL I will check out Good Sam and thank you again for all your info – I am from Westbury! Cheers! Vickie

  3. Don

    This blog is your funniest yet. Whether it was the “tinkles” or the whole shower situation, it has me in stitches.😂
    Best to Mitch and you and give xxxooo to Jess the next time you see her💕🙏

  4. nancybergergmailcom

    Great and funny description, Vickie! I’ll admit I’m left curious about the “other thingee!” The shower tent is a riot. For the one reading it, probably not so much for the one using it. Looking forward to your book coming out!


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