Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Monday, November 08, 2010 High Camp
After our last camping trip, which was plagued by heat, rain, mosquitoes, and ennui, Trash decided we were done amateur camping. We were going pro.
This meant pro equipment. I wasn't entirely on board with this, but when she found a used pop-up camper on either eList or Craigsbay, I went to go check it out. It looked nice, and the owner had made some good improvements to it, but in the end it's a folding house that's half made of canvas, and entering it smelled like walking into laundry that sat in the washer for a month.
I might have thought that was the end of it, but Trash soon found another prospect. It was about twice the price, but when M. Edium and I drove over to check it out, we were struck by the smell this time as well: new car.
I'd done a little research on what to look for in a pop-up camper, and although a lot of it was over my head, I understand that I don't want to sleep on a bed that's not long enough to accommodate my large frame, so I stretched out on one. Looking up through the screen, I saw the clouds drift by overhead…then speed by overhead…and then I felt and heard the crash as that end of the camper tipped to the ground.
"Whoa," said M. Edium, balancing like a surfer on a floor that had pitched fifteen degrees under his feet. I was glad I had gained this new experience and knowledge about pop-up trailers before having bought one…although, for all I knew, I had just bought this one.
Fortunately, M. Edium and I were able to tip it back to level more gently, there was no damage, and the owner was really apologetic about having forgotten to deploy the leveling jacks. Thus I was able to check out some of the other amenities: a sink, a fridge, even heat and A/C, even if I had no idea how to hook up or use any of them.
But we went ahead and did the deal. Trash never even saw it until we got it home, and even then she didn't get to go inside for a couple of days (it was still popped down). We haven't gone very far with it yet; all the advice I've read is that you should try it out on a shorter trip instead of breaking it in on some multi-state road trip, so that's what we did. A few weeks ago, we took it on a very short trip, from the garage to the driveway, and camped out behind the house for the first time ever. Although I'm not sure it counted as camping per se, because the camper was plugged into the garage outlet and Trash's laptop could still pick up our wireless signal. Thus the late evening hours were illuminated not by the campfire but by "It Gets Better" videos.
It's changing the whole way we think about camping. Before, the place where we slept took up a fair percentage of our cargo space. Now, it's adding it. Even folded up, there's enough room in there to stash all of the camping gear that normally fills up 5% of our garage when it's home and 125% of our vehicle when we leave. It's freaky. I'm looking forward to our first trip, when we'll be able to see out of all the windows and nobody will have to sit with an Igloo cooler in their lap.
My parents asked M. Edium what we need for the camper, and his answer was rather telling, if accurate:
"A truck to pull it with."
Yeah, so that's the next thing we'll need to work on, I guess. posted by M. Giant 7:15 AM 1 comments
I sadly confess that my first real exposure to a pop-up camper was from the Oprah show that aired a couple of weeks ago where she and Gayle went to Yosemite.