____________ June 10, 2015 ____________

Camper Conundrum

It’s that time of the year, again.  We just came off our annual adventure vacation, and thinking about next year’s trip, weighing what worked and what didn’t.  And the same things come up, every year:

1.  It’d be cheaper to camp than do hotels
2.  We’re barely fitting in a hotel room.

Which always brings us back to our Camper Conundrum.  It’s an actual conference-type thing, anymore.

The problem is that – as much as I LOVE our sunflower camper?  It’s a 1978 and whoever had it before us ran the shower and it leaked and rotted out the back of the camper.  Because of that water damage, Brian refuses to drive it any further than an hour away.  He’s afraid that it’ll disintegrate on the road, or something.  Not sure.  But a camper that we can’t take camping?  That doesn’t actually work, you see.  It kind of defeats the purpose.  More, it doesn’t really have room, anymore, either.  In fact, I’m a little concerned – we always put up a port-a-crib for Owen, but this year he’s just NOT going to fit it.   He’s going to need a bed.

That means ripping out one set of bunks and turning them from TWO high to THREE high.  Which is the reason we bought such an old camper – because we could re-model it and not feel bad about it.  We initially ripped out the bathroom and three closets in the back and made a full-size bedroom for Brian and I.  That’s when we found the rotted out back end… while renovating.  It’s been great for us for five years, but…  Building a three-tier bunk is a big job for a camper that we… can’t take camping any further than the lake up the road.  ((insert me making a face))

We stopped and looked at a camper, last night.  It was a 1993 and 30′ long.  Beautiful, sleeps 8… and the price wasn’t horrible (if we sold ours, it would pay for half of the cost of that one).  BUT.  Thirty foot LONG…!!  I can’t store that monstrosity!  I don’t want to try to back up that hoss into a camping lot, either!  It’s too BIG!  I mean, the year is right (It has to be older than 1998, or I’m allergic to them.  Yes, I’m allergic to travel trailers.  It’s the formaldehyde.  I can’t breathe it in the quantities found in campers.  It’s what happened during Hurricane Katrina… I’m one of those people, apparently).  Anyhow, it was just too… BIG.

So we went home and looked around on Craigslist.  Anything smaller than that doesn’t FIT us as well.  There’s just too many of us.  Most of what’s out there is 2000 or newer.  People who have the 90s travel trailers like them and keep them.  And I can’t renovate something nice.  It… is against my moral fiber, r’something.

So then I thought, “What about a pop-up?  So I looked on-line and saw one that had two KING size beds and a fold-down table bed, and a slide-out dining area.  It was 24′ when set up, but a LOT easier to store when collapsed.  It’s lighter/cheaper for travel, and just as nice.  They’re also cheaper to purchase. But there are down sides, too.  It’s like a step down from a trailer, to Brian’s mind.  If it rains, it’s a MESS.  There’s more set-up/take-down.  And of course, they don’t hold in the heat as well.

I have him talked into renting one for our next year’s adventure trip.  To see if it would work for us.  It’s a way to try it and see if that’s what we want to go with.   And I will keep looking on Craigslist, and see what comes up, over the course of the summer.  But something’s got to change.  I love the Sunflower camper, but if it can’t travel, it’s useless.  And soon we won’t be able to travel using hotels, anymore.  So it’s probably time to consider options.

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