Reality in camping as a part timer to a full timer

So ,,,you want to Full Time? Or Maybe Part time,(seasonal).

There are a bazzillion trillion tips online of what to expect. Ive read a lot of  *TIPS,, and most of these are from Dealers and sales people. And with basic statistics, 97.5 of these Experts have never roughed it in anything older then a year old rig. They show on their video's parking in a fairy tale clover field with birds singing and fish splashing in a quiet pond, with no one else around for 300 miles. The night sky is filled with stars and shooting stars,, campfire crackling away as the kids get along and giggle and eating their smores and singing camp fire songs. Mom's inside making home made fresh bread and cooking a 5 star gourmet meal in high heals and pearls. Dad is down next to the pond sipping imported diet bottle water catching and releasing 30 inch 4 lb bass.Ahhhhh,, the good life......... ZIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP / Screeeeeetch,, Hold on now.. If you believe that $%^&#@,, Wake up from your dreams.

Lets get real. seriously,, (ok,, you can dream about the scenario for another minute,), ok,, times up. Now lets explain the reality of this.

First of all, the kids are moping and whining cuz they cant get cell signal for their I-phones,, so they can update their life every 14 seconds. And constantly saying, Im so bored, Im dead.. sound familiar? Mom is NOT baking fresh bread,, shes not wearing her designer high heals and cooking a gourmet meal. In reality, shes sitting in her lawn chair, swatting mesquito's, all the while scooping out the bugs that land in her ice tea. Dad is trying to get the stove to light, singing his eye brows at each feeble attempt. He gets frustrated and heads outside to the poorly built campfire to heat up some canned beans and hot dogs. Kids continue to whine that there is no TV or playstation. and still no cell gets the canned beans heated up,, the hot dogs half burnt and tells every one to dig in. The kids complain they wanted Taco bell. The wife digs in and tries to acclimate to this so called camping experience. Dinner is finished,, kids still hungry cuz who eats beans and weenies? Nope,, taco bell is no where to be found. dad takes the kids down to the pond to show them how to fish,,, Again the kids complain,,,, not knowing where the batteries go in the fishing pole,, and there is no way they are touching that icky worm and putting it on the hook. Mom,, makes the best of it and takes a nature walk, breathing in the fresh air and local wild life,, seeing the birds flutter from tree to tree,, an occasional squirrell, and the vast vegetation. She realizes,,, this is what life should be like,, No P.T.A. meetings,, no mounds of laundry, no mopping the floors and vacumming,,, ahhhhh,, life is good,, not a care in the world,, Till,,,,, she stands on an ant mound and realizes,, its the little things that bring reality back to lite,, nasty lil boogers. Dad meanwhile is still attempting to teach his kids how to fish, but is realizing his kids have gone into a comotose state and just stare aimlessly. Now realize this is only the first day of a 2 week camping trip.

To male camping a reality,, you have to get everyone involved,, make a rule to not have any electronics,(cell phone for emergencies). Let the whole family know,, this is to bring life back to reality,, to appreciate what you have. Time to bond and laugh and just be lazy. No facebook drama, no twitter no snapchat, no video games. If the children are young, show them nature,, something they dont see in Suburbia. Make a game of collecting fire wood, Finding the right stick for burning marshmallows and hot dogs. Using their imagination to make up a creepy scarey story. Look at the bugs, birds, critters. Stare at the stars and make out objects.. watch a shooting star. Take nature walks ,look at rocks. Take a splash in the pond, have a good ole fashioned pine cone fight,(if available). Pretend to be pioneers. Keep the imagination active. You dont have to stay in ONE place while camping, Take lil road trips,, go look at that big ball of twine,, the worlds largest roll of barb wire, the great wall of chewing gum. The adventures of RVing and so called camping isnt limited to parking in one spot in the middle of no where,,, the adventure is what you make of it,, just dont forget to enjoy the little things that make life what it is.'

Heck, pull off at a road side historical marker and read it,, why?  Just cuz,, maybe something happened there a hunert years ago that makes no sense what so ever,, but it will give you something to laugh about 10 years down the road,,,, when you bring it up at dinner and say *remember that marker? lol,,,

Just remember that you are driving or pulling a home and that all homes need attention,, grease the wheels so to speak, A little attention avoids a disaster. Before heading out your front door to go to town,, you check yourself in the mirror,,,right,, ya have to look good and you make sure if your going to do a lot of walking you wear comfortable shoes... the same concept is a pre travel check up,, Looking good,,, comfortable durable shoes,(tires) and everything you will need,(like at work,,pencils,pens and paper concept). Its 90% common sense, Only take what you need,, not always what you want.

Do you really need to take that worlds greatest dads statue that your kids bought 8 years ago? Or 6 different bags of golf clubs? and mom doesnt need to bring her high heel stilletos, just in case the queen of England invites them over for tea. If you forget something on your first time out,, you improvise and make a list for the next trip,, write down what you needed,, and what you didnt need and adjust accordingly.

Not every trip will be all fun and roses,, and not every trip will be a disaster. You will have good travel days and you will have bad travel days,,, just roll with the punches and always think on a positive note.

When you have a break down,, or a water leak,, or forgot to fill the propane,,, just say to yourself,, well that didnt go as planned and deal with the set back and improvise.. Life is funny that way,, we are challenged every day when we wake up and we seem to muddle through each day to start another... Your RV is your home away from home,, and the problems are still the same as your stick and brick home,,, things break,, they need fixed,,

You may get frustrated at times,, but no one says life was easy,, but dont sit still and watch the world pass you by,, get out there, see what your missing, Meet new people,, learn their heritage,learn a new recipe,, learn a new bait idea for fishing, sit and talk about nothing.

I would recommend buying an older Rig,, build it inside to meet your needs,, not every body else's. If you want a triple sink over a double,, do it,, you want to put in a walk in tub or jaccuzzi,, do it,, ITS  yours, and not the banks till you pay it off. If you want pink curtains and burnt orange carpet,, go for it,,, Its YOUR rig,, You can go conservative mild or 60's wild child.. Hang a disco ball up and throw on your bell bottoms and get all jiggy with it. Most of us old timers remember when back in the day,, something was built to last 20 years or more, and when we get our hands on an old rig,, we knew some where along the line,, it was built with pride from some simple Joe grinding through a 40 hr work week,, and as hes going down the road to the grocery store and see's that ole RV he assembled last week going down the road,, he would say, I built that with my own two hands. And as ole Joe sits on his porch retired,he sees that ole RV again and just smiles,, knowing, he will be long gone in the history books as that ole RV has found new life somewhere from someone and still rolls down the road like it did when it rolled off the assembly line.

Be safe, enjoy the adventures,, and never go faster then your Angels can fly.

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Comment by M K Wilkie on June 29, 2017 at 6:47am
Great write up Lakota. I often wonder how today's kids deal with no internet st the campground. We don't have any grandkids but we see kids endlessly riding in circles around the campground roads on their bikes while their parents sit outside the RV and drink beer. We like to get out and explore the area on the back roads and find trails to follow. Your ideas are great for involving kids in the experience of being out in nature.
Comment by Tina on June 28, 2017 at 8:39am

Nice write up, and so true. Hits "home".  :)

Comment by Gary Rowe on June 27, 2017 at 7:42pm

Love it!! Thanks Lakota. Been there done that lol.

Comment by Rich Thomas on June 27, 2017 at 6:28pm

If I could, I would reach in there and give you a big ole bear hug Lakota. what an insightful read and spot on advice. Thank you for your posting. it should be required reading for any one looking to dive into the RV life for a weekend thru full-timing. Good job!




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