Camping vs. Campering

IMAG0019 (640x480)Phase One of the great Camper Caper is complete: deep cleaning. It’s a joy to be able to walk into my camper and inhale deeply without bursting into fits of coughing.

But we aren’t out of the woods yet—or more specifically, out in the woods. The water systems are still full of antifreeze. I dare not start the furnace for fear of great clouds of dust blowing all over my freshly cleaned camper. And I don’t even know if I have any propane in the tank to light the stove.

So what the heck. I took it camping anyway.

My friend Mareike (say that mar-I-ka) from Germany was over, and she’d never stayed in an RV before. (Heck, neither had I.)

On the first night of our visit, we camped in the ol’ tent—and were nearly wiped off the face of the earth by a thunder storm. Despite a fresh coat of seam sealant, we shipped enough water to soak my dog and the foot of my sleeping bag. (Like a good dog parent, I shared the remaining dry portion with my soggy pooch.)

More storms were predicted for our second night … so all in all, it was clearly the perfect opportunity to try out the camper. With none of the systems functional, we treated it like a glorified tent … trips to the vault toilet and the whole bit.

For the record, I object to the use of the term “camping” applied to RVs. “Camping” implies a certain intimacy with nature, a lack of comforts and conveniences, and the ability to carry on your back everything you need to sustain life.

RVs establish distance between the inidividual and nature. You have weather-proof walls. You have running water. You have a deep, cushy bed. You have a refridgerator, an air conditioner, and a furnace. It’s nothing less than a small house with a great view.

Hence I’ve coined a new term: “Campering.”

But I’m not sure I was “campering” on this trip. The rain hit in the dead of the night, and it cleverly blew in through my broken vent cover, elbowed its way past the barricade I’d made of plastic sacks, dripped down from on high, and soaked my sleeping bag—worse than my night in the tent.

Intimacy with nature = camping. Therefore, I was camping … not “campering.” Even though I was in a camper. Yeah, I’m confused, too.

Whatever I was doing, my first time with the camper was lots of fun—made more enjoyable by sharing it with a friend … who doesn’t mind getting up at three in the morning to help me waterproof a broken vent cover.

Hot chocolate over an open fire

Hot chocolate over an open fire

Breakfast for Two

Breakfast for Two

View as seen from the roof of the camper—while working some more on the broken vent cover

View as seen from the roof of the camper—while working some more on the broken vent cover

Pawnote from Molly

IMAG0015 (640x480)I didn’t mind the broken vent cover at all. It meant my girl ended up sleeping on the floor with me! The bed over the cab looks cozy and all, but I’ve tried, and there’s no way to get up there, no matter how hard I wag my tail and give my girl that pleading look.

So when my girl parked a bucket under the leaking vent and rolled out her sleeping bag next to me, I laid my paw and my head on her arm to let her know I liked this arrangement so much better. I hope she decides to use the bed over the cab for storage.

See the full album!

Visit Molly and me on our Facebook page to see all the pictures.

4 thoughts on “Camping vs. Campering

  1. Danielle
    Sorry I missed your Last Day at CDHS lunch, I had one of those can’t miss or reschedule appointments. I will keep in touch through your blog, good luck. Your planned adventure is very inspiring to me. Take and post lots of pictures. If you would like some ideas for places to see, I have a few.
    Larry, Abby, and Blu

    • Larry,

      I promise to post lots of photos! And yes, I’d be delighted to hear your travel recommendations. I take inspiration from you, too. Simply put, I wouldn’t be doing this if you hadn’t dreamed big about me following my natural writing bent.

      Give Abby and Blu a hug for me!

      Danielle

  2. Danielle, Follow your dreams, for those of us who were too scared to follow ours! and have Faith, The BIG GUY upstairs is watching over you, and you will also be ever in our thoughts and prayers. til we meet again, Carrie and critters(too numerous to mention)

    • Thanks, Carrie. I will miss you guys! And thanks for the prayers. I’ll need lots, and I’m positive they’ll see me through. “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). Hold down the Cat Room!

      Danielle

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