This is a story about how I lost my mind during the pandemic and decided we should own a camper. Join me on this journey into the unknown!
For years I’ve daydreamed about camping across California. The ocean off in the distance. Me in my shiny camper, sipping wine in a silk robe while my husband draws me a bath.
But in reality, it went a little something like this…
Bringing Home Baby
Also known as the most paranoid driving you’ll ever do, much like bringing your baby home from the hospital for the first time
I need people to understand that neither my husband nor I have EVER towed a trailer. Never hooked one up either. I just thought you imagined the thing in some exotic location and *BOOP* there it would be.
But I lost my mind one day during the pandemic and drove us to the RV dealer for a COVID camper, figuring it was time to live out my camping dream because the world was <is?> ending anyway.
We had zero appropriate equipment and, seeing our bewilderment, the salesperson asked: Have either of you ever driven an RV before?, to which I replied, No, but we’ve seen the movie RV, so we’re fine. *Crickets*
I white-knuckled it home, only to find the neighbors lined up to welcome its arrival. And to watch me back it into our very compact urban driveway. Problem is, I DON’T KNOW HOW TO BACK UP A TRAILER. Four thousand tries and lots of screaming later, I took out half our hedge but got the GD thing parked.
Once we finally got the camper door open (long story, but we had to YouTube how to unlock the door—that’s what ding dongs we are), my COVID pod squad partied in what would come to be known as “The 49th Street Bar.”
Do as I say, not as I do: When starting out, confirm if the campsite has straight pull-in spots or
if you’re gonna have to back that a$$ up.
The Maiden Voyage
Or, as we refer to it: The maybe-we-made-a-mistake-and-should-sell-this-camper-CHEAP trip
We chose our first destination using Hip Camp, which is the Airbnb of camping. OF COURSE the site we selected required backing the camper up along a curved hill with a steep drop on the opposite side, leaving no room for error.
Luckily, the site owner saw my panic and backed up the rig for us because otherwise I would have turned around and drove straight back to 49thstreet, where I would struggle to park but could at least get drunk with my friends.
All was going great <OKish> until my husband smacked his head on the open camper window, creating a bloody mess. Then I noticed a screw in the momster truck’s back tire. Thankfully, it was caught before we headed home, narrowly avoiding death from a tire blow-out.
Driving on the spare was fun <sarcasm> because it wasn’t quite the same size as the other three tires, so I could feel the camper shimmy as we drove 55 mph down the freeway, which I can only describe as terrifying to the bone. I had a panic attack and insisted that we go the rest of the way home on side streets—adding about an hour and a half to the trip and taking about 15 years off my life.
DAISNAID: Know how to change your spare. Or if you don’t even know if you have a spare, know who to call for help.
Chevy has a roadside assistance app that saved our dumb asses.
Home Sweet Home
Motley Crue edition
Once home, I thought to myself: Well, at least the worst is out of the way.
Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but I can say that we have done a few trips since and they’ve all gone significantly smoother. Sure, the kids still complain that camping is boring (ingrates), but at least we have photo evidence that we’re good parents who do adventurous things!
And campers are also kind of like mini houses that you can decorate from scratch (ADVENTURE DÉCOR, coming soon!). ASK ME HOW MANY PILLOWS MY CAMPER HAS!*
*A total of 10 pillows in 16 feet of space.