About two and half years ago, we rented the movie “RV” starring Robin Williams. Despite the portrayal of RV-ing, complete with crashes, obnoxious camping neighbors, and a sewage fountain, I soon found my husband shopping online for travel trailers. Amazingly, it wasn’t long before Jeff had me convinced to buy one.

Seriously, this was an amazing feat. I am NOT a camper. I have told Jeff in the past that if he ever wants to take the family tent camping, he’d better book me into a hotel down the road. I have zero interest in braving the wild like that. Nope—a house on wheels with running water and electricity is as close to roughing it as I go.

Maybe we’re not exactly the Swiss Family Robinson, but we have loads of fun. And…there’s always something interesting. This trip, for instance, seemed focused on “critters.”

We arrived and unrolled the awning to find it infested with ladybugs. Look closely and you’ll see them in the track. (Is “infested” the right word for ladybugs? I mean, they’re so cute…)

And we were visited at our campsite by a group of wild turkeys. –>

The kids got to hold a live alligator (his mouth is taped shut with electrical tape) while shopping at the outlet mall.

And my son posed with a not-so-live bear at Outdoor World. (One of the perks of “camping” at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is the convenience to major shopping 🙂.)

Our trips don’t always go quite so smoothly, of course. In the past we have dealt with busted water pipes, our awning getting ripped off by the wind, and being trapped inside the trailer all day while it poured rain. It’s been totally worth it though.

And I will leave you with one word of (unrelated) advice: collapsible. As in, pop-up hampers, reusable shopping bags, folding clothes hangers. When you’re camping, EVERYTHING possible needs to be collapsible :).

About Kat Heckenbach

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet... She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies. She shares that life with her husband and two homeschooling kids. Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name.

9 comments on “RV-ing

  1. Sounds like you had quite the adventure, Kat! I love the pic of your kids holding that alligator. That’s neat. And you learned the importance of things collapsing? Not bad. So now that you’re home, were you able to collapse the RV and shove it into a corner of your garage? 😉

    • Not a collapsible RV :). We actually have to keep it at my in-laws’ because we don’t have room here. Those pop-up trailers are neat….but too close to tent camping for me ;).

      Yeah, the gator thing was neat. The kids have gotten to pet them a lot before, but never actually *hold* one. And I had even more critter pictures, but didn’t want to make the post too long. We saw lots of deer and I got one, rather distant, picture. And I have a great shot of my dog eye-balling a squirrel.

  2. I do believe “infested” could be used to apply to ladybugs. Went to the mountains to visit my grandparents one summer and ladybugs were literally coating surfaces. My grandmother had to vacuum them up, there were so many of them. And they smell horrible if you accidentally step on them (shudder).
    They are cute, and I love them, but there can be too much of a good thing!

    • Ah, well, to that level I would agree on the use of “infested.” There were enough on our camper to go “Wow!” but not so many to feel grossed out. 🙂 Didn’t step on any, thank goodness.

  3. My grandpa had a 43′ RV (I think it was the biggest available on the market at the time). My family stopped camping shortly after I was born. Between my motion sickness getting somewhere and the ear infection and fever I would develop within 24 hours of arriving, I guess it didn’t seem worth the trouble. Fine by me. I like my nature neatly contained in my garden.

    My brothers, on the other hand, like to sleep in the dirt with just a blanket and bowie knife (or a katana if there’s a change of zombies).

    Sometimes I’m amazed my brothers didn’t smother me in my sleep. I thank them for that a lot.

    • We never went camping at all when I was growing up. But then, I grew up out in the country, and while I lived in a house with all the amenities, I spent most of my time outdoors. I like nature–I just want a proper escape from it when I need it :P.

  4. You reminded me of the time I went camping with my mum and a group of family friends. My mum was given a luxurious ultra-modern caravan with all the mod-cons. I was given a canvas sheet for a tent and a tatty old sleeping bag and camper bed. At night the temperature plummeted from African heat to Arctic cold while the warmest thing I had to wear was a T-shirt. On the drive home, my mum said that she enjoyed the trip but didn’t enjoy “roughing it”. I suggested that running out of nail polish was not exactly “roughing it”. I guess she just wasn’t the camping type.

    • Honestly, I can’t say I’m quite like that! I do love nature–walks, hikes in the woods, seeing all the critters. But I can’t *sleep* without walls around me. Seriously. I’m a very light sleeper, and the mere idea of a tent is enough to know I’d never sleep. I’m a bit claustrophobic, too.

      Oh, that so sounds like a load of excuses, doesn’t it ;).

      • Stay out camping long enough with just a tent and I promise you’ll eventually fall asleep. 😉

        (Not that I’m a big camper or anything, but I know how you fell about not being able to sleep in a tent)

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