Kind of Camping
Posted by Brooke Tower on Thursday, July 10, 2014
When someone tells me they went camping, I usually ask, "What
kind of camping do you do?" Because, in
my limited experience, I have noticed a few differences in what camping means
to different people. Some people
consider camping to only be in tents. I
definitely feel closer to nature and the effects of the weather much more
vibrantly in a tent. Then there are
pop-ups, travel trailers, 5th wheels (what we have), and motorhomes--all
which are considered recreational vehicles (RVs). And then there are many hybrids of these. One main benefit of RVs is that you can keep
everything you need inside, it is a little home set up. There are many definitions of camping and one
means to set up temporarily in a space.
Some RV-ers do this for a night, others do it for months or seasons at a
time. Many other definitions refer to
So, if the definition of camping includes living in one
place temporarily, we are camping J.
If the definition includes a tent, we are not camping. We are living in different locations that
happen to be called RV parks or campgrounds around the country in a wonderful
little house on wheels that has many luxuries also found in houses (aka bricks
Staying at the Town and Country RV Park in Savage, Minnesota
was our first camping-in-an-RV as a family experience. Since our camping experience so far has been
primarily staying in a tent over a weekend in Michigan State Parks, we are
noticing some similarities and differences.
- It takes us about as long to park, level, set up
the chocks (to keep this home from rolling when we want it still), hook up the
electricity, cable, water and sewer hoses as it took us to set up our 6 man
tent and inflate the air mattresses.
- When setting up a tent site, we looked for a
flat area and chose where to face the door to the tent. In the RV, we are more concerned about
distance from the water and sewer lines and we don't choose which direction we
face, there is just one option, give or take a few feet on either side.
- We are VERY thankful to be in an RV, off the
ground in the many thunderstorms we have experienced so far.
- The RV park was quieter than state campgrounds and
we were there long enough to notice many other RVs come and go. I think that just maybe fiberglass walls
contain sound better than nylon. Maybe.
- It is easier to stay in your RV than it is to
stay in your tent so between the rain, thunderstorms, and mosquitos, we didn't
spend as much time outside as I had expected.
We had to rent a fire-pit, so we only had one fire while we were there
(the rain was also to blame).
- RV parks usually have pools and game/recreation
rooms. Michigan state campgrounds often
have lakes (or lake access).
- It is more difficult to maneuver a pickup truck
and 5th wheel around tight corners that we wouldn't have even
noticed in our 1998 Honda Accord packed with gear. (We also learned to not trust our teenage
"guide" driving a golf cart to anticipate small spaces.)
- Lauren noticed that the tent moves with the wind
and the RV moves with people walking.
- Another difference is that in a tent she can
hear the crickets, and in the RV you can't (especially over the noise of the
fans and air conditioning.)
- Luke noticed that it is easier to fall asleep
with less outside noise and more temperature control.
- It is really convenient to be able to use the
bathroom in the RV, so we make far fewer trips to the bathhouse. The water pressure and amount of hot water in
the bathhouse usually makes it worth the risk of a wait for a shower.
- It is far easier to call this Sundance 5th
wheel "home" than it would be to call a tent home.