June 16 , 2020 /


Like many “younger” couples, we started camping in a tent, either a ground pad with sleeping bags and just the basics that fit into a giant duffle bag. Easy to transport, set up, enjoy being outdoors, break down and move on.  Cooking was simple with a Coleman stove or open fire.  Bathing was either via campground facilities or postponed until later, maybe via swimming.  We laughed at people who came into a campground in all sorts of motorized conveyances and said to ourselves, “That’s not camping.”

Then we became they and discovered how much more comfortable and pleasant it was to be inside, more sheltered from the elements with most of the conveniences of home while “on the road.”  Over some 20+ years we enjoyed six different motor homes, from the smallest to the largest, from the least expensive to the most expensive both in terms of acquisition, maintenance and disposal.  Our tendency was to buy high and sell low.  We did not ever realize a profit and on at least two occasions took a bath but we sold quickly and easily and as S. said, after the bath, we felt clean.

Our last motor home for those in the know was a Super C Dynamax 32, on a Freightliner chassis with a CAT C7 engine and two slide outs. I won’t describe the other five except to mention the largest which was a 47’ Newell with 4 slide-outs, all electric with a Detroit Diesel 550.  Too big, too expensive. We traveled extensively including a couple of trips to Mexico to a campground about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Here’s a 1:48 video of the Dynamax for your reference:

Two years ago we downsized to a simple travel trailer, known as a bumper pull as opposed to a fifth-wheel, and the trailer has the same amenities – kitchen, refrigerator/freezer, shower, bathroom, queen size bed, one slide-out for the dinette and an automatic awning that shades the patio area.  There are fresh water, gray water and black water storage tanks and hook=ups for 30 amp shore power, city water, cable and we added a portable satellite dish for TV.  It also has a solar panel on the roof that keeps the batteries fully charged. Two external storage areas provide space for cords, hoses, and tools and we carry a generator in the back of the pickup truck for dry-camping, also known as primitive camping or boon docking.

We have witnessed an explosion of the RV population as so many more people have discovered the benefits of independent travel on no particular schedule except their own.  It’s easy to be socially distanced with this kind of travel in your own space, thus the COVID crisis confinements can be followed with some minor modifications.  Here’s a detailed description of our particular camper model for anyone interested in “camping with amenities.”

Camping with amenities is not for everyone but if you like to take your time, enjoy the various routes and sights along the way, mountains, oceans, forests, deserts, you name it, you can get there and spend as much or as little time as you want.  There is now an entire group of RV folks who live full-time in their rigs as opposed to those of us who use it as a cabin on wheels according to the seasons or a desire for a specific trip somewhere.  This current road trip of 5000 miles taking six weeks is a big circle, western trip, starting in southern AZ and ending up there, having gone through NV, CA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CO, NM and back to AZ.  Stay tuned for the next installment.

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