Let me start by saying I don’t enjoy camping.
That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the outdoors or fresh air, because I do. I just don’t like the idea of packing up an entire houseful of items just to spend a single night sleeping uncomfortably, using a public restroom (if you’re lucky) and expecting to look refreshed and ready to hike the great outdoors at sunrise. Not to mention I’m allergic to most things that grow, so sitting by a campfire (aka burning something I’m allergic to) and breathing in smoke makes me nauseous. Literally.
But spending a few days and nights camping in an RV – that’s a whole different experience. And one I’m glad I tried…because I love it!
My 10 yro son was really the one who talked us into buying an RV. He’s been fascinated with RVs since he was 5. We took him to all the RV shows (indoor and outdoor, spring, summer and fall) and made many an impromptu stop when an RV dealer setup a weekend show at the mall parking lot.
In and out of every RV from the largest, most expensive Class A motorhomes with luxury bathrooms, wardrobes, and every single amenity that made them a home on wheels – to the popup tent trailer with the funny toilet-turned-shower. He loved looking at all of them.
Of course, this is the same boy who was born into the generation of technology, so he quickly learned how to browse online and see pictures of RVs when there wasn’t an RV show that weekend. He showed me, he showed his older sister, he showed dad… and when we got tired of looking at the pictures…he showed his friends, his friend’s parents, and anyone he could talk to.
By the age of 8, he was familiar with the different types of motorhomes, the difference between Class A, B and C, and would often correct us, “that’s actually a travel trailer, not a motorhome.”
He would tell us interesting facts like, “Did you know our truck is big enough to tow a 25 ft travel trailer?” and “We could find an RV for as low as 15 thousand. They are on sale this weekend.”
I know we postponed purchasing an RV because of the expense, but mostly because our family didn’t camp. We thought maybe if the kids showed interest in camping or hiking, or spending more time outdoors, it might then become worthwhile. It’s just that those things never happened.
We finally decided to purchase an RV when our son was 10 and our daughter was 12 – planning to take trips as a family because the kids were growing up way to fast – and spending way too much time online. We needed some offline time, together, creating memories.
When we bought the RV, the salesperson had to negotiate with a 10 yro. Probably a first for them! By now my son knew every option, every drawback, every feature, and every upgrade a travel trailer could have. He knew the prices of all the competitors and – even though dad was buying – the salesperson directed most of the conversation to the little guy. We decided on a Starcraft Lite 27 foot BHS Travel Trailer.
Our first RV trip was only 40 minutes away. Being blessed with living in beautiful AZ, campgrounds are not hard to find, and we choose the Lost Dutchman State Park campground – with full-hookups to make the first trip easier. I could tell you all about the things we didn’t bring, what was forgotten, the mistakes we made, and the fun the boys had dumping the black water tank the first time – but that’s a whole new story!
What I will tell you is that we had a great trip. Snuggled next to a mountain with easy walking trails, fresh air and sunshine – there was much to enjoy! And the dreaded campfire? Everyone enjoyed it while I snuck inside to avoid the smoke. Win-win.
- Mogollon Rim
- Roosevelt Lake
- Lynx Lake
- Bear Creek
- Grand Canyon
- Kartchner Caverns