Camping 101: A Survivor’s Lessons For Living In The Motorhomes

I can still recall the day my husband approached me with the idea of buying a motorhome. I stared at him in disbelief, knowing that I was not the camping type. “Do you really think that I can live without my hair dryer,” I responded. He went on to explain the better attributes of camping with a motorhome. It wasn’t long and I was taken by the idea.

When a friend’s motorhome went up for sale with everything in it, we quickly ran over to take a look. The home was in great condition and came with everything we needed to get started. A week later, we were driving it out of their yard…and that is when our crash course in “Camping 101” began.

It began with the first overpass, when both of us instinctively ducked, as thoughts of our vent covers hitting the bridge filled our heads. We had never considered that as a factor, until we made our approach, and were relieved when the unit cleared. “How tall is this thing anyways?” I asked. Lesson number one: Find out the height of the unit, before the maiden voyage.

Weeks later, we were anxious to take our first summer camping trip. We filled the home with everything we “thought” we needed and headed out for a week-long stay at a campground.

Checking in was easy, the owners were friendly and helpful, showing us all that we needed to know for hook-up. Left to ourselves, we stood there staring at each other, trying to match up the facts we had just been given with the instructions given by the previous owner. Lesson number two: Take notes on all things regarding your new home as they are given to you. Lesson number three following shortly thereafter: Make sure the water switch is turned on “city water” in the campground. This was realized after the neighbor knocked on our door to tell us there was water flying everywhere.

After finally settling in for the evening, we sat on pins and needles waiting for the next sign that we had done something wrong. It would not come until the next morning.

We awoke to the sound of rain and snuggled in a little closer. After an hour, we finally decided to get up and make a nice, warm pot of coffee. It was then my husband noticed the sagging bulge in the canopy. During the early morning hours, the rain had collected in the center of the canopy. If we didn’t fix it soon, it would tear. Lesson number four: Retract your canopy when not in use or tilt it at a slant. Lesson number five followed quickly behind: Do not stand near the canopy when your husband is pushing up with a broom handle to remove rain water that has collected on top.

As day turned to night and then the next day, the rain continued to fall upon our campsite. The coziness of the morning coffee had worn off, and we were left staring at each other. Lesson number six: Plan for rainy days by planned alternative activities. Thankfully, while rummaging through the motorhome, we found a deck of cards from the previous owners. This began a marathon game of 500 rummy.

When the rain continued the following day, we decided that it was to our benefit to unhook the motorhome and travel into a nearby town to sightsee. Lesson number seven: Bring alternate means of transportation, i.e. tow a car or transport bicycles.

The next day greeted us with sunny skies and a warm cup of coffee, finally, outside. People strode by smiling, while some stopped to chat. The atmosphere was pleasant….until…”Honey, the toilet paper won’t go down!” Lesson number eight: Do not use regular toilet paper in a motorhome’s septic system. And, lesson number nine: If your septic system plugs, a long twig and a water hose with a sprayer attached can pretty much do the job.

It has been 15 years since that disastrous trip and we have met many people in all stages of camping: beginners, experienced, and expert. From them I have gleaned lesson number ten: No matter how terrible the experience, you will later look back and laugh (and often use it for reference). Most campers have been in your situation, at one time or another, and they will always be there to lend you a hand as you learn. The services of we buy any motorhome site will be effective for the purchasing of the motor homes. It can be purchased or sold for spending vacations through the survivors. 

About Oblena

Janica Oblena is the writer of ‘Midnight Secrets’. She is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Journalism. She is currently the senior editor of
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