“Let’s go camping!” my husband exclaimed as he showed me the typical camping gear involving tents and the like. My response was something along the lines of, “Ah, no! My idea of camping is the Holiday Inn!”
Fast forward many years later, add five horses, and we are now officially campers! Happy campers at that!
My husband just said over the weekend that he never would have imagined me … camping. Well, I had to have a purpose. While I enjoy sitting by a fire at night, my idea of fun is not going to sit in a tent in all different types of weather being miserable. I camped in my late teens at the beach – in a tent – in 100 degree weather. This was something I was talked into, and boy was I ever miserable. My earlier memories from my childhood camping experiences involved raccoons that got into our trash overnight in the mountains as we knew nothing about “bear bags” at that point in time. Then, when we tried “camping” at home in our backyard, my dad’s bull dogs got out and decided to fight right outside of our tent! Imagine four 10 year old girls getting woken up in the middle of the night by growling and snarling with dogs pushing themselves up against your tent, then causing it to collapse on you! Yes, this happened, and we screamed bloody murder until my dad woke up and ran outside to see what was going on. We all ended up okay, but the horror of that event lingered on!
So no, tent camping was out!
Then the tables turned as we started venturing out into the horse world. People camp with their horses all the time. Some have tents, some have living quarters in their trailers, and some take a stock trailer and make it to where they can sleep in it overnight. We considered this option, but with three of us, I knew that would not be comfortable. The living quarters in the trailers are really tight spaces. We looked into buying a new living quarters trailer at the beginning of the year. They were nice, but they were also super expensive. You had all the space in the world for your horses, it seemed, but what a tiny living area when you have two adults and a child camping with you! We knew that option just was not going to work. As one salesperson put it, “You have to REALLY love each other to be in that close quarters for any period of time.” We laughed when he said it, until we saw what he was talking about.
When I said earlier that the tables turned, they did because about two years ago, I stumbled upon a good deal on a used RV! My husband was so hesitant about this ole “fixer-upper.” I almost had to drag him kicking and screaming to look at it. We drove a little over two hours to look at this 1985 Georgie Boy RV. While we knew that it wasn’t the grandest of RVs, it was perfect for what we wanted to do – camp with our horses! I remember when we arrived how my husband reacted. He hesitantly got out of the vehicle just to wrinkle his nose. I asked him to just look at it and keep an open mind. He walked into the RV, looked around, and then let me know that he was not impressed at all. That is until the guy mentioned the 454 big block engine! My husband’s eyes widened, and he said, “Hey, we can always take this motor out and put it in my 69 Camaro.” We ended up buying this older model RV for little of nothing. Then we put a little bit of money into it to make us feel better about using it. After a while, we were ready for our first camping trip in it.
We found out that we absolutely LOVE camping with our horses!!
We enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we decided to explore other options of possibly getting a newer RV. When it was mentioned, I told my husband that if we did get another RV, I wanted one that we would be confident in taking on road trips even without the horses. My goal was to have a RV that we could travel the world with, if we so desired!
And so began our search!
We looked at so many different used RVs. From dealers to individuals selling their RVs themselves, we were just overwhelmed at the RVs and their prices! Yikes! To get a decent one, you had to spend a bunch of money, or you’d be stuck with a fixer-upper like we already had! Even those were outrageously priced! Finally we came upon an older couple that was looking to get out of camping. The couple was in their 70s, and the man had begun to have some health issues to where he did not feel he could continue with the RV lifestyle. His wife was emotional as she showed us the RV, spent time telling us all about it and demonstrating how the different controls worked within the RV itself, and the stories she told of their family trips together. They had an RV as long as they could remember and took their kids on many trips, and then they started taking their grandchildren on trips as well. The newest RV had provided lots of memories, and it was hard for her to part with it, I could tell. But, she and her husband gave us a really sweet deal on the RV, we sold our “fixer-upper” actually making a profit off of it, and paid cash for the new-to-us RV to begin our RVing lifestyle!
We had to pinch ourselves when the couple delivered the RV to our house. After they left, our children rushed into the RV where I fixed dinner and we ate in it the first night we had it! We could not believe this baby was ours!
Since that time, we have gone on numerous trips with and without the horses. I’ve discovered that although “roughing it” is part of camping at times, we do like having the amenities at the RV resorts. We have stayed where there has been full hookups, and we have stayed where we were standalone with our generator and on-board water supply. I do appreciate that we can have the comforts of home now in our RV! And some of the places are extremely nice! I have been impressed! It isn’t a bunch of red necks sitting around a fire chewing tobacco, spitting, and drinking. Not that there is anything wrong with this at all, if that is your thing. We have found such joy in camping in our newer RV that we planned back to back trips not too long after purchasing it! I’m sure some of our friends on Facebook tire of all our pictures that we share, while others have commented that they enjoy our pictures and look forward to them.
Our goal we set is to go on a trip in our RV at least once a month to justify having it. I told my husband when we were considering buying the RV that it would not just sit in the yard unused. And, it hasn’t! We’ve camped with our horses a few times at places like Kings Mountain State Park, Middleton Plantation, etc., but we have also gone to places like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Thomson, Georgia, Sevierville, Tennessee, and now we will soon be embarking on a trip to Crystal River, Florida! We are so excited!
Now we can hardly wait for the other to say, “Let’s go RVing!”