Tuesday, March 01, 2016

This business of "camping out"

I have mentioned in other posts that we were looking for a used camper.  Now, our main travel destinations these days are Branson and Colorado, and lodging is reasonable at these spots, so we really don't need a camper for those locations.  The only thing we really wanted one for was tractor shows.  Most of the huge ones like Old Thresher's Reunion or the Western Minnesota Steam show aren't near big metropolitan areas, and the motels that are within fifty miles are booked for years ahead.  

Our old pickup doesn't have working cruise control; Cliff took it to our mechanic, who couldn't fix it.  So we really aren't able to haul a full-sized camper around; he has sciatica, and keeping his foot on the gas pedal for hundreds of miles is impossible.  So we began looking at used pop-up campers.  We've had two of those, so we know what we would be dealing with.  Our car would be able to pull it around, and all we really need or want is a half-way comfortable bed, a place to do a little cooking (that always helps on the budget), and someplace to put a porta-potty (we both get up a couple of times during the night).  

Turns out people want ridiculous prices for their old, moldy, cigarette-smelling pop-up campers.  We were willing to pay $2,000 for the right one, but couldn't even get close to anything acceptable.  

So now I am, once again, considering a tent.  The last tent we had got soaked up north, and after being hauled in the trunk for a couple of days, was moldy.  We tossed it.  However, when I consider that we only paid something like $150 for it, and we used it on that trip out of necessity a few times, I'd say it was no great loss.  

We got a tent that was tall enough to stand upright in, knowing that would be a necessity.  I ordered two inflatable mattresses, knowing they'd be leaking after a few uses, but we are too old to sleep on the ground.  During the trip, we also discovered that we are too old to be getting up and down off the ground.  I will say we've had more practice lately, because we are up and down in the floor with Cora several times daily.  Still, it isn't something I want to do half-asleep in the middle of the night.  

So I consulted my new best friend, Amazon.com, and found THIS.  

So, if we bought the tent I'm looking at, two of the above beds, we'd still have under $500 invested.  If the tent only lasts one season, we haven't lost much, and the beds could likely be sold on Craigslist to recoup maybe half our cost.  We worked out the problems with our portable potty on the last camp-out, so that should be fine.  And remember, this is only for two or three tractor shows each year.

I don't know how receptive Cliff will be to all this.  He is not a fan of camping out.  It would help if there were a guarantee of no rain.  But you know how that goes.  If Cliff and Donna are going camping, it's going to rain.  

We'll see if he wants to consider this option.

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