Since we got our first travel trailer camper earlier this year, we’ve been able to escape on about seven weekend and/or week-long excursions so far. We’ve learned a little bit more with each trip, and it dawned on us after this last one to Lake Jocassee in South Carolina that we have a few, what I like to call, “first world camper problems.”
And they’re not even problems, they’re just things we’ve learned along the way, things we didn’t even know to ask when we were standing on the RV dealership lot with the salesman. Things we’re making notes of for when we get our next camper (down the road, of course).
I sort of equate to the things you learn after buying and living in your first house. You’re so naive to the process, you don’t even know some of the things you’re supposed to look for and questions to ask. Sure, you follow guidance from friends, family, books and blogs, but it can’t match your own first-hand experience from dealing with the first time your sewer system backs up into your house, or when your dishwasher goes haywire on you at 11 p.m.
The same is true for us in buying and traveling in our first camper. There are just things we’ve learned that we wouldn’t have known to ask, but we’ll certainly know for next time. Things like:
Sure, our camper beds are more comfortable than the air mattress we used in our tent, but only marginally. We did add some foam mattress toppers to both the short queen and the bunk beds, but learning how to share a short queen-sized bed with your tall-ish husband while trying not to suffocate against the camper wall takes some practice and good humor.
Next time we’ll spend a little more time while we’re on the dealership lot actually lying down on the bed together and making sure we can each roll over without risking pushing someone off the bed.
Also, our budget hasn’t allowed this yet, but I hear upgrading the mattress altogether is a good idea. Since this is our “starter” camper, I’m not sure if we’ll make this investment, but might be worth it in our next one.
So, one would think you would ask the dealer to actually hook up water to your potential camper and show you how effective the shower feature works. One would think. Apparently we didn’t think.
Sure, we stood inside the shower – Gib wanted to make sure he could stand up, for the most part, without bumping his head on the ceiling. But we failed to realize until we were off the grid camping that our shower really doesn’t work that well. Very low water pressure and minimal hot water.
We just use the showers in the bath house of whatever camper we’re staying in – which is perfectly fine. Our shower space is now storage for brooms, mops, and other miscellaneous camper supplies. But hindsight being 20/20, we should’ve tested out the shower to make sure we could use it.
Part of the appeal of going camping for us is being off the grid with the kids, and getting them off the electronics to explore the outdoors. And that part has been a success.
But sometimes, especially on our longer trips, the kids (and we) just want to kick back for a bit and watch TV. We don’t have any kind of fancy satellite dish or anything, we just rely on the antenna that came with the camper to pick up any local channels.
Except we should’ve requested an antenna booster or something to help us reach longer television signals, because we’ve found even when we’re not too far out of the way we have a hard time picking up many channels. While we don’t need anything fancy, just picking up most of the major networks would suffice for us.
These are just a few things we’ve picked up on and filed away in the “things to think about with our next camper” category!
What are some things you’ve learned after traveling in your travel trailer or RV, especially if you’ve owned more than one? We always love hearing from our fellow glampers!