I know you are probably thinking the title is hyperbolic. It’s not. Chad and I have a 100.00 % perfect record. In 12 years of marriage and about 15 camping trips, it has rained EVERY time. We tent camped 5 times in the old tent (which seeped at the seams) and it rained every time. We bought a new, bigger tent. It rained not only every time we camped in it, but EVERY DAY of every camping trip.
Tent camping is a pain in the ass, at its best. You have to pack the tent, the bedding, the mess kit, the food (dry and cold) and enough ice to keep it safe for the duration. If you’re “boondocking” (camping sans electricity and running water) you have to haul in water and batteries, too. That makes one very loaded down wagon. Take one mini van, pack in about 400 pounds of gear, add one greenhorn male and one bossy ex-girl scout, six rainy days and stir well. Recipe for unhappy de jour.
Need I say that my darling hubby, sweetest man on earth, became less than enamored of camping life? We tried 4 times to camp in that lovely Coleman 3-room tent, but it rained EVERY time. The tent wasn’t too hard to put up, but since we had to bring it home wet and put it up again to dry out at home, that robbed us of much of the the fun.
We started to look at campers a few years later, thinking that we might, just might enjoy camping a bit more if we could take the tent out of the equation. After years of tromping through the RV shows, we finally reached the confluence of desire, financial ability and sufficient amnesia of the last wet camping trip to consider actually buying a camper.
It’s funny how much more work an RV show becomes when you are actually planning to purchase. We must have climbed up the steps of over 100 little trailers. When we finally realized my Chrysler Pacifica would only tow up to 3000 pounds, that made our available choices prettly limited. We decided to go for an A-frame popup. My folks had a canvas popup when I was a teenager. Suffice it to say I’ll never again sleep in one of those puppies.
That left us to choose between Aliner, Chalet and the other brands, which are all knockoffs of the top two. Aliner is more plentiful and has dealers close by. Chalet is better made but the nearest dealer is in North Carolina. The availability of the installed “shoilet” (my name for the wet bath combo cassette toilet and shower) and slightly better build quality tipped the scales for Chalet.
We drove to Carolina Campers in April, put our names on the lines, and bought our little bitty RV. We picked it up on a Saturday, and camped that night at a KOA on the way home.
We’ve camped 5 times since then, once in a privately-owned “campground” in Pennsylvania, and four times in Virginia state parks. In every case, it has rained. Drizzle, drip and drop rain, thunderstorms, “spit” rain, big fat rain, and everything in between, you name it, we’ve had it, and you know what? We don’t care. The camper is snug and dry.
Let it rain. When it pours down, the other campers bug out, and we have peace and quiet. When it’s time to go home, we break out the Shamwows, wipe down the roof panels, fold up and go home.
So if you’re having a drought, just drop me a line. Maybe we can work out a deal. You pay for our gas and time off from work, and we’ll come set up our camper. I can virtually guarantee you it will rain.