A month or so ago my husband got an idea in his head that I quickly tried to crush. He wanted to buy a tent trailer. A tent trailer is also called a pop up and you pull it behind your car and when you get to a campsite it opens up into a mini-motor home.
To me a tent trailer meant a transformation into the kind of family that I always feared; one that wears matching khaki pants and sings songs together. If we bought a tent trailer then we’d never ever leave the country. Never go to Paris! (I’ve never been to Paris!) Never see the rain forest! Never eat in a restaurant again.
I love being outside hiking, running, and just enjoying the sunshine. I’m not, however, one of those people who grew up camping. I didn’t sleep in a tent until I was in my early 20s and spent a summer in Alaska. It was extreme camping where you backpacked with all of your food and equipment. You set up your tent and put your food far, far away so the bears didn’t get it and you. It was an adventure.
The whole idea of car camping always sounded kind of lame. You don’t get exercise, you sit around and eat and drink, and you go to bed early.
Now that I have kids and I’m exhausted, I’ve embraced camping and all of the relaxing that comes with it. What I love is that you get little exercise, you sit around and eat all day, and you go to bed early.
But buying a tent trailer for camping was just too much. It would be like going from a fun occasional weekend activity to a lifestyle.
When my husband brought up the idea of buying a tent trailer for the second time, I did the thing I do with the kids where I said, “Look at me and listen to my words. Please don’t buy a tent trailer. I forbid you to buy a tent trailer.”
Telling him that worked about as well as it does with my kids. He told me about all of the used, inexpensive tent trailers on Craigslist and how we could sell it and get all of our money back! It would save us so much money on vacations! Our boys would love it!
That I knew was true. We have 5 and 7-year-old boys and they love camping and getting dirty and sleeping outside. They love it all and they would love it even more in a tent trailer. I also knew that when my husband gets something in his head there’s no getting it out.
So one Saturday when my husband said he had to leave to go run an errand with my car, I knew something was up. Two hours later, our second home arrived.
Yes, it was a good deal. Yes, my kids were jumping up and down with excitement. And yes, it was too big to pass through the backyard gate of our West LA house. After an hour of taking off the trailer lights, taking off the gate, and calling a neighbor over to push it, the tent trailer was officially ours.
Last weekend after weeks of working on the tent trailer (because when you buy something like that for a deal on Craigslist, it typically needs some work), we took it camping.
And it wasn’t bad. It was nice to sleep inside, have a little fridge, and a place to store extra camping gear (and a place to charge my iphone!). My husband was thrilled and happy to show it off to our friends on the trip.Yes, we may be a camping family with a tent trailer parked in our backyard pulling down our Westside property values, but it’s nice to see the husband so happy.
Uggghhh. I’m off to go buy our khaki pants.
When Yvonne isn’t dreaming about a trip to Paris, she’s blogging at YvonneInLA.com