As some of you know my year started off on a not so good note. Car wreck that totaled my car on the 1st of January but it didn’t take long for my luck begin to change. I was able to get my dream car within a matter of a week, hand controls installed and all. Then only a few weeks later Brian and I began talking about teardrop campers. He let me know that SOAR was willing to help me get one sooner than I would have imagined! So the looking began!
Within a week I had found a hand full of teardrops I would take but I had my heart set on one in Lubbock. It was a 2017 and in EXCELLENT condition and came in at the same price as the other much older models I was looking at, but, there were a few problems. It was 9 hours away in Lubbock and someone was already scheduled to go look at it. So I patiently waited.
The Thursday the other person was supposed to go look at it I kept my phone by my side waiting on the devastating news that it was sold. When I received a text that said it was mine if I wanted it I felt like I hit the jackpot.
If you wanna hear about going to get it and all those emotions you can go back to the previous post and read about there. This one is about my first time not only towing it alone, but backing it up alone, setting it up alone, and sleeping it alone!
So I have it parked at my friend’s parents’ house and no one was gonna be home when I went and get it soooo, this life test started as soon as I pulled out of my apartment complex. Lucky for me I have a backup camera. I don’t think I’d even want to own a camper if those things didn’t exist. That getting in and out and loading a chair every time would have been old the first time. Thankfully for that camera, backing the hitch up to the trailer is quite simple. My first time doing it and I got as close to perfect as one could get!
Now I had to be sure to hook it up correctly. Lock in the ball, plug in the electrical, and hook on the chains! Got all that done, said a little prayer and off we went. And by we I mean my car, my camper, and my self. I didn’t even bring the dog on this trip because I know she gets anxiety and tends to whine when camping and I was gonna be stressed and I didn’t need her added stress. So I was totally solo!
Towing felt just as easy as it did the first time. So I was fairly comfortable all the way there. I did wish I had someone with me that could hop out and make sure it still looked good after about 30 miles but I just hoped for the best and kept going. I will say, I didn’t listen to music or talk on my phone. I was listening and focusing on every noise and any bit of motion that happened. I was definitely gonna be aware if something started going wrong.
I got to the campground right after 5 so I couldn’t stop and check-in so I went straight to looking for my spot. At first, I was thinking my spot was 125. That was all the way in the back and it took me forever to make it back there and then when I did, I missed it. So I had to make another loop to realize why I missed it. Spot 125 had people at it! So I had to pull up my email to find out, I was actually just 25, not 125. Back up to the front, I went!
When I found my spot it was right down the road from a bridge. One that a man happened to be parked at. My first thought when I saw him was great like I really need an audience! The backup attempt began anyway. It was NOT going well from the start. I realized just at the right moment I was about to back my camper into a tree that was NOWHERE near where my spot was. I was actually pulling in to the grass area beside my camper spot! I just knew that man was watching me (even though we all know he probably wasn’t) and thinking about coming to help me and help was the last thing I wanted. I needed to learn how to do this alone based off my own judgments, not someone helping me. So, what did I decide to do? Pull around and take a loop to give him some time to move along.
I circled back around and who was still there? Oh well, I gotta learn how to do this at some point and it seems like now is the time, with or without an audience. So round two began. I gave myself a little pep talk and went at it again. I didn’t let my self get annoyed or flustered and I just kept pulling forward and making corrections as needed. I reminded myself how my daddy has told me, it just takes practice and you just gotta keep pulling forward and try again. It took me a good 15 minutes altogether to get her in her spot. And I must admit, to the passers-by it kinda looked like someone who knew what they were doing parked that thing!
As soon as I got out the hooking up process began. I got the power and the water hooked up right away. The lights worked! I got the back open and made sure everything was alright back there and I moved my ice-chest from the back of my car to the back of the camper. I got all the firewood out of my car and stacked it beside the camper and then I just wanted to lay down! As easy as it seemed to hook up, tow her, and then set her up, it was stressful the whole time. Once it was all done, I just wanted to relax. So that is precisely what I did. I got in my camper for the first real-time and I opened my suitcase and got things situated how I wanted them.
The first night I ended up just eating saltine crackers and Vienna sausages. It was on the verge of raining, I wasn’t really hungry and I just loved being in my little camper. So an easy dinner it was.
The next morning I woke up and decided since I stayed nice and cool with my dandy ceiling fan and open windows I wasn’t gonna go through the hassle of going to the showers. Instead of a shower, I decided to use an Epic, THE MASSIVE WET WIPE instead. If you’ve never tried those things while camping you are totally missing out. I was introduced to them when I went to Colorado with World Team and I will always have them with me when I camp now!
After I got dressed I went to the office to check-in and pay for the rest of my visit and while I was gone my friend sent me a picture of my camper! They were also there! So I ended up going over and had a visit with them. They were grilling that night so I went back to my campsite a little later and got my steaks and marinade and went back to hang and grill with them. The surprise friend time was a huge plus and the steaks came out amazing. I left their site at around 9 and when I got back I was just ready to get back in my little camper and go to sleep.
The next day I had some things to accomplish. The first thing I was ready to try out was the cooker in my camper. I was quite nervous about using it but again, there had to be a first time so this might as well be it! I had a leftover steak from the night before and I had brought some peppers. So I thought, a little olive oil, peppers, steak strips, and a little salt and pepper would make for a good breakfast/lunch. And I was right! Cooking on that thing is a BREEZE and I can’t wait when mom and I take it out this summer. She is gonna LOVE it!
I had also received this NKAR (No Knot Accessible Ridgeline) that goes up with no knots needed. I promised Zachary I would take a video for him. I was totally ready to try this product out too. I have ALWAYS wanted to have a line for towels or clothes or even a line to hang a tarp to keep wood or other things dry while I camp. I did it once just to try it out to see if I would be successful at putting it up where it was actually tight and usable before I videoed it and then I couldn’t wait to get my video done. Had some videoing malfunctions so I had to put it up two more times but I got it done! I like that thing so much I ordered another one and some of his fire starters. You can watch my youtube video with the link below if you wanna see how they work. I’ll also include his link too because his videos are leaps and bounds better than mine!
I also spent a little time in my camper that day writing. I took my iPad and my hotspot so while I was writing I was able to play music some and I also watched some documentary on nature. It may have been Africa? I can’t remember. But it was relaxing. And even in the heat of the day when it was about 78 degrees out, I was cool with the fan going and the windows opened. The fan really helps circulate the air in there. I was also visited by some little friends that day that were not so welcome.
Later that night I made a fire. This is the first time I have built a fire when I have gone camping alone. And it was easy peasy and a pretty nice fire if I do say so myself. I decided to cook my veggies over the fire to give me a reason to hang around it and I’ll tell ya one thing, cooking over the fire takes much longer, but it’s much more fun!
Since I had my hot spot I did facetime some people. I guess I was getting in some preparation for the quarantine and all the facetime/zoom sessions I would be doing in the days after this trip. The last night with the fire was pretty darn fun. Specially when you include some of the fun little chats I had sitting around it on the phone.
The next day I got up and immediately got to packing it all up. I was up and out of there within an hour. Not bad at all for the first time! I’ll have more of a system next time.
Over all, this was a great trip. I thought I was going to be going back Easter weekend but the good ole Corona put a halt on that. So not quite sure when I’ll take it out again, I’m guessing it may be summer time when me and mom get to go out in it. It all depends on this ole virus I guess. Until then, I’ll be wishing I was in it and gathering all the things I realized I needed on this last trip.
And one thing I have proven to myself yet again, never let fear get in the way of what you wanna do, because great things come when you overcome yours fears!
Be on the look out! I have videos of me actually cooking I hope to have on YouTube soon! 🙂