This Old Campsite
This Old Campsite
Articles @ This Old Campsite
Camping in any form is a treasure that revitalizes the soul. Utilizing either a travel trailer or motor home makes the experience a bit more comfortable. Ten years have passed since my wife and I made our first trip in a pop-up and now a larger 5th wheel joins us on our short but highly enjoyable excursions. I have read and discussed countless technical articles with many like-minded individuals, but a recent experience brought another thought to mind which is one of a non-technical nature. The majority of people we run across fall into our category of campers, those working full-time and on short stints.

Traveling even a short distance from home places one in an unfamiliar environment even though it may be a location that has been visited many times. I have discovered a few items that I have often taken for granted. I am sure many have had the wonderful experience of having a flat tire or maybe two. Recently after arriving at a Texas State Park, I noticed a flat on our 5th wheel. After a bit of maneuvering, I found a great spot where I could change the tire. Although I keep a relatively close eye on the tires, I never gave much thought to the spare which happened to be 5 years old. After finally getting in our spot, I felt a great need to have the flat repaired, but it dawned on me that I had no idea where a tire shop would be located. The closest little town was 12 miles away and anything approaching a medium size town was 40 miles in either direction. I could see wasting a complete day in search of a new tire. I will get to the solution later.

I rarely consider that anything could possibly go wrong on a camping trip or at least hope it does not. The anticipation of getting away and settling in is all consuming for me. The physical labor of a trip is in all reality a minimal event. Putting down jacks, leveling, hooking up hoses and power do not take much effort, but now and again one can find themselves crawling on the ground lifting ice chests that contain the entire refrigerator from home or enough clothes to open a small store. In other words, injuries can and do happen. They may not be severe or debilitating, but they could require medical attention, which brings me to another non-technical view, that of medical services. It is of the utmost importance to have some idea of where emergency services can be attained. This would include dentists, veterinarians, and pharmacies. Again, solution later.

Getting away from it all remains a blissful and opportunistic moment regardless if it is 2 days or 2 weeks. Planning a trip starts days in advance. Preparing menus, checking the weather, deciding on clothes, verifying reservations, etc., all maintain a place. The “out of touch” realm, i.e., cell phone not ringing every 15 minutes, not checking email, no sirens or loud trucks waking you at 4:00 AM, is part of the bliss. However, removing one’s self from daily life does not mean daily life stops. I have often overlooked the need for a connection and information for the return trip home. Encountering major detours from road construction that was fine 3 days ago can upset a traveling routine as well as finding out while on the road a major rain storm has flooded the area of town you happen to live in. I think it is time for some solutions.

My first experience in the original pop-up introduced me to some new individuals at campgrounds....Park Hosts. These are the people with an enormous amount of knowledge and experience as well as a true passion for the camping. They work free at the campgrounds to ensure that everyone else has a positive experience. Two particular families, Warren/Myra Petkovsek and Floyd/Myrtle Broussard, are the absolute epitome of a Park Host as well as friends of the highest caliber. Warren also provides many technical articles for this website, This Old Campsite . I have learned from these two families many tips, tricks, and actualities of both my 5th wheel and enjoying a campground. We have also shared some wonderful meals with them. The Park Host has the ability to contact those responsible for the campground at any time whether it be a private or State Park. They know the location of grocery stores, gas stations, medical services, tire shops, maintenance shops and entertainment venues. The Park Hosts are your best friends and I have yet to come across a single one who will not stop whatever they are doing to provide assistance of any kind. They become the solution for most of the problems you might encounter while at a campground, such as the flat that I had pulling into Pedernales Falls State Park. If you are ever in Pedernales Falls State Park in late fall or early spring, stop by and say hello to Warren, Myra, Floyd, and Myrtle. You will be glad you did. Oh, one other thing for the Petkovseks and Broussards. Thanks for taking care of my trailer as if it was your own.

Camping...A Non-Technical View
by
Ken Howton

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                                                              Ken and Kay Howton

We have been camping for many years, but finally acquired our first pop-up in 1999. We have since purchased a 30' 5th Wheel, Aruba, made by Starcraft. We certainly enjoy the Texas Hill Country and spend as much time there as possible. Kay works in the Oil and Gas industry and I find my days working in Technology at a Private School in Houston. We are looking forward to moving to Full-Time in a few years when we are blessed with retirement.