We have had 3 campers in our lifetime. I have named them all according to their specific characteristics. The first was a truck camper that ended up being named “Leaky Piece of Shit.”
Leaky Piece of Shit
We found LPS in the back forty of a farmer’s field and despite my better judgement paid 400$ and loaded LPS onto Betsy (my 1500 Dodge Ram). When we had checked LPS out in the farmers field we were told nothing works and it leaks; for some reason we were ok with that. The justification was that it was just to go out in the bush and have some fun. The problem was that before we went and had fun, we needed to deal with the cess pool that was the bed (did I mention we were told it leaked?). This involved pulling a 1800 pound soaking wet disgusting mattress out of the back and then determining how best to prevent more leaking. The chosen method ended up being copious amounts of sticky goopy crap that got stuffed into every nook and cranny on the camper and somehow a generous amount ended up in my hair. Despite our rocky beginning with Leaky Piece of Shit we still made it out into the bush to have a great time with friends.
The next was a Thor ACE with a 14 foot enclosed trailer. This was named “The Goddamn Thing,” excuse my language but allow me to explain. We had just come back from exploring the beautiful country of Costa Rica and it was cold in Alberta where we lived at the time. I was not coping very well with the idea of a winter in Canada (despite the fact that’s what I had told my husband we were doing) and started looking at campers. I decided that a motorhome with a tow behind storage was the best possible option for us so that on our days off (shift workers) we could fly somewhere warm and enjoy life. I convinced my husband and off we went to purchase the camper that would soon be known as TGT. Soon enough we loaded everything up and headed south; at the beginning of December (insert groaning noise and cringey facial expression).
I would like to preface this next part of the story with a bit of insight into my husband’s demeanor. He is calm. Very calm. Irritatingly calm. Nothing ruffles this man. He is Yoda, Buddha and chill hippy biker combined. In fact, the only thing I know of that pisses him off; is me. So when we hit the road in December from Alberta I was shocked by his transformation.
We basically left in a snow storm. The snow was blowing sideways across the highway creating little mountains of snow that he had to plow through while at the same time trying to stay in his lane that he couldn’t see while the wind was trying to blow us off the road. We were not off to a good start. My husbands knuckles were white, I could hear his teeth grinding and the grey hairs were appearing before my eyes. Every time I spoke his eyes would bulge to show the whites and he would growl something unintelligible. I think it is safe to say; the Thor was not fun to drive.
After navigating all day and getting us safely to our chosen parking lot for the night; we would fall exhausted into our bed. Only to toss, turn and curse the mattress. I kid you not; the most uncomfortable thing you can think of. The bed was a slide and as such would fold up creating a dip in our lower backs. We would wake up tired, crippled and cranky to hit the road again.
During the trip south my husband began muttering to himself. I couldn’t make out exactly what he was saying except for curse words and one common statement “That goddamn thing.” I didn’t think much of it until the day I knew he had lost his mind.
We had just gotten through Las Vegas and it was pouring rain. We are flying down the highway and all of a sudden we pull into a pull out. My husband goes to the back muttering to himself about “this goddamn thing’ and puts on a rain coat. He exits the camper and I think nothing of it, assuming he had to pee. The next thing I see absolutely bewilders me. There in front of me in the middle of a rain storm outside of Vegas is my husband; washing the camper. Washing the bottom half of the camper.
When he was done he came inside, changed his clothes and we were on our way. Nothing was said; but the futility of his enterprise was not lost on me when we arrived tour destination covered in mud which made his eyes almost bust out his head.
We spent the winter in Arizona just chilling out. At one point I asked him “So why did you wash the camper that day?” His response was “had to be done”, which I interpreted as “I was going to lose my f’ing mind if I didn’t get out of that goddamn thing.”
That Goddamned Thing
After one winter TGT was traded in for what we currently live in; Gronk who is towed by Denzel. Gronk is a 38 foot 5th wheel toy-hauler called a Carbon 358 made by Keystone. And boy oh boy did we lose our shirt trading in TGT for Gronk. It was violating. But Gronk is amazing and everything we wanted. Denzel is the trusty 3500 Dodge Ram Diesel that never fails us.
We have been living in Gronk full time for over a year now. Gronk has been to both coasts of Canada, zig zagged south west from Maine to California through the United States and bombed straight down the Baja to Los Barriles.
Gronk has taught us many lessons on the way and most them sucked. The important thing is we learned our lessons and are terrified of what the next one will be. That is a part of RV life though; you have to go with the flow, think on your feet and always be ready to change plans in a split second. And most importantly enjoy the ride.
Gronk and Denzel