I hope you enjoy my blog, a collection of articles and thoughts regarding my interests. I'm a married father of two that loves to write about gliding, hunting, fishing, camping and any outdoor passion. Oh yah, I'm a quadriplegic. I hope this is informative to some, entertaining to others, and interesting to all. Let me know what you think. If you'd like an article for your publication, I've got words I haven't even used yet!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Camping Bliss ... uhuh ...

Most of you that camp have experienced the peer pressure of parking a trailer in a busy campground, just thought I'd collect some data and report the findings. Feel free to make your own observations utilizing the following guidelines, it is a fun and educational way to spend an evening.


To truly observe and appreciate all of the particulars involved in parking a trailer, one must arrive at the campground, and have their own campsite completely set up by Friday noon directly across from a carefully chosen target campsite. Acquiring such a perfectly situated site for yourself is in itself an art, but key to the success of the investigations.

The target campsite should be a back-in site (pull-through sites will contaminate the data) designed by the latest engineering software. The site should be complete with large overhanging branches, a post to mark the campsite, metal-fire pit, and utility pillar. All of these are to be strategically placed so as to be completely hidden from the driver's view at all times, leaving the sole responsibility for their avoidance squarely on the shoulders of the person directing from behind. This encourages spousal interaction (many couples have worked out their own sign language, however a universally recognized signal apparently occasionally gets "flipped"). You can detect proper placement of these obstacles by the lovely colorful paint-scrape marks inscribed on them by multiple cheerful campers starting their vacation off on the right foot.

Next, one must unpack and set up all of the scientific observation equipment needed to examine campers parking, undisturbed in their natural habitat ... including but not limited to lawn chairs, umbrella, notebook, cooler full of Corona, video camera, etc. Next place your lawn chairs at the front of your site in full view of all goings-on. You may notice other folks in the campground doing the same for educational purposes or merely sheer entertainment value. In Quantum Physics the "Observer Effect" states that "There is no phenomenon until it is observed", so nobody really knows if a camper, without an observer present, has trouble parking or not. It's kinda like "If a tree falls with no observer present, does it make any sound"? I think that Observer Effect must be at play, because of the 396 campers that I polled, 89% stated that they have no difficulty parking their RV. Our observations revealed that 29% was more accurate (our poll is accurate 99 out of 100 times between beer #3 and #4 while balancing on a $3 lawn chair between 5pm and 9pm on a Friday night in a rib-stained blue shirt). Note: when observing, one should be careful not to skew the evidence by laughing, cheering, mooning, or engaging in any other type of interaction with the driver during his/her attempts at parking their rig.

As the time approaches five p.m. one will begin to detect a certain anxiety on the part of drivers as they frantically race to grab the last few sites. It is imperative that you have a fresh Corona before the “Low-Beer-Light' comes on as there may not be an opportunity for replenishment once the action begins.


By making these scientific observations and utilizing the key points above on countless occasions, I feel we have amassed enough evidence to formulate a list of things the professional camper should keep in mind. This will maximize the opportunity to stretch the bounds of family dynamics and linguistic adventure:

1 Don't arrive at the campground too early, the real rush for the last few sites occurs between 6pm - 9pm, it seems the professional campers want to catch this window, and for an added bonus all vehicle occupants will be hungry, grouchy, have a full bladder, etc.

2 No need to check weather reports, setting up camp in a monsoon is perfectly ok and even embraced by the whole family.

3 Don't make campsite reservations, this would only dullen the true spirit of adventure associated with arriving cold-turkey at the last minute, and also it provides ammunition for “I-told-you so's” should one of the participants require it later.

4 To create the appropriate family dynamics children should be given at least two bottles of full-strength sugared soda-pop and one energy drink for good measure prior to the drive, with no bathroom breaks between home and camp. This should ensure sufficient rounds of "Are we there yet?" and the occasional obligatory "Don't make me come back there!"

5 One should have at least two dogs with them, preferably energetic large ones that embrace an occasional dog-fight, say ... boxers. They should ideally have been watered well before departure, be fed a new-to-them hot pepperoni stick or two, and whining for escape for the last two hours. Leashes should be long enough to ensure proper entanglement around lawn chairs, greasy hitch, barbeque, bicycles etc.

6 For best results rear-view mirrors on tow vehicles must be the cheapest available, installed incorrectly and out of alignment.

7 One should make sarcastic remarks to the Gatekeeper to ensure a perfectly suitable site is carefully selected for you.

8 One must apparently verbalize their feelings aloud while parking, not cooping up any arising frustrations, don't mind that the neighbors may occasionally overhear you.

In addition, we have gone to great lengths to finally decipher the formula involved in the Gatekeeper choosing a perfectly-suitable site for you.

SL = (TL x 1.1) - 2HM

SL = Site Length
TL = Trailer Length
HM = Hassle Multiplier

Let's say it has been a slow day, with very little action in the campground, or your discourse with the Gatekeeper for some unknown reason hasn't exactly presented your best side in his/her opinion. You may be assigned a HM of 3. If your trailer is 30ft long, plugging the numbers into the formula will yield a site length of:

SL = (30 x 1.1) - (2 x 3)
SL = 33 - 6
SL = 27ft

Now you might notice after several unsuccessful attempts at backing in that there is no way you will fit your 30ft unit into the 27ft campsite, but that is what the Hassle Multiplier is for ... spectator and Gatekeeper enjoyment. You may also detect obvious professionals in lawn chair with Corona in hand and smirk on face, at the ready to observe, take notes and as an added bonus be entertained by your discovery. As a matter of fact, I feel with the proper promotion, observing other folks park their campers has the potential to become in itself a hugely popular spectator sport in the future.

I hope this report gives some insight into the intricacies of parking a travel trailer, and spurs some new faces to enter the peaceful world of camping.