First Camping Trip

We were so excited to be going on our first camping trip in our new teardrop. Our friends, who were experienced campers, made it easier and so much fun!

It was more than a month after we bought our Little Guy (LG) before we had an opportunity to use it. While we were waiting, we acquired camping accessories. Our son has done a lot of tent camping and he gave us some gear, including a ceramic heater. We thought we were good to go. However, the day before our trip, it occurred to me that if we wanted to use the cable service at the campground, we might want to get a coax cable. I called a friend to ask how that worked along with several more very basic questions about protocols at campgrounds. She probably thought some of my questions were silly, but remember, we are very, very inexperienced in camping.

Our trip was to Desoto State Park in Fort Payne, Alabama. We were with four other couples and a single camper. They were all experienced campers and very helpful. We learned right away that we had neglected to bring a water hose, but a friend loaned us one. As we were staying for a couple of days at the site, we took a tent to expand our living space. It went up rather quickly and we were set. Below is a photo of our campsite. It was mid-October and the weather had turned much colder, with lows in the mid-thirties the weekend of our trip. We set up the tent with a table, our gear, and that glorious heater. It did an amazing job in making the tent very comfortable.

There were no other teardrops at the campsite. All were motor homes or full-sized travel trailers except for one pop-up camper. Our friends all had very nice accommodations. There were three motor homes and two good-sized travel trailers. I must say, after going around to check out all their campsites, I had a little camper envy. All had full baths, closets, headroom and space for entertaining. While they all were lovely, I still am glad that we have our Little Guy because of the many reasons outlined in my first blog. We just have to make some adjustments.

How Did the Big Guy Fit into Tiny Trailer?
I am going to show you something I could not find when we were shopping and considering our LG. We searched all over the Internet for comments or pictures showing anyone tall in a teardrop. My husband, Greg, is 6’3″ and the photo below shows him in our LG.

Big Guy in Tiny Trailer

We used all of the LG’s functionality except the air conditioner on our trip. We stored the makings for hot dogs in our ice chest, cooked them on the stove, and washed the dishes in the sink. All performed beautifully! The cable television came in well and my husband watched part of the Auburn game. It was very comfortable. We had a couple of those pillows shaped like the back of a chair to lean upon, which made it more comfortable for just hanging out.

Watching the game

Cooking and Eating:
Our first night, we had a potluck at a double campsite of our friends. We ate outside on the picnic tables. This was a site with two motor homes. They had cute lighting outside and the football game going in the background. It was very festive and lots of fun! I brought Mexican cornbread made at home, so there was no cooking for us.

Our first cooking at our campsite was for breakfast. We had the same thing both mornings: English muffins with egg, sausage, and cheese. The sausage was cooked in a skillet on the stove and the eggs in the microwave. We purchased an inexpensive two-slice toaster for our camper; it and the coffee maker were on the counter. It got crowded in a hurry. Next time, I think a small table set up near would be a good strategy for the toaster and coffee maker. We cooked our hot dogs the second night and we met at the same campsite as the night before to eat together. There were fewer of us because some had gone into Mentone, a nearby town for dinner. We ate inside one of the large motor homes and it had all the comforts of home.

Galley

You can see the galley in the photo above. It has an electric ice chest, two-burner stove, microwave, sink and some limited counter space. We cooked at the galley and had our breakfast and coffee in our tent. It was nice to have a place to sit and eat that was warm. The tent was also a good place to change clothes and to store our dishes and food.

Inside Tent

The Other Teardrop Issue!
Other than being able to be comfortable in the LG, my big concern was its lack of a toilet. This was my first real-world reality check with that issue. We were about 400 feet from the bathhouse and the path was through a wooded area with three forks in the path. I made the trek during daylight a couple of times. It was easy to see the way to get there day and night because the bath house was big and well lit. However, even in daylight, I took a wrong turn once on the trip back. I am not generally an incompetent person, but have a terrible sense of direction.

I knew that I would have to get up in the middle of the night, so I prepared as best I could. I had my flip flops on a shelf at the foot of the bed and a flashlight in the corner of the head of the bed. No problem getting there. It was cold, but not miserable. Also, I was moving, which helps me stay warm. I tried to pay attention on the trip back–but again–wrong turn! I came out in an area where all were big campers. Fortunately, I recognized campers belonging to our friends so I knew which way to turn. I made it back to the LG with no further issues.

However, this got me to thinking about future camping trips. I have looked at some campsites on line that are quite large and are not laid out in a predictable manner. A few wrong turns could create exhausting wandering. That would not make me happy! I think I might have something that will help with that. There is an app called “Find My Car”. For me, it could be, “Find my Bed”. I would not need it in all circumstances, but if we stay in a larger, more complex campsite, I think I will use the app.

I know that there are options with portable toilets and those will be considerations as well, but I plan to take the bath house option most of the time.

We expect to take a couple of short trips in the November-December timeframe and will be taking a long trip in February, which I know is going to be an adventure. So far, this has been great fun!

We welcome your comments.

Donna and Greg (aka Big Guy)