We have been thinking about buying a camper for a few years now. The last full family camping trip was in Rocky Mountain National Park – 2017. We only went on two camping trips last summer. The older I get, the less I like sleeping in a tent, living out a duffle bag, and waiting out rainstorms on soggy air mattresses. We searched. We price shopped. We read reviews. We spent hours on Pinterest and Facebook Marketplace.
After flirting with the idea of a cheap fixer upper, we decided that renovating wasn’t for us. We don’t have the time for projects (our old house keeps us busy enough) and I am not sure we would have saved any money. For months we looked and nothing seemed right. After deciding to wait until next year, the perfect starter camper popped up (isn’t that always the case). The stars aligned (finances, schedules, etc.). Suddenly we are the proud owners of a 2009 Flagstaff Popup Camper.
It is nearly perfect for this stage of life. We have teenagers that still “sometimes” want to camp with us, so we need sleeping space. Our towing vehicle is a Nissan Pathfinder, so a traditional hard-side camper was out of the question. It is new enough to have “extras” (like heated mattresses) and old enough to be in our budget. I don’t anticipate keeping this camper for the next decade, I already want a bathroom. This is the perfect bridge between the tents of our youth and the 5th wheel of our future.
Last weekend was our maiden voyage with the camper. Overall, I would say it was a success. We stayed at Chippewa National Forest Onegume Campground, a mere 3 hour drive north (read that with sarcasm people). Lonny’s parents joined us for the weekend; somehow we have never camped together in 22 years we have been together.
The campground was lovely (we had one of the smallest sites available). We quickly adapted to having electricity readily available. No more power bricks or low power mode for us. I cooked dinner in a crockpot. We had a refrigerator for our food. We slept on real sheets with a comforter. I washed my hands in a sink. The lake was beautiful, the weather was pleasantly cool and damp most of the time. There were resident kitties that wandered the campground visiting people. Even the vault toilets were bearable. The only big negative was the BUGS. The mosquitos are terrible in northern Minnesota during a good year, and this is not a good year.
Still, a wonderful weekend away. I can’t wait to go again!