Why I never liked camping in a tent

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Chuck Woodbury
ROADSIDE JORNAL
Originally posted on an early version of this website on Feb. 2, 2003
A reporter asked me recently why I enjoy RVing so much. I told him that I have always enjoyed it, and probably got hooked way back when I was a little fellow traveling the American West with my parents in their 15-foot Field and Stream camping trailer. That was absolutely the best little house a kid could have.

As the reporter and I continued our discussion, I recalled an incident from a recent RV trip that illustrated to me why I was never a big fan of tent camping. It happened a few years ago.

My wife, daughter and I were camped in a fully-occupied RV park in the tourist town of Leadville, Colorado. In the evening, a young couple and their infant son showed up at the park with their tent, requesting, then begging for a space. I overheard their pleas and offered them the lawn area next to my motorhome. They were very appreciative. “It’s our first camping trip as a family,” the father told me.

Soon the park went dark as everyone turned in for the night. In the morning, my wife, daughter and I arose well rested. Our neighbors, however, were not: they were cold, exhausted and upset.

“A sprinkler went off at 4 o’clock right underneath our tent,” the woman said. She told me about how the water had gradually seeped into the tent, and how she had struggled to keep her baby warm and dry.

We invited them into our heated motorhome to warm up and dry off. Later that day, as we drove away, I thought about the young family, and I was glad that I was traveling in a motorhome.

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Prospector 1950

I remember back in 1985 while in the Military that I had gotten transferred from Ft. Sill, Oklahoma to FT. Huachuca, Arizona. During the trip my family and I decided to stop at Carlsbad Caverns for the night in order to do the old standard tourist bit of sight-seeing, with a tour of the caverns. Basically right outside the caverns there is (or at least at that time was), a small park where (back then), tourists could park an RV, or erect a tent for an overnight stay free of charge. Well, we erected our family tent for the night.… Read more »