Once upon a time, we had a camper named Pinky. She was a beauty. Yes, I said, “she.”
“Why?”, you might ask. Because, as her name insinuates, she was pink; an odd shade of pink. She was probably a 1970s model and she had a mustard yellow stove inside. We were debt-free and looking for adventure.
Apparently, she was originally white; then, some
bright person gave her a half-rate coat of brownish paint that had pink undertones. They didn’t even use a paint sprayer. You could see the brush strokes on the exterior. It was a terrible job.
The bathroom was one of those super tiny camper bathrooms. The kind where the toilet gets wet when you shower. I never showered in it because I couldn’t stomach the thought of showering with the toilet between my feet.
The light in the shower was quite beautiful. At some point, the original light fixture had fallen off so the previous owner replaced it with a plastic souvenir cup. From here on, we will refer to this as “Cup A.” Well, Cup A was not glued on. It was held in place by an identical cup we will refer to as “Cup B.” Picture this with me. Cup A was over the light bulb while Cup B was wedged between Cup A and the shampoo shelf in the shower. This was a pretty good set-up….until you moved the camper (which is kind of the point of a camper)!
The previous owners had found the camper on the side of the road. I’m not even kidding. They brought this jewel home and gave it a makeover. The cup in the shower was part of the makeover as were all the curtains in the interior. They took down all the old curtains and replaced them with washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels they bought at Walmart. Oh, yes, you read that right. They used cafe-style clips and rods to secure washcloths to cover the smallest windows, hand towels to cover the medium windows, and bath towels to cover the biggest windows. It wasn’t too bad. At least they were cleaner than the old curtains! As a plus, if you forgot your bath towel, you could just take down a curtain.
Also, there was something wrong with the plumbing pipes on the underside of the camper. So, the previous owners replaced them. They did a pretty good job except this now meant that the pipes were literally only about 6 inches off the ground. I don’t know how they ever went anywhere in it. Once we got it home, we realized that we were going to be in trouble if we ever went over a speed bump!
I know what you’re thinking. “Game over. You can’t camp in this thing! You can’t even pull it without knocking all the plumbing out from under the camper!” That is where you’re wrong.
He did a little research and came up with a creative solution. We’ll just get the camper lifted! You know how some guys get their trucks lifted so they look taller and beefier? That’s what I’m talking about. We did that to our 1970s camper.
Timothy found a place not too far from where we lived who would do it. The idea was that they would flip the springs over so that they would be connected to the top side of the axle instead of the bottom side. That would give us at least four extra inches of clearance. So, we pulled her over to the place and left her for her lift.
They probably thought we were the craziest people they had ever seen. Who gets a pink 1970s camper lifted? Who even WANTS a 1970s camper? Especially a pink one! All I can say is, they were getting paid so they didn’t really care what they were doing.
After we got her lifted, we were good to go. We took her to the lake one weekend for a nice trip. We felt like pioneers. This was going to be great. We had left the city and our 1/6th of an acre behind to get some fresh air.
Pulling her down there was not fun. We quickly discovered that since she only had one axle and she weighed as much as 16 elephants, she made Timothy’s truck bounce all the way down the interstate. Picture it with me. There we were doing about 50 mph in the slow lane in Timothy’s single cab truck with this old, pink camper beating us up the whole way. “We’ll just get weight distribution bars. No big deal,” he said.
We got to the campground and got her parked. It was fantastic. The camper looked so cute…after dark. We went for a walk at dusk and admired how much better our camper was than everyone else’s. Theirs were
modern with all the bells and whistles so bland and conformist. They all lacked personality. It was like being in one of those new neighborhoods where the builder only used 5 house plans to build 100 houses. It’s just the same houses over and over. That’s what it seemed like at the campground. Ours was like that cute little craftsman house with charm and personality. We walked back to our little jewel in our dreamy state… then the crying started.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that I can handle just about anything during the day but once night falls, I need some decent accommodations. I need a shower, a clean bed, and a decent place to sit. Call me high maintenance. I don’t care. I have standards.
It was hot, humid and I just wanted a shower. I thought I could handle it, but I just couldn’t. I could NOT make myself shower with the toilet. So, there I was, standing in the camper crying my eyes out. Timothy had a look of terror on his face (the same look he gets every time I cry because he has absolutely NO idea what to do). He was saying, “It’s ok! We’ll go to the shower house in the morning! Just wipe down with a rag for now!”
So, why did we buy this little gem, you ask? Because we had just paid off our first house at warp speed and we were saving for our next step which was a little better house in a little better neighborhood.
We were living on 1/6th of an acre between a lady who laid out in the front yard to get a tan (when she really shouldn’t have..if you know what I mean) and a guy who must have had ESP because he yelled over the fence at us EVERY. TIME. WE. WALKED. OUT. BACK.
We needed some fresh air. We needed to see some trees.
And it was cheap.
We took it out about three times then found some
sucker guy who wanted to buy it to take to the deer woods. It was perfect for the deer woods.
We learned something that summer.
1- Never buy a camper in the dark.
2- Sometimes cheap isn’t always best. Sometimes it’s better to just not have it at all.
We didn’t want to spend much money because we had a goal in mind for our future. We were saving to buy house #2 with cash.
So, we would probably have been better off to just rent a little cabin a couple of times that summer instead of dealing with that headache. (Timothy used to go outside in the rain to see where water was leaking into the camper. I don’t know how many times I looked outside and saw only his legs sticking out from under the tarp that was covering the camper because he was checking to make sure nothing had gone wrong.)
Or would we have been better off? We do have tons of memories and a whole lot of laughs…now.
It wasn’t that funny then…
Ha! All the best,