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Adventures In Alternative Camping
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Adventures In Alternative Camping

Many of us have thought about how great it would be to be one of those families we’re passing by out on the freeway that are towing some big ‘ol beautiful trailer. Or, maybe we’ve passed some nice looking RV rig with the family spaciously sprawled throughout. Today we’re going to take a look at some alternative camping equipment that can make a camping experience extremely easy to set up and enjoy.

First Things First

One of the first things that we’ll want to do is find the areas that will satisfy our goals and desires for a great place to camp. What are your requirements? Do you prefer the mountains, the desert or the ocean? Do you have children to consider? Do you require nice hiking trails or prefer more rugged terrain such as the John Muir Trail? Or do you need some paved areas for riding bikes? Each and every one of us are different in what constitutes great camping trips but we do have to start somewhere and discussing with the family their desires and coming up with a general consensus is a great place to start.

Camping Vehicles Rental

When my sweetheart and I first started camping, one could rent anything from a tent trailer to a motor home. Before we bought our first pop-up tent trailer, we almost rented one from an outfit in Ontario, Ca. At that time there were several dealerships that would rent trailers out. However when we did a little window shopping, we quickly decided that a tent trailer would be a great way to start camping and we simply went ahead and bought an inexpensive unit. Even now, there are many, many options for those who would like to rent a unit and tow or drive it to a camping area that meets their criteria.

Private RV Rentals

Back in the 80’s and 90’s one of the hottest tickets around was Lease Backs. An RV company would sell you an RV and then park the unit on a lot and lease it out to campers and RV’ers. Then you as an owner would simply put in a request for the time slots that you would want to use your equipment and they would make it available to you, within reason!

Using this type of sale and then leaseback, this was supposed to make buying RV’s much more affordable and doable for the average income family. There are still remnants of these business models around for experimental, beginning level campers and RV’ers to take advantage of along their journey into the world of camping.

The Major Rental Players

Today there are some major RV rental companies that have taken the previous concept and modified it to the extent of eliminating any buying and selling and just sticking to the Rental business model. Out here on the West Coast, one of the majors, if not the major is El Monte RV Rentals. One can see these RVs during the summer from the Californian southern tip of San Diego to the northern most point of the state, Mt. Shasta.

The norm for this business model is the usage of a C Class coach. We used to simply call them the cab-over models. They normally come complete with fresh water storage, gray water storage and black water/sewer storage. They have a bathroom with a shower, a kitchen, a generator for dry camping, and some varying amenities depending on the rental company. They also supply water hoses, sewer hoses and electrical hookups.

I believe that you must supply the cooking utensils, bedding, towels and eating utensils. You’ll also want to pack your outside chairs, mats and camping stove if you use one. Again, check carefully with your rental representative for exactly what you need to bring.

Another Great Alternative

As you’ve noticed in previous articles and posts, we spend most of our actual time camping in the mountains and specifically in the Eastern Sierras. This is where we came across two companies that will spot a trailer for you to camp in most places that you would like them to.

The normal procedure is for you to call and make reservations at a campground of your choice and then call and give them the specific information. Around 9am the day that you are to arrive, they will come out and spot the trailer in your campsite. They will level it, turn on the water heater and fridge and have it ready for you when you arrive.

Again, I believe that you bring your bedding, cooking utensils, food, eating utensils, towels, etc. When you do call them and reserve a trailer, they are very good at explaining exactly what you do and don’t need to bring. Both of the companies that we are familiar with are exceptional and are very customer oriented. If your stay is more than a few days, they will come out and refill your water and pump out your waste tanks if need be. They’ll also replace your batteries if they start to get low. Specific information on these companies is available if you’ll leave me a comment requesting it.

Cabin Camping in California

More and more campgrounds are building small cabins that allow you to simply call and make a reservation and then enjoy the comforts of a nice little cabin in the woods. We have seen these available from Dos Picos in San Diego County, to Rock Creek, to Mono Village to the Big Sur.

Much like renting an RV, you would more than likely need to bring your bedding, cooking utensils, eating utensils, etc., etc. We have seen everything from canvas and wood enclosures to fully equipped log cabins with nice restrooms and full kitchens. Now days many of the newer units that we are seeing are prefab modular homes and are insulated quite nicely for use all year around. There truly is something for everybody.

What Suits Your Purpose

In our younger days my wife and I spent many camping vacations sleeping on the ground in sleeping bags and in tents. As we grew older things changed and it became more and more difficult to sleep all night in this mode. By the time we restarted the camping adventure together, we knew that we would have to be off of the ground and on some type of comfortable mattress-like bedding.

But each of us must make that determination and then plan our camping experience accordingly. Tent camping requires that you have a vehicle that all of your equipment fits into, including food, clothing and bedding. The majority of tent trailers are very similar to tent camping in regards to the fact that most tent trailers really don’t have that much storage area in them.

Our hybrid trailer was a lot better and had quite a bit of storage area in it to where packing for a decent length trip wouldn’t take too long or require too much effort. Now that we have our Salem travel trailer it’s just about the perfect mix and packing doesn’t seem to even be to the extent of difficulty that our hybrid was.

But, the bottom line is: what suits your purpose? Hopefully all of the alternatives that we’ve discussed will give you some great options and show you that if you have a desire to go camping or RV’ing, you really do have some great options and capabilities.

If you have any questions, again, please just leave us a comment and ask away! Find that awesome campground today and go enjoy some camping and fishing in California this summer!


Street Talk

This is the life for me. I could enjoy it even in my seventies. Out on the open roads, see the world, great thought.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Yes indeed Elsie... we're in our Sixties now and have a 26 foot travel trailer. We really enjoy mountains and trout streams but will hit a beach occasionally. One of my best fishing buddies pulls a trailer quite a bit larger than ours and he's in his early 80's. Other friends of ours are in the 60's and 70's and have motor homes that they pull cars behind. Cruises and such are nice but camping and fishing... well, it's a whole other wonderful world, and... it may just be calling your name!!! (-;

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Kymee  

This is a great write up for those newbies hope many will stop by and then go camping Love to camp ;O) Kymee

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you Kymee, I sure hope so. It's such an awesome way to spend a vacation and there really are a lot of options if one doesn't own a recreational vehicle yet... so many incredible sights to be seen and experienced! And... there's plenty of room for all of us!!! Thanks again, Kymee!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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