I just got back from a quick two day camping trip with family and friends. It was not what some might call true camping, but more of a car camping style. Yes, we had our tents and sleeping bags. However, we drove into a large campground and we brought air mattresses, pillows, extra clothes, and perishable food. There was no need to backpack or hike into our location or to carry our own weight so it was all very comfortable and easy. The friends that met us there had it even easier. They used a pop-up tent trailer that contained real mattresses and running water. They were able to haul in a kayak and bikes in addition to sleeping soundly in the warmth provided by the enclosure. It looked awfully cozy and, though embarrassing to admit, made me want to camp in even more comfort than afforded by being able to drive into the campground itself. That is why I have gone searching and come up with some options to explore what I can do next time to make the experience feel more luxurious.
First I started with what I had just seen and have discovered there is a wide range of sizes and capacity to be found in pop-up tent trailers. Most feature one to two large size beds along with small sofas that are easily converted into another bed. .Often there is a sink and while not all have it, a hot water heater to warm the water is not uncommon. Another wonderful feature is the storage ability within these trailers is such that there can be dedicated space for food, cooking supplies, and other amenities Of course, these non-engine powered trailers are usable only in areas accessible by vehicles since they do need to be hitched up to and towed. Using them with a truck featuring strong tie downs for a load of firewood seems like a natural combination and means you can also throw extras like camping chairs and fishing gear in the bed of the truck to use on the campout. Camp setup and cleanup are also made quick since the overhead space created by sturdy tent fabric is meant to be collapsible and everything can be put inside the solid portion and taken back home for cleaning and proper storage. The pop-up tent trailer seems like a very good option for a smaller family that enjoys getting out to state parks and campgrounds, have comfortable shelter and doesn’t want to have to drive a recreational vehicle (RV) on its own or a large camper behind their truck.
It does seem that the motor powered recreational vehicle or large camper would be a good choice for those who do a lot of traveling using RV parks as campgrounds with utility hookups for hot showers, electricity, and even satellite television. Again, RVs come in a large range of sizes and can be small camper size all the way up to commercial bus size. If you and your family want to see a lot of the country and have more space to cook within the vehicle, spread out games and hobbies, and maybe sleep 8 or even 10 people then driving an RV or large camper might be something to look into. Those who are retired or taking a few years off in the workforce should consider whether to purchase one of these vehicles for themselves. You can find lots of models both new and used within that wide range of sizes and some have really been kept up well and barely broken in by previous owners. If perhaps you are considering just a few weeks of extended travel and camping time then you will also find that RVs can be rented and even the rate of rental over a month or so will save you money on hotel and restaurant bills that accumulate when traveling an extended time without a place to cook or “go home”. RV camping lots make driving in and out fairly easy and still let you have the comforts of a bed and heat while still feeling like a camping vacation.
One of the options I found to be the most interesting is the idea of camping in a yurt. This is a great choice for those who choose a campground that is able to offer a place that has more luxurious shelter than a tent can offer without having to bring it with you. A yurt is a bit like having a small cabin right on the campsite. Usually made of a strong cavas type material and in a roundish shape, yurts can vary in size and amenities just as cabins and hotels can. The yurt may be one large open room on the inside or it may be divided into smaller sections for more quiet and privacy between the beds. Yurts usually feature off-ground beds for sleeping and extra room for setting up some entertainment such as board games along with a space for meals. It seems using a yurt is very similar to using a pop-up tent when it comes to comfort and warmth with less effort required for setting up, towing, and tearing down than the tent trailer requires. Sites featuring yurt rentals tend to require reservations in advance and book up fast so plan to look for one earlier than the beginning of the season if you’d like to guarantee such a place for your next camping adventure. They also tend to run a little bit more in cost than a traditional drive-in campsite but if you don’t camp frequently then it will still be much less expensive overall than buying a trailer of any kind.
Lastly, for those times when you just really want to get away but not have the outdoors come along with you, there are hotels. Yes, I believe hotel camping is a real art form and also takes packing preparation and careful choice of where you’d like to end up visiting. However, there’s often room service and really, who doesn’t want room service sometimes? Whichever method you choose, enjoy your camping adventure!