This past weekend, we took our camper our for the first time. It’s May and we are doing this for the first time! It been cold and rainy and windy for weeks, but this past weekend, we had plans!


I know, we had plans. We signed up for a 5K trail run in the state forest area where we were going to camp so it seemed like a perfect fit. So we watched a TON of YouTube videos about demineralizing your camper, cleaning out the gray water tank, black water tank, and disinfecting the freshwater tank (yes, they all hold what you might guess they hold). We raced home Friday afternoon, loaded up, and away we went.

Now this camper is about 22 feet long, and with a full tank of water, feels like an animal trailer feels full of Brown Swiss. My wife noticed quickly and was worried. For me, it took a little bit, but it was like riding a bike. You get the feel for the way the trailer moves, sways, and try to drive in a way that makes that motion worse.

So we get to the campground, find a site, and then realize: we have no cell service.


No, this is a good thing. That day was a dumpster fire of a day. My sixth graders and their behaviors have been ramping up with the end of the school year closing in. They’ve been a bit obnoxious, so I was ready for a break. No cell service means no one can reach me. No parent can reach me. No one.

Do you know how freeing that is?? I used my phone as a camera, a timer, but not as a phone or social media device. I read almost a whole book. We made s’mores and watched our campfire. We ran our race and didn’t make a spectacular time because this was a “challenging course”. Ya think?? My Fitbit said we moved up 2000 feet from lowest to highest elevation! Yikes! So no, no personal bests were set, but that was ok. It was a beautiful day. Cold (34 degrees at the start of the race) but it warmed up nicely.

We found that our camper’s battery was pretty well shot because our heater didn’t run (brrr) so we got a new one. We will need to figure out where to get a heating element for the hot water heater and which fuse will give us power to our outlets. Otherwise, It was nice to have a place to go with a hardtop on it. We fell in love with that idea when we went to Boston in my parents’ camper last year.

It was a good first run, and now, I’m so excited about the “what if” part of this thing. We could easily live in it for weeks at a time. We’ve talked about Lake Superior, our old stomping grounds in Missouri, going to western Iowa to the Loess Hills, and even traveling to Door County.

This thing could support a mobile office, so then the world really opens up. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Right now, the two days without service tell us how much this could help our mindsets.

And as teachers, we need all the help we can get! 🙂