Back-in or a Pull-Thru?

Your heart begins to beat a little faster….small beads of sweat trickle down your face…a light headache begins in the back of your head and moves its way towards what feels like a migraine…you notice you’re gripping the steering wheel with a firmer grip….you begin wondering if this time will be the “big fight” between you and your spouse! What’s all the anxiety about???? It’s the ten minutes before you get to the campground (or the place where you store your camper)…it’s time to back in the camper.   😦


If you are like me, then patience is not a word in your vocabulary. Camping is supposed to be about rest and relaxation, but the thought of having to back in the camper triggers anxiety for me almost as badly as public speaking. Why can it be so damn difficult to back in a camper, especially a pop-up? Just when I think I have the technique down, the camper jackknifes and I am ready to blow another gasket! I am sure my neighbors get a big kick out of watching me back the pop-up into the garage. There have been a few times when I had to drive out and pull back in ten times before I finally get the camper inside. But this weekend I found out it’s not just me. We spent Memorial Day weekend at Camp Toodik in the Mohican region of Ohio. We loved the campground, however, the road our site was on was incredibly tight. Amy and I watched campers with rigs ranging from small pop-ups to 5th-wheelers try to squeeze into their sites. I knew the look on their faces all too well.  The frustration of backing in! Although I hated to smile, it was SO good to know it’s not just me 😉

It all boils down to this question: Is it worth the stress?  I love back-in spots because you usually have trees/vegetation behind you – which offers more privacy and more sense of nature. On the other hand, I could roll up to the pull-thru and have the entire pop up and campsite set up in less time than it would take to back the camper in. Ok, that’s an exaggeration but I think you get my point. When Amy and I visited Nashville we stayed at a Jellystone campground which mainly consisted of pull-thrus, so we tried one.  It was convenient but I would have preferred the seclusion of a back-in. Nine times out of ten we choose a back-in spot when we camp. I guess for now I will keep practicing the art of backing in the camper and dealing with the stress. Maybe some day I will master it. Or maybe I will learn to like pull-thrus. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Top Ten Reasons We Love Winter Camping

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We bought our first pop-up camper in December and couldn’t wait to try it out – so we didn’t wait!  We found some campgrounds  that were open year-round and spent the winter camping.  After several trips winter camping, however, we anxiously awaited the arrival of warmer spring weather.  We have camped several times this spring already, and while we love seeing the birds and flowers, and having access to shower houses often closed in the winter, there are some distinct things we miss about the winter:

10.  Wildlife is easier to see through bare trees.

9.  The campfire is more than just something pretty to look at…it’s warm!

8.  Solitude – no one else is crazy enough to be there, so you get your pick of campsites.

7.  No crying children. (Unless they are your own, in which case, no one is there to complain)

6. You burn more calories hiking in the cold.

5.  It provides a good excuse to go shopping for “winter gear”.

4.  If you happen to be lost, it is easy to retrace your footprints in the snow.

3.  Icicles make excellent weapons to ward off coyotes and bears.  (We have not tested this theory, but it seems   plausible)

2.  Snuggling is mandatory!  🙂

And the number one reason we love winter camping…