I just returned from a camping trip I shouldn’t have gone on. (Yes, this former English teacher just ended a sentence with a preposition. I’m not ashamed.) Why would I say such a thing? What happened? Was there a camping catastrophe, a glamping goof, a trailer trauma? Nope, none of those. It was just too darn hot!
This campout was at a beautiful new campground in Oklahoma called the Do Drop Inn RV Resort at Lake Texoma. It isn’t actually on the lake, but it’s close enough to provide easy access. Maybe I should have taken advantage of the lake to cool off, but I didn’t, unfortunately.
You may be unaware that little vintage trailers like mine are not insulated. The only thing between you and the great outdoors is a layer of plywood and a thin layer of metal called the skin. I guess no one thought to insulate these little trailers. Maybe it would have made it too comfortable–more like being at home than camping. I don’t know, but my little trailer heats up like a tin box in the bright summer sun.
Don’t you have air conditioning? You bet I do. The last vacation I took without air conditioning was when I was a kid on a family vacation and I had no choice. That’s the summer I brought my Donny Osmond album to play at my cousin Donna’s house and it warped before we got there. You Gen X’s and Millenials probably don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. When vinyl gets too hot, it warps or bends, making the record almost impossible to play. (Search “warped record album” images and you’ll see.)
The problem is that the little portable unit that I have nestled under my dinette table in my camper just can’t keep up when the temps go above 90 degrees. I was comfortable at night but as the day heated up it got more and more uncomfortable. The first full day of camping I went thrift shopping and returned around 4:00 pm. I tried to rest but it was so uncomfortable in my camper that I quickly dressed for dinner (Denim & Diamonds was the theme) and headed to the clubhouse two hours early to escape the heat.
Although I enjoyed getting to see my camping friends, a few I hadn’t seen for over a year, I found this entire campout less enjoyable than others. It was just too hot to sit around outside a campfire or around someone’s camper, or even out on the deck and visit. Everything had to be done inside. Of course, that is also the case when it rains, but at least I’m not sweating. I could have hung out in the pool but I would have gotten sunburned since there was no shade there at all.
So what is the solution? Not going camping in September is the simplest solution. Maybe I could get someone to take the skin off my trailer and add insulation. Or maybe I could invent a giant popup canopy to park under. Or maybe I will pull that portable a/c unit out and install a window unit in one wall. I know one thing: camping in a vintage trailer in the bright summer sun ain’t for me any more. I’d just as soon be at home in the a/c looking at all the pictures of the campout on Facebook.
What about you? Do you enjoy summer camping, or like me, do you prefer cooler weather?