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The Case of the Purloined (camping) Playmate

A couple posts ago I was celebrating having camping playmates who actually mountain bike. That's the first time I've been that lucky in 16 years of full time RVing. And they could even dispersed camp!

Sigh. The gods punish men who look too happy, lest they get cocky. My playmates have been lured over to the emoluments of an RV park. So goeth the Way of all Flesh. (Or at least married flesh.)

And what is the big attraction? Showers. Bottomless hot water tanks for taking a shower. At least I have the satisfaction on this pulpit of rejecting the extremism of both the False Prophets of the Desert (aka, the Ascetics), as well as the mainstream Sybarites. Few things are more sensible than a navy-style shower with hot water.  Effective and non-wasteful. One gallon is enough. It is helpful to visualize a simple graph of Benefits versus Gallons.

Remember that one of the quiet, but profound, satisfactions of RV camping is the daily discipline of looking at what you consume, and asking yourself whether you are at the point of Diminishing Returns. Don't think for a moment that a Man of Reason simply adds the vices of the Ascetics to those of the Sybarites, and then divides by 2.


Wayne (Wirs) said…
Good points about finding the balance of needs and wants and ideology. Though I bought a new van for the reliability, warranty, technological benefits and known maintenance history, I've outfitted it quite utilitarian---it's got what I need (a place to live), does what I want (provides freedom), but without the idealism (trying to prove some point).

Finding that balance is tricky though, and since you're much more RV-oriented than I, I'd love to see some more concrete examples rather than the philosophical/historical examples (though I did enjoy the sitting-on-the-pillar saint link).
If a "branch" doesn't bend, it will eventually snap in two. Part of the price of RV relationships is to be reasonably flexible...occasionally even to the point of inconvenience, but stopping short of discomfort. Of course you know this.
Your Sybarite,
Mark :))
edlfrey said…
It must be a day for hot water discussion. On another blog I read a Comment from a reader that had bought an older Class A a year ago and is now almost ready to move into it and start 'adventuring'. Based on his RV experience this is what he said in Reply to a Commenter that had just bought a RV.
"But the first thing I did and I would suggest to anyone is to get rid of the tank type hot water heater that is in it and replace it with a tankless water heater. Tanks run out of hot water almost immediately and run 24/7 heating that small tank."
I found it TOOOO Funny!
Boonie, how can you possibly live the life that you do without a tankless water heater?
Boonie, there you go, just as I thought, You get into those big Class Cs and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. Before you know it, you're all luxuried out and living the life of Riley, thinking you need stuff you don't (like hot showers) and all sorts of stuff most of would never consider (like those big boxes of Starbuck's hot chocolate off Amazon). It's all downhill from there...

But in Mark's defense, those fancy trailers can have the same effect on people if they're not careful. Best to keep it simple, like with a cargo trailer. :)
John V said…
You would probably consider us less worthy because we have a 31' 5th wheel with a TV, hot water on demand, microwave, etc. The rig is our only "house". But we also have loads of solar panels (we haven't plugged in since June 2nd) and batteries, a generator and huge holding tanks, so we can boondock in the middle of nowhere for more than a month at a time (before we have to hook up and dump that pesky black tank). We could join you for long hikes with the dogs (we haven't decided to go the mountain bike route yet) and interesting fireside chats, but we're also not going to give up watching football on Sundays! :-)
No, I wouldn't consider you "less worthy," John V. You would fit right in, with our little group. As Mark was referring to, we are not trying to be clones of each other. We are just trying to unite around the theme of 20--50 percent overlap on outdoor activities that require some sort of physical exercise. And we're aren't even a pure boondocking group.
Ed, I agree that water heater tanks are worthless space and energy-suckers. I got rid of mine years ago. I heat a gallon of water on the propane stove. Then I transfer it to a mini-reservoir connected to the water pump. After flushing the cold water out of the tubing, hot water then comes out at the perfect temperature.
Stuff you don't need, like hot showers? I don't care whether I need it or not. I love hot showers. An RV camper isn't supposed to pat himself on the back for taking pleasures out of life.
Sondra said…
Since i broke both arms a month ago a shower is hard to come by...I cant turn the knobs..cant get my casts wet etc. A sponge on a long plastic handle is my new best friend. Then I got the shower long as some one helps with the knobs I can shower and enjoy it greatly. When backpacking squeezing a warm water soaked sponge over my head was just as fine as a 10 gallon shower. It depends on how dirty you are I guess!
Wayne, It's clear to me that you did an excellent job of choosing a practical and versatile rig (Nissan NV cargo van, then converting it).

he trouble with concrete examples is that they might apply to me but not to somebody else who has a different camping style, rig, marital status, dogfulness, budget, etc.
Jim and Gayle said…
I'm sorry, but anyone that wears spandex cycling attire simply isn't permitted to have an opinion on this. Don't misunderstand, back in the day I wore them as well and will again. But to coin a term you should be out there wearing hairshorts. That is after the self flagellation and waking up from a nice nights sleep on the Tempur-pedic bed of nails.