After traveling overseas in 2013, my wife and I realized that we know parts of Europe and the Caribbean better than our own nation and state. We disliked hauling suitcases, sleeping in expensive beds every night and always having to eat out. What we needed was a cabin on wheels.
It happened so fast! In May 2014, we found a 2002 Scamp online at a fair price, and 10 minutes later we were on the road to buy it. It needed scrubbing in and out and a serious professional upgrade. We added a bike rack to the trailer, and our van can still carry our kayaks. Since then, we have traveled in Minnesota, including a month as urban tourists getting to know Minneapolis and St Paul. In summer we parked it on the lawn of our home in Buffalo, Minn., as a gazebo.
It took a while for us to become minimalists. We turned our one Scamp closet into a pantry with a microwave, and remodeled other storage and workspace. We now store extra blankets and pajamas in zippered, decorative pillows. The van that pulls the trailer also keeps reserve supplies, clothing and cooking tools out from underfoot. We continue to learn to live with less. Our wardrobe consists of jeans and casual, no-iron clothing. We do pack one simple ensemble for dressier events..
Our Scamp dinette table folds up into a snug bed, which we conveniently leave in place. We must choreograph our movements within the “cabin.” Our kitchen consists of a tiny fridge, sink, stove and counter. Our version of the 13-foot Scamp does not have a bathroom. We were surprised to find that we really don’t mind those moonlight, sometimes rainy strolls to the “facilities.” We explore, read, cook good but simple meals, bike, and find interesting restaurants now and then. We can sleep in and stay at home reading on rainy days.
Last year we attended a Scamp Rally near Taylors Falls. We were pleasantly surprised to find that many of the “Scampers” were our age, some retired professionals and all of them fascinating adventurers. What fun to see an acre of eggs, as Scamps are sometimes called. We compared camping tips and admired different floor plans.
Travel trailers and campers are free to park overnight in a Wal-Mart lot if campsites are unavailable. Generally, we can get a camp spot in a state or national park on short notice. We can travel without a preset itinerary. We have the ease of pulling up stakes without repacking suitcases, and sometimes end our day by a flowing stream in the deep woods or under an elm tree near the sound of a freeway.
David Boyer and Rosalie Darden, Buffalo