Outdoor Connection

How one hard core RVer copes with camping withdrawal in the off-season

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter January Outdoor Living Newsletter
Steve Bowman sits in his garage, next to his trailer, grilling
Steve Bowman barbecues indoors next to his trailer, to cure his camping withdrawal

Here in Ohio, all state campgrounds essentially close down November 1. No reservations can be made on-line until April 1. So, what is a camper to do in the off-season? Well, some state parks will still allow you to camp, but it is hit or miss if you can get in and if you will be able to hook up to any of the utilities. You should check with the park ahead of time before making plans.

I usually halt my camping excursions at the end of October. It's not that I want to, but I don't have the time to make special provisions for what I would consider "off-season" camping. For those that do, my hat is off to you. Speaking from an Ohioan's perspective, our weather can change drastically from week to week, so I call it quits by the end of October.

So, what now? What do we do from November through end of March? Personally, I spend November preparing my "home away from home" for its winter hibernation. I give it one final wash, complete tank flushes and, of course, winterize the water lines. Once my camper is stored away in the barn, I can do a few things that I usually don't have time to do during camping season. I inspect and caulk the roof, wax the exterior, grease the stabilizers and more. My wife affectionately refers to this process as "petting the camper." In the winter, I seem to spend a lot of time in the barn, dreaming up things that need to be done to our camper before we dare to go camping again.

After the holidays, the real withdrawal sets in. What to do on the weekends? I have found a few things that keep us going, such as researching on-line campgrounds we want to visit in the coming year and preparing a camping itinerary. Another substitution for the addiction is attending camper/RV shows usually held in February here in Ohio. Even though I have no plans to buy a new camper, I want to see what the latest RV models have to offer. I also spend time re-reading all of my RV magazines five times just so that I don't miss something.

One thing is for sure: once April rolls around, we are ready to head out to our favorite campsite again and begin the peaceful joy of camping. Even if it's only for the weekend, it's our time to get away from each week's challenges and reset our minds.

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1 comment(s) so far...

I can understand why Steve Bowman is frustrated. I do hope he is not really going to BBQ inside the barn, that CO can kill a guy quick.
Sorry he cannot bring his other home down here to San Antonio, Temp is in the 70's and the birds are singing and fish are being helpful by jumping on to the shore. Well ok maybe that is a LITTLE bit of a tall tale.

But every thing else is true here in San Antonio in the winter.


By Alamo River RV Resort on 1/15/2012 8:06:35 AM
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