I don't know what came over me. A bunch of YMC Bloggers were invited to test out RVing with their families. Candace Derickx owns an RV and travels around North America in hers. Eileen Fisher loved the RV experience so much, she's buying one. Gav Martell posted a bunch of easy recipes perfect for an RV. Sharon DeVellis' family has been counting the days until they go off to live in their rented RV. Joe Boughner is travelling 3,800 his toddler and wife in his RV, headed to a family reunion. I guess I just wanted to be part of the gang, so I asked if I too could experience the joys of RVing.
When the folks at Go RVing Canada said yes, I freaked out. Not in a good way at first. I do not like camping. Or as my Tshirt says: I love not camping. But RVing is supposed to be very different from camping. I started to get excited! So we packed our bags and the Ehm clan headed to Hamilton to pick up our 24-foot RV.
Let's get something straight. I didn't drive. My husband was comfortable getting behind the wheel of our SunSeeker. I was better as lead navigator and coffee drinker. The kids were locked into their seat belts at the kitchen table, the fridge and cupboards were filled with a variety of snacks to keep them busy on the drive to Mariposa in Orillia.
What we expected and what we experienced ended up being quite different. We expected to live in our luxurious RV, complete with air conditioning, hot showers, gas stove, flat screen TV and other amenities of home. Instead, we ended up parking in the RV area at Mariposa—aka a field not at all equipped with power. You know what that means? No electricity!! Ack! The saving grace was that the RV comes with a powerful generator which can run for hours without being plugged in. The problem was that the generator makes a bit of noise, and our music-loving, festival-going hippy neighbours wanted peace and quiet. Which I totally get.
But I'm a city slicker, hi-tech mom who NEEDS to charge her phone, camera, and iPad. Air conditioning would have been nice too. Not to mention my Tassimo coffee maker, a necessity we brought along. What? Alas, things didn't work out so well on the electricity front.
Luckily I found a really nice guy selling homemade popsicles at Mariposa who let me plug into his extension cord and power up all my tech toys.
Aside from not being able to really use all the electrical amenities of the RV, the camping part of it was definitely fun.
And the kids had a blast. We were on hippy time. My son slept on the bed which ingeniously transforms into the kitchen table, while my daughter and niece slept together on the upper loft just above the driver's seat. My husband and I slept in the "suite" at the back of the RV, right beside the bathroom with a working toilet, sink and shower.*
I fell asleep to the sounds of a field of nearby bull frogs croaking mixed in with Randy Bachman's late night set from the main stage and woke up to a cacophony of birds tweeting.
*Note to self, be sure to flick on the heater before taking a shower next time. Man, that was cold!
It was awesome to have a bunch of finger foods and ice cold drinks available whenever we wanted (the fridge runs on propane when it's not plugged in so we were good there!). We loved chatting with our hippy neighbours, especially the man who carved these gorgeous snake walking sticks by hand as a hobby.
As for Mariposa, it is the ultimate family weekend.
There is amazing eclectic music, a ton of kid friendly activities, vendors selling delicious food and a big, noisy beer tent.
This year the musical highlights for me were seeing Bahamas live and watching Family of the Year perform their hit "Hero." I also discovered the Kruger Brothers, a three-piece bluegrass band from Europe who played an amazing combination of bluegrass meets classical picking. They were incredibly gifted players.
Are you wondering if I will take an RV to Mariposa next year? The answer is absolutely not. I've learned my lesson. The next time I hit the road in a BIGGER luxury RV than the SunSeeker, I'm finding a high-end RV camp site like Candace Derickx goes to so I can plug in, have endless running water, a hot shower, and a freshly brewed coffee in the morning. I'm all about convenience. Next time I'm doing it right!