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campers and boats and storms, oh my!

June 18, 2010 - Steve Schulwitz

It was a tough choice. It was a decision that my girlfriend Andrea, her two daughters and I have been wrestling with for a few months. Do we buy a boat or a camper this summer ? After a long night huddled in a tent during a string of severe thunderstorms that hit us with everything Mother Nature could muster and before the final crack of thunder echoed away in the distance, it was pretty clear what we were going to invest in.

Now understand I am more than willing to continue sleeping in our tent. As a matter of fact I have never spent a single night in a camper while camping, not one. But after seeing the looks of concern on the faces of those two frightened little girls, and having to check the local radar on my iPhone every five minutes to see if there were any tornado warnings, I decided I would give it a shot.

On Monday I decided to stop by Sports Unlimited in Alpena to get a gauge on what a quality, used camper would cost, as well as to see what sort of features they are equipped with. We had decided to get a pop-up camper because it would be light enough to pull behind our mini-van and would have less room for the kids to make messes. There were a pair of campers that appeared to fit the bill parked in the lot, reaching out from both ends, as if they were beckoning me. I got out to explore and compare each and soon the salesman came to assist me.

The first one I entered ended up being the one we purchased, but let me tell you, when I first walked in I was appalled. There was a king size bed to my right and a queen size on the opposite side. This was a far cry from the half inflated air mattress we normally tossed and turned on. There was also a wraparound seating area with a table and a restaurant style booth section to go with the stove, sink and refrigerator. How would I ever be able to âcampã in something so cozy? As soon as I saw the outlets I knew I had found answer.

It was then I realized that I could plug in a television to watch the Tigers and maybe play a little Rock Band. I would also have a place to charge my phone (that may have been the biggest selling point). I was cured and the next day we completed the sale. We have yet to take it out camping, because of all paperwork involved with licensing and transferring the title, but Andrea and the kids are charged up about doing so. To the point to that there will probably be a few nights of camping in the back yard until our schedules allow us to christen it on a proper campsite. To be honest I was leaning toward a boat. We live a whole four blocks from the harbor in Rogers City and it would more than likely get used more. It is going to have wait until a deal that is too good to pass up comes along, or we experience a thunder storm while we are fishing.


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