Camping-1My wife and I have been camping and RVing most of our adult lives. From makeshift shelters, to tents of various descriptions, to truck campers, to travel trailers, to motor homes, we’ve done them all at one time or another.

Now, in what is absurdly called “The Golden Years,” we’ve downsized to a more economical conveyance – a 16 foot, 27 year old, no-frills, rickety bumper-pull trailer which MVD should have condemned years ago. Luckily, the salvage paperwork must have gotten lost in the bureaucracy.

In late February and early March, we were holed-up in our regular environs in Rocky Point – Playa Bonita RV Park. Unbeknownst to us, we rolled into town during a recreational vehicle rally. Apparently, Playa Bonita was selected for the site of the enclave. As a result, the park was nearly full of big-dollar motor homes and available rental spaces were scarce.

But since our little casita is only about a third the size of most of the multi-wheeled palaces, park management found an adequate spot for us – carefully sandwiched between two larger trailers and a street-side garbage container.

Camping-2As it turned out, not a bad location. The other trailers helped to block the wind and the trash receptacle was conveniently situated a few steps away. Not exactly Five Star amenities, but good enough for who it’s for.

As seasoned campers know, comfort and convenience is just a difference of dollars and cents.

After scrambling and scrimping for several decades, I’ve developed an appreciation and respect for prosperity. I think anyone who works, saves and invests their money in hopes of bettering themselves is entitled to enjoy the fruits of their labors. If, after punching the clock for the final shift, they choose to purchase expensive toys, that’s their business. Conversely, if less pricey baubles are more to their liking, that’s alright, too.

So, when we discovered our pint-sized, aluminum sided, single axle cottage-on-Firestones was surrounded by huge diesel powered mansions costing hundreds of thousands of dollars – maybe as much as a million – the fruits of our labors seemed woefully inadequate in comparison to some of the more bountiful harvests.

Listening to many RV owner’s discussions over the years, most punctuated with boasts of favorite engines types, number of slide-outs, specific kinds of automatic satellite locating antennas and other obligatory extras, it quickly became obvious size and price matters in such circles. The rationale being, I suppose, that why endure the hardships of traveling in a slightly updated covered wagon when 21st century luxury and technology is available for only a few million pesos more?

Unless, of course, size and price doesn’t matter. In our case, it doesn’t matter since the chances of obtaining one of these jeweled boxes is only slightly less than the odds of us inheriting South Fork from the Ewings.

However, one of the benefits of camping in a 16 footer, circled by fancy coaches emblazoned with impressive names like Marathon, Safari and Prevost, is that when you’re not actually hanging-out in front of your compact abode, flipping burgers or crushing beverage cans, no one else knows the contraption is yours.

On the downside, sneaking home under the cover of darkness is a necessary requisite in maintaining the ruse.

Still, not being overly concerned with keeping up with the Jones, we derive a somewhat twisted sense of accomplishment realizing we can easily associate with the high-rolling RV crowd while at the same time covertly sustaining our true identity — as long as we’re careful not to be seen coming and going from our old, discolored mobile shack on the beach.

Anonymity has a price, also!