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Sailing the States With a Truck Camper

Mark: It’s versatile.  I can stay in either the camper or the sailboat.  We’ll get to a state park and unload the camper at the campsite.  In the camper we have electric and water and can stay on the lake.  We’re normally setup so that we’re looking out the window across the lake.

Then we’ll put the boat in the water, and bring the boat around and anchor it near the campsite.  We can go out for a night or two in the sailboat, or bring it back and anchor it and stay in the camper.  If we have the kids or friends with us, the kids can sleep in the boat and we stay in the camper.

It wouldn’t take much to have correctly guessed that my wife and I are retired, well, semi-retired.  That’s afforded us the time over the past year to camp and sail Florida’s Atlantic side and the panhandle region.  We’ve also made several visits to a nearby Lake Kerr and several of its eight surrounding state parks.

Most recently we took the camper to a weeklong family reunion in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains.  I think we were more comfortable than the folks staying in the rental cottages.

sailing-boo-on-leash

Above: Boo out for a walk at Little Talbot State Park, Florida

TCM: Tell us about your cat, Boo.  Does she like to travel?

Mark: Yes, she does.  From the time she was a kitten, Boo has traveled with us.  Boo prefers to be with us and hangs out with people all the time.  She likes to be within ear shot of us.

Camping wise, she prefers to stay in the camper.  We can leave the door open and she’ll stay in.  If she’s out of the camper, she’s on the leash because I don’t know if something will scare her off.  She has her litter box and food in the camper, so she’s happy.  If we go somewhere, walking or driving, we’ll take her with us.

TCM: Our cat, Harley goes truck camping too, but we’ve never been able to walk him on a leash.  Let’s just say he’s a real drag.  What’s the trick?

Mark: The trick to getting Boo to walk on a leash is that we had her wear the harness around the house all the time.  It was an annoyance to her at first, but after a week or two she was used to it.  I wasn’t trying to take her for a walk when we were at a campground.  She’d take us for a walk, on the leash, in the campsite.  Now, she’ll do a mile hike with us; yowling and complaining about it the whole time.

sailing-Cindy-in-car

Above: Cindy trying on a vintage Porsche as they cross the St. John’s river by ferry

TCM: That’s hysterical.  I saw the picture of Cindy in the car.  How is that related to truck camping?

Mark: When we heading to Little Talbott Island we put the truck, camper, and boat on ferry across the St. John’s River.  When we got there, there was a parking lot to get on the ferry with all these sports cars.  They have an annual race at the navy base in Mayport, Florida.  We were on ferry boat with all these race cars.

The one Cindy is in is a three million dollar car.  These folks go to the rally once a year.  Cindy has never met a stranger, so she was going around talking with folks and getting invited to check out their cars.  They were interested in our truck camper rig, too.

You never know where you are going to run into your next friends on the road.  A truck camper seems to attract friends.  The people we’ve shown that picture to tell us we were lucky because it was a great car.

sailing-manatee

Above: Manatees love fresh water and often come by while they’re washing the boat

TCM: What about the manatee?  You saw that while truck camping?

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