I have to point out that we’re not new to this camping lark. We’ve done it before, in a two-man hiking tent, in a dome tent, in the back of a bakkie, in a caravan, in Namibia, Botswana, the Richtersveld, without any facilities but what we brought with us – including water, firewood, shower and toilet spade – you name it. But we decided that after all this time we deserved a little luxury camping and so we splashed out on the trailer.
Let’s just say upfront that when I see phrases like ‘solid beam axle and leaf springs’ or ‘hot-dipped galvanised chassis beams’, my eyes glaze over. But when I saw this particular trailer’s slide-out kitchen with wash-up basin, two-plate gas cooker, sliding fridge rail and ample packing space, not to mention hot and cold water spigots, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. This was going to be the best of both worlds: camping in the boondocks with a few home comforts to boot.
The clincher was a little phrase boasting: ‘under two-minute set-up time for tent’. Yes! More time to relax, read a book, watch the sun set. This was my kind of trailer.
So why are we so pooped right now?
Well, I think we’ve been hoodwinked. Two minutes is more like two hours, mate.
It took us just over an hour to erect the tent and batten it down with tent pegs. Then it took us another hour and a half to put up the canopy flysheet thingamajig.
On paper, I was very taken with this piece of kit because I’ve always wanted a house with a Karoo-style wraparound porch and here it is. Once it’s up, it also gives us an area that’s almost half the size of our little bricks-and-mortar house, so that’s pretty cool too.
What we didn’t know until today is that you need to be at least eight foot tall and have a degree in engineering to work out how to erect the bloody thing. And it comes with no instructions.
Hubby isn’t a stupid man. In fact, he’s a very practical one who thinks finding solutions to puzzles of this nature is actually fun. But even standing on the highest point of the trailer he can get to once the tent is erected he’s not tall enough to do what needs to be done. (Note to self: bring a goddamn ladder next time.)
‘Oh just roll the canopy out over the tent and then flap it down on either side,’ someone at the 4x4 store had told him offhandedly. Yeah, right. Not so easy rolling something that weighs ten tons when your arms are already stretched to the tips of your little fingers. And it doesn’t just ‘flap’ anywhere; it needs a ruddy forklift to move it.
In my next post I’ll tell you why it’s all worth the effort and I’ll introduce you to a Tankwa tornado …
More about Tankwa
Time to contemplate time in Tankwa
... But it's worth it
Copyright © Roxanne Reid - No words or photographs on this site may be used without permission from roxannereid.co.za