I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat of a camping purist; tent on the ground, wind in the trees, strange animals snuffling around the campsite. Then a multi-day hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail introduced me to the wonders of hammock tent camping, which I still consider to be the best option for long distance hiking. Although extremely comfortable, I would often lie awake thinking about what a conveniently placed h’ordeurve I’d be for any bear wandering into camp.
Most of my camping adventures would take place in late fall or early spring during the cooler months, as the heat and humidity of Florida is not conducive to tent camping of any sort. I’d never considered a camper or RV because, quite frankly, I knew they were out of my price range, particularly one light enough that my vehicle could pull. Then I stumbled across teardrop campers. These small minimalist campers are lightweight and affordable for most people, however I still felt that parting with $6,000+ was not for me. Then I discovered Runaway Campers with models starting under $3,000. Could it be?
I contacted Stephen Shives, the owner of Runaway Campers, and inquired about purchasing one of his campers with a couple of modifications. Stephen was friendly, professional and accommodating and before long my camper was on the build schedule. When I contacted Stephen, business was booming and there was a small backlog on orders, but his crew still managed to get my camper constructed in just a few weeks even while the business was relocating to a larger facility.
On June 14th I drove down to Ocala, Fl, the home of Runaway Campers, and picked up my micro-camper and I couldn’t have been more pleased with it. It was sturdy and very well constructed. Marvin, Stephen’s brother, took the time to show me how everything worked and he gave me a few pointers for towing since I had never done it before. Soon, with paperwork in hand, I was back on the road and headed back to northwest Florida.
When I got home, I briefly fretted about trying to to back it into the driveway with traffic whizzing past the house, and then I remembered that the camper was lightweight (less than 700 lbs) and easily maneuverable. I unhooked the camper, dropped the front wheel and pushed it up the driveway where I then chocked the wheels and locked it down. Done! Next I pulled out the extension cord and plugged her in just so I could make sure everything was still in working order. No problems found.
I plan on taking Teeter-tot (everyone names their camper!) out soon, but my schedule has gotten hectic. I may let one of my friends borrow it and test it out for me. Everyone that has seen it has commented on it and they’ve all loved what they’ve seen, especially the low price. The camper has two locking doors (one was a custom add-on), air conditioner, floor to ceiling carpet, two sliding windows, rooftop ventilation, quick-drop leveling jack, utility box and fold-away tongue jack. If you think a Runaway Camper might be right for your needs, contact Steve at 352-454-6522 or visit their website and please tell them that Beverly Hill at NWFLOA sent you.