For our very first adventure in Red we snuck off to the Texas Hill Country, and what an adventure (and learning experience) it was! If you are not familiar with the Hill Country it starts around the far northern portions of San Antonio to the western portions of Austin and is just beautiful. It is also home to some wonderful lakes and Texas vineyards.
The first thing we did was decide to book a camp site at one of the many state parks. We began this process about 2 weeks ahead of time and let me tell you, this is when the learning began. Our first choice campground was booked then we found our second choice booked up, and then our third. You can guess how the trend continued. Here we are with this camper all ready to go and we have no where to go! That for us has been the biggest learning curve of planning our trip. Tent camping, no problem come on in, but now we have this home on wheels we have to find a spot for. After calling dozens of public and private RV campgrounds we found a spot at Yogi Bears Jelly Stone Park in the wine country. We couldn’t help but laugh. Definitely not the trip we were imagining but we needed to test Red out somewhere, so off we went.
The drive from Dallas to Fredericksburg took us about 5 hours and we had no idea what we were getting into. Our camping trip had now turned into more of a RV park trip. But, as far as RV parks go we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at Yogi Bears Jellystone Park! Upon pulling in they were so sweet and they even gave us peach margaritas! The individual spots were close together, I mean it is an RV park, but not as close as some Ive seen. So here we are in a good mood now (probably due to the margaritas) and Richard is hooking the water up and Im (Whitney) setting up camp. We are thinking we are pros and thought of everything. Then, Richard informs me that we don’t have the right adapter to hook up the electricity in Red to have A/C. I worry sometimes about Rosie getting overheated so I booked us a spot with an electric hookup since it gets so hot in Texas. So back into the car we go. We try the campground general store, no luck. We try the nearest Walmart, no luck. We try every little hardware store that is still open in the town. No stinking luck. So after 5 hours in the car and 2 hours looking for this “special adapter” we head back to camp tired and hungry. Wouldn’t you know it, after 10 minutes of being back Richard figured out he was just putting it on wrong and the original one works perfectly… This is why you do a test run, folks! The biggest kicker may have been that we ended up having beautiful weather and didn’t need A/C the entire time!
Besides testing out and making sure we had the right equipment for camping we also wanted to see how Rosie did. Luckily, she usually just sleeps in the car. Five hours is long for her and while she got a little antsy towards the end, she did perfectly fine. Sleeping in Red however, is a whole different story. She was so excited an curious that she refused to close her eyes. Some people call it FOMO (fear of missing out) we call it “a case of the Steven Tylers” because she doesn’t want to miss a thing. By the last night she finally started to sleep a little so she might take a while but I think with some more experience she will get the whole camping thing.
Once we got the few kinks worked out we had a great time in Fredericksburg and got to test some wine out at Becker Vineyards. It is dog friendly and they have some amazing views and even give free tours. We also made a trip out to Enchanted Rock State Park, which is second-largest granite dome in the United States. Not all of the hiking paths are dog friendly but the main loop is.
If you’re new to camping or just bought your own camper like us, these test trips are key. We learned a lot about what we still needed to get or change before we head on the road for a longer trip. One of the best resources we found is other people! We love making friends on the road and we find people are always ready and eager to share their knowledge on what they found works. I’m sure we will figure more do’s and dont’s on the road and we will make sure to share them with you as we go!