Bobbie came into our lives seven years ago when he was just four years old.  He needed a home, and we needed him.  Though he lives with us only half of each year, he has enhanced our lives in countless ways.  He’s dependable, accommodating, and downright cute.

Bobbie is our travel trailer.

At 12 feet long, he is usually the smallest trailer at any campground we stay at, and he often piques the curiosity and interest of owners of more traditionally-sized trailers.  He’s frequently referred to as “adorable” or “darling”, and even though I am biased, I have to agree, especially when he’s parked next to a 35-foot behemoth.

I wonder if other people anthropomorphize their campers.  I certainly do: referring to him with words like he, him, and his; speaking to him like an animate being; and generally treating him like part of the family (except, of course, when we banish him to an unheated horse barn at the local fairgrounds to shiver away his winters alone).  In fact, I’m starting to feel terribly guilty for not including him on my About page.

When we first got Bobbie, we owned an old Saturn wagon and, our designated tow vehicle, a Subaru Forester.  Taking ownership of  Adopting him involved a 32-hour round trip drive to Millgrove, Ontario (near Toronto), where the most helpful guy you’ll ever meet, Brad Taylor, builds the little gems with his children (after whom he names his trailers  – thankfully he doesn’t have any kids named Bertha) at their family-owned-and-operated Taylor Coach RV business.

Leadville, Colorado, 2011 008
Bobbie loves Colorado, just like his mom does.

We learned some useful things on that long trip.  First, if you have to drive through Chicago, do so at 6:00 on a Sunday morning.  You’ll have the freeway to yourself. Second, a Forester is technically able to tow a trailer of Bobbie’s size and weight.  That doesn’t mean it tows it well.  (This critical piece of knowledge became very clear on later trips that involved mountain passes.  At times, I thought we might start rolling backward down the mountain.  Hence, a few years later (after our Saturn slid on the ice and plowed into another car like Tonya Harding going in for a makeup hug with Nancy Kerrigan, and this, just a three weeks after a deer saw fit to end it’s earthly existence on the front of our Subaru) we bought a truck.

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Today, we sent Bobbie off to camp (aka winter storage).  Though not technically required – Bobbie is perfectly able to sit uncovered in the snow all winter long – we just feel a little better having him out of the elements.  Besides, who doesn’t want an extra 84 square feet of driveway to shovel all winter long?  Always a bit of a sad parting, we know that come April, we will be reunited and perhaps enjoy a travel adventure together.  I say “perhaps” because we don’t travel with Bobbie every year.  Summers in which we go abroad are usually – though not always – single-vacation summers.  We are not really weekend campers, so when we go somewhere with Bobbie, we usually go big (think cross-country road trip).

A big road trip is exactly where we took Bobbie this past summer.  I’ll probably write about that in a future post, but for now I want to commend the little guy for enduring 5000 miles of roads of varying quality, temperatures upwards of 124 degrees, and one butt-clenching climb that was sign-posted for non-towing vehicles only.

A parent couldn’t ask for a better son.

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