Reasons to buy a Volkswagen Camper

1. Your kids will love you for it. Traveling in one is akin to hanging out in a fort or a tree house. Pop the top, and VOILA! Kid magnet. (Easy for me to say, I only have one kid.)

2. You can travel inexpensively. I spent a couple of years as a single mother. The only traveling that I could afford to do with my daughter was in the Vanagon, but we had a great time doing just that. When she was really little, I used to set up a playpen in the center section of the Van. Then, when we hit big open stretches of road (ie: I-44 in Oklahoma, I-20 in West Texas), I'd let her play in it while we cruised. Don't tell the Federal Traffic Safety Board. Now that she's older, we take a little 13" TV/VCR along with a good supply of tapes for the extra long road trips. (By the way, I would've puked not too many years ago if anyone would have told me that someday I'd take a TV in my car, let alone a VCR.)

3. You travel comfortably. We are on-again off-again vegetarians. We can take our strange food with us wherever we go. They don't stock umeboshi plums in too many groceries in the middle of Wyoming.

4. See number 3. I love to camp, but I don't like to sleep on the ground any more. In the summer I take 320 count Egyptian cotton sheets with me. We always take comfy down pillows. I take my favorite tea to drink. Good books. Tarot cards ... No matter where you go, you're comfortable. If you're visiting friends overnight, you always have your favorite pillows and shampoo and toothbrush and something good to read. If you want to stop and swim someplace, you have your suit. If you fall in the mud, you have a change of clothes.

5. Extra guest housing. I've only tried this one on kids.

6. A coastal special: I live in Florida and I turn on the fridge before I go to the grocery store. I can go to the store, pack the perishables, and then run errands for hours without anything melting. I can also pick up fresh fish or stone crabs or whatever when I see them.

7. Great sex. Trust me.

8. Fun at drive-ins (if you can find one). Park in the back or over on the side, pop the top, unzip the window cover ....

9. You can sleep in incredible places. In your own bed. And if you're really lucky, there won't be another car or tent or motorhome or human for miles.

10. Strange and wonderful people wave at you on the road.

11. You can eat your lunch in outrageous places. Eat a GREAT lunch in outrageous places. One time in South Carolina we stopped and whipped up Seafood Thermador just because we felt like it.

12. You can travel the highways and byways when no one else is on them. On a long drive-through, I'll stop during the DAY at a roadside rest area, park with the truckers, close my blinds, and sleep 5 or 6 hours. I'm way too paranoid to stop at night in a rest area and sleep when I'm alone. And way too compulsive sometimes to stop and get a hotel room.

13. I take mine to the beach. Not so much on my coast, but on the Atlantic side of Florida, a lot of places you can drive right on the beach. Instant beach house. Pop inside for a nap mid-day, and you're good to go.

14. They make you smile. They make everyone except dour old curmudgeons smile.


But, here's the real reason that I drive one.