Thursday, July 31, 2014


What?  Shunpiker?  What does that mean?  New words have been popping up in this new RV life we're researching.   Hum, read on...

Fullltiming describes individuals and families who live full time in their recreational vehicle.  Not a very sexy term but I guess that's what Ed and I are about to become.   I wish the term was more fun, like shunpiker.  

fulltiming might be a family in a bus

other times, it's a cutie in a friend's garden
or, like us, a van called home.
Boondocking is stealth camping, most frequently in the back country without the use of commercial campgrounds or hookups.  The boondockers can be creative, if not always very stealth.  

Sometimes in the dessert.

Other times in the mountains.
But always off the grid.
Boondocking is a part of our family's history and is great fun if not a little anxiety producing from time-to-time.  On  road trips with Brad he's found us some amazingly wonderful boondock spots.  One of the rules we used was if it had a fire ring it was a camp site.  Our kayak trips always included boondock camping but its pretty easy to look like a piece of seaweed in the vastness of the sea.  Nevertheless, I'm a worrier so I aways thought lightening would strike in the form of the coast guard, but it never did.   

Fran boondocking on the beach on a remote San Juan island

Shunpikers avoid highways to instead drive the back roads, with some shunpikers being more adventuresome than others.   Seeking out roads that turn into trouble, or adventure, or a deadend has always been this family's recreation  -- for several generations.  I can remember my mom, my role model in worry, fretting about getting stuck or running out of gas or being lost, way back when I was a kid.   A couple of the best memories from my childhood were from shunpiking.  Once we found the perfect swimming hole for washing off the road dust and on another occasion two abandoned puppies were rescued from a culvert.     Brad might be the best shunpiker of all leading us one summer, after miles and miles on a rugged-where-does-this-road-go road, to a ghost town, where we boondocked for several days. 

Oops, where did the road go?

Or, this isn't the main highway but isn't it nice?

Freebies are free spots for the night.  Different from boondocking because you don't really camp and it's definitely not for the view.  It's just a parking space to spend the night, like at a WalMart,  Casino,  or rest area.  This will be a new experience, if we do it, because we have a huge aversion to WalMart and casinos, plus too many rest stops seem dangerous or otherwise unwelcoming.  I'm glad to know the term but am happy to continue to avoid the experience.

Perhaps the most famous freebie, WalMart parking lots
Casinos often welcome RV overnighters too.


"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.  Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine."

Emily Dickinson

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