It was about ten years after the Condominium tent, that we were gifted with the amazing Griz-mobile. A 1970’s orange and brown motor home. Truly, this was the most well-kept, well-loved and most original motor home we had ever seen before. It was 17-feet of pure 1970’s shag carpeting, and a transmission that shifted down quite hard when climbing hills.
We used the Griz-mobile every chance we could get. Steve, our 120-pound yellow lab, preferred to sleep on the lower table bed, while the Intern and I slept in the bed above the cab. Well, we tried sleeping together, up above the cab, but the Intern/Safety Sally didn’t feel safe. Plus, she said she felt like she was breathing her own air it was so tight up there. Truth: it was pretty cramped and it was nice when she slept below because then to dog didn’t whine all night long.
The Griz came complete with a wet bathroom. If you don’t know what that means, it is simple: Don’t leave the toilet paper out on the shelf when you decide to take a shower. Everything, the sink, the commode, the shower…they are all in one room that looks very similar to a shower stall. Oh, and it is rather tight, so no messing around in the shower. You get in, you get out and then you get dressed in the main area of the motor home. It was something the Intern never really got accustomed to.
Camping in the Griz was sometimes rough. There wasn’t any air conditioning and the vents, well, they really didn’t produce a whole lot of suction. Frankly, it got hot in there. I remember one year, we put our portable AC unit from the house in the Griz. It worked…sort of. The exhaust tube was positioned out the drivers side window, so you had a pretty even mix of cold air directly from the AC unit, and hot air from the AC exhaust circulating throughought the motor home at all times. It wasn’t bad at night and the heater in that thing was a champion! We had to turn it on a few times and it worked great.
About our third camp out, I decided to replace the shag carpeting with some laminate flooring. Easier to sweep up after the dog then the shag carpet. I spent an entire weekend tearing out the carpet and laying the gorgeous hard wood floor. It really did class the place up and it was so much easier to clean after a long weekend of camping.
The last camping trip for the Griz ended with a gallon of water poured over the front brake caliper to keep it from igniting. Yes, I said igniting. We were headed over the hill and the Intern announced she smelled something weird. I admittedly smelled something too, so I pulled over only to discover the front brake was locked and I couldn’t break it free. I called everyone I could think of within a 100-mile radius to see if we could get a replacement part. The answer was an astounding no. It may have been that we were looking for a part for a 1970’s motor home, but regardless, the weekend was a bust. The Intern wasn’t thrilled that we were stuck on the side of the road for hours in the hot sun with no air conditioning. I am not going to lie, the Intern was up in arms, and I still haven’t heard the end of it from Safety Sally. Shortly after replacing the caliper and the break pads, the Intern and I sold the ol’ Griz.
It was time for another upgrade.