Maiden voyage of Phil the Camper

This is a copy of an email Sir Husband sent to all his friends.  As you can see he stole the photos that I had used in a previous post.  You will also notice that he writes a heck-of-a-lot better than me.  🙂

Meet Phil (the camper), also known as Big Phil.  Due to the noise the friction type sway bar makes when you turn, he is nowsometimes known as “Phil the Flatulent”.  My youngest daughter made a comment about saving the whales…..before they blast themselves into extinction.  Must have been listening to her father…. or it’s genetic.  That’s scary, since there are four of them.

It was maiden voyage weekend.  My diesel van never seemed small before.  For 11 years I have called it Vanzilla.  Another myth busted.  Darn.  It never seemed gutless either.  It’s feeling a bit poochie right now (OK, it’s a dawg).  May need an upgrade there.  I’m thinking van cab on a C6500 chassis….I can see it now…’s manly.  Yes, Virginia, I would do it just because it can be done.  Is any other reason necessary?  After all, you really should drive something that weighs as much as what you tow, right?  In theory Phil clocks in at almost 10.5k.  Big x Large x Heavy.  A bit too heavy.  I didn’t get it weighed.  Ignorance is bliss, as long as it stays behind you…..


Phil in the woods on the maiden voyage to O’Leno in High Springs.  It was deserted on a Thursday night.  That cuts down on the laughter.  It didn’t look like a Chinese fire drill.  Really.  A bit too much slope on that awning for a purist.  I did correct it later.  I did.  You can’t see the dragon fly shaped lamps hanging from the edge of the awning either.  Woman’s touch, you know.  Gotta have it.  Required by law.  Camping law.  That’s what she said, anyway, and she’s always right.

Yes, Phil is a two-story 30 footer with a big slide-out, and no light weight either.  We’re talking carbon footprint here.  Just the way I like it.

The second story loft is the dominion of The Girls.  This was before the trip, as evidenced by the formidable lack of junk.

Power Peas (as in “two-peas-in-a-pod”) eating dinner.   This is from an experimental test camp in the back yard.  Lack of junk gives it away.  Had it been an actual camp out you would have been given instructions on where to tune for news and information.  And you would see junk.

Large daughter (the violinist) on the scene as well.  No violin this trip, so she played harmonica!  This is also a pre-trip photo.  Yes, the man-child is conspicuously absent.  Being 18 and male, he won’t touch a family campout with a 40 foot pole.  He still doesn’t believe that sisters are necessary, and being a practical sort of person, a device that confines them in close proximity is less necessary.  I think he would sometimes like to replace parents as well.  We’ll keep the sofa open for him.  In a couple years when we get smarter maybe he will want to go with us!

This is post trip.  Some tasks are just plain necessary.  I couldn’t find the gloves I brought either.  Oh well, that’s why they make hand sanitizer.  Good bye, good riddance, and thank God for dump stations.  The gloves have since been located.  A whole box of them!  It won’t happen again……I hope.

A good time was had by all.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

The van got 9.9 mpg on back roads through Starke at 55 MPH.  I was hoping (O.K. I was wishing) for II to 12.  I decided to try the interstate on the way home.   It was up hill (both ways) heading into lake city, and the wind was oppressive.  After adjusting the hitch to reduce Phil’s influence on the navigational duties, we forged on to a lackluster 8.01 mpg at 65 MPH.  A veritable extravaganza of Entropy.  I could hear polar bears drowning as I drove.  No, it didn’t bother anything but my wallet.  Yes, I’m incorrigible.  However, the hills and the wind together were a real killer.  I was hoping for at least 9 mpg, and wishing for 10.  A clean air filter, and removal of the factory engineered exhaust blockages (Generous Motors calls them tubing bends), and maybe next time I can keep it in 4th gear up the big hills and do better.  We’ll see soon.  In the mean time, that C6500 with a CAT diesel six banger is lookin’ good.

6 responses to “Maiden voyage of Phil the Camper

  1. Thanks for yet another early morning smile! I’m thinking of starting an advertising campaign for your blog….”Start every day with Applie!” What do you think? LOL Phil should start a blog too….he seems to be quite talented with the story telling…I’m left feeling like there may be even more to this story! 🙂

  2. But the real question is….did you have fun???
    What did you do on your camp-out?

  3. “A veritable extravaganza of Entropy” ??

    Wow, SIr Husband is a wordsmith! Big Phil is humongous. Bigger than I imagined. Hope you had a great time!

  4. Poor Vanzilla! Yes, I agree the Manly Sir needs a Manly Diesel Beast to pull the Flatulant One.

    Good fun!

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