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Shall We Take Off In a Camping Car?

Posted May. 18, 2005 23:20,   


“You hard worker, take a break!”

This catchphrase, used in a TV commercial a few years ago, moved the hearts of urban dwellers caught up their daily grind. With the start of the five-day workweek, it is now easier to escape from the city. Nevertheless, when you actually want to take off, there are more a few problems, such as, where should I go? Where should I sleep? Where should I eat?

That is why Internet communities such as “Camping Car Love” (cafe.daum.net/campingcarlife) and “Camping People” (cafe.daum.net/campingpeople) focusing on camping cars have sprung up.

A camping car, often referred to as a recreational vehicle or RV, is a combination cooking facility, bathroom, bedroom and car. In one word, it is a moving house. Whenever you find a place you like, you park your RV there and that becomes your house. The freedom of movement and the comfort of housing are mixed superbly.

With the help of the monthly magazine “Outdoor News” (representative: Park Yo-han) and online community “Camping Car Love,” the six family members of Lafuma business department manager Jang Hyo-woo (33) experienced a vacation in a camping car for seven.

There are two types of camping cars. One is a motor caravan that can move on its own, and the other is a trailer type which is attached to a car. The camping car used on that day was a small and nice 2597cc motor caravan which had a house on top of a remodeled one-ton truck called “Bongo Frontier.” The space with sofas behind the driver’s seat is used as a living room and as beds, where four adults can sleep when it is unfolded. On top of the driver’s seat there is another bed, a bunk bed where three can sleep.

In the bathroom by the entrance there is a toilet and a shower. When the 100 liter water tank in the car is full, there is no lack of water. One can also use hot water thanks to a boiler. At the sink next to the bathroom, there are two gas stoves. Since the camping car is for seven, one can drive with a Class Two driver’s license.

The Jang family’s response after taking a trip through the World Cup Park was good. Jang’s son Si-yeon (4) and nephew Huh Seul-gi (5) were excited exploring the car. After parking the car under a tree and unfolding a shade from the side of the car, it beats an open-air café. Jang said. “I always take off on vacation in my car, but I think that a camping car trip will be a completely different kind of fun.”

Outdoor News representative Park Yo-han said, “One can plan diverse vacation itineraries due to the mobility of the camping car. It is possible to stroll on Mungyeongsaeje, look around the coal museum and ceramic exhibition, do some shooting, bathe in hot springs, ride rail bikes, and enjoy a barbecue at night, all in two days. The true value of the camping car emerges in the winter when it is too cold to set up tents.” Park added, “The concept of camping season will be changed.”

How to Enjoy the Camping Car Experience-

There is a wide range of camping cars available, from foreign imports that cost up to 100 million won to domestic ones that cost about 30 million won. Since the prices are not so affordable, camping car communities often remodel seven or nine passenger vehicles. One can obtain more information on Internet sites such as Camping Car Love.

The easiest way is to rent one. Rental rates vary from 150,000 won to 300,000 won per day. Although it may seem expensive, when you look closely, it’s more economic. “Good Weekend” a camping car renting company, rents a Mercedes Benz six-passenger motor caravan for 298,000 won per day, and during May, it is having a 40 percent off promotion. Hyundai Camping Car (www.hicampingcar.co.kr) has a membership club where one can use a camping car freely for three years after signing up with a 1.65 million won fee and paying 80,000 won for maintenance.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com