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Camping More Enjoyable with Camping Cars

Posted November. 16, 2007 03:03,   


On Korea’s tidal embankments in the evening of November 9, a cold sea breeze was blowing hard on a campground in Seokmun-myeon, Dangjin-gun, South Chungcheong Province. But Kim Yun-shik (65) and his wife Lee Sun-ja (62) were ready to enjoy the scenery in a warm indoor setting. They have a camping car

Inside a camping car, outside elements do not get to them at all. They can boil water on a gas range and enjoy the ocean view while sipping a cup of coffee. Kim, the chairperson of the “Korea Camping Car Association,” comes here before the group’s monthly meeting on the 10th and 11th of each month. A few of its members were there, too.

This newspaper’s “One year, twelve months, let’s hit the road - auto camping” section carries an article about camping every month, and this month, the focus is on car camping sites.

Nomads Searching for Mother Nature-

The Kims started camping using a camping trailer four years ago. They used a tent when they were young. After Kim spent time outdoors more and more often, he bought a camping trailer. He said, “You don’t have to open and close the tent anymore since parking the camping car does half the work. A camping car certainly enhanced my mobility.”

Now he spends more time outdoors due to the camping trailer’s convenience. Last month, he was home for less than a week. After meeting club members at Milyang, South Gyeongsang on October 13, the Kims went on a 12-day-trip with other couples. They traveled to Ganjeolgot in Ulsan, Homigot in Pohang, Juwang Mountain and Jusanji in Cheongsong. Some of them had to go back to tend their businesses and the others joined later.

Kim said, “You can leave anytime as you don’t have to worry about spending money on accommodations, and you have all the amenities you need, even in the middle of nature.” Camping cars are equipped with a sink, bathroom, shower booth, and bedroom.

Soccer commentator Song Jae-ik (65) of SBS also loves to camp outside traveling in his camping trailer. This reporter went to meet him at Seokmun campgrounds after spending a night at Chunjangdae beach in Seocheon-gun, South Chungcheong.

Song said, “The view is great and the beach is really clean and well-cared-for by the local government.” Even when he goes to other cities for his job, he drives his camping trailer. He usually leaves a few days earlier with his wife and camps at a beach before he goes to work.

Camping by Camping Car-

Choi Yun-oh (52), who has been enjoying auto-camping for six years, first used a big-size camper before changing into a camping trailer because even though there are more facilities in a camper van, it was cumbersome to move around between short distances.

The first thing he does at a campground is to fill up containers in the camping car with water. Once filled up, it lasts for three to four days. He uses a rechargeable battery or generator for electricity. Camping club members hope that there will be more camping grounds where they can plug in to use electricity just like in the U.S. and Europe. Natural gas is used for heating.

Kim, the president of the camping club, said, “A rechargeable battery lasts two to three days if electricity is used only when necessary. Members refrain from using electricity from public restrooms and street lights without paying.”

Lee Gyeong-bong (48), who purchased a camping trailer three weeks ago, said, “I bought a camping trailer I’ve been meaning to get which I saw 10 years ago while traveling in America. Camper vans are priced at around 50 to 60 million won, but a camping trailer is relatively cheaper and mine cost me 25 million won.”

A second-class driver’s license is enough to drive a camping trailer as they weigh usually less than 750kg, but backing the vehicle requires a special attention due to its long body. Five teams that participated in the meeting all had camping trailers. People need to drive an SUV to pull a trailer.

Those living in apartments may have trouble parking their camping trailers as their heights prevent them from parking in underground garages. Mr. Lee bought his camping trailer at a dealership who provides parking area. While he lives in Euiwang, his camping trailer is parked in Yongin.

Why do these people enjoy this time-consuming and costly hobby? Jo Seong-sun (47), who goes camping with his children, said, “I am excited whenever I leave the city on weekends. I also feel great going back home when I realize the importance of my home and daily activities.”