My family and I had been planning a special camping trip for several weeks. The day finally arrived, and our camper was loaded up, hitched up and parked in front of our house, waiting for us to hit the road. 

But when we woke that Friday morning, the thunder was booming and a very heavy rain was falling. It was not ideal camping weather, but by the time we were ready to go, the clouds were moving out and the sun was shining

After arriving in the small community of Argonia, we pulled into a beautiful RV Park, and began to setup camp. Leveling the camper is the first task to be completed, and usually takes about 20 minutes. Much to our amazement, it was sitting perfectly level. No adjustment was needed. 

“It looks like this is going to be a perfect camping trip Dad, “ My son Jaydon said. “This has never happened before.”

A few hours later, my oldest son and his family pulled into the spot next to us. It looked we were going to have a wonderful weekend. 

Several local couples were also camping next to us. They were older, but were a crazy, fun-loving bunch who quickly made us welcome. 

That evening, we participated in a corn hole tournament and dined on smoked ribs and roasted corn. 

My youngest was right. This was going to be a perfect weekend. 

But that quickly changed at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning. 

A very loud clattering noise that was coming from the AC unit on our roof woke us up. I shut it off to avoid further damage, and we tried to go back to sleep. I say tried, because the temperature and humidity inside quickly became uncomfortable.

The next morning we tried to determine our best course of action. I know very little about heating and air conditioning devices. But it was going to be hot. I knew there was no way we could stay inside that oven on wheels. Feeling dejected and defeated, we decided to pack up and head home.

But then an angel with blue sunglasses and a long, white beard appeared on the scene. He had heard the loud clatter that morning and came over to offer his assistance. He hurried home and returned with several tools and a ladder so he could get up on the roof.

He discovered that mud daubers had built a large nest on a fan blade, throwing it off balance. He removed the nest and cleaned all of the inner workings. But when we powered it back up, the noise was still there, as loud and depressing as ever. 

The angel, who called himself David, quickly determined that the problem was with the blower inside the camper.  He removed the inside cover to find that the fan was loose on the motor shaft and the part that held it in place was broken. There was no way to fix it without a new fan, and it was almost impossible to get to.

But angels have special abilities. Somehow they manage to find a way to resolve any situation. David flew back home for more parts.  The repair was difficult, but within an hour he had our AC running nice and quiet and producing cold air. 

That is one of the amazing things about camping in an RV. When you pull into a campsite, it doesn’t matter if your rig is a really fancy or old and beat up. You will quickly find friends and become part of a family. 

I have seen it time after time. 

A frustrated camper is struggling to fix a problem with his rig. Other campers will gladly jump in to help. I have watched them come up with tools, and dig through their treasure trove of this and that, to find parts to fix the problem. 

Nobody had to ask for their help, they just saw someone with a problem and did whatever they could to assist. It is fascinating to watch them brainstorm together to find a creative solution. I think they actually enjoy the challenge. They bring out their own spare parts and will never accept payment for anything. 

With our camper now nice and cool, the rest of the weekend was just as my son had said, a perfect campout. We watched several rocket launches by the Kloudbusters Rocket Club. My son, who loves trains, had a great time watching the BNSF freights roll through town. We spent quality time with my oldest son and his family. 

It was perfect. There were no more malfunctions, just a peaceful fun time. 

But the greatest thing of all was that we made some new friends. In fact, we are working on plans for another camping trip together. My wife and I will soon celebrate our 23rd anniversary. The group, including our angel friend, wants to take part in our celebration. My wife informed me that a lot of top secret planning is already taking place.

I can’t wait to go camping again.


CourierTraveler reporter John Shelman can be contacted at (620) 442-4200 or

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