You are probably familiar with Volkswagen, the peoples’ car that is possibly the best known of German automobiles. But do you know about Wohnwagen?
Sure you do – you just didn’t know the German word for camping trailer. I didn’t either until my wife mentioned it as we passed one of the local campgrounds (Sulzburg has two). It was full (in January!) and she asked me why. She also noted that there is a camping trailer or camper van parked in many of the houses we pass on our daily walk.
The answer seemed obvious to me. While Canadian scenery may be more spectacular, Germans do more camping than we do. It all boils down to climate.
I doubt there are any Canadian campgrounds open this month, except perhaps in southern British Columbia, and even that I doubt. Canada is cold and camping trailers not well insulated. Not to mention that the campgrounds probably don’t have working electrical and water supplies in the winter – to make those year-round would require considerable effort and cash outlay.
Many years ago, when I was a Boy Scout, I camped in January. In a tent. With the temperature around minus twenty Celsius. I really enjoyed myself, even if my mukluks froze overnight and had to be thawed before I put them on in the morning. Somehow though I don’t think that is a German’s idea of fun.
It doesn’t really get cold in this area of Germany, or at least not cold as a Canadian defines it. A campground full of trailers in January kind of proves that point.
I’ve never owned a camping trailer, never really had any desire to. To me they look like a lot of work to maintain, not to mention expensive (and that doesn’t include the expense of the initial purchase). I was factoring that expense though over a typical Canadian camping season, the end of May until mid-October, a little more than four months. When you can camp year-round the trailer looks like a much better deal.
And that, I told my wife, is why she sees so many of the things around here.
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