We should have taken the TIPI!

This last summer the Nebraska Prairie Girl and her family, including their Danish daughter Signe pronounce see-na (ex-foreign exchange student) planned a little vacation to Custer State Park in our newly purchased old motor home.

Planning the vacation on its own is a feat for the Nebraska Prairie Girl.   If you have ever planned and taken a family vacation you can probably relate to some of this.   First, there was the planning and then the packing involved for a family of seven and our two dogs.    Which brings me to the reason we bought the motor home in the first place.  Well, we own a TIPI that we camped in for many years.  (another blog  for another day)  But with the addition of all the children and the fact that we (Dave and I) are not spring chickens anymore, but not stewing birds either, we thought owning a motor home might be a lot easier.    Well sure, you have all the amenities your house has to offer on wheels, why wouldn't be easier?

Well, this might explain why!   After staying at Chadron State Park for the night we headed into Chadron to our favorite little coffee shop, the Bean Broker.   That day was fixing to become very warm, hot actually, so we wanted to treat the kids to a nice cool drink and head on our way.   With everyone loaded back up in the motor home we were ready to roll.   We were heading to Hot Springs South Dakota to take the kids to Evans Plunge for a fun day of swimming.   We just started heading north out of Chadron and there was an awful loud noise that came from the rear of the motor home.  Then came a noise that sounded like someone was tearing the back of the motor home up.  Well, Farmer Dave slammed on the brakes and we came to a very quick stop.    The first loud noise was one of the rear tires blowing and the second noise was the blown tire tearing up the back of the motor home.  YIKES!   In order to  limp back to Chadron on the only remaining dual tire on that side, Farmer Dave had to cut out the blown tire.   It had decided to wrap itself around every thing and anything.   Being a farmer and never one to go with out his pocket multi-tool, Dave proceeded to crawl under the motor home and cut out the tire.   Once he got under the motor home he realized that the tire had destroyed all the propane lines and propane was leaking.  Once the propane tank was turned off (to avoid blowing up !!)  Dave got the shredded tire cut out of its tangled mess.    Our only option was to turn around and head back to Chadron at a turtles pace and find a tire store.   To make a long story short there were no tires in Chadron for our motor home. They had to be ordered and would take a couple days.    So, driving on our only spare tire, we headed home feeling a bit nervous,.  And to top it off we had no propane for cooking or heating water! 
Dave lacing up the Tipi

This were I thought WE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TIPI !!!!!!!  The Tipi does not require propane or tires for that matter.    It something breaks on the Tipi you can usually find a replacement part out in nature without spending a dime.  So as we drove home I thought to myself  all the reasons we wanted a motor home are now the reason we had to cancel our trip.  

So lets compare the two:  

Tipi- Takes an hour to set up and is hard to move from place to place because you have to dismantle and put back up with every move.    Sleeps an unlimited amount of people.  (Well not really but it sleeps at least 12)  You have to use the outhouse or the port-a-pot if you are in a pinch.   Your heat and cooking fire are one and the same right in the center of the Tipi, works great!  Great for meeting people from all over the world because everyone wants to come in and see your Tipi.  You have out of town guests every night in your Tipi,  because you invite folks to come sit in the tipi around the fire after dark.  

Motor home- fully self contained, has heat, stove, microwave, bathroom, shower, running water, heated water, stereo, comfy beds, refrigerator,  oh and did I mention comfy beds!  You never meet anyone from other countries because they are all camping in campers too and they really do not want to see your camper.    Terrible gas mileage, blown tires, no propane so no hot water, no stove, no refrigerator, no camping trip.  And needs two thousand dollars worth of repairs.  WE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TIPI!!!!!

Happy TIPI-ing!

Nebraska Prairie Girl.


  1. I feel your pain with the tyre (having been through a similar experience with a truck many moons ago). Would love to hear the story of how you came to have the tipi though - I'm guessing they don't just sell them at the local camping store?!

    1. Stephen, Thank you for you comment. We bought our TIPI from a company in Montana "Blue Star Canvas". However, I believe that the company is now out of business. I could write a many blogs dedicated to the TIPI, it was great fun.

  2. I have always wanted to buy a Tipi! I will one of these days! Think there are is an outfit out of Cheyenne or Laramie that makes them.

  3. One of the best ( and oldest ) makers of tipis is "Don Strinz Tipi" - Milford Nebraska.
    He is happy to share stories, and anything and everything you need, or want to know.


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