Highway to Hoeftland

Adventures with Kristin & Mike


It was my birthday, and the start of spring, so it was a perfect time to pack up our little 17ft Casita travel trailer, grab our three pets, and hit the desert road for some mountain camping at the Serrano Campground, in Big Bear Lake, California.

As we climbed in elevation to over 6,000 feet, making sharp hairpin turns up the steep mountain with our trailer, the desert scenery began fading away, and green trees and rocky boulders started appearing in sight out the window.

I had never been to Big Bear before. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the town has many great amenities—a veterinarian, medical services, tons of cute and delicious restaurants, grocery stores, as well as recreation activities.

Mike, reading at our campsite.

Mike, reading at our campsite.

The Serrano campground, a mix of tent and RV sites, is very nice. We stayed in the Snowberry loop, site number 40. It was a lovely spot in our opinion, and we would reserve it again. It felt wonderful to be able to stretch out, have some privacy and space between campsites, sit under humongous and beautiful trees, and yet, still be able to use all the Casita’s amenities, such as water, sewer, and electricity.

More Firsts with the Casita Travel Trailer

This trip was the first time that we actually hooked up the water and sewer in our Casita travel trailer (before we used the restrooms on site). Hooking up the water was easy, but when it was time to unhook and clean out the sewer, Mike and I were both freaked out and feeling wary about the process.

It took us about an hour to figure it out, although I will be honest and admit that I got toilet water on my face. When I was trying to clean the inside of the toilet with a water wand, by spraying the black holding tank with water, the water sprayed up unexpectedly; I closed my eyes, frowned, and felt disgusted to realize water had splashed up on my face and eyeglasses. I wondered to myself in that moment why I volunteered to take care of the black tank? Mike was lucky (or smart) to be standing out-of-the-way. Hopefully, next time, it will be a much-improved process, because we’ll have a better idea of what to do!

Camping with the Casita at Big Bear Lake.

Camping with the Casita at Big Bear Lake.

Falling in Love with the Travel Trailer Camping Experience

I could sit here for days.

I could sit here for days.

Despite a few mishaps during the learning process, Mike and I are beginning to love our travel trailer, or more aptly, the experiences it provides, more and more. We now feel like the Casita is a true home—our own personal space on wheels.

On this last trip, we sat there and marveled at the ingenuity of the trailer. How can we be sitting in the woods, around the campfire, but also have access to a comfortable warm bed, movies on a TV, cold food and drink in a refrigerator, a bathroom, sink, and shelter? It’s amazing realizing you can pull this whole home behind your vehicle anywhere you want to go.

When we’re in the Casita, we start imagining possibilities, such as taking off for a month at a time, an entire summer, or even full-time RVing someday (maybe when Mike retires).

My Birthday

The interior of our Casita trailer, looking out at beautiful scenery.

The interior of our Casita trailer, looking out at beautiful scenery.

In all honesty, I was feeling a little disturbed by my birthday this year, because I had to face that I’m getting older and leaving my youth behind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly grateful to be alive and healthy, but for some reason, this year was one of those birthday numbers that seemed different.

Alas, the birthday trip to Big Bear Lake made me feel much better and I stopped worrying about it once we got to the campground. Once out under the stars, in the chilly evening, it didn’t seem to matter anymore.

Sitting across from Mike in our lounge chairs, near the soaring pine trees, while watching plump blue birds hop around on the ground scouring for food—essentially connected to nature and each other—made me feel at peace, and satisfied with life.

It didn’t matter what was going on day-to-day back at home; what mattered was relaxing in front of the fire, with my husband, and pets, just being present together, and enjoying simple pleasures.


That’s what camping in nature can do for us. It brings everything that matters back into focus and all the other non-important distractions fade away.

Mike also enjoyed himself very much, which made me happy because initially, we didn’t know if he would like camping as much as I do—but he was feeling great as well. What a wonderful time for both of us.

We look forward to our next adventure!



Questions for Readers:

Have you been to Big Bear Lake? If so, how did you like it? Do you have any questions? How do you enjoy camping and/or RVing? Please feel free to leave your opinions in the comment section below. We like hearing from you.

11 thoughts on “Travel Trailer Camping at Serrano Campground, Big Bear Lake, California

  1. Ingrid says:

    Traveling with an RV is the only way to go; your own bed, sheets, kitchen, get to take the fur kids etc. and once you get the learning curve out of the way and find your footing, it’s even better. AND don’t wait for retirement. As my mom told me, “do it while you’re young and healthy”. Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ingrid. That is excellent advice. I like it! 😀


  2. Tricia Hogan says:

    So glad you and Mike had such a good time, a great way to spend your Birthday weekend. Looks like a beautiful place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tricia! It was a wonderful time.


  3. macygan says:

    Happy Birthday…we go camping as well and have learned to love taking our mini-home with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lilypup says:

    Love Big Bear Lake. Some of my fondest memories are there. http://lilypupslife.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bridget says:

    Great story and pictures! A camping birthday is the perfect celebration. BTW…the whole sewer process always freaks me out. Sounds like you handled it well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Bridget! 🙂


  6. Joe says:

    Well I’m reading your camping story 2year later. We, my wife and two daughters are going camping this weekend for the 1st time in our new 19ft jayco trailer to Serrano #41. We are hoping for the best, I’m a little concerned about the towing part. We will be towing out trailer with a Nissan Pathfinder. I have been researching the easiest route but still not sure what’s the best way. I want the least strain on my vehicle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I got to this comment so late. I don’t check in on this blog too often anymore. I hope you had safe and easy travels up to Serrano. 🙂


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