Last fall, we decided to take a weekend jaunt to a local state park. Only about an hour from our house, we figured this was the perfect time to introduce our three month old to a past time her entire family enjoys.

We left after work, got there and set up in the dark (it was fall afterall) and got everyone nice and cozy inside the camper. We tinkered about and watched a DVD together before cuddling into our beds for the night.

At about 1 a.m., our sweet little infant got up to nurse. I got up, grabbed her from the Pack N Play and quickly quieted her with a nursing session. Our dogs wanted outside, which is slightly unusual but we figured they were warm in the camper since we had the heat up to make sure out little babes were snuggly in their beds. No sooner had my husband put the dogs on their leashes and hopped out the door did I hear my husband yell “No, boys no! Get back in the camper!”

And then burning. Oh the burning.

At first, I had no idea what happened. I just covered my face and kept my sweet baby nursing away. My husband and dogs made some unnatural noises and then my husband popped his head inside.


A skunk was trying to raid the dogs’ food and got spooked by my guys walking out the camper door. Husband and dogs were a stinky, gross mess.

My husband made a quick trip to a local store for anything that would take the stench out. He handed his credit card to the cashier from the door and told her he would stink up her store if he came in and just get him dish soap, tomato juice and anything else she could think of to cut the oil and the odor. Loaded up on supplies, he returned to the nearly-empty campground and took the dogs to the shower. For over an hour he lathered, rinsed and repeated. The three of them then returned to our camper in the icy temperatures.

By this point, the children and I were used to the smell and had all cuddled in our bed and dozed off. When my husband came back, we knew we had to leave the campground. The dogs couldn’t stay outside, but they were too wet to come in. The stench was covering nearly everything. So, at 2 a.m., we packed up and shipped out.

Luckily my mother-in-law lived nearby so we headed there and put the kids to bed before starting the process of sanitizing and deodorizing. It took days to wash everything, wipe all the surface areas in the camper and find the source of all of the smells.

We look back on it and laugh.

And packed in our camper on every trip now is vinegar, lots of dish soap and some Nature’s Miracle…because those are the only things that worked!

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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