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Old 06-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #43
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My parents didn't have the means to do much outside providing the requisite roof over our heads and something to eat, but at some point in my childhood they fell in with a group of friends that camped in their tiny Serro Scotty trailers. I have vague recollections of a few camping outings with one of those trailers. In high school I'd occasionally go camping with my girl friends family, much to the chagrin of her father, typically at one of our local state parks. They had a pop-up that the parents and sisters would stay in, me and her brothers were under the stars in sleeping bags.

Fast forward to 1974. Approximately one month after we were married we made an impulse purchase at the local JC Penny's store, you know, back when they still sold cool stuff. In the bargain bin was what had been part of their camping equipment display, a small 9'X9' tent - $19. Money was tight back then but we took what we considered a major trip every year (and continued to do so every year since) and for those first several years it was with that tent and an ice chest in the trunk. There were also camping weekends to the area state parks. For some reason thought, that tent seemed to attract rain. Somewhere around 1980 we scrapped up enough to buy a then very ancient 15' Shasta travel trailer. It needed some TLC which I proceeded to spend many hours delivering. It didn't have a bathroom, but WOW, a dry place to sleep when the weather turned. We made our first RV trip in that trailer, visiting family in New England. We also joined a local Shasta brand camping club which led to many enjoyable weekends, not to mention sore sides from all the laughter.

A bit more than a year after buying that antique there was a small RV "show" at the local mall. We borrowed money and bought our first new RV, an 18' Shasta - it had a bathroom, WOO HOO! Not practical for much more than a middle of the night convenience, but much appreciated all the same.

From there our story is similar to many others here, the rigs kept getting bigger with more and more amenities. Late summer of 2001 we bought a log cabin in northern WI and sold the 38' 5th wheel we had at the time. While we spent virtually every weekend at that cabin, as well as most of our vacation days, we'd still make what we considered a major vacation trip somewhere every year. After a couple of years of airports and motels we desperately missed the RV travel style and we bought a 30' TT for those trips. A couple of years later that turned into a 35' motorhome.

Through some self made "luck" we were able to retire at an age many would consider early and trade the 35' gasser for our "retirement home", our current 43' DP. We sold both the primary home and the cabin to go full time. We split our time between a beautiful lake front RV park in upstate South Carolina, our winter lot in Florida, and travels to "where to next".

Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
2016 Newmar London Aire 4553, Spartan chassis
2017 GMC Acadia toad
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:48 AM   #44
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Thanks everyone for the great stories, I had a little extra time and reread this post. I'm sure there are more tails out their ! So lets here them.

Thanks Again!

2003 Newmar Scottsdale
1997 Harley FLHT
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:47 AM   #45
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We married in 1980, both born in NY, but were raised in TX (DFW). I was from a tent camping family, she was from the Bronx! On our 1st tent trip to Lake Texoma, we arrived at dusk to find an entire campground loop empty! I was ready to teach her all about "camping". Cooked over a fire, did the marshmallows, a little wine, a little more wine, you get the picture. Still nobody in the loop, so we "enjoyed" our 1st tent adventure together, rather loudly if I may say so . When she woke up the next morning, she started to climb out of the tent, then suddenly returns hastily, OK she dove in head first! She smacked me on the head, and said she was not leaving until everybody else was gone first. I thought we were alone?? When I peeked out of the tent, I saw a gaggle of Nuns sitting in a circle, they had taken up all the camping spots in the loop! They had arrived after we had retired, only to "listen" to our rather loud camping adventure! So, beware of the Stealth Nun Camping Group if you can .

We started climbing the camping-ladder-of-upgrading soon after, going from tents to several Coleman pop-ups, a 16' trailer towed by a Jeep CJ7 (YIKES what was I thinking!), a 26' Tioga "party coach" with no bedroom, a small Fleetwood 5er, a power-stroke pickup with a HUGE slide in camper (needed a 4' hitch extension to pull the boat), a 31' Thor class-C, and finally our current 32' National Dolphin. My favorites are the ones that carried ice cream and kept it cold! Her favorites were the ones that nobody could hear into. . . . .
Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
"Let's Roll 'em, Let's Roll 'em!"
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:11 PM   #46
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Firebug5, that was a great way to start my morning, couldn't stop laughing.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:38 PM   #47
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I am glad you enjoyed it, after my DW read it today I got another smack on the head! Oh well, it is ALL about the memories. . . . .

Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
"Let's Roll 'em, Let's Roll 'em!"
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:31 PM   #48
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Both the DW and myself came from camping families. Married in 87', tent camped for 12 years a few short weekends, and 2-3 week long trips in the summer. At some point packing up a wet tent in the rain or being trapped inside for long stretches of time because of the weather was getting old. Bought a new Coleman PUP in 99', upgraded to a hybrid in 05' and now on our 2nd hybrid (2013). Since the 99' PUP we now take 5-6 weeks of vacation in the summer and maybe 4-6 weekends in the shoulder seasons.

Hope to retire in 16' and do Alaska. My DW's sister lives in North Pole AK. which we fly up every 3-4 years to visit, but our last visit (2013) I informed my bro-n-law the spot I'll be parking my tt. in their driveway when we come back up in 2016. Having been up there 6 times I have a good idea what to expect. She's has been trying to talk us into moving up there...??? beautiful in the summer, but just to long & cold in the winter.

My DW's family with 4 kids did the AK. trip in the mid-60's in a PUP....and station wagon....I remember seeing pictures of the station wagon with bull bars and a 7' x 4' chain-link fence attached to the front to stop flying rocks.

Alaska 2013

Alaska 2008
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:47 AM   #49
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Hi All,

My Dad was an Eagle Scout and I grew up tent camping. Husband not so much. Dad bought a pop-up and we thought we were in Heaven. Then a cabin up North in Michigan and summers there fishing and cooking over the fire. Dad taught us a lot.

Met husband in 71 and got married and had two kids. Got a tent and used it along with canoe trips. Cooked outside and loved it even when it rained. He had had no idea.

Started going on trips to Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and staying in hotels. You miss a lot inside hotels. He wanted to see more and with work and school (that we took in later years) we didn't get to do much.

In three years I retire. We had considered buying a place in Mexico but you have the same view down there once you buy. There are so many beautiful things to see in this country and I just don't feel that we can see them from a hotel or cabin.

We don't want to be a slave to the house that we have been to for the last 42 years. It's time to sell and have some fun, see some different scenery, visit family that is spread all over this great country. And if I never have to drive in snow again I will not be disappointed. Winter sucks!

So, a class A is in our future. Looking at floor plans and learning a lot here so we don't go into this completely blind. You have all been so helpful and we look forward to meeting many of you at the camp grounds. Look for us next summer when we finally purchase our MH. I have so enjoyed many of these stories. I have some tent stories as well but for another time.

See you in the future, Lynne
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:02 PM   #50
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I met the DW while living on a 86' Houseboat outside Austin TX. Sold it to move to land and bought a cruiser instead. DW did not like the cruiser much and soon got tire of me hanging out with my buddies drinking beer and watching football. She wanted another houseboat. Had a chance to buy my old boat back at a really good price and backed out at last minute because I remembered how hard it was to sell when I had it. A year goes by and we don't use the cruiser much but when I do I really enjoy it. I say to her lets get a coach. She says yes if I sell the boat. I say I am not selling the boat and she says no to coach. Time for new plan. At the right time I ask if she still wanted the houseboat lifestyle. She says yes. I say the coach will be like a houseboat that can move all over the country. She is interested. I say I can't drive a coach and drink beer at the same time. We got the coach a couple months ago. Took it to Arkansas last weekend 1250 miles in 5 days and had a freakin fantastic time. She loves the coach more than me. She will be out of town on business this weekend and I will be on the boat watchin football!!

Jeff & Steph
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