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Old 11-07-2013, 10:41 AM   #1
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Location: Metro St. Louis Area
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A Few Thoughts After Our 2nd Season Camping...

I just wanted to give a few thoughts after closing up the camper for the season and more than anything let those who are on the fence of buying an RV in on how I see things a couple of years in.

Having now become involved with the world of RV camping and traveling for a few years I can say that while it’s not an investment financially…it is defiantly an investment in my family. This is something that I could not have anticipated when stroking the check to purchase our trailer. We jumped in the pool with no real camping experience between either my wife or myself. We did however take the time to try it out with a rental trailer and while very overwhelming it was good experience…Mostly. With the help of a very knowledgeable salesman and a no pressure approach we were able to locate the perfect slightly used unit that would accommodate our growing family the following year.

This was our second season with the RV and it had its moments. We were not able to get out as much as I would have liked mainly due to the fact that we were moving into a new home. Most of the summer was spent living with family while the construction on our new home was going on. We also had some incidents that I chalk up to learning experiences in RV’ing that set us back and even canceled a trip all together. I neglected to tie down our awing and had it take flight in May, luckily only minor damage to the awing itself requiring about $60.00 in parts. Most recently I had a bearing go out and toast a hub, drum and brake assembly. I also elected to replace all four tires and the axle due to a defect in camber that could not be corrected. All in all it was an expensive season for sure but I still feel it is worth the cost to spend quality time with my growing kids.

On the topic of quality time….as stated above its hard to put a price on what owning a RV has done for our family. It functions as our lake front home, cabin in the woods and secluded spot to get away from the daily grind. In my opinion not much can compare to sitting next to my kids still in pajamas skipping rocks across a fog covered lake just as the sun breaks over the trees. Unlike corporate America, there are no planners or schedules when camping for our family. We just go where the day takes us. I have grown to appreciate areas that do not have cell phone service and the ability to throw that leash in the glove box for the weekend.

If you are on the fence about purchasing a RV…my suggestion is to do your homework. Find a dealer you are comfortable with and take your time purchasing. Rent a unit if possible or piggy back with friends or family who own an RV. It’s been a great experience thus far for us and I am already planning for next season.

Also wanted to say thanks to everyone who has helped me on this forum with questions and concerns along the way...this site is a valuable resource to have.

2011 Coachmen Catalina 28DDS
2015 Ram Bighorn 2500 6.4L
Nights Camped 2016: 32
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:47 AM   #2
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Great post ryand!


Bob and Joyce
2013 CC Silverback 29RL
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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Brilliant ryand! You captured my sentiments exactly!
2012 Ram 3500 DRW/crew cab/long bed/4x4/4.10 gears pulling a 2017 Spartan 1245 by Prime Time
Checkout my site for RVing tips, tricks, and info | My family and I have fulltimed since June 2015
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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X2!!! We also did not "invest" in a trailer - we invested in our family time and love it. Yes, there have been repairs, expenses and not everything goes perfect - but as the commercial says: camping = $, Trailer = $$, family time = priceless.

And just think of the memories you give your kids
HTT: "EscapeII" 2016 Shamrock 23WS (current)
PUP: "Escape" 2010 Rockwood HW 277 (gone)
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Just us gals (me, Sis and our daughters)
We spend alot of money to go sit in the woods
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:53 PM   #5
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Great post!

After our first season of camping in our travel trailer, DW and I are officially "hooked". We tried tent camping before buying our TT. The tent is still in it's box in our basement :-) LOL.

Its funny that our most enjoyable camping trip was one that was full of mishaps. On that trip we went to Assateague island on the east coast. No sooner did we arrive that a wheel bearing on the pickup gave up and had to be replaced. The next day our generator broke and our battery went dead. Day after that the truck began leaking fuel and had to replace fuel lines on it. But yet, in spite of all the mishaps, we had a great time. In fact, we already have our reservations to go back again next summer. (Hope the ole pickup holds together this time lol.)

Long story short, when I read your post I found myself agreeing that the real investment is in the time we spend with our families, the memories that we make, and the people that we meet while camping.
Always believe that you will ultimately succeed at whatever you do, and never forget the value of persistence, discipline, and determination.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
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Ryand, agree 100%!!! Its also alot of fun!!

And I like to call it "being on lake time" as we are always are at lakes. But we just kind of are on a whole different schedule then at home.
- cant wait to get a new trailer!
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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Location: Traverse City, MI
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Have to agree, bought the 5er then had to buy a lot on a lake, no tv just the two of us with the waves rolling on shore
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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Love this post. I couldn't agree more!!! We just finished up our first season with our new Roo. We thought about buying for years and it was never in our budget...but when my son decided to join the Marines, I knew we had to buy it for his last summer with us. We have 7 younger children so it will be put to good use but I do regret not buying sooner. All our kids LOVED it. This spring, summer and fall we "camped" in RV parks with paved pull through sites and we camped in a National Park with no water or electricity on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan and lots in between! We headed out for 2 night weekend trips and one 10 day long trip! We camped with just our kids at times and we camped with 17 different families, some dear friends and some newfound friends. A closeness that is unmatched by other types of vacations. Memories that will last a lifetime! Memories that are helping me through 13 very long weeks of my son at boot camp! Best decision we ever made! Can't wait for Spring to get here so we can start making new memories!
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
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Location: Puyallup, Washington
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A worthy investment indeed! We bought our first TT when our oldest was 8 and our youngest was just 1year old. 14 years later and we have just purchased our 3rd new RV. A beautiful Columbus 340RK. Each purchase met different needs as we moved through different phases of our lives.

Our RV experiences have provided my family with more positive, down to earth memories with friends and family then anyone really deserves. We have been blessed with the opportunity to explore the Western United States and Canada seeing sites and enjoying activities that only an RVing lifestyle could provide. I feel our core family is strong because of the quality time we have invested in it. My oldest is developmentally disabled and will be traveling with us for many years to come, however, my youngest only has about 3 1/2 years left with us before she heads off. With this new purchase we look forward to getting the most out of that time.

So..... As stated above. Do your research, find what will work for your family, make a commitment to use it and buy!
Rick & Jeana
2014 Palomino Columbus 340RK
1999 F250 Super Duty 7.3L
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Old 11-11-2013, 03:11 AM   #10
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Awesome post - our RV has returned family fun, bonding and great memories while enjoying the great out doors! Our RV 'investment' is priceless as it has enriched our lives.

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