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Old 12-11-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Location: Independence, Kansas
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Does everyone always move up?

I enjoy reading this forum and it seems people are always buying bigger tow vehicles and bigger campers. I have been thinking about my camping history and have been wondering about the rest of you.

I think I would have to say my first camping began in Viet Nam in the mid sixties. After I got out of the army I would tie a sleeping bag on the back of my motorcycle and put a can of tamales and a couple beers in my pockets and ride out to the local corps of engineer lake and spend the night. Later I got married and we bought a cabover camper on a pickup and over the course of a summer saw much of Colorado. Following this I had four vans that I camped in. Next was a Shasta travel trailer about twenty feet in length. I got a lot of use out of that with the wife and kids. Then we bought a class A motorhome and used it a time or two each summer for a few years. Next came a Cardinal fifth wheel with a slide out. This was the nicest camper and also the one that saw the least use. The last three years I owned it, it just set in the yard. The kids were pretty much grown and my wife didn't seem interested in camping anymore. I sold the Cardinal and decided since it was just going to be me I would look for a little Toyota motorhome. I found a nice one in Albuquerque and flew out, bought it and drove it home. Small, but figured it was just right for me. Lo and behold my wife decided to start camping again. We used the little motorhome a lot for four or five years and it was perfect for visiting Yellowstone Park. We sold it to accomodate our new hobby, exploring the country in our Polaris RZR. For this we bought a Grey Wolf 21rr and haul our Polaris RZR to the surrounding states to ride. We plan to have one big ride each year and a number of smaller ones. This years big one will be "Rally on the Rocks" at Moab, Utah and the following year we plan to ride the "Hatfield McCoy" trails.

Now how about some camper history from the rest of you.

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Old 12-11-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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It is like boating (which I had before my first camper), either your getting out or moving up.

This is my list of campers that I have had in 7 years. All where good units and when I sold them they were perfect, we justed wanted to move up:

1. Satrcraft pop-up with slide out
2. Jayco 23B Hybrid with bump out
3. Jayco 29bhs (30 feet) with bump out
4. Rockwood 8281SS Fifth wheel with two slides (just picked up last week)

2013 Rockwood 8281SS 5W, Reese Revolution
2012 Toyta Tundra Crew Max 5.7 4x4, Timbrens
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Started camping as a kid who went with the family in a Starcraft pop up in the Midwest. Moved to Georgia and started tent camping when my son got into Cub Scouts. Moved back to the Midwest in 2004 and tent camped up until summer 2011 when the DW and I became empty nesters and bought our Windjammer. She would not tent camp and we wanted to do things together. I went tent camping once since owning the TT and said "screw that" and donated all my "roughing it" gear to the local Boy Scout troop. 24 nights in the Windjammer in 2011 and 47 in 2012. 18 already booked for 2013.

Randy and Patty
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
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Started camping with the family in a rented pop up while stationed in Utah in the late 1970s and then tent camped while the kids were in the scouts.

Returned home after active duty in the early 1980s and rented the MWR travel trailers till I bought my 5th wheel in 2009. We rented the small Casita style type for most of that and eventually bought our 2500HD diesel truck to rent the bigger travel trailer they had after we retired in 2005. I bought the truck equipped to tow both ways (TT we were renting and wired for a 5th wheel if we decided to get one of those). When our base closed in 2009 we needed to decide and after spending a week in Key West with a buddy in his 5th wheel we decided on that format.

Based on the tow rating (15,400 pounds) we started looking at REALLY big campers, but as I learned more about "The Facts Of Life" I quickly realized I needed to downsize my expectations. We settled on our 9300 pound Ultra-lite as well within our comfort level while still providing the room we needed.

The GVWR of my truck is right at its maximum of 9200 pounds when connected to my camper (sometimes a few pounds over) with the camper loaded for Florida. My pin weight is right at 1400 pounds (15% of camper weight and at the absolute minimum safe pin weight for stability).

I have no intention of getting a bigger camper as long as I am in this truck; when it comes time to replace the truck, I will most likely get a 3500HD and maybe one day after that, get a larger camper to full time in.

Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Camping since a kid. Since I've grown I've had:

Tent (no slides )

2 Popups (no slides)

1 Coachmen 19" TT (no slide)

1 Cherokee 27" TT with 12' slide

And what I have now. I originally wanted to go with something about 24' when I was looking to replace my Cherokee. I just couldn't find anything smaller that I was happy with.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
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Tent camped the first 30 years of my life. A few of those, a buddy would drag along his tent on wheels (a barebones Coleman pop-up). In fact, for ALL of those - we watched a couple of our buddies in the group get tin cans and they drug their houses into the woods and they weren't really camping. Or, at least- so the jokes went.

And then, it happened... my dad gifted me a Thousand Trails membership and my wife's girlfriend's family were upgrading out of their pop-up. Within a couple of weeks, I owned a new-to-us pop-up. In 2011, we camped for a good 30 nights in it. We liked it, but (since we take too much stuff) setup was too much work. In 2012, we were supposed to continue using the pop-up for the season, but we got ahead of ourselves and ordered a truck, found a fifth wheel and went big. Really big.

So, here we are...

I do envision downsizing someday when we don't have kids anymore. But, we'll see. That's a LONG way off.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
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I guess we are bucking the trend. We went from tent camping to a Coleman Pop-up to an Outback Trailer and now back to a Pop-up. I don't think we will regress back to tents though.

Bob & Doris
Roanoke, VA
2009 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4x4 - 5.7L - 6 Speed Auto - 4.30:1
2013 Rockwood HW296
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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I didn't camp as a kid. Our parents got into camping after we left. When we got married, we bought a small tent and all the camping gear. Big plans. First night at a campground, I was returning to the tent from a bathroom visit. My wife was inside the tent , changing into her night clothes. We were newly wed, so there wasn't much to change in to. As I approached the tent, I noticed that she had the coleman lantern full on. As you can imagine, her silhouette was on full display. Unbeknownst to her, she was being watched from campers enjoying the campfire at the next site. We had an early departure the next day. Night 2, it poured rained, tent flooded in the morning, everything soaked. That was the last of our tenting.
A few years and twin boys later, we again was going to try tenting, but on our way to the campground we stopped at a RV dealership and drove away with a new Dutchmen Pop up. Enjoyed that immensely and it still brings back fond memories of some of our best camping experiences. Then we felt the urge to upgrade. Purchased a 29' Mallard 29S with bunks. Loved that as well. We travelled one summer with a friend who had a motorhome and we thought that was the best way to go. The following summer, we sold our Mallard and bought a used 30' Fleetwood Tioga Class C. The boys loved the access to the fridge while travelling and it was great. Then the house became empty. Our boys moved on, we sold the motorhome and went one year without a camper. As empty nester, we felt the urge to get back at it. Telephoned a RV dealership and purchased a Rockwood pop up over the phone and picked it up the next day. We kept that for a year, but felt we needede more conveniences, since we were a bit spoiled. Traded it in on a new Kodiak Hybrid. My wife insisted on the hybrid because it could sleep a dozen or more ( she's from a big family). I read reports and talked to other owners of hybrids. They told me to stay away. Lots of water issues. Against my better judgement, we got it anyway. We slept in that unit for 10 nights. Got about an hours sleep each night. Man, those bunk ends are uncomfortable. Less than a year later, we were at the RV show, with pictures of our almost new hybrid and made a deal to trade it for our present Flagstaff 8528CKWS 5th wheel. We love this unit, no problems yet and we spend more time camping now. It's presently winterized and stored and can't wait for spring. And we do have privacy in this time..
Lily the Yorkie
2015 Dodge Ram Sport 1500
2015 Crossroads Zinger ZT28BH
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Loved that newlywed story, made me laugh out loud.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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No we downsized from a 30.5 foot 5th wheel with two slides & a one ton Dodge Diesel dually to a 18 foot one slide TT & a 1/2 ton pickup! Fits us at 78 years young. Still going to return to Quartzsite, AZ for the 5th time.

Everett & Joan after 60 years together. 2004 1/2 ton Chevy & 2011 Rockwood 1809S

Number of nights camped in 2012 65
Number of nights camped in 2013 82
Number of nights camped in 2014 105!
Number of nights camped in 2015 81
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