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Old 12-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
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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, 10:17 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)
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:22 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.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:23 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.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:25 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, 11:45 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, 11:46 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.

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:47 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..
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Loved that newlywed story, made me laugh out loud.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:26 PM   #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.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:38 PM   #11
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Camped for 25 years in a pop-up. Mice took care of that one year, so went to a used conversion van for a few years. Started looking at RoadTreks, next thing I know, I'm the owner of a 10 year old 22 ft. Conquest Class C. Had that a couple years, upgraded to a 2011 Sunseeker 2300. The 2300 is perfect for the dry camping I do in NY State Parks, with boat in tow. Now that I just retired, will venture out a couple times a year cross country, wanted a little more "breathing room" in a unit, so just upgraded to a 2013bSunseeker 2860. I can still use it though for my NY State parks dry camping, which is the majority of the camping that I do.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:59 PM   #12
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We went from a 33 1/2 ft to a 34 1/2 ft. still with a 3/4 ton TV. Should have done the buy your 2nd trailer 1st though as we would have never changed from our current unit and will keep this till we are done as I am not interested in any more financing for the rest of our years. If I can't pay cash we won't have it anymore.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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Yes, always moving up...

Tent-before I knew better
Travel Trailer-former
Fifth Wheel-present
Motorhome (maybe in 20 yrs!)



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Old 12-11-2012, 05:18 PM   #14
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Started out tenting, wife has arthritis and was getting too hard on her plus too much work setting up. In 2010, bought a brand new Palomino 12 foot pop upin the spring, after using it for or six times, traded up to a Wildwood 17 foot hybrid. Funny thing mentioned about the newlywed story, but the bunk ends on the hybrid show everything pretty much in the same way when lights are on. This fall, upgraded again to a Wildwood 29BHBS with two slides. Plan on keeping this one for a long time now. Putting it on a seasonal site for now as I cannot pull it with my 4 cylinder Tacoma.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:33 PM   #15
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Like other here started out Tent camping in the early 70's. Graduated to a Coleman pop-up, then to a 34' 5th wheel, then a 32' Class C, and now the current Class A Georgetown. I think this will be the last and all of them have been fun and carry many good memories.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #16
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We started out in a 1995 24 foot Terry 5th wheel borrowed from my parents with a 1998 F150. Moved to a 2005 32 foot Dutchman Denali 5th wheel with a 2002 F250 diesel. Now we have a 2012 36 foot Crusader 320RLT with a 2012 F250 6.2L gas. In retrospect, I think our next upgrade (10 years from now) will be a down grade of sorts. I would like to go back to a unit in the 32 foot range and upgrade the tow vehicle back to a diesel. I plan on spending a lot more time on the road when I retire and feel this combo will be ideal for it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:05 PM   #17
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Neither the wife nor I camped as children so we have started a new tradition for our family! All of our upgrades have been due to the growing size and quantity of our children. Here's what we have had so far:

Honda Odyssey and Jayco 1206
Gmc Yukon XL and Coachmen Catalina 26bh
Toyota Sequoia and Coachmen Catalina 28dds
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:31 PM   #18
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1st camper - Trail Manor 2719, 2nd - Rockwood ROO 23SS, 3rd - Rockwood Ulta Lite 2604. Next camper a full time 5th wheel once DW retires.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #19
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OMG! Tenting, pop up, 19 ft toyhauler, 28 ft toyhauler with slide, 38 ft two bedroom destination TT with huge slide, 18ft microlite TT, 28 ft Jayco 5th Wheel with slide (very nice model and quality) graduating to our custom ordered Work and Play 34fk and new Diesel truck...we realized that there were some things we could sacrifice (like slide outs) to have the peace of mind of quality and durability!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:27 PM   #20
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I have always moved up over the years but I actually moved down last year. I went from a 26 ft toy hauler trailer to the Grey Wolf 19RR. My loaded 19RR weighs about the same as my previous trailer did unloaded. I am very happy with my switch and haven't looked back. The trailer is so much easier to park at my house and has all the room and ameneties I need. I have drove 3/4 ton Dodge diesels for a number of years and don't plan to change that antime in the near future.
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