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Old 06-11-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
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What is your earliest RV memory?

I was thinking back about all the RVs my dad owned when I was growing up. We did a slow progression from a trailer, to a couple different truck/campers, a few different class C motorhomes and finally to Class A motorhomes.

I thought of the little trailer, probably only about 16 foot long. Had the couch across the front with a "cupboard" above it that folded down into a bunk. One night I was sleeping in the bunk and rolled over and out of it, landing on my dad below. What a rude awakening for both of us. It also had the pump water faucet. Had the little lever on the side you had to pump to get water.

I also remember a Western Wilderness camper we had. Must have been made out of solid wood as it was heavy! It had a "wet" bathroom which is to say they stuck a sink and toilet into a shower stall. The toilet actually folded down out of the wall. To "flush" it you simply pushed it back up into the wall, every thing slide down the back of it into a hole and into a tank. Quite ingenious but I have never seen one since.

There was the Winnebago Mini Winie that we bought. At 23' long it wasn't big but we liked it but it was a horrid piece of junk. I always remember that the previous owner had fixed everything using nails. LONG nails, and lots of them. He didn't seem to realize that with foam walls you can't use nails and expect them to hold. It became a joke around the house that to fix anything you just needed a longer nail.

RVs have come a long way. Levelers, satellite dishes, ice makers, slide rooms, automatic steps, water pumps, etc.

What is your earliest RV memory?
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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That's easy for me, it was about 6 years ago when we rented a Class A and took a trip from Wisconsin to the Smokey Mountains. We were hooked and shortly after bought our first fifth wheel.
We had both done quite a bit of tent camping in earlier years before we knew each other.
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:54 PM   #3
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We tent camped for years. I remember one year Dad looking at the TT's in the park and sarcastically saying, "They're really roughing it."
The next year after saying that he bought one, about 17' if I remember correctly. Across the front was a U shape dinette that made into a bed. Of course it had a kitchen and a bathroom but I don't remember much more than that.
This would have been about 1967 or '68.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
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My parents took me tent camping starting back in the early '40's. They moved from a tent to travel trailers to Class C to Class A and camped until about 10 years ago when my dad hit 85. I started tent camping soon after college and did it for the whole year of 1973 and again for 1975. After that I camped all over the country while traveling, but not for full years at once. I still want to camp, but the ground is hard and it's a long way down, so buying an RV seemed to be the wisest way to do it. We bought it almost a month ago and have yet to spend a night in it, but soon, very soon.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:34 PM   #5
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My camping started with my Dad converting an old school bus into a camper. A triple bunk bed across from an a couch near the front of the bus, overhead cabinets over a gas stove , across from a wood-stove with the pipe out the back widow in the back of the bus. No running water, or bathroom. Propane gas lights for illumination. Early on he kept the bus on the river, with a once a year night-time drive (and back) to the mountains with no tags or inspection sticker for deer season. It took a day and several 5th of liquor for dad and his deer hunting buddies to get that bus running every year. Later on, he rented a place near the bottom of the mountain to park the bus so he didn't have much state roads to negotiate.....he drove during the day then.
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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I remember Dad bought a used pop-up camper when I was about 11 or 12. My bother and I used to set it up in the back yard and camp out there.
My whole family took it to Holly Beach, LA. one weekend, back in '67. Things were nice until the sun went down. The mosquitoes were so bad we couldn't keep them out of the camper. Even our little Beagle was miserable. We packed up in the middle of the night and headed home. That was our last camping trip with that pop-up.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milzat View Post
The mosquitoes were so bad we couldn't keep them out of the camper. Even our little Beagle was miserable.
How funny as we had the same experience at a lake here in eastern Washington with our truck/camper when I was a kid. We spent one night and headed for the cooler mountains the next day to escape the bugs. Never have been back to that state park to this day.
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Old 06-12-2010, 12:23 AM   #8
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My parents started all of us out with a tent. God, the things my parents did for us- 5 kids and them in a tent in the 60's. Around 67 or 68 Dad bought a Tradewinds pop up. They kept that thing until the late 80's and it never leaked and the canvas was still in really good shape- Thanks to Mom always yelling at us kids to stay outside unless we wanted to sleep! I used it for a few years, then my younger sister. Dad bought a 21' Citation , but they pretty much stopped going unless I went somewhere. Mom said it was just too much work anymore- rather stay in a hotel. I take them with me now whenever I can- kinda repaying Dad for all those years.
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Old 06-12-2010, 06:51 AM   #9
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Mike, sounds like those parents of yours did a pretty good job raising their kids.
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:10 AM   #10
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My first memory of camping in an RV was going with my next door neighbors in an Apache Pop-up. I remember thinking it was cool not to be sleeping on the ground especially when it rained the first night. I really have to thank the Sinnotts for introducing me to camping in an RV. It may have been a small Pop-up but we had a great time. We still keep in touch by email. They're in Ft. Meyers Florida and I'm still in Maryland.
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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Earliest memory . . . waking up in a tent trailer in a little city caming park somewhere near Duluth,
where they had deer that you could feed . . . 4 years old . . . and hooked on camping!
Went looking for that same park a few years ago and found it!
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Old 06-14-2010, 03:40 PM   #12
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I remember when I was less than 10 years old, my aunt from California came to visit us in Ohio pulling a pop up trailer. I had never even seen one before. They put it up on the patio for the kids to sleep in. I remember having a great time, but I don't think we ever slept. I never camped at a campground until after I was married and my in-laws had a Holiday Rambler class c. That got me hooked on camping.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:31 PM   #13
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I have vague memories of camping with my grandparents in a truck bed camper that Grandad made. But more recently, 2004, for our first camping trip as a family, we borrowed grandads 29 ft 1979 Shasta, drove to Lake Barkley KY, pulled in after dark, 11pm, had to use a flashlight to find our camp site. As we were trying to figure out how to set up the camper, we could hear water from the lake close by, but had no idea how close it was, and did not want to misstep & fall in the lake. The next morning we woke up to a beautiful view of the lake at sunrise about 15 feet in front of the camper. We have been hooked ever since (at least the kids & I have been, hubby is warming up to it now that we have our newer bigger, more comfy camper)...
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:28 AM   #14
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I never camped growing up, so I was about 20 and we started out in a tent. We took that tent everywhere and loved it. We then saw a fold out camper for sale and thought it was so wonderful. It had two pcs that hinged out and poles you put up under your canvas and then snapped the canvas to the wood. It was merely two beds with a little space between them but we thought it was huge. Again we took that everywhere, Disney World and all. Later I would be back in tents starting over with my children and working our way through several tents, 3 pups, an HTT, a TT, and now we are awaiting our new HTT. Very special times in all of them and wouldn't trade the memories for anything. Thanks for starting this thread, I am enjoying reading about everyones first adventures.
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:31 PM   #15
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The first RV that I can remember was a camping trailer that my Dad bought and used in the winter of 1949. We were living in Michigan and my Dad was a builder. In the summer he would build in Michigan and the winter in Florida. It was a 18 foot tear drop trailer that four of us lived in for the winter. That was the last camping our family ever did. It wasn't until 1967 when I with my family moved to Minnesota that I bought a tent and took us all camping. We loved it and bought a VW camping van several months later. Used it for 5 years and traded it in on a tent trailer. We than bought a Minnie Winnie that we also keep for a number of years. About the same time we got into boating and didn’t use it much We boated for 17 years. In 1997 we bought a 30 foot Winnie Chieftain and when we retired in 1999 used it to travel out west. We felt we needed something bigger for the mountains and bought a 2003 Itasca Horizon. That rig was a piece of junk we had all kinds of problems. We traded it in on a 2004 Holiday Rambler Navigator. It was so nice that we ended up selling our house of 30 years and full timed in it. We did that for two years, it was great but decided we wanted to be closer to our kids and grandkids. Because we weren’t using it as much we got out of RVing for about a year. We ended up missing the RV life style and bought our Cardinal 5th wheel. We use it in the winter, getting out of the cold and just explore.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:10 PM   #16
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My earliest RV memory is working the entrance station at Grand Canyon National Park the summer of 1969 and making fun of the Winnebagos (generic for all motorhomes at the time). Yes I made fun of them and here I am now driving one and picking up dog poop with a plastic bag. How we change as we age.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:26 PM   #17
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My first RV was a canoe. Does that count? It is a vehicle, and it is recreational. I suppose that counts. My family covered a lot of miles camping out of that canoe. I compare that to our camper today, and it seems rather primitive. Hmmm. Makes me wonder if I am spoiling my kids. Nah, time with my family in the woods is time well wasted if you ask me.....no mater how we do it.
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:53 PM   #18
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First memories of RV/camping was out of a 1963 Chevy delivery van, using the shelving as a bed with foam for mattresses. A vew years later we bought an Apache p/u, my most memorable trip was in April at Flaming Gorge reservoir and waking up to 6 inches of snow on the roof of the trailer, fishing was great that trip. I have fond memories of leaving before sunrise and getting to eat Hostess pies for breakfast on the road.
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