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Old 12-08-2006, 08:02 AM   #15
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1994 30' Excella
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Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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We started with a tent in and a 1972 Toyota, then graduated to a VW Bus. Then we moved across the river from a state park and campground in Iowa and stayed home for several years. We thought, why camp when you have a campground in your backyard? Moving to Wisconsin took away that excuse and opened up the many great places in Wisconsin to visit. We bought our first Airstream a 25' 1975 Tradewind. Fortunately this wonderful trailer went to a very good home when we bought Chummy. We say now that we will never sell Chummy and that is probably true.

Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:12 AM   #16
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2005 30' Safari
Chandler , Arizona
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Good thread......
We did several years and many miles of tent camping and jumped head first into Airstreamin'. Traded my Jeep Grand Cherokee for a big diesel F250 and earlier this year bought our 30ft Tin Cabin. 4000 miles year to date and 20 nights. We'll do even more next year....It's just so much fun.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."- Mark Twain

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Old 12-08-2006, 08:25 AM   #17
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1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
OlyPen , Washington
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When I started camping the ground was softer and the earth was flat. My REI member number was/is 127, the catalog was a mimeographed list on four pieces of paper and there was NO logo wear!

I also had a Frostline sew it-yourself tent. The seam sealer smelled like cat pi$$ right up until the tent was unceremoniously burned in stinky glee. I worked for Outward Bound for several years and learned to hate powdered food, middle aged executives with big egos and injury induced, stiff joints on cold mornings.

When I could afford to, I became a Hilton camper and.... I became the middle age jerk that I had once reviled! So...... we made some changes, opened a business doing what we love, dumped the pumps and ties off at the Salavation army and put the Honors card in the junk drawer.

Like it says on back of the big, glossy REI catalog (and a lot of their clothes); Life is Good!
1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

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Old 12-08-2006, 08:35 AM   #18
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2005 31' Classic
wilson , New York
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We tent camped for years with the kids and then nothing for the last 7 or 8 years. Then we found our classic and with retirement nearing we are now ready to resume where we left off.
"Your edumacation ain't no hipper than what you understand"- Dr. John

'05 Dodge 2500 SLT 4X4

TAC# NY-5256
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:46 AM   #19
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2005 28' International CCD
Willoughby , Ohio
Join Date: Oct 2004
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There were seven of us kids and dad didn't make a lot of money so we camped - biggest Ted Williams tent made, bunked cots, Coleman three-burner white gas stove - had a BLAST.

One trip was to the Skyline Drive in Virginia and we camped across the road from Mr. and Mrs. Little - they had a 57 chevy and pulled a small AS - I was smitten, even as a youth.

Tent camped when our kids were young, not momma's cup-of-tea.

Bought a Coleman pop-up and used it for several years - STILL not momma's cup-of-tea.

Kids grew up and moved out, we went to the AS dealer and later the factory for a tour and were HOOKED (momma for the first time and a renewal for me). I liked the 22' CCD, but like a wise man once said - when momma wants to upgrade - SHUT UP!!! So , we have the 28'. She LOVES it! We plan to keep it until we start drooling on ourselves and maybe longer than that!

I still tent-camp with my Scout Troop and backpack with my brothers, but there is something about a mattress and an on-board toilet that are hard to beat!
Steve & Susan
WBCCI# 03876
AIR# 6511
2005 28' CCD, 2011 Sierra 5.3L, Equal-I-Zer
Empty Nesters - spending our money on OURSELVES for a change!
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:54 AM   #20
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1989 25' Excella
By The Bay , Rhode Island
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Started with Boy Scouts a couple of years ago. We were fortunate to have a very active troop; camped every season (yes, many times in the snow) and did 50 mile backpacking trips on the AT every summer. Our Scoutmaster was very much old-school. We did all our own cooking, cleaning, etc and never used the cafeteria style scout camps. I learned a lot from those days; I can cook everything from a pot roast dinner to an apple pie using a campfire. I have never strayed to far from camping. I still go backpacking on the AT at least once per year.
We live on the coast, and when I met my wife, we had a fishing boat for several years. Spent many a weekend out at the canyons catching tuna, we “camped” on the boat a lot. Still went North to the mountains a couple of times a year, or to the beach, with a tent, but my wife always wanted a popup. Next thing we knew our Son was born! So…we eventually sold the boat and bought a popup. Loved camping, hated the popup. But it did re-invigorate our interest in camping again. Used the PU for 1 ½ season and my wife saw an SOB that she really liked, bought that and used that for a couple of seasons. We all liked the SOB much better than the PU. By now we had been bitten by the camping bug and were going quite frequently.
My FIL, who is a real character, loves to wheel and deal, go to yard sales, etc. calls me up one Saturday; “hey Bill, grab your son and come out here, you’ve got to see what I found”. So we drive the one hour over to his town, and there he is sitting in some one’s drive way drinking a beer with a nice gentleman who happens to have a rather beautiful AS sitting there with a for sale sign on it. My FIL says “ I have been watching this for years, today as I am driving by, Mr. F… is putting the for sale sign up. So Iput a deposit on it”.
Well, the price was more than right, the next thing I know I am towing home an AS. Keep in mind we were very happy with the SOB. Boy was my wife pissed. But we agreed we would try it and see how we liked it. It was April and camping season was just starting. So I cleaned it up and went through all the systems (everything worked, water heater needed a little TLC) and we took it out one weekend. Needless to say, we put the SOB up for sale soon after.
We still find ourselves camping more and more each season. Sure do love the AS. So much more unique compared to all the SOBs out there.
*Life is Good-Camping all around the Continent*
*Good people drink good beer-Hunter S Thompson*
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:19 AM   #21
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2005 25' Safari
West of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 217
Started out camping out under the stars(no tent) with friends in High School..

Camped in the back of my Datsun pickup truck while in college (had a cap on the back of it)

Moved to Tents for many years as my three sons grew up.

Purchased our first Airstream in 2004 ( 19' Bambi)
Paired up with a Toyota Tundra

About 4-6 months later ugraded to a 25' Safari

This year upgraded the truck to a GMC Sierra 2500

Thinking of upgrading the trailer ... but this madness needs to stop somewhere..
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:25 AM   #22
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
rio rico , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 119
Spent a few weekends with in-laws in an SOB. Did a few boat charters, then moved onto a 37' sailboat for 13 years. 10 Of those years spent sailing around the world covering some 40K nautical miles. Now on our second AS and waiying for the snow to go away.
Cheers, Jeff
2007 Safari 25 FB SE LS
2006 Chev Express 3500 Duramax
Predator tuner
Equal-i-zer hitch
"Home is where the ART is"
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:55 AM   #23
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Fort Wayne , Indiana
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A high school "Hi-Y" camping trip on the AT got me hooked on camping. "Full Timed" for a while in my VW microbus in '67-'68. Got seriously into backpacking in the early '80's and still use almost all the gear I invested in then. Segued into bike camping for several years while I had a Norton. My wife and I enjoyed backpacking into our fifties, although after our last big trip in 2001 she told me, "I want to keep you, but I want a separation from that 50 lb. pack!"

I'd REALLY wanted an Airstream in the mid-seventies, but even the price of a vintage unit was way out of reach. When we moved to the Northwest from Chicago in 2003, I started seeing them around and got interested again, found this forum, found our '70 GT, "Blimpy" and then, ah... found ouselves with "Stella the Excella" too. We're Streamin' up to the tops of our waders now!
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:40 AM   #24
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
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My dad was really into fishing the creeks and streams along the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies so we'd go camping in tents into some pretty rugged territory. Our family travelled a lot as we travelled to various places to perform (family singing group ) so a trailer made sense early on to carry the instruments and costumes. A TeePee was the first, then a Scotty and as the family continued to grow the trailers got bigger. When my wife and I started camping it was with a very abused Sears pop up tent trailer with more holes in the canvas than we had thought - they would just appear in new places every time we opened it. We thought we had it made when we went to a truck camper (without the cab over - a home built that was so small we moved up pretty quickly), then a sears hardtop pop up, a Coleman truck camper pop up; Travelaire 17' trailer, 17' Boler fiberglass trailer, a Silver Streak Chico 17', and then the Flying Cloud. For well over 15 years we looked for just the right Airstream - it had to be vintage, it had to be lightweight but decent size, and we found that a few years ago. My parents always wanted an Airstream and other family members are always asking to sleep in it when they come out to visit from the prairies. There have been very few years that we have not camped and since until recently my career had me living in hotels 100+ nights a year motel/hotel holidays have always been dreaded.
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:46 AM   #25
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1964 17' Bambi II
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 319
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Lifelong Camper...

My first camping trip was at the ripe old age of 6 months. Camped all through childhood with Mom,Dad and 5 siblings (3 boys-3 girls ), under the stars, or in numerous tents, and finally in a 1960 16' Aristocrat trailer.

Tent camped through my 20's and 30's.

In '92 bought a Coleman tent trailer...
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that I still use today.

In '99 I bought a Northern Lite camper for my '96 Dakota...
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great for roadtrips with lots of miles driving every day, went to 11 National Parks with that rig. Also great for boondocking off-road...
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just sold that rig when I bought my new truck.

I'm currently working on my Bambi II, and will probably buy another camper for the PowerWagon.

1964 17' Bambi II
2005 Dodge 2500 PowerWagon -5.7 Hemi
WBCCI #4207
AIR #11485

"you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" ~bob dylan
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:51 AM   #26
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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We started with a 1968 VW Kombi in 1967, then a 16' travel trailer in 1969, followed by a VW Campmobile in 1971.
Following that, we got a Coleman pop-up in 1974, then an Apache hard-sided pop-up in 1976.
I then got a Holiday Rambler trailer in 1982, then nothing until we got our Starcraft pop-up in 2002. Sold it after a miserable rainy weekend trying to camp in it in 2003, and got the Argosy 20, and last our Overlander.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:57 AM   #27
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1992 29' Excella
2010 22' Interstate
Van By The River , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,765
Camping - Is That What You Call It?

Sometimes when I tell somebody we're going camping it seems as though I'm telling a white lie. An Airstream (or any modern RV with power/water/etc.) is not what many people consider camping (i.e. sleeping bags).

When I was a youngster my mother and father had a small late 50's AS. So I grew up with aluminum to some extent. As a teenager, camping meant grabbing a sleeping bag, building a campfire and carousing around all night with my friends in the local woods. There are plenty of woods where I grew up in rural FLA.

My wife and her parents had pop-up trailers. She was born in NJ and took trips with her mom and dad down to FLA several times - towing the pop up behind the family auto. Later, when her parents moved to FLA they bought an old school bus that doulbled as camper and moving van.

After my wife and I married, camping consisted of sleeping bags and poorly equipped tents. Some people call this trunk camping since you simply stuff everything into the trunk of your car.

For several years we did not do any camping. Hotels became the normal means of staying overnight wherever we found ourselves traveling.

Now that we have the AS, camping is once again in our blood and I can't believe we waited this long to take up traveling in this manner. I love having my own bed and bathroom - all the germs are ours - and we know when we last used disinfectant. I can go to bed when I want, get up when I want, and have a hot cup of tea when I want. It does not get any better than this!
Lucius and Danielle
1992 29' Excella Classic
2005 Chevrolet Suburban K2500 8.1L
2018 GMC Sierra K1500 SLT, 6.2L, Max Trailering
Got a cooped-up feeling, gotta get out of town, got those Airstream campin' blues...
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:59 AM   #28
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2005 22' Interstate
Afton , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 226
From xx to Airstream

Many interesting tales of seduction thus far.
Ours started with a Rambler American station wagon. Slept in the back and had a grub box. In 1966 we bought and used for 5 years a 19 foot trailer. In 1971 with an overseas transfer came the first VW camper, and we kept using VW's along with a Herntrei tent until 2005, through many camping trips in Europe and the USA. Then we started feeling too old to erect the tent for one night, and saw the Interstate. Love at first sight, as it is really just a grown up VW camper, with a toilet and shower. We plan on driving the wheels off it and into the sunset.

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