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Old 12-08-2006, 11:08 AM   #29
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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Hmmm...lots of VW bus folks. We also started in a regular 66 VW bus. I took out the middle seat and we slept on the floor. Then we migrated to a 20' x 10' Coleman tent. The front 10x10 area was a screen room with the back 10x10 the sleeping area.

From there we went to a small Coleman pop up camper, then to a bigger Coleman pop up, then to a 21' Hi-Lo trailer, then to a 30' Thor Electra travel trailer, then a 27' '01 Safari, and now to the current 30' Classic Slide out.

Quite a progression over the last 34 years.


Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:27 AM   #30
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
The older I got, the smaller and lighter the tents got, and the ultralight backpack, and high loft down sleeping bag, and the stove, and titanium cooking gear, and toothbrush with the handle cut off. The backpackers know what I'm talking about.
I hear ya! Do you remember the little packets of Folgers ground coffee that managed to taste worse than instant?
Originally Posted by Janet
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!
And I think the young clerks at REI look at me funny for having #466738. Janet, I'm impressed! I was a mail order customer from early 1975 when they still had just the one store. Do I have enough fingers and toes to figure out when you joined?

I did Boy Scouts in Texas and Susie Boundary Watered in high school. Her folks camped with half the citizens of their very small town. They pulled their Starcraft popup down to Interstate State Park on the Dalles of the St. Croix River for our honeymooning in 1973. Years of backpacking, car camping, but mostly canoe voyaging in Boundary Waters Canoe Area followed -- that was last century. It's a new age and we started looking at Airstreaming in the new millenium. A mattress sure feels good!


5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 12-08-2006, 11:29 AM   #31
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1977 31' Excella 500
Berkeley Springs , West Virginia
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In high school, me and my buds would walk out into the woods with a Bowie knife. That was it. We built our shelters out of sticks and leaves. Drink water from the streams, etc.

Well fast forward a few years. Wifey's idea of camping is the Hilton. Did that for years. Finally talked her into trying out a travel trailer. Borrowed my dad's 26' Terry with slideout and took it to the beach. We had a blast. Dad traded the Terry and got himself a giant Holiday Rambler 5er. So now what could I do? (I had a big SUV at the time). Well, started looking for an Airstream. Finally found the 31 footer I'd always wanted. Bought it right (so I thought) and brought it home. Well, a year later, I find all kinds of things wrong with it. But I still like it. Our only camping in it so far has been in the back yard hooked to shore power, but its been fun. I'm getting ready to do the total shell off new frame beyond full monty monster make over. When it's done, I want to take it everywhere I can.

I've always liked the art deco vision of the future from the past styling. They're just cool!
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:22 PM   #32
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1970 31' Sovereign
Denham Springs , Louisiana
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I started off as a Boy Scout. Did that until I was 18. My wife went on an occasional tent camping trip with her family in High School... We married when I was 29. A few vacations where we spent one or two nights in a tent on the way to our destination. Then my Aunt and Uncle got a motor home and told us at every holiday get-together how much fun it was. Several years later, Dad's sister, who had been a girl scout sponsor and tent camped, got a coleman pop-up. Next, my parents bought a 38 foot motor home. My wife and I had two girls who are now old enough to enjoy camping, so last year we took them camping in my aunt's pop-up and in my parents motor home, and they love it. I started thinking about an old short Shasta or something similar, began appreciating the shiny ones, and came across a 1970 31 foot Sovereign within 15 miles of home. Bought it, gettting it in shape for spring. Sort of a round-about journey back to camping for me, but there it is.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:22 PM   #33
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1960 24' Tradewind
1956 30' Sovereign of the Road
1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
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Originally Posted by Canoe stream
I hear ya! Do you remember the little packets of Folgers ground coffee that managed to taste worse than instant?
Yes, I do!
Traveling With Elvis
life with a 1956 Sovereign of the Road

• • • Aluminocentricity • • •
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:35 PM   #34
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Here's a blast from the past! I think this was the first year we were married...going on 20 years this year! We started out with the VW buses also..this was the was an 84' Vanagon...then once the kid's came along and the family grew we tented it. This year we've gone Aluminum...There's no turning back!
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:47 PM   #35
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yea i noticed the vdub linkage too...

lots of us 'camped' in bugs b4 buses...

along with my 2 room mates from college daz, we 'camped' in the bug one week...

in colorado at a ski december

also the reference to 'frostline' kits take takes me back, and makes me laugh,
i've still got the patterns for some of my old frostline stuff...

having such an odd body and liking 2 sew...

i made shells and coats and gators and mitts with those kits...

i still use the gators 30 years later...

my ankle size hasn't changed


and hey mods' what are the new features i'm seeing at the bottom of each post...

is adding these things the source of glitches and the slow down this week?

ok, never mind i see andyR has posted info on this...neat, i think.
all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:51 PM   #36
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My BF, before I married, camped in his 71 VW bus almost every weekend. He had a nice setup and we were always comfortable. The major trip was a 3 week adventure in the southwest. We slept in our sleeping bags under the sky. When I married my husband had a 60 something VW bus and we camped in that a few times. Not as good a setup as the bf had. Camped a few times in a large tent. family reunions were held in a State Park in North Georgia. One by one family members purchased SOBS and we tent camped in a 2 man pup tent. As we grew older that would not work anymore. Our older bones could not handle the cold ground. We started looking for an airstream and bought our first one for 500 bucks. Just to see if we liked it. We did. But this 76 airstream had a lot of plastic in it and as we traveled things started breaking. We decided to move up and bought our 96 Classic 3 years ago. We love it. I like to say that when we travel it is like we have a huge suitcase behind us holding everything we need. 30 years later he still has the 60s something VW bus!!
WBCCI #6978

There are two ways to die in the desert.
One is by thirst and the other is drowning.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:53 PM   #37
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Another late starter..

For me, parents had no interest in camping of any kind, so it was motels for the 6 of us when traveling in the big Olds, or beach houses in southern RI for annual vacations.

Parents loaned money to buy a VW Westfalia Camper Bus and picked up at factory in Germany in 1968, as part of 10 week post-graduation trip with fraternity brother.. (Icelandic Airlines, "Europe on $5 a Day, chaotic politics...) We lived in it and drove it over 9,000 miles on it from southern Italy to northern Scotland, had a blast, and sold it for $150 loss upon return total..

Mom acquired old Newport/Dodge Class C which we used a couple times in the '70's, and we acquired a 6 person dome tent for girl scouts and cub scouts for the children.. Upgraded to a Nomad Weekender Bunkhouse model in '89 (Casa De Cardboard..) which we took across the US and into British Columbia over 14 years.

Bought the Airstream in '03 after wanting one for 13 of 14 years we owned the Nomad, after children declared they were pretty much done camping with us... Lots more places to go and things to do...

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 12-08-2006, 01:02 PM   #38
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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Well this will be a long list..starting in 1975.

Started out backpacking. Found out about beer and..
Moved to VW vans. 1st was a 59 followed by a 65. The kind with all the windows and a cloth slide open top.
Then truck camping. Truck got too small soooo a 2 1/2 ton 10 wheel drive Army truck. Too big. Traded the truck and got married.
For a wedding gift we got a tent that fits the bed of the truck.
Cool beans new Wife likes to camp. Unfortunately the truck was a Ford Ranger. 1 trip in a cramped bed and resulting backaches. Preacious decides we want a tent. Too bad she picked a three bedroom w/ screened porch.
First trip the tent was shredded by Gale force winds. Soooo a really cool Starcraft Off-Road Pop-Up. What a great deal! Went everywhere and we had a ball. The perfect Boondockers trailer. Except for the need for an F150 to tow it. That is until the Mrs. decided indoor plumbing was the thing. I was able to steer her away from a 5th wheel into a 19 Safari. Looked great on paper. Cramped bed and really cramped W.C. So we got the 25 Safari FB. Everybody was happy except the truck. So the F150 went and was replaced by a F250PSD. Both of which we will keep and use until buried.

You know the SOB (NOT some other brand) who gave us that truck tent has cost me a fortune!
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 12-08-2006, 02:22 PM   #39
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Alameda , California
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My parents lived in a converted moving truck before I was born, and then a different truck, at some point pulling a trailer with one of those. Around the time I was born we moved into a converted open-top double-decker bus. We were what they call New Age Travellers in the UK, which was a pretty diverse group although you could summarize as "hippies in old trucks". After 2 years of the bus (in 1979) we moved into a house though, which was probably good as the 80s were a pretty hard time for travellers in the UK.

Later, we camped in a VW bus or tents variously in Scotland, Wales, the South of France, and the Lake District, and we also had an old trailer semi-permanently kept at a campsite on the North Norfolk coast, where we spent a lot of happy summers:

It had no electricity and gas lighting. During the winters it was trucked off to a storage place, it didn't really tow. About 15 years ago, it went to its probably-final home, as an artist's studio in the back yard of a friend of the family.

I've done a certain amount of tent camping as an adult - Brittany in France, lots of music festivals in the UK - and a little bit here in the US - parks right here in Oakland, and Burning Man - and I love to travel and get outdoors, but I'm also extremely lazy when it comes to putting up tents. And I don't like to get cold. And I like having a shower. And a computer. And a TV. And maybe a couch, bathroom, wide assortment of clothes, books, real dishes & cutlery, nice warm duvet, my cats, rugs on the floor, heating, cooling, running water and refrigeration. Um, I guess what I'm saying is that I like being at home. Hopefully once it's all put together, my Airstream will be able to be all those things and I can still travel as much as I'd like though.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:30 PM   #40
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Kiln , Mississippi
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As a kid - two piece Army tent on the ground.
Parents had a Layton 16 footer until I was 16
On my own - slept on the ground with a sleeping bag - the best way
My wife and I - 12X12 canvas walled tent for 10 years

The Airstream makes life so much more enjoyable - and that's what it's all about.
Michael & Tina with Layla and Preston BZ
The family has grown.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:37 PM   #41
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1977 Argosy 24
Central , Georgia
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Come out with your hands up....

We were able to squeeze almost a whole month in the Great Smokey Mts. before they caught up with us. The judge was sympathetic when he found out we were on our honeymoon and the camper we had stolen was just some other brand. The Judge, we found out later, was an Airstream owner. Our sentence; 6 months hard time, 30 yrs. probation and no contact with any travel trailers.
So you can just imagine how anxious we were to start looking for an Airstream just like the judge’s as soon as our probation ended.

It was a short but impressive venture into travel trailers 30 yrs. ago but it was worth the wait. We love our Airstream and considering the price, I think we stole it too.


sometimes, but not in this case, truth is stranger than fiction
Travelers by aluminum roadships, loyalists to one species,
masters of convenience, herdsmen steeped in maintenance and restoration.

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Old 12-08-2006, 02:55 PM   #42
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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I didn't note this in our earlier post but camping out was pretty foreign to us as kids. My folks always took us to ma and paw resorts up in Michigan and Minnesota. The only camping we did was with a borrowed tent and I for one considered the entire process barbaric.

I only got into it just after meeting my future wife because of economic considerations. State parks at the time were $2.50 a night so for all intents your $ went a long way.


Jack Canavera
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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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