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Old 04-15-2007, 06:32 AM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Whose parents got them started RVing?

The recent thread from 61 Bambi has started me thinking (a dangerous thing).
How many of us got started camping or RVing by being dragged along by our parents? My camping experience was started by my parents, where we started by attending auto races Saturday nights, spending the night at a nearby campground, and returning home Sunday. This gradually turned into week- and Summer-long trips all over the United States and Canada. These are some of the most fun times I can remember.
Of course, the experience is what you make of it. Wild horses couldn't get my brother to come camping, no matter what.
If anybody else has a childhood camping experince they would like to share, by all means post it here, we would all like to hear them.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 04-15-2007, 07:41 AM   #2
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Yup. That'd be me. Started with a '71 Contry Squire (Ford) towning a 70s Lark, made by TEC (travel equipment corp out of Elkhart, IN). We then moved to an '85 Suburban (3/4ton w/ 454) and a 24' Jacyo Jay Gull. Great unit, built well. After that I became too old in my opinion to go along anymore (around 17). They're words as I said I'd pass were:
"You'll miss this someday and look back at the nearly 30 States and 4 Provences, with the thousands of place we've gone and seen." My response, yea right, been there done that wrote the book."

Those were the words exchanged around 1988-1989. In late 2002, we went to an RV show.....and the rest is RVing history. One Bambi bought at that show, towed with my Chevy Impala SS. Upgraded as so many Bambi owners do to a larger Airstream. Picked up a 2004 25' Safari Six Sleeper, then upgraded to a 2004 3/4 Suburban.

My parents looked and me, and didn't even have to say I told you so!

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Old 04-15-2007, 07:50 AM   #3
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1967 30' Sovereign
Los Lunas , New Mexico
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Oh, boy. My first trip in an "RV" was in the late 50's, when my dad built a homemade pickup camper out of canvas and steel pipe. We went from Albuquerque north through the Rockies into Canada, over to the coast, and then all the way down the southern California and back across the desert to New Mexico. It was suprise that the thing held up.

Later on my dad designed and built a real truck camper: Hard sided, cabover design, complete with heater, stove, refrigerator. We took several trips in it.

I went off to college and beyond, but my parents continued, this time buying a series of RVs from regular manufacturers. Now they have a large fifth-wheel, which they thankfully leave parked near Quartzsite for their winter stays, and they have some kind of Class C for their touring.

It's sort of in the family, too. Uncles and cousins and their kids with motorhomes and fifth wheels. They come up here to the park once or twice a year for a kind of family reunion.

WBCCI 21043
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:21 AM   #4
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
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Can't really blame my parents...we only camped once as a family and it was a major disaster I grew to love camping and the outdoors thru the Boy Scouts and working on my Grandparents dairy farm during the summers. Still take a tent and go camping once in a while. I camped in tents on a monthly basis up until about 6-7 years ago when I got a Pop up, then after one too many storms decided that an Airstream was probably the way to go

__________________ many little time...
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:32 AM   #5
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Wasn't my parents although we did go out in a borrowed tent once. I didn't consider it much fun. My grandfather would go out fishing and spend the night in the rear end of his station wagon. I did that once and thought the entire event was miserable.

My reason for camping was pure economics. It was cheap and it was a way to get out without going broke. At the time (around 1970) an overnight in the state park was $2.00 and I had a old VW bus with the middle seats removed. We brought our food with us and with gas at about $.25 a gallon, a weekend out at the 'ol state park would cost us no more than $10.

Jack Canavera
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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:34 AM   #6
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Columbus , Indiana
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Me too.

My parents started (before I was born) in a borrowed tent. One weekend, burst porta potty bag + in the tent + 2 little kids = no more tent camping. So, they bought a used, home made truck camper and I later came along. My parents, grandparents and uncle went in together and bought an also used, home made pontoon boat and we spent many weekends camping with friends and family and using the pontoon.

We took several week long trips with mom and dad's friends who also had campers. Their kids were all older than me but I always totally loved it. One time we went to Myrtle beach and decided to all go into town together... in somebodies suburban....14 of us. Our driver noticed a couple of hitch hikers. He pulled over and offered them a ride. They turned us down. All but a couple of those that were adults at the time are gone now, including my parents, and the suburban driver being the most recent about a month ago. Oh boy, do I miss them. Now I'm just getting sad. ..Back to the good stuff.

The end of my 4th grade year we sold the truck camper and bought a new Lindy mini-home and headed west for a month, from Ohio to California and back. What a great memory.

When I was in high school they traded up to a fifth-wheel. I wasn't one of those teenagers that got too mature to camp with their parents. I was in high school marching band but as long as it was within an hour drive, I would head to the campground as soon as I could on Saturday evenings after competitions. When my dad got sick they traded for a Trans-Van and we took a couple of trips in it.

Even after my dad passed and I was out of college and in my own apartment my mom re-married and they bought a Cardinal 5th wheel, I went camping with them every once-in-a-while.

My brother and sister don't camp but my sister and her family own a couple of little cabins on the water and they spend just about every weekend together there. It's been good for them but we like to take our kids places to see and do different things and meet new people.

Occasionally we take our kids back to the place where we kept our pontoon and camped and they love it. They love to camp just about anywhere.

Mrs. RedSHED
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
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Farmington , New Mexico
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I learned it on my own in our back yard with my wife and our 2 kids. My parents were products of the depression and convenced it would return. Any money spent on non esentials was concidered a waste as was time spent doing anything but work. What few conflicts we had was over what we spent on campers and camping equip. I regret the conflicts but not the camping as my childrens, children learned it love it too.-------pieman
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Old 04-15-2007, 08:57 AM   #8
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1966 24' Tradewind
Placerville , California
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Early camping

My earliest and happiest memories were when I was camping in Michigan. We spent many summers at Santa Rita Beach, Lexington, Mich. That is on Lake Huron. The faded, grainy photo was taken in front of our trailer (ON the beach) about 1945. I am the boy on the right. Military uniforms were popular fashion for young boys then. My brother, the sailor and I an Army paratrooper. Why we had the uniforms camping I don't know. We camped with that trailer until 1948 when my parents sold it a we took a wonderful driving tour of New England. But we stayed in motels along the way and except for a nice cabin on the ocean in Cape Cod they were anything but memorable. Dad and mom next had a travel trailer after we moved to California. My posts in the two Rte 66 threads describes our trailer journey to California.

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Neil and Lynn Holman
FreshAir #12407

Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

1966 Trade Wind

1971 Buick Centurion convertible
455 cid

1969 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
455 cid
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:10 AM   #9
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Chattanooga , Tennessee
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My father and grandfather were members of a hunting club that also had lots of other outdoors stuff to do. All of their children and us childrens would go stay at the club. We did some tent camping and then my parents bought a pop up so we could stay next to the lake. There were lots of snakes there and they didn't like sleeping on the ground. One time it started raining and mom decided she would give us kids a bath. We went out in our skivies, soaped down and let the rain rinse us off. Then she soaped up....and it stopped raining. Dad was just laughing! But he also hauled buckets of water from the lake to rinse her off.

Don't remember not camping. Lots of great memories! I guess it's in my blood!
Kathy, Tommy, & Crew, Chattanooga, TN
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:38 AM   #10
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1964 17' Bambi II
Santa Cruz , California
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My first camping trip was at the ripe old age of 6 months old. Mom, Dad and 6 children tent camping, then in a 1960 16' Aristocrat trailer. We camped all over the western USA. In the mid 60's we got a 50' trailer at Lake Berryessa CA where we spent our summers water skiing. After High School I began camping on my own and have never stopped, it's what I live for.

Thanks Mom & Dad

1964 17' Bambi II
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:40 AM   #11
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related thread


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 04-15-2007, 10:16 AM   #12
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1960 24' Tradewind
1956 30' Sovereign of the Road
1963 16' Bambi
Southeastern Area , Tennessee
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Does it count if I got a parent started RV'ing?

Similar to Mike Lewis' parents, mine were children of the Depression. RV'ing was considered WAY too expensive to just go camping, so I was introduced to camping through church outings. One of my favorite memories was a night hike at Highlands Hammock State Park in Florida. Strange wounded animal-like sounds in the woods preyed on overactive imaginations. We ended up huddled in fear in the middle of the trail until our group leader mentioned the alligators in the adjacent swamp. It was mating season. One never saw a a group kids run 3/4 of a mile so fast back to camp!

Mom's first RV trip was last September at the age of 78. She would scold me for posting that number. Though tentative at first, she now looks forward to our trips and regularly reminds me to update her camping calendar.
Traveling With Elvis
life with a 1956 Sovereign of the Road

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Old 04-15-2007, 01:32 PM   #13
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1969 23' Safari
Grosse Ile , Michigan
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Gramps made me do it !!! Honest !!!!

Well, I guessed with me, it skipped a generation, and it wasn't a parent that got me was my Grandparents.

I will still never ever forget the first day i ever saw their new 1969 23' Safari was Thanksgiving Day 1968, Gramps had just taken delivery the day before. I still remember the protective plastic on the couches and the plastic runners on the floors, and "that" smell !!! Kind of "new and plastic" with a hint of adventures to come!! haha!!

That spring, after they returned from the "shakedown" and wintering with many of their friends in Pompano Beach, FL, Gramps asked me my opinion on possibly going with them that summer, after school was out.... He mentioned Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore.... and i was IN !!!! I was barely 8 years old. In the ensuing years we would get out the big map of the US every Easter in Gramp's rec. room downstairs and discuss where we wanted to go that year... Most times coinciding with the WBCCI International Rally that year. I was fortunate enough to attend every International from 1970 to 1975.

We always tried to include Yellowstone when we could, and I always remember it as my favorite place to Airstream to. Gramps getting me up at 5am to go to his favorite fishing spots...Sand Point and Sedge Creek, on the Yellowstone Lake just a few miles from Fishing Bridge.... The adventures I still recall like they were yesterday!! The time on our way to Bozeman in '73 that my buddy Eddy and i decided to climb the big mountain in back of the park in Rapid City, and were gone for four hours...and we came down to find the entire Rapid City PD and everyone from the Michigan Unit was looking for us..... That was about as p****d as Gramps ever got at me!!!! (whew)

Guess it was only a matter of time...(30 years and a couple days) until I had an Airstream of my own. And wouldn't ya know, i got me a 69 23' Safari Twin. Gramps sold his due to failing health in June of 76. I know as sure as i was born that those years traveling and seeing the country with my Grandparents did more to shape me as a person than anything else did. What a blast to look at all his slides, and read the diary entries from those days...brings it all back like it was last week!!

Matter of fact, I think I'll go make some lunch and an adult beverage, and go out into the yard and dine in the little silver twinkie!!

Attached is a pic of me, days after Gramps purchasing the Safari.... I was 7 yrs old then. The exact same license plate in the picture (MI #324-771) is on my own Safari as i speak..... how's that for deja-vu??
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Scott Anderson
Grosse Ile, Mich.
1969 23' Safari Twin
WBCCI # 22426
(formerly #22425 1968-76)

When it is my time, I want to go peacefully,
And in my sleep.....Just like my Grandfather....
Not screaming, kicking and in a state of panic,
like the other passengers in his car were......
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:45 PM   #14
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Tujunga , California
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Started in our boat

Going out to the San Juan islands in Washington, then taking the boat up the Mississippi and tent camping on the shores. Eventually a pop up trailer, then a Smuggler trailer for our motorcycles in the 70s (before they had toy haulers!) and eventually a class A motorhome. Now my parents have a MoHo with slideouts and both my brothers have nice SOBs, but my husband and I have the classiest: 85 345 Debbie

Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
AIR 7992
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