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Old 10-02-2003, 11:09 AM   #15
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My first real experience camping, was in a rented Winnabago motorhome. My father drove it to the Poconos in Eastern Pennsylvania, and my mother followed in the '66 Chevelle. We had a blast.

My wife and I did some tent camping, but we longed for something better.

After going to the Cleveland RV Show in 2001, we started looking for "something". I decided to ask the neighbor across the street if he wanted to sell his '67 Overlander. He said no. I started searching on and found our Airstream a mere 10 miles away. The rest is history. We have been out 9 times this year, hopefully we'll get one or two more times in!

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Old 10-02-2003, 11:28 AM   #16
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Our camping days started when we were kids in Europe. Then no camping for many years, then was picked up again as a side-effect of going exploring in Baja California. We would get way into the desert somewhere, find some water, and put a tarp on the floor next to the 4X4. Yes, simplest form of camping. Then after finding one too many scorpions under the tarp in the morning, graduated to sleeping in the back of the 4x4, then realized that crosscountry fourwheeling in Baja can get very complicated, and decided to camp at the beach instead. Enter the cargo van from my warehouse with the air mattress in the rear - ah, protection!
My wife then got tired of lugging all the stuff she wanted to Mexico, and made me buy a camper, ( Airstream) for me to lug around instead.
We bought the Airstream to "try it out" because we liked it better than the white SOB variety. We figured we can't loose too much if we first buy an old one,and decide we don't take to it.
Well, we're still in Love, with each other and the Airstream!

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Old 10-03-2003, 04:07 PM   #17
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As a kid, our family would go on trips in a big Buick stationwagon.
My sister and I got to sleep in the back of it. It had these sky widows in the roof and we thought that was the cat's meow. We always went to summer camp too.

When I became of age my best friend and I took of for an adventure out west. I had an old pick-up with a topper on it and we would sleep in it. We went to Pikes Peak, Yellowstone, the Tetons, Mount Raineer...We were driving along the coast of Oregon and couldn't find a place to stay so we pulled over along the side of the road. When we woke in the morning we discovered the ocean was just below us off the cliff! There were also some other campers that had to do the same as we. We had the time of our lives.

After that I would camp in an old leaky army tent until I camped at Governor Dodge,Wi. on the evening the tornado went through
Barneveld. That was it...Had to have a camper.
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Old 10-03-2003, 04:36 PM   #18
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I started camping when I was about 7 or 8 and living in CA. I was in Girl Scouts and my mom was the new troop leader and was going to be in charge of a GS campout...minor problem, my family had never camped! So my dad went out to Sears (of course) and bought the biggest canvas tent he could find (with all those poles), we loaded up the station wagon and we headed out for our first excursion to, of all places, Death Valley! I kinda find humor in that..."my mom and dad probably discussed, either we're gonna love this camping thing or it's gonna kill us!". Well, all our family vactions were in that silly canvas tent...

We even hauled that thing 6 hours up Lake Powell on a fishing boat to shore camp for 2 weeks before the lake was that's what you call boondocking!

I can remeber my dad always pointing out Airstreams as being "the way rich people pretended they were camping, with all the luxuries of home". So I guess the seed was planted....someday, I wanted an Airstream ~

When we got married 22 years ago, we actually registered for camping equipment 'cause I'm not exactly a china & crystal kinda gal...everybody loved it and nobody complained about how expensive my placesettings were!

Once we moved to CO we kept tent camping even tho the weather didn't always can be very unpredictable here in the Rocky Mountains! So...when we decided it was time for something a bit more old Airstream was the only thing we considered.

We were talking with some friends at a rally this last weekend, we found it interesting that each one of us bought essentially the first A/S they remember seeing as a child....kinda cool ~

BTW, about two years ago, my folks finally graduated out of that old canvas tent into a tent trailer...they still like roughing it and spend about 75-90 days a year camping!

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Old 09-07-2004, 09:40 PM   #19
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My first camping experience was probably when I was five or so and we would sleep in homemade bed rolls on folding lawn chairs under the stars in our back yard. From there we graduated to tents made of sheets and blankets, but still in the back yard.

When I was seven I began to go away to Girl Scout camp for a few weeks during the summer. This was really modified camping as we stayed in cabins, Adirondack shelters, houseboats and platform tents depending on age group and special programs. Most of our meals were served in the mess hall, though we did cook out over the fire a few times. We usually took a hike and camped out under the stars at least one night during stay. One of the special opportunities offered was a five day canoe trip down the Susquehanna River. We prepared for this trip by getting certified in lifesaving, first aid and basic canoeing and paddling like crazy around the camp lake to build up our endurance for two weeks prior to the trip. This was my first experience with primitive (and at that time what I considered real) camping.

While in college I took a few weekend canoe/camping trips with groups of friends, and that was about it until my mid twenties. The boy I dated in my mid twenties was an avid camper and I just fell right back into the camping groove as we took many of our vacations camping. We tent camped mainly in campgrounds but also took some primitive canoe trips along the Snake River. As a yearly outing, we would load up my inflatable boat and go out into the Everglades for a few days of camping and fishing.

Then I didnít camp at all for over ten years. Two years ago I decided to take up camping again but didnít want to go the tenting route. Based on what my car could tow, I bought a Pop-Up camper. I purchased it at the end of the camping season and loved it for that first year. The following year we went camping much more often and I began wishing I had a travel trailer. So toward the end of that camping season, I traded in the Pop-Up for my Airstream. This is my first full season camping in the Airstream and so far I love everything about it.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:35 AM   #20
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My experience started in grade school through the YMCA. We used to take what were called "bike hikes" and do overnight camping at some of the local Y camps. At 13 I worked at one of the camps and slept in a large tent all summer. As time went on and I was in high school my friends and I would go to various places on Cape Cod and basically camp under the stars. I remember bringing bags of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my meals on these trips. Thru college I had a small Datsun pickup truck with a cap so I would take that on trips and sleep in the back of that. A couple of years after I got married to my first wife we went tent camping with some friends and got rained on... That was the end of camping with her... To keep the long story short after about 15 years later I was divorced with 3 sons so I started to take them on camping trips on the weekends. These were some of the best times of my life. It was a wonderful time to sit and talk with my sons and have them participate in something I like to do. My wife now and I spent about 5 years tent camping and really enjoy it. Even, owning an Airstream I still intend to do some tent camping (well maybe, I kinda like having heat). We have only owned an Airstream for about 10 months but already have lots of great memories from some fun adventures we have had. We are looking forward to many more!
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Old 09-08-2004, 11:47 AM   #21
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As a boy growing up my grandfather would tell me stories of how he and his brother and father would go camping for days in the Brazos river valley that would years later become Possum Kingdom lake in N. Texas. He told tales of
cutting cedar branches for bedding and finding old cabins and hermits living back in the wild. Around the time I began to drive, I read a book called "Goodbye to a River" and it told another story of a local author that took a two week canoe trip down the Brazos River from Possum Kingdom to Grandbury, TX. The imagery gave me the bug to go rough it. I didn't have a canoe but I did have an old Lincoln, and after equipping it with mud tires spent a lot of time exploring the piney woods of east Texas, fishing, hunting and camping out of the trunk of that old car. I was hooked.

In 92 I bought my first rv. I found a '77 Ford P/U with a 13' Huntsman slide in camper. I refurbished the camper and used it a lot, putting almost 100,000 miles on the rig. In 98 a friend traded me a '78 Coachmen 5th wheel for a metal building I was tearing down. It was great because it was a lot bigger than what I was used to but it had major leaks. I had always liked the Airstreams best because they weren't adorned with all the stupid looking graphics that are plastered all over the other brands. Plus I figured they wouldn't leak with the way they are constructed. (I was 50% right) So in 2002 we started looking for a used Airstream. While staying in Colorado for New Years 2003 we found our Overlander sitting in the snow with almost invisible sign that said For Sale. Since June of 2003 (when we got it on the road) we've pulled it close to 15,000 miles, almost all of them trouble free. The best night's sleep we've ever had continue to be in the Overlander. It's funny, we took Ann's mother to St. Louis a few weeks ago and she had never slept in an rv much less an Airstream. The first morning she woke up she said "I don't think I've ever slept so hard". Needless to say we look forward to many more years in the Overlander.
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:39 PM   #22
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First started camping at about 16 years old at Lake Shelbyville in Illinois. Loved it and stuck with it over the years. We feel there is still something advantagious about going different places on vacations, seeing different things, and living different experiences otherwise not possible, and still being in our own beds every night.
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:09 PM   #23
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I was a Cub Scout & stayed at the local 'Y' in the Gym, 1st night in a sleeping bag. Boy Scouts next, Explorer Scouts, Woodstock-'69, & then the U.S. Army-'71!

Now it's Airstream & no going back !!
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Old 09-08-2004, 07:47 PM   #24
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It seems like getting into camping was a real chore, or accident, for most of the folks preceding. For me, it was almost a natural progression. I started camping in my back yard when I was in my pre-teens, advanced to camping on the outer islands and backwoods of Florida when I was in my teens, spent many terrific camping trips with the Boy Scouts during this same period, and also enjoyed cruise-camping with small sailboats and powerboats. After college, and with a young family to boot, the company I worked for built a small folding camp trailer for the employees and that started a long period of camping with pop-up type campers. That saw us (---with a family of three kids) through three new Starcraft Pop-ups - with the last being a Starcraft Galaxy that we took on a 15,500 mile trip around the U.S. and Canada. The Galaxy was sold, after the tragic lost of my first wife in surgery - and the advent of a second marriage - and for several years I abandoned camping alltogether. Following a divorce, I acquired a small pop-up camper that could be towed by a Subaru Justy (----did I mention that I was broke after the second marriage????) and, subsequently, I re-married. My wife and I (---married 14 years now!) have now gone through yet another antique-type pop-up, a Coleman pop-up, an Award travel trailer, a 22' Winnebago motorhome, and, most recently, a 2000,30' Airstream Excella. Frankly, I thoroughly enjoy the Airstream and I hope it's the last RV (---and "wife!") in this evolution!

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Old 09-08-2004, 08:27 PM   #25
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Started early..

I should have known early I would be more of an Airstream guy than a wilderness backpacker.. First camping around age 10 in back yard tent with extension cord out dining rom window... Helped with electric blanket and radio... My parents were motel people, and we took long road trips in cars and station wagons, but always slept where Dad could find good hot shower and comfy bed... Did some overnights in college, but never grew to enjoy cold tents, hard ground and cold water.

My wife and I tried a few tent camping events, and finally decided that we needed comforts of heat, lights, hot water, bathroom with shower and kitchen.. I was cub scout leader and Boy Scout Committee leader, and did few more tenting experriences, but never grew to enjoy roughing it.. That led to purchase of Nomad Weekender in 1989 (Tanks filled and batteries died at 45 hours..) with bunks for children and many happy trips around the US and Canada. Named unit "Casa de Cardboard" to remind folks that swinging from doors and banging things would lead to structural failure. After children graduated from college, camping with parents dropped on their priority list, so we finally indulged dream and found Airstream for two...
John McG

In Theory, there's no difference between Theory and Practice, but in Practice, there is usually a difference...
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:22 AM   #26
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Camp Arrowhead

Had to be Cub Scouts.
Family camping was tents, probably based on $$$
Would not have it any other way !

In 1964 we moved up to a VW camper with a small pop-up.
I had the hammock type bed over the drivers seat.
See that oval skinny cabinet door...I used to squeeze inside there.
We only kept it one year...was to 'uppety' for us, back to tents.
Those heavy a$$ canvas Wedzells...whew.

Kinda miss tents, or at least look back fondly.

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Old 07-20-2007, 05:49 AM   #27
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First, I got to say thats a nice looking rig. But did you have to replace the curtains everytime you cooked breakfast?

I Didnt camp at all as a kid, my parents had a 27' sailboat so we'd spend weekends in there. Its like RV'ing but it moves around more.

Finaly got into Boy Scouts, and tent camping. This was in North-Western Oregon so camping congures up memorys of steamy fires, the smell of wet canvas, the feel of soggy socks, and the sound of our scoutmaster hooting as he strapped his prosthetic leg on in a 35 degree morning.

Did some more tent camping in college in doing Civil war Re-enactments (Canvas tents are miserable) then later fighting forest fires in Oregon. That was far less fun, but the food was much better. That cured me of camping for a few years untill I got married, and my wife likes to camp.

Our tents got progresivly larger becasue I have this rule about being able to stand up when putting my pants on. When we moved to Colorado and had our first kid, we graduated to a flip-pack, which is a pickup shell with a top that flips open over the cab and a tent pops up out of it. It was nice having a hard floor, permanant mattress and being up out of the critters. But it was still cold, and leaky. Also when laying in a tent on the top of the cab of a full size truck during a Rocky Mountain thunderstorm, you start to feel like youre in a frying pan.

I had my epiphany when my parents came up from Florida with thier 28 foot Dolphin class A, and we went boondocking with them. Them in the Dolphin, and us in the truck with the flip-pack. It started to monsoon shortly after we got set up, and then it dawned on me:
We arent huddled out there in that wet, miserable tent on the truck. Nooooo, Were LOUNGING in here, eating jiffy-pop and watching Herbie on the DVD player.

That started the search for an older (cheap), aluminum trailer that ended with our '63 Avion T-20. All of the plumbing was shot and all of the systems needed work, but the running gear was good, the floor solid and the body in good shape.
Fast Forward 2 years later to last month when boondocking at 11 mile resivoir. Its been a long day of hiking and canoeing with the kids. Were all snuggled down in our beds. The temperature drops down into the low 50's. As I hear the furnace click on, I look up at the rain drops hitting the windows and give a little smile before drifting back to sleep.
Aint the outdoors grand.
Champagne wishes and Caviar dreams!
Budwieser budget.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:34 AM   #28
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Another thread that compliments this subject.
Lots of sweet family stories.


Travelers by aluminum roadships, loyalists to one species,
masters of convenience, herdsmen steeped in maintenance and restoration.

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