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Old 09-28-2003, 08:10 PM   #1
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How did you get into camping?

I'm curious how everyone got into camping. My family never went camping because my Dad hated it from his camping experience in Europe during WWII. I started camping with the Girl Scouts and moved into bike-camping and backpacking in college. Most recently, after 5 consecutive years of tent camping in the rain, I was ready to give up on camping. Then I went to my first RV show and got to walk through an Airstream. I was familiar with Airstreams because I went to design school but didn't know anything else about them. I was sold and the rest is history (we ended up buying a Bambi last year on eBay).

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Old 09-28-2003, 08:21 PM   #2
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Here is a thread that has a lot of good stories about "Our First Camping Trip."

Visit our church on the web!

"A safe camper is a Happy Camper"

Bill & Donna

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Old 09-30-2003, 08:58 PM   #3
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Cub Scout and Boy Scout outings then deer hunting and eventually getting the yearly deer hunting partners to camp/fish during the rest of the year. Great social activities.

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Old 09-30-2003, 10:04 PM   #4
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My parents never camped, but my aunt and uncle loved to and always took me and other cousins, along on their summer trips. I've camped since I was 8. My husband was a boy scout so he knew the "tricks" well before me.
Last summer my husband and I woke up under the rain with one too many back aches. It was a slow decision, which actually grew on us with time. First we upgraded from the regular camping pad to a thicker one, then to an inflatable one, then to an air mattress...etc. Moreover, with 2 dogs, camping was getting tricky. On one last trip a bear visited the campsite and both us and our Husky got really nervous!
Also, I always thought that the moment you start carrying too much "stuff" to camp, it means you have to move on!!
So here we are, brand new happy AS owners!
...the dogs love it too!!
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Old 10-01-2003, 05:25 AM   #5
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Our family vacations were spent camping every summer for two weeks in New Hampshire. Became a Cub Scout and got really into it. In young adulthood I camped infrequently but took up tent camping again when we got married. It was short lived, but we loved it. Now with three kids (and one new Cub Scout) we wanted to do something on the weekends other than plug them into the TV or PS2.

We looked at hundreds of RVs over the last three years. Originally got interested in AS's over their trailers but since many of our trips are over long distances I wanted a MH. (Three kids X 1200 miles + MH = No More "are we there yets")

Once I knew AS made MHs I was on a mission to find one. Searched for a little over a year until we found our 345. It's bigger than we set out for but we're very happy with the choice now. Plenty of room for the five of us on the road or in a State Park.

Can't imagine going any other way now.
Steven Webster
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Old 10-01-2003, 05:58 AM   #6
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How did you get into camping?

Friend's of my family introduced me to camping in 1964 when I was five years old. They were long-time Airstreamers and members of the WBCCI. Shortly after they purchased their new Overlander International in 1964, they invited me on my first camping, or should I say, RVing trip. Needless to say, after a couple of nights in a hammock bunk, I was hooked.

My parents didn't share my enthusiasm for camping or RVing, but did give it a brief try in 1969 when they purchased a brand new pickup truck and camper combination (Chevrolet C20 with an 8.5' Sun Way slide-in cabover camper). This foray only lasted for two years when the truck camper was replaced by a new 1971 Buick Sportwagon.

After graduating from high school in 1978, I again entered the camping world with a cabin tent and the '71 Buick Sportwagon. Tenting became old quickly, and various tent trailers were tried including a Montgomery Ward tent camper (referred to as the giant erector set in my family) and a Coleman Minuteman. In 1980 I gave up and tried my first hard sided box trailer - - a 1980 Nomad 19' light series - - in less than five years it was falling apart.

The Nomad was sold in 1983, and I didn't re-enter camping until 1995 when I decided that an Airstream was what would be my next RV. After searching for several months, I answered a blind advertisement in a local trader publication for a 1964 Airstream 28' trailer. Despite the advertisement, it was actually a 26' Overlander that had been mis-titled as 28' when the previous owner had moved to Missouri. It reminded me of the trailer from my first camping trip, and in less than a week it was mine.

The quirk to the whole story is that a few months later, I learned from one of the original owner's family members that it actually was the trailer from my first camping trip. The identification was via the drapes that the original owner's had made just before selling the coach in 1980.

Kevin D. Allen
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Old 10-01-2003, 07:42 AM   #7
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My memories of camping as a kid are all bad. We camped because it was a cheap but uncomfortable way to travel to places we kids had no interest in going to. A few years ago, my wifes grandfather decided he was too old to camp any more, and wanted us to buy a pickup with a built on self contained shell. She wanted it as pretty much a reminder of the good times they had had in it. After we bought it, I discoverd that camping in relitive comfort and going somewere you want to go (not always, sometimes its weddings and reunions) aint bad. But it was too small for 5 of us. We bought a 14' SOB "kids camper", the problem with that was when we day triped, all the kids stuff is back at base camp. SO we started looking. We wanted long, single bed, AIRSTREAM, and in researching AS we decided if we could, it would be nice to match years. There were probably 200 rear bed SLYs made in 79, and many are gone now, so our chances we pretty slim. Can you believe we found one 1 mile from our house, second owner and well taken care of. It did take me a year to talk him out of it.
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Old 10-01-2003, 09:52 AM   #8
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I was a lucky one. My parents always had an Airstream since I was born. We went to Alaska with one in 1964. Every summer we would take 2+ weeks and go! Every other weekend we would go somewhere. I remember my mother making a casserole on Friday, my dad would get home, my mom would cook the casserole ON THE ROAD in the oven and we would eat when we got there. I have probably been to 45 states and over half the provinces due to this travelling bug.

Alas, my father became too ill to travel so my mother gave us their Airstream. Now we are travelling as much as we can.
Roger & Roxie (rore62) Smith (Air#178 - WBCCI#1646)
Visalia, CA (between Fresno & Bakersfield)
2012 31' Classic - Nuestra casa rodante
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Old 10-01-2003, 02:50 PM   #9
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Started Early

I started when I was 5 weeks old. My parents joined/help start a new camping club after they took a class at the "Y." (Took them 20 years to do it since my Dad also "enjoyed" camping during WWII too). We'd go at least once a month from May thru October with a 1-2 week trip thrown in every year. I was kind of the club mascot since it was their first campout that I started campoing. I was able to visit almost every state east of the Mississipi before I got into High School. My wife also enjoyed camping when she was little, so when our boys got old enough we bought a pop-up so we could share the experience. We outgrew the pop-up and have our very comfortable and "roomy" '55 that we have enjoyed the few times we got to take it out this year. We've also joined the Tin Can Tourists and found it to be great. The enjoyment and sub-culture of the old rigs has become a "niche" I've been able to fit into quite comfortably.
Jason & Veronica J.
S.E. Michigan
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Old 10-01-2003, 03:22 PM   #10
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At a very young age, my parents took us almost everywhere in the United States and 4 of the Canadian provs....each summer Dad got 2 weeks and we'd hit at least 3-4 states a summer and this lasted for about 16 years....

My parents told me "one day you're gonna miss this." Being the typical teen know it all, I just shrugged it off. As I got closer to 30, I did start to miss it. So much so, that I got back into it in a BIG way....and the rest is electronically stored here within this forum!

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Old 10-01-2003, 03:59 PM   #11
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At the tender age of four...

by sleeping on the fold-down seats of my parents' new '59 Rambler Classic! Of course, I got the 'steering wheel' side of the car. My grandparents had some kind of small, maybe 16', camper in those days. We'd camp and fish with them on the shores of innumerable small lakes in northern Iowa and southern Minn. As I grew, so did our camping lifestyle; from a wall tent to a tent camper and then later a parade of campers including a Winnebago 16' and a Forester 16 or 18' but the crown jewel was the incredible hard-side fold-down called the "Rolite". Folks bought a brand-new '70 model after having a used '65 for a couple of years. I actually saw one in a parking lot a couple of years ago... Geez were they junk... Great times... but I'd still rather nap on the shore than fish...

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Old 10-01-2003, 05:06 PM   #12
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Boy Scouts = Camping.
Airstream = Comfort.
Boy Scouts = hard work, putting up tents, building fires and the like.
Airstream = Pleasure, propane stove outside, shower, good night sleep without the bugs.
Boy Scouts = Boy Scouts
Airstream = Class
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Old 10-01-2003, 05:29 PM   #13
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6 weeks old

I'm was youngest born first day of spring, and a trip in May started it off each year for my family. A WWII tent to a JC Higgins tent camper to assorted bigger and bigger sob trailers. Along the way in 1959 my favorite was on of those 4'x 8' teardrops with an outside rear cook area, went from upstatre NY to Alaska/Cal. and back in it in the mid 60's. I slept in Car and parents in Camper, I was the only child at home by then and as a reward for sleeping in the car, I got a dog and the trailer when we got back.

Watched Wally Byram on TV with my Dad and he planned to "do it" after retired but health stumped that plan. Here is the kicker...when I went off to college my parents sold my baseball cards(yes, Mantles although Boog Powell was my favorite) AND MY CAMPER. Have camped ever since all over the country and love my 310 mh.
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Old 10-02-2003, 03:02 AM   #14
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Re: Started Early

Originally posted by Jabba
Took them 20 years to do it since my Dad also "enjoyed" camping during WWII too
From the stories my Dad has told me about his experience of camping in Normandy during the war, the conditions were awful (of course, because it was war time) and it rained all the time. Knowing that the army used canvas tents during the war, I can just imagine how awful the conditions must have been with living in wet, musty canvas tents!

Thank goodness we live in a free country and own Airstreams!

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