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Old 07-13-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2014 16' Sport
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 27
New to campers - looking for advice

Hello Air Forum members,

I've been reading the forum for a few hours and found a lot of great info, but would like to describe my situation and see if anyone has any advice or pointers that can help me along the way.

My wife and I are experienced backpackers and tent campers. We have 2 kids - a 3 year old and a 10 month old.

I recently found out that I am going to have a couple of months off in between jobs and don't want to waste it staying too close to home. We decided that driving up the Pacific Coast is something that we will probably not have time to do again for a very long time.

We went to look at camper trailers the other week and I was generally unimpressed with the layouts and feels of everything we saw. Most were much larger than we want. This is quite a change from tent camping. I was getting ready to move to Plan B for transportation options when I walked by an AS Sport 16 that had just been sold that morning. I asked the sales guy to open it up just so I could see what they look like inside. As soon as my wife and I stepped inside, we knew that this would work perfectly.

We have secured another Sport 16 and are in the planning phases for our adventure. We are going to be on the road for a month or so.

Main questions:

- Has anyone on here road tripped with kids these ages? He did it go? I'm much more worried about the 10 month old. We know we are in for a lot of short days. We aren't expecting to cover ground at near the rate we are used to being able to.

- Can you suggest any threads that I should look at as someone who is new to AS and camper camping in general?

- any other general advice is welcome.


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Old 07-13-2014, 11:20 PM   #2
Len and Jeanne
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2005 16' International CCD
2015 19' Flying Cloud
Creston Valley , British Columbia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,552
We got our Bambi after our kids were grown; but like you we were former tent campers and didn't want a white box behemoth. If you've tent-camped or taken long car trips with your children (as we did from the time they were babies,) I don't think you'd find RV camping with them much different, except that it's a whole lot more convenient. You would want to put the dinette table down every night to make up the bed; and then probably put the large wedge-shaped bolsters in your tow vehicle overnight so that the dinette bed truly accommodates two children ( or one parent and one child).

I can't recall specific threads for newbies, but we were total babes in the woods about RVs when we got the Bambi. The learning curve was incredibly steep. One of the main issues was just recalling how everything worked. Hopefully your salesperson went over your Sport with you, inch by inch, and explained everything, and you took detailed notes, as the manual is not that helpful.

Backing was a big challenge, but the main thing is just to take your time. Having a check list of what to do before you leave your site is helpful at first. It's easy to forget things. Also, RVers are a pretty friendly lot, and if you ask an older experienced-looking RVer how something works, or to help you with a ticklish back-up, you will make him feel like a hero, and be that much further in your experience.

Your trip sounds wonderful. Have a super time!

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Old 07-14-2014, 07:51 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
2014 16' Sport
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 27
Thanks! We are very excited for the trip.

We are buying the Bambi lightly used from a private party so no dealer salesman to give a walk through. Hopefully the previous owner can give me a good one.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
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Oswego , Illinois
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We started in a non-air conditioned pop-up when my kids were 2 mo, 2 yrs and 4 yrs old. Just make the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle you would make anyway while traveling and live well!

Actually, we started 2 years earlier, with 2 infant and one 2 year old, but you get the drift.

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
The important thing is to take care of the little ones.

Less important is traveling light, especially in your Bambi. Most campers bring far more stuff than they need. Use your tent and backpack camping experience here.

We have traveled the Pacific coast routes several times with different campers and it's quite nice, but it's been a few years now. I would try to have reservations for campgrounds reserved well ahead.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:38 AM   #6
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
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The 3 year old will be a lot more trouble than the 10 month old. At 10 months they are pretty easy to please and they are not getting into stuff and running around here and there. Every kid is different. A high strung 3 year old can make everyone miserable. We started renting a cabin when ours got to be walking age. When she was around 5 we started camping again. You will just have to see how it goes.

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Old 07-14-2014, 10:00 PM   #7
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2014 25' Flying Cloud
Waxahachie , Texas
Join Date: May 2014
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We camped with our kids as soon as they were able to travel. I think that getting out there with them makes them better travelers from the beginning. You just have to do things in a different way. Your youngest will be the easiest right now. Our firstborn learned to walk at a campground....and then fell down. Her first step pictures sent back to the grandparents show the bumps from the falls but you can see in her eyes it didn't bother her one bit. You may need adopt our plan of attack which was always divide and conquer to get through some set up/break camp days. Overall, you will not regret this trip one bit. Keep us posted. We all love hearing tips and tricks others have learned!
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:18 PM   #8
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1980 31' International
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 193
We started out tent camping/scuba diving, so we understand your situation! When we married, my husband wanted a real bed, so we bought a pop up. having grown up with Airstreams, I always felt that our pop up was not very durable, so we purchased a neglected Airstream. I enjoy having the extra room for us and our two dogs, but am trying to be very conscious of not piling in a bunch of unnecessary 'stuff'.

Enjoy your time off and your Airstream and be sure to post photos!!

Jenn & Robb & our two furry kids
Maizie ('the Black Dog') & Dex ('the Brown Dog')
1980 International 31
WBCCI #4447
AIR #70157
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