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Old 09-19-2007, 02:56 PM   #61
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1975 25' Tradewind
Post Falls , Idaho
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WOW! Loved reading everyone's stories. It all began in Huntington Beach, sleeping on an old soggy mattress with friends and family...later VW camping on Mexican beaches...

My first A/S was not love at first sight until a friend bought it. We all went camping...we in our SOB, they in what could have been our A/S. As soon as the awning went out I knew I'd been hasty. So... $$ later I talked the friends into trading. Now Brian and I are on our second Vintage...a 1975 Tradewind and we love it. We've been to only one rally and can't wait til the next one...next weekend!
More stories please!!
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:12 PM   #62
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1953 25' Cruiser
Canton , Mississippi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
I lived in TX. when growing up, was a Boy Scout and loved to camp out. I have tent camped for 22 years while deer hunting and finally got tired of the rain blowing tent sides in, twisting poles and putting pans on the floor where the tent leaked. I was always warm in my sleeping bag but those 14-20 degree mornings were rough getting dressed for the morning hunt. I finally had enough. Some of my friends were in popups and then graduated to the hardside trailers. I bypassed the popup and bought the Airstream and have never regretted it. It is the only Airstream in the hunting camp of some 50 trailers during hunting season and does it stand out. I've always wanted an Airstream and get chills whenever I see another one on the highway.
My story is pretty much the same as yours. Boy Scouts, tents, and hunting camps. I started out at deer camp with a tent, then graduated to a back yard storage building built up on a plywood base. I then bought a 26' SOB. It had leaking problems and smelled "funky" no matter how much I cleaned. Another guy in the camp had an Argosy trailer. Even though it had sat under an oak tree for years and the white paint was green with moss on the outside, the inside was perfect. No leaks, no smell. A "perpetual trailer"!!. I sold the SOB and bought a 1963 Overlander. I restored it and even took a vacation to Branson Missouri in it. I then bought a 1953 Cruiser to restore. When my family came along, I bought a 1991 34' Excella. I owned 3 at once. (crazy ). I am now down to the 1953. My wife wants to buy a 5th wheel trailer when finances work out .
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:34 PM   #63
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Belgrade , Montana
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Smile Newbie - just applied for the loan

How did we get into Airstream? Like the original post we love camping and the kids are finally at the right age to actually enjoy it. They proved that they were ready this summer when we went camping for an entire week in my minivan and 4-runner! We ended up folding in the seats and bedding down right in the cars. We actually own a Vogue motorhome that is ready to haul to the scrap yard and the cars were better than the Vogue! After an entire week without privacy, no place to change clothes as the outhouse develops a line if you are in there too long...we started shopping for a motorhome (not into towing trailers anymore). Everything in our price range was soon to be needing siding and we just couldn't see making payments on something like that. We decided to sell two vehicles in combination with a loan for the rest and made a deal with my dad that we'd by his Airstream motorhome. My oldest is 10 and we are worried he'll only have a few "kid years" before he might decide it's not "cool" to hang out with us or maybe we'll win him over for life into camping with us!
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:34 PM   #64
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1966 17' Caravel
Fairbanks , Alaska
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Growing up, my parents sold antiques. So, I always had a special place for things that were old. I always thought "WOW" when they have driven by.
Now that my children are getting older and the sports are becoming travel events. It was time to look into something. One plays competitive soccer (they just won state!!! Hawaii here we come) and they both do freestyle wrestling. That includes about 5-6 road trips a year for us. Hotel bills in the summer here are crazy. I could have payed off a few Airstreams by now. I kept telling my husband "What are we doing?" So we began looking. After looking into a Land Yacht and being heart broken when someone outbid us. We found a Caravel in the paper a week later. First callers in the morning and it was ours. WE LOVE OUR AIRSTREAM...
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:21 PM   #65
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High River , Alberta
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It was during a conversation with a brother-in-law a few years ago that I realized a travel trailer made a lot of sense for family vacations - economical (once the initial cost is addressed), convenient, comfortable, flexible. I started researching, and my wife and I came to the conclusion that we could settle for something less than an Airstream, but we wouldn't be happy. For us, form follows function, and quality is something worth paying for.

The old Overlander always needs some attention, but it's a hobby, and we've gotten plenty of use out of it in the first year of ownership. We're looking forward to many trips with our sons.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:34 PM   #66
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1974 31' Sovereign
1970 23' Safari
1956 26' Cruiser Overlander
Lambertville , Michigan
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It was all her fault...!!!! She found it and had to have it. That's about all there is to it.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:08 AM   #67
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1975 31' Sovereign
Pelzer , South Carolina
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Hi, Well back in the late 50's my folks had a airstream and I was facinated with it. They later sold it and had a custom FAN trailer made. When my Dad died in 1982 I inherited the fan, never really thought of going camping, but loved it, took a year off work and traveled the USA.
Over the years we owned many trailers..from hard sided pop-ups, to a string of Cab Over campers, but always had a bug that I would like a airstream. After I retired we spent a few years as volunteers at wildlife refuges etc, one of the couples had a restored 1969 Airstream, and that go me hooked. So after hunting around for over a year I found a 1975 Soverien and I am in the process of working on it. Paid way to much, finding out all the things that can hide in them, even had a family of pack rats. But hope to have it on the road by spring, maybe not polished, but in excellant working order.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:27 PM   #68
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1959 24' Tradewind
BREA , California
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Well for me it started with classic cars. Ever since I was little ive gone to car shows with my dad. So it was only natural for me to end up with classic cars. First car ever was a 55 chevy truck. I have had a couple since then as well as a couple classic caddies and lincolns etc etc. Got married and my wife and i wanted to get something to camp in. So I actually was looking for tear drops or pop up trailers. Well I stumbled upon a couple ads for a 1959 airstream 24ft tradewind. Lucky for me i was the first to respond so the owners gave me dibs on it. Turns out the guy i bought it from was the son of the original owner, making us only the second family to own it. And even better yet, when i negotiated it was with the wife, not the husband. I dont think they discussed it ahead of time cuz she sold it to me for 5k!!!! The next day when i picked it up, he was P!SSED. Nonetheless, i bought it. The thing is all original, with some upgrades done by airstream throughout the years. They installed a wraparound dinette in the front and also installed a bunkbed above the double bed. At the time we were towing it behind a 74 cadillac eldorado. My wife ended up finding a 59 cadillac from a coworked that i bought immediatly. So we now have a 59 cadi to tow the 59 airstream
This is a set that i cant see myself ever parting with. I am only 27 now, and we bought these about 3 years ago. We have used the trailer 6 times or so and love it. Will never look back, and will never give up the classics.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:12 AM   #69
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2008 28' Safari SE
Placitas , New Mexico
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We were all ready to buy a pop-up. We went to an RV show down in Albuquerque to look at PUs and saw the Airstreams. At that point it was all over. It had to be an Airstream or nothing at all.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:39 AM   #70
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1969 31' Sovereign
atlanta , Georgia
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I started out camping with my family on a trip to Nova Scotia in 1970 in a 1970 VW camper. I was 9 months old - so it has been a constant in my life in varying degrees for 37 years. But for as long as I can remember my Dad always commented on Airstreams when he saw them. He said alot of things, but the primary jist was his impressions of their build quality and advanced design. He was and is a "quality" obsessed person. In my 20s I did a lot of long trips (4-7 weeks) tent camping with my dog and then started my own business. Ever sisnce I began my business I've been trying to figure out a way to be able to be mobile and productive. After 10 years of design work and problem solving I figured I could resto mod and AS with some expert help. So I did. BTW - my dad will be 90 in a few weeks - he stepped inside my AS and was blown away - he was one of the first people to see it when
I was done. Cheers.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:56 AM   #71
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1984 31' Airstream310
New Holland , Ohio
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We, like 59tradewind, are classic car lovers, and both appreciate the unusual and different. I never camped as a child, but Brad's family (parents and four kids) all piled into their car towing their little Go Lightly trailer and trekked around the U.S., so he was familiar with trailer camping. I loved to tent camp, but hated the humidity/wetness of it.

We attend a lot of vintage car events, from Triumph conventions to vintage car races (I drive and Brad is the crew chief), and got tired of staying at hotels and going back and forth to the track. Plus, you miss out on all the fun that happens after the track gates close for the night, among all the folks camping out there! Brad was working a job in Arkansas while I was living in Dallas, and a little 20' Class C Coachmen showed up for sale next to our shop property in Texas. He was paying too much for a rental house, and we decided to buy the Coachmen and he would live in it.

We did a lot of work to it and got it in good condition. He lived in it for nine months! It was great for going to our events, towing our vintage cars or racer. But for living in, it was very small, and he really wanted something bigger. So, we sold it and looked at a dealer's lot in Dallas for something he would be happier with.

The dealer had what I am guessing was a 345 or 370 diesel classic moho, and we both instantly fell in love with it. Unfortunately, we did not know anything about them or about diesels, and the price was about $4,000 more than we could afford, so we ended up buying a very nice 27' 1984 Winnebago Brave Class A. Brad was very thrilled to have ROOMS! But we both remembered the Airstream and just loved it.

Brad lived in the Winnie for about a year and a half and during that time we came across a deer-camp 31' Excella trailer owned by his coworker's mother. We thought we would fix it up and sell it, but it was so bad we ended up having to gut it, and decided to clamshell the back end and use it as a car-hauler for our small vintage cars (have not started this project yet ).

Last winter, we both really got the bug for an Airstream moho and started looking somewhat seriously. We found our 310 on eBay, bought tow brackets for our Honda to hook it to the included tow bar for the drive home, and drove to Georgia to pick it up. The story of the return trip is in another thread around here somewhere, so I won't repeat it, but needless to say it was a very interesting trip home! But we got it home safely, have done a bunch of work to it, and absolutely LOVE it!!

Then, we found a 20' Argosy moho that needed a LOT of love on eBay, and ended up going to Tennessee and towing it home (story also on another thread here). So we are now the proud (and somewhat insane) owners of one trailer and two mohos! There is just something about Airstreams (and especially the classic motorhomes) that we just LOVE, and it makes me happy to see them out there every day.

Susan
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:38 PM   #72
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2008 16' International CCD
kitimat , british columbia
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Hubby and I live in the wilderness, close to two stunning provincial parks, however the bears are a big deterant to tenting...went to Smithers one day last fall and saw an A/S bambi go by (most likely from Alaska via Rupert). All the way home we said that is what we each have wanted for years and years and never gave it much thought. Looked online and ordered one up, pick up next month, needed a new t/v... since then have seen an old unit a few blocks from our home, doubt it has been in town long. Small town i'll find out more about it in a few months (it snowed here again today).
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:04 AM   #73
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2008 28' Safari SE
Placitas , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowey BC
.... All the way home we said that is what we each have wanted for years and years and never gave it much thought. Looked online and ordered one up, pick up next month, needed a new t/v... since then have seen an old unit a few blocks from our home, doubt it has been in town long. Small town i'll find out more about it in a few months (it snowed here again today).
Congratulations!!! Post pictures!
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:12 AM   #74
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2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
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UPDATE... I just stumbled across this topic and noticed my response from last September. Nothing has changed about WHY we purchased an AS but what has changed is that we now own our first AS. Two Saturdays ago we pulled her home for the 1st time. She's sitting in our rented inside storage space and we go see her on week-ends with the "stuff" we'll need during our trips. It's been fun outfitting her. We look forward to spring, summer and fall so we can get her out and travel!!! We've got several trips planned with her and are so anxious to get started. All of you that have been 'streaming for years know what it's like. We have yet to begin that pleasure - we've got it all to look forward to - lucky us!!! See you on the road some day..........
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:20 AM   #75
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1965 26' Overlander
1972 21' Globetrotter
Arlington , Tennessee
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How I got into Airstreams

Like many of the previous posters I entered the world of sleeping out in the Boy Scouts. My first camp out was in the Cubs and the next door neighbor an I camped in the front yard. Later in the Boy Scouts we camped at least once a month. In 1960 my best friends father was dying of cancer and wanted to do something with his son that he would always remember. We left Cleveland Mississippi July 1st in a 1954 Willys Jeep station wagon and camped every night for a month all the way to Kenora Canada and back. After that I was completly addicted. In 64 I was selected to attend National Junior Leader Instructor Training Camp at Schiff Scout Reservation, we group camped for two weeks while recieving training in among other things camping.
Later I owned a model 88 Land Rover with a pop up roof tent similar to a Westfalia VW pop up. I was living in Boulder at the time and spent many a night in the mountains camping in the Rover. A trip with friends to Yellowstone in a 1956 Chevy Apache panel truck provided another fix. Later I was bit by the canoe bug and spent more nights camped on sandbars on rivers in Arkansas than my hard drive can remember. In 72 toured Europe camping out of a Volkswagon Van that we bought in the parking lot across the street from American Express in Amsterdam. Ended up in Asheville NC and spent a lot of time tent camping in the Mountains and on the AT. Then came boats and tent camping near bodies of water. and it goes on and on. Including camping in a borrowed SOB at he Memphis Motorsports Park where we were catering the hospitality tents and suites for the NHRA Drag Races.
Fast forward to 2004 and a friend approached me about going in halves on a 1975 overlander in pristine condition for a 29 year old trailer. I thought I had reached the zenith of camping when I spent my first trip in the AS. In 2005 we were called to cater 1500 men 3 meals a day in the wake of Katrina. We hauled the AS down and slept up to 6 persons at a time as it was the only place to stay that had air conditioning. You guys in the back use the AS lou and ya'll up front use the Porta Johns so as not to step on any one. After that we added a 72 trade wind and a 66 overlanderto the the stable and the never ending tale goes on.....Thanks for allowing me to remember a great life spent oudoors.
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #76
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1972 29' Ambassador
Red Oak , Texas
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After a particularly bad night of tent camping - driving wind and rain; snoring dogs - I started looking. I stumbled upon Hunter's airstream list and was hooked. Found a 63 Bambi that had been customized to serve the previous owner and his efficiencies. We loved camping in it until my son was too old to sleep on the floor under the pullout bed. And left it in storage for a while and moved it to the Lake. We tried renovating and realized that without a toilet, it was never going to work for us.

We found the international on Ebay and are now renovating it but in much smaller steps - working on the toilet now.

The community of Airstreamers is a key reason why we continue.

Sharon
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:24 PM   #77
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Several years ago, I asked my wife if she thought she would have an interest in camping. I had done this many times, in a variety of equipment, but she had never had the experience. She allowed that she would give it a try, so I found an old pop up camper. This went well, and she enjoyed getting away from it all. I was never happy with the pop up, my last trailer was a Holiday Rambler trailer, and it was a (large) step down. Things came to a head in June of 2003, when we went for a 3 day weekend in the pop up. It sterted raining about 15 minutes after we arrived, and continued to rain--hard-- over the course of the entire weekend. Sunday morning we were all (Marie, Cookie, our dog, and myself) standing huddled in the very center of the popup trying to stay dry, and not succeeding too well. At that point it was decided we were getting a hard-sided trailer for camping.
So, Sunday afternoon, I closed up the pop up (in the driving rain), drove home, in the rain, dropped the popup in the rain, slogged through mud to unload the popup in the rain, drove home in the rain, and unloaded the truck in the rain. Everything wound up sitting all over the house drying, as I cranked up the computer, and started scanning the classifieds. I found a 1972 Argosy 20 for sale. We went the next evening, took one look, and bought the trailer on the spot. It was probably the best thing I've done for our outdoor life in a long time.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:46 AM   #78
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2000 34' Limited
1979 31' Excella 500
Miamisburg , Ohio
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Wanting to take the kids out west about fifteen years ago started us along the TT trail with a older Holiday Rambler, Had a couple of great trips and decided we liked what TT's offered. Off to a dealer to upgrade a couple of years later, I was into a lite weight 'cause we had a Cherokee for a TV. She who is to be obeyed, had a different idea, (apparently her father had always admired AS's but circumstances never allowed), she took me to a dealer that had a '79 31' Excella that she had seen. We made him a ridiculous offer (it was December) and to my surprise we ended up owners. I ended up trailing it home 40 miles with the Cherokee (think about the old ad with the bicycle pulling the AS). We had a lot of wonderful family vacations in that coach (after a TV upgrade) and I came to understand all things AS.
After the boys went their own ways, we decided that either the 31' needed a major infusion of time and money to be reliable or we would find a newer unit. With a lot of strings tugging at my time the decision was made to sell the Excella and look for another, newer unit. The Excella sold in a couple of weeks for what we paid for it five years earlier. Three months of searching the net, calling to find what we liked already gone, I happened upon a '00 Ltd. in KC (a 12 hour drive away) The owners had bought a AS MoHo and had had a couple of nibbles on the triple but nothing solid. The fellow was very nice and forthcoming about the coach and we had a good conversation.
At this point I was stoked, made a call to the wife (SWMBOed) and called him back and told him I would like to look at it, he asked where I lived and when I told him, you could tell he was a little deflated about the distance. I asked if he would be home in the morning and would mind if I stopped by, would he spring for breakfast, I think he chuckled a bit and said sure. Well, after a little jaunt down the road, he bought breakfast and after one good look at that shiny, perfectly maintained, spotless coach under covered storage, I bought it on the spot. Turns out the PO had been a WBCCI officer in the area and was an AS fanatic. He helped me hook up, gave me a 2 hour class on how to maintain his baby and sent me on my way.
So far we have enjoyed almost two years and 30,000 miles in this one and I would have to say it looks as good as the day I brought it home.
Chalk me up as a convert and budding alumiholic.

Eric
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Old 04-18-2008, 12:21 PM   #79
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Auburn , Washington
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I was at a friends place for a mid-summer gettogether, when I was curious about how heavy his mom's Argosy was. I was thinking to myself it to be an Airsteam knock-off. Well he explained that his mom never used it and that..."you can have it".
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Later that week as we made the arrangements, I did some research thinking to myself how it looked just like an Airstream, only to find that it was!!
The next thing I remember is we're towing it to another friends house to start the re-hab and I found this forum. Now both I and my wife are hooked.
Such a cool trailer and such wonderful folks...what's not to love??

Dan and Sherry W.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:41 PM   #80
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2008 19' Bambi
Windcrest , Texas
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I spent 20 years in the Army (HOOAH). I spent at least half of that time living in an old stinky GP medium tent with as many troopers as we could fit. NOT fun. Well.....after my first wife bailed out....I met a YOUNGER woman who loved to camp, and fish and hike. By that time I was just about to retire and decided I would never camp like a cave man again! Well...I had to keep up with my young wife and gave in to a few tent trips. It wasn't that bad...if you had a blow up matress that didn't go flat in the middle of the night. We graduated up to a 1972 Shasta, re-did all the interior and made it liveable. The only thing there was no bathroom. That sucked.
Sold the Boom Boom room and got a Prowler 1983. GRRRRRR...that was his name.
We got tired of buying used old junk that we spent more time fixing than camping in. So after our last fiasco on a camp trip, I decided I wanted the Caddy of all Campers. Thus the 2008 19ft Bambi Limited Edition. And the rest they say is history.
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