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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
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
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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
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC #7864
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1964 Overlander International
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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)
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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
1955 Commodore Vanderbilt 30'
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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...

havin' to fix my broken Airstreams since 1987...
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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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Old 10-02-2003, 10:09 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, 10:28 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, 03:07 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, 03:36 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, 08:40 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, 09:35 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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