Friday, August 5, 2016

Why An RV? - Do You Have a" Family Tradition" Of Family Camping? - Will Your Obsession Take You In The Direction Ours Did?

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 The Family Obsession

"How can we know who we are and where we are going if we don't know anything about where we have come from and what we've been through, the courage shown, the costs paid, to be where we are?" (Davide McCullough)

To answer this question I have to go back a long way to my childhood.  As a child I grew up with camping. My parents, brother and I camped nearly every weekend.

We started in a canvas wall tent that didn't have a floor. It was Army Surplus purchased by my Dad at an Army/Navy surplus store. I was very little maybe five but I do have one vivid recollection camping in that tent in very bad thunderstorm. My Dad put the tent bad location (in a gully). Late at night the storm raged and the rain was relentless.  I woke up to my mother screaming and silhouetted by a lighting flash just just in time to see her floating floating away under the walls of the tent on an air mattress. My Dad was laughing uncontrollably. It's a memory I will never forget. My Mom, well she didn't share the humor of the situation

I don't remember the whole story but I do remember that the next time we camped it was in an Umbrella Tent with a floor. 

Around 1962 my parents gave up on tents and bought a Forest River Shasta 16' pull behind trailer. It was plush compared to the tents.

But as a family we quickly outgrew it and Dad purchased a Forest River Comanche which they kept until the early 70's.

The Obsession Continues

After I left home for and returned from the Army I married my first wife. As is the case with young families I wanted everything. I specifically wanted a camping trailer and couldn't afford one on an apprentice carpenters wages until I found the Appleby Trailer company and bought my first trailer a Pop up.

As the saying goes I was "Shi__ing in tall cotton." However like all cheap trailers this one quickly degraded and was sent to the junk heap.

The Family Obsession endures

After meeting Martha in the 90's we bought a really large tent which was used for one or two outings until we recognized the "hard work" that was tent camping. 

From there we went without a tent until the nineties when we bought our first RV. It was a 1979 Class C Honey Princess.  All systems worked but the engine was a problem from the day we bought it. 

I can say without doubt or hesitation that this was the ultimate in beach RV's. We visited Bay St. Louis, The Florida Keys and all points in between with this rig. We loved the old coach because it was rough around the edges, we didn't have to worry about sand getting inside and it provided tons of fun. 

But it too died a slow methodical death hastened by engine problems.  Ultimately, it sent to a hunting camp in Louisiana to retire. 

At the time we lived in Louisiana and deemed it necessary to have a Hurricane escape vehicle and purchased a Forest River 32 foot pull behind about a year before Hurricane Katrina. 

We kept this RV until we arrived in Arkansas and sold it shortly after and have been trailer-less since.

As you can see we are not strangers to the RV and camping experience. Some of our most meaningful and deep conversations have come sitting around the campfire. We are anxious to continue the tradition.

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