Family Fun

August 13, 2010 by RV Today Archive · 8 Comments 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminBy Mary Capo- St. Augustine, FL Shortly after my husband and I were married in 1969 (and blended our five children into a new family), he began regaling me with wonderful tales of “camping.” Having been a Girl Scout in my younger years, this wasn’t a foreign concept. However, I had trouble picturing myself living in a pup tent and cooking meals for seven people over an open fire. He assured me that camping had come a long way since those days, so we were soon the proud owners of something called a “pop-up.” I’ll never forget that first outing. It was a typical, humid, Florida July weekend with temperatures in the upper 90s. To introduce me to the new wonders of camping, my husband foolishly chose a campground with sandy, non-shady sites that would never have been featured in Highways magazine. I was miserable! I remember asking my boss the following Monday morning, “What do you think about seven people living in a one-room dwelling with no bathroom, no air conditioning and a block of ice to keep food cool?” He said it sounded like a terrible poverty... Read more

A Camping Engagement

August 12, 2010 by RV Today Archive · 350 Comments 

By Kate Hutto- Ocean Pines, MD It was 1966, and the Vietnam War was on. My boyfriend, Larry, had enlisted in the Air Force and was attending the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, while I was attending the University of Arizona in Tucson. In those days, we didn’t have cheap airfares or inexpensive phone rates. Larry and I were pretty much stuck with letters. But in the fall, through our letters, we decided to get married the following summer. My parents had recently purchased an International Harvester crew cab truck with a slide-in camper. My mother took pity on us lovers being separated, and since Larry was going to have four days off for Thanksgiving, and I’d be on break, she planned a trip in the new camper to Disneyland in California. In our family, we never took a trip with just a few people—we took the whole family. This trip included my mother, father, three younger sisters and even my elderly grandparents! Larry caught a ride with another serviceman from his base and met us at California’s San Clemente State Beach. It was a beautiful setting right on the Pacific Ocean (it’s still there!) and the perfect place for me to receive my engagement ring—Larry asked me to marry him on the front seat of the International Harvester. Meanwhile, back in Tucson, my mother had prepared Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings for nine people, packaged it all in foil and put it in the tiny camper refrigerator and reheated it all in the tiny oven—no microwave... Read more

A Site in the Woods

August 12, 2010 by RV Today Archive · 4 Comments 

By James Brand- Stanwood, MI It was 1948 and we’d been married less than a year. I wanted to show my new bride where I’d deer hunted. We had little money and a red 1946 Jeep. Her father had a friend who loaned us a pre-war Kariall Kamper, a precursor to the foldout campers of today. It was sturdily built, the canvas was still good, so we hitched it to the Jeep and, at 45 mph, and we headed for Drummond Island on the eastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We took the ferry across and sought out an old logging road I had seen while hunting. We set out into the brush and forest, four-wheeling all the way with the trailer bouncing along behind. It was tough going, plowing over briars and saplings and once in a while cutting a tree to get through. The “road” hadn’t been used in years, but we forged on until we came to a clearing on the bank of the St. Mary’s River. A beautiful sight with sunlight dazzled us from the water. With the deep forest around us, everything was so quiet except for bird songs and the wavelets washing on the beach, we felt like we were a million miles from everywhere. We camped there for maybe two or three days and that experience convinced us that we would do more camping in the future, and we did! For more than 60 years with kids and then by ourselves, we’ve covered the United States and the world in different types of RVs. Alaska, Canada, Mexico New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. It’s been a great adventure all the... Read more

A Trip of a Lifetime

August 12, 2010 by RV Today Archive · 1 Comment 

By Ellen Storer- Bluffton, SC My First RV Trip began in 1945 when my brave parents bought a trailer. This adventure started when I was 9 months old. We spent the winter in Florida and spring in Mississippi. Since we seemed to enjoy it, the decision was made to see the country. So, my parents, my grandmother and I, all of 20 months old, headed west. As I came to understand it, the few campgrounds available were very primitive, so water had to be carried, dish water thrown out the door— like tent camping. There were no coach batteries or propane to maintain the refrigerator, so blocks of ice had to be purchased frequently. There were no TV, AC, holding tanks, showers or washer/dryers. I had a special crib my father made, which hung from the ceiling at night and clamped up out of the way during the day. A 1942 Plymouth car pulled the trailer. Two-lane federal highways were the roads of choice, as the interstate highway system hadn’t been developed. Stopping at night or for several days at a gas station, some farmers’ field or a home driveway was commonplace. Conversations lasted well into the night between my parents and property owners, some of whom even did our laundry, showed my father the best places to buy a bushel of oysters and other local favorites. The four of us spent about two years full-time going to such wonderful places as San Antonio, Phoenix, Tucson, Mexico, the Painted Desert, Santa Monica Beach, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon with a Park Fee of 50 cents a month.... Read more

Living the Dream

August 12, 2010 by RV Today Archive · 13 Comments 

By Chris Baur- Houston, TX Back in the 70’s most kids my age were interested in sports, hobbies, collecting baseball cards and the like.  Not me.  For reasons unknown to my family and the scientific community, I became fascinated with all things related to recreational vehicles, sometime around the age of ten.   The reason this may seem a bit unusual is that I had never been camping, and was living in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn New York, raised by a single working parent, my mother.  Although I had many responsibilities in helping raise my two younger sisters and looking after our house, my favorite pastime was collecting nearly every brochure from every trailer, motorhome and RV accessory manufacturer in the country.  I also wrote to every state, requesting their official highway roadmap and campground information on the hope of someday visiting their state.  We didn’t have much money, so I couldn’t join the Good Sam Club, but I was allowed a subscription to Trailer Life magazine and eagerly awaited its arrival every month to read the latest news and product reviews.  In fact, hardly a day went by that something related to my dream of RV travel didn’t arrive in the mail!  I carefully cataloged every bit of it and could quote you the cost, specifications and capacities on any rig, along with the towing and overnight parking regulations in most states east of the Mississippi.  I studied each brochure and kept careful notes and drawings in a book.  With... Read more

No One Can Take Just One – Camping Trip, That Is!

“Dear Mom, Wish you were here-REALLY! You would love being up here this time of year. The leaves are turning and the scenery is great! Shawn is seeming to really like being here in the woods and hills. He sure attracts a lot of attention and makes a lot of people smile! Camping in the van is a bit tight but working out just fine. Saw National Bridge and Shenandoah Caverns so far. More tomorrow!” Those are the words I wrote to my mom while my husband, one year old son Shawn, and I were on our first camping trip. We traveled in our one year old Volkswagen Vanagon with camper package. We loved seeing the world from the high-up seats and wide open views through the windows. Little Shawn would point out sights that attracted him along the way. And those fall sights along the Blue Ridge Parkway and through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park were truly worth seeing. I was in photographers heaven (oh, if only there had been digital cameras back in 1984). We stayed at campgrounds along the way, where we discovered we were naturals at building campfires and roasting marshmallows. At one campsite on the edge of a lovely pond with Weeping Willows backed by trees covered with beautiful fall colors, our son discovered he could talk with ducks. From inside the camper, Shawn heard the ducks quacking and when they stopped, he would make a quacking sound that traveled right through the soft sided top of the camper. The ducks would always answer him. Shawn and the ducks “quacked”... Read more

Candle Wax and Electrical Tape

Once upon a time, forty-two years ago, two wide-eyed baby boomers loaded up their ’64 VW camper with one black lab, one wooden canoe (attached with bungee cords), one bottle of Dr. Bronner’s All Purpose Soap, five gallons of trail mix, and two fishing poles and left L.A. heading for Canada. No, they weren’t draft dodgers, although the Vietnam War was in full swing, just a couple of kids needing to escape the city looking for adventure and whatever came their way. First stop, Oregon, to sit in a friend’s wood-stoked redwood sauna, a welcome luxury after many hours on the road straining uphill followed by a dotted line of ”real” cars with scowling drivers waiting for the passing lane. We crossed the border listening to Cat Stevens. The warm sun streamed through the split windshield. Views of snowy mountain peaks, pine trees, blue skies (seen through a filter of dead bugs) filled our eyes. Yes, this is what we came for. Even our dog seemed content, her body hogging most of the bench seat. This was home. Setting up camp along the bank of a remote lake we unleashed the canoe to discover a golf ball sized-hole smack in the center of the canoe bottom. The bungee cords had worn straight through. Being ingenious, like most RVers are, we set to work patching it with the only things we had-candle wax and electrical tape. It worked like a charm. So well we never repaired it any other way. Lucky for us the lakes were cold so the wax hardened quickly, and lucky for us they were... Read more

Storm Watching On Oregon Coast

June 24, 2010 by Centennial Celebration Favorite RV Memory Submission · Comments Off 

In early 1999, we went with our camper to our favorite spot on the Oregon Coast (Sea and Sand RV Park…near Depoe Bay) to storm watch. We always tried to get a small spot that was parallel to the beach and we did. A thunderstorm came up during the night with winds from the SW over 70 mph and when the lightning struck, there was no time interval. We spent the night holding on, drinking wine, and praying. The next day, the storm was still raging and we decided to escape. As I pulled the camper around facing west, a gust came up that, I thought was going to tip everything over. I pushed against the camper to keep it from doing so….which was a ridiculous move on my part. We left and later learned that the wind storm tipped over 18 wheelers. I, a few days later, suffered a heart attack. Coincidence? Submitted by Gary Hollmer of La Center, WA as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest. Do you have a favorite RVing or camping memory you’d like to share? Submit your favorite memory here!  Read More →

Troubles and Travail

Last November my wife and I drove our Minnie Winnie, pulling our canoe, from Iowa to Arkansas for a couple of days floating with a couple of old buddies. The canoeing ended in disaster with our canoe trapped for three days in the river and a Search and Rescue for one of my friends. We found him at midnight unharmed but cold and frightened. But that’s another story. The misfortunes began on I-35 in Missouri. An 18-wheeler, with lights flashing, was stopped on the right-hand shoulder. I watched the truck instead of the road and hit a dead deer lying in the left-hand lane. There was a loud bumping as we passed over the body. As nothing seemed damaged we continued on. Forty miles later we stopped for gas. As the tank filled I noticed that the outside rear tire was totally flat. We called Good Sam emergency roadside service. Three hours later we were ready to go, with a new tire. The “old” one (having only 2,500 miles) was ripped from the impact with the deer. Days later, having rescued my canoe I attached it to the Winnebago. We’d driven down a steep, rough, eroded path to a campground right on the river, surrounded by tall bluffs and unbroken forests. As I was cold, tired, and hungry after the canoe rescue we decided to spend the night in the solitude of the wilds. We slept soundly – for a few hours. It became a very dark and very stormy night. At 2:30 a ferocious rain pelted the roof blasting us to full-alert. We worried about that long, steep, muddy road and decided... Read more

First Time Campers

It was a beautiful spring weekend in1998 and we were camped in a park east os Sarasota, Florida. I had asked several friends to a “cocktail” party at our camp site. The party was spectacular, good food , good drinks (BYOB) and great company. Late in the evening after an excursion to St. Armands Square and a wonderful Spanish dinner, we retuned tio the campground. It had started to sprinkle so most people pulled up stakes and headed for a motel. Since I was in a Roadtrek, snug and dry, I stayed in the campground. As it happened there were tent campers next to me. they set up camp started the grill and settled down to cook steaks. As time went on the rain increased so the tenters retreated to their car where they could keep an eye on their steak. All at once a huge buzzard swooped down and snatched that lucious steak right off the grill! Off he went never to be seen again. Later on that night after the hungry campers had settled down and I was sound asleep, I woke up to a commotion. I looked out and Lo an behold the river had over flowed completely flooding the campground with about two feet of water. The tenters were wading around trying to take down their tent and throw it soggy and dirty into their small car. The language was not fit for polite consumption…to say the least. I’ll bet they never went camping again! Submitted by Marge Whitfield of Whidbey Island, WA as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest. Do... Read more

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