Sorry in advance....lots of words not many pictures, still trying to see if I have pictures of some of these rigs!
I am like many of you and did some camping as a kid with my family (mainly my Dad's idea). I remember some tents but mostly I remember a big old Forest Service Ford truck (bought used) with a topper on the back and beds built into it. I wish I had photos! I even remember driveway camping in that with my best friend in school!
I remember one trip vividly with my Dad and brother. We took the truck and went to camp "down by the river" on some friends property. We lived in SD at the time and the river we were headed to was in a deep ravine that we drove down into. Then it rained and rained and rained. It was cold, the topper was leaking but we sucked it up for one night. The next morning Dad declared that we probably needed to head home while there was a break in the weather. Great plan! Only even with the 4WD we couldn't get the truck back up out of the ravine! I believe that the friend who knew we were down there, thought to come check on us and found us stranded. Even with his ranch truck, no go - he had to go get his big farm tractor and pull us to safety. I honestly can say I don't remember camping in that truck after that. I am sure my Dad and brother did though.
MANY many years later and I have my first purebred dogs and am starting to show and compete with them. I was going to local dog shows and seeing all these people on the grounds with their RVs. I occasionally schleped my dogs in and out of hotels but as my pack grew that became problematic, leaving some home, finding a dog sitter, hauling everything in and out of hotels. Not ideal. I already had my Chevy Venture van that I absolutely loved and that worked wonders for hauling dogs and going to shows - just not overnight. I light was lit and I started looking for a trailer that my van might pull. I loved that van and wanted to keep it. I landed on a 16' Scamp trailer made in MN. I ordered it, they met me part way to deliver it and I was in heaven! Till the dog show where I had all the dogs with me (3 big, 3 little) and it rained BUCKETS all 4 days I was there. Mud, wet dogs, little trailer and the dogs not having had a lot of experience in the new trailer. It was a living nightmare. Then my van I loved started acting up. Perfect.
The van gave out and I decided that I really needed to have a bigger/heavier van so traded it off for a Chevy Astro van (AWD to boot which living in MT was a good thing). With the purchase of that vehicle I realized I could look to get a bigger trailer so I sold my Scamp. That family got a smoking good deal let me tell you.
I pause here to realize - now in my years after that I fell into that circle of "RV" upgrading.....anyway....
I found an 18' Wildwood light trailer and it served us well for many years. What I did discover though not far into traveling with it behind the Astro van that the van really wasn't enough to pull it. Remember, I live in Montana - you don't leave this state without going over mountain passes and we have WIND. After one particular long dog show weekend I was heading home - 60 miles from home I hit some of our famous 40+ MPH direct on head winds! I ran out of gas literally 15 miles from town. Duly noted.
I then upgraded to a Chevy Suburban - needed the 4WD and it was a 3/4 ton that would pull the trailer with ease. It did and I loved my drives with that. Big enough for me, dogs, any friend that might want to come along and still loved my trailer. It was fabulous....till the gas crisis hit and prices went through the roof. I was having to use it as a daily driver (30+ mile round trip to work every day) and it was breaking my bank paying for fuel! Life happens! I needed a less expensive (on gas) daily driver at as the pack had grown again and I was traveling farther and farther for dog shows I started looking for a motorhome. I purchased a small vehicle to use as my daily driver and after long conversations with another dog show friend of mine started looking at used motorhomes. I found one and was able to trade both the Wildwood trailer and Suburban for it.
Welcome a 15,000 miles 1995 Winnebego Adventurer - 34' long. I was scared spitless and had to have said friend come test drive it for me. It saw another 30,000 miles with me and many renovations before it just had seen its last trip. It had numerous problems with the roof and leaked like crazy when it rained (and it was sitting still). It was at that point so old and had set in the weather so long it wasn't going to be repaired easily. I wasn't showing as much anymore (at least not far away) and my dog pack had reduced with the loss of a number of my pups. I will say, it was REALLY nice to be able to get up in my pajamas and start driving as much as it was nice to not have to get out to go potty or fix a snack if I was somewhere I didn't feel comfortable. It was convenient and other than the fact that I just didn't want another engine to deal with after all that, I would have loved to have another motorhome.
So is the tale of RVs in my life. You can see my current rig and setup in the other RV Pages in the link above. Every RV I have had has been an experience and I've learned oh so much from all of them. I've done remodel work and enjoyed every one of them. I also have learned very few people get their first RV and have that for the rest of their RV career! LOL These days I'm not doing as many dog shows or competitions but do more travel for the fun of travel and camping with family and friends - or just to get away. We get in the dogs shows when we can.