We weren’t always glampers. We were young and foolish once.
In fact, we started out as the most basic of basic tent campers. This was about 15 years ago, before kids, and before we really figured out which aspects of camping were the ones we enjoyed the most.
Our very first camping trip was in a tent at a basic campsite – no hookups. We enjoyed a nice (though unseasonably frigid) summer weekend in the Poconos and did all of the traditional camping activities one might expect. We enjoyed a campfire, did some fishing, even rented a boat to cruise the lake for a few hours.
We also decided that our backs hurt from sleeping on the hard ground and that some basic amenities would be pretty cool.
Our next camping trip saw the addition of an air mattress in the tent and we went from a basic site to a water/electric site so that we had running water and could plug in a radio, the air mattress pump, a clip-on fan, etc. It wasn’t the best, but it was better than our first time out and was certainly very budget friendly.
Several years later we were ready to join the world of non-tent campers! We went to our first RV expo ready to BUY SOMETHING WITH AIR CONDITIONING!!! It was around that time that we realized that the only option that my small SUV could actually tow was a (very small) pop-up camper. No matter, we were still pretty excited! We had a bed (though it was hard and really uncomfortable)! We had air conditioning! We had a teeny tiny sink with running water that was nice for tooth brushing. It did NOT have a bathroom. So while we were moving on up, we still missing a couple key amenities.
Funny story – the week we brought our new pop-up camper home was the same week we found out that we were pregnant with our first child. We did manage to squeeze a couple camping trips in that summer before the baby made her grand arrival, but then it was easily another 2 years before we used our camper again. It’s not that we didn’t travel with the baby – we did, quite a lot actually. But our travels did not involve camping. We went on a couple of big road trips and a cruise before our thoughts returned to camping.
We finally got back to our pop up camper and got a couple more trips under our belts. We loved the pop up camper a lot, but not having a bathroom proved to be a giant drawback for us. Potty training toddlers and being (very) pregnant with baby #2 meant random trips to the desolate campground bathroom at 2 am. This was enough to make us realize that we needed to up our camping game.
Last year we went to a local RV Expo and we went with the intent to check out as many different trailer models as possible and, more than likely, buy one.
We did end up meeting our dream camper at that expo. It was love at first sight and the love fest hasn’t stopped.
We brought home our camper (a Coachman Apex Ultra Light) in late March and logged 5 camping trips through September. In the 7 or so years that we had our pop up camper I don’t think we took more than 5 trips TOTAL. This time around has been very, very different. The kids are both great travelers and are very easy to travel with. Oh yes, and there is a lovely, glorious, fully functional bathroom in our camper – and it has made every bit of difference in our camping experience!
So there you have it – the evolution of how we turned from tent campers to RV campers over about a decade!
We would love to hear your story! What kind of camper do you have? Have you always had a camper or did you start out with tent camping like we did?
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