Tent camping will always hold a special place in my heart, mostly due to the memories and experiences. Growing up on a 176-acre dairy farm in Southern Oregon meant what seemed like countless places to pitch a tent. More summer nights than not I found myself by a campfire and later, sleeping in a tent somewhere on the property. There is just something about the sounds coming from frogs, crickets, and the creek which just lulled me to sleep.
There was also tent camping with my dad; rest his soul. Being an old cowboy, he knew every backwoods BLM road in the area, which always meant finding an excellent camping spot only Google Earth could otherwise discover.
I remember him cooking steaks over the fire and stirring the chili for dinner. It was really the only time dad would cook if I’m being honest. Being a dairy farmer does not lend itself to long vacations, so our camping trips were typically overnight jobbers. They were a great time nonetheless, and I will never forget them!
Fast-forward some years, and I married my best friend Desiree who grew up camping with her parents all over the country. Her dad being in the Air Force meant new cities every 2-4 years, as well as new camping spots. I still love to listen to her tent camping stories from Alaska!
As a young couple, tent camping was not only what we both knew; it was all we could afford. After I got out of the Army and our son Matthew was old enough to go with us, I felt proud to take my little family to my dad’s old camping spots. It was kind of a pay it forward obligation I felt, but never talked about. There is just something fulfilling about passing on what you have learned to your kids I guess.
Some years later our daughter Taylor was born, and I moved up in Corporate America, so we were often too busy to head out camping for the weekend. Gone were the days where we grabbed the tent and sleeping bags, a cooler with food, and the pans for a cozy campfire weekend. With kids in the mix, planning and packing became a logistical disaster for several years, unfortunately.
Thus our daughter Taylor didn’t really find the few times we took her camping overly enjoyable because she didn’t grow up doing it (#parentfail). Des and I were also looking for a situation which was more convenient so we didn’t have to shove three days worth of gear, four people, and a dog into a vehicle. Thus the upgrade to our first RV, the pop-up tent trailer.
It was a Rockwood HW, and we absolutely loved it! It had A/C, fridge, oven with three burner stove, microwave, outdoor kitchen, and heated mattresses. Quite the step up from a tent. Just saying. What I loved most about it was the ability to store the majority of our camping gear in it year round; avoiding the crazy panic of Tetris packing the car.
The trade-off was not heading off into the woods as much and staying in state parks more. I’ll be honest, I can handle a park if it isn’t full of idiots, but it is certainly not what I grew up doing. It took some getting used to. It is nice having full hook-ups though; I’ll give you that!
As time went on, we got to the point where setting up and tearing down the pop-up was a little more of a pain than we really wanted to deal with multiple times on a trip. If we drove somewhere for a 3-day trip and stayed in one spot, it was perfect as long as the park wasn’t noisy. You know, cloth sides and all. When traveling multiple days to various destinations, it was a different story.
Now don’t get me wrong, if we weren’t able to upgrade, I would have been happy keeping the pop-up as it really fit our needs well the majority of the time. There are a lot of folks who absolutely love their pop-ups, and for good reason. They are cheap and easy to tow to name two.
Class C Motorhome
What we wanted was something self-contained though. Something you could pull over on the side of the road on a long trip, fire up the generator, and you were all set. That is why we ultimately chose a 24ft Class C motorhome.
With holding tanks large enough to keep a school of fish, an onboard generator, and ample storage, it really just seemed like the best fit. I remember driving it home from Parris RV in Utah and flinching when the “ball cap” caught my eye out the windshield. What can I say, I wasn’t used to having something there. Freaked me out!
We have big plans for the future, and we are excited to bring you along with us! Literarily speaking, of course, it is only 24ft long after all. We hope you stay tuned in as we explore our resident state of Utah, and journey to other areas across the country!