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Old 11-16-2020, 09:39 PM   #1
Yareelohim
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What's your WHY?

My wife and I have two little boys, 3 yrs and 6yrs. To say these boys love the outdoors is an understatement. They have been hunting and fishing with us from the moment we brought them home from the hospital (seriously).

We live near the glorious Sacramento River in far Northern California. For years I had dreamed of having a nice river jet boat for hunting and fishing. Last year my buddy gave me a deal on his guide boat that I couldn't pass up. It was the boat I had always wanted. We used it almost every weekend and more for lake days, hunting and fishing. I loved the boat...but my boys only liked it. They couldn't stand being cooped up in the boat all day long and so many of our outings were filled with tension.

Last month I went on an excruciating hunting trip where we hiked in 5 miles and climbed 2,000 ft...then hiked back 5 miles with and additional 100lbs of meat in each of our packs. Fortunately it was down hill. We brought my buddies travel trailer on that trip and within 15 min of arriving we had leveled the trailer, hooked up the propane grill and were sitting on the edge of the Klamath River eating elk burgers.

The revelation hit me like lighting. I could imagine my kids playing in the river, picking up crawdads, fishing for the trout, running in the woods, fawning over the wild horses, etc. I looked at my buddy and said, "I have to sell my boat. A travel trailer is an investment into family and life."

We had no cell service at camp until we reached our 2,000 ft climb. We took a shot on a nice buck and I immediately text my wife a picture of the buck and the terrain. She responded, "Congratulations. We need to do more camping, we should buy a travel trailer."

That was all the confirmation I needed. The next day I prepped my boat, cried a little, took pictures, cried a little more, and then listed it for sale. I had 50 people make an offer in 2 days. I sold the boat 3 days after listing. We looked at every trailer and 5th wheel in every dealership in our area in a matter of 3 weeks. We asked tons of questions (my wife's family has a lifetime of RV and TT experience) and researched like crazy. Ultimately, the trailer we wanted wasn't available locally so we had it ordered and shipped. We wanted something in our price range that wasn't too big but big enough for our boys to grow into and could also accommodate my parents if they want to go with us (they couldn't afford a TT growing up).

We just got the trailer home today. Our boys are beyond ecstatic! We invited Nana and Grandpa over so the boys could show off their new trailer. This is a large purchase for us but everything in me says this was the right decision. This is our investment into the years we will never get back with our boys so we want to cherish those moments as much and as often as we can.

A month ago, as I sat by the Klamath River and told my buddy I was going to sell my boat to buy a trailer, he looked at me and responded, "This travel trailer has helped save my marriage and brought me closer to my children."

I can't wait for our first trip out and to see our boys light up at the wonder of God's marvelous creation!

I would love to hear your WHY.
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:54 PM   #2
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Congrats and welcome to the forum. Lots of good info here.
Happy trails
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:55 PM   #3
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Our story is sort of like yours - 2 boys (grown and gone) - they keep coming back, but there's more all the time! 6 grandkids now with the oldest going into college! What a blessing they are to us!

Here's a tip (works best when boondocking): when it's really dark and quiet, wait until about 20 minutes after the boys have crawled into their bunks. Sneak out the front door, go back to their area of the trailer, scratch on the walls, bump into the trailer just a bit, make some grunt and growl sounds. Don't over do it at first. Then in the morning, tell them you heard something outside last night and go looking for bear tracks. We made an adventure out of this for years!

After my second son came home from Afghanistan, we were sitting around one night reminiscing and this subject came up. I mentioned how excited they used to get when we'd hear the bear sounds. We all laughed, then #2 advised me, "Dad, we always knew it was you! Mom warned us ahead of time! We always tried to guess how long it would be before "the bear" showed up in camp."

Every trip with them can be a new adventure!
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:57 AM   #4
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That's a great story. My wife and I also have two kids and when they where young they loved to camp. Now that they are older and have kids of their own they always talk about the great time camping with mom and dad camping. Now we get to do it again with the grandkids. They are young yet but love to camp. Great memories.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:46 AM   #5
Yareelohim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisB View Post
"Dad, we always knew it was you! Mom warned us ahead of time! We always tried to guess how long it would be before "the bear" showed up in camp."
That is hilarious! Thanks for the laugh and a great story
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:56 AM   #6
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No kids here but our story began in 1976 when we got married. We wanted to take a month long honeymoon with our dog. Back then there were almost no hotels/motels that would allow pets. At least not any that we would consider staying in. Rented a class C that allowed us to bring our furry kid and put just over 6,000 miles on it during the month. Continued renting similar units until we had a place of our own then bought our first TT and have not stopped yet. Now, when the dogs see us loading the trailer they can't wait to get into the truck. At the campsite, they are thrilled because they know lots of hiking and walking is in store. Odd that they prefer walking on a leash to running free in their two acre yard but it is good seeing them enjoy someplace new, just like we do.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:01 AM   #7
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You will change your life spending time with the kids. For us it was boating. We live about a mile from the marina where we docked out boat. The Chesapeake Bay is just down the river from there. We would spend every week end on the boat anchored at a nearby island (State owned and only boat accessible) or exploring the many towns along the tributaries of the bay.

Our oldest daughter's first boat outing was when she was only about 6 months old. Many a weekend we spent at the island with kids swimming/playing on the beach and often with several of their friends and cousins joining us. We were always "that family" that the family and the kids friends were welcomed. I finished off our basement when we bought this house with a tv area (big screen, killer surround sound, leather sectional that seats a dozen people, pool table, a theater style popcorn popper.etc.) so many a non summer weekend the house was full of kids eating us out of house and home! We loved every minute and would do it again in a heartbeat.

It was after our daughters got older, started college that we sold our last boat and bought a pop up to see if we would enjoy camping. Now it's the DW and down to one dog. Occasionally our daughters and their kids will join us so we continue making memories.

Enjoy your future memories.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:13 AM   #8
Yareelohim
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Love these! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:01 AM   #9
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Our story started out of necessity more than exploration. Having married a Kentucky girl, but slowly earning my retirement in California, the plan had always been to relocate to Tennessee once I could arrange to get paid for doing nothing. That day came about 8 years earlier than expected, and way earlier than we had prepared for. Staying in CA wasn't an option any longer, so we sold our house and spent every penny of equity on a big bunkhouse coach that would be our temporary residence while we migrated two time zones east with our two approaching-teenage boys. We lived in that thing in an RV park in Nashville for a year and a half, while waiting for the planets to align, and eventually bought a decent place with a bit of property, just as the boys were growing out of their tiny bunks.

We moved into our home right at the beginning of all the lockdowns, which wasn't too big an issue, because we bought a cargo trailer and gradually grabbed our furniture and such out of storage, and the big coach just sat. After six months of this, we started to get stir crazy, and we'd gotten a taste of traveling in our own space, and not putting up with filthy hotels in various states of disrepair. So we recently traded the coach in for a trailer with bigger bunks (and oof- that depreciation hit!), only to quickly realize we need more truck to pull it. So while we wait for the truck upgrade to come through, during this second lockdown thing, we sit and fantasize about all the places were going this fall and winter, to get out and make homeschool a bit more interesting and personal for the boys. Learning how to travel with the five cats Mama doesn't want to leave behind... that's the next adventure!
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Old 11-17-2020, 11:13 AM   #10
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First, you all but made me cry. You’re family is what every family should be.

We’re older, 60. My husband & our sons (me too, a couple times) camped with Scouts but I’ve had joint issues my whole life so tent camping wasn’t a family thing. A few years ago, we met some people who had a TT. We said we’d do it when my husband retires. We stopped by a Camping World, just to look...left with an appointment to pick up our first TT Labor Day weekend of 2019. First weekend out, we knew it was not the right camper for us. We traded on week seven for our Keystone Bullet.

That was a better TT for us. My husband hates the setting up & breaking down for weekend trips so we said someday, we will get a seasonal. The end of this season, we happened upon an affordable seasonal spot so we grabbed it.

Took the Bullet in to CW to have a minor repair done, just went to look at the WW....yep, you guessed it. We left our Bullet there, with an appointment to pick up our new Cougar. This TT is bigger, a designated bedroom, sleeper sofa for the grandkids to stay. Go big or go home, right?

Our why? Life is too short. None of us know how much time we have. We’ve said this forever, it’s not a Covid thing. We enjoy being with each other. We only wish we could have done this when our kids were small but we couldn’t have afforded it.

Enjoy your time with your family!
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Old 11-17-2020, 01:07 PM   #11
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Well, our story is a bit different.

My wife's family started camping with a truck camper when she was 8 years old. (1970)
My family started camping with a travel trailer when I was 8 years old. (1963)

We both grew up with this lifestyle.

We've been married 36 years now, 2 kids and 6 grandkids.

We've been through sleeping on the bare ground, to the back of a pick-up truck, to a pop-up, 3 different travel trailers, and now a fifth wheel. And the tradition continues.
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:18 AM   #12
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Our why....

Covid, extra space, introduce the grandchildren to camping, travel/Disney (probably in that order).

Covid - our youngest daughter is an ICU nurse and we promised our children we wouldn't fly/stay in hotels to travel from NH to AL to our son's wedding last month. Her father is "compromised" and they canceled their '200 person wedding' to only be with the parents staying at a nice large house on a lake. We all got tested prior and we just 'stayed in our bubble' (what we call our camper) for the entire trip.

Covid part2 - we are fortunate (or unfortunate depending on how you look at it) enough to own family property with my siblings. These are in vacation spots and is a congregation spot for a week here/there in the summer. As the children all got older with their own families, it probably is more like a petri dish with covid. Anyways the camper in the driveway expands the living space.

Covid part3 - The same can be said about our own house. We live in a vacation spot and everyone loves to visit. Due to our septic setup, we have easy access onsite dumping. Anyways it expands the living space. The first person that actually used out trailer was a neighbors mother in our driveway. The couple just had a new baby, the mother wanted to visit to help but not stay in the house. The bullet was the perfect solution.

We now have 4 grandchildren although our children grew up exposed to camping at campgrounds in New England. None of their spouses have...so it is a good way to introduce them.

We additionally have not travelled that much outside my business trips in the US or the family "fly to vacation". One place we especially enjoyed as a family was Disney...but it is ridiculously expensive in terms of admission. So the trailer provides my wife and I freedom to do some exploring in the local "off season" (read non-ski season). When we plan a trip to Florida on the way home we could setup in Fort Wilderness for say 2 weeks and then family members can come to stay with us. The sites allow a trailer + tent so that the grandchildren can even get some 'tenting experience'. If their parents want to stay in a hotel, fine, we'll take the kids. The other aspect of a longer stay that is advantageous is that the admission prices are discounted quite a bit on the 5-10 day stays. Where it costs say $125/day for 4 days admission....it costs "only" $200 more for 10 days admission. We always enjoyed the "cabins" at Fort Wilderness when our children were young.

Anyways one 16 day trip under our belts for these newbies.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:47 AM   #13
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Our why?

My wife grew up going to her folks primitive log cabin in Montana, complete with outhouse and outside washbasin. I grew up going to my folks beach cabin, which at least had indoor plumbing. I spent a few times on the ground and in the back of my pickup later on. Forward a few dozen years. After spending most of our married life staying in hotels/motels and having some not so great experiences, just before my retirement we decided to try our hand at RVing. Got a 25 foot Cougar TT. Loved it, but a bit on the small side. Next year went crazy and got a 38 foot fiver. 3 years later got an upgraded fiver, same model. 3 years later got a different (and longer) fiver. 3 years later (sensing a pattern here?) we updated again and got a 41 foot fiver, the 3810 Montana. We've never looked back about our decision to RV. Love it. And, even though it's probably bigger than what we really needed, when it's storming out we enjoy sitting by the "fireplace" (electric) and reading a good book. It's nice to have room to move around.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:25 AM   #14
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Why?

I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2015. Unfortunately I am the only family member currently living as a “Survivor “ as several others have lost their battles.
I realized that life is too short and there may not be a tomorrow- so I learned to live in the moment and not make all the grand future plans I used to.
We use our trailer as our lake house. We are on a permanent site in a seasonal campground (I live in MN, camp in WI and there’s the whole winter thing) we are across the road from a beautiful lake and now we own a pontoon as well.
For my husband and I, our “why” is because it’s time to enjoy the present and we are living our lives now and not waiting for the future. And we are loving it!
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Old 11-26-2020, 01:31 PM   #15
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I purchased a popup when my kids were small in the ninetys. Left for Florida on spring break every year and my in-laws became interested in camping so we sold the popup and shared a few different travel trailers over the years. My father in-law joined us most of the time on trips because my MIL said that was her vacation lol. Always had boats but got away from camping when kids got older but always supported the kids with there hobbies(motorcycles and boating). We have a really close family like many do and we are always hiking or going on vacation somewhere with our kids.
I was planning on getting a fifth wheel in a few years but made it happen this year because I’ve seen too many people in my life talk about doing something in the future and it never happens.... either illness or work gets in the way or any number of problems
This year has shown me that you have to live in the moment because life is uncertain and things I took for granted in the past will never be the same ..
I already got to have my son spend the weekend with us camping in the new fifth and my daughter and her boyfriend will join us in the spring. We are busy making lifelong memories and I couldn’t be happier.
There really isn’t anything more important then family
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:47 PM   #16
Yareelohim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherdewi View Post
I realized that life is too short and there may not be a tomorrow- so I learned to live in the moment and not make all the grand future plans I used to..it’s time to enjoy the present and we are living our lives now and not waiting for the future. And we are loving it!
These stories are all amazing!

I love this store and quote Sherdewi. Thank you all for sharing.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherdewi View Post
I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2015. Unfortunately I am the only family member currently living as a “Survivor “ as several others have lost their battles.
I realized that life is too short and there may not be a tomorrow- so I learned to live in the moment and not make all the grand future plans I used to.
We use our trailer as our lake house. We are on a permanent site in a seasonal campground (I live in MN, camp in WI and there’s the whole winter thing) we are across the road from a beautiful lake and now we own a pontoon as well.
For my husband and I, our “why” is because it’s time to enjoy the present and we are living our lives now and not waiting for the future. And we are loving it!


DW was diagnosed and treated for cancer in 2011. We are joined at the hip and best buddies; I was devastated...probably worse. They did lots of stuff but everything is ok and we just keep on keeping on.

I am not a "feel good" "softy" kind of person....but DW is THE light of my life since we were 14 or so. When she cleared that bridge things changed for me; always full on and on the go mode as I used to be? Full tilt "get it" and very critical of those "in my way" or "don't get it". Not so much.

Enjoy the present; take your time (as hard as that is for me); appreciate not only those around you but those others that are suffering far more than you may know. We have all been blessed with this day and have no guarantee of tomorrow.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:36 PM   #18
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Why - DW has been through 14 surgeries from your basic gal balder, to brain surgery (Arnold Chairi Malformation) to cancer (in remission for 8 years). I do this (and all these trailers and trips) mainly for her. This is what lights up her days. The trailer model is what it is because it can double for us and our stuff or the grandkids can have the bunks.

OP - I am thrilled for you and your family. I wish that for every family, giggles and similes on children’s faces is what makes it all worth it. Well done, sir. You knocked this one out of the park!
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Old 12-05-2020, 07:13 PM   #19
Yareelohim
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First Trip out finally

This is amazing and our "WHY" is proving itself true. The boys had an amazing time. Nana and grandpa came up to stay with us one night. Our neighbors and good friends all came up to join us for dinner and s'mores. We may just have to do this every weekend now.

It was bittersweet to sell the boat for a trailer but it was the right move and we couldn't be happier! This is an investment into family. What a beautiful way to enjoy this amazing life...blessed
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