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I Loved RVing With Our Kids

by Don T
(Lake Tahoe, Nevada)


This story was submitted on our Why Do You Love RVing Page

Fifty+ years ago my father borrowed a co-workers 14 ft. Shasta trailer (the ones with the decorative wings) and trekked our family off to Mt. Rushmore, Grand Coulee Dam, Pike's Peak, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and about a dozen other amazing places.

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Some of the my favorite family memories revolve around that trip. When we couldn't find a place to camp late one night we stopped at a dark roadside pull-out. We awoke in the morning to find a huge field of wildflowers with a small brook just outside our doorstep. Then there was the time the trailer jack-knifed and Dad buried the fin of our '58 Ford Fairlane into the front wall of the trailer. All great memories.

So 30 years later, while sitting on the john and browsing through Reader's Digest I saw that they asked a variety of college students, "What was most responsible for your 'turning out right'?" The number 1 answer, by far, was "camping with my family". Sounded very familiar to my brief camping adventures as a child.

Well, within 6 months we had purchased an older Class C and we were off for a couple of weeks with our kids, an 8 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. Oh yes, the dog and cat came too. Courtesy of our kid's year round school schedule we had a couple of weeks every Spring, 3-4 weeks in the Summer and another week or two in October.

After a year (and several mechanical issues) we sold the dilapidated Class C and found a new Class A. Nothing fancy but comfortable enough for our clan. Over the next 6-7 year we crossed the country twice, stayed in numerous national parks, and visited grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins thousands of miles from home. The kids got to participate in navigating. Any member of the family could declare a "golf emergency" and we would pull over and play 9 holes on whatever cheap municipal course we were passing.

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We met other families on the road and socialized with them. Our kids body surfed on the Maine shore, caught trout in Yellowstone Lake, visited a variety of museums (esp. on rainy days), watched fireworks in the Kingdome after a Mariner's baseball game and built driftwood "forts" on the beach in Oregon.

When the kids reached high school and had summer jobs, school sports, and boy/girlfriends, they were less interested in the RV and we sold our coach.

And did it work? Well, they weren't perfect kids but they've done well academically and personally --- I'm proud of them. Both earned scholarships, our son participated in a national geography final, and they talk fondly of our many trips. Our daughter is a teacher in Denver and our son just finished his Masters in Computers. Both are married and both love to travel, love nature and the mountains. I wonder how that happened.

Now my wife and I are shopping for an RV, and plan on spending 3-4 months per year on the road with our canine kids. I get excited just thinking about getting behind the wheel and heading off once again.

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Comments for I Loved RVing With Our Kids

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Thanks for sharing
by: Anonymous

I didn't get to camp much as a child but my husband was raised boating and camping. We have camp in various forms since we've been married, our son is raising his family with camping trips and our daughter is committed to the same when she has children. We now enjoy a comfortable 40 foot pusher and are counting the months to retirement so we can Fulltime for a couple years.

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Yes, it worked for me
by: Anonymous

I can confirm that while I didn't always appreciate every place we visited, RVing left me with a love for travel and seeing new people, new places. Helped me to cultivate an open mind.

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