GATHER UP YOUR LOVED ONES AND GO RVING

RVing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My very first RV memory is sleeping on the convertible dinette bed in a borrowed truck camper. When I was in middle school, my parents bought a 1970s Starcraft travel trailer that my dad towed with a gold 1969 Buick station wagon. I’d take along a friend on family camping trips and we would cram ourselves into the tiny bathroom spraying Aqua Net onto our teased bangs. Clearly, I knew how to “glamp” even before “#glamping” was a thing.

 

By the time I was in high school, my parents had changed RVs again and I had changed my hairstyle. (Thank goodness, four-inch tall bird nest shaped bangs aren’t flattering on anyone.) This RV was a Type C. It was our first motorized RV and I can remember hanging out with my siblings or reading in the back bedroom while we traveled to our destination. Cool beans!

 

Once my parents even let me drive it while they took a nap in the back (before seat belt laws required all passengers to be buckled in). That was back in the day when kids could stay out wandering the neighborhoods alone until dark. My brother sat shotgun and we chatted away until my dad woke up from the rough ride and decided I wasn’t ready to be driving the RV after all. More than 20 years later, we still laugh about it. Today I wouldn’t even dream of letting Thing 1 drive while we even relaxed in the back, let alone sleep, but that was a different, more innocent time…

 

The RV I supposedly drove “100 MPH” when I was a teenager. Right!!!

 

The cousins and my sister (I was way cooler in middle school ;-)) camping with Papaw.

 

My parents were not and still are not the only ones in our family with an RV. For as long as I can remember, my mom’s parents, Junebug and Papaw, had an RV. If a weekend at grandma’s house was fun, a weekend in grandma’s RV was even better.

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FIVE TIPS FOR FIRST TIME RVERS

 

It was a beautiful day as we drove north on the 101 freeway towards Santa Barbara. The rugged sandy bluffs rose high along the California coast while the sunshine sparkled across the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Thing 1 and Thing 2, then 8 and 5, were trying to sit patiently in the backseat as we drove towards our campground. This was our first outing in our new-to-us folding camping trailer.

To say my heart was happy would be an understatement. I was giddy with excitement. I couldn’t wait to start making fun family camping memories. Brent and I already had so many from when we were kids and we wanted to give the same thing to our boys. Not only that, we were ready to relax for the weekend after a long week of work. We were ready to kick up our heels, sit by the fire, and maybe go on a few hikes in the Los Padres National Forest.

An hour later we arrived at our campsite and the boys jumped out of the van. They were busy checking out the campsite when I noticed Thing 2 wasn’t wearing shoes.

“Put on your shoes, honey. There might be something sharp.”

“I don’t have them,” he replied playing in the dirt.

What?

No shoes?

Of course, he has shoes. What sort of parent forgets shoes when they go camping? I started searching the van but no luck. In our excitement to hit the road for our first camping experience, we had let him run out the door happy but barefoot.

Ooops.

Determined not to let this ruin our weekend, we headed up to the camp store. There we bought a pair of flip-flops that he could wear to protect his feet. We may not be going on any long hikes over the weekend but they would be perfect to wear to the swimming hole on the Santa Ynez River.

Wondering if there are things to do (besides remember your child’s shoes!) to make your first time out in your new RV go more smoothly? Read on!

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