And now for something completely different…

Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour. –Eckhart Tolle

Since before my wife, lets call her “T”, and I were married we have always desired to have adventures. Little adventures and big adventures. I met here just a couple of months before I took the “grand, winter castle adventure tour of central Scotland” with my father as an extension of a business trip. T and I have been married since 2002 and now have a 10 year old girl and a 9 year old boy. I’ll call them “D” and “C” respectively. We desire to give them ” adventures” that they will remember and wish to share with their children in the years to come.

When the kids were younger we tried to take them to as many of the local parks and age appropriate activities as we could. In fact I think they have been to almost every city, county and state park in the area by now. We have extended our adventures many ways over the years; staying with distant family and friends, the occasional stays in hotels or B&Bs. T even took D to Germany to visit her best childhood friend when D was just 4 months old. We have decided that it is now time for the adventures to grow.

T and I have been casually looking at campers almost since we met. We’ve often talked about getting one but have always come up with some excuse or another. The usual one always seemed to be that we didn’t have a car that could tow one. I’ve always had a small SUV and she is extra crunchy so shes had a gas sipper. These just wouldn’t handle it. About 3 years ago I took a new job that is 40 miles from home. I drove my little SUV for the first 4-6 months and paid for it in gas. We decided that I needed a commuter car. At about the same time some long time friends decided to sell their old Civic so I jumped on the deal. Two things came out of this. I now had a car that got 35mph and I could get a replacement for my SUV that could handle a trailer. The tow vehicle hunt had begun.

It took me a couple of months to figure out what I wanted and to find it. We eventually ended up purchasing a 2004 Nissan Xterra. This would allow for a 5000lb towing capacity which was more than enough for our needs. I began casually looking at campers on Craiglist. I thought that I needed a small camper with bunk beds for the kids and a double or queen for us. I even found several but didn’t want to spend the kind of money they were going for. So I kind of shelved the idea for a while.

Early on in our relationship, T and I had stopped at an RV dealer while visiting my parents. We looked at an overpriced pop-up camper but they just weren’t on my radar at this time. I was stuck on a teardrop style camper which would not work with the kids or a small box. About this time my brother was going through a career change. He’s a creative guy and decided to start a new business. That new business is building a high-end custom teardrop camper. He and I had multiple conversations about the best camper solution for a small family and we kept coming back to the pop-up. So it was decided, we needed a pop-up. Back to Craigslist I went.

I looked and I looked. I found one or two but there was always something that kept me from taking the leap. It was too far away or too expensive or too this or too that. I was making excuses. We decided to take the kids camping the old fashioned way… in tents. It was a great trip and we all had a wonderful time BUT I decided that I was done sleeping on the ground for fun. Two or three weeks later T was driving to work and saw a Coleman pop-up for sale at the end of someone’s driveway. She apparently stopped and took a look at it too. Later she called me an told me about it. I was working from home that day so I took a break and drove over to look at it. It was closed up and the owner was not home. That afternoon she called the owner and we arranged to look at it. It was in great shape and only 6 years old. I threw out a low-ball offer and it surprised me when they bit. T and the owner ran to the bank and closed the deal. We had a our new camper.


2009 Coleman Destiny Sedona with AC. The smallest standard box for a pop-up the is made. It’s a great place to learn and to start.

Just a note: For many years my DadofallTrades blog has been about woodlore / bushcraft, outdoor skills and gear. It’s been mostly idol for the last 2-3 years though. Going forward it will be about our adventures in our new camper and otherwise. I have archived my old blog posts to the Old Blog page if you are interested in talking a look at those.



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