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I guess you could call me an experienced camper. I didn't grow up camping. My first experience was as the newly single mother of a 18mo.old, 4yr, and 5yr. When the 5y/o began to make comments about camping and fishing like "all the other boys", I determined to learn to do those things with him. Our first trip involved camping in a used tent with sleeping bags, a kerosene lantern, and an open fire on an island in the middle of the reservior. I had to keep a life jacket on the 18mo old every waking minute to keep her from walking out into the lake and drowning. It took the 5y/o and I four hrs to figure out how to get the tent up. Our campfire cooked food was burned to a crisp on the outside and raw in the middle but by then we were too tired and hungry to care. As long as it did not jump out of the skillet and run off we ate it.
Over the years we graduated to cots, propane stoves, and lanterns. Then we bought a pop-up. The ultimate luxury! Indoor potty, no packing and unpacking everything. Comfortable beds and a table you could sit at.
We camped all the way from Alabama to Alaska and back one summer. It was wonderful!
Now my kids are grown, I have a 25ft RV, it has all the bells and whistles, TV, Microwave, AC, Shower, etc. but at a price. It gets 7mpg, you have to be very careful of what campground you use, bad weather on the road has it swaying like a drunken sailor and unless you tow the car you will be hard pressed to do any sightseeing when you get to your destination.
I am seriously thinking of going back to the old pop-up. It goes anywhere the pickup can go, it doesn't burn a lot of gas, it is a simple matter to set up and drop the trailer and have a vehicle for sightseeing. Then towed there is very little wind resistance, behind my pickup you really don't even feel it even in windy/stormy weather, you never have to worry about how much clearance there is under the gas station canopy and $$$$$$$$$$$ repairs. And if you get in a tight like we did on a dirt mountain road in Alaska the was blocked with no place to turn around you can unhitch the trailer and back it up by hand then turn the truck and rehitch. A swamp cooler replaces the air conditioner at 1/10th the electric drain and though it has a small d/c/propane Frig if there is a problem you can always throw a couple of bags of ice in the frig and go without hook ups for a couple of days.