I grew up in a camping family (truck camper, tent camping, and a Winnebago motorhome that drank a quart of oil every time we filled her up with gas). During high school and college, I did a good bit of camping by way of backpacking, too. Kristin, on the other hand, grew up in a beach-loving family that stayed in hotels and vacation rentals. She did go to a Girl Scout camp once and slept in a platform tent, but a lousy week of weather (including repeated tornado warnings that sent herds of girls fleeing to bath houses) and one too many daddy long leg spiders in the tents and bathrooms made it her last camping experience–until she met me, that is.
So when we were preparing for marriage, one of the pre-marriage discussions was how we could share our love of the outdoors and meet in the middle. I was not OK with hotels and the beach (although the sand is growing on me) and Kristin was not OK with backpacking, nor roughing it while camping. So for a wedding present my dad gave us money to buy a SMALL pop-up. I highlight small because at the time we only had sedans and we were not planning to purchase a larger vehicle any time soon.
Rig 1: 2001 Honda Accord V6 and Rockwood 1640 LTD
Rig 1 with first tow vehicle upgrade
I only towed the Rockwood with the Accord a few times because just before our wedding another driver rear-ended my Accord, turning it into an accordion (thus no pictures). We decided to replace the Accord with a 1999 Ford F-150 Sport truck. Live and learn: Two-wheel drive in a truck did not save us enough gas mileage to justify not getting four-wheel drive.
The Rockwood 1640 was a great camper for a young couple/small family and paired with the F-150 we did a great deal of camping in those early years:
Guilford Lake State Park, Ohio
Ole Bull State Park, Pa.
Raccoon Creek State Park, Pa.
Four Mile Creek State Park, N.Y.
Kendall Army Corps of Engineer, Ky.
First Landing State Park, Va.
Stonelick State Park, Ohio
Rig 1: Second tow vehicle upgrade
In 2007 we were expecting our first child (and already had Sydney the Golden Retriever) and quickly found that car seats did not fit in the F-150 extended cab very well. Since we still had the Rockwood and it was small and light we decided to replace the F-150 with a 2007 Subaru Outback. As it turns out the Subaru only towed the Rockwood once to Punderson State Park, Ohio, for our daughter’s first camping trip at six weeks of age.
Rig 1: Third tow vehicle upgrade
In 2008 it was time to upgrade Kristin’s 1993 Toyota Camry with a 2008 Toyota Sienna. This Sienna and the Rockwood were a great match, even as our family expanded with the arrival of our second child in 2009.
But then things started to get tight in that little Rockwood, and camping was losing its charm with my wife. It was time to start looking for something a little bigger with a few more amenities.
To continue reading about our rig progression, check out these two posts: Rig 2 and Rig 3.
Leave a Reply