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May 3, 2018

When we purchased our 2001 Coleman Westlake Pop-up two summers ago, we were thrilled to finally be getting back to family camping trips! We (and by we, I may mean I) were over tent camping after a mosquito-rich trip to Michigan and really wanted a faster set-up time and more space, and I really wanted to have our own toilet and shower!  I was convinced we were never ever camping again until we had our own full setup. Tim loves camping; And I’m totally fine with it too – as long as I can avoid most camp bath houses, bugs, flat air mattresses, hushing my kids so they don’t disturb anyone…. 

Many of the tasks that have to be done while camping can be so time-consuming. Is it really even worth it if it doesn’t feel like a real vacation?! Not if I’m constantly sweeping out dirt, swatting away bugs and walking for miles for an emergency bathroom break. Not if I have to wake up before dawn to beat the rush to the shower house to contend for warm water. And what is the deal with there never being enough hooks and space to keep your clean change of clothes dry and, you know… clean?

So beyond the treacherous bath house experiences, what do I love about camping? All the cool travel trailers, s’mores, campfires, bike rides and hikes, and all the beautiful locations! Having a beach or lake or mountains within sight is just perfect to wake up to! Falling asleep to the sounds of the outdoors, and having my own personal blankets and pillows and comforts of home right there with us is far better than any hotel can offer! And the cost – you cannot pass up only spending a couple hundred dollars to spend a week right on the beach! Typically, the cost of a small rig, plus the cost to rent a site for a week, is still less than a week at most hotels. However, I will test that theory once we have our own travel trailer in future blogs! ;-D

2001 Coleman Westlake
Our first fall outing in the popup! October 2016

We purchased the pop-up with the intent to see if we would vacation more, and we do. We took a fall trip right after our purchase, and last summer we went out a handful of times. This year, we have even more trips on the books, stretching from the beauty of northern Michigan down to sunny Florida, and we have goals of adding many vacations out west in the near future. Now that we’ve confirmed we’ve been bitten by the camping bug, it’s nearing time to upgrade the tow vehicle, upgrade to a travel trailer, and hit the road more! 

So what are we looking for in a travel trailer?  After a few trips to local RV dealers and RV shows, the features we have fallen in LOVE with include murphy beds, double-wide bunk beds, and slide-out dinettes. I think these models provide incredible space to move around comfortably for a family of 4, with all the necessities and within only 24 feet or less, so it stays low in weight  and can be towed with a half-ton vehicle.

We’ve been checking out these models across all of the major brands, comparing features and build, and working on logistics so that one day soon, we’ll be bringing our new travel trailer home! Until then, we will be enjoying our final pop-up days to the fullest!


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