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I grew up on boats. Just about every weekend as a kid was spent playing on the dock or screwing around anchored in some cove off the coast of Southern California. My first experience with RVing didn’t really come until I turned 16. Like most people at that age, I got my first vehicle and life as I knew it was never the same. That Ford Ranger became my first RV.
For the next few years that little pickup racked up the miles going from campsite to campsite. While at first I camped under the stars, in the truck’s bed with a few sleeping bags, eventually a toneau cover was installed to offer a little shelter. Later, a foam mattress and lighting were added, giving me, a kid in high school, the perfect hotel room on wheels.
Looking back at what I started camping with and comparing it to the “Road Train” I use today, I think about all the fun that was had with such a small package. My old Ranger was only 16 feet long and weighed less than 3,500 pounds. The current Road Train weighs in at just lighter than 20,000 pounds and measures out to 50 feet. We all know the longer and heavier your rig is, the more work it takes to control it, thus causing many white-knuckle drives. Also, as a kid, trips were quite often planned and prepared for in a couple hours. Today I generally spend a week or more preparing for trips that sometimes only last three or four days. Once home it usually takes a day or two to unload, clean up, and drop the trailer off at storage. Which brings up a question: Do we all really need a 40-foot diesel pusher dragging a 20-foot trailer, jam packed with everything we own just to get out there and have a good time? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning on downsizing any time soon; actually I would like to go bigger one day. But the point is it can be done with less, comfortably.
...And what I dubbed the “Road...
...And what I dubbed the “Road Train.”
This issue concentrates a bit on light-duty RVing. We’ve gone back to the basics and tested a tent (yes, a tent) with a twist on Page 46. Stepping back into luxury with our cover story (see page 42) is Carson Trailer’s Kalispell travel trailer. This little guy wins the contest for the most time I’ve spent showing and re-showing an RV to every one of my neighbors while parked in front of my house. It’s definitely a light-duty RV and it comes with all the creature comforts. Rounding off our light-duty theme, John Cappa has finished up his half-ton camper build, proving yet again you don’t need that massive RV to have a good time.
All in all, we’ve got a great issue for you to enjoy. Whatever you choose to RV with, get out there and enjoy what this beautiful country has to offer. I know I will.
What’s Your RV?
Tell us what you’re all about. What do you use to get out there? Travel trailer? Toy hauler? If so what do you tow it with and where do you go? Or do you prefer motorhomes? Class A, B, or C? We want to know. We’re here for you, and we’ve got a few items to give away for the best emails, including a HatchLift cargo door strut kit, a 500-watt portable inverter and more. Shoot me a line at