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RV Park Reviews Campground Discussion Forum > RV Park and Campground Discussions > General Chat
Howdy all you happy Rvers! Let me just say that I think this site is awesome and I am so happy to have found it! Right on webmaster, good job! smile.gif

So I am a newbie and I've been reading lots of forum threads trying to get a feel for things. I am finding though that I get lost on a lot of terminology! I thought when I was here last time I saw a link to a newbie crash course or something but I can't seem to find it now. Any suggestions for something to read that will help me get more familiar with the RV World? I'm sure there's a lot to learn but I've got to start somewhere, right?!

My husband and I recently purchased a Fleetwood Westlake pop-up trailer for us and the kids. We travel around Florida for mountain bike races half of the year. We also like to hit GA and NC for some great bike trails. In general we are very "outdoorsee" and we thought the camper would give us more freedom and comfort as opposed to trying to find hotels everywhere we wanted to go (not to mention some cost savings). We decided to start small and see how we liked it. I was just looking around the Fleetwood web site at the 5th wheels - those are so nice! I'm already contemplating our first upgrade tongue.gif

So far, we've been out in the camper twice with the first time being a disaster. I didn't realize that a place called an "Campground" could actually be a mobile home park. Nothing against mobile home parks, but that was not at all what we were expecting. The space was small and tight and there was nothing at all to do there. We weren't made to feel very welcome and we didn't have much fun. There was no review for that campground so this site couldn't have saved us from it. But I certainly posted one to make sure nobody else makes the same mistake. But this last weekend we went to our first State Park and it was fabulous! I posted a review for that location as well smile.gif

We have only camped at sites with full hookups. We are thinking about taking on our first outing without hookups in the next few weeks (I think I saw you all call that "boondocking"?). I am a little nervous about getting everything working right, but my husband seems to think there won't be any trouble. It's just one night so I'm sure we'll be fine, it's just something new that we haven't done yet.

Well I just wanted to say hi and see if anyone could point me in the right direction of a crash course so that I don't end up posting anything totally stupid since I'm new to this community.

Oh, and I also noticed that most of the people that post a lot out here seem to have higher-end RVs. I'm sure you're all the ones that have been at it a few years and upgraded a few times? smile.gif Are there many people out here with pop-ups? Just curious...

Everyone have a great day and happy RVing!
Well lookie what I found, for any other newbies that just didn't want to speak up...

The list here is enormous!

Any other suggestions would be great tongue.gif
John Blue
Welcome to the group! You will find life on the road is a lot of fun. I hope the link will help you find information you are looking for. With a pop-up you do not have a lot to go wrong in first place, so RV camping is all fun. As you move up in price you have more things to go wrong. As we say take the rolling condo and travel well. You have thousands of place here in FL to go camping in. So one over night trip is only a start in RV travel. We travel thousands of miles at the time before we return home. You will get into this soon.

Travel well. cool.gif
Cheryl Fuller
Hi Wendy - welcome to the forum. I look forward to reading your posts and getting to know you better. Our Class A motorhome was our first one. Hubby has drug me to rv shows for years and tried to convince me of how much fun it would be but I wasn't taking the bait. To me, a motorhome meant that while on vacation, I would still be cooking, doing dishes and making the bed. About 2 years ago, I mentioned, while on vacation and renting a condo, that it might not be such a bad idea and within 3 days of returning home, we were sitting at the rv dealer, signing the papers and writing the check. My only regret is that it took me so long to "come around". I love "life on the road". I retired last year but hubby still is working. He plans to retire in 3 years when he turns 50, and so I hope we can devote more time to our road travels then. Right now, we take two 14-15 day trips a year. The first year we had it, we took it out every other weekend but don't do that anymore. Anyway, I have rambled on enough - just wanted to say that I am glad you are here...

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Lynn & Louie
Hi, Cheryl. Your reply to Camperwendy reminds me of our own decision to "bite the bullet" and purchase our first camper! My wife, Lynn, and I have been going to local (and not so local) RV shows for years. Each time we'd come away with a whole bag full of information and we's simply talk about "someday."

Well, two months ago we decided to go for a ride and wound up at a dealer with the usual, "we're just looking right now." That usually puts the salesperson off, but this lady was [i]good! To make a long story short, by the end of the day we had signed for a brand new 30" fifth wheeler AND a Chevrolet Duramax diesel crew cab with all the toys!

We haven't seen much of home, family, or friends since then, but I cannot begin to count the number of new friends we've met so far!!

Lynn and Louie
Thanks so much for the warm welcome JohnBlue and CherylFuller! I am very excited to get out in the camper more often and eventually start upgrading. Right now both my husband and I work full time and have 3 young children. So we are very busy and only get 2 weeks or so off per year. That only leaves weekends for travelling, which are also reserved for all the normal busy things around the house. So everything is a trade-off at this point. I really enjoy getting away from the house for the weekend in the pop-up because then I'm not able to do any laundry or cleaning! But then I regret it when we get back to the house late Sunday and I have to work the next 5 days and none of the "chores" are done. But, we only live once and I want to enjoy it! My kids, of course, love it. They get so excited when we take the camper out for a trip! And we enjoy it too. I'm sure that our summer vacation next year will include some camping smile.gif I'd love to do some of the trips that you all were describing! Maybe if we save all of our vacation and do one summer trip while the kids are out of school biggrin.gif
Well everyone have a great day and thanks again for making me feel so welcome!
Definitely take the time to get away while your kids are young. So what if your house isn't perfectly clean or there may be an unwashed towel or 2. Your children will grow up with the best memories. They won't look back on their childhood and say, gee I wish our house hadn't been dusty or that the clothes were always folded just right. They will look back and remember the fun together times. We started camping when my boys were 5 and 3. We have had them across the United States and back. Now they are young adults (23 & 21) still at home but working to pay their own way. They haven't been able to go the past 2 long vacations. But, they have seen and done things that most of their friends haven't even heard of. They miss it so much, next summer they are going along.
camper wendy
i just want to add to what others have said welcome.
We started camping in a tent when our s0n was very young, mainly because like you we couldn afford much more and didnt have a lot of time. later we graduated to a 19 ft boat that i fixed with a camper top. We camped all over chesepeake bay. What memoriesd we have of these times. Now we are able to go as we please and still enjoy traveling.
There are a lot of nice campgrounds in and near florida.. Most of the state parks are fine for tent or pop up camping/
enjoy when you can work will wait for you

Just a few words to say "welcome" to the forum. Personally I would not concern myself about Rv terms at this point, as Rving is an on going learning experience. Having been camping since the 1950's and still going, you will learn something new everyday, especially if you're not careful. Upgrade-upgrade is the name of the Rv experience. Kathy and I started camping together in 1990 with a three man pup tent, in 1995 we purchased a fifteen foot self contained camp trailer and we then upgraded to a twenty-six foot 5th wheel in the spring of 1996. In the spring of 2000 we upgraded again to a thirty-six foot 5th wheel. In the fall of 2003 we upgraded again to our present Rv, a thirty-six foot class A motor home. From a three man pup tent to a Class A motor home in fourteen years. We enjoy traveling and meeting other Rvers, and making new friends along the way. Safe travels, and make life long memories, as a family, along the way.
Camper Wendy,
Welcome to the forum. You will get a lot of information from the people that visit this site often. We started out 7 years ago with a 22 foot trailer and have upgraded frequently. We are on our 3 trailer. We also started camping locally when our daughter was 3 months old and over the last 7 years, we have ventured out all over the east coast. It is the only type of vacation that our 2 daughter know and they love it.
Best of luck and enjoy the experiences with your kids.
rolleyes.gif Hi, Yes this website is the the greatest! Your post brought back some great memories of our many 'camping days' when our kids (now grown) were young and we took them on many short camping vacations. We have gone the way of tents, campers and pop up trailers. When we retired, we decided we really wanted to start back in the RV world! Am I glad we did. We tired 'roughing it' for a very short time, then moved up to a small Class C, then this last spring purchased a bigger Class for those longer stays.

Our sons often talk of all the wonderful memories they have of going camping with family and friends. All the sights and the experiences are some of their best childhood memories. Most of our trips were within the State and one 3 week trip to Colorado for my parents 50th Anniversary. (That's what they wanted--a Family Reunion Camping Trip in the Mountains!) It is so much fun to listen to the kids recall some of those fun days! It's amazing what they remember. It's a super way to build a strong family relationship. Nothing better than sitting around a campfire with the whole family, just listening to sounds of the night and family conversation. Relax and enjoy the time together--it goes so very quickly!
Wendy, welcome to the wonderful world of camping. My husband and I were tent campers until last year. We purchased a 40 foot motorhome and took it from the east coast of Florida to San Francisco for our first out-of-state trip. We learned a lot along the way, saw sites we did not know existed and met some wonderful people. smile.gif
Our kids are grown but we are looking forward to our grandson getting out of school for the summer so he can travel with us. He is only 5 so we will take him on shorter trips.
Don't worry too much about household chores. As was said above, your kids won't care. Just enjoy the time you have with them. See the world through their eyes. Florida is full of wonderful camping areas that your trailer will go much more easily than our rolling condo. If you have not visited it yet, Jetty Park in Port Canaveral is right on the beach and convenient to anything you might need.
Above all, relax and have fun.
Thanks so much to all of your for your great words of advice and welcome. I appreciate every one of them smile.gif
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