Top Camping Must Haves

COP, STP, St. Petersburg / Madeira Beach, 9144, Photo by Anna Paige, Camper, RV, Campsite, Picnic, Family, Food,
December 19, 2010

What do KOA campers love about their outdoor adventures? Getting away from the hustle and bustle of their day-to-day lives, having a chance to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine and doing things a little out of the ordinary, like hanging out at the pool, jumping on huge pillows or just laughing with other campers.

But we’ve got to tell you that even with all of the terrific activities and amenities at their favorite campgrounds, our campers say that there are just some things they’re not going to leave at home. And it’s not just the basics, like your favorite people and pets, TP, a good book and a clean place to shower. Oh no, it goes a lot further than that.

1) Coffee:

  • According to our Facebook fans, the number one “can’t live without” is best summed up by Alyce Wonder: “Coffee baby, coffee!”
  • For some, it’s just the pot and their favorite grind; for others, like Karen McNamara, who carries her Keurig maker with her wherever she camps. “[I] don’t care what it weighs. I carry it back and forth every time.” And Jeanne Rock Qualkinbush understands that devotion. She carries her Bialetti espresso pot and an electric frother stick so she can, “…always have a latte, even at camp.”

2) Air Mattress:

  • Another gotta have? Our campers say it’s a great place to rest easy. “I cannot sleep comfortably on the ground, so an air mattress is a MUST,” says Robert Barry. Steve Roach, who has a two-foot-tall air mattress, couldn’t agree more, noting, “Bad backs need some comfort when it comes to tent camping!”

3) Gadgets:

  • Our most die-hard campers might shake their heads when we reveal what other folks said that they won’t leave at home. In a word: gadgets. Betty Wilcox says that camping has to come complete with a DVD player and video games for her son. “Sorry to the purists out there,” she says. “I need to buy an RV!” Eric Early agrees, saying that he has to have access to a TV, even if it might seem to be the opposite of camping. “At some point you’re going to want to sit down and be entertained,” he said.
  • Other electricity-needing gizmos include laptops, radios, hair dryers, curling irons and cooking equipment. “[I] gotta have my fan, electric skillet and George Foreman grill!” said Tammy Bish.

4) Camper on Wheels

  • And then there is the last group—the folks for whom “necessity” takes on a whole new meaning. Conceding that reduced gas mileage is a trade-off, Deb Roberts loves having a solid roof over her head—with all the amenities of home. “We upgraded to a truck camper several years ago, “ she says. “The added plus is that now we don’t have to pack anything but our clothes and food before heading out. We already have the kitchen sink!”
  • Camper Rebecca Lamey is also proud to travel in comfort, which includes air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, a shower and more. “I don’t camp,” she says, “I just drive around in a house on wheels.” Michelle Lewis, who recently purchased a travel trailer, agrees. “Spoiled, I guess–I like all the conveniences of home.”

Do you have more creature comforts you can’t live without? Of course we want to hear about them! Share your stories and comments with us below.

51 Responses

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  1. Luanne Redmond

    A toilet. Some people never get up at night; I always do, and I don’t like to walk outside even in a campground with nice bathrooms. We used to tent camp, and at first my family thought my purchase of a bucket-style toilet was unnecessary. The first night we camped with it, there was a raging thunderstorm. Every one of us used that toilet before the night was out! Now we have a wonderful Burro travel trailer, with its own tiny bathroom, but I keep the bucket toilet in a storage compartment in case anything ever goes wrong with the plumbing – I’m not taking any chances!

    July 21, 20102:15 pm


    July 21, 20103:41 pm
  3. Linda Stanley

    Oh, I hate to even write this but we’re even worse. We have a 38′ motor coach with 3 slideouts, a full-sized fridge and a washer and dryer. All the bells and whistles make it really comfortable to travel for weeks at a time. KOAs are wonderful for us and they’re almost everywhere we love to go.

    July 21, 20103:42 pm
  4. George

    Some of these folks don’t seem to understand what roughing it means.

    July 21, 20103:44 pm
    • Rob and Lois

      AMEN George, we’re in your camp!!

      July 23, 201012:34 pm
      • Susan

        lol… to my family roughing it means digging a hole for the latrien, & the *best* luxury we can get is a port-a-john! We forgo all electrical stuff, cook over fire, with foraged wood, and the Native American’s around us even say we are the toughest campers they get to watch. With a baby, 2 preschoolers & a young boy, roughing it includes teaching the kids how to survive without modern aids of electricity, running water, gas or toys!

        July 25, 20108:59 pm
  5. Linda Stanley

    We understand what roughing it is but just don’t want to do that anymore. Roughed it when the kids were young and a tent, camp trailer, truck camper,etc was so much fun but, hey, we like our creature comforts now. Plus, we “camp” about 5 months out of the year.

    July 21, 20103:50 pm
    • Sandra Keesee

      I agree with you Linda. We tent camped when the kids were young but now it’s time to upgrade and not have to work so hard at camping. It’s nice to have indoor plumbing and a refrigerator. So to all you die hards…I have been there and done that. Now I am ready to rest.

      July 27, 201010:02 am
      • Esther

        I think you all are “saints” for tent camping when your kids were little. That’s when I decided I needed more comforts of home and went to an RV. 4 little people and 2 big people in and out of the tent with dirty/muddy/wet feet was more than I could handle. Now that they’re grown, am I interested in going back–NO WAY!! 🙂

        July 28, 20108:53 am
  6. Rebecca Lamey

    Nice to see I’m quotable! LOL

    As to George, I completely agree with Linda. I’ve “roughed it”, and think nothing less of myself for the fact that I just don’t like it. I was done the day I was lying in our tent, in 100+ degree heat, trying to sweat out food poisoning. After that, I said “never again”, and my husband agreed to an RV. We’ve started with a 30-yo Winnie, and will eventually be moving up to a monster with slide outs.

    I told him he’s more than welcome to take any of our children who are interested out for tent camping. But I won’t go. 😀

    July 21, 20104:08 pm
  7. Teresa Stanley Lawhon

    I too really need the toilet. Growing up did the tent and porta potty thing. Have had a couple of travel trailer and insist on a toilet.

    July 21, 20104:27 pm
  8. Jenny Matthews

    Ice machines would be perfect for a campground. The only thing is that most campgrounds profits so much on selling bags of ice, that it may not pay off. Maybe if they could have a one-time fee (per stay) or pre-paid punch card for guests to use ice machines. That could be so much more convenient. Especially after camp store hours.

    July 21, 20104:46 pm
  9. Jenny Matthews

    Rouging it?! Everyone is different. Just because George wants to “Rough It”, doesn’t make it a law, or a sin not to! Geesh! And Linda, we used to rough it too. But we discovered how much less stressful it is to camp with 5 kids having a 35′ travel trailer. We can enjoy all the camping experiences, without being stressed, unorganized, cramped, etc. We love camping with our kids in the trailer!

    July 21, 20104:49 pm
  10. Kim

    We LOVE our travel trailer. Even though it is only 19 feet, it has a big fridge, microwave, stove, etc, shower tall enough for my 6’4″ hunsband, toilet of course, double bed for us and separate beds for our three boys. It is not roughing it by any means and SO much easier on our long vacations every other year (3500 miles and 3 weeks long). It is great not having to unpack at a new hotel every night and wondering about the cleanliness of the carpet and bed. Even owning our travel trailer, we still do car camping and backpacking. Our last backpacking trip was packing in food and supplies (tent, sleeping bag, burner, clothes etc) for three days. Even our youngest carried all of his gear! We have been teased for leaving our trailer at home to really rough it, but it is fun 🙂 THey are both great experiences and I wouldn’t want to give up either one.

    July 21, 20105:24 pm
  11. Mitch W

    I have camped in the Rockies with nothing but a tarp strung between 2 trees for cover, bare ground sleeping and I have to admit when I camp now I love being in my 27′ Travel Trailer.

    A comfy bed, a table to sit at to drink coffee in the mornings and view out of a big window to start my day are great! Waking up in the middle of the night in a blinding rain or snow storm is for the younger folks to sort out and enjoy. Been there, done that!

    Of course being able to make hot busquits and gravy in the morning while it’s raining is a plus!

    July 21, 20105:31 pm
  12. Marty Ostrovitz

    At this stage of my life, “Roughing it” means watching a black & white tv with no remote…

    July 21, 20105:46 pm
  13. Carole Wolfe

    We have done the tent camping thing and it was fun at the time. Now we are really happy with our 37 foot motorhome. We take our laptops, electric coffee pot VCR and DISH Network TV. Who needs roughing it?

    July 21, 20105:58 pm
  14. Jay Henry

    There are levels of roughing it. My husband and I “have been there,done that ” with the tents and kids,but our health is not what it used to be. We now camp in a tent trailer and that is luxury to us even with a bucket toilet! I can truly say that our little propane stove in the popup is our “creature comfort.” The kids even ask why we didn’t have it when they were growing up. 🙂 In our opinion, half the fun of camping is doing without ALL the conveniences of home.

    July 21, 20107:12 pm
  15. James Okvist

    I don’t camp I travel in a motorhome. Class A 32′ gas. Some times we like scenic wonder, some times city activities, and lots of items in between. When we travel we are living in the motorhome, often for months at a time. We enjoy most of the comforts of our home when out on the road. That includes TV, music, and the internet. When available we always use a full hook up. We do not boondock unless we can not get a space in an RV park.
    I am not surprised that many people like to camp and try and create the camping image when RV’ing. What I am surprised is that they think everyone should be like that when RV’ing. I doubt that these people would camp for months at a time. In the last 2 years that we have owned our RV we have lived in it for 11 of the 24 months, traveled from coast to coast and from New England to Florida.

    July 21, 20107:33 pm
  16. Denise

    Having spent the majority of childhood winters, excluding Christmas, in Bear Island, FL (also known as part of the Everglades), I do know ‘roughing it’, even bears, lol But, it is easier to lighten up a little so I can show my 4 grands what their kids will miss, like learning nature, animals, even trees! Of course, they will not know about hunting for food. Too bad, but they do know fishing! “Teach a man how to fish, …..”.

    July 21, 20107:37 pm
  17. PEARL

    Camping with a tent or a huge RV it is still camping. I have a pop-up slide out tent trailer with a shower/ potty, running water and very nice beds. So when we camp, we still use the old Coleman stove out side, walk to the bathroom in the day and sit out side all day. We have been from wonderful KOA’s to dry camping and loved every minute of it. Camping isn’t just were you eat and sleep, it is a mind thing!

    July 21, 20107:37 pm
  18. Tonya

    After camping my 1st summer with a 1 1/2 year old,3 year old, and 11 year old i had enough. The boys dragging dirt into our bed when werent looking, condensation dripping on my forehead in the am, bugs and just PACKING everything in totes- Enough I say. We did not camp when i was a kid so i didn’t know what i was doing and told my husband i would not do this again until we had a trailer. Since then we have been traveling and camping all over the Northwest. It has been the best investment ever!!!!! Stove, Micro, DVD, TV, stereo, AC, heat and most of all a CLEAN full size comfy bed. The boys still set up a tent, bring a friend and laugh all night. My sister in law calls me a wimp but i say is “your just jealous!” 🙂

    July 21, 20108:13 pm
  19. Paulette Eby

    My can’t leave home without is my smoothie maker,yum!
    We just upgraded to a 37’class A DP with one slide out, from a 29′ class C. I just love the washer/dryer and having two a/c unit.
    I admit I am getting spoiled with all the room and amenities. Spent many years with a pop-up with 6 kids and a dog and then went to a 13′ scotty ( a little cramped!!!) then a 17′ TT.
    We had the class C for 6 years and went all over the U.S.
    Now I don’t even mind when it is raining and we are inside…

    July 21, 20109:13 pm
  20. Kelli Allred

    35′ Holiday Rambler is my dream come true on several levels. The dog & the grandkids love it as much and Mark and I do. I can be ready to leave with 30 minutes notice.

    July 21, 201010:22 pm
  21. Sharon Cary

    I used to rough it camp, starting out without a tent under the stars, with chipmunks dropping pine cones on me, to a two man tent, then a bigger tent, on to a camper on the truck and now I am in a home on wheels, a 31 ft class c. But I still have to have the hot dog/marshmallow roasting sticks/skewers. I don’t eat the marshmallows, prefering instead to watch them slowly burn (pyromaniac tendencies 🙂 ) and drop into the campfire. Oh yeah-popcorn too. jiffypop to microwave, it is still popcorn. Getting away however you do it, is still camping. Lighten up.

    July 21, 201010:22 pm
    • JB

      I am saddened to here you have lost the real idea of camping. Im sorry but wasting food (marhmallows in the fire) and microwaves is definitely NOT Camping. Your are fooling yourself. The experience of camping is getting away and living with LESS. Maybe to remind yourself of how fortunate of the things you left behind or to learn that you can actually live with out all the waste and consumerism of daily life. Camping is a get away and like it or not YOU are no longer camping you are only traveling with the your luxury of home. Why not take that bag of marshmallows and find a family who cant afford to waste them like yourself and give them away. I hope you once again can return to the real meaning of getting camping and join in the fun of doing with less.

      July 22, 201010:06 am
      • Karen

        Your idea of camping is just that – YOUR idea – and just fine for you. Let the rest of us have, and enjoy, our own idea of camping. I don’t see any of the RV lovers berating anyone for their “version” of camping.

        July 24, 20101:12 pm
      • bunny

        camping is just not doing with less, it may be having less to begin with. we helped a mother with 5 kids in tow, the oldest maybe 11 the youngest 4 mo old. they arrived with the tent-borrowed from a relative- only to find out that it had no poles or rain fly. the mom tried to tie the tent to a tree and we came to her rescue and secured it better and made a make-shift rain fly. when the storm came, mom decided that 5 scared kids in a tent was too much and called it quits. our help allowed them to stay a day longer. this lady was trying to give her kids a “vacation” that stayed within her budget. so if you camp in a way you love and can afford, i happy for you. that you travel and spend time with the ones that you love and meet(and help) those along the way, makes it great.

        July 29, 20108:05 pm
  22. Gary Walters

    Before I met my girlfriend (soon hopefully to be my wife!) I never thought I would need electricity at a campsite for my tent. I mean, I have a battery powered radio, overhead light, even a battery powered air inflator for my mattress.

    But my girlfriend Karen, insisted on me getting electricity for her Aerobed that she bought on the QVC Shopping Channel. Now, I can’t live without it! It really makes a difference as it is at least 3 feet off of the floor, so I don’t need to flop out on the ground in case my oldr mattress would leak out at night. You sure can’t beat a good nights sleep!

    The other needed items in my gear is that of a good can of Spam, Eggbeaters, and instant pancake mix for a hearty breakfast plus coffee.

    July 21, 201011:18 pm
  23. Mary Lou Trepac

    The electric awning we had installed on our 34″ Jayco TT was money well spent–at least in our opinion. Can you even believe I’m saying that??!!?? There was something godawful about the roll out awning that neither my husband nor I could wrap our minds around. And we’re not stupid, really!! For some reason, we couldn’t remember how to do it from one trip to the next. We could always get the awning down … that was simple enough. But the arguments came when it was time to roll it back up again. There was something about that little piece of plastic that just would never act right … sooooo UP went our barometers instead of the awning! Sweat would be pouring down our faces because we both KNEW we should be able to remember that one simple thing. In fact, on three different occasions, we had to ask other campers to help. They’d walk over, touch one thing and BAM up went the awning. Now, from inside our trailer, we just push the button that reads, “EXTEND/RETRACT!”

    July 22, 20106:31 am
  24. Rebecca

    For a camping cabin at the beach (last trip to KOA Outer Banks) we found we really enjoyed having a small table with coffee pot and grinder and a couple fans – in addition to ceiling fan kept us cool!

    July 22, 20106:43 am
  25. Shel

    I have to have a loud fan. Lived in the city for a while and needed some white noise to cover the sirens and whatnot; now I can’t sleep without it. I also agree with a potty…as you get older, you have to get up more often in the night to go. The high air mattress is a great idea for those of us with back problems. As far as roughing it, the spirit’s willing, but the body is weak…but I still want to go camping with my husband.

    July 22, 20108:45 am
  26. JB

    Because of all the creature comforts so called campers drag along with them they have spoiled the real camping experience for the majority of us who want to get away from the noise of generators, air conditioners, and the anoying blare of tv. why then dont you just stay home. i have tryed to enjoy the peace of the outdoors and have had to listen to inconsiderate campers with all there unnessasary comforts and many well past posted quite times. If it makes you feel good and it doesnt make noise, bring it but think for one minute why you decided to go camping in the first place and have some consideration for others than yourself and leave the NOISE behind.

    July 22, 20109:50 am
    • Rob and Lois

      JB, you are SO right. We too have fought “noise pollution” in campgrounds and had it ruin our experience while there. The final straw for me came in a KOA where some idiot brought a gas-powered, 2-stroke BLENDER to mix his cocktails every night. It was torture. Seems like NO ONE respects anyone else’s space or so-called “rights” anymore, and that extends to children of these people also. But you have to know the difference to be able to teach your kids to be polite………

      July 23, 201012:42 pm
    • Karen

      It’s not just – as you put it – “so called campers” with their modern conveniences that can make too much noise. I have been to many places where “true campers” are sitting around a campfire long into the night drinking and being obnoxious.

      July 24, 20101:20 pm
  27. Dave Souza

    Can’t leave home without home. We enjoy a 40′ Fiver with four slides. I always have my king size sleep number bed (my sleep number is 40), washer/dryer, LCD tv’s, recliners and my fireplace. We make sure we use the distinction that we are RVing not camping. I’ve done everything from hiking in 10 miles to camp to tent camping to a pop up trailer to this. I never use the word camping when someone asks what we are doing for the weekend, we’re RVing and usually at a KOA.

    July 22, 201011:38 am
  28. Stephanie MacDonald

    Well, my family and I are still tenting it. Not because it’s what we necessarily “love” but at this point in time financially it’s what we do. Even though we still “rough” it I can’t live without my “kitchen sink” literally. It’s lovely to be able to stand tall and have a double sink which has a tap with running water, supplied by a clean water bag and batteries. One side of the sink has a burner, perfect for heating the water and of course the necessary morning cup of Joe. the other is the counter, drain board or whatever other uses I can think of. It also has a zippered “cupboard” which stores all our pots, pans and dishes. I love my sink.
    Now, when my husband says I pack everything except the kitchen sink, I happily correct him and tell him “oh yeah, I packed that too!”

    July 22, 20107:54 pm
  29. Mary Bowser

    We too have gone through the tents, kids, rainstorms era in our lives. Putting up the dining fly nearly caused my husband to lose his religion! Our current rig is our third pop-up. We have camped in every PA State Park that has electricity and showers–I guess we’re a little bit spoiled. This year we are trying out other locations. We usually camp with a group that is all retired military and they have the “aircraft carrier size” rigs. We are the “kids” who have the pop-up. We have a furnace, comfortable king sized beds, 2 bump outs and a potty. (The deal is that whoever uses it must clean it–no one has used it yet.) We love it so much that we sleep in it all summer long–whether we are in a campground (3 KOAs this year) or in our driveway! My husband’s creature comforts are a microwave–for his nightly popcorn and a TV–supposedly to watch the weather. We plan to get one more pop-up before we move up to a fifth wheel and some full-timin’.

    July 23, 20107:39 am
  30. Sharon W.

    We started out with tents, then moved up to pop-ups, then a 26′ travel trailer and finally, a 34′ fifth wheel. I love being able to cook a full meal in our “camper”. It saves us a lot of money when vacationing. I just have to plan ahead and freeze a lot of stuff. We never have that discussion of ” what do you want for supper?” and “I don’t care, what do you want?” We go back to the camper and eat what I got out of the freezer that morning. I can usually make a good dinner in 15 to 20 minutes.
    BTW, when some one sees our fifth wheel and says “That’s not camping.”, my husband’s reply is “Okay.”

    July 23, 20105:15 pm
  31. Peter Murricane WB2SGT

    Nearly four decades ago, mom and I started with a borrowed canvas tent, some home appliances, utensils and two simple cots…so we took a KOA site with electricity. Bad weather would show how fragile we could be. When I started working I rented class C RVs to find bad weather cost so I bought a 18′ Shasta trailer. Those trips would end.

    In 2007, some ham radio friends of mine planned a trip to the Dayton Ohio HamVention. Motel accomodations were limited and expensive and I wanted to go. I bought an SUV tent, big cot, 1200W genset, had a 3-way refrigerated chest, a hot plate and toaster oven. I added some 12VDC appliances, a 12VDC battery, a invertor, evaporative AC, propane heater and lamp, color TV and ham radio equipment. It all fit neatly in my little Hyundai car but was hard to put back on the trip home. This was strenous for just one person to do.

    Camping for travel does not mean roughing it. My suggestion is to explore and try 12VDC appliances along with propane which KOA sites offer the disposable bottles for a reasonable price. Most of your activities will be away from your tent. Travel to a local supermarket offers frozen foods which you can use upon arrival instead of being ‘Daniel Boone.’

    July 24, 20101:07 pm
  32. Bob & Lucie Guillemette

    July 18th 2010, KOA around Bracebridge area accommodated us beyond regular hours!! Greatful!!!! is an understatement. We thank them greatly. Pleasant, respectful, helpful, smilling faces and extremelly accommodating. We always enjoy our stays at a KOA! and highly recommend them. Clean and beautifully kept grounds are greatly appreciated. Thanks again to the wonderful staff of KOA Bracebridge area..

    July 27, 20104:53 pm
  33. Janice B

    Coffee, coffee, COFFEE!!! Must have coffee! I like my coffee with frothed 2% milk (tastes just like a latte but with 1/10 the calories). All of the KOAs perk coffe in the mornings so I only have to bring a small battery operated frother and a coffee mug. Place your milk in the microwave (located near the coffee machine) for about 25 seconds. This is the criticle part – the milk must be ALMOST boiling but don’t boil it or it will taste scalded. Next, froth the milk then buy a cup of coffe and add it to your mug………presto! You have coffee to rival Starbucks; you are now a Happy Kamper!!!

    July 27, 20108:20 pm
  34. Doug

    I travel in a 43′ RV. As I travel I stay in KOA’s and other RV parks. However, this is not camping. In my opinion I camp in the WOOD’S by myself and hunt and fish for food. Staying in any park is not camping. That said, I enjoy both and I don’t judge anyone for getting away by whatever means. Most of us spend this as family time. And as far as those children go, I have never been in a RV park and had any problem with children, I have had problems with some of the adults that seem to think they are always right and that their opinion is the only viewpoint on the subject. So, happy kamping!!!

    July 27, 20108:39 pm
  35. Ann Bannon

    Over the last 40 years we have backpacked, tented, trailered – now is the time we just enjoy traveling with the 5th wheel and all the comforts of a second home (on wheels, of course), with the ability to go where ever we want.

    July 27, 20109:25 pm
  36. Bill Robinson

    Prior to 2005, my wife and I would pack our motorcycle with a tent and a few necessities and head out on a road trip for two weeks at a time. A single burner stove, one pot and a few utensils was all we needed. Then we bought a C class and started to pull the bike around with us. At the end of 2009 we decided to upgrade and we started to look at new 5th wheels with great interest, but I told my wife that if we bought one I thought bringing the motorcycle with us was just to excessive. We questioned if we would miss the bike. I came up with this brilliant idea, why couldn’t we just go back to packing up the bike and tent and heading out without the RV occasionally. I suggested that we try it for a 4 day weekend and see if we still enjoyed it. Shortly after we hit the road the rain started. We endured on and we set up our tent in the rain. We spent the next 4 days riding, cooking and sleeping in the rain. What a weekend. Well we came home and later purchased our new Jayco Designer 5th wheel with every imaginable amenity.
    I have mentioned doing the bike thing again but my wife then replies with “isn’t it nice to wake to your coffeemaker” and just laughs. I will convince her to do it again but the new RV has to wear off first.
    It’s not about what you bring, it’s about the memories you bring home.

    July 28, 20107:00 am
  37. Rick

    To those of you who drag your TVs, air conditioners, and DVD players to a campground, you are NOT “simply enjoying your own idea of what camping should be.” Those appliances are noisy and you are subjecting the real campers around you to exactly the kinds of things that camping is supposed to be an escape from.

    I can’t even count the number of camping experiences that were ruined because my family and I had to listen to some RVer’s rooftop A/C unit drone on all night and all day long 20ft away across the road (they, of course, don’t hear it inside their camper).

    If you and your family are incapable of surviving (and enjoying! for God’s sake) a week without A/C, TV, DVD, and video games, that’s fine, to each his own. There are many fine hotels and motels where all those things are readily available.

    July 28, 20107:47 am
  38. marie evans

    I am so surprised while reading these comments, that I am compelled to comment as well. My husband and I started “camping” over 50 years ago. Our first experience was a 16′ travel trailer which we purchased with a generous tax refund (remember those?). We had 5 children under 5 years old, youngest being 4 months old when we set out on our first trip. Our porta potty was used the first night and then dropped in the middle of the trailer… Through tears and laughter, we survived. Since then, we have done all the camping/RV methods, from tents to motor homes. At our advanced age, we have preferred having the amenities of luxury rigs, especially our 36′ 5th wheel. But we also still enjoy getting away from everything, which we can do by pulling the rig into some isolated area in the backwoods and still cook our dinners over the open fire. But it is still nice to have our hot coffee and breakfast via a generator if need be.
    The comments made by so many people here are “snobbish” by either side of the coin. Whether you are a died in the wool tent camper – good for you – have fun, but don’t look down your nose at those of us who enjoy our comforts. But those of you who are RVers, remember that some people still enjoy the thrill of waking up in the great outdoors in a small tent and the smell of the morning coffee over the open fire. As for noise – both sides have their faults. There is nothing more irritating than a generator (which as I said we use occasionally) disturbing the quiet of the forest, but what about those who set up a tent after 10:00 p.m. in a campground and the banging of tent stakes and arguments between spouses while doing so… This is a big country – enjoy it, no matter how..

    July 28, 20108:16 am
  39. gary

    when I was growing up it was a canvas tent, air mattress and what ever my dad could pack into the truck of the car. Later I canoe camped and it was whatever would fit in my back pack. Freeze dried food, sleeping bag, and small tent. Now however that I’m older (62) I prefer my 35′ 5th wheel. And you all know the reasons why! Comfy bed, shower, toilet fridge, bar, TV etc, etc

    July 28, 20109:14 am
  40. Bill Robinson

    It’s not about what you bring, it’s about the memories you bring home.

    July 28, 201012:24 pm
  41. sonya

    I love our tent trailer since it seems to be a good mix between some comforts of home and yet it still feels “tenty”. When all the sides are open it’s like a screened in room and there are no hard sides that make you feel like you’re in a big white refridgerator! It has a sink, three burner stove, refridgerator, toilet and a heater. If you bring two little car batteries hooked up in tandem you can dry camp for a week, no problem. I also enjoy the ability to jump into the minivan we use to tow it at any time and go drive to a trail head or climb a giant rock. I wonder what people do with these enormous busses that they have to take with them everywhere. I don’t think they hike much I guess! We are hikers and a tt is a good mix for us over 40somethings with two kids ages 9 and 11!

    July 28, 20102:07 pm
  42. Shawn

    We purchased our 20 ft travel trailer a year ago and have enjoyed it. Altough we still call it camping, it has changed the logistics of things quite a bit. There’s quite a difference between “primitive” camping and RV “camping” and neither is better or worse. The problem lays with the definition. There isn’t a word for the “RV style” excursion that so many of us have chosen to enjoy in place of the “primitive” style tent camping we used to enjoy. So, as a default, we use the same word since in our lives, it serves the same purpose. Let’s come up with a term for camping with amenities, so that the die-hard tent-campers don’t feel as if their experience is cheapened. In return, we RV campers can bask in our A/C and running water while enjoying a newly defined American pastime.

    August 14, 20109:21 am