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Did you camp with a tent before taking up RVing?

Many RVers were tent campers before buying their first RV. It’s the natural progression in the camping world, isn’t it? Many people go from tent, to pop-up trailer, to RV. (If there were a camper evolution diagram, that’s probably what it would look like.)

Before you bought your first RV, did you tent camp? If yes, what made you decide to make the switch and buy an RV? If you had to go back to tent camping now, would you? Please tell us in the comments below.

And if you have a few minutes, read the history of tent campers. It’s interesting!

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Dennis G.
3 days ago

My wife; Yes to tenting (and some pop-up campers with her parents)
Me; No to tenting. Tried tent camping once, in Holland. Really hated it.
Was 12 months old on my first RV trip, in a rented truck-camper. We did that until 6th grade. Next RV was a summer rental class-a. Late 1980s family purchased a used Jamboree class-c. In ’96 parents got a class-a. When my step-dad passed away, the wife and I we got my parents ol’ RV. We have been running her since 2017.

Judyzum
3 days ago

We were young and poor. Tent was only option. Moved to Wyoming and went elk hunting. Froze! Bought Truck camper, the first of many. Presently have arctic fox 990, some 60 years later. And still have some of the camping gear (the tent died….)

Jon
3 days ago

I answered tent, but actually it was a WWII jungle hammock. Off the ground and actually very comfortable.

Bob Weinfurt
6 days ago

I slept in a tent a few times when I was a kid. In my late 20s, I used to go snowmobile camping and just threw a sleeping bag down on the floor of a fishing lean-to miles into the woods. Now, a 44 year old class C is my home away from home.

Richard Winchester USA Retired
7 days ago

As a kid more times than not we just threw our sleeping bags down on the ground and just slept in them, no tents. Joined the military (23+years) and slept in Pup Tents, poncho liners and GP Mediums until retirement. Now I enjoy the comforts of home.

Big Bill
8 days ago

Haha this is a very long story! In the 50s I was a boy scout and mostly camped in pup tents except at Philmount Scout ranch in New Mexico and then under the stars with just a bedroll while on a week long mountain hike where we slept in our sleeping bags under the stars above timberland and ate dehydrated food mixed with mountain stream water. Then as a young adult camped in a pop-up tent at national parks around the country. At middle age I move up into a LLB wall tent that had a floor and screen room porch. Then camped all over the US in hightop Ford E150. Then in my 50s bought our first rv, a very basic 29ft 5th wheel. Took it to every state West of the Mississippi for two and a half months, our dream trip to most of the big national parks. Had so much fun we traded it in on a huge new Montana 5ver with king bed, multiple tvs, and a fireplace towed with a new F350 diesel. 4 years later traded that in for our first MH (we now have our third motor home. Now at age 80 still on the road.

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
8 days ago
Reply to  Big Bill

Good for you, Bill! And it’s a “long” story because you have lots of adventures to relate from your 80 years of camping and travels! What a bunch of great memories. Have a good night. 😀 –Diane

Big Bill
8 days ago
Reply to  Big Bill

Still on the road and currently in Maine but heading south in a week or two.

Big Bill
8 days ago
Reply to  Big Bill

Don’t know how many years I have left now but gonna keep on keeping on!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
8 days ago
Reply to  Big Bill

Way to go, Bill! That’s great! We hope you have many happy and healthy years of traveling left to enjoy. Take care. 😀 –Diane

Roy Davis
8 days ago

I first camped with my dad in the 1950s in an old Army surplus tent then went up to a travel trailer. When my wife and I started to camp we also started in a tent then started our journey to bigger tent, to small trailer, to large trailer, then onto Class b, class C, then class A, and now a diesel pusher. At 45 ft. I don’t think we can get any bigger.

Last edited 8 days ago by Roy Davis
Tom B
8 days ago

To answer why I went from tent to RV? D.W.!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
8 days ago
Reply to  Tom B

A compelling reason, for sure. (Smart man.) Have a great day, Tom. 😀 –Diane

Herman
3 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Same here!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
3 days ago
Reply to  Herman

Good for you, Herman! Another smart man. Have a great day. 😀 -Diane

Gene Bjerke
8 days ago

I camped a few times in a tent — more in a jungle hammock — but what influenced my RVing the most is years cruising in sailboats.

Diane M
8 days ago

As a child, my family had a huge old canvas tent that slept ten at times – our family of five and our friends’ family of four, plus their niece. My husband and I inherited it when we married and used it for several years before upgrading to a popup, then a small travel trailer, then a large travel trailer. But the most fun ever was camping in that old tent!

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
8 days ago
Reply to  Diane M

Hi, Diane. I bet you can vividly remember the smell of the canvas, right? I sure can. Have a great day. 😀 –(the other) Diane

KellyR
8 days ago

1963 VW Westfalia, sold it for a VW Thing and tent camped, sold it for a newer VW Westfalia, and have stayed with van camping ever since.

Merlin B.
8 days ago

I did all of the tent camping I cared for while in the Army. In fact, I got my first RV while still in the Army so I could camp with my family on weekends and vacations in more comfortable conditions.

Kathryn Turner-Arsenault
8 days ago

We took the route that I have since discovered is common among RVers: (1) tent; (2) pop-up trailer (Jayco); (3) 33′ trailer (Holiday Rambler); and, finally, (4) 33′ foot Class A (National Seabreeze). We lived in the Holiday Rambler full-time for 4.5 years and are now living in the Class A (going on three years).

Estep
8 days ago

Tent camping from the time I can remember. As I grew older we backpacked in the mountains and loved the cool of the days. Graduated to a used Palomino pop up and wore it out. Sold that one and went to a Jayco pop up and a good improvement. After a trip into Yellowstone and grizzly bear country wife wanted a hard side. Now a travel trailer. We have used it for a few years but now retired we want to move up to a Class C.

Michael Galvin
8 days ago

Yes for YEARS.
Camping with a tent is camping.
Parking in a campground in an RV is “pamping” (park-camping).

Richard
8 days ago

I tent camped before marriage (60 years ago). After marriage wife said she would not sleep on the ground (there are ticks, chiggers, spiders and snakes in Oklahoma). I fabricated an Army surplus tent top for a little utility trailer and we had our first RV. Graduated to pickup campers when we had kids (we had 4 of those) and then to class A motorhomes after the kids left home. We have had 5 gas powered class A’s and now 3 diesel pushers. We are still enjoying camping and traveling and are not ready to quit yet.

Sue
8 days ago

Tent, pop up, new pop up, hybrid, bigger hybrid, travel trailer.

Tom
8 days ago

We used a tent for years, until wife said she wasn’t going to sleep on the ground any longer until they placed her in the ground.

Neal Davis
8 days ago

I said “No,” but I did it once with friends and hated it. The trip was spur-of-the-moment and I had no gear. I froze during the night and swore to never do it again and I haven’t.

Donald N Wright
8 days ago

Tents with Boy Scouts, backpacking tents in the Rockies with friends, cartop tent with wife, Coleman popup trailer with family, Aliner popup by myself, now an Airstream.

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