If your family is looking for an inexpensive way to see the United States, consider camping with the kids. For years my husband and I toted five children around the States in a fifteen-year-old spray-painted, garish green station wagon and a thirty-year-old pop-up canvas tent trailer with purple paisley print patches on the tent screen door. We slowly upgraded our camping gear, little by little, year by year, new screens for the canvas tent door, lanterns instead of hanging wicker lamps, and a port-a-potty for those late night or early morning tinkles. A screen house kept most of the bugs out during mealtimes, although the children continually jumped the zipper out of alignment. We learned about water hoses and extension cords and adaptors to be able to hook up at campsites.
As we ventured farther from home on longer journeys, we splurged and purchased a three-year-old conversion van to go the distance but needed adjustments to be able to see the tiny trailer tucked behind the boxy van. Then we decided to go all out–a brand new Jayco Eagle pop-up tent trailer that could sleep all seven of us in one unit without making my poor son sleep in his sleeping bag on the floor while his parents and four sisters slept on the three fold-out wooden platforms of the old trailer. Now, occasionally, once the children were a little older, we did allow them to sleep in the old trailer by themselves while my husband and I used the conversion van with the doors facing the tiny trailer tent doors, but this always made me nervous. I would sleep, and I use the term loosely here, facing the trailer, staring at it, waiting for a sound. By daybreak, when I saw the tiny tent trailer wiggle on its spindly legs, I knew it was time to get up–no matter what hour the clock said.
Why not let me help you to be able to experience the joys of camping with the family. Learn from our experiences; how I occupied children on long road trips, where we went, what we did. Pose questions; share memories. Shall we begin?