As of Sunday, for the first time in nearly 20 years we will no longer own a camper. Our home-away-from-home, the traveling sanctuary that has served us so well in the White Mountains, at the beach, on Cape Cod, and elsewhere will be picked up by her new owners and given a new set of adventures.
Farewell, old friend.
We bought the camper in March, 2007. That's seven and a half years, with an average of two or three trips a year. Some years we took it out more, a couple we didn't even get it out once. Even if the move to VA hadn't forced our hand, I think we'd have been looking to sell it in a year or two, anyways. The Dodge has another couple years in her (at least); I think we'd have sold the camper before trading it in and avoided another pickup.
But that's neither here nor there.
The biggest reason is that the kids are growing up. The last time we took the camper out - when TheBoy was 12 and BabyGirl G. was 10 - TheBoy complained about the bunk bed being too small. He had a much better time sleeping on a cot in a small tent with me than on the family trip - sure, part of that was the one-on-one attention, but I think the bigger part is the independence. He's asserting more and more every day, testing limits and boundaries, etc. and I think the last place he wants to spend a week is a small metal box with mom & dad...
Besides, we have a lot of exploring to do here in Virginia without bringing a camper along...
It's going to a friend-of-a-friend, through a family who lived on our street that also owns a travel trailer. They're going to be able to camp together, that sort of thing, and will get many years of fun out of the trailer; certainly more than we would have gotten. Their kids are younger, the folks buying the trailer are younger, I think she's going to a good home.
It got me to thinking, though. Some of my favorite memories growing up involved the small class C camper my folks owned. They bought it when I was 5 - I remember one of our first trips in it was a road trip out to visit family in Minnesota, and my sister was just a baby - and sold it when I was either 10 or 11. My folks had that little van-front camper for less time than we had our travel trailer, yet I still, some 30+ years later, have vivid memories of it. I remember nights spent listening to the foghorns of the ships passing through the canal as I "slept" on the bunk over the cab. I remember walking on the beach at dusk, collecting seashells.
I hope my kids have the same types of happy memories from our camper, and I hope the folks who bought it make some memories of their own...
That is all.