My (and our) RV Background

Having spent a number of weeks during the Spring of 2005 going through boxes and boxes of old pictures, slides, and negatives (none of which were in any particular order) and scanning thousands of them into digital form, I thought the time had come when I could put together a reasonably coherent photographic review of my (our) RVing experience.

It began over 65 years ago in 1939 when I was one year old. I have no present recollection of the trip, but I went with my mother and father from New York City to Chicago in a Model A Ford that was towing an 8' trailer that my father had built with plywood and assorted parts from a junk yard. This picture was taken several years later as I'm about four years old in the picture, which includes my mother and father and our dog Dixie. Subsequent to 1939 we traveled to South Carolina (where my mother was from), Pennsylvania, Maine, and other places that no longer have names in my memory.

These three pictures were taken in Acadia, Maine, probably Acadia National Park around 1942.

Mom, Pop and me at table

Sitting around campsite

Model A and trailer in profile


My father always told the story about how after driving through one of the tunnels from Manhattan to New Jersey, there was a police officer by the toll booth. My father asked him something to the affect of "Which way to Chicago?" The officer looked into the car, and seeing my mother holding this small baby (me) had him pull over to the side, looked over his "rig," and told him about a nice campground that was not very far away, suggesting that he forget about Chicago and take his family to this "nice campground." We went to Chicago anyway.


It was about 1943 that that my parents acquired a 19' Vagabond trailer from my mother's brother in Sumter SC. During the War years we (me, my mother and sister) spent the summers in the trailer at Wildwood State Park near Riverhead NY while my father, along with the other husbands/fathers came out on Friday night and returned to the "City" (and work) on Sunday night. We had this trailer until 1957 or 58. Though most of the summers were spent in Wildwood State Park, we also took several trips to South Carolina, upstate New York, and other places I can't remember. One trip I do remember was when we spent a weekend in an apple orchard in upstate NY owned by a man my father referred to as "my friend Carlos."

This is us and our 16' Vagabond in Carlos' apple orchard.

This is the 1939 LaSalle that pulled the Vagabond.


At this point there was a long hiatus in my RVing as I morphed from a kid into some kind of an adult. Eventually I met Sharyn, married, and we began to live happily ever after. In 1969 we bought our first RV -- a brand new 19' Kountry Aire Travel Trailer built by a brand new company called Newmar. While we only had the Kountry Aire for about three years we really enjoyed it thoroughly. The following five pictures are from our 49 day, 11,000 mile trip around the Country in 1970. To fully appreciate the magnitude of this trip one must first know that we had three kids at the time; Greg 7, Philip 13 months, and Shane 6 weeks. What a great trip!

Snow in Yellowstone in June 1970.

Monument Valley

Sharyn and the kids at Grand Canyon (when you camped 100 yards from the edge).

White Sands

Sharyn, Greg, and Philip at White Sands.

(a year or so later)

Camping with kids at local campground


We really enjoyed our travel trailer and said that when we retired we would buy a motorhome and spend two years traveling all of North America. By 1972, however, we had gotten caught up in something else -- sailing, and for the next four or five years we sailed the waters from Eastern Long Island to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. I had a 19' O'Day Mariner when we got married so sailing wasn't something that just happened out of the blue. Our last sailboat it was a Pearson 35'. A perfect boat for either a couple or a family -- it was all great fun!

Me at helm of Mariner

Sharyn (and Gregory) preparing dinner on 19' Mariner

Pearson 26' (why no picture?)

Pearson 35' (our ultimate boat)


Then, once again there was a long hiatus. This time for over 20 years while we raised our kids, changed careers, and explored life until we retired in 1998. In 1999 we started recalling our long ago talk about getting a motorhome and traveling North America. Thinking that "we may not even like it any more" we decided to find out. We found a 1985 27' Travelmaster that was in nice condition and not too expensive. We bought it and 13 months later decided that was what we wanted to do. We bought a 2000 36' Allegro Bay, sold our home, and on February 25, 2000 we drove away. That was the beginning of our travelog and the latest phase of our lives.

Sharyn with our Travelmaster the year before we went "full-time."