My parents purchased a travel trailer in 1968. They got my wife and I, along with two daughters,(8 years old and 2 years old) interested in camping in 1972. We had a 1966 Ford pickup truck with a topper on the back. Before the weekend when we were to go to Lake Lewisville with my parents, we all piled into the truck and drove to the Sears Cataloge Cernter in Dallas, TX where we stood in line to purchase a large tarp, about 15′ square’. We had to wait for the mail order process, picked up our tarp and was back home near midnight. That weekend, we loaded up everything we thought we would need, stove, ice chest, clothes, etc., and headed to the lake with my parents. We set up camp out of the back of the camper topper and stretched the tarp over the end of the camper topper to make a covered porch. Our two girls were to sleep in the camper topper and my wife and I were to sleep on cots under the tarp.
All went well for the day and everyone had fun. Shortly after bedtime that evening however, a storm came up and it rained like crazy. The tarp filled up with water, broke the poles holding it and dumped water all over my wife and I. What a mess! We left everything outside covered with the tarp as best we could and spent the rest of the night crammed up in the camper topper. Our first outing was not as much fun and planned. Shortly after that experience, we bought our first camping trailer. Back then, they were very sparce. We had a ice box for a refrigerator, no heater, no air conditioner, and no bath room, but it was better than setting up camp under a tarp!
Submitted by Arthur John of Jefferson, TX as a part of the RV Centennial Celebration “Share Your Favorite RV Memory” contest.
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