And this is how it all began…

As I said in my post on the “About The Camping Dad” page, my childhood memories are filled with fun times on camping adventures. I grew up in South Louisiana and some of my fondest memories involved family camping at Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, LA. We started as tent campers when I was very young, eventually moving up to a Coachmen pull behind travel trailer. My dad pulled that camper all over the south. Our summer vacations were never boring and I was always eager to go on an adventure.

Now that I have three kids of my own, my memory was sparked and the camping bug got me! Our home base is Northwest Arkansas and there’s a reason it’s called the ‘Natural State’. There are too many camp sites to list but, we spend a good deal of time at around Beaver Lake and  Devil’s Den. One search on Recreation.gov showed me there were miles of adventure waiting for my family just hours away, so Chantal and I headed out to the local Camping World to see what they had to offer.

We looked at several new and used models. I was nervous about towing something too big, but it was important to both of us that we have enough room for the five in our family plus our two very large dogs. (Grom a Great Pyrenees and Thrall a Hound Mix). We had one other very special requirement, our son Asher, is 2 and has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He currently needs a bed on the floor due to paralysis. Most of the used models either didn’t have the features we needed or the just didn’t  have the space.

When we walked into the 2013 Keystone Springdale model 303BHSSR we realized that the floor plan was perfect for all of our needs.

303bhssr

Two additional features made this the trailer for our family; the rear bedroom/play area, and an outdoor kitchen. The interior play/sleep area is the perfect nighttime entertainment area for our kids. It includes two futon type chairs on the floor that fold out to beds, two bunk beds, and an entertainment center that holds books, a tv, etc. The outdoor kitchen includes a small fridge, a sink, two burner stove, and enough counter space for a coffee pot. We walked into this trailer and felt right at home, any reservations I had about pulling and parking such a long trailer were going to have to be dealt with because this was the one.

We signed papers, had my tow vehicle prepped and we were off to find adventure. No instruction book, very little information, not even a hose to connect the water! We parked our home away from home it in storage, and thought, “what do we do now!?”

That was a almost exactly one year ago and we had 2 months to prepare for our first adventure. I spent those months searching, studying, reading, and plotting anything that would help me create memories for my family and I. I’m no expert, I have exactly one year experience. I have created this site to pass along my lessons and share our adventures. I will be adding links, checklists, pictures, and any other information we have found helpful along the way. I’ve have begun with one of my first lessons, How to Level Your Travel Trailer, which you can find on the Helpful Information page. I will do my best to post regularly, and once spring arrives I will be off to find new adventures so look for new posts. I will post reports from our trips including information and reviews on campground, activities for the kids, recipes we have tired and enjoyed and lots more helpful information.

I want this blog to be where Dads and Moms can talk about their adventures and share ideas with one another. A place to find everything from how to level your trailer and trouble shoot common problems to activities for every age. Informative, fun, inspirational and family oriented.

I am glad you have found our little home on the web, please make it your own as well. Feel free to comment and interact on subjects that interest you. If you have a request, idea, or feedback please mail it to me at thecampingdadmail@gmail.com. Thank you again, and now let’s go find our next adventure!

Chris

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