Hello from Michigan family with special needs.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by RoseTheJinx, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. RoseTheJinx

    RoseTheJinx New Member

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    Hello!

    I am excited! I grew up camping in a tent. My husband has moderate Cerebral Palsy and his family didn't camp. I am told he went with a friend several times as an adult in a pop up. So I am assuming he is able to sit on an end bunk and scoot into bed. His CP effects both legs and an arm. He has one hand bent in. Needless to say, I am use to setting up camp myself. Yes, you can purchase larger tents and put them up with only one person!

    We also have 6 kids ranging from 9 to 18 months in age. Our 9 year old has high functioning autism, our soon to be 8 year old has ADHD, and our 18 month old was born with a continental heart defect. She had her first surgery at 2 months old and will have another when she is 5 and one more in her late teens.

    I love my husband, but he loves his job a little too much. lol Getting him to take a vacation is tricky. So this year I decided I wanted something that would set up in 5 minutes or so instead of the 15-20 that it takes me to put up our tent. This way I could leave the kids in their car seats for a few minutes and set up camp safely. I lucked out and our neighbor decided to sell one of her pop up campers! She took $200 off because we are friends. I know there is a little bit of work that needs to be done, but this should enable me to safely be able to camp without my husband there. So the kids and I can go camping during the week and be back to see him on the weekend or he can join us after work on Friday.

    Oh, and I also have an extra kid sometimes. So I would be camping with 7 children 9 - 18 months.

    The camper I am buying is wither a 93' or a 95' Destiny Rio Grande.

    I hope to take it on our 4th of July weekend camping trip. I leave on Thursday to go to the Soo Locks (minus husband, but a friend is going with me), we return Monday, then we will leave again that Thursday till Tuesday the 5th. My neighbor said she would clean out the camper for me while I was gone this next week. It's still at her place right now (across the fence from my living room window) and she needs to get some of her things out of it.

    I am so excited!
     

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  2. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from Shiawassee County!
    Wow. That's quite a family you have, well done getting out camping!
     
  3. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    I'd be curious to know how you set up a pup in 5 minutes.
     
  4. RoseTheJinx

    RoseTheJinx New Member

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    *shrugs* Ok, compared to putting a tent up, it seemed like it only took my neighbor 5 minutes. Either way, it is certainly faster than putting up the 10 person tent I normally put up by myself.
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Compared to the 10 man tent the popping up of the camper is quicker and can be popped up by yourself. Storage is quite tight on pop-ups, so not everything will have a home. It will be probably be very tight with everyone in the camper so you may need to set up a small tent in addition. At least for the older kiddos and possibly a place to change.

    My brothers girlfriend has CP although she can move around inside she needs handles to help her steady herself when going into the trailer. If your husband has the same problem you may need to look into some sort of grab bar or something to add to the trailer. Depending on the type of step that comes with the trailer, you may need a more sturdy step stool as well.
     
  6. Karatecouple

    Karatecouple New Member

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    Have fun!!! It takes us about 10 minutes to get ours pop up and another 5 to organize, worth every minute! You and the family will have a blast!!!
     
  7. Redbird

    Redbird Member

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    RoseTheJinx- Just like with a tent, the more you practice with your pop-up at home, the easier setting up and taking down will be. My husband and I can set up ours -- including the leveling -- in about 15 minutes. It's a good idea to set up a "Camp Driveway" situation if possible before you head out on your first trip so that you know how everything works. With your crew of kiddos, you're going to want to have a handle on things (electrical, water system, etc.) before you get to the campground. (You probably know that from tent camping -- it's easier to be an expert on setting up your tent before you actually go on a camping trip. We've all watched camping newbies pull a tent out of a cardboard box for the first time at a campground and then sit around scratching their heads for a half hour...).

    Will you be receiving the owners' manual along with the trailer? What is your plan for leveling?
     
  8. RoseTheJinx

    RoseTheJinx New Member

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    Oh, I put our 10 person tent up all by myself. I always carefully researched tents. I had to ensure it was something that I could put up all by myself. I know once you get what you are doing down, it can be done faster. I was going to keep my 2 tents (I have the 10 person and then a large teepee that fits our entire family)

    I head out on Thursday (tent). So my neighbor was going to air it out and clean it. She had it up briefly I guess to check condition before she sold it. Like I said, there are some issues, but I think we can work with those.

    After posting earlier, I was over there talking to her (my dog escaped). She was showing me how to level it and some things. Tuesday (after I come back on Monday) she is going to have me do the physical part of set up with her running me through it. Then she is going to help me hook it up to the big van (I have a 12 passenger for when I have 7 kids), pull it into my yard, and do set up again.

    @Jmkay1 Yes, thank you! :) We were discussing putting in a rail for him. This first time out I will help him. The step looks pretty sturdy, but I may need to put a stepping stone down because it looks just a hair higher than his leg can lift up.

    My 12 passenger van is the only one that has a hitch. I do have a smaller 8 passenger van as well. So storage is fine in the big van. We use to go camping with the 8 passenger van before we had the baby. All we use tent camping fits in the trunk of my van. So I am not too worried about storage in the pop up. It isn't like there is a lot of storage in our tent either. With so many kids, I have learned to pack our stuff tight. I don't expect for there to be a lot of room in the pop up. A 10 person tent is more of a 8 person tent when you lay it all out. I know we can fit 6 sleeping bags (touching) in the back area of our tent and then the cot my husband and I sleep on in the front fits with enough room to get out the door. As far as sleeping, I have small kids. Let's put it this way, at home I wonder why they all have their own beds (2 bunk beds for 3 boys). They all sleep in one twin bed every night. Doesn't matter that they start in separate beds. 2 of the girls (4 and 2) are the same way. The 18 month old normally just sleeps with us when camping. So I figured on putting the boys on one end, the girls on the table spot. As they get older we may have to change things up.

    I know it has a "kitchen", but I was going to cook outside. I already have an outdoor kitchen set up. I love it and it is what I am use to. I even cook in it when it is raining. I have it set up under a canopy. This pop up has a canopy. So I will use that for shade, then my 10x10 easy up for the kitchen. I have some handy family members, so maybe I will get one of them to help me redo the inside sometime.
     
  9. kennykamper

    kennykamper Member

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    Congrats looks like that one has some front storage (all ways a plus) .
     
  10. Miamomof8

    Miamomof8 Member

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    We have a 9' box Palomino Pinto. We put the 8, 6, and 4 yos in one bunk, the 10 yo in the dinette bed, and the baby sleeps with us. My husband and I are crowded in the double bunk but the kids are fine. We call it "rack 'em and stack 'em," and we're used to it. I think kids should be a little older before they go out to a tent.
     
  11. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    It sounds like you have a very good neighbor who is willing to show you all the in/outs of the trailer and show you setup. When I got my trailer the dealer I got it from kind of just threw it at me and not showed me much about it. It was a steep learning curve. So congrats! I'm sure you and your family are excited.
    Check out the special needs section of this forum and do a search. Others have modified their trailer to work with their needs. I believe someone managed to add a folding rail to their popup or improvised something to work. Amazon sold a fairly large sturdy folding stool that looked better than my dinky step on my old popup. That had I not gotten a new to me trailer, I would have used that as my step.
    Congratulation. I can't wait to read about how everything works out, and your family's first trip in it.
     
  12. RDWRER

    RDWRER Active Member

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    Congratulations on the NTU pop up! We too were so excited to go from our big tent to our pop up camper! Enjoy camping with your family!!
     
  13. Gunz

    Gunz Member

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    "Rack 'em and stack 'em." [:D] Sounds like the description of a U.S Navy warship berthing compartment!
     
  14. Gunz

    Gunz Member

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    Rose,
    My 16yo was born with Down syndrome and also has major heart defects (experimental heart repair at 12 months and pending another repair in the future). While I preferred tent camping, his heart concerns forced us to get a pop up with air conditioning (we live in southern Mississippi and generally camp within 5 or 6 hours of home). The camper has made a tremendous improvement in our camping life and we've grown from three day excursions to 12 day, multi-location journeys.
    I reconfigured the whole camper, moved cabinets and couches, added a porta-potty, installed two dorm-style refrigerators, eliminated everything related to propane and opted for ceramic space heaters for winter camping, tailored the electrical system to support CPAP at both ends of the unit- and a Therapy Vest in case we ever had to use the camper as a bug-out option for a hurricane. I also added collapsible shelving over the sink to reduce the amount of stuff stored under the seats and help keep things a little more organized.
    Good Luck and Enjoy! [:)C]
     

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