Saturday, November 7, 2015

Roadrunner Rewind: RVing and Camping Through The Years

Though we didn't really know it at the time, our first "RV" was a 1978 VW Westphalia camper.  We got it in 1983 while we were stationed in Germany and had it shipped to our next assignment in Hawaii.  We were there for 3 years and then it was shipped to our next duty station in California in 1986.
Here is young son Adam who must have been about 5 or 6
 Our neighbors in San Bernardino, Bob and Sue, had a green one that was the same year.  I remember one windy camping trip with them to windy Camp Pendleton.  We had a lot of sand in our food that weekend!
We took plenty of trips from San Bernardino to Albuquerque to see Reid and Amy (who incidentally had a green VW camper van like Bob and Sue.
Here one of those "not exactly sure where this is" pictures.

After we moved to Albuquerque in 1988, a co-worker had a newer VW Westphalia camper.  His wife hated the thing and he sold it to us.  We sold our yellow/orange one and got the goldish color van and loved it.  It also was underpowered (weren't they all) but the heater actually worked which was nice.  

I took it on one our our Cub Scout overnighters with a few of the dads and boys.

We didn't have it too long before we decided we needed more seating and we ended up with a Ford Aerostar.

Here we are camping down in Elizabeth City, NC.  Even though we had the VWs we always had tents.  In fact, Pam and I bought a pup tent 4 months after we were married and camped our way from Fort Walton Beach FL to Travis AFB, CA en route to our assignment in Kunsan AB, Korea in 1979.

Here we are with long time friends Kirk and Susan camping near Mammoth Cave National Park in 1994.

After we became empty nesters, we went tent camping at Fort Story/Virginia Beach in our Tacoma pickup truck.

I am finding that the longer we do this, the more I want to capture our experiences here.  It was a long time before I started thinking about our VWs as 'RV' but they very much qualify for that tag.  Too bad back then we had no clue about how to use them more fully.  They had a propane stove, water and electrical hook ups but we had no idea how to work them nor whom to ask.

It was much simpler to pack our things into coolers and pack a couple of tents and away we went.

But isn't that part of this lifestyle?  There are so many ways to do it and no way is right.  We enjoyed it then and are enjoying it now.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Just goes to show that no matter what style of RV you used, it was lots of fun! :c)

  2. Westfalia's were good van's, sturdy and hearty.

  3. Flashbacks are fun:) I had a VW camper like that for a few years starting in 1970. It was fun, but I nearly knocked myself out many times by hitting my head on the edge of the roof when the tent top was up. I sure would have liked more engine power too:))

  4. Nice to be raised in a camping family, Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  5. I never knew those vans actually had hook ups.