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Camping with kids!
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mrtee
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:58 pm    Post subject: Camping with kids! Reply with quote

Hi
Do many of you guys go camping with kids?
We are thinking of buying a Eurovan camper and wondered how much fun it will be camping with our 2 year old boy? Is it fun or can it be a headache?
T.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is both.
Get him out and exploring the world now. Getting the kids dirty and burning marshmallows at the campfire are a must do.
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BushChicken
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

X2

A pain and a hassle compared to camping without kids (especially at 2), but, totally worth it at the same time.

You know, like most things in life with a 2 year old Laughing
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j8
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who wrote that camping without kids leads to camping with kids? I think I saw it here on The Samba.

Anyway, we didn't bring our niece until maybe three, but I would have taken her camping in a laundry basket earlier if I could have. Worth it. There will be moments. Think around them. Once in coastal Georgia I could feel a serious yelling ramping up while we packed to leave the site, so I turned on the engine and turned on the AC while we packed. Everyone literally and figuratively chilled out.

Remember that they're kids. They feel cold, heat, and experience fears in a way we don't. They'll be happier than you expect and unhappier than you hoped for at any given moment.

And I wouldn't trade any of those moments for anything. Our niece is 10 now and still talks about the pop-top as her "room." I hope she'll feel that way even when we're not "cool" anymore.

Do it now, or regret it later.

/my two cents
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It doesn't have to be fun . . . to be fun.
(Speaking as a dad of a 4 and 6 yo who have had 20+ nights in the van)

As the Nike man, says, Just Do It.

On a more serious note, do you presently car camp with your kids? Do you like it? Does the cost/benefit analysis really end up in the positive? Answer truthfully.

If yes, then Westy camping is prolly going to work for you.
If not, then you may want to wait a few years. How old are your kids?

-CJ
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

climberjohn wrote:
It doesn't have to be fun . . . to be fun.
(Speaking as a dad of a 4 and 6 yo who have had 20+ nights in the van)

As the Nike man, says, Just Do It.

On a more serious note, do you presently car camp with your kids? Do you like it? Does the cost/benefit analysis really end up in the positive? Answer truthfully.

If yes, then Westy camping is prolly going to work for you.
If not, then you may want to wait a few years. How old are your kids?

-CJ


Well put C. John! There are sacrafices,small Space=the need for creativity just do it
I like eurovans. They are growing on me.
Syncros OTOH, engorge me Very Happy
It WILL change your life.
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

j8 wrote:
Who wrote that camping without kids leads to camping with kids? I think I saw it here on The Samba


That was 1621...

Just about my favortist thing in the world is camping with my almost 8 yeAr old son. It hasn't always been easy (mostly) but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.
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pnwkayaker
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally worth it! Our oldest son (now 5) started camping with us when he was 13 months (even took a ride in a canoe in the same trip). Our youngest (now 2.5 yrs) started camping with us when he was 5 months.

They're both extremely tuned to camp with the Syncro, and also love regular tent camping. We just did 3 days in the North Cascades, and they loved every minute.

Couple of observations:

1 - a bike for each kid is very important, they have lots of energy, and with the bike, they feel independent.

2 - A very important item to bring in the van is a small porta-potty, makes all the difference in the world for the 5 yrs old (the small one is still on diapers).

3 - marshmallows, marshmallows, marshmallows, they all love cooking them.

4 - we just discovered colored light-sticks, a couple per kids every night makes them extremely happy (and they last all night, so you can hang them from the tent or pop top)

5 - one of the biggest inconvenience is that the carseats are HUGE, which is a problem when preparing to sleep (I've managed to stack them together in the driver's seat, but it depends on the carseat model).
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started my son at 4 now he is 6. he absolutely loves it. my son always brags about the westy to hi friends. every time i mention camping his eyes lights up Smile. we just had a baby three months ago. we took the two month old baby and 6 yr old camping twice this summer. don't get me wrong. it is lot of work but totally worth it.

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Last edited by whynotvw on Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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madspaniard
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two daughters, first one joined us camping with the Westy when she was 3 months old, October camping in Yosemite for 3 nights, and from that point on she has gone farther and longer with us in camping trips, second one was already camping with us when wife was 8 months pregnant with her and with just weeks in this world she has already experienced the Westy lifestyle!

It really isn't difficult, As a matter of fact, I find it easier to handle the kids out camping than at home! I want my kids to remember camping trips, not XBOX games, camping trip memories last forever. I think it runs in the family, I was only 2 months old back in '71 when my parents took me with them on a month-long camping-road trip thru the Pyreness in Spain driving their new Seat 850 Special (similar to Fiat 600 but with a hump in the back). They used to dry out my cloth diapers by hanging them from the antenna in the front. Laughing
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 boys, 2 and 4 y.o.

Totally worth it.

We put one kid in a pack and play in the gally, and the 4 yo gets the top bunk

You think it's tough camping with them, try taking them camping at a music festival!!!



A few years ago....
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mrtee
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool pics and interesting reading thanks. I suppose everything is the same with children - hard work but rewarding all the same.
Hopefully I'll be able to post some similar photos next summer!
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mikey9
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:12 am    Post subject: Oh yes - and where to start Reply with quote

Yes, yes, yes and yes again!

We got our van when Son 1 was 6 months old specifically so we could go camping together. We had already camped with him in the tent - at a music festival and a Mountainbike race.

Some reasons.
A. I remember our neighbours (35 years ago) had a dormobile and I was SOOO jealous of them getting away in it - and then they took my brother with them too!!!

B. We didn't want to regret not doing it.

C. With a baby in nappies we found a perfect changing table (floor) and potty training location (floor)

D. We like to take toys to play with, with a Mountain Buggy Pram (liek yer BOB trailers int he US), child seats, bikes, carrier etc. - and now inflatable Kayak - it soon filled the station wagon/estate car and left no space to actually live.

E. Wild/free camping is soo much easier in a Van where we travel (Highlands and Islands of Scotland) - kettle is one and kids are happy too within minutes of stopping

F. If you feel the cold - and the kids (and wife) can- a van is warmer than a tent - espcecially in winter with the Propex on!

G. Parcel Shelf Bed (for babies and up to 3 yrs), Upstairs when older - get a Hi-top and never run out of space.

more to come when i ask my wife later.....and some more pics.

Our 2 and 4 year old boys have now spent all their lives holidaying in the van, typically 3-4 weeks a year - plus time on friends driveways and weekends.

The van is our weekend/day trip to the each/forest/mountains/shopping vehicle too - you shouldn't underestimate how useful it is as a kid carrier and much more practical than those vehicles supposedly designed for the job.
To be able to just pull over when they shout "I need a weeee" - often in a traffic jam on the Motorway you can't pull over - but in the van the passenger can deal with it......
Same on overnight trip - baby needs calming - passenger slips into the back and comforts....

(Sorry for cross posting pics - will look out some diff ones when i get home)
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Family at play

Our solution to the Child Seat problem (see by rear wheel). Double bag in Wheely Bin Liners (210 litres) and leave them outside.....

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Boys birdwatching
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svenakela
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend did their fifth Vanagon camper Sweden-Portugal trip this year. With three kids.
It's approx 3700 km's (2300 miles) one way the shortest route.
Smile
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Zero419
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats nuckin futs!!! Shocked Laughing
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reluctantartist
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have twins and have taken them camping since they were 10 mos old. They actually seem more resilient than our teenage daughter. We have a side tent for the westy which is how we deal with the car seats. The dvd player and elmo are the must haves for us since it is the driving to the location that requires the most patience. I have finally come up with a solution that the wife will possibly accept for using the top bunk for the kids. You might want to see if anyone in your area will be camping near by and see if they would allow you to come out to their camp site to see one in action.
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ursaworks
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a pain in the but if you don't adapt to the kiddos needs, but totally worth it, makes the trip and let's you see things in a whole new light.
Sometimes you have to stop and smell the flowers..... all the flowers, in that field.... right now.
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BlackChart
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 sons, 9 and 10 years.

Both been camping with us since birth, first many years in tent, then combi-camp and for the last 2 years in our home-converted syncro camper and THEY LOVE IT.

Just have to ask once if they want to go on a trip and they both are ready in the car in no time.

We always carry bikes for the kids, a few board games, kites, crosswords and a small selection of their favorite toys...

This year we did our longest camping period 14 days in the syncro, NO problem what-so-ever Smile
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j_dirge
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

8 and 4. They dig it.

Here's a great thread from a while back:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=337620&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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aswah
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject: zero difference Reply with quote

"Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives" - Thomas Berry

We started camping with Beau when he was 11 days old and have not stopped yet (numerous trips from 1 night to two weeks in his eight months of life). Pain? no more a pain than staying home and being with your kid(s). Seriously, camping in a bus is NO different than living life outside a bus. Either way your child will need attention, to be played with, read to, he will eat/drink and he will sleep. Small space or big space - zero difference. Actually easier to keep track of everything he puts in his mouth in small space. For us the only difference is the need to wash his clothes sooner and dump garbage sooner.

Camping gives me more time away from work and more time to spend with Beau. At home it is more an issue because I am trying to take care of my consulting business while juggling a child. Camping gives me 100 percent time with child. And, he LOVES sitting in a big field playing with grass. A thousand times more interactive than someone sticking their kid in front of a TV, not to mention far healthier.

It sounds like you need to dust off your copy of Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv and reread it. If you camp at all than the Westy makes for an even better situation as a young age than tent camping would. A balance for children and adults...

GO FOR IT!
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