Family Lifestyle On the Road

The Lifespan of a Camper

Four years ago, my husband decided to trade in his motorcycle and buy a camper for our family. We weren’t sure how it would go – Luke always loved going camping when he was younger with his family, but I had always been more of the hotel with a swimming pool kinda girl. We decided to start small and look at pop-up campers, mainly because it was all that my 4-cylinder Rav4 could safely tow.

That little pop-up camper provided us with some of our favorite memories – taking Marleigh Jo camping for the first time and experiencing the great outdoors together. It ignited our love for camping as a family, gave us an excuse to get away just us to spend quality time together, and we knew that someday we would want to upgrade our camper if the right opportunity presented itself.


The winter after our first camping season, we decided that we definitely wanted to upgrade to a bit of a bigger camper. We ended up finding one that we thought would work well for us and did the initial deal with a local RV dealership. A week later, after still not having heard back from the salesman who we spoke with, we went to “the camping show” (RV show) at the Hamburg Fairgrounds with Luke’s aunt and uncle. We ended up finding the Skycat, and fell in love instantly! We ended up calling the other dealership and backing out of our verbal agreement we had made with them, buying a new vehicle to tow it with, and did the final paperwork on the camper we found at the show that week!

“The ol’ Skycat” has provided us with even more amazing memories of camping as a family. We camped locally, in the Adirondacks, and even out of state in Myrtle Beach (and Virginia) in our trusty 18′ camper. We camped in the Skycat as a family of three, while I was pregnant with Huck, and all last summer with him as an infant and with the addition of Hans.


We went back to the camping show this past January, and Luke and I half-joked about upgrading our camper again while we were there. I was pretty against getting a new camper, first because I didn’t think it was really necessary to, and second because I didn’t want to have to deal with all of Luke’s endless research before we finally committed to a new one! But I told Luke that if we found a camper that would be “the one” and grow with us throughout the foreseeable future, I would be open to discussing an upgrade.

To make a long story short, we found a floor plan that is perfect for us. Thanks to Luke’s ridiculous research, we ended up finding an amazing deal on our dream camper – a 29′ Keystone Passport! It’s bigger than we were expecting to get (that’s what she said), but hopefully now we won’t have to keep doing the camper dance every couple years. It has four bunk beds, a pullout couch (AKA Hans’ bed), a 6-person dinette, a full bathroom with a shower/tub and medicine cabinet, a kitchen sink, stove/oven, a full-sized fridge/freezer, an entertainment center with TV and stereo, and a queen bed in the “master bedroom.” Plus an outdoor kitchen! We could basically live in it if we wanted to. Don’t tempt us.

Weather permitting, Luke and I are leaving to go pick the new camper up this weekend in Ohio, and while I’m sad to say goodbye to the Skycat with all the memories attached to it,  I can’t wait to see the memories that await us in our new 29′ home on wheels!

I have been a pinning fool with decorating/reupholstering/organizing projects to make sure the Passport is ready to roll in the spring! I’ll undoubtedly be posting progress photos and posts along the way, but in the meantime, you can take a look at all of our camping adventures on Instagram using #gillsgocamping.

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