California and Back

pop-up camper
1980 Coleman Pop Up

This family vacation?and these photos are from our 2 week vacation out to California and back in 1994 when we drove our pick-up towing?our pop-up.

Of all the memories we have over the past years as a family, I think this one family vacation?maybe holds the most vivid recollection for everyone as a 2 week adventure that we all enjoyed.?? If you ask our children what they got for Christmas or a birthday they would be hard pressed to remember specifics.? But, if you ask them about the family vacation?to California and back in the pop-up, you better pull up a chair and be ready to listen for a while.


I took the time to repack the bearings in the small wheels of the pup-up because they Pop-up-camper18-awould be spinning at a rate of about 3 to 1 of the wheels on the truck.? I also engineered a gear/belt mechanism that allowed me to use a drill motor to raise and lower the camper.? It had a large and heavy air conditioner on top and I didn’t really like the idea of cranking and lowering by hand every day for 2 week.? This idea made it much more enjoyable after a long day of driving to get setup. ? The last modification was to build my own truck bed cover ( trunk lid ) to cover our items that wouldn’t fit in the camper.

The poor quality photos are screen shots from video that was taken by the wildly popular VHS cam-corder we had at the time.? We didn’t have much money then, but we sure had fun.? The following images are a peek into one of our family’s favorite vacation experien1986_rca_pro-camcorderces.? We travelled from North Alabama to California and back in our Silverado pick-up with our 1980 Coleman pop-up in tow.

  • Highlights: We almost ran out of gas in Utah !? We had 2 blow-outs on the pop-up’s small tires.? The deck I made to cover the bed of the truck – blew off.? When Arizona signs say “wind advisory” take them seriously!

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Parked at the Grand Canyon National Park. Cold at night in that elevation.
Squirrels were not afraid of people. This little guy let us watch him eat with no problem.
Everyone had a job at each campsite. Crank the camper up, put the steps out, lower and level the jacks, hook up power and water.
Steven doing his job – hooking up the water.
Steven crawling under the home made bed-cover of my truck to get the hose out.
one of MANY breath-taking views from the Grand Canyon’s abundance of spots to pull off and take in the scenery. Sadly no picture does it justice.
Miles before getting to the Grand Canyon, the souvenir stores started appearing. They were however informative, and helpful to tourists.
This was a tourist attraction next to the souvenir store we stopped at just before entering the Grand Canyon.
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Arkansas rest stop – made sandwiches and went for a walk to get the kids energy burned off for another 5 hours of riding.
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Camp site at a KOA in Texas.
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The cross walk over the interstate provided a good view of the TEXAS welcome sign and a photo op.
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pulled off at each state to get a photo of the welcome sign.
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Another view of the walking trail at one of the rest stops along the way. We didn’t have a large budget so we had sandwiches and chips for most of the lunches.
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Stopped at a park in Texas where it appeared the park was the only thing in that town. Wish i could remember the name of the small town.
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In Albaqurque we rode the 2+ mile cable car up to Sandia Peak. Well worth the time – the view was spectacular looking down on Albaqurque.

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