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Adventure Stories

Newbies In New England With a Northstar

This is the story of Pam and John Stuart, two people who had never been truck camping, and just happen to be my parents.  This is going to be interesting.


For the past few years, I have been offering our various truck camper rigs to my family so they could experience the incredible adventure that has become both our lifestyle and occupation.  Upon making these overtures, I would get a raised eyebrow here, and a “maybe someday” there, but they never took me up on the offer.

That is, until this past August.  In the course of a phone call, my mother indicated that she was looking for something fun to do for a summer vacation, but had yet to make any official plans.  Once again I offered our truck camper rig.

“Are you sure you really want to loan us your truck and camper?” she asked.

“Yes, of course.” I replied.

“Great, but it’s okay if you change your mind.”

I wasn’t about to change my mind.  I have long hoped that my family would take an interest in truck camping.  Over the last eight years, Angela and I have shared many truck camping stories, pictures, and videos with our families, thinking we might inspire them to experience the lifestyle for themselves.  Time to give it a shot.

In an ideal world, I would have set them up in a nearby campground for the evening and showed them how everything worked over a few hours.  Unfortunately, their work schedule only allowed for about an hour of training before they set off.  Would this be the trip I had long hoped might spark interest with my family and truck camping?  Did they learn everything they needed to know about the truck and camper in that short hour?  For the next seven days, I kept my cell phone close by.

by Pam Stuart

Angela and Gordon have convinced us over the years that truck camping is an ideal way to experience all the great things to see in this country.  We have talked about going truck camping many times, but never really managed to find the right time.

Lately our lives have become much more complicated with our jobs, older parents, and responsibilities.  Work never seems to stop and it becomes the unwelcome focus of our lives.

We were both long overdue for a vacation.  Since I travel so often for business, I did not want a vacation that involved airports or flying.  Prior to considering a truck camping trip, we were already talking about driving somewhere, taking a break from our day-to-day, and not trying to plan every minute.  We could enjoy what we saw, who we visited, and the freedom to stay an extra day if we were having fun, or leaving early if we were not.

This past July, Angela and Gordon told us they were getting a new camper, a 2014 Northstar Arrow Model U.  They offered us their truck and new camper to try truck camping in August.  The timing was perfect.  After some discussions about what truck camping might be like, we got excited about the adventure and decided to do it.

Truck camping especially appeals to us because we could have the flexibility that we wanted and, in the future, we could take both of our dogs.  I loved the idea that the camper is self-contained and everything you need is with you.  Even traffic jams would not seem so awful when you can also pull over, have lunch, and wait it out.  Since I love to cook, the idea of having our own food with us made truck camping even more appealing.

I could hardly bear to leave our dogs behind, but we had a chance to leave them with our adult daughter for a week in August.  They would be well cared for.

The Destination: Camden, Maine

For several years, we have exchanged emails and calls with an old friend who lives in Camden, Maine.  We had visited him over twenty years ago when he was the chef and proprietor of an amazing inn in Camden called Aubergine.

All those years ago, we had enjoyed amazing food prepared by our friend David, walked through the town, visited several coastal islands, and had a really wonderful time.  We always intended to go back to Maine, but somehow we never did.  This was the perfect opportunity to visit David and explore Maine.

Newbies In New England With a Northstar

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