By 1983 we had one child and another on the
way. We wanted to continue camping but decided
it was time to do something other than a tent.
We bought this Starcraft pop-up.
We bought it from a couple further north, perhaps
the Massena area. It was in amazing condition
for its age and, although we don't remember what we
paid for it, it was probably too much. The
unique thing about this camper was that it only had
one pop out. Usually in a soft-side pop-up, both
the front and rear pop out to form two double
beds. This one only expanded in the rear.
There was a kitchen unit along the front wall.
At some point, we bought an "Add-a-room"
which snapped to the curbside. It was somewhat
of a tent attached to the camper which more than
doubled our space and gave us a lot more flexibility
during inclement weather.
We towed this behind a 1980 Datsun compact station
wagon for at least three seasons. There were no
cross-country hauls on the docket, but we did take it
on two extended trips. In 1985, we stayed a
month at Hamlin Beach State Park while David attended
a National Science Foundation Institute at SUNY
Brockport. In 1986, we stayed a week at a very
nice little family run campground in Mechanicville,
New York, while David attended a seminar at the IBM
corporate location in Albany.
It was on this
adventure that David discovered, as he was unhitching
the camper when we arrived, that the rear end of the
station wagon was loose! The rear bumper was
attached with two brackets, each having four
bolts. Two of the bolts on each side had
rusted/broken off, and the bumper ... and camper ...
were just hanging on. Another few miles and we
would have probably lost the whole thing.
Ironically, the Albany Datsun dealer could not get the
parts for more than a week but our Watertown dealer
could get them the next day. Of course, our good
friend Paul was the Service Manager but he said he
would have done it for anyone.
We explained our
predicament to the campground owners and left the
camper there at the end of the week while we went home
to get the bumper fixed. When we got home that
Friday night, Marcia's dad offered his Chevy 3/4 ton,
diesel pick-up to go back down and get the
camper. More irony ... the Datsun got over 30
MPG, but when you hooked the camper to it, the best
you could do was about14. The Chevy diesel got
24 ... by itself or with the camper behind it.
was this incident that prompted us to go truck
shopping. After we arrived home from
Mechanicville, we found out that Steve and Lana were
selling their conversion
van. We bought it and
finished up the season towing the pop-up with
that. The next year, we sold the pop-up and
bought a 1976 Prowler 20' travel trailer.