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Old 05-23-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
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Location: Grayslake, IL
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Post New from Chicago Suburbs

Hi everyone,

I wanted to introduce myself as a new member of the forum. This is a great forum and I have learned a lot as we looked for our new trailer. My wife and I just bought a 2013 Jayco Jay 1206 Popup to go on trips with our young family. I will be towing with a 2005 Chevy Trailblazer. With a 6000 lb towing capacity, it will be plenty of truck for the 3500 lb trailer. We have identical twin 2-1/2 year old boys and live in the far northern Chicago suburb of Grayslake, IL.

I grew up camping. I started with my parents when I was 3 in a used Bethany Popup. They upgraded 2 years later to a new Jayco 24' travel trailer that they owned until I was in high school. They were members of the local Jayco camping club and I looked forward to campouts all summer. We also took 1-2 week long trips a year in the trailer. My parents bought two Jayco fifth wheels before buying a Forest River V-Cross trailer because it is wheelchair accessible and it would have been too costly to retrofit a new Jayco travel trailer.

After a stint in the Army and college I convinced my new wife to go on a camping vacation in a tent over 10 years ago. She didn't go on family vacations when she was a kid and had never been camping before. I had spent many nights in a tent as a Boy Scout and soldier and thought, what could go wrong? She'll love it. Famous last words...

Our first long weekend was to Mackinaw Island, Michigan in early June. It was a nice weekend at first, but then the temperature plummeted and we decided to leave for home a day early because of predicted heavy rains.

Our second trip was even worse. We spent 5 nights in central Illinois in July and ended up in Springfield. During the night a strong thunderstorm came up and it started raining hard inside the tent. We dashed to the car and spent the night there. We tried to dry everything out but it rained the entire next day. We spent another night in the car. The next night was the same so we ended up at her sister's house an hour away. My wife was so miserable that I feared that we would never camp again.

On our next trip to Kentucky we only camped part of the time but it was so hot and humid that we eventually gave up the tent and stayed in a hotel.

After the kids were born we took a trip to Washington DC to visit relatives last summer and stayed in a hotel 1 night each way. I can tell you, a hotel room gets mighty small with two toddlers who have been cooped up in a car all day. It was such a miserable experience that we never wanted to repeat it again.

After discussing it over the winter, much to my surprise, my wife mentioned a month ago that maybe camping in a trailer would be better than a tent and a hotel room with 2 little kids. We started looking and bought our popup from the same dealer that sold my parents all of theirs.

When we bought the trailer last night I saw the owner of the dealership. He remembered me from when my parents bought their first Jayco trailer from his dad, the original owner of the dealership. He was a teenager and I was 5.

So things have come full circle. My family is beginning the road that I started when I was my kid's age. I hope I can give them half of the many memories that I had on a trip with my parents and a Jayco trailer. I am so excited!


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Old 05-23-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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Location: Millington
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Welcome to JOF and congrats on the new PUP. I also started with a PUP when my kids were still in diapers and learning to walk. They are now 5 and 7 and they love to go camping so we moved up to a TT this year. A bunch of good folks on here who are always willing to help if you have questions.


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Old 05-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Welcome to the JOF from a fellow father of twins! Congrats on the new PU and Happy Camping!
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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PLEASE tell me your PU came with AIR CONDITIONING....

Gratz on the new TT and welcome to the forum
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

katgar05: I would love to hear about your experiences camping with kids in diapers.

nevercominhome: I love being the father of twins. It is such a different experience from all our friends who had their kids one at a time.

Threebutchers: No, but I had the dealer add one. It is totally worth the money! I also have the furnace because it can get cold in the upper Midwest. It's not even 50 degrees out right now!
Scott, DW, and Twin DS (5)

2013 Jayco Jay 1206
2005 Chevy Trailblazer
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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Hi Scott,

We sold our pop-up this spring and upgraded just this week to a Jayco Jay Feather Ultra Lite X18D. Up until age 43, I actually liked tent camping (it all started on the honeymoon). But then, a combination of leaky air mattresses, rain every time we camped, noisy neighbors in the campgrounds we went to, sticking or broken tent zippers, and aching backs made us upgrade to a pop-up. We used an 8-foot pop-up which we could pull with our wimpy van for 3 years. Then, this winter we bought a Chevy Traverse which could pull more, so we decided to get a bigger pop-up. Well, the fatal mistake my husband made was saying, "Let's just look in a hybrid and see what it's like." That's when the lights went on for me and I realized that my love/hate relationship with camping was caused by all the missing amenities! Now I have a bathroom (won't have to hike a mile in the middle of the night), a kitchen with a pantry, refrigerator, stove, microwave, and decent-size sink. It has way more beds (sleeps 8), and storage galore. I'm actually wondering how I'm going to utilize all the storage they provide. There's a time for everything. When I was young (like you sound), I didn't think twice about all the work of tent camping, and I could sleep through the night and didn't have middle-of-the-night requirements. You guys are going to LOVE your pop-up, just like I did.
Happy camping! BTW, we live by Crystal Lake, which is about 45 minutes west of Grayslake.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:36 PM   #7
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Great story! Welcome from your neighbor to the north!
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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Welcome to the user friendly Jayco Owners forum! Our members just love to answer questions or help out other members when possible and have fun sharing their experiences . They also love pictures of your RV, tow vehicles, and campsites!! So do not hesitate to post pics of your Jayco in the "Pics of your Jayco forum" and pics of your tow vehicle in the "Tow Vehicle forum".

Feel free to participate in our many fun polls (first thread in New Members forum has them all listed, second thread has more new member welcoming info). Post often, have fun with the forum, and enjoy your Jayco!

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Old 03-23-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
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Location: Wetumpka
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Hey Scott!
Fellow father of twins here in Alabama. I saw in your post where you mention the Forest River V Cross as being wheelchair accessible?? I am in a wheelchair and searched and searched for an accessible model and ended up with a Jayco 28BHBE because the exterior door was just barely wide enough to squeeze in. Still can't access the bath/shower once inside though : (
Does the V Cross have a ramp? a lift? or wider doors? I had to build my own ramp and porch landing and it is a pain to transport them.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:03 AM   #10
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Hey Scott, welcome to JOF! Your TB will pull the PUP without issue. Congrats on your purchase and many happy camping events in the future. As others, we too started with a PUP and migrated to a Hybrid last year.

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