Tow Vehicle Terms for Dummies (that would be us)

Hello again, Glampers!

For those of you who are considering the RV/Camper route, there are few things that one needs to know about towing.  First, ALWAYS chock the wheels.  (We may have learned this the hard way… thankfully we didn’t roll our new camper off a cliff—but it was close.)  Second, you’ll need the right tow vehicle, and you’re going to want to do some research so you can do it right… and safely.

Towing may be easier than it appears...

Towing may be easier than it appears…

Laura and I were admittedly newbies to the camper thing (and in many ways, we still are!).  In fact, we bought our Airstream without ever actually having camped in a RV.  Thus, we had to learn just about everything from scratch.  Navigating my way through the acronym-heavy world of Tow Vehicles made my head hurt.  And I’m a pilot, for god’s sake.  “Acronym” is practically my native language.

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New Mexico: The High Road to Taos

Dear glampers,


I’ve driven a lot.  Across the country a few times, with and without kids, toodelling around South Dakota inspecting dumps, traversing Texas for state parks, and dodging raindrops all across the Pacific Northwest.  Mostly driving is just a means to an end for me.  But then there are those roads that come with their own soundtrack, that I will remember driving in daydreams.  Driving the high road to Taos is that kind of drive.


We pulled out of Santa Fe to glamp in Taos for a few days and decided to take the long way there.  The high road to Taos is one of this things travel books say “if you have the time” and so we made the time.  Pulling Honeysuckle Manor, we left the juniper pinyon scrub and watched as the miles melted into pine forests amidst snow capped mountains.  Seeing such drastic changes in ecosystems over a relatively short distance was awesome and lent to my growing suspicion that New Mexico is magic, I bet the american Hogwarts is there, probably an adobe village with gardens of green chile plants that can erase bad memories.

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Santa Fe

New Mexico: Santa Fe

Dear fellow glamper,


This year our family had to deal with the biggest challenge we’ve ever had: TJ deployed for six months.  Now we are not strangers to deployments, this was his fifth (our fourth since we’ve been married) but it was the first one we experienced as a family of four and the first one in which the kids understood their father was gone.  And it was a LONG six months… for everyone.  DSCF3893

Now every “reintegration” has its challenges, and every family knows what works best for them.  Something that always carries us through these deployments is planning a special trip once TJ comes home; and this year we picked New Mexico.  For us, family adventures are when we are at our best –as a family and as individuals.  While TJ was gone, we talked endlessly about this trip: what we would do, where we should stay, what improvements did we want to make to Honeysuckle Manor and our tow vehicle, and it was such a nice way to escape whatever was happening that day, thousands of miles apart, something could do together.  Neither TJ nor I had ever been to New Mexico before, and it just sounded like a place we would fall in love with, and we did.  Plus, endless quantities of green chile can kick months spent single parenting out of my head.

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Texas: Caprock Canyons

Dear fellow glamper,


I  must admit to you I was a bit hesitant about Texas when we first moved here.  As a “northerner” I had a set of ideas about what Texas is all about: oil rigs, ranches with a thousand head of cattle,  and short grass prairies stretching on and on just forever.  Now, like pretty much everything I thought of as an absolute in my 20s, all those preconceptions have been tossed aside, and I admit I was totally way off.  Texas is pretty awesome.  Like, really.  In particular, I have a crazy mad passion for the Texas State Park system.  I love the variety, the natural beauty, the campsites, just everything.  We bought an annual pass last year and have used it so much I am afraid each time I show it to a ranger that they will say, “now, ma’m, this pass is plum used up.”  The pass covers daily entrance fees, has a bunch of coupons for discounts on camp sites, and means you can fish in the parks for free. Love it.  Oh, and did I mention you can make your camping reservations on line?!  You can see site availability, and make sure you will have a parking pad large enough, or small enough, for your rig. So darn easy!


Caprock Canyon is one of the parks closest to us.  Driving through the flat panhandle and coming across this canyon system feels like tumbling into a different world.

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