Papa Phillips and the family in 2002.

Camping Guide

Our Camper

This is a picture of Mark cooking dinner during our 2003 Memorial Day Campout at Promised Land State Park.

We purchased a new Coleman Camper in 2010.  Our prior camper was a 1998 Coleman.  We got over 10 wonderful years from that camper, and it continues to serve well for my son and his family.  I’d love to recommend Coleman’s to anyone looking to buy a popup, but unfortunately the manufacturer, Fleetwood, went out of business in 2011.

Our pop-up can sleep 8, but we find that any number of people over 4 or 5 starts to get uncomfortable.  The pop-up has a nice storage area on the tongue that you can see in the picture here (same for our 2010 popup).  In addition to the inside refrigerator and stove, it has a handy outdoor stove.

We have never used the indoor sink, and could never figure out exactly how to winterize it.  After a couple of attempts that resulted in water all over the place after a number of the faucets froze and cracked we just took the faucet out all together.  We cover the sink with a board to give us more counter space.  We have an internal potty that we’ve never used.  We have an internal stove that we’ve used whenever we had a baby with us for heating formula, but that’s about it.  We really are outdoor campers.


Having the right tent can make all the difference between an enjoyable and a miserable campout.  We’ve had experience with tents that didn’t repel water, that would pool water on the tent roof, that had tent poles that would easily bend or tarps that didn’t really cover the tent adequately.  Our favorite brand is Eureka.  There is a Eureka outlet store in Vestal, NY where they sell both first quality and second quality equipment.  The second quality is darn good, and usually just has some discolored fabric, but at a lower price.

We love this tent!!!

Eureka Sunrise 8
Eureka Sunrise 8

Our most recent tent purchase was a new Eureka tent to replace one of our Eureka tents that was over 30 years old.  We ordered from Amazon.  This one is 8×8 feet and comfortably sleeps 2-3 people.  They also have a 11×11 that would sleep more.  I guess its possible to fit 4 people into a four person tent, but it wouldn’t allow for much open floor space.

We’ve used this for many years now, and we love it.  Most of my kids have also purchased this model, and I’m expecting to buy another one in the next year or two.  We love it.  (Update:  as of 2016 I own three of these plus a two-man backpacking tent).