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From Tent to TAB— Debra and Randy Vincze on RVing

We met Debra and Randy Vincze at the 2019 uCamp at Sugarcreek and invited them to share their RV-ing experiences on the blog. Prior to buying their TAB, the Canadian couple had been tent campers. As Debra explains, “I have been a tent camper since Brownies and girl guides. Randy has been a reluctant tent camper since being joyously married to me (lol)!”

Debra took the lead on this interview, and we know you’ll enjoy the conversation as much as we did!

How long have you been RV-ing?

“We have been RV-ing since the purchase of our TAB 320 Sofitel in the spring of 2015. We purchased it following a very cold and wet trip to New Brunswick when a hurricane hit. My husband is a reluctant camper, to be kind. (Basically, when we plan trips, he books hotels for parts of a trip and I book campsites).”

“Following this last experience, my husband said his camping days were over until the heavens opened up and we passed a TAB trailer driving through Maine on our way back home to Paris, Ontario. We took a photo of it and he researched it for the year. Spring 2015, we went to see one up close and personal at Kelders Trailers in Grand Bend, Ontario. We purchased it the following weekend and I am happy to say my husband is the definition of a happy camper!”

Are you full-time or part-time campers? 

“My husband and I both work full time and manage to get away for three to four-day weekends twice a month from May to October. During the summer months, we plan two extended trips, which are usually seven to ten days each trip.”

What were some of the aspects of RVing life that you had to get used to? 

“Being tenters, we never imagined that you had to book an electric site months ahead of time. We have learned and plan out the reservation date so we get the sites we most prefer. I made a little travel book, which contains park maps and sites we have scoped out on a previous trip so we know where we prefer and prefer not to book.”

“We do not spend a lot of time indoors unless the weather is horrid. It is a wonderful option to have air conditioning as last summer I ended up with pneumonia. I was still able to get away on mini-vacays even though I stayed in the trailer during the high heat of the day.”

What are some of the changes you’ve implemented to make trailer life more comfortable and efficient for you both? 

“Although the trailer is small, it is full of awesome things and spaces. We make use of it all. We sleep wheel to wheel, and it fits two adults and our Shitszu/Maltese Buju quite easily. We have added a 3.5-inch Serta memory foam which has made sleeping 100% better! We roll up our bedding every morning like a burrito and roll it out at night. We like to set the table up in the day to give an option if we feel like sitting inside.”

“When we first got our TAB, we used a 10×10 pop up for added shelter from the rain, which was helpful, but problematic with the door. My husband refused to entertain the purchase of a side tent due to the price and he felt it was not needed. I, however, checked regularly for sales on the PahaQue Wilderness website and finally got one for a great price! He loves it and it really doubles the living space. And…I got my way!”

 

“To enhance our teardrop life, we have purchased folding travel bikes, an awesome two-person inflatable kayak and travel-size games for times we want to stay in. I made some awnings so we can open the windows for a breeze and have added shade.”

“The first few trips we packed enough to supply a village! Now we have packing down to a science and that makes picking up and going on a moment’s notice a breeze. This includes purchasing a few heavy-duty totes that we mounted to our platform (which was installed at last year’s event by an amazing installation crew) that contains our outdoor gear for setting up the trailer so we don’t have to go digging.”

“We also bought a couple of totes that are durable and stack easily for the back of our truck. One holds the outdoor cooking essentials and the other our kayak. This makes it easily accessible and quick to pack if the weather turns.”

“We purchased a plug-in cooler for our longer trips and that helps with minimizing visits to the market. The trailer is great for solo trips as it is manageable for one to set up as well. We opted out of a wet bath as we feel we are both able-bodied enough to make it to the public washrooms and since we stick to federal and provincial campgrounds we find they are well kept.”

“We rarely cook inside as we love cooking on the fire and have the same propane tank since we purchased it. In the future I would like the option to boondock so I am interested in learning more about solar and generators to enable us to do this.”

Where have you traveled so far?

“We have explored the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, which are all beautifully picturesque. We hope to start exploring the west coast of Canada starting in 2021. We have also been to a few States, Vermont, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Michigan.”

What are your plans for this year?

“Our plans for 2020 are quickly filling up as we will be doing non-RV trips as well. Those include a trip for myself to Ghana West Africa and a trip for two to Paris, France. Our big trip will be the Lake Superior circle tour, which we plan to do over two weeks to allow a lot of exploring at the end of July and beginning of August. We will be attending the nüCamp rally in June.” 

“The rest of the summer we will travel not too far from home at Provincial Parks and The Grand River Conservation Authority which are almost all booked for the summer season. The furthest trip will be about two-and-a-half hours away. One of the small trips will include our two grandbabies who will sleep on disco-bed cot bunk-beds in the side tent which doubles as a great second bedroom.”

Camping in a TAB

You attended the 2019 üCamp at Sugarcreek. What did you find most enjoyable or educational?

“Our experience at üCamp was great! We met a lot of neat people and saw enhancements people have done to their tiny palaces. We enjoyed the gatherings in the evenings as well. Our first experience was at a tearstock rally by Little Guy in 2018 and we met some nice people that told us about üCamp and we haven’t looked back!”

What do you like best about RV-ing?

“My favorite thing about camping is that we are spending quality time together. At home, there is always something that needs to be done. Down the road we may entertain moving to a 400 but, for now, this goldilocks (our Shitszu/Maltese Buju) thinks this set-up is just right!”

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