With the kids growing, we knew we wanted a camper
larger than the pop-up. In July 1986, we averted
disaster with the Datsun station wagon bumper incident
and the next month bought the '78 Dodge conversion van
from Steve and Lana to tow with. The next
spring, we went looking for a new camper.
bought was new to us, but hardly new. It was an
eleven year old Prowler travel trailer. At
twenty feet, it was the largest camper we had owned to
that point. It had a two-way refrigerator, a
propane hot water heater and a retractable
awning. We could jump right in it with little
set-up if we stopped somewhere in bad weather.
We didn't have to crank it up and we thought we had
One of the reasons for buying this unit was the
lay-out. There was a dinette in the front which,
as is typical, folded down into a double bed. In
the back, there was a second dinette, a "U"
shaped, wrap-around unit that also converted to a
bed. In many of the camping trips we did at this
point, the kids stayed in tents. We could leave
the back unit down and not bother with converting it,
but if weather was bad, we could use it as a table
after the kids were put to bed.
We had this rig a
little less than four years. We probably would
have kept it longer, but we had an unfortunate
incident with it. We had stopped at Paul and
Gail's in Black River. They had a loop driveway
at this point. While pulling out, the branches
of one of the trees were brushing against the side of
the trailer. We didn't think anything of it
because they were leafy, but hiding inside the foliage
was a butt-end that had been cut off.
The branch was
six or seven inches in diameter and pierced a hole in
the roadside of the trailer. David took the
trailer to Wratten's Trailer Sales in Adams to get it repaired. While he was
there, he saw the 1989 Mallard
made us an offer we couldn't refuse. By then, we
had the Suburban so it was no problem to haul.
We traded the damaged Prowler in and took the Mallard
home, after upgrading the sway-bar system.