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Classic Ride: It’s a Family Affair

A tale of two motorhomes, three decades and four generations...

We get a lot of things from our families: our grandmother’s eyes, our uncle’s forehead, our father’s adventurous spirit and so on. But for the Elliotts, their inheritance wasn’t limited to just the love of travel — they also got the classic RVs to go with it.

The Elliotts have always been a camping family. Carleton and his wife, Toni, started early in their marriage with a travel trailer, which they then swapped with his parents in 1981 for a 28-foot Winnebago. This was later replaced by a used 1979 Newell purchased specifically to make a three-month trek across the United States with their young children, Tyler and Tara, in 1986. While on the trip Carleton decided to trade that motorhome for yet another Newell, this time a 36-foot 1983 unit that they picked up at the Newell factory in Miami, Oklahoma. At the time, it wasn’t a popular move with his wife.

“We had just bought one motorhome, and now I turned around and got another one. I don’t think she talked to me until we got to New Mexico,” Carleton remembers with a laugh.

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