By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
I often think of just how I got started down this road of the RV lifestyle. I had always dreamed of being able to travel wherever and whenever I wished in comfortable surroundings, with amenities such as hot and cold running water, a color TV, and a familiar bedroom and bath. I liked the idea of being able to cook and eat meals and have my morning coffee in many different and spectacular places. All while traveling in a rubber-tired house on wheels. My wife, Jean, and I have owned nine motorhomes of various kinds of construction.
We had our first motorhome for a little under a year when we were introduced to the Family Motor Coach Association through its publication, Family Motor Coaching. Once we became members and joined a chapter, our lives literally changed completely.
Jean and I have been full-timing now for more than 13 years.
But still, what was the attraction? As a homeowner, I had the upkeep of a beautiful lawn; I mowed it sometimes twice a week in the summer. We cleaned out the garage every spring and painted here and there to keep our home presentable. We left it every so often to take a vacation or trip that was necessary, always returning to the same place. Now, if the grass outside my RV gets a little unkempt, I move to another location! If the weather starts to turn cold and the furnace comes on, I point the motorhome south to warmer climes. If I see a beautiful photo in a magazine or on TV, I can head out to search for the spot where the picture was taken.
I have fished some quiet streams in the early spring, when young, bright-green leaves are just starting to make their presence known from the ends of stringy little branches. We have tasted the fresh smell of the woods after a summer rain has cleansed the surrounding mountainside. We have parked on the West Coast and East Coast shores of the United States and marveled at the huge expanse of the ocean displayed before us as we watched seabirds in effortless flight. We have traveled through the great country of our northern neighbors, Canada, and enjoyed such places as the quiet little town of Baddeck, Nova Scotia; the spectacular blue waters of Lake Louise in Alberta; and the bustling cities of Montreal and Vancouver.
We are indeed fortunate, at this stage of our lives, to be able to continue to seek the answer to why this lifestyle is so appealing. It is much more than the places, the sunsets, the new roads traveled; it is also the fellow RVers we meet constantly in our travels. Indeed, belonging to such a great association as FMCA has broadened our horizons in so many ways. Wherever we go, we meet other members who enjoy the same lifestyle we do. Many are still employed and hitting the road as they can. Others are full-timing, such as we are. But all, I believe, are still in awe of the ability to be able to take their home with them wherever they go.
Every chance I get, I try to entice another motorhomer into joining this lifestyle. Call it recruiting, if you like. I prefer to think of it as sharing the attraction of the freedom of travel and the excitement that comes from joining a group of everyday adventurers who enjoy gazing through their windows on the world.
Until next time, safe and healthy travels.
P.S. Page 83 of this issue of the magazine includes a discount coupon that current FMCA members can share with friends who have not yet joined the association. The special limited-time offer applies to new members only. Help someone to enjoy the attraction of the motorhome lifestyle.
Notice Of Annual Membership Meeting
Family Motor Coach Association’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2010, during FMCA’s 84th International Convention in Redmond, Oregon.