By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
It is the beginning of March and an overcast day as I write this month’s column for the April issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine. The latest price of diesel fuel at the corner truck stop has reached $4.18 a gallon, and the predictions of the talking heads on TV this morning were that it will go much higher. How much higher? I don’t think any of us can really predict. One thing is certain. The higher the fuel costs, the more many of our members and non-members alike will be affected. Some say we have more oil and natural gas in the United States and Canada than all of the oil-producing countries combined. That may be so, but that notion does not put fuel in my motorhome. I do.
These thoughts cross my mind as we near the peak season for motorhoming, beginning in early spring, only a few short weeks away. How will these escalating fuel prices impact our way of life? Will we be able to travel as much and as extensively as we have in the recent past? Well . . . maybe. A motorhome is not only a place to spend the cold winters in much warmer surroundings; it is still an economical way to visit areas and points of interest close to wherever you park. This is true for those who flock to Southern climes for the winter and those who use their motorhome for the occasional weekend getaway. The motivation for making such a purchase in the first place was to keep the whole family together, economically, safely, and in their own beds and bathroom, while still enjoying the flexibility that such ownership provides.
We have chosen this lifestyle, and like anything else, we will have to adjust to the changing environment that we drive in. Those of us who are still employed will have to search for other venues to enjoy the lifestyle, without incurring insurmountable fuel bills. Look around; see what’s available in your local area, be it museums, sporting events, or outdoor concerts. Our motorhomes are equipped with all kinds of amenities that make it possible to live in comfort for several days without full hookups. Take that trip to grandma’s house for her birthday; check and see whether there may be a place to park nearby. Call a few friends who own motorhomes, look into what’s interesting within 100 miles or so of everyone, and meet for a few days to enjoy the locale where you park. Historic locations across the United States and many exciting places in Canada, close to the border, may make attractive destinations. All of these things are as close as your imagination and ingenuity.
We were attracted to this mode of transportation for a reason. Wanderlust; adventure; the joy of looking out your windshield at different sights and hearing the unforgettable sounds of a rushing stream, or the trumpeting of geese heading north or south as the seasons change. The quietness of a campground nestled deep in a leafy glade; falling asleep in your own bedroom in your motorhome after a hard week at work, with the fresh smell of spring drifting on the breeze through the open window; watching the wonder spread across the faces of your children or grandchildren when you introduce them to the motorhome experience. Use caution here, though. During one of our first trips with our grandchildren, we couldn’t figure out why they kept asking to go to the bathroom. We knew they were healthy, and their parents made no mention of any physical problem. We figured out what was happening when Jean quietly listened at the door of the bathroom and heard one say to the other, “Go ahead, flush it. See if you can tell where the water comes from!”
Yes, fuel prices are high at the moment, but so is the enjoyment level and gratification we all receive from being able to embrace the many freedoms we have on a daily basis in our countries. There is an old saying that “Nothing lasts forever, except change.” I think I’ll stick around and keep on motorhoming for a while yet. Change is coming!
Safe and healthy travels.
Notice Of Annual Membership Meeting
Family Motor Coach Association’s Annual Membership Meeting will be held Thursday, August 30, 2012, during FMCA’s 87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase in Indianapolis, Indiana.