Hello, My Fellow RV Family,
I would like to start this month’s column by first congratulating Jane Roush, F243374, for being elected to fulfill the remaining term of Jon Walker as national vice president, Great Lakes Area, and also Tom Ziobrowski, F173943, who is the newly elected national vice president, Northeast Area. On behalf of the entire Executive Board and staff, we want to welcome you on board.
As I pondered what to write about this month, I decided to share the story of how Gloria and I first became involved in RV life. I realize we all have a story to tell when it comes to that. Here is ours.
In the fall of 1999, I decided I wanted a motorhome to go to NASCAR races at Talladega twice a year. I figured I could buy a motorhome for about $20,000. I looked in the local newspaper and, sure enough, a guy I know in our hometown, Searcy, Arkansas, had one listed for sale. I called him and asked how much. He said he would take $100,000 for it. After I picked myself up off the floor, I said good-bye and hung up. I thought he was crazy. Understand that at this point I had never stepped foot inside a motorhome. I started looking in the want ads and found a 1989 model in Benton, Arkansas. They were asking $25,000. I thought, that’s a lot closer to what I had in mind.
Gloria and I took off looking for this place out in the country. We located the motorhome, which was a 36-foot gas-powered model with a tag axle. Boy, was I wide-eyed over all those tires. I was hooked before I ever walked inside. Of course, we fell in love with it and negotiated a price of $23,000. I drove it home on all seven cylinders. That’s right. When I got back to Searcy, we discovered one spark plug broken off. Not to be deterred, we went to work on it. We got it mechanically ready, painted the outside, took all the insides out, and had new carpet installed. We were ready for our first trip.
We decided our first trip would be to San Antonio, Texas, to visit friends. Gloria packed the motorhome with enough canned goods and clothes to last us six months. I said to her (being the expert that I was by then), “Why are you taking all this food? Don’t you know there will be a store when we get to where we are going?”
On our next trip I mentioned that it was close to lunchtime and maybe we should stop at a rest area and have sandwiches. She said to me, “Maybe you should find the grocery store first.” She had taken all the food out of the motorhome. Boy, did I start learning my lessons fast.
As all of you know, there is always a coach prettier than the one you have, so it didn’t take long and we were ready to upgrade. We settled on a 2000 Pace Arrow Vision. It was brand-new, and we thought this one would last forever. By the way, by now I had gotten over the shock of what motorhomes cost.
We had gotten really heavy into NASCAR racing and were attending about 10 races a season. You guessed it; it wasn’t long until the diesel pusher idea hit me. I called the dealership and had my salesman looking for a great deal on a pusher. Lo and behold, they just happened to have the very one I needed. It was a 40-foot-long, 4-year-old Monaco Dynasty. By then, we had been RVing for a little over a year and were starting on our third coach.
We loved the Dynasty for about a year. You guessed it. The salesman called me one day and told me the manufacturer had decided to rebate $25,000 on the 2002 American Coach line, and he just happened to have a 2002 Dream that looked just like me. (It was beautiful.) We made a deal for it. Now we’d been RVing for 2 years and 2 months, and we were buying our fourth motorhome. With that motorhome came a free membership to FMCA. As Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story,” or almost the rest of the story. I’ll save that story for another time.
We’re blogging on FMCA.com
Gloria and I have a new blog on FMCA.com. It’s called “Travels With The FMCA Prez.” We write about our visits to rallies and other destinations and share various thoughts along the way. Keep reading this monthly column in the magazine, of course, but in between times, please check out our blog entries.
By the time you read this month’s column, we will be enjoying the last of all the beautiful fall foliage colors and starting to prepare for our Thanksgiving holiday here in the United States. Our friends in Canada celebrated a day of thanksgiving in October. My hope is that you enjoy your time with your family and friends during the upcoming holidays as much as Gloria and I will.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Remember, “It’s all about having fun!”