Almost a year has passed since we started RV’ing and we are about to move from our first RV, a travel trailer, to our new mode of travel, a motor coach. I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on our experience over this past year – how we got here and what lies ahead (at least what we think lies ahead).
Back in late September of 2014, I mentioned RV’ing to Liz and said that I thought it was a great way to travel and see the country. I was totally unprepared for her to say that she thought it was a good idea and maybe we should give it a try. For so many years I had heard her say that she hated camping and that her idea of “roughing” it was a Holiday Inn Express. What I didn’t take into account is that she separated staying in a tent type camping from RV type camping where you can have more of the comforts of home available to you. She certainly doesn’t like sitting
around a fire swatting mosquitoes and using the campground facilities, but then, I guess, neither do I (don’t think that we don’t enjoy the occasional campfire, because we do). Another factor may have been that Liz was diagnosed with bladder cancer in March and although her treatment was successful it makes you think about your own mortality and you start considering how much time is left to do the things that you want to do. Liz has always wanted to travel and I think that she thought this might be a way to get me out there. She was right. Within a month we had our first RV – The Ole Funfinder. It has turned out to be a gem. We have had very few issues with it having only returned it once to the dealer for warranty work. In the past year (actually a little over 10 months) we have stayed in 13 different states, traveled over 9000 miles and stayed in it 87 days. I think we were fortunate as we really bought this thing blind. We knew absolutely nothing about RV’ing or name brands, and only went to two dealers before we bought. The only criteria we had was not to spend too much money until we tried it out and it had to be something that I could tow with my current truck. Knowing what I know now, our first experience could have easily turned out to be a disaster.
We would have probably continued with the travel trailer for a while before considering any other type of unit, but then on December 1st I had a transient Continue reading Reflections…. Part 1→
Liz and I had a lot to talk about on our trip home. We really enjoyed our time in Nappanee and every trip we learn something new about Newmar and RV’ing in general. This trip was no different, and we also try to add something new to each trip. It might be something that is purely for fun or maybe something that is both fun and educational.
We left Louisville, KY and spent the next night in Cullman, AL. This park was close to I65 but still off the beaten path. It is one of the parks that is best described as “ok for overnight,” but we would prefer not to stay for too many nights. There were quite a few “permanent” residents in some not so well maintained RV’s. There isn’t a lot to do in Cullman anyway and it was more of a stop of convenience than anything else. We did have some friendly neighbors that we met the next morning that were staying there to watch their granddaughter make her first parachute jump. Yikes!!
From Cullman we headed to Americaus, GA where we had reservations for three nights at the Brickyard Golf and RV Park. It had quite a few good reviews on Trip Advisor and with Passport America it was only $20 a night. When we got there it looked fine. The sites were grassy but the ground was firm, level and the sites were spacious, but the park had Continue reading Educational Ride Home→
It might sound like I’ve lost my mind talking about “The Mother Ship” meaning Newmar headquarters, but I can’t stress how impressed Liz and I are with the entire operation in Nappanee, IN. These folks not only make a great product, but also create an environment of “family” that creates that owner loyalty that makes them a notch above their competition. I know I sound like a “fan boy” and I am after our visit this week.
It is an incredible feeling watching the months of research, order prep, dealer haggling, etc. all start to come together. We only saw 5 days of the 28 day process it takes to manufacture the coach, but it is probably the 5 days where most of the work is done. The unit went to paint on Tuesday and it should be there for several days and then begin quality assurance testing. We are doing the factory delivery and were scheduled for September 14th, but as I said in previous posts we can’t make it till October 12th. Now that I have seen it and actually been inside, it is going to be a long long long 10 weeks. We plan to keep busy by doing stuff around the house, and completing our deal with Dick Gore’s RV which will include emptying out our trailer and cleaning it in preparation for trade. We have to get the storage site ready too and the Continue reading Leaving the Mother Ship→
We had a great week since arriving Tuesday evening in Nappanee. Our campground is great despite the mosquitos we have to fight off at dawn and dusk. The sites are 95% grass and some are not level, but we are fortunate and have a nice level site with shade. Temps and humidity have been a real break from southeast Georgia. The folks at the camp store are great and so is the ice cream. Even better ice cream made with nitrogen gas can be had downtown (see pic below). I love the butter pecan. We have been checking out the local eateries in Nappanee and so far they have been great. Things seem to be at a slower pace here, but that’s good as we are used to it anyway living in the south for the last few years.
The area has a large population of Amish which use horses and buggies and ride bicycles everywhere. I have a lot of respect for these folks and their dedication to their lifestyle. We ate at the Miller’s Dutch Kitchen this morning and the breakfast was great. I even had a side order of mush which I haven’t had in probably 30 years. It’s made out of corn meal, fried and drizzle maple syrup on it. YUM!! My father ate it all the time.
We have met a lot of great people this week which continues to re-enforce our belief that RV’ers are some of the friendliest people. This week we have met folks that are having a unit built , like us, those having service work done, those interested in purchasing a Newmar and those people just interested in learning more about Newmar and the manufacturing process. We have been on 6 tours so far – 2 each day since Wednesday. Actually, at this point I think we are qualified to conduct them. The tour is the only time we can view our unit as Newmar does not allow customers to stay with the unit as it’s manufactured. We even have to hand the Continue reading Movin Right Along!!→