Send a photo of your RV and a 150- to 200-word description of it, how and where you use it, and what you like or don’t like about it, to Diane (at) RVtravel.com . Be sure to include your name(s) and hometown, or if you’re a full-timer. (These are posted in the order received.)
The RVs of RVtravel.com readers and how they use them
Issue 70; Posted Jan. 21, 2017
Joe Kleinsmith, Full-timer
In the 1950s I helped my father build a 12-foot pop-up trailer, and in 1967, when slip-on campers were introduced, my father and I, then 16 years old, built a 25-foot Class C mounted on a 1-ton Dodge with a 440. Since then Dad had all Class A’s, a 30-foot Apollo and a 36-foot Elite pusher.
Since retiring from the Army, I purchased, new, my own 2008 Damon 37-foot Outlaw Class A Toy Hauler with an 8.1 L GMC engine on a Workhorse chassis. Inside is a full-dress Harley and Cricket golf cart, and behind I pull a ’07 Nissan Frontier with a 6-foot bed.
Like many, I made some improvements and upgrades to make life easier. I removed all decals and replaced with custom paint, upgraded the suspension with steering stabilizer, rear track bar, front and rear anti-sway bars, satellite, solar system, added a Total Vision Pan and Tilt camera system, replaced the garage bed with a storage box, added a side collapsible ladder, and changed over to LED lighting, among others.
I’ve done my share of travel overseas in the military and now travel with my biker dog, a miniature English bull terrier, exploring the U.S. and Mexico. I have visited popular RV cities and sites such as Branson, Nashville, Dollywood, Mount Rushmore, Sturgis, Indianapolis Raceway, etc. Now I visit a different state each year and travel all over searching out history, national parks and places of interest en route to a particular state and then returning to my snowbird nest. Like many, I try to avoid traveling on the same roadways so I can see and experience more. In 2016 I visited Colorado, in 2015 I went to Utah, 2014 was Oregon and Washington, and this year Tennessee is on my list. Even while snowbirding I take side trips to RV rallies and Quartzsite, and next month I’m going to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.
I’ve put over 50,000 miles on both the Outlaw and Harley, and we’re only getting started.
Steve and Yvonne Barnes, Kamloops, British Columbia
The photos are of our 2015 Grand Design 36-foot Reflection and 2017 3500 Ram at Punta Gorda, Florida.
We recently started our return, five-month trip from Kamloops, B.C., to Dry Tortugas, Florida Keys, across the Gulf to California and return to B.C. Our predecessor 2004 Ram took us 90,000 kilometers, 50,000 miles, over seven years, in 43 months. This current trip was a benchmark. Ohio completed our visit to, or at least touching on by RV, 48 contiguous states and 10 provinces including Newfoundland and Labrador.
Unlike most Snowbirds, we like to keep moving, one week or less per site, because there is so much to see in this great land. New York City is our favorite but the most expensive camping ever: $90 for a “parking lot” site in Jersey City on the Hudson looking at the Statue of Liberty. Worth it, for you never use your car. This site is the closest to NYC, just 20 minutes downtown by train under “Sully’s” Hudson River.
Never thought NYC would seem cheap. Florida Keys, especially Key West, rates go $135 per night or more. State Parks are the bargain at $45, for two weeks maximum, but must reserve a year in advance. Senior residents of Florida are half-price.
Alaska may have to be a spring inside passage cruise because living on Kamloops Lake at the north tip of this Canada desert extending north from the Spokane, Washington, area, in occasional 40 degree Celsius, 100 degree Fahrenheit heat, keeps us enjoying the lake most summers. Yes, we have cactus, but only 2″ high. Our rattlesnakes are the same size as the American ones.
Anyway, we make the most of our time on the road while we still can. We say to anyone who will listen: Do it now, on any budget you can; incapacity comes without warning.
MORE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS