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 83; Posted July 22, 2017
John and Sylvia McLaughlin, Full-timers, formerly from Stillwater, Pennsylvania
In August of 2014 we began our new full-time RV lifestyle. It took us a year of planning and we headed south to spend our first winter in Florida in a 2015 Big Horn fifth wheel and Ford dually truck. We traveled across the U.S. and visited cousins we had not seen for 30 years. We travel with our boss, Finley, a 9-year-old yellow Lab.
This winter we returned to Florida and traded our fifth wheel and truck for a 2011 Fleetwood Discovery 36J, with a Freightliner chassis and Cummins 380 HP, and we tow a Honda CRV (both pictured). Our goal was to become more self-contained to do more boondocking. We travel approximately 10,000 miles per year from coast to coast and border to border, with 13 states yet to explore.
We love our home (the Discovery) and our lifestyle with the freedom to travel! One of the great bonuses we have found is the wonderful folks we have met everywhere, and we always have something ahead to get excited about. Sometimes when I wake up I ask John, “Where are we?” or “What day of the week is it?” Life is good!
Good Sam Campground Guide
With more than 12,500 North American locations, the Good Sam RV Travel & Savings Guide is the only print directory of RV parks and campgrounds. The 2017 edition features expert ratings completed in the past year. Park listings include amenities, services, restrictions, rates, contact info, Good Sam discount locations, hundreds of dollars’ worth of Camping World savings and pages of helpful information. Learn more or order.
Robert and (Mrs.) Beede, Charleston, South Carolina
I’ve attached a picture of our trailer “Tatonka.” It is a 2016 Forest River Wildwood 19-foot trailer – just right for the two of us and all of our pets. We just bought him a couple months ago and then took an 18-day trip from South Carolina to Montana (a total of 6,600 miles) to see our daughter graduate (got her Masters of Education from Montana State).
We had never been to Montana, and so we took Tatonka through 13 states. The trailer tows surprisingly well with our 4 Runner. Our most difficult tow was going up to Mount Rushmore – a 10% grade. We made it, but I was so glad we didn’t buy the heavier trailer another dealer wanted to sell us. The ride up and down the steep grade of the mountain was about as exciting as seeing the mountain itself! We had a wonderful time — from dry camping at Walmart to full hookup camping in front of a lake in Iowa. We were able to see Glacier National Park (NP), Yellowstone NP, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, which are all well worth seeing. Oh, did I mention we took our dog, Rocky, and our two birds, Kiwi and Harvey. It was a fun trip.
I nicknamed our trailer “Tatonka” as my grandmother was Native American and it seems to fit the personality of our trailer – as it goes slow up steep grades and seems to like the open plains. It also seems to fit as our first real adventure with it was this spring taking it from S.C. to Montana, and going through several Indian nations.
It has a lot of storage space under the queen sized bed and under the two dining area seats. We also like that it has a bath/shower and not just the shower.
I haven’t really found anything I dislike about the trailer. It is the first time I’ve towed a trailer – our first RV was a very old class A. So learning how to back up a trailer is probably the greatest challenge I’ve had so far. We last had an RV about 16 years ago and decided it was time to do it again — so glad we did. I learned a lot along the way about camping and have cut my time in half to hitch up to go or set up for camp.
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Essential for big RVs!
2017 Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas
If you drive a big RV — extra long or extra tall — then this truck driver’s road atlas will be a huge help in knowing where you can drive without encountering a low bridge or getting stuck hanging over a cliff. This is an essential aid even if you have a GPS! Coverage: United States, Canada, and Mexico. Learn more or order.
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