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Kirk W

What was your best ever RV experience?

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I thought that we need something pleasant to discuss in this time of one bad mews report after another. How about sharing some of your most memorable RV experiences and where they took place? It can be recent, or way back when you first began to travel with an RV. Tell us about the RV as well and even perhaps who was there with you. Let's spread some chearfulness!

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We drove Historic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica in a 25' motorhome with no toad.  We stopped at diners, museums and historic sites all along the way. It took us 36 days to drive what Maps says should take a day and a half. :)

If you want to read about it, my blog starts on Day 7 of the trip. Previous entries are lost including the one about parking in downtown Chicago by finding two spots between an alley and a bus stop and paying both meters. Drive through parking in a major metropolitan area! I'm sorry the internet ate that one.

Linda Sand

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Second trip to Alaska. A five month trip from the Rio Grande Valley and return.  First trip was time limited. Second was great as there was no time pressure. Still didn't get everywhere but close.  And we would do the trip again. 

Or the Dakota's with the Badlands, Teddy Roosevelt NP,  Minot,  fields of Sunflowers,  

Or Duluth, Lake Superior, Soo Locks, Whitefish Bay , Mackinac Island another good trip.

Bill

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That's an extremely tough one.  We've had so many good experiences.

Our all-summer Alaskan trip was terrific.  The locals are so helpful, kind and eager to show off their beautiful area...not just Alaska but in the Yukon and Canada, also.  A few things stand out.... we stopped at Worthington Glacier and there was a large parking lot.  We asked the employee at the Glacier if we could spend the night.  She said, no, we don't have a campground here but if you want to volunteer for the night you can stay.  We were the only ones there all night with the glacier right in front of us!  Another instance of a gracious person... we were in Homer on the Kenai Peninsula admiring the huge hanging flower baskets along the street.  A woman stopped and said "if you want to see some flowers come to my house".  She lived on a bluff above town overlooking Kachemak Bay and her huge yard was like a public horticulture park.  She loaded us up with a bouquet in a vase and veggies from her garden and then invited us to stay for lunch!  Finally, we were talking to a local about sled dogs.  He trained dogs and invited us to his house for a tour of his facility. Then he harnessed a group of dogs, we got in the sled on wheels which is used for summer training; he stood on the rear and away we went on his wilderness trail. 

Another year we took the ferry to Alaska. The ferry is like a city bus to the locals along the route.  They use it for neighboring island football games, visiting family, etc. so talking to the locals was very interesting to learn what they go through to live.  There's one narrow passage that bigger cruise ships can't negotiate and the tide has to be perfect in order for the ferry to enter and we timed it just right.  We entered in a slight dusk light and we viewed the red and green marking lights in the waterway which appeared like Christmas.  We had to go so slow through this passage.  There was only one village in this waterway so the people don't see others very often.  As we approached it seemed like the whole town ran down the hill to greet us... laughing, waving and even talking to us as we passed.  It was quite a thrill.

There's nothing like RVing to really experience our wonderful country and neighboring countries.

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The one that we most often think of as standing out in our 12 years of fulltime would be the winter we volunteered in the Everglades National Park. We worked 4 days/week as interpreters at the Shark Valley visitor area. Spending so much time there we observed the wildlife almost daily and as such we watched many things that you would never see if you were only a visitor, like the social interaction of the alligator population and the mating process of many of the birds. As naturalist rangers we each spent time with the research teams for our subject area, Pam with the bird team and I with the alligator team, so that we could prepare for the amphitheater programs we gave daily as part of our work. We also got to spend time with the LEO rangers, traveling by air-boat through parts of the park that most people never get to see. Because of the long hours it is something that we would not return to, but because of the experiences we still recommend it to others. 

                      mother_babies.jpg

Edited by Kirk W

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We had some great tent trips until a bear opened the back side of a friends tent. At that point be purchased a 1968 14 foot Road Runner. 20 gal water storage, Ice Box and 20 lb propane bottle for use with Stove/oven, gas light and heater. Cramp the  ice box full of frozen items and we good for a week. It could sleep 6 but seldom more than 5. Never had a parking problem, never got struck where if we waited a few hours we couldn't drive out. Visiting the big cities always offered lots of camp grounds to shower. Explored most of 3 states in something 1/3 the size of present RV. No I can't go back because I'm 50 years older but still like the solitude.

Clay

 

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Found my Bounder on the internet at JJ Tam's Motor Land in Tucson, AZ. Emailed them and the salesman called the next day to answer some questions and give me his' best price. I ask what it would take to hold the coach until the next week. He held it on my word. Told me to read one of his web pages closely, so I would have no surprises when I flew in from K.C. MO. Flew to Tucson, was picked up at the airport by the salesman. The coach was as advertised. Wrote a check and drove the ol Bounder home. The folks at JJ Tams were the most honorable folks that I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.
And that's one of my best RV experiences.

Richard

 

Edited by rls7201

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Back in the day, I would leave work early on Friday after everyone else had their lunch getting home maybe 2PM. My wife would have the RV packed up and ready to go. We would get to the campgrounds about 3 hours earlier than most others which gave us the best shot at a nice campsite.  Keep in mind we started our camping with a 1976 17' Dodge Gypsy Class C with no A/C and after with a 1984 23' Allegro with all the comforts of home.

This was back when we went camping and I miss that so much. We went Fulltime in 2006 and that camping feeling went away and has not returned. Since we quit fulltiming last September I'd like to sell our F550 and Elite Suites and buy a Smaller Class A or C and go on weekends or longer excursions and maybe get that camping feeling back again.

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30 minutes ago, travelinbob said:

Keep in mind we started our camping with a 1976 17' Dodge Gypsy Class C with no A/C and after with a 1984 23' Allegro with all the comforts of home.

Those were great days! We used to do similar but we left a bit later as I usually didn't get home until at least 4. We had a pop-up and each of us (3 sons) had our job in setting up, which only took us about 15 minutes. Our sons still speak of those days as some of out best. Living in WY at the time, there were many choices of places to camp.

On 7/23/2020 at 8:06 AM, Wrknrvr said:

Is it restricted to wheel power or could it be foot powered.

I hadn't really thought of it, but no reason you couldn't share one from your backpacking days. That also reminds me of another of ours on horseback for 12 nights in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area of MT back when all 2 boys were still at home. 

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Bison wandering through camp.
Deer going antler-to-antler in rut season.
Taking an Uber to BB King's Blues Club on Beale Street - from our RV campground in Memphis across the street from Graceland.

Years of experiences like brush strokes on a great canvas.

 

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6 hours ago, Kirk W said:

We had a pop-up and each of us (3 sons) had our job in setting up, which only took us about 15 minutes.

When I was a kid we had a trailer that looked like an aluminum suitcase on wheels. The ends folded out, canvas sides were snapped on, and canvas bunks on iron pipes fit between the ends. Like Kirk said, the five of us each had a job and within 15 minutes the trailer was up, beds were made, and so was supper. We did that at least one weekend a month Memorial Day to Labor Day for five years always with at least one other family along and sometimes a large group of us. Lots of good memories there.

Linda

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Howdy!

As fulltime RVer’s we have traveled in almost all the lower 48 and some of the Canadian Providence’s. When people ask what is our favorite place we had visited the one that stands out is LaScie, Newfoundlandland. When we booked our ferry crossing we had planned to stay one month. After only a couple of days in Newfoundland we changed our return crossing to stay over three months on “The Rock”. During our travels we stumbled on to a wonderful small fishing village LaScie, Newfoundland. We were going to stay a couple of days and ended up staying weeks. The went to Newfoundland to hopefully see some Icebergs and we got our full of just that. We toured a lot of the island backroads and enjoyed see the small harbors. We been to Alaska twice but by far Newfoundland is our favorite travels.

” Happy Trails “

Chiefneon

Edited by chiefneon

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  My first great experience rving was by foot hiking around the Adirondack mountains back in the 70’s. Caught my first native trout on that trip.

 

  Next real surprise was to go to Talladega nascar race in Talladega Alabama There about 35,000 rv’s show up for that race back about 2011. That is hard to vision that many rv’s at one place.

 

   It is hard to pick the best from the years being on the road. But in the situation we are in now with Covid. I apparently have quit a bit of time to figure out tha best wheel power trip.

 

  I can tell you my wife’s worst nightmare wheel trip was to take our truck and fifthwheel (wich I is 73’ long) into Palo Duro canyon. After we were at the bottom she would not speak.  She even tried to hitchhike out. And let me drive out on my own.

 

 Lots time to think,   Vern

   

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We had an Apache pop-up.  Bought it used in 1986.  In 1988, we went to Maine with it behind y 1987 F-250 SuperCab.  No a/c.  That year broke heat records all across the eastern states.  Our girls were 10 and 7 at the time.  They still talk about that trip, hopping from rock to rock at lighthouses, walking out to the eastern most point in the continental US (Quody Head light house at low tide), having blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, all local........  

We kept track of every penny on that trip.  Fuel, ice cream t-shirts, etc.  We didn't count groceries as we would have needed them anyway. But if we ate away from camp, it got counted.  Total cost for 21 days was just over $900.  Yes, we're "fiscally sensitive", and it's served us well.  Now the girls are 42 and 39.  They both have campers, but not pop-ups.

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I’ve been thinking back on what I would consider my best RV experience.  I would have to say it was the trip to Alaska I took in 2018.  It was an epic trip all the way around, but what made it so very epic didn’t have to do with the awesome scenery.

I’m solo, and at that point I had only been RVing for 2 years, though much of it was on longer, multi-month trips by myself.  Since I didn’t feel confident enough to go to Alaska alone (I can’t break the lug nuts loose on my tires, so couldn’t be self-sufficient enough for the lonelier road stretches), I figured I’d probably not go.

That January I arrived in Quartzsite for a couple of days of dry camping with some friends.  One of them greeted me by asking if I wanted to go with them, and a couple of others to drive the Alaska Highway - of course I said yes, even though I didn’t know one of the couples very well.  There were 3 couples and me alone.

It turned into a marvelous trip of a lifetime.  What made it that way was the people I was traveling with.  We shared laughter, flat tires (well, only 1 rig had a flat), food and good times.  I keep up with them, camping with them whenever I can.

Many of my other memorable times have been when I strike up a conversation with a neighbor in a campground, maybe enjoying a bird feeder they put out or petting their dog or sharing stories about past camping trips or hints about hidden secrets in the area.  Maybe I find those moments extraordinary because I’m solitary by nature and treasure such times, I don’t know.  I hadn’t really thought of it until I started thinking about this thread, but it really is true for me that my best RV memories center around people.

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The day we picked up the keys for our first motorhome.

After that there were very few bad days. I always sleep with the shades open. Each morning I look out the window and if I'm looking down at the grass it's a good day.

 

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We joined Escapees in 2010 before we had a tow or toad because we did some research and thought it seemed like a good club that we could be a part of when we go full timing, which we did in 2013. We have had many adventures and will try to continue to as long as possible. 

Two trips come to our minds as high lights. The first being an opportunity to visit with the founders, Joe and Kay Peterson on our first visit to Rainbows End in October of 2010 about two months before Joe passed. Remember them both as warm and welcoming to two complete strangers.

The other was a trip in April of 2015 to Appomattox Court House for the 150th anniversary  of the surrender of The Army of Northern Virginia to Federal troops. The reenactment was well worth our visit with great pictures and great pageantry.

Dave

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