This site is dedicated the RV experience of Blaine and Amy.
Amy and I meet while we were working summer jobs while going to college it was love at first site well that might have been one sided.
Our first camping experience was in a small borrowed tent we camped in a place called Turkey Run a raccoon decided our tent was a great place to mess with the kids. It was an experience to remember!
We spent a couple more times in a tent decide to get a pop up Camper. However we were hooked on camping!
I could go through all the trials and tribulation of trying to buy our first camper but I will keep it short we landed at Braun’s fun-time campers in Indianapolis. What a great experience way back in 1992 we bought a brand new Coleman Taos. In my mistakes to not make section refer to awning staked to ground importance:)
Pictures coming soon.
We took the camper on many trips with our daughter Ashley and Amy’s sister Holly. You will learn about Holly and Her husband Garry on their section of the site, I think we hooked her on camping as well. We had the camper to Florida multiple times including a trip to Disney, South Dakota and just about every state park in Indiana.
Well after all this travels we felt we had outgrown the taos and we had new daughter on the the way Alisha.
We decided it was time to upgrade the camper, again we landed and Braun’s this time we bought really upgraded the tent camper we bought a 1997 Coleman Grand Tour Series, Sun Ridge. Wow we had running water not manually pumped, hot water, a refrigerator, a big storage trunk, bike rack on the roof, big tires, one piece roof, ac and a screened in room. We could not image ever wanting anything else.
We went to many of the same places we visited in the Taos. But one night we were camping at Turkey run Amy got up the next morning Alisha our youngest daughter was gone vanished into thin air Amy is panicked screaming and yelling we rush out the door what could have happened our oldest daughter Ashley and our niece Geneva were still asleep in bed, well on the pop up camper there are little hooks and bungee cords that hold the fabric to the bed well I can only guess in setting up in the dark we forgot to hook them Alisha rolled out of the bed onto the ground and was still asleep laying next the camper. She is very sound sleeper obviously.
We used this camper for few years and our life had changed at lot during this time, the kids were involved in sports, I was racing nearly every weekend during the summer and it was impossible to take the camper and haul racing karts. So the camper stayed at home and we took my parents motor home for a while. Then remember the borrowed tent we started tent camping again because of the equipment we did this for several months but August in Indiana in a tent is rough to say the least. Why back to the tent and not a hotel well in southern Indiana we stayed in a hotel the ac did not work and make matters even worse we woke up in the middle of the night and Ashley our daughter was covered in ants. Well that was the end of staying in “local hotels”. We decided we were going to get a motor home for our family. We thought we could use it for their sporting events and my racing.
Pictures of the pop ups coming soon.
Toy Hauler not at option at this time
I want to point out at this point in the Time the toy hauler was not really an option, I not sure I had even seen one up until well after this point. Had a toy hauler trailer been an option it may have changed our plans dramatically. I can tell you I am glad they were not available now because we love the motor home lifestyle and this option likely would have changed our direction.
Buying a Motor home
What huge move from a tent camper to motor home not only expense but driving a motor home pulling trailer filled with racing equipment.
So what kind of motor home, I felt driving a class c would be like driving a large van so I felt it would be our best bet. We wanted the bunk above cab for the kids and rear bedroom. We really started looking at 24-26 foot no slides models. Slides in Class C in 2002 was out of our price range.
We spent almost 6 months driving from dealers to private sellers looking at units that in our opinion were not well taken care of. The ad would read 199x class c low miles (could mean 5000 miles or 90000 miles) we would looked at motor homes with 10000 miles and I was convinced the odometer had been changed because they looked like that 125000 miles or more. The experience was difficult because all we really found was over used units that where mostly all used up.
Well we realized we were not finding anything we wanted to own in the price range we could afford, I saw a Cruise America motor home filling up at our local Flying J, and I thought I wonder when they sell their motor homes.
This led to a trip to Chicago to visit the local Cruise America dealer wow they had a huge selection from 19-30 foot. We thought we liked the 24 foot until we saw the 26 foot. The salesman led us towards a 1996 Four Winds 26 foot with 60000 miles. The inside was nice and the generator only had 225 hours.
We struck a deal would come back the next weekend to pick up. See we live in Lebanon, IN so it a few hour drive. When we returned the motor home was ready to roll but to our surprise they prepped the motor home with all the cooking pans pots silverware, plates sleeping bags and just about everything someone would need to hit the road that day. It was great experience also the price was 2/3 of comparable units at the time and the motor home was just in a lot better shape than anything we had seen.
I will write an article on driving the motor home but is was thinking it would get 10-12 mpg boy was I wrong more like 7-9. I remember the first fill-up I thought the tank must have had a hole in it and I also learned make sure you know how many gallons the tank really holds not what the book says. You can refer to another mistake not to make.
Well talk about brave we got the motor home to our house moved stuff from the pop up and left three days later for a 2 week trip out west with our good Friends, and their Families Mark and Laura and Bill and Michelle. I will detail more about the trip in another article but one I would recommend everyone puts on their list the places we visited on this trip.
Wow traveling in the motor home what a great experience everything we need right there with us room to move around, power whenever easy to make dinner lunch whilst traveling and no worries about the campground bathrooms.
We continued taking vacations and many race weekends in this and our next Class C motor homes.
This went on for over 10 years we never really thought of the camper as our house but a great vacation vehicle and convenience while at the race track. But we still had do laundry when we got home, we took everything out the motor home and house examples would be personal effects back forth we did this weekend after weekend.
Then in 2012 things changed, I had been dreaming of a diesel pusher motor home and we started looking but not seriously. Another good friend had one at the time and we took it on a short racing related weekend, I could not believe the ride how it handled how nice it was. I knew this is what I wanted but convincing Amy well that is another story. I thought maybe for money we should look at a Class A gas we went to the dealer where we purchased the second class c we took a test drive I was not comfortable and Amy nearly throw up from motion sickness. We knew this was not for us back to Diesel Pushers or larger Class C.
The decision was hard we liked the class c we had but I wanted something larger we might take on longer trips.
Well this is when we found Gizmo he was property of a very loving couple but their health had declined and Gizmo was just rotting away in the driveway. He only had 11000 miles and was a 2002 much older than I was wanting. Gizmo is 2002 Winnebago Journey 39DL
Amy did not like the interior fabric carpet and make things worse we could smell smoke from Gizmo’s parents. We thought we could buy this but it was going to be a total remodel is this something we could do? Well we started researching reviewing prices and within a week we decide it was something we would do. We made an offer assuming all the above would have to be done and they accepted.
At the time in 2012 getting financing was not easy for a late model we luckily found a small credit union that made the loan.
Read the article remodeling your motor home for the details.
Well shortly after we got Gizmo another major change happened the sales manager of our software development company resigned leaving a position that required many weeks a year on the road, our daughter was in college and youngest was a senior in high school. When I started the company I did the sales but my role had developed mainly into a project leader and senior developer. Amy and I discussed this new found role was it something we could do as team and continue to do our current roles? Well we were not sure we decided to take the plunge to be part time Rv’ers working from the road and home.
This site will give you the details of our travels, how we live on the road, where we go for fun and for work, internet access, setting up an RV office and just about anything we can think of.
Thank you for following us.