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Old 05-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,576
How/Why Did You Start RVing?

Everyone has a story and here is mine...

I am one of many folks that suffered from morbid obesity. Through the years I got bigger and bigger. It was to a point that I didn't expect to live to retirement. I was miserable. In March of 2011 I decided to do something about it. I investigated weight loss surgery because I was failing at being a professional dieter. If you have seen any of my posts ya'll know I am very anal! I spent a month researching my options. I finally saw a surgeon and requested a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG). From April through September I worked hard and lost 40 lbs to help my surgery be easier. On October 10th I had the surgery. My life was saved! I was 325 lbs and now I am 193.

The change in my life is incredible. I don't feel dark shadows over my head. I am able to really enjoy my bicycling in ways I use to. I'm happy. There are no guarantees I won't get hit by a bus tomorrow bit if so, I feel content.

So...Last march Sandee and I went from East, Central, IL down to Macon, GA to see a new grandson. On the drive back I was thinking about how nice it would be to cruise on our own schedule in retirement. We spent a couple days in Chattanooga, TN and visited a CW. We got bit.

We spent the next 3 weeks researching and looking. We visited RV lots in a 150 mile radius and found our RV. The rest is history in the making.

I would never have thought we would go this route a year ago. I was too busy planning on dieing. Now, we are living!

PS...I'm not trying to start a debate on WLS and health. I am glad to take PMs on that subject.

Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Gardian Wings earned are GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
2006 DSDP 4320, Spartan MM IFS, 2013 CR-V, Blue Ox Avail, SMI AF1, Samsung 197R Refer.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #2
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Monaco Owners Club
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Location: B.C.
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Good for you Don,great story. Nice to see a good result after alot of work to get there. Enjoy your RVing!
We started in 76, with a truck and camper when the kids were small and would get away as often as we could and we called it camping. After they were grown we still went camping and fishing for years with various trailers, fifth wheels and a class C. In 05 we bought a new fiver and diesel pickup and went to Yellowstone. Since then we have had another fiver and now a Class A and have been to Az twice along with several other states and provinces. So now I think we are RVers.

Dennis & Marcie & Hook The Jack Russell, 2001 HR Imperial 38wds 350 Cummins, 07 Chevy Trailblazer/Blue Ox/Ready Brake, 04 Dodge 3500 Cummins,
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #3
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National RV Owners Club
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X2 on the good for you!

In my case, there were several things that led me here. I have always liked travelling both foreign and domestic. In my earlier years, I back packed Europe, camped all over my province, drove to Alaska/Yellowstone etc. However for the last decade I had been kept very close to home with two ailing parents (one after the other). Being the only local relative, I fell it was duty and responsibility to attend to their needs as best I could. In that time, I also moved into a new house and acquired a new love interest. Up to two years ago, I had never had an RV or really ever even been in one. My now and forever wife however had RV's with her father who had at one point full timed. She was interested in travelling but not so much the camping scene. My thought was that I could use a comfy RV to take my father (now departed) on outdoor trips (he grew up loving the outdoors) and then also have a way to travel with my wife. Sadly, my father passed before I was ever able to use the RV with him and the ensuing issues with estates have taken much of my time. But the few chances that I have had to use my home on wheels have absolutely infected me with a love for it. There are lots of "things" to tinker with, it has given me a focus to help me deal with the grief of losing my last parent, it has allowed my wife and I to truly get away and feel like all of the domestic challenges have been left behind so that we can simply enjoy each others company. And it is a lifestyle where "chillin" is not only common, it is expected. My hope is that it will be a lifestyle that will allow us both to share the experiences and wonders of the world together. As recent experience has taught me, grab life while you can, savour it, revel in it because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
1999 - National Tropi Cal
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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Winnebago Owners Club
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Location: Southeast,MI
Posts: 2,068
In my mid 50's I started looking for a red 2 seater. Sometimes referred to as male menopause. Well one night while looking on line, somehow a class A moho showed up on the screen. Wife was sitting next to me and I said "I don't know why, but a picture of a motorhome just popped up". She responded " I've always wanted one, my parents had one when I was growing up". One class C to see if I liked RVing, one class A because the C was to small for me, and one class A with slides because the first A was too small and we are still at it and loving it.
Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:15 PM   #5
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By the way athuddriver we used to live just north of you. Well, more like 90 mi. We always tell people Kankakee, but in reality it was Bourbonnais for me and Momence for the DW. Also congrats. on your life style change!
Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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Newmar Owners Club
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Living in El Paso (64-69) I came across a Rental company, that rented TT's out. Behind a 54 HP VW Variant (Station Wagon) you could not pull to big a Trailer, but we managed. Of course we made it from El Paso to Yellowstone via Salt Lake City and back via Denver. First time around Salt Lake City I had to use the 3rd gear a lot, just to make it against the headwind.....
Once we lived in Alberta we bought a Terry TT (23.5 ft) and a year later we traded this rig in. Got a CONCORD Motorhome (28ft).
Was at the LA RV Show (66) and a Red Deer Dealer (Uncle Ben) had bought it. The Salesman WOODY (Yes - that Woody) drove via Mexico back to Alberta. Since that time we're hooked on Class A's...........
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Location: Shoreline, WA
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I wanted to camp out for longer (weekend) 4x4 events, then I wanted to travel to distance 4x4 locations and events. Did that for a couple years with a pickup and old camper towing the Jeep ZJ on a trailer, then decided I wanted my handicapped wife to travel with me and see the things I was seeing and travel all of North America. When she agreeded we started looking for a Class C, but fell in love with a Class A.

Took a couple three in state trips and one north south trip (Seattle to Yuma & back) last Nov, now we are in Annapolis, MD after crossing the southern states and starting toward Maine, We should complete the loop by July 1, unless we stop along the way more then we have been up to this point.
Mochisme "Ted"
2000 34' La Palma
2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee (Toad)
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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I was influenced from a young age, having been introduced to rough camping (no tent) camping in the woods around our rural home. When I was older I obtained an old Army shelter half. From this humble begining I progressed to a used truck slide in type camper, then a used small travel trailor, 3 or four more larger travel trailers and then to a 30 foot class c, a old class A then my current motorhome. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing etc and traveled a good deal on these endeavors. Now I travel mostly for fun of seeing new places and meeting new friends. I would not change anything if I could. While it is not cheap, it has, is and will be for a long time (I hope) been great fun.
John- 2011 Fleetwood Southwind 32V
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:23 PM   #9
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When me and my wife started dating they camped. After we got married we tent camped for seven years, then bought a popup and kept it for 6 months and realized it was just a nice tent. Then we purchased a 24' travel trailer and had it for six years until we upgraded last year to a 2011 38' Bounder Classic. Love the Motorhome and can't beat the family time, no matter the cost!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:34 PM   #10
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Location: Fredericksburg, Va - for now.
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Me and my DW always seemed to be traveling. And now she is a traveling nurse. The company she is working for will provide housing if we liked, but don't like the moving in and out every 3 months. So we got our MO so now we can bring our house with us when she takes on a new job, and no more packing in and out when we move.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #11
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Carolina Campers
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Location: NC
Posts: 21
We actually are just starting rv'ing. We have always liked to travel, and Kelly and I have quiet a few friends who like camping/rv'ing. For the last couple years, we have wanted to buy a travel trailer, but it always seemed like something got in our way. Fast forward to a month ago, and we just woke up on a Thursday and decided that afternoon we would go look. Well, that turned into buy, lol. Now here we are, haha.
Shane & Kelly
2011 Skyline Nomad
2002 Acura MDX
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:28 PM   #12
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My DW and I needed to find an inexpensive way to get out of the house and see the great state of Michigan. On a teacher's salary and my wife being a stay at home mom with 2 little ones, camping was the perfect choice. WE loved camping. The girls LOVED camping. They always looked forward to our trips "up north" with our little "pop up" camper. Family problems don't have a chance of festering when your family is all alone in the middle of a beautiful woods. Our kids to this day talk about the things we did and the things we saw using that little pop up camper.

Since then, well . . . . . . we had a 33 ft 5er for 12 years and in September of 2010 we bought a 40 ft DP MH. We have been in 34 states and put close to 20,000 miles on the MH and 15,000 on the toad. LOVE IT. Don't want it to change for 15 years (That would make me 81).
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #13
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I never cease to be amazed by the honest and transparent stories I read on this site, and I thank all of you for sharing.

Unlike many of you veteran RVers who have been at this for years, I only purchased my small class B four months ago. And again, unlike many on this site, mine will be used more for business trips than pleasure.

Please keep posting your stories so I can live vicariously through your RV adventures.
Roadtrek 170 Popular
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:21 AM   #14
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My darling wife led me down the "camping" road. When we were dating in 1972, her mother allowed me to accompany them on the first trip of the year. My wife's mother was an avid camper and camped most weekends when the weather would allow. We went to a local state park, in a truck camper, and proceeded to set up. It was the very first trip of the year and the camper had been in storage all winter. My future mother in law started the refrigerator on propane. A bird's nest in the flue caught the camper on fire! Not a great introduction to the world of camping. The camper was ruined and no camping took place that weekend.

A year later, we married, and with the very last of our wedding cash, bought a tent, and some supplies for camping. As is the case with many camping couples, we “upgraded” as time went on. We had a series of tents, a truck camper, a pop up camper, and four different travel trailers during our working life. Each unit was a little bigger and more complex. We now have, what we believe, is our “last” camper. It is a 27 foot Outback travel trailer that we purchased new when we retired in 2006. It is pulled by a 2005 Dodge, dual rear wheel, one ton diesel truck.

Camping Rig: 2006 Outback 27 RSDS--
2005 Dodge 3500 - Dually- Cummins
Full time since June 2006
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