joanesh

Starting Our RV Adventures :D

16 posts in this topic

Hello FMCA forum friends-to-be (I hope), 

Just introducing ourselves here. We are younger Boomers, living in southeastern Pennsylvania who plan to hit the road for months at a time in 5-7 years when Dear Hubby (DH) retires.  After decades of backpacking and tent camping, and more recently, years of considering and looking at RVs, DH and I took the plunge and bought our first RV: a 38-foot class A motor-home/coach.   

We bought now (instead of waiting until retirement) because we wanted a few years to work any kinks out and to get our RV sea legs solidly beneath us with smaller-duration, shorter-distance trips before we plunge into the bigger, weeks-on-the-road trips of our golden years.  And it's also a means to enjoy being with our adult kids and small grand-kids for a different kind of occasional family vacation. 

So, here are our RV details: 

"Howee" (yes, we named our RV Howee, short for Home On Wheels [for] Esherick's Explorations) is a 2017 Fleetwood Bounder 36H (gas automatic engine, 3 pull-outs).  Yes, we bought new (no finger wags, please, as we know and usually follow the tried-and-true rule to never buy new, but after researching heavily, looking for years, considering our season of life/needs/budget, and our intended RV use, buying new ended up being the right option for us -- we finally found "the one" that is perfect for us). 

We purchased Howee last month, and we're taking him on his maiden voyage at the end of April.   For our first trip, we're only going 120 miles away (to Gettysburg, PA) with friends who've been RV-ing for decades (they have a large 5th-wheel).  That way we have help, if needed, from someone we trust who is experienced with RVs, and we're within a tow-able distance of our dealer/garage should anything unexpected happen.  After Gettysburg, over the next 10 months, we have other longer-distance trips booked for more Howee adventures flying solo. :)

We do expect to run into some kinks and bumps along the way, and they won't throw us (we're flexible, adaptable, and DH is a major fix-it/handyman kind of guy).  But I am planning to post separately (either in the Type A forum or the General/Misc forum) to ask for tips from you all for our maiden voyage.  Or for anything  you feel we newbies need to know.  I'll be posting in a few minutes there.

For now, I was just taking a minute to introduce us (we're Don and Joan, btw) and our Howee to you all. 

Looking forward to our interactions here!  *waves*

Thanks so much, all,

Joan (and Don) Esherick

HOWEE.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan,

Welcome to the Forum. 

Good luck. Let us know how it all went when your maiden voyage is over.

Herman 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Herman!  (that's my brother's and father's first name).  :)

Will do!

Joan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the RV world, if you haven't already, obtain the movie RV, starring Robin Williams on dvd. Be sure to watch it the second night out in the RV. My wife and keep the movie with us at all times and when it seems to have been a bad day with the coach, we play it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL... I like that tip, Kaypsmith.  :D:P  Keeping it all in perspective, eh?   (It is actually good to know we should expect bad days now and again).  Thanks much!  And now I think I'll go order the DVD. Hehehe...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the form. Nice coach. One thing you got by getting a new Bounder is the new 6 speed transmission. I happen to be a bounder fan two. 

One thing you might find fun is to spend a night in your driveway. Act like you are at a campsite. This will help you "remember" to add things you will need to your coach. Have a pad and pencil handy to make a list of the things you forgot.

I like your plan of just going a short way on your first trip. This way you can get into your campsite and set up without the stress of being tired from your first driving experience.

Let us know how it went.

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome!

Nothing wrong with a gas or new coach.  Your happy and that's all that matters! :D

Any question, any time...someone will get you a answer.

Carl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Joan,

Congratulations, you must have Handsome, Smart, Highly Insightful and all around wonderfully good guys for a Father and Brother. :)

A new Herman in your life.

 

Herman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Herman,

LOL, yes indeedy, I do. My dad passed over ten years ago now (wow... where did the time go?), and he was good man (not without his own demons as a WWII Korean War vet, but a good man nonetheless).  "Handsome, Smart, Highly Insightful, and all around wonderfully good." Yup. That would be it.  His namesake (my brother) is the just the same. Love(d) them both to pieces.  Must be a Herman thing. :D   I guess my grandfather and great-grandfather (the first and second Hermans in our line), both of whom I never knew, must have been the same. I'd like to think so anyway.

Thank heavens there are still Hermans in this world!  :P  I will gladly welcome another in mine.   *waves*   :D

Joan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carl,

Thank you for your kind welcome.  I am certain we'll have a ton of questions along the way.  And beyond that, it's just nice to "connect" with other coach folks.  Traveling in a coach seems like a completely different world and culture than other forms of camping. We hear it's a friendly, welcoming culture (so far it seems to be so), so  I'm looking forward to making new friends along the way!

Thanks again,

Joan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan.  It takes one to make one.  Don't think you'll have any problems at all.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joan,

Was your father by some chance an FMCA member? If so you could get and use his number with an "D" for daughter. 

The other,

Herman 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bill,

Glad to know we're not the only folks with a Bounder in FMCA.  Yes, by waiting until 2017 we did end up with the 6-speed trans, and the autogenerator thingy that allows smooth/automatic transition between power sources (like my exact terminology there! :P). And apparently a whole bunch of features that used to be options became standard in 2017 (those features were not as important to us --bells and whistles aren't our thing as we're more naturalists than techies).  We did not order our Bounder, so what we saw is what we got (quite happily). We bought off the lot from a local dealer with a great reputation and with nine on-site full service bays for maintenance and repair (unusual in our region). After looking for sooooo long, when we walked into this specific RV, we just "knew" it was the one for us: had *every* thing we needed or that was important to us  --  everything we were looking for, plus, lol...extras we really didn't care about, and we *liked* it -- what it looked like. Admittedly the size is big for just DH and I, but it will be just right when we have the kids and grands visiting.

So far,  the Bounder seems to handle very well (yes, I am driving it, too; I don't want DH to *have* to do all the driving; I'm happy to help out).  DH drove trailers decades ago for North American Van Lines, and those skills seemed to have come right back for him. He's easing into driving Howee quite well and easily.  I, on the other hand, am doing well but need more practice (mostly for confidence building).  For now, I just do open road driving and leave the congested driving and in town driving to him.  We've only taken Howee, who is stored at our dealer's lot, out on our local roads/highways just to get the feel of driving.

We are picking Howee up the night before we're scheduled to leave so that we can load and hang out in it in our driveway for 24 hours before we leave.  I love your suggestion to try living in it for a day or two at home.  Great suggestion!    I will make sure to have a pen and pad handy!

Thanks for your encouragement, help, and welcome!

Will report back after we return.  

Joan 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you have for a toad? Have you looked at towing a car on your travels?

You might like to look at the Bounders of America site, http://www.bounder.org/

You might find a chapter near you or a FMCA chapter/club that you can join.

Bill

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@WILDEBILL308  We're making the toad decision soon (not towing on our maiden voyage -- figured we had too much to figure out without that, too).

Right now we're trying to decided between a dolly and a trailer.  We have two cars we're deciding between to be our toad: my DH's 91 VW Diesel Jetta (standard transmission, front wheel drive) that weights 3000 lbs.; and my 2011 Subaru Outback (automatic with manual transmission option -- I can flip back and forth between automatic and standard; all-wheel drive) that weighs 3500 pounds.    The dolly would be for the jetta; the trailer would be for the outback.

There seem to be pros and cons to each.   Any thoughts?  

We were just going to go with the dolly/jetta, but we're kayakers.  And my outback is already all set to haul kayaks, and it's all-wheel drive (useful for muddy river access points).  So we're torn.  The subaru/trailer weight combo would be 4500 pounds; the jetta/dolly weight combo would be 3700 pounds (somewhere around an 800-pound difference give or take depending on exact models).  That seems significant to me, but maybe it isn't. 

Ack!  So many decisions.  But there is no rush on this one.  We don't expect to tow anything until the end of July.  But trying to weigh (no pun intended!) our options.

And insight would be hugely appreciated. 

Thanks,

Joan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, hermanmullins said:

Joan,

Was your father by some chance an FMCA member? If so you could get and use his number with an "D" for daughter. 

The other,

Herman 

@hermanmullins 

No, unfortunately he wasn't.  In fact, we're the first RVers in the extended family.  We have a family cottage on a family lake, and have had so for generations, so no one ever felt the need to do anything else.  

We, however, though we love the cottage and the lake, have the travel bug.  There is so much world to explore and see; so very much to learn.  We want to do so while we're young enough and healthy enough to travel.  We can hang out on the glider at the cottage when we're old. :P

So, no Hermans from my fam were ever in FMCA (nor any one else from my family of which I'm aware).   

We're the family trailblazers! :)

Thanks for the suggestion though!

Joan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now