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What To Expect OnThe Road?


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#1 SergeantMajor

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:17 PM

OK, I have been reluctant to type these questions but will ask them below after a little background information first. My wife and I will be retiring soon and hitting the road as full-timers. We will hit the road fully retired when I am 50 and my wife is 47 years old. I will have a dual retirement from both the military and law enforcement and my wife is quitting work (college program director) when I retire since we can easily live on my retirement assets. We have been married 15 years and my children from a previous marriage are all grown and dispersed throughout the country; my wife has no children of her own and she gets along great with my children and grand-children. She is the perfect woman for me in so many ways. We both love many of the same hobbies, we love to travel together, we love our RV, and we are each others best friend. We both look forward to this nomadic life on the road and are in the process of selling all of our "stuff" including all real estate. We purchased a beautiful coach one year ago and plan to make this our home on wheels for many years to come.

We have joined several RV clubs so that we have a connection to family and friends on the road and plan on taking advantage of rallies, caravans, and all types of gatherings with other RVer's. The clubs we are members of include FMCA, Good Sam's, Escapees, Newmar Kountry Klub, S.M.A.R.T. as well as others.

We both have many friends at our jobs that tell us that we are crazy for living full-time in an RV. My wife even hears it more than I do since she is black and I am white. Her black friends are telling her that most RVers they have seen are older, retired whites and that they are afraid that my wife will not be as welcomed as others might be. Don't get me wrong, any inter-racial couple that has been together as long as we have has had their share of hypocrites and bigots to already deal with, but I do want to put her mind somewhat at ease. Anyone that takes just a few minutes to get to know my wife simply falls in love with her; she is a beautiful, loving, Christian woman that does not have a prejudice bone in her body. Her skin color is black and she is proud of her heritage, but she is simply "American" and loves everything about life.

Many of you have been RVing it for years and you must agree that the percentage of blacks that own RVs is much less than whites and thus we know she will truly be a minority in the RV community. We (my wife and I) see much fewer blacks at RV shows, campgrounds, RV blogs, or even in RV rally photos than we do whites; sometimes we do not see a single black person in any rally photos. I do want to say that so far we have not seen anymore prejudice than we would normally see outside of the RVing community; but once again, we are not living that lifestyle yet. I am hoping and guessing that her black friends are wrong and that the RVing community is actually a tighter knit group and that she will likely see less prejudice than normal. My wife is not a person that is asking for any kind of special treatment whatsoever, only wanting to know if she will be given a chance to be judged on her merits and character!

I really do welcome any thoughts or comments by posting here or even by private message if your comments are very personal in nature. What have you seen with your own eyes with regards to this topic? Will my wife be welcomed into the inner circle or do you see signs of a lot of prejudice that still exits within the RVing community? I know their are still many out there that totally frown on inter-racial couples, but I think once people get to know us, they too will become color blind if they aren't already!!!

Once again, I appreciate any replies on what we can likely expect. I want both of us to enter this new lifestyle with our eyes wide-open. In no way, shape, or form did I mean this post to be anything that is negative or am I in anyway trying to stir the pot like political or religious posts seem to do. Just looking for others opinions and what they have actually seen and felt themselves.

Thanks for daring to post a reply and for your truthfulness!

Sergeant Major

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#2 pkendzor

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:19 PM

Hi,
I'm not sure how long yo have been RVing but we have been for over 35 years now. My work takes me all over the country, and we have met hundreds if not thousands of people on the road. The RV community holds whit I consider the nicest peope on earth.

We are usually among the youngest at a rally and 35 years ago were probably the youngest ever to travel by motot home. We were always greeted and accepted at any rally or convention. Don't let age or race become an issue.

If your travels take you to the Pennsylvania area, feel free to contact me. You and your wife are welcome to visit and stay at our home.

Paul & Carol
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#3 bigskymt

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:53 PM

Smaj: My wife is Pinay, I'm white. I'm 60, she's a LOT less. We spend a few more days in the M/H each year but fulltiming eludes us for the present. We have always been welcomed in the RV Community without hesitation or bias. If Blacks RVing are the minority then Pinays are non existant. You are not crazy, you are living the dream your friends desire but are afraid to try. The great thing about RVing is you can lower the jacks, pull in the slides and find new neighbors........we've never found that necessary. We have encountered a few curious rednecks in our travels but our two G. Shepherds leave little room for questions. We spend winters in the SW and summer at Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP or home. You are always welcome at our camp. We are new FMCA Members and Newmar Kountry Klub is next. Congrats on your choice of coach, it's beautiful! Thank you for your service. Terry & Maricar F414172, Army, LRP, RVN
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#4 TBUTLER

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:04 PM

You will find a wonderful cross section of America on the road. But your advantage is that you have something in common with everyone you meet. We are all crazy! We don't need a big house with a bunch of stuff to be happy. We have all found happiness in a journey across the country. Let that be your starting point and don't prejudge responses from your neighbors. They will constantly surprise you! Be open and friendly and you'll find it coming back to you in return most of the time. Like I said, you'll find a cross section of America. Not everyone is outgoing and friendly and you may encounter occasional hostility. As a rule, most RV'ers are a live and let live group if they aren't outgoing and friendly. Enjoy the trip. If you see us on the road, stop by and say hi!
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#5 Guest_Wayne77590_*

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:45 AM

As Tom stated. There is such a large diversity of happy campers, and unhappy campers. I have stopped to talk to campers, or said hi as campers passed by in the campground. The range of reception varies. Some are friendly and eager to talk, others are aloof. Not much different than passing an Officer, saluting, only to have them grumble something unintelligible.

Should you encounter those who do not accept your position, just walk on down a few motorhomes, and you'll soon find someone that does.

If we are ever in the same campground, drop on in and say hi, have a drink, and be ready to be insulted because of inter-service rivalry.

#6 Jon796

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:08 PM

Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas is black and loves to camp. His first wife is white, and I have read that he never ran into problems while camping. So tell the people that question your desire to go camping that if it is good enough for him, it will also be good for you! Now go have FUN and enjoy life the way you want to. And thanks for your service to our country!
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#7 garykd

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:53 PM

Hi SergeantMajor,
Thank you for your service to our country. Consider the following:
1. Attend the Newmar International Rally. Go to http://www.newmarkou...-goshen-in.html to read about the rally and register online. We've been attending since 2006 and have always seen Americans of African decent at the rally.
2. Go to http://www.naarva.com/ and read about an RV organization. They focus on events with an ethnic flavor.
3. Go to http://campingrving....all-backgrounds. This Specialty RV Travel Clubs for Americans of All Backgrounds.

After working in 3rd world countries for over 14 years, I understand how your wife feels.
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#8 WillTory

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:22 PM

Hello Sgt Major from a retired USAF CMSgt. Let's not sugar-coat the facts. My Thai wife and I have enjoyed Rving for the last 13 years, and have ran into the same type people who camp as those who do not. When we encounter those rare folks that cannot see beyond color or ethnicity, we move on down the road.

RVing is a huge neighborhood with room for all of us! Don't worry about skin color - go enjoy life.
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#9 Guest_BillAdams_*

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:54 PM

Donald and Debra,

I am very sorry to say that you are going to run headlong into some terribly prejudiced people while RVing. I am ashamed. However, the percentage is going to be exactly the same as the terribly prejudiced people that you have been encountering everyday for the last "X" number of years for which I am ashamed as well. Yep, there are a bunch of bigots out there, but there's no reason to believe that you will encounter more or less in the RV community. Personally, I hope that I am wrong, but RVers cover the entire spectrum of the US population and I have been in the company of many RVers who are very comfortable using the "N" word. The age of the group allows me to somehow understand how or why this happens but we have always distanced ourselves from these folks. That doesn't make them go away, however, so while I may choose not to be their friends, I suspect that you will never be their friends either.

#10 SergeantMajor

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 09:48 AM

I want to thank all of the folks above that have already posted replies to my questions. Since nobody can have too many friends, I have added you all as my friends here on FMCA website forums. I appreciate your candor & honesty, the additional links for other RV clubs, and your tips on reminding me we will be living in a house on wheels that can simply drive away when the neighborhood isn't to our liking.

Don't get me wrong, I too have felt prejudice from the black community when I am attending functions with my wife and I am the minority, but I am a much stronger person than my wife and I don't back down or shy away from negative situations. My wife on the other hand can easily get her feelings hurt by inconsiderate people that seem to harbor much hatred; especially anyone that throws the "N" word around. I think the hatred and prejudice that some people harbor inside is like a cancer that eats away at them, and it can't be good at any level.

I think we have joined some great RV clubs and we intend to get involved with all of the fun activities that are available. We look forward to this upcoming phase in our lives and I hope to meet all of you guys someday during our travels. If you ever see us or our RV, please stop by and introduce yourself. My wife is a fantastic cook and she is the reason I can't fit in my old military uniforms anymore.

All other comments on this subject are welcome and I will also keep responding to private messages as I receive them. I am really enjoying reading all of the FMCA posts on all different RV subjects and look forward to future FMCA rallies.

Sergeant Major
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#11 JMonroe

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 05:49 PM

Most of us 'RV' because we like the freedom and the variety. Variety of experiences, scenery and associations. I think a bit more 'color' can only enhance the lifestyle.

Look forward to meeting both of you around a campfire someday.

Happy trails. : )
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#12 jimsreyes

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 04:53 PM

Don't worry about racism nor the bigots! Enjoy life! I am hispanic married to a "white" woman and have enjoyed to travel 6-8 trips a year! I do recommend to keep a home base since one day you will be too old to travel. :rolleyes: Your rig and your wife look beautiful and if you are happy that is all that matters! I am 60 yrs old my wife 57 so we too retired early. We have been retired for 6 1/2 yrs. Enjoy your life!
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#13 SergeantMajor

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 11:16 PM

JMonroe and jimsreyes;

Thank you both for your honest answers and words of encouragement. We can't wait to start living the full-time lifestyle and love the fact we have gotten so many responses by posting and private message on this topic.

We wish all of you and long and happy nomadic RV lifestyle!!!

Sergeant Major :rolleyes:
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#14 jlsnyder

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 10:45 PM

Hello!

We are new to FMCA and I stumbled upon your post while browsing the site. It makes me sad that the subject even has to come up, but even more sad is the fact that there are still people in this great country of our's who are racially prejudiced.

We owned a motorhome about 13 years ago that we traveled in for about 10 years in between working (mostly working!), but always hoped to be able to own another motorhome when we retired. Now that we ARE retired and have bought another motorhome, we hope to meet some fantastic people out there and, believe me, color of skin is not a condition of friendship. But we have noticed that there are not a lot of black people who camp and that point was even made on The Oprah Winfrey Show when Oprah and Gail did their Yosemite camping segment. Don't know why that is so?

Our experiences so far have been that the RVing community is always helpful and friendly and I hope you find that to be true for you and your beautiful wife. If you pull in next to us and we start the engine and leave, it's only because we're too embarassed to be parked next to your beautiful rig!!!! Just kidding :) We bought what we could afford, a 2007 34' National Dolphin, and we are loving it so far and it meets our needs. But you see, everyone has their insecurities! Hope this makes your wife laugh.

We'll certainly say hello if we see you on the road somewhere. Actually, it will be my husband who speaks first - I'm one of those people who appears to be unsociable but in reality I'm rather shy and not a big talker. With that in mind, I would hope that you not immediately think that someone doesn't like you because you are an inter-racial couple, ok? They just might be the shy type too. But if it becomes very apparent that you are amongst some very negative neighbors, as others have said - pull in the slides and head out to friendlier territory. There are plenty of us out there who would be happy to have your company. Happy RVing!

Joyce
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#15 rrlowther

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:30 PM

Boy, can I relate your post. First, my Partner and I are relatively new to RVing. We actually purchased our coach to use as a mobile office for a our consulting firm. We work with Doctors, Dentists and Veterinarians all over the country. But to be sure our coach was working and to experience what it's like to be in one for a few days at a time (we will be in the coach for 4 to 5 weeks at a time), we have taken it on three trips.

Now, to be sure, I'm not a shy person. Nor do I "hide" as it were. We've stayed in three different parks, met several people from my home state of Texas, and others from all over the country.

In case it hasn't hit you yet, I'm gay and my Partner is not just my business partner but my life partner. I will admit I was very nervous about going to RV parks and trying to enjoy ourselves without people "looking down on us."

To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. People were friendly and welcoming. When they found out about our world-famous martinis, we suddenly found 4 to 6 couples hanging out at our coach while my poor Partner nearly lost his arms from shaking the martinis for the company we had ....

So to your beautiful wife and you as well, I sincerely doubt you'll have any issues. The biggest challenge is how to ask your company politely to leave so you can go to bed!!! :)
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#16 theoldman

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 10:13 PM

Sgt. Maj. can an old Sp/5 get in on this?
Hit the road and have a good time!
If near Kingssbay Ga. the winter stop by for a cold one. :blink:
I know it's Navy but they take good care of us. :rolleyes:
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#17 rescue7

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:05 PM

If you have the chance, go to the first FMCA rally you can go to. You will feel very welcome there. If you make it to the big one in Indianapolis in 2012 we can get together and tell stories and learn from each other.

I don't care if a person is black, white, brown, gay or Purple as long as you are friendly you are welcome in my coach anytime.
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#18 ChetsJug

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:17 PM

Hey Don & Deb :)

When I think of African/American, I think of the short white Jew that owned the carpet business next to our truck shop. His family was in Johanesberg for over 500 years. I met some other white South Afericans in Zion National Park. What the heck has being black got to do with being African, American or French. In high school when this name became the tag line. I asked my black friends who were telling people they were no longer Black, but African-Americans, "Would you still be African-Americans if you moved to Spain?" You should have seen the look on their faces as they said "ye----" they would stop mid word and have this look on their faces like "no... wait... that's not right" LOL

I am an American. My family has been here for 150 years. My lineage includes German, Welsh and Portuguese. I put Latino on one application just to mess with them. After all Portuguese is a Latin language!

My brown nephew was over here at a swim party and he said something to another 14 y/o brown girl and remarked something something "in your country", She let him know in no uncertin terms that "This IS my country!" I was busting up.

Thank goodness people are finely realizing this IS their county and they do not belong to some past country of another time in history. You can keep or even adopt any culture you like and practice it and still be a full blooded American! I have a Norwegian neighbor than thinks he's Jamican! Listens to Reggae, painted his motor home red,yellow and green and has his hair in dreds all the time. Anyone can be who they want to be. Including picked on. Yeah? You can be picked on, or you can be the life of the party, it's all attitude.

I think that the mixed race relationship would be more the shock for some people, not the color. It takes people time to get over it. People don't seem to have a problem with black couples or Korean couples. I'll admit I was taken back a few times when I saw a mixed race couple growing up. It wasn't untill the last 15 years or so that I stopped flinching. You want the rest of the story? When I was 29, I dated a black girl!. Isn't that funny? We can do something and still judge others for doing the same thing? We do it all the time if we care to look in the mirror. I'm a Chevy man and totally accept that people have the right to own and drive Fords, but when I see both sitting in a driveway, I get all twitchy... "Are those people confused? Are they okay?" Chevy & Ford in the same family... Who'd of thought! Sheesh!

The human race, being what it is, is slowly growing up. Not just in color and race, but in religion, lifestyles, car ownership :P

I for example get to tell people that I may have grew up in a Christian faith, but that I no longer subscribe to it and have found a great spiritual teaching I agree with. And I have faith that I will not be burned at the stake for being a witch! People may disagree, call me a Haritic, tell me I'm going to Blazes for not believing in the Atonment, but I'm not going to get shot over it. I'm a Seeker and proud of it. I know my path is the one I belong on at this point in my eternal existence.

I like what people have said here... If someone gives you the Stink Eye, keep walking! Friends are just around the corner! People will have a problem with just about anything you do. So don't take it personal and let nice people come to you. I have a hard time with loose ends and try too hard to get people to understand my point of view. In the last years I have been able to let people feel how they want, and see what they want to see. I no longer feel the need to have people see everything with my paradigm. I no longer care if they know WHY I think Chevy is better LOL

I like the approach of sitting by your own motor home and have a few chairs out and people will sit down and hunker with you plenty! That's what I do anymore. I sit and do my hobby of RC airplanes or work on something and soon, people will come sit and ask questions about building things or working on my RV. I'm a mechanic and usually end up working on someones brakes, aligning a door or tuning their carburator!

And thank you for serving our Country, I salute you.

Chet
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#19 danddferr

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 05:33 AM

Hi Don and Deb.

First of all sir thank you for your service. That can not be said often enough! I hope you are enjoying the life style and all that goes with it. Whenever you find a closed mind just move on down to that next campfire. Have a blast and do not spend one second of your time worrying about other foolish people. Although my dw is white, when we got married back in 1975, the maid of honor was black. The best man was also. Never gave it a single thought even back then. They were our best friends and are still in touch with them to this day. (No they are not a couple...just best friends from school.)

Wishing you many HAPPY MILES AND SMILES! :)

dAN
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#20 JimM68

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

Don and Deb,
It's true that whites will be most of the people you see camping and Rving. But we all share the same common interest,and that always helps.

We recently rented a seasonal space at a local Jellystone campground. This campground is very .... hmm, what is the word? diverse, that's it. lots of tenters, popups, people coming in for the weekend of all races. And lots of seasonal campers. Many in fifth wheels, more in travel trailers. We are very much the minority, in our class A diesel pusher. But out neighbors make us welcome. Across the way, a naturalized American family from Mexico has become our best friends.

We are campers,and we are all friends, including many many friends I haven't meant yet. These friends trace their lineage to every country on the globe. We are all Humans, Americans, and campers.
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