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Meet a Member | Family Motor Coach Association

Walter and Lillian Hartung, Bluffton, S.C.

Walter and Lillian Hartun have some fun at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.FMCA membership number: F367785 (we joined in 2005)

Our current motorhome:
A 36-foot 2005 Winnebago Journey. This is our first motorhome.

Three words that best describe our motorhome:
Compact, complete, comfortable

The best thing about our motorhome:
It gets us to places we’ve always wanted to see.

We decided to buy a motorhome because:
We were fed up with the hassles of air travel and realized that America has lots of great places to visit and experience that we had not seen before.

Our occupations:
I was an electronics engineer and Lillian was in marketing. Now, we are both retired.

Our children, grandchildren:
We have one son, Walter, and one daughter, Lisa. We have two grandchildren, Michelle and Karen.

We travel in our motorhome:
Approximately four months of the year. When we’re not motorhoming, we’re busy planning our next trip, cycling, hiking, and otherwise enjoying our retirement community of Sun City Hilton Head.

Our favorite motorhoming destinations:
U.S. national Parks and FMCA and Winnebago rallies.

Our all-time favorite motorhome trip:
Our trip out West (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona) to tour on the Grand Circle Caravan with 20 other Winnebago coaches on a route that took us off the beaten path to Monument Valley and Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon national parks, and to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Our perfect day of motorhome travel:
A full tank of fuel, an open road ahead and clear skies above, surrounded by the great outdoors.

FMCA members Lillian and Walter Hartung visit with their granddaughter.Our worst motorhoming experiences:
The first day we got our motorhome, the chassis batteries died and the power steering failed. I had to negotiate the cul-de-sac where we live using manual steering only. The other experience was on our trip out West. As we climbed the Rockies just west of Denver, the high altitude caused Lillian’s side of our Sleep Number bed to burst. On the bright side, they replaced it for us at no cost.

Our motorhoming pet peeve:
Dealers that can’t service both chassis and home portions of motorhome

The best addition or alteration we’ve made to our motorhome:
Adding XM radio and a GPS

If we could change one thing about our motorhome:
Better  fuel economy and reliability

Something about motorhoming that we know now but did NOT know when we started:
We started by getting advice from a friend about RVs, the different types, advantages and disadvantages and then settled on a diesel pusher. After evaluating floor plans and test driving several different models – which, by the way, is how I learned to drive a motorhome -- we made our choice, happy in our ignorance. We bought the most we could afford with the view that we did not want to be trading up in a year (we learned this from our boating years.)

We thought it would be like buying a new car or boat: Any problems would be corrected promptly by the dealer. WRONG! We soon learned that some issues can only be handled by the chassis manufacturer, others by the motorhome manufacturer, and very few by the dealer. Some problems were beyond the capability of the dealer and we had to visit the manufacturer to get them corrected. I expected the first year to be a learning experience; I just hadn’t realized how much ignorance had to be corrected. But after a year or two, we got up to speed, Lillian learned how to drive, and we are now happy campers.

When driving a motorhome, the most important thing to remember is:
It is big and heavy and needs lots of room to come to a stop.

Motorhomers Lilliam and Walter hike at Boquillas Canyon in Big Bend National ParkOur hobbies:
Reading, listening to music, computers, blogging, digital photography, Civil War Roundtable, O-gauge model railroading, Garden Railroad, auto shows, hiking, investments, museums, presidential libraries, exercising my BMW, walking our dog (Millie), visiting friends and family, wine tasting, eating out, and movies.

Favorite restaurant: 11th Street Dockside in Port Royal, S.C.

A celebrity we admire: Jay Leno. We like his monologs and his car collection.

If we were awarded a shopping spree at the store of our choice: We’d choose Nieman Marcus.

Favorite campground: Lakeside RV Park, Livingston, La.

When motorhomers visit our state or hometown, they should be sure to see:
Beaufort, S.C., where several scenes from Forrest Gump were filmed, including the “bridge over the Mississippi” and the hospital where he first ran. Beaufort has a beautiful waterfront park and historic downtown area. While there, be sure to visit the Museum at Parris Island or eat at 11th Street Dockside (http://11thstreetdockside.com/), which are close by. If you like automobiles, come here the first weekend in November and visit the Concurs de Elegance(http://www.hhiconcours.com/ ) on Hilton Head Island, about 20 miles from Beaufort.

Items that we always keep in our motorhome’s refrigerator while traveling: ice, wine and cheese

Behind our motorhome, we tow:
A 2005 Honda Element with AWD using a Blue Ox tow bar and emergency brake system

Pets that travel with us: Millie, a springer-beagle mix, i.e., a Spiegle!

When we’re online, Web sites we like to visit:
Wall St Journal, Facebook, Blogspot, Mapquest, Pandora, and those of our financial institutions

A technical or travel tip we’d like to share with other motorhome owners:
Know your correct tire air pressures based upon your actual travel weight and check them prior to the start of each trip or segment. When traveling at high altitudes, lower your sleep number to about 25, if you’re lucky enough to have a Sleep Number bed. Join your manufacturer’s club and take advantage of their travel opportunities.

We joined FMCA because:
The many benefits it offers and its efforts in promoting an enjoyable motorhoming experience for our community. Of its many benefits, we especially like their travel routing service and rallies.

Other comments:
FMCA does a terrific job in education and promoting the motorhome experience for all to enjoy.
 
Other FMCA members may contact us via e-mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 or visit my blog at
http://myretirement-suncitywalt.blogspot.com

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