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Meet a Member | Family Motor Coach Association

Gary and Linda Van Der Starre, Sioux Falls, S.D.

FMCA membership number: F377600FMCA members Gary and Linda Van Der Starre

Our current motorhome:
A 43-foot 2008 Tiffin Allegro Bus QRP. We are at 15,000 miles as of 12/08.

Three words that best describe our motorhome:
Fun on Wheels

The best thing about our motorhome:
If we like where we are, we stay. If we hate it we move.

Other motorhomes we’ve owned:
A 2006 Winnebago View traded at 16,000 miles and a 2006 Itasca Horizon KD traded at 25,000 miles

We decided to buy a motorhome because:
We wanted to see ALL of the USA and Canada

Our occupations:
Gary — retired terminal manager. Linda — retired accounts receivable manager.

Children, grandchildren:
Son, Gerry, 13, on the PC for Distance Learning, eighth grade

We travel in our motorhome:
Approximately 12 months of the year. When we’re not motorhoming, we’re four-wheelin’ with our Jeep.

Our favorite motorhoming destinations:
Mount Rushmore and San Diego

Our all-time favorite motorhome trip or motorhoming memory:
We call it SCARY ROAD! Utah on route 261 between Natural Bridges National Monument and Mexican Hat, Utah. DO NOT try it with a 43-foot motorhome.

Our dream motorhome trip:
Alaska and the Canadian Rockies via the Alcan Highway (we leave in July ’09)

Our perfect day of motorhome travel:
Easy side roads with lots of scenery

Our worst motorhoming experience:
The awning fell out when Gary and Gerry were at 60 mph on the way to a train show. Climbing up the ladder with bungee cords to fasten it caused nightmares.

Our motorhoming pet peeve:
People in a rush driving too fast! Stay in your lane!

The best addition or alteration we’ve made to our motorhome:
Extra mud flaps, roll-out cabinet drawers in the kitchen (you can tell who suggested each!)

If we could change one thing about our motorhome:
With three people aboard, we need two powder rooms.

Something about motorhoming that we know now but did NOT know when we started:
You need less “stuff.” Do not over pack.

When driving a motorhome, the most important thing to remember is:
Do not turn until your hips reach the lane line you wish to turn into. You’ll never drag wheels over the curb again!

Our advice for other motorhome owners:
Get an 8 X 10 magnifying sheet and place it on the right lower corner of the passenger door window to be able to see your blind spot.

Our hobbies:
Gary and Gerry do rail fanning (train watching). I [Linda] l Love meeting people.

Favorite restaurant:
Lambert Cafe, home of the “Throwed Rolls,” in Sikeston and Ozark, Mo., and Foley, Ala.

A celebrity we admire:
John Wayne

Something others would be surprised to know about us:
We have traveled by RV to 48 states and have been to all 50.

If we were awarded a shopping spree at the store of our choice, the store we’d choose is:
Wal-Mart, because you can shop there and sleep there, too.

Favorite campground:
Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md. It’s THE place to stay while seeing Washington, D.C.

When motorhomers visit our state or hometown, they should be sure to see:
In Rochester, N.Y., where we're originally from: the Eastman Theatre and High Falls Brewery. Other sites: Lake Ontario, Niagara Falls, Watkins Glen State Park and Toronto, Canada.

Items that we always keep in our motorhome’s refrigerator while traveling:
Water, iced tea, fruit and witch hazel for boo-boos.

Our advice to new motorhomers:
Take a driving/ safety seminar and buy from a manufacturer/dealer who can provide service.

Behind our motorhome, we tow:
A 2008 four-door, six-speed Jeep Wrangler Sahara Edition with four-wheel-drive. We tow it with a Blue Ox system and Blue Ox brake unit.

Pets that travel with us:
Starr the wonder dog. She’s a 2-year-old black Lab mix.

When we’re online, Web sites we like to visit:
Facebook, Yahoo, MSN, FMCA, Camping World, All Things Jeep

A technical or travel tip we’d like to share with other motorhome owners:
Use your GPS AND a map.

We joined FMCA because:
The camaraderie and information at the rallies is wonderful.

Other FMCA members may contact us via e-mail:


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