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Arlene and Pete Chiarolanzio, Florham, N.J. Print E-mail

FMCA membership number: F181694 (we joined in 1994)FMCA members Pete and Arlene Chiarolanzio

Our current motorhome: A 37-foot 2006 Holiday Rambler, diesel pusher

Other motorhomes we've owned:
A 1987 Falcon — 17-foot type B
A 1991 Gulf Stream Conquest — 21-foot type C
A 1999 Four Winds Infinity — 31-foot type A (when sold in 2006, it had over 96,000 miles on it and over 900 generator hours)

Three words that best describe our current motorhome:
Condo on wheels

The best thing about our motorhome:
We love the extra room the slideouts give us. When entertaining guests and grandchildren, the inside is so big it is like being at home. Dusty, our yellow Labrador, likes to stretch out wherever we are and now we don’t have to climb over her legs.

We decided to buy our motorhome because:
We had put a lot of miles on the one we had and now that we are retired, we would like to travel for longer lengths of time. I love the Neptune’s beautiful décor and countless closets and drawers. Pete has always wanted a diesel [motorhome] and now we both are happy.

Occupations:
Pete: operated heavy equipment (bulldozers, side-booms, backhoes, etc.) for Napp Grecco for over 50 years. He is now retired. Arlene: worked for AAA for 23 years in Group Travel and is now retired.

The best thing about motorhoming:
Freedom, meeting people, seeing this beautiful country and having a bathroom! We have all the comforts of a home on wheels.

Children:
We have six children (four daughters and two sons). We have five grandchildren (four girls and one boy).

Our all-time favorite motorhome trip:
Traveling the southern-route states to Arizona. We enjoyed the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Superstition Mountains, and touring Monument Valley and the canyon lands with a Navajo guide. We returned home via the northern-states routing.

One of our fondest motorhoming memories:
We traveled to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, to meet with the Oak Island Tourism group, of which we are members.

Other favorite destination:
I (Arlene) think I spend one-half my life in Lancaster, Pa., enjoying the charming, peaceful life of the Amish. The Green Dragon Farmers Market in Ephrata, Pa., offers dry camping in their parking lot for RVs and gives me a chance to relax and meet with RV friends.

Our “dream” motorhome trip:
Alaska or the Mexico Copper Canyon and Baja RV/rail piggyback tour

Our perfect day of motorhome travel:
Have a big breakfast, put in a low-mileage day enjoying the scenery and visiting attractions. At approximately 3 p.m. we settle into a campground, relax and have our “happy hour” of drinks, cheese, pepperoni, crackers and snacks.

Our worst motorhoming experience:
Arlene: At the Balloon Festival at the Solberg Airport in New Jersey, I was crossing the parking lot to park in the RV section when the motorhome started to sink into the mud. They had had several days of rain and did not block off the wet area. I was alone and really upset. A man with a backhoe came to my rescue with a chain. As I was pulled to safer ground, the mud kept oozing out of the tires and hubcaps. When I finally settled into a spot, the next several hours were spent using a lot of my limited water washing off the mud. Yes, I did see some men smirking as they walked by, but I had a lot of towed company by the end of the day.

Our motorhoming pet peeve:
People on highways who constantly cut in front of us, or cross in front and then pull off the exit. Construction and concrete barriers are a pain, too!

The best addition we’ve made to our motorhome:
Our Neptune coach has a beautiful black-and-white floral print interior which is so attractive. A visit to the wallpaper store provided a matching border to the floral print. I installed the border in the living room, kitchen and dinette and they look like they were done professionally.

Something special or unique about our motorhome:
We have a “jungle bathroom.” The border is a wide leopard print that I installed around the sink and wall area. Lion and cougar heads were cut out of regular wallpaper and glued on the border in the corners. Looks snazzy with a matching towel set, bath items, jungle animals and animal print rug.

If we could change one thing about our motorhome:
I would like to replace the small leather couch with a reclining chair and table. We have another couch that is a bed with an air mattress.

Something about motorhoming that we know now but didn’t know when we started:
Arlene: I wanted a large motorhome but was afraid to drive one. I was blessed with meeting an RV salesman, Charlie Piotrowski, who through the years started us out with a 17-foot motorhome, next a 21-footer, then a 31-footer, and now our 37-foot coach. I became more comfortable driving each one and he gave me the confidence I needed. Charlie has become our good friend.

When driving the motorhome, the most important thing to remember:
Take your time and drive safely.

Our favorite thing about FMCA:
FMCA provides many services, information and benefits for motorhomers. We read the magazine from cover to cover and learn so much from its varied articles. It is a great organization.

An FMCA chapter that we belong to:
 20th Century Wagontrainers

Advice for other motorhome owners:
Don’t wait to enjoy life — enjoy it now as you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Our hobbies:
Arlene: reading, photography, crafts, metal detecting, travel. Pete: sports, gardening, RV rallies, New York Yankees, New York Giants, and working out at the YMCA.

Our favorite way to exercise:
Taking the dog for a walk and looking at all the RVs

Favorite movie: Pete: Analyze This. Arlene: comedies, no favorite.

Favorite book: mystery paperbacks

Favorite music:
We enjoy Johnny Cash and country-western

Favorite restaurant: Cracker Barrel

Favorite campground:
Old Mill Stream Campground in Lancaster, Pa. It is wooded, peaceful, immaculate and located next to the Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park. Diane and Jim Breneman are such caring people and keep an eye on us when we winter camp and there are fewer campers.

If we won a shopping spree at any store, we’d go to:
Camping World. We can always find something there, even though we go in saying we don’t need anything. But — presto — the backseat is filled up anyway.

Items that we always like to have in our motorhome refrigerator:
We eat out very seldom and like to precook meals at home, freeze them and just heat them up. Italian food is our favorite, along with snack foods like pepperoni, cheeses, fruit, wine and soda. We always have plenty of bacon and eggs, and a fully stocked fridge and freezer.

When motorhomers visit our hometown, they should be sure to see:
From Cape May to the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey has it all … beautiful mountains, the Shore, horse farms. Plus, we are close to New York City for excitement.

Our advice to new motorhomers:
Take your motorhome out for a weekend by yourselves and try out all the features. Note any problems and discuss them with the dealer. Enjoy yourselves, and don’t rush or get upset about little things. There is so much to learn and always someone to help.

Behind our motorhome, we tow:
A 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport, using a tow bar

Our favorite activity to do inside the motorhome:
Lounge on the couch and watch TV or DVDs or just relax and read the local newspapers. We do play cards and sometimes a game of Scrabble.

Our pet who travels with us:
Dusty is a 10-year-old Lab. She travels better in our diesel motorhome with the motor in the back. Dusty is a nervous traveler and tends to fall apart when we go over rumble strips. She is so happy when we arrive at our destination. She is lovable dog and so happy to be with us.

A technical or lifestyle tip we’d like to share:
We have been fortunate with having 35 tech tips published in RV magazines. It seems there is always something you can improve on to make your motorhome travel more comfortable.

Other comments:
Now that we are both retired, we look forward to going on longer trips and visiting friends and relatives. So much to see and do!

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