FMCA membership number: F289730 (we joined in 2001)
FMCA chapter memberships:
Oregon River Ramblers, Hokie Travelers. We are also members of Rotary’s Recreational Vehicle Fellowship.
Our current motorhome: 2003 Winnebago Journey DL
Three words that best describe our motorhome: comfortable, classy, fun.
Other motorhomes we have owned:
A 1997 Georgie Boy Cruise Master (diesel version). We started camping by sleeping in the back of a station wagon, “graduated” to a tent, a tent trailer and then took the years we were in retail off before deciding to buy a motorhome.
The best thing about motorhoming:
The freedom it affords. It enables us to travel, sightsee and enjoy other motorhomers simultaneously.
We were both active as owners of a retail furniture/floor covering/window treatment business for over 20 years. After selling that, Frank was in residential real estate for 12-plus years.
We have four children, 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
We travel in the motorhome approximately:
Four months per year. When we’re not motorhoming we’re enjoying our new home in Salem.
Favorite features of our motorhome:
We remodeled the interior of our first coach, but that hasn’t been necessary on our Winnebago Journey. I (Frank) like the storage afforded by Winnebago’s StoreMore slideout dinette, the convenient locations of plugs and 12-volt outlets and the reading lights at every sitting location. Jil likes the under-counter pullout pantry and the extra workspace it provides. We’ve traveled for up to four months at a time, anticipating widely varying weather and had plenty of room to carry sufficient supplies and clothing.
The best alteration or addition we’ve made to our motorhome:
Jil has personalized the interior of our coach. Probably the best idea was to replace the heavy quilted bedspread with a decorative, lightweight quilt that doubles as a blanket. We don’t have to remove/replace the bedspread every day.
If we could change one thing about our motorhome it would be:
To have a second living room slideout and a larger refrigerator.
Our all-time favorite motorhome trip:
Hopefully we haven’t taken it yet! We have great memories of our first trip to the East Coast and seeing the fall foliage in New England. We’ve had outstanding trips touring the national parks in the Northwest and Utah/Arizona. Returning from our visits to the East Coast has enabled us to follow the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery route and another time we retraced the Oregon Trail.
Favorite motorhoming destinations:
We never get tired of the Oregon coast. There are plenty of great state parks and private campgrounds. We loved our visits to Pennsylvania and Ohio Amish country and had two great trips to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
One of our fondest motorhoming memories:
Again, we hope it’s yet to come. We have so many. Forced to choose, we’d probably pick a tour of the California Missions from Sonoma to San Diego. We met two couples (both now long-term friends) in northern California and spent two weeks meandering down coastal California with them. We were new to motorhoming, and they taught us so much. Now years later, even though we live 600 miles apart, we are still taking trips together.
Our “dream” motorhome trip:
To Alaska with three or four friends in their rigs.
Our perfect day of motorhome travel:
Jil’s would be to leave late, stop early and go out to eat. Frank would prefer to leave earlier, stop later, do tons of sightseeing and enjoy Jil’s good food. It’s a Mars and Venus thing.
Our worst motorhoming experience:
A series of my mistakes that culminated on a dead end road in the Piney Woods of Georgia. Trying to turn the motorhome around, I met, “up close and personal,” a 15-inch-deep muddy ditch. Thank goodness for roadside assistance insurance. The cell phone worked and we were back on our way in about an hour and a half.
Our motorhoming pet peeve:
Not being able to know if a roadside attraction or point of interest has sufficient room for us to safely enter, park and exit. Also, driving by a Wal-Mart at lunch time and seeing rigs with their jacks down, slides and awnings out and lawn chairs on the asphalt.
Something motorhoming has taught us: Patience
Something about motorhoming that we know now but didn’t know when we started:
Just about everything! We’re really happy that a friend convinced us to travel with roadside assistance insurance.
When driving the motorhome the most important thing to remember is:
Patience! Be alert, scan down the highway and check your mirrors frequently. If you’re behind schedule, don’t hurry … that’s what cell phones are for.
If we could bring three things from our motorhome to a deserted island, we’d choose:
The generator, fuel and tools. My friends will really chuckle at that, because I’m the quintessential klutz.
What we like best about FMCA:
The help we’ve received with the RV Friendly logo project. This program promotes the placement of RV symbols on highway signs to identify businesses that cater to the needs of RVers.
We’re impressed with the scope and depth of knowledge displayed by the leadership of the association and we’ve truly enjoyed meeting an unending array of talented and interesting people.
"Fantasy" dinner guests we'd most like to invite to dinner in our motorhome?
Jil can’t make up her mind which of her favorite celebrities she’d like to invite. Frank would love to have the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader and one of their ardent opponents.
A motorhoming tip we’d like to share with other motorhomers:
We carry a package of medical disposable rubber gloves. They’re great to wear while dumping the holding tanks and for quick tasks. Just use and toss.
Jil is a talented folk art painter. She also does needle pointing and quilts. Frank makes everyone he plays golf with look like a pro, is an avid Oregon Ducks fan and enjoys puttering around in the yard. We both love to entertain, read and travel.
Our favorite way to exercise:
At our ages it’s mostly working around the house and yard. We need to walk more; both of us are coming off knee injuries.
Favorite movie: Jil’s is Shirley Valentine, Frank’s not a movie buff.
We’ve both read a lot of fiction. Jil loves to collect books dealing with the areas we’ve visited, both historically and their geology.
Favorite singer: Jil: Frank Sinatra. Frank: Wille Nelson.
Adam’s Place in Eugene, Ore. Applebee’s for a national chain.
If we were given a free shopping spree at any store, we’d choose:
Jil would opt for Liz Claiborne because the clothes fit and there is a wide assortment of styles. Frank would head for Best Buy for a notebook computer upgrade and an LCD HDTV.
Casey’s Riverside RV Park off U.S. 58 near Westfir/Oakridge, Ore. It’s full service with long paved pull-throughs that look out at the confluence of the north and middle forks of the Willamette River. Whitewater! Wow! The Marina RV Resort in Winchester Bay, Ore. It’s on a small isthmus that extends into the Umpqua River. The view one way is the mouth of the river while the other direction overlooks Salmon Harbor, which is usually loaded with both sport and commercial fishing boats. Both are newer parks with great facilities.
When motorhomers visit our state or hometown they should be sure to see:
The Oregon coast, the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascades and Crater Lake. Then plan to return to see part of what you missed the first time!
Item that is always in our motorhome refrigerator: an Oregon Riesling.
Our advice to new motorhomers is:
Enjoy it! If you travel to the same destination, try going a different way, get off the freeway and see as much of the USA as you can.
Behind our motorhome, we tow:
A 1999 Subaru Outback on a Roadmaster Tow Bar.
Our favorite activity to do inside the motorhome:
Eat, read and watch TV.
Pets we travel with:
A 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier named Puddin. Officially, she’s Yorkshire Pudding #23. We weren’t as original as we thought! Jil has her trained to a litter box … that’s pretty nice.
Each area of the country is unique and interesting in its own way. We’ve been blessed to meet so many nice, helpful people everywhere we’ve gone. It gives you a sense of what a wonderful place America is and of the innate goodness of our fellow citizens. A typical illustration is the neatly dressed gentleman I stopped on the street in Savannah, Ga. Jil wanted to have crab cakes for lunch and I asked him if he lived in the area and could he give us a restaurant recommendation. A couple of hours later we had a great meal and lo and behold there he was. He came over to the table and said he’d been craving crab cakes since we talked. Just a simple encounter that resulted in a wonderful memory.
We’ve really appreciated the help and guidance we’ve received from FMCA’s leadership and members with the RV Friendly project. One member, Bryan Katz, who has been very helpful, is starting a new FMCA chapter of Virginia Tech rooters, The Hokie Travelers. Jil and I are pleased to be able to be charter members. We’re hoping to go to a bowl game some day … maybe our Ducks vs. “our” Hokies. Wouldn’t that be fun?