Apr 152009

As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, I wasn’t sure if we could get out of Show Low Campground because the weekend storm had made the roads so soft. But with very high winds predicted for today, we decided to give it a try.

Dee, the new campground manager, and I walked over the soft patches, and he suggested that if I kept well to the left side, where it was a bit firmer, he thought I could make it.

So after Miss Terry did the final proofing of the new issue of the Gypsy Journal and I made the necessary corrections, I fired the bus up and unplugged the electric cable, while Terry quickly secured things inside. Then I gave our PressurePro system a quick scan to be sure our tires were properly inflated, and we made ready to pull out.

As I approached the soft section of roadway, I did as Dee suggested and kept well to the left, made a running start at it and sailed right through. At one spot I felt the right rear wheels trying to bog down, but I maintained steady pressure on the throttle and got through just fine. After a quick stop at the dump station to empty our waste tank, I filled our fresh water tank and pulled out of the campground.

My daughter Tiffany had come over to see us off, and she rode in the passenger seat for the short distance I had to go to a place where Terry could pull the van up behind us to hook it up. I don’t know what I did, maybe it was the huge windshield right in front of her, or sitting so high off the ground, but when I swung into the parking area at the lake to hook up, the poor kid turned green and about lost her cookies.

Speaking of Tiffany, my little girl turns 27 today, and I really wish we could have been there to help her celebrate. Happy birthday, Tiffany. No father in the world could love a daughter as much as I do you, or be more proud than I am of you. You’re a wonderful young woman, and every minute I spend with you is a treasure I hold deep in my heart.

We were on the road at 1:30 p.m. and had a good run north to Holbrook, where we got on Interstate 40 and scooted east past the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert, where brilliantly colored sandstone formations delight the eye.

Just before we crossed into New Mexico, a beautiful 1947 Cadillac cruised past us. I wondered if it was somebody exploring old Route 66 in a classic car, and I recalled the trips Terry and I had taken over the Mother Road in our vintage Corvette years ago.

We had that rarest of all phenomena for RVers, a tailwind, that hopefully helped our fuel mileage just a tiny bit, as we passed Gallup and Grants, and several Indian casinos stretched out along Interstate 40. We stopped at the Dancing Eagle Casino for fuel, and recalled a night we spend boondocking in their parking lot a couple of years ago.

We’re not much into gambling, but in our travels, we have spent the night in several Indian casino parking lots across the country. We appreciate the free boondocking opportunity, if they have a truck stop the fuel is usually cheaper, and we’ve found that their buffets are a good place to have dinner after a long day on the road.

We made it into Albuquerque about 6:30 and pulled onto the State Fairgrounds, where our pals Mac McCoy from Fire and Life Safety, and Al Hesselbart from the RV Hall of Fame Museum greeted us. As soon as we were parked and had the van unhooked, the four of us headed to the local Golden Corral for dinner. We’ll be helping Al and Mac out at their booths at The Rally for the next few days.

This is Affinity’s big annual soiree, and we’ve never attended one of their events. Affinity is to the RV world what Wal-Mart is to the retail world, less the benefit of free overnight parking. They seem to have their fingers in every pie in the industry, and we’re interested to see how the rally goes.

One final thing before I sign off. I got an e-mail from a lady whose husband is an RV technician in Nixa, Missouri, asking me if I thought RVers these days are keeping present RVs and maintaining them to conserve their money, or taking advantage of the current soft market to upgrade to a new (or newer) unit. I asked about this in a couple of my seminars at recent rallies, and the greatest majority, almost unanimously, said they are hanging onto what they have and investing in maintenance and upkeep. How about you? Post a comment below and let us know your thoughts on this.

Thought For The Day – Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “Road Trip To Albuquerque”

  1. We bought new last summer when things were looking down for the economy, but just before the bottom really fell out of the financial market. Unfortunately we were upside down in the trade-in, but for various reasons, we just were not going to be able to do the camping we wanted to do while we had that high profile 5th wheel. We now have a Navion IQ, which is a 24’9″ Itasca Class C, and we are planning 2 trips this year which will predominantly be camping in national forests and national parks — and we won’t be having much problems with size restrictions. Our little camper doesn’t even have slides, which suits us just fine.

    Our local RV dealership seems to be shifting to smaller, less expensive travel trailers and fifth wheels.

  2. We would love to take advantage of the great deals on new rigs we see but our trade value would be next to nothing on a 05 Monaco Diplomat so our trade difference would not improve so we will stay with the devil known rather than the devil unknown.
    Besides…which one would you pick? Our nightly walk among the rigs at the filled to the gills American RV Park in Albuquerque revealed eight out of ten rigs manufactured by failed RV manufactures or those in in bankruptcy.

  3. We “inversted” in an Allegro Bay last fall and are in the process of going full-time. Would’a – could’a – should-‘a? As you can see, “could-a” one out and boy, are we happy campers. We’ve been able to give it a proper break=in period and are currently quite happy, thank you. As always, oRV.

  4. Our 1995 Carriage fifth wheel is in the shop now, getting a new rubber roof and some other upgrades. We decided to put some money into it to keep it for a few more years. We’ve had it since 2000, so it’s a known product to us and has been a good one for us. If it turns out that my husband takes retirement in the next few years, we’ll be ready to go and can decide on a different rig later.

  5. A couple months ago, since our 5th wheel is 11 years old, we were going to trade to a motor home. But, even in the slow economy, RV dealers are not hungry enough yet. None that we tried to deal with wanted to deal. They still think they’re selling gold and your trading in coal. So today, we’ll be heading for Alaska in our old rig.

  6. We are definitely keeping our fifthwheel and doing a “makeover”. There are great deals out there if you have the money but we lost too much in the past year to be able to take advantage of them. Besides, our unit still has lots of life left in it and we like the layout – so why trade?

  7. Jaimie and I did a lot of soul-searching (and wallet) about selling my 2001 New Horizon fifth-wheel and replacing it with something newer, smaller and more “modern.” But when we discussed it in total, we decided to keep the trailer. Reasons? It’s paid for. It has full solar. It has large holding tanks. It’s been customized to fit our needs. It has electric over hydraulic disc brakes. It has MorRyde suspension. We are comfortable with it. In short, it’s in as good shape now as when it was new. My tow truck is in good shape (also a 2001) since I just had to replace the engine (ouch!). With all that, we’re keeping the truck/trailer, and as Bob said above…”we’ll be heading for Alaska in our old rig.” See you on the road.

  8. After much discussion, we decided to rehab our 1999 Gas Newmar Mt. Aire for several reasons. We purchased it new, know how it has been maintained, it is paid for and we have not really seen a motorhome that we like better, so the decision to rehab.

    We had the coach painted, replaced the carpeted floors with hardwood floors and installed wooden trim around all of the windows. We are very pleased with the finished product and are looking forward to many more enjoyable trips in our motorhome.

    Plans now are to go back to Alaska again in 2010.

  9. After agonizing over the issue, we have decided to hoard our precious, very hard won cash, and keep our 7 year old 29′ winnebago class C for a few more years. It just turned over 90,000 miles, and seems to run about as well as when new. We have maintained it faithfully, and Keith has made numerous custom mods to fit our needs. Keith worked with an aerospace Project Engineer who had a large sign on his desk that said “If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It”. Good philosophy, in aerospace engineering, and in life.

  10. Glad you got through the “muck” and safely reached Albq. Enjoyed your 1st western-Gypsy Rally.

    We still have our older Lazy Dazy and “LD” hasn’t even thought of reducing prices. No known problems and any fixing would be cheaper. We have a factory installed evaporative cooler (good for southwest) plus roof/dash a/c and HWH levelers. Our hood is always pointed towards adventure. Life is great.

    Affinity does offer o/n camping at many of their Camping World facilities.

  11. We have 04 5th wheel (39ft) Top of the line with all the bells..We have not found anything on the market that would better us in our needs at this moment…We went all out in the start to get what we wanted and to hopefully not have to trade in a long time. So far it has worked! It is in tip top shape and better now then when it was “new” I couldn’t see taking a huge hit on the trade in right now when it is better than most of the newer ones out there!! Happy camping!!)

  12. Have a Tiffin Phaeton. Keepin’ it! Bought it new in ’06. Like the floorplan. Maintain it meticulously. Probably good for years to come. Can’t beat Tiffin.

  13. Love our 2006 Newmar Cypress 5th wheel! Our truck is a 2008 F350 with many miles left to go. We maintain them meticulously…love the layout…and they’re paid for! We’ll be keeping this rig but may do some redoing in a year or two just to “personalize” it to our needs now that we’ve been living in it for the past 2 years!

  14. We have been maintaining and improving our 1994 Itasca Sunrise over the last 4 years – added a complete Banks system (boy does it run great now!) – resealed the roof – new tires – etc. The ceiling needs some work and we would like to replace the carpet. We would like to move up to a used 40 ft. coach conversion, but… soft markets are only good if you are a buyer but not a seller.

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