Aug 052009

Miss Terry has wanted to use her Orion smoker for months now, but we just never seemed to have the time. That all ended yesterday when she smoked up three huge racks of ribs for a cookout with Rocky and Berni Frees.

We got the smoker at Lowes about a year ago, but this was only the second time we used it. We need to do that more often!

Unlike conventional smokers, with this one the charcoal goes into a ring around the outside and into a small holder on the top, while the meat is inside, along with, in this case, some apple juice and some mesquite wood chips for extra flavor. The smoker works on a convection effect.

It took about two hours from the time she lit the fire until Terry took the ribs out of the smoker, and they were just perfect! So tender they fell off the bone and mouth watering delicious. Don’t they look yummy?

And you can tell by the satisfied looks on everybody’s faces that they sure enjoyed their meal. Besides the ribs, Terry also smoked up a pork loin, made beans, her special pico de gallo sauce, and there were some other goodies that nobody had room for. We love coming here to Muskegon to visit with Rocky and Berni, but every time we do, I gain five or ten pounds! Now how in the world does that happen?

We had planned to go kayaking on the Muskegon River after dinner, but we were all so stuffed that we were afraid we’d exceed the boats’ weight ratings, so instead we went back to their house for yet another game of Mexican Train. This was a special game, because we probably won’t have a chance to play with Rocky and Berni again for at least a year, and Berni marked the occasion by winning by a tremendous margin. I’m not sure the rest of us were even in the game by the fourth or fifth round. 

On another subject, I guess some RV dealers haven’t been reading the newspaper, or else they are living in La La Land, because they just don’t seem to know that the market has changed and they can no longer play by the same old rules. Our friends Ron and Brenda Speidel called to give us a lead on a Winnebago Ultimate Advantage for sale at an RV dealer in Ohio.

This is our dream rig, although this particular unit was only a 38 footer and we really want a 40 foot model, and it only had a 300 horsepower diesel engine, and we have decided that we really need at least 330 horsepower with the size of the van we tow. Plus, it was about $5,000 higher than two different Ultimate Advantages we had looked at before, that were a year or two newer. But you never know, so I called anyway to see if it might be something we could live with.

The first thing out of the salesman’s mouth once I told him which rig I was interested in was “Are you going to buy today?” I told him no, since I was about 400 miles away, but that if the unit sounded like it might be able to fit our needs, we’d be interested in taking a look at it.

“Well, unless you’re prepared to give me a deposit by credit card, there’s no use wasting my time or yours,” he told me. “The used RV market has gone crazy in the last year or so and we can’t keep them on the lot. Every unit we have moves in 24 to 48 hours.”

I told him that I never gave my credit card out over the telephone, and that if the unit sounded good, we were a short day’s drive away. Then I asked a couple of questions about it’s equipment, and again he told me that he had too many customers waiting in line to buy it to waste time with someone who was not prepared to make a commitment right then.

I happen to know that this particular motorhome has sat on the same lot for over a year. I also don’t like clowns who think I just fell off the turnip truck, so I ended the call, and possibly a chance for him to sell an RV. Even if that particular coach did not meet our needs, they may well have had something else we’d have fallen in love with. I guess we’ll never know.

Thought For The Day – Even people who believe everything is predestined look before they cross the street.

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Nick Russell

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

  8 Responses to “We Have A Cookout!”

  1. Regarding the used MH market, we have also been looking and the dealerships keep advertising “Great Discounts”, the units are over priced and still sitting when we return months later. The sales personnel are working on commission but their attitudes and those of the management are lousy. Hope they get a clue soon!!!

  2. Hey Nick!
    I have been looking for a smoker that we could use. If you have a moment could you please give me some more info on yours. Dimensions? Does it break down into pieces for storage? We are full-timers and have a Heartland Bighorn 5th wheel so storage is at a premium.
    Thanks for the info.
    Barry and Joyce Crocker

  3. Hi Nick,

    Last year when we were looking for a replacement for our stolen Ford truck, a Vermont Ford dealer located a possible match, about 300 miles away from where we were staying. We wanted to go see the truck in person, making the 600-mile round trip at our expense. According to our sales person, the only way we could see it was to pay for it up front! And the kicker was, he asked us to trust him – yeah, right….Guess he thought we fell off that same turnip truck. Instead, we made a 2400-mile round trip when we finally located another truck in MO. Hang in there – your perfect rig is out there waiting for you – you just haven’t found it yet.

  4. All the RV salesmen must be hurting (but not enough yet). I had looked at a MH at Pedata RV in Tuscon about 6 mo ago and yesterday I got a call from the salesman wanting to know if I was still looking. I told him yes and he said if he remembered right they couldn’t match us up last look but they might have something now. When I told him I couldn’t remember what we’d looked at there, HE knew exactly and reminded me. I then remembered that it wasn’t that they didn’t have something we liked, it was they wanted me to give them my rig and pay new showroom price for a 2003. When I reminded him of that and told him I was in Alaska right now, he didn’t want to talk anymore. I guess that turnip truck is filling up fast!!!

  5. Barry,
    Here is the link to the Orion cooker on their website.

    If you do a Google seasrch, there is a lot of good info, including some You Tube videos. They show them for $125 at Target.

    Storage is a problem. It measures about 31 inches high and maybe 22 inches across the ring. If you take the legs and lid off for storage, you can save a few inches in height.

  6. We have an Orion smoker and love it! I’ve never had such delicious turkey in my life. I have found that if I place a few apple or orange wedges inside on a small tin, it gives the meat a wonderful taste. We have used it for ribs, turkey, chicken, salmon, and pork chops.

  7. That’s very interesting looking cooking oven and the ribs in the picture look good enough to

    As far as buying an RV I’ve found that if you ask to many or the wrong kinds of questions it turns people off toward you and that seems to be true, (for me at least) if it’s an RV dealer or a private seller. I’ve always been told to ask lots of questions before you buy anything, I guess that’s not allowed in the RV market.
    Good Luck finding the RV of your dreams…. I’m sure it’s out there, all you just got to do is find it..

  8. Nick,
    You are right about most RV dealers; they are trying to make up for a slow marker by overcharging for what the have. Maybe the govt will come up a Cash for RV Clunkers to try to get all of us into the new tiny sized, expensive priced Sprinter chasis MHs (LOL)!

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