Back To The Bus

 Posted by at 4:10 am  Nick's Blog
Sep 172009

With only 33,000 miles on it, our 2002 Winnebago diesel pusher is like new in many ways. The previous owner kept in inside a heated barn most of the time, and only used it for vacations and short trips with the grandkids. Miss Terry and the other ladies who have seen it all agreed that the stove had probably never been used, for example.

But the motorhome did have one noticeable flaw; one of the decorative stripes was chipped up in several places for some reason. So yesterday Michele Henry, from Phoenix Commercial Paint, spent several hours with a heat gun removing the old stripe, and this morning we are taking the Winnebago to her shop, where she will repaint the stripe in the original color.

We’d love to have one of Michele’s custom full body paint jobs, but there is just no room in the budget for it right now. Still, she can work wonders, and while the motorhome looked nice before, we know it will be even more attractive after Michele gets the new stripe on.

She will need to keep the motorhome overnight, so we are going to be back in the bus for one more night. I told Terry it’s sort of like having a weekend getaway place until we sell the bus.

Several fulltimers who have been RV shopping have written to tell me that they have been having trouble getting bank financing, and asking me who financed our rig. Over the years, I have had several fulltimers tell me they have experienced problems getting financing, even though they had very good credit.

We worked with Eileen Gilmore, an assistant branch manager with Alliant Credit Union in Chicago. We joined Alliant after meeting Eileen at Escapade in May, and she worked with us to get things set up to be sure we qualified. She has done everything she said she would do, and we are very pleased with our experience working with her. If you are shopping for a new or late model RV, I suggest you give Eileen a call at (773) 462-9642 or e-mail her at, and tell her I sent you.

At the same time we joined Alliant, we also joined Community Resource Credit Union, which is based in Texas, and also had a booth at Escapade. One of the reasons we joined Community Resource is that they are part of the Shared Network, which in theory gave us the convenience of access to hundreds of affiliated credit union branches all over the country who also belong to the network. We were told that we could go into any Shared Network credit union anywhere in the country and it would be just like if we were at one of Community Resource’s own branches.

Well, not exactly, as it turns out. We made a couple of small deposits at Shared branches here in Indiana, and it took anywhere from two to three weeks minimum for them to be credited to our account. I could mail a deposit to our regular bank and have it credited before that!

As if that were not frustrating enough, when we took in cash to get a cashier’s check when purchasing our motorhome, we had to jump through all kinds of hoops and get a manager’s approval.

I called Community Resource to complain, and was told that while we could use any of the Shared affiliate credit unions, we had to wait for them to forward the deposits to Texas, which could take at least two weeks. Or, to speed things up, we could take photocopies of the checks we were depositing, as well as the deposit receipt from the Shared branch, and fax them to Community Resource in Texas. Yeah, that sure sounds convenient!

I had a better idea. I just closed the account.  

But before I close this blog post, Bad Nick wanted me to tell you that he has a new post in the Bad Nick Blog titled Yes, Racism Plays A Role. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – One nice thing about egotists; they don’t talk about other people.

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Nick Russell

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

  3 Responses to “Back To The Bus”

  1. Hey, Nick.

    My dad had 41 years of service with Humble Oil, then Exxon, when he retired. The Exxon Baytown Credit Union was our family’s credit union and located near the Exxon refinery in Baytown, Texas, where my dad worked for so long. My parents faithfully attended the credit union’s annual meetings every year, too. I joined as a legacy member, through my dad’s membership. Years later, to expand beyond just Exxon employees, EBCU reached out to other membership groups and changed its name to Community Resource Credit Union. My husband and I bought several vehicles through the loan dept. at EBCU/CRCU. After a long time, It became quite a hassle, from our Houston home, to continue to drive to Baytown to do this, but it was the family credit union, you know? The breaking point for me was getting a better deal at a neighborhood credit union just 10 minutes from my home with better service than returning to our old family credit union going back several decades.

    If a credit union isn’t loyal to its membership, then there’s no reason for a member to remain with it. Moving on….Now we use Pentagon Federal Credit Union. It is outstanding, and I recommend it highly. If you are active or retired military, or you have a close relative who fits that category, or if you meet some other standards for membership, or, even just pay a separate fee to join, it is a great credit union. My brother is active military, so I joined PenFed through his military service about a year ago. I love ’em. Beats the heck out of Community Resource Credit Union, too! So, the next time you look for a credit union, you might want to check out PenFed at I don’t work for them, but I am a happy customer there!

  2. We use Wells Fargo for both our business and personal checking account. There are many branches in the mid west and west. When we have a check to deposit and there are no wells fargos around we just send it to there lock box in Oregon. Our account is credited usually within 3 or 4 days of mailing. They bought Wacovia so we are hoping they will add Wacovia to their list of banks we can use.
    We have been using them for 7 years and their customer service is great.

  3. Our experience with Community Resource has been nothing but successful. Our car loan was from CRCU in Texas, while we were in Portland, OR. We called CRCU, told them what we wanted, then gave the car dealer all the info. We had the loan in no time.

    We do believe in credit unions. I (Jerry) have been a credit union member since I was in high school, with a series of credit unions, depending on where we lived.

    I’ll have to agree, though, that if your CU is giving you a hassle, it’s time to move on.l

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