The View Is The Same

 Posted by at 12:09 am  Nick's Blog
May 262011

In a thread on the Escapees forum, a woman shares her excitement about her recent motorhome purchase, and acknowledges that while the 1986 Toyota Conquest is small (21 feet), it fits her needs for now. I posted a reply to her thread, and told her that the neat thing about her little RV is that the view out the window is the same one that the folks in the biggest multi-slide, high dollar motorhomes have.

For over eight years, we traveled and lived in our 1976 homebuilt MCI bus conversion, and loved it. Yes, it was old, yes, it was slow climbing up the hills, and yes, there were times we wished we had a little more space. But that old bus took us from coast to coast, and border to border many times. And I wouldn’t trade the memories we made in those years for any RV on the market today! 

We have known RVers who owned the newest and biggest and most expensive rigs on the road, and we’ve known folks wandering around the country in older rigs that are held together with duct tape and dreams. And guess what? Sometimes the folks in the older, smaller RVs were the happiest people we have ever met! It’s not about what you travel in, it’s about your mindset as you travel this great land of ours! If you understand that it’s all about the journey, and not about what takes you on that journey, you’re on your way to a successful RVing experience.

I’ve been a photographer for most of my life, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have sold enough of my work over the years to help support my hobby. The first picture I ever sold was a black and white image of the old Immaculate Conception church in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio, that I took when I was fifteen, with an ancient box camera. It was snowing heavily at the time, and the falling snow and black and white film gave the picture a very surreal effect. Over the years, I have known people who were sure they could produce excellent photographs, if they could just afford the latest high tech camera, or some super powered telephoto lens. But I think my mom paid a quarter at a yard sale for that old box camera I used to take the church picture.

At another time in my checkered past, I owned a gun shop in Tucson, Arizona. Every year when hunting season rolled around, at least one customer would come in to buy a rifle, and ask me “Are you sure I can kill a deer with this thing?”  I always replied, “I have no idea what you can do with it, but I’m sure I can kill a deer with it!”

RVing is the same way. Our dear friends Peter and Connie Bradish have a very nice older (1993) Beaver with 220,000 miles on it, that they love and have taken very good care of. Their motorhome has taken them on adventures all over the country, and will continue to do so for many more years. Peter and Connie have worked hard, and were careful in their financial planning. If they wanted something new, they could have it, but they are perfectly happy with their rig and I don’t think you could pry them out of it with a crowbar. They know that enjoying life, and RVing, isn’t about having the biggest rig in the campground. It about that view out the windshield, and enjoying every day of it.

Thought For The Day – An aging body is a very high price to pay for maturity.

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Nick Russell

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

  12 Responses to “The View Is The Same”

  1. Excellent comments, Nick. I totally agree that the “equipment” doesn’t make a photograph nor increase the enjoyment of rv’ing/camping. In fact, I think sometimes an experience is even more valued BECAUSE of the obstacles, inefficiencies, or age of equipment used.
    ~~ Glenda ~~

  2. You hit the nail square on the head with your comments about the view from the windshield being the same across a broad spectrum of coaches. Some of our fondest memories are from the windshield of a third-hand Mobile Traveler that I paid five thousand dollars for, and herded across the continent several times ( after I invested another five thousand in new motor and other fixes).

  3. I too am a somewhat advanced amateur photographer (probably mostly a legend in my own mind) and, after hearing all the stories from other photographers about how much better they would be with the new lens, camera body and whatnot, coined the saying that “you are only as good as your next piece of equipment!” That usually gets a good laugh from everyone, including those to whom it is directed.

    I usually find that those who lust for the next thing are the least accomplished with what they have today.

  4. With my gas class A motorhome, the mountains are quite a challenge. I often say to the wife, “If only I had a diesel pusher, I’m sure I could fly up those hills”! She brings me back to reality by stating that we always get there and our RV has everything we want or need. Also, the big fancy ones usually have the same things in them that go wrong just like the smaller cheaper RV’s. After thinking about it for awhile, ours is in good repair and we are comfortable in it. There aren’t that many hills anyhow, so going up them slow is OK. We’ll keep what we’ve got and enjoy it for many more years.

  5. One of the great things about full timing is the way it disciplinesnes you about accumulating stuff. When you have less stuff to take care of, you have more fun . Thus you learn that the important things in life are the ones you can’t see.

  6. We have been shopping for a different ie newer RV, but have not found anything we like that compares to what we have. We needed some repairs done as most RVers do. We went to Precision Painting in Bremen, IN. While there we came to the realization the only real reason we wanted a new RV was to show off and some newer gadgets. Once we accepted that it became a simple solution. We are now renovating the rig we have. We can add most the gadgets and we won’t have another huge payment. Pay as you go always gives us enough to travel as we please no matter what the price of fuel.

  7. Amen to what you said, and what everyone else so far has said. Our 2001 Itasca Suncruiser (gas, of course) does us fine. We are hoping to get a new exterior look before long, but Rosie goes just about anywhere we want her to go in great form. She climbed up and over the Sierras this year and hardly broke a sweat. As for cameras, we’ve taken splendid pictures with the old Kodak Instamatic, and some real duds with our flashier new digital models. It’s the photographer’s eye that makes the real difference!

  8. It’s all in the mind. If you are a person who sees beauty, you will see it everywhere. Including in an older rig that fits your life perfectly.

  9. Thanks for the compliments, Nick. We do so enjoy each day in our beloved 93 Beaver motorhome!!!!!! And yes, we will probably be RVing in her ten years from now. Many hugs. Hope to see you two soon.

  10. Since we’re in the market for an RV to replace our sold one, your post was timely. Thanks for the insight and reminder. 🙂

  11. Nick, It took us 8 years of looking to find the just right RV for us. Yes, we had the money to buy just about anything we wanted (with-in reason). But instead of buying new, we found and fell in love with a 98 38′ DP with 23000 miles on her. We are happy and it takes us where we want to go. May not be the nicest looking rig on the block because of our LEARNING how to drive it (I can tell u a story about every mark on it). But guess what, when we left the lot with her, we also left with title in hand. But, also on the other hand, we have met many a people who, unless u have the newest and biggest RV in the park, they look down at you.. But Oh well, I’m sure they get lonely sitting up there by themselves.

  12. Thanks for your comments. We fulltime in a 1981 31′ Airstream. We looked at others but really loved the floor plan of our Airstream and besides my parents fulltimed in it for 20 years! Gotta love it… We have spent money restoring it and are in Ohio to have work done on the kitchen. It still looks like a 30 year old trailer….you know … has aged with character like the rest of us.

    Love your blogs and look forward to them each day.

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