Jul 112012

We’re getting down to the wire on our time here at Elkhart Campground. We have a reservation at the Gateway to Cape Cod Outdoor World Resort in Rochester, Massachusetts beginning on the 16th. It’s a little over 900 miles from here to there, so we will probably leave on Friday to start making our way east.

That will give us four days to make it, which is an easy trip. And if we get behind schedule here, we could leave as late as Saturday and still have an easy trip there. 300 miles is a good day on the road for us. We have been known to do 400, and even 450 miles a day, but 300 is really more comfortable. Our longest day on the road, when we had to get back to Arizona for a family medical emergency, was over 700 miles. That’s insane, but when your family needs you, you do what you have to do.

Yesterday, we drove to the Yarn Gourmet in South Bend, one of Terry’s favorite yarn shops in the country, to pick up a book and DVD that had just arrived. I sat outside reading my Kindle while Terry was in the shop. Then we drove to Pearle Vision in Mishawaka for Terry to get her glasses adjusted so they fit better and were more comfortable on her face. And since there was a Michael’s craft store in the same shopping center, we made a quick stop there too. I’m engrossed in the fourth book in Beverly Gray’s Black Knights of the Hudson series, so again I stayed in the Explorer reading.

When we got back to Elkhart, we made a quick stop at WalMart so Terry could pick up a couple of items and I could read another chapter. By then our stomachs were telling us it was time for dinner, so we stopped at Mancino’s Pizza.

Back at the campground I checked my e-mail and responded to some that needed attention, and spent a few minutes in a back-and-forth e-mail exchange with a lady who recently bought a Class C motorhome to use as a snowbird rig. She took it to an RV dealer to get it serviced, and as happens so often, some salesman waylaid her and was selling her a bill of goods, trying to switch her into a used Southwind 36 foot Class A gas powered motorhome with only 78,000 miles on it that was a “steal” at just $62,000. He told her that her 28 foot Class C, which has a lot less miles and is in better condition, would be turned away at most campgrounds in Florida, where she plans to winter. He told her that the only RV parks that would accept a Class C would be full of drunks and criminals.

I hate it when these jerks try to take advantage of people like that. The salesman could give a damn what her needs were, all he wanted to do was unload a high mileage unit at a very high price. I assured her that there were lots of very nice campgrounds that would welcome her and her Class C, and that I would be taking my RV someplace else for service.

We have friends who have been shopping for a new motorhome recently, and ran into a dealer here in Elkhart that wanted to play a bunch of silly games. But these folks have been around a while and know that the basic rule when dealing with an RV salesman is that if his lips are moving, he’s lying. They walked away from the “killer deal” he had for them and found a much better buy for less money.

Years ago, in my misspent youth, I spent some time selling cars. Even though it was a part-time job for me, I was Salesman of the Month seven times, and Salesman of the Year. My success was because I was honest, I didn’t push people, I didn’t play the games that the sales managers insisted I should, and I wasn’t above telling someone that the car they were in love with wasn’t the best deal for them. Many of my customers sent their friends and relatives in to see me when they needed a car. I sold three cars to members of one family! The dealership’s managers kept telling me that if I would just do things “their way” I’d sell twice as many cars as I already was. I told them that no, I wouldn’t be able to sell one car that way. After a little over year I left the business, because I just didn’t want to play the games their way.

When I was finished talking to that lady, readers Steve and Nancy Gardner stopped by to visit for a while. They’re going to have our friend Michele from Phoenix Commercial Paint do some repairs to their motorhome in the next few days, and we had a nice chat.

While Steve and Nancy were here, George and Linda Loutzenhiser came by to pick up a bundle of Gypsy Journals to distribute at a Spartan Chassis rally they are going to, and to some of the RV parks where they will be traveling.

After all of our guests left, I spent some time working on our website. We have been trying to migrate stuff from our original website, which is hosted on Yahoo, over to this website, which is hosted by Go Daddy. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to get anything done, so it has been an ongoing process. But I did move our RV Links page and our RV Calendar page, finishing just in time to write today’s blog.

Thought For The Day – In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends – Martin Luther King Jr.

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Nick Russell

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

  5 Responses to “Getting Down To The Wire”

  1. Speaking of salesmen, I do not think hubby and I have yet to find one who has actually spent much, if any, time in an RV!! So you kind of have to take what they tell you with a grain of salt!! But a woman alone is always at a disadvantage with such folk…need some good male friend to come along!! Or so it seems to me!! Even then, they may rook you…we helped daughter get her car (she had money saved for a good down payment)…a new one, mind you…and we made it abundantly clear that we wanted it in HER name, and hubby would co-sign. She was in her mid-20’s and with a good job too…lo and behold, when we got to the final papers, at the bank and all…it was in HIS NAME, with her name under it. SO!! We had money in the bank and after one month we paid it off and THEN it was in her name and we let her pay us back!! JERKS!! We wanted it to help her with gaining credit…we have GREAT credit and did not need it on ours!! And that stupid agency has the gall to write every so often and try to get her/us to do business with them again…NO THANK YOU!!

  2. Hi Nick. Ouch! Sadly, I think your friend’s experience is more common than not. I have been an elementary school teacher all my life, but when I got downsized last year I decided to make a career move into RV sales. I love the RV lifestyle and the people who live it. I am fortunate to be associated with a dealership that prides itself on integrity, and I’ve gotten fabulous training and mentoring there. But, I’ve seen the dark side as well. I just focus on treating people the way I would want to be treated, and use my teaching skills to help customers find what suits them best. I have to say, I’m having a blast meeting cool people and being surrounded with RV’s everyday. If you’re ever in Albuquerque, come see me at La Mesa RV, and I promise I’ll never lie to you!

  3. Kinda wish you would let us know the name of the salesman and the dealership. Might go a ways toward geting a bit more integrtty in the business.

    Love your blog; first thing I read in the morning.

    (WE are fulltimers, right now on the Oregon coast)


  4. Nick, Haven’t been able to comment on Greg’s blog so I’ll let him know by
    way of yours that the Zebra is a horse in STRIPPED PAJAMAS. This I know
    by watching many years of Captain Kangaroo with my children.
    Have a good trip out East.

  5. Michael,
    She did not give me the name of the dealership.

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