Apr 262013

One of the greatest things about the RV lifestyle is that we have been blessed with so many wonderful friends. And many times those friendships are stronger than the ones we had with people in our old hometown before we hit the road.

If you’re a fulltimer and have a problem or medical issue, don’t be at all surprised if some of your RVing friends show up to help out, or just to hold your hand and give you a shoulder to cry on.

Years ago when Terry was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer, she called her best friend back in our hometown and the woman brushed her off, saying she had a lot on her plate and cut the call short. But RVers we had only met a time or two were calling and e-mailing, sending her get well cards with dozens of signatures on them, even offering to come to Michigan to be with us, to donate blood, and so many other kindnesses that it still brings tears to our eyes.

It has always amazed us how often we cross paths with our RVing friends when fate puts us in the same place at the same time. And the longer we live and travel in our motorhome, the more friends we make and the more frequent are those chance encounters.

For fulltimers and extended time RV travelers, it’s not uncommon to pull into a campground and find yourself parked next to somebody you shared a campfire with a thousand miles ago, or to arrive at an RV rally and feel like you’re at a family reunion when you see so many familiar smiling faces welcoming you.

Of course, when you live and travel in an RV, you don’t have to wait for serendipity to bring you together with your friends. It’s not unknown for RVers to drive 50 or 100 miles or even more out of their way to hook up with friends. We know because we’ve done it many times.

Like all relationships, some RV friendships stand the test of time and last forever, while others fade out for whatever reason. Maybe somebody hangs up the keys and kind of drops off the radar, or interests that brought you together change. We have friends from our bus conversion days that we seldom see anymore just because we don’t go to bus rallies like we used to.

The other side of that coin is the number of wonderful friendships that endure all of the years and the miles. Last night we had a nice dinner with our longtime friends Ed and Alice Allard, their son Mike, and Greg and Jan White at Los Gringos Locos. We first met Ed and Alice fourteen years ago when we were all brand new fulltimers, and have hooked up with them at RV rallies and campgrounds across the country. Once, several years ago we were northbound on U.S. Highway 31 somewhere around Holland, Michigan when our cell phone rang. It was Ed and Alice, who were going in the opposite direction and had spotted our MCI bus conversion. They had read in my blog that we were headed for Fisherman’s Landing in Muskegon to visit my cousin Berni Frees and her husband Rocky and wanted to let us know that the RV site they had just vacated at the campground was available.

Ed and Alice bought a park model here in Apache Junction a while back and have downsized, but their Winnebago View is always ready to take them off on a new adventure. We look forward to crossing their path for years to come.

My friend Jason Deas, who isn’t a fulltimer but does love getting out in his 1979 Scotty camper, just released Brushed Away, the final book in his Benny James mystery series. Check it out on Amazon, it’s a great series.

Thought For The Day – Talent rarely beats sweat.

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Nick Russell

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

  9 Responses to “RVing Friends Are The Best”

  1. Nick, we have often said that campers make the best friends. We met you at Colonial Beach last summer and keep up with your travels through your daily blog, feeling like we are traveling with you. We have just bought a used Fleetwood Flair in excellent condition and will get back camping with short trips for now. You can be sure that if we find out you will be in our area again, we will certainly look you up. In the meantime, happy traveling!

  2. Nick we have found the same concerning friends to be true. Before beginning the FTing lifestyle we lived in a “bedroom community” where it seemed people lived just to go to work in the morning and return late in the evening from commutes. No one really got to know each other (as was the case when I was growing up). Since we began FTing just a few months ago, we have met more folks and crossed paths with them already. To say we love this lifestyle would be an understatement.

  3. A few years back RVIA, the association of RV manufacturers ran a marketing ad in a whole buch of magazines tha showed a group of RVs and campers around a small campfire and simply asked “how many good friends did you ever make at the Holiday Inn?” nuf said

  4. How many of your stick built neighbors would invite you to stay at their home while they went away so your husband could die peacefully at “home” and not in a hospital. We had an rving friend do just that. Bless you Pinky & Mac.

  5. Nick,

    your post hit home this morning. We have been in Indiana (home state) doing our “routine” physical exams and they found an abnormality on Rudee’s mammogram. More tests and we got the results this morning ….. breast cancer. 🙁
    We are waiting for the oncologists to call to schedule an appointment for a lumpectomy and radiation. Needless to say we are feeling a little beaten down since last week we had to be rescued from our rig and we lost our motorcycle and cargo trailer to a flood. Remembering your story of the trials and tribulations you both have endured while on the road gives us encouragement that we can handle this and keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel.


  6. When and how did you meet Jan and Greg?

  7. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Phil and Rudee. Nick and Terry’s story was an inspiration to us, too, at the start of our full-timing adventure when we had to face a similar challenge. Just holding on to that adventurous spirit helped us get through a lot.

    Nick and Terry’s willingness to share their stories has helped us and, I am sure, many others. That’s why they feel more like family than friends.

  8. Phil and Rudee, my prayers are with you. I have just been there myself. Diagnosed in July 2012, ended chemo October 2012, ended Radiation February 2013. Hang in there. You can get through it. I highly recommend http://www.breastcancer.org. Forums. They are wonderful! Also check into The Pink Fund if any financial aid is necessary. I had to close my home daycare for treatments. (9 months now) Being self employed, there was no aid. They paid our health insurance for 3 months for us. It was a wonderful help. Feel free to Email me if I can help or answer any questions!

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