Mobile Garages

 Posted by at 2:09 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 292014

There was a thread on one of the Facebook RV pages yesterday asking what fulltimers carry in their tow cars or the back of the trucks they pull their trailers with. Some of the responses were interesting, ranging from absolutely nothing to everything but the kitchen sink.

Most fulltimers we know who drive motorhomes use the back end of their car or SUV as extra storage. For those who haul fifth wheel trailers, I’ve seen everything from toolboxes mounted in the beds of trucks to small generators. We’ve even met a couple of people who have full size class 8 semi tractors and carry Smart cars behind the cab!

Usually the back of our Ford Explorer is filled with extra bundles of the Gypsy Journal that we drop off at RV parks as we travel and at RV rallies where we have a vendor both. We also keep a couple of light jackets, wide brimmed hats, a blanket, a fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. How about you? Is your toad or truck also a portable garage? What do you carry in it?

When I was going through my e-mail yesterday morning, I was pleased to see a subscription renewal from Loren Eyrich, formerly of the excellent Two Lane Roads newspaper. We took over Loren’s mailing list and fulfilled the balance of his subscriptions when he got sick several years ago and could no longer continue publishing. A lot of those readers are still with us, and occasionally ask me if I ever hear from Loren. I’m happy to report that he told me he is doing well and still dreaming of hitting the road again someday.

Last night we had dinner at an excellent new Chinese restaurant in Yuma called Lin’s Grand Buffet with Daryl and Cheri Lawrence and Cheri’s mom Gladys from Lawrence RV Accessories and Charles and Chris Yust from C&C Marketing and Insurance. Between the three couples we figured out that we had close to 40 years of combined RV rally vending experience. That’s a lot of miles!

It was interesting to get together away from all of the activity of a rally and just sit and visit, compare notes on the pros and cons of the different rallies, and remember all of the different vendors who have come and gone. One thing that we all agreed on is that the vendors who make it out here over the long haul all have one thing in common – they offer outstanding customer service that goes above and beyond the call of duty.

I’ve called both Daryl and Cheri and Charles and Chris after hours in a panic more than once when something was wrong, usually due to my own incompetence, and they have taken care of me. They do that for all of their customers. That’s how you build a reputation that gets you the word of mouth advertising and referrals any business needs to succeed. We’ve all also seen the fly by night guys who are there to make a quick buck and then move on down the road to find the next sucker. Among the community of professional vendors out here they are easy to spot, and they never last long.

A person who has been part of the RV world for longer than any of us is

Kay Peterson, co-founder of the Escapees RV Club. Miss Kay is one of the most delightful people you will ever meet and any time I get to chat with her I always come away feeling happier. Kay has written several excellent books about the RV lifestyle, but she has just published her first novel, 13 Days in Africa: A Safari Adventure that looks like it’s going to be a bestseller. You can read the first chapter free on this link to the Escapees website. Miss Kay’s book is available in both e-book and printed formats on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or directly from Outskirts Press.

It’s Wednesday and that means its time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Rift in the Races by my friend John Daulton. It’s the second book in John’s excellent Galactic Mage Series science fiction series. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

RitR Audio Cover - small

And finally be sure to check out The Kiss, An Anthology of Love and Other Close Encounters from 31 of my author friends from around the world. It’s an excellent read, and it’s free on Amazon, Nook and iTunes.

Thought For The Day – Don’t let small minds convince you that your dreams are too big.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Nick Russell

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

  9 Responses to “Mobile Garages”

  1. Walking sticks. Geocaching supplies. Hats. Clean shirts for going into a restaurant after caching in the woods! Jumper cables. Umbrellas. The list is pretty much the same, whether we’re driving the car or the RV.

  2. Nick, would you please list some of the Fcebook RV pages? Thank you!

  3. Extra clothes and a pair of shoes. Blankets cups water when going somewhere and of coarse stuff for the 3 Cats. But Nick we have a Bus so we don’t need a lot of extra storage, ;>)


  4. In our truck bed is an extra gas can for the generator, extra propane for the grill, a yard stick Bill used for the auxiliary fuel tank before he had the gauge installed. We also carry hiking sticks, hats, camera, snacks, extra water, first aid, emergency warning cones, extra wiper blades, blankets, window cleaner, paper towels, extra pillow, rain gear, remote for the trailer (we’ve never used) flashlights, walkie talkies, a bag of the compressor accessories, jumper cables, a box of audio books, yellow shooting glasses, drip proof coffee thermal containers (Contigo Brand) emergency ID for the seat belt, bungee cords, towing strap, mesh bed cover. Is that enough or do you want to know more?

  5. When we started out, 7 years ago, the bed of the truck was for our motorcycles. It was the main reason we purchased a travel trailer.

    Life happens, I am now disabled, so the covered bed now carries my mobility scooter, our small golf cart, and many items not used at every stop. It is our travel garage and storage area.

    I am happy with our purchase as the bed of our truck has the flexibility to carry and store lots of different things in a dry environment.

  6. We tow a small pickup, Toyota Camery and it’s become our rolling shed. It would take far more than this space to list everything!

  7. Nick.. We couldn’t agree with you more regarding the Yusts and Lawrences. We’ve done business with both couples during our six years in the road and they both provide superior customer service. Keep waving the banner for the “good guys”.

  8. We bought a 2005 gray market smart specifically to carry it on our Volvo. I designed our deck and we first loaded the smart car in April of 2006 – as far as I know we were the first to carry a smart car on a class 8 truck. Ours was the 52nd on sold in the states.

    We carry a 2011 Smart now.

    Picture of the 2005 here:

  9. In our Ford Explorer we carry almost everything mentioned above. In addition, we always have a map that the campground gives you when you check in with our site marked on it. This is in case we are in an accident and are disabled so someone knows how to find the camper and take care of our two cats.

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