Thank you to everybody who sent messages or emails expressing concern about Terry falling off of her bicycle, which I wrote about in Wednesday’s blog. She is still a little stiff and has some bruises, but otherwise she is fine and looking forward to taking it for a ride as soon as she loosens up just a little bit.
I have written about the Airstream Ranch on Interstate 4 in Dover, Florida in the Gypsy Journal, and in a blog post last year. RV dealer Frank Bates erected the display on land he owned back in 2007 to honor the 75th anniversary of Airstream RVs. But the 10-year-old landmark is being demolished to make room for, ironically, a new Airstream dealership according to news stories on the Tampabay.com website.
From the start, the collection of silver trailers stuck nose first into the ground, reminiscent of the Cadillac Ranch along Interstate 40 in Texas, was controversial. People either loved it or hated it. Hillsborough County ordered the trailers removed, and when Bates did not comply, they fined him $100 a day. He eventually prevailed in court and was allowed to keep the display.
I was among those who liked seeing those vintage silver trailers, and I’m going to miss them. But what can I say? It’s Florida, and here, dollars always prevail. Who needs a unique folk art landmark when we can have yet another few acres of blacktop so somebody can sell something?
Speaking of vintage RVs, I don’t consider myself an RV snob in any way. When you consider that Terry and I fulltimed for over eight years in a 1976 MCI bus conversion that we built ourselves, I think it’s obvious we don’t look down our noses at somebody because they don’t have the biggest and fanciest rig in the RV park. As I always tell people in the seminars I present at RV rallies, it doesn’t matter how big it is or how new it is or what you paid for it, the view out the windshield is the same, and we all have to pull up to the dump station.
That being said, I’m always hearing from people who have no clue just what is involved in the RV lifestyle. Yesterday was a typical example. Somebody sent me a couple of photographs of an ancient (early 1970s) motorhome that they just purchased for $500 and plan to go fulltime in with two kids. It looks like it’s been sitting for years, and he told me that all the tires were flat and the roof had several leaks, so he is going to pull out the carpeting and replace it with vinyl flooring. He told me that he figures it will take him about $1000 to get the motorhome on the road. I tried to tell him that a rig like that is nothing but a money pit and his response was that they don’t have any money and it was all they could afford.
If that’s all they can afford, they can’t afford to be weekend warriors, let alone fulltime RVers. I’m sorry, but that’s the sad truth. He can’t even put used tires on it for $1000, let alone all the other things it will need just to be roadworthy and safe. His reply was that it was easy for rich people like me to put other people down who were just doing the best they could do. Okay then, good luck to you, and safe travels.
So far over 100 blog readers have already entered our latest Free Drawing, and I’m not surprised. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of John and Kathy Huggins newly updated and expanded So, You Want to be an RVer?: Celebrating the RV Lifestyle. This is the guide to RVing that every wannabe, newbie, and veteran RVer should have on their bookshelf. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page 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.
Thought For The Day – Some things are better left unsaid, but occasionally I can’t resist and say them anyway.