A bit of rambling on a Friday night

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On the spur of the moment, Friday evening (Jan. 6, 2017), just before the newsletter was done, I sat down in my tiny office in the bedroom of my Winnebago motorhome and recorded this video. I pretty much just rambled, but maybe it’s of interest to some readers. Let me know by writing me at chuck (at) RVtravel.com or better yet by leaving a comment below.

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Denny Wagamam

Preventive maintenance is THE key to having less on the road repair issues. It takes TIME, ENERGY, A POSITIVE ATTITUDE (And) I a RELIABLE REPAIR FACILITY. to do ALL of the preventive maintenance work and or repairs that you can’t do or don’t want to do yourself. Not just any RV facility but ONE that has the best reputation for quality work. You must be willing and able to pay an hourly rate of anywhere from $90 to 145 an hour (this year). Join an online group that drives what you drive for example BIll D’s Monacoers and learn to anticipate SOME problems before they happen. Just my humble opinion. As some say “it’s not the destination, it’s the travel”.

Sandra A.

My friend’s father recommended that we get hooked up with your newsletter, and I must say… I’m so very grateful for his suggestion!!! My husband and I are getting prepared for our very first RV purchase, and the information you have here has taken us from “Oh my gawd, what are we getting ourselves into!” to, “Oh hey that’s what that is! Ok, that’s not so bad!” So, please know that you’re information is definitely helping this newbie family learn the ropes about RVing while still enjoying our wanderlust call! (Without breaking into full blown tears of misery cuz we didn’t know how to properly manage our tanks…)
Thank you for the video (hope they become regulars) and thank you for fighting for better quality in RVs! My whole family is riding on them, they better make them good dangit! (I’m sure y’all feel the same way too.)

Thanks again Chuck, and see you around!

Ann Andrews

Chuck, loved the rambles. I really feel like you are a friend from whom I have learned so much. Enjoy your travels.

Pamela

Hi, Chuck. I really enjoyed your “ramble”. Just a thought on RV quality – what if consumers made buying an RV like buying a home? When the RV came to the dealership, before signing the contract and paying for the RV – what if the consumer had an inspection done and a “punch list” that had to be taken care of before the final purchase went through? A buyer could then have another inspection done before signing and if items weren’t fixed right the first time, another “punch list” would be generated that had items to be done before the purchase actually took place. Do you think that would encourage manufacturers to get it right the first time and place more emphasis on quality control?

Vito Mazzaro

I like that you ramble especially about the RV quality . Keep up the fight. I just love the news letter and I contribute to it. I look forward to it each Saturday. You are a Man above Men in the RV field thanks for all you do.

Cliff Aichinger

Thanks for the impromptu video. I often think some ramblings are more enjoyable and honest. I’ve been reading the newsletter for years now and really support your efforts to pressure the industry manufacturers to improve quality. One thing I’ve never seen mentioned in response to these frequent maintenance concerns is, in my opinion, that no one should own a trailer or RV if they aren’t a handyman. We bought a new trailer about 4 years ago and have had to make a number of major and minor repairs. If I was going to return it to the RV Dealer each time I found an issue I probably would never use it. Some of these repairs are minor, but I know some owners are returning for repair of even minor problems. A handyman can also make improvements in the unit as you figure out a better design. We have modified cabinets, fixtures and lighting as well as adding a second battery and solar. I agree that many of these repairs would not have been necessary if the initial quality control during construction were improved. One thought I had was to make the manufacturers provide a longer warranty period. A one year warranty on a 20 to 80 thousand dollar trailer is pathetic, but they get away with it. A longer warranty would force them to take better care during construction, look more at quality control during manufacturing and provide more testing and inspection before product delivery.

Thanks. Keep up the good work.

Linda Greasamar

Thanks Chuck. Enjoyed your “rambling”. Especially the part about being “weirded out” by not having a home. I sold my house and am going full-time soon. I know that this is what I want to do, but sometimes I wake up and say to myself “what have I done?” HA! Fortunately the answer is always the same-it is what I want to do right now. I am scared and happy at the same time! If that makes sense. I am a newbie and have learned from reading your articles. I still have a lot to learn but that is part of the experience. A personal thank you for the knowledge that you give.

Goldie

Hi Chuck,
I enjoyed your ramblings…especially about the adjustment to full timing. We were’nt quite as brave as you. We put everything in storage and tried it for a year. I’m glad we put a toe in the water before going full time – I’m not a good full timer. I needed my space and my “stuff” – I just couldn’t make the adjustment. Please keep us posted on how you fair. I suspect you will be fine – you spent so much time in your RV’s over the years. Good luck!

John Koenig

Chuck, you mention that three companies control virtually all of the RV manufacturing. I knew that Forest River and Thor Industries had about 87% of the market. Who is the third “big player”? If I had to guess, I’d think it was Winnebago; is that right? Thanks!

Jim

Good stuff Chuck – I think adding the occasional video would be a great addition to the newsletter, which I have been a longtime fan of.
Your right about the rain (I live in Hollister 🙂 ) and I’m sure being from the Pacific NW, you are having a laugh – but, it’s big news around here given our “normal” annual rainfall.

Keep up the great work!

John C

Chuck,
Continue to do videos on what ever is on your mind. I enjoyed watching. We, my wife and I are new to RVing and your information has been helpful during our new adventure. Keep on rolling.

Garth and Kathie Attaway

Chuck,
Love the video! Especially with the rambling…We see you, we hear you, it’s not scripted…feels like having coffee with you. Don’t stop doing what you do. And teach people to be savvy consumers – the builders will respond to demand.
Garth and Kathie

Bill L

Chuck
Enjoy your new letters as we are new to the RV world. Appreciate the wealth of information it provides and enjoyed the ramble as well.

Please continue to inform us readers of the industry issues. This needs to be addressed and consumers should better educate themselves. That will not happen until more people speak up.

EARL MARTIN

GREAT good to see and hear from you . Good luck

Paul Bloom

I Enjoy your column, it is the most looked for thing in my Saturday morning routine. Hope to be doing the same someday. by the way it was Jimmy Stewart and not Cary Grant in Vertigo.(love both of their old movies). You have a good year.

Sharon Mathie

Chuck,

My husband and I will become new and first time owners of a tiny travel trailer (T@B clamshell model) this spring in preparation for early retirement in late summer. I have been following you for about a year or so and RV Travel newsletter is a Saturday morning ritual. Although your information is generally for the larger motorhomes, we find a lot of useful information that will apply to our T@B. BTW, the manufacturers of the T@B are first rate and they have crazy good customer service – they have bragging rights and I am happy to give them a plug here on RV Travel.

One thing that I would like to see addressed is your long term plans beyond life in an RV. I read about an interesting concept that the Escapees organization offered when you can no longer travel.

I enjoyed your video ramble! You are a rock star in the RV world!

Lyn Leach

Do more, do lots more of these “fireside” chats! I felt like we were having a one-on-one conversation across my tiny dining table. Your sense of humor really shines through, too. So, yeah, we need more of these, please.

Mark

I enjoyed your video and I learn a lot, since I recently bought a 2017 Flag Staff 25KS. We are very happy with the trailer, no troubles with it yet. Looking forward to Spring!!!!

Doug Bowers

Hi Chuck. Been reading your news letter for about 4 years now and always enjoy it.. My wife and I met you at the Hershey R.V. show in 2016.. Enjoyed your rambling on the video. Keep on writing.. Thanks. Doug and Mary Bowers. Lititz Pa

John & Jan Battistoni

Chuck, thanks for your ‘rambling’. I feel like I know you as I have learned ‘tons’ of valuable lessons from the newsletter and videos! My wife, Jan and I are new RV’ers, preparing for retirement (in about 94 weeks, but who is counting). Just to touch on your conversatoin relating to RV quality control, we are living that issue now, so we are definitely interested in that. We purchased a new Winnebago Cambria 30J (class C) in June of 2016. The response from Winnebago has been thoroughly underwhelming, and still not resolved.
Anyway, I will spare you the whining about our concerns, but we are planning to get some sort of response related to our concerns. We appreciate your sharing of knowledge and wisdom and I hope that I can share some information with you soon.

Thank you again for your efforts and keep up the great work. It is greatly appreciated.