Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The Facts! - How the trip went.

Got several inquiries about how our Illinois trip went in June.

We are currently on a bit of a hiatus as we deal with the Duchess' retirement at the end of April and a continuing saga of forms, paperwork, calls, etc. This all leads to my retirement at the end of August to a contract-work position with my employer. At any rate it all takes much more time than you'd anticipate.

Now, for the trip review. We were overall pleased with the trip. I'll classify my comments in groups.....


The fact that the "RoadHouse" got 9.1 mpg overall on the trip surprised us a lot. Had anticipated about 8 mpg. 1.1 mpg may not sound like much, but translated into the total cost it becomes a considerable amount on a 3,000 mile trip. (Our unit, for those not familiar, is a 33ft Class A Damon Challenger w/7.4 liter V-8 gas engine).

The Roadhouse itself. I love the feel of the big coach on the highway. The view is grand, and the few nervous moments in close traffic are quite limited. Duchess had her first drive also. It took a few miles to get the "sight down the road" concept working, but soon she was doing quite well. I do the majority of the driving... something we both like. I have always done so in our previous trip car (The TownHouse, our Town Car).

RVers. Overall they are friendly and wonderful folks. We even traded bottles of wine at a campground on the trip home.


Most campgrounds will go out of their way to help and accommodate....Things we heard on our trip included: "Just fill out the form on our door and leave us the cash in an envelope..." "We'll lead you there because in the rain it is harder to find the site" attribute we found nice.

While I usually do not do too much of a commercial nature, I find we are planning fuel stops at Flying J! They have in almost every case the best price, and in all of our stops on the road they had RV lanes specially built to accommodate our rig and toad. Unfortunately for us, their Tampa location, our home, does not have the RV lane and it is a bit more difficult.

Poor to Bad:

Service on the road. Tried three places as I approached Rockford, IL, to find someone to fix a windshield wiper. One sent me to another who was too busy and a third just said show up and we'll see if we can fit you in. I fixed it myself!

Generally: An excellent 1st trip and a good learning experience. Learned not to wait too long in warm weather to put the air on. Once you have heated the coach, the air works fine, but takes a long while to cool the cockpit which is all glass.

The mindset of driving becomes 2nd nature. You think BIG, and anticipate turns, parking and such way more than in a car.

Now we both eagerly await our next trip. In between we will be trying for a weekend or two.


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