It’s a funny thing to meet people who you have only gotten to know on the internet and something neither Lee or I have ever done before. I will say it has been an awesome experience, but you have to leave what you think you know about a person from what they right and get to really know them as n the flesh people. Some folks are exactly the same as you pictured them and others are different…not bad just different. We spent last night and today meeting so many people who I have been talking to in the forums and it has been really wonderful. Usually in every couple there is a one person who posts and another who gets told to read certain posts lol. In our little group it’s been mostly women doing the posting but the guys that do post are extremely knowledgeable and active. One of my favorites is Red and he and his wife got to come when they took the spot of a last-minute cancellation. Red and Pam have been camping for years, but just started full-timing when they both retired. Lee and I just immediately felt so comfortable with both of them. They are very kind and helpful but are careful to say they don’t know everything….I think they do but appreciate the humbleness 🙂 One quick story to tell you what kind of people they are…we had told ourselves the very first thing we would buy was a surge protector…because we had heard horror stories about folks who didn’t have one and lost their entire electrical systems in a storm. Did we buy a surge protector first…nope..why because they are very expensive and there were more fun things to buy. So we get to the campground and the mother of all storms is coming in…tornado warning, flood warning, and heavy thunderstorms. It’s 7pm when we realized we had a serious problem and decided we would have to unplug everything all night…not the greatest prospect. Red leaned over to Lee and quietly whispered “I have an extra one you can borrow.” He didn’t make a big deal about it…as a matter of fact he went out of his way to say it quietly and then took Lee and gave him a rundown of what he recommended us buying and why. Long story short the next morning we drove to camping world and bought exactly what Red told us to buy…and yes it was extremely expensive (around $800 with the Good Sam discount) but replacing the electrical system can run $2500. You have those moments in life when God/universe puts the right person in front of you at just the right time…and I really believe this was one of those moments. Ok so this is what Lee bought…one is a surge protector and the other is a voltage regulator. The surge protector stops the electrical system from getting fried and the voltage regulator “boosts” the power you are getting from campsites with low voltage. It’s really cool how it does it. It takes in juice and holds it and then adds to it so you always have the correct amount of power. Power drops can hurt your TV and computer and this stops that from happening. Think tape delay when watching a live television event 🙂
We also met several other couples who are our age and who just bought new 5th wheels or Class A’s. I had been communicating with many of the wives online because we all were asking similar questions and going through the same things at the same time. We totally bonded over the RV-Dream forum topics and meeting in person solidified that. Some of my favorites so far are Kelly and Bill (screen name Jersey Girl),Jo and Ben (Jo and Ben) Cori and Greg (bylandandsea), Linda and Scott (Liberty Linda), Jo and Craig (Mary Sunshine), and Debbie and Steve (Debbie M). In addition to folks I “knew” we have met several other been doing this a long time… couples such as Greg and Sue and Neil and Connie. Plus when you meet people you get to see the insides of their rigs which is awesome for great ideas on how to maximize storage space. Pam had put tension rods up high in her shower to hang towels on and we LOVED that idea and have already copied it in ours. thanks Pam!!!
After spending the day meeting people on our own we finally registered for the actual educational rally. The introduction was fantastic and Linda had everyone organized and having fun in no time. Howard and Linda (RV-Dreams) have been traveling the country for the last 9 years and they host and teach at these rally’s. Linda had everyone stand up in different categories…do you own a Class A, Do you own a Fifth Wheel, who came the farthest etc…which not only got everyone involved but allowed people in the group to see who they might want to talk to. Many people haven’t bought an RV yet and are staying in a cabin or nearby hotel and Linda made a point to ask those of us who had RV’s to invite folks back during lunch to see our rigs. She did a VERY good job getting people loosened up and then we all played a game where one representative at every table was a jockey in the Kentucky derby. I have run a couple large training seminars and the logistics are crazy…Linda was awesome at corralling 150 head strong people in a fun way with a very personal touch.
We headed back to our site around 9 thinking it was time for a good nights sleep and then Bill and Kelly came by walking their dog and we all sat and talked until 11pm 🙂 We are usually in bed really early so for us that was a late night and we had such a wonderful conversation it was hard to go to bed. Can’t wait for tomorrow when the classes start…yes I know I am a geek but can’t wait to post more lessons learned 🙂
- No seriously buy the surge protector first
- Invest in a voltage regulator
- Go to a Rally you meet the nicest people
- Meeting people from the internet can be really cool (yes I know we are late to this party but better late than never!!)
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