Our journey into the world of RVing started where most modern journey’s start…the internet. But as helpful as the internet is for doing research, there’s often so much information and so many opinions, it becomes really difficult to sort it all out. What starts out as analysis quickly becomes paralysis.
There are a million things (that may be a slight exaggeration) to think about when buying a motorhome. That may be a slight exaggeration, albeit very slight. Who is the best manufacturer, what’s the best model, what features and options should we consider, gas or diesel, 2 or 3 axles, carpet or tile?
You need a village to buy a motorhome and we found our village on iRV2.com, a forum dedicated to the RV community. iRV2 has a wide range of forums each dedicated to specific and unique interests. So when we decided we wanted a Newmar, I jumped on the Newmar Owners forum.
That’s where I met Rich Roberts.
Rich responded to my very first post. I had approached the Newmar Owners forum to get advice about ordering a new Dutch Star. Rich had done the same thing about year before and was more than willing to share his experience with me, just as others had done for him. He was paying it forward and I was the beneficiary.
Over the next few months, Rich shared his experiences, both good and not so good, which really helped me make better decisions than if I had gone it alone. With Rich’s help, I was able to ask questions I wouldn’t have known to ask and ultimately made better buying decisions. Rich became an valued member of our village so far as to invite us to park our coach in his driveway on our way through Michigan.
It’s been about 5 months since that first post when I “met” Rich. We’ve just taken delivery of our new coach at the factory in Nappanee, Indiana and are spending our first few nights in an RV park in Elkhart, Indiana. Sadly, we had to cancel our plans to visit Rich and Susan at their home in Michigan as we have to head south to Texas for business, before we can head north again.
Before we take on the 3 day drive to Texas, we’re staying in Elkhart, Indiana, only 30 miles from the factory. The 5 day delivery process was exhausting and we needed to rest. We also needed to organize our stuff (toothbrushes to toolboxes) and figure out how things work.
Leaving the factory with our new motorhome was just a little scary. This was the first time without our factory technician at our side, answering questions and solving problems. It suddenly felt as if it was all on us, we were left to figure this out all on our own.
Or were we?
Even though we couldn’t make good on our promise to meet Rich and Susan face-to-face at their home in Michigan, they made good on theirs and drove 2 1/2 hours to greet us at our first stop in Elkhart, Indiana. It was like we had known each other for years. We spent 2 days hanging out, getting to know each other, sharing meals and us asking them a million questions about how they have configured and customized their coach. It doesn’t hurt that Rich is a master builder, he has figured out some great upgrades!
It takes a village to raise a child and a village to raise up novice RVers. We’re so grateful for our new friends!
After all the help and advice we’ve received from forum members and friends, especially Rich and Susan, we feel we’ve become part of a new tribe, and we’re loving our new village.
To be part of that village has been and is, our honor and privilege. We calculate our wealth not in money or possessions but in friendships we have. Having met you both has made us that much richer. Be well…Be safe…Be Happy…until we meet again! Rich and Susan