Destination: Anna Maria Island, Florida
A family man with a chronic case of wanderlust, Adam Porter cruises America’s highways and…
Sooner or later we all get that call. You know the one. Some friendly electronic voice promising the matchless wonder of three exquisite days and two glorious nights in the splendor of ‘one of our finest resorts.’ Then comes the best part. This all-inclusive trip of a lifetime can be yours, free of charge, if you would consent to one small “meeting” with an unfailingly hospitable resort representative. “Sure, we’ve gotten those calls a time or two,” remarks full-time RVer, Jim Setchull. Then, with a knowing smile, he admits to taking one or two companies up on their offer. “We listen to the pitch and then just tell them we already own the perfect condo.”
“And it can take us wherever we want to go,” adds Jim’s wife, Lynn. This globetrotting couple is far from the only folks who have chosen the freedom of the RV lifestyle over the endless fees, regimented “fun” and, at times, totalitarian constraint of the condo club.
“Condos are cold,” opines the Setchulls’ friend and frequent motor coach cohort, BJ Fuller. “I don’t feel comfortable at all in that atmosphere.” She and her husband, Jack, are veteran campers who took the step up to the RV lifestyle a few years ago. “In an RV you have your own bedroom, your own bathroom and kitchen,” says BJ. “Yours. That makes a big difference.”
“Our Holiday Rambler offers us all the comforts of home,” agrees Jack. “We like our creature comforts, so we had our coach customized.” Familiarity, personal comfort and adaptability are common motivations for these folks – and many others who chose the RV lifestyle because they wanted to be able to create their own environment, set their own agenda and move at their own pace.
The exciting opportunities and diversions offered by the open road are another. “When you have a condo, that IS your destination—for better or worse” says Jim. “With a motor coach, if you see someplace you like, you can just pull over and stay a while. When you have a timeshare, you’re on the clock. That option doesn’t exist. Think of how much you miss along the way.”
Or what might be missing when you arrive.
In an RV, you never open your suitcase and realize that what you thought you packed is still laying in the middle of the bed, totally out of reach, a thousand miles away. Your camera is over on the breakfast table and your cell phone is next to the bed, because—unlike a condo, which you may be sharing with fifty other families—your coach is your home.
“You can travel with friends or meet them at a particular destination” says Jim. “Pop back and forth between coaches and still have someplace to stay when you want some privacy.”
“If you get tired of each other in a condo—and it can happen, believe me—you have to stick it out,” says Lynn. “If you have your own coach, you can hibernate until you feel like a human being again.”
But what about all the exotic locations a timeshare membership offers?
“It’s a room with a view, sure” remarks Lynn. “One room. One view. That’s too confining for me.”
The Fullers agree. “Condo life is boring!” says BJ. “In our RV we’ve seen places and things half the world will never get a chance to see.”
“It’s the best way to see the country, no doubt,” adds Jack. “We traveled cross country to California with our kids. No better way to get close as a family.”
Lynn Setchull would agree. “We’ve been to nearly every state. Traveling by motor coach you can have vacation time and a home life all at once.”
“That’s the biggest difference between condos and motor coaches to me” declares Jim. “Condos are only a place to go, RVing is a way of life. Go where you want, when you want. You are in control of your destiny and your destination.”
And, no matter where that journey takes you—you’re always right at home.