Tampa RV Show Road Trip

I gotta tell ya…for not doing much it’s been a pretty busy week. We had a nice pot luck on Friday night and lazed around for the weekend. Monday Connie was hard at work getting her students scheduled and that continued over into Tuesday. After Bingo and hot dogs Tuesday night we were up at the crack of dawn on Wednesday for a trip up to the Tampa RV Show about 2 hours north of here. We picked up Connie’s friend Jeff at 0800 and after some serious traffic the last couple of miles getting into the Florida State Fairgrounds got parked and met up with our friends Bill and Linda who we’re going to Alaska with in the summer. First order of business was lunch then we started wandering around the show checking things out. We toured a couple of medium size class A RVs (class A is the bus type) and decided that if we were to get one of those we would get one with a mid entry door instead of having it up at the front…that way the living room is separate from the kitchen a bit and the driving area isn’t  part of the normal in/out of the rig. After that we stopped and looked at a class C (that’s the one built on a truck frame with an almost separate driving compartment and a separate entry door besides the normal truck doors. This one was about 35 feet long with a full length slide on the drivers side and designed to sleep 8 with both a full and a half bath. Bill and Neil quickly figured out that if one were to redesign the interior a bit…remove the half bath, shift it to only sleep 2 and replace the bench seat/couches with a couple of recliners it would actually be a pretty decent RV for part time full timing. Like Neil and Connie…Bill and Linda are also thinking about their next RV…it’s not gonna be any time soon of course for either of us but eventually we’ll decide to have a home base somewhere warm and travel for a couple of months at a time a couple times a year…returning to our home base when it’s time to rest and recharge. Sort of like what we do now with our winter stays here in Fort Myers but with something more fixed to live in while we do it. Probably won’t be a house but a condo or townhouse with no yard work/snow shoveling/leaf raking and a nice view of the ocean will do us nicely.

About the time we got out of there we started running into even more friends. Our friends Ed and Lynn (formerly of New Jersey) who also have a New Horizons, Bill and Diane from the RV-Dreams forum, and also Ann and Roy who are also New Horizons owners and will be running the next NHOG rally in spring of 2016 somewhere in the southeast. We stopped by the New Horizons show model and drifted into various discussions of technical stuff (the guys) and wimmin stuff (the wimmin of course). About 1500 we all met up again to decide what to do. Bill and Linda were staying at a hotel in Tampa but all of the rest of us had 2+ hour drives home so we decided to get an early dinner and then head out. We spent another hour or so wandering through the show looking at gadgets then headed off to Olive Garden for dinner as it was close, easy to get into and out of, and had a big enough table for us. Neil suggested pizza but Ann (who’s a New Yorker through and through) said no pizza…she also said that there wasn’t any good Italian food outside of New York (we don’t agree)…but then she was the one that picked Olive Garden which doesn’t meet the definition of good Italian food either so mebbe her statement just might be a lil’ suspect. Olive Garden isn’t bad…but then it’s not really Italian food either.

Neil did pick out one gadget we are getting…as soon as he orders it…it’s this kingpin noggin protector to keep us from smashing ourselves again.

Kingpin Protector

Anyways…we had some wine, some beers, a whole lot of cheesy food with multiple sauces…along with some great talk and all got out of there about 1745 or so to head our separate ways. With a quick round of “until next time” in the parking lot…you never say goodbye to RVing friends, it’s always just an “until we meet down the road somewhere”. We’ll be seeing all of the group either this summer or next spring (Ann and Roy at the NHOG rally) and there’s always email for keeping in touch. With that we were all off and we got home to the rig about 2030 or so. We were exhausted so after an hour (maybe) of TV it was off to bed and out like a light for both of us.

Thursday morning we were again up early…Connie was working and Neil headed off to the office to see if some of our packages had come in. Well…there were so many he had to borrow a golf cart to get them all back to the site. We got a waterproof storage bin for our generator, a bin for our BBQ grill that Bill picked up for us, a new outside table to replace the one that Bill broke when he sat on it thinking it would support his weight, some light bulbs. a USB drive thing for our server, a 4G/LTE amplifier for our MiFi Internet device, and various other stuff we needed. While he was spending time getting everything unpacked and put away the guys (Dan and Derek) from Stanley Steemer showed up to clean our carpet. It was pretty dirty after almost 3 years of living mostly in the woods and while it doesn’t look new now it certainly looks a lot better. The only drawback is that all of our living room stuff is not on the living room slide any more since it was wet afterwards…which meant it was all stacked in the rest of the rig so we had to pick our way amongst all of that stuff overnight.

After the carpet was done we hit up Walmart for groceries…note to self, don’t go to Walmart on Thursday afternoon as it’s packed…we’ll try early in the morning next time I guess. After that it was bingo in the park for Connie  and TV for Neil until bedtime.

Today I guess it will be more work for Connie…and probably a bike ride for Neil. Then tonight we’re having chicken for dinner followed by a dessert potluck. We’ve never been to one of those…but hey, it’s dessert so how bad can it be.

Jen sent us some more baby pics of course…here are a few for you. The Alabama hat Neil’s sister MJ gave them and she wanted a shot of him with it. All I can say is “Roll Tide, kid.”

IMG 1487  1

IMG 1451

Here’s another couple of funny pics we ran across as well.

Eat Bacon

Drink Rum

Cold wipes

That’s about it…we have some more packages coming in the next few days but other than that don’t have too many plans.


About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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3 Responses to Tampa RV Show Road Trip

  1. Enjoy your blog and enjoying the baby pictures.
    We are spending our first winter FTing in Arizona…and we love it!
    Meeting more RVDreamers too….such fun.

    • Gunther says:

      We’ve also met up with mucho RVDreamers this winter as well…Bill and Linda Napier who we’re going to Alaska next summer, Ed and Lynn Asher-Harrington who we kinda/sorta helped guide through their many questions before they bought a New Horizons very similar to ours, Bill Joyce and Diane Melde from the forum, and Ann and Roy from the NHOG owners group (and probably the forum as well) who are organizing the next NHOG rally next spring. We all got together at the Tampa RV Show this week and shopped/toured/ate dinner and generally had a great time. We’ll see all of those folks we know by next spring at least and who knows where along the way in addition. Glad you’re enjoying Arizona, where are you staying? We will probably/maybe/who knows end up that side of the country one winter and are stockpiling location recommendations.

  2. Mj Trainor says:

    BabySis LOVES the pic of Alex wearing his Bama Hat!!! Gotta start ’em early and repeat often! Love the travel stories and new gadgets; keep the posts coming! ❤ MJ

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