I counted eight of them yesterday, four Class A motorhomes, 2 Fifth Wheels and two Travel Trailers, pushing the snow flurries around in their slipstream as they moved down the interstates near my Michigan home. And that was just what I spotted while I running a few weekend errands. Truth is, there's a steady stream of recreational vehicles out there and they will continue to be on the move for the next couple weeks.
Migrating Snowbirds. RVers fleeing the winter weather of the north for warmer temperatures down south. Most, probably, to Florida and the gulf states, some to the Southwest or Texas hill country.
They're really the second wave of snowbirds. The first departed in late October or early November. This current migration waited till Christmas so they could spend time with kids and grandkids. Happens every year about this time.
Heck, I'll be joining them in a week on our first trip of 2013, heading to cover some RV stories along the Great Snowbird Route that will end us in Tampa, FL on Jan 15 for the start of the huge Florida RV Supershow at the Florida State Fairgrounds. This is one of the nation's biggest, big for the industry and big for consumers. I'll do several video reports from there, as well as things we run across in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.
But I'm making plans for lots more. From February 13-18, I want to try out cold – really cold – camping by heading to the wilds of Michigan's Upper Peninsula to do a video report about the UP200, one of America’s premier 12-dog, mid-distance sled dog races thatdraws mushers from around the United States and Canada because it is a qualifying race for Alaska's famed Iditarod.
Then there are the rallies and special gatherings. I have two must-attends. The first is the anniversary rally in Branson, MO May 20-24 that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the founding of Roadtrek Motorhomes. The second is the Family Motor Coach Association's Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase June 19 to 22, 2013, at CAM-PLEX in Gillette, Wyoming. And, heck, while I'm out there that far west, might as well swing around and visit Yellowstone National park, the Tetons and maybe a couple of other national parks.
I want to find time to get to New England, too. That was on my 2012 bucket list but, well, you know, so many places, so little time. It's a must visit this year.
I devoted my January Open Mike column in Family Motor Coaching magazine writing about my top 10 RV resolutions for the year. They include things like the trips above, eating right and exercising on the road, seeing more of Canada and volunteering more.
In regards to the later, I have already joined the Emergency Communications team my community's local Homeland Security Department by installing an amateur radio station (I'm K8ZRH) in my Roadtrek e-Trek to assist in local emergencies and disasters. The e-Trek is perfect for such a role because it can totally power itself with a bank of eight AGM batteries, a rooftop solar array capable of putting out 240 watts, a 5000 watt inverter for 110 appliances and a diesel system that works as a generator to very quickly charge the system, it means that we can run everything we need – all the radio gear, plus heat, air conditioning, TV, DVD, the water pump, even the mircowave – for up to nine hours without having to start the engine to charge those batteries. That’s running everything, all at once.
I also hope to meet many of my readers over the next year. Between this blog, our very active Facebook Page and the Roadtreking RV Newsletter, I have come to know many of you as friends and I hope that we can share a campfire this new year. Jennifer and I had no idea how this new RV lifestyle would influence our life. I'm a journalist at heart, I love telling stories and our RV takes us to people and places we never would encounter otherwise. But this blog and my other RV writing and video reporting have taken off so fast that we're still a little breathless, happy and feeling very blessed.
I can't wait to see what 2013 brings.
To all of you… Happy New Year! See you out there.