I do worry about it. The overall reliability of our coach. I follow a number of forums online and every day I am reading about issues that people experience with their Newmar Class A motorcoaches. Silently, I hope that we don’t run into many of those issues. Issues that sideline travel plans, or, far worse, engulf a coach in flames.
So much for the lure of the road.
Bill and Jennie Mangan say their dream of spending the first 10 years of joint retirement traveling the country inside their luxury RV quickly faded beneath a cloud of diesel fumes pouring into their bedroom at night as leaking hydraulic fluid seeped into a basement drawer.
Then there was the sewage, which they say pooled daily in their bedroom and geysered from their shower drain like an off-color Old Faithful each time they flushed the toilet. The combination, the couple says, left their new Thor Tuscany 44MT smelling like a $270,000, rolling outhouse.
They have sued Thor Industries for a full refund on the coach plus $100,000 in damages for 160 separate defects.
They spent almost all of their time with the coach dealing with defects.
I hope our coach will fare better.
I am on numerous RV mailing lists and from all over the world. One of them, Caravan Guard, an insurance company in the UK, passed me some information on Swift caravans.
The Swift Kon-Tiki, pictured above, is a motorhome manufactured for the European market. The design of this motorhome, quite compact relative to the 40+ foot motorcoaches in North America, blends luxury with intelligent use of space. Interesting to see the differences in design.
Here is one of the floorplans for this model:
The coach is 28-feet in length and a bit over 7 and a half feet wide. There are no slideouts. They have managed to create a comfortable design, especially suited to a couple, which provides all of the essential elements of a motorhome.
The main living area:
Great use of colour and window layouts. And the main living area seems open especially given the tight constraint of space.
And the washroom:
Swift is the largest manufacturer of RVs in the UK and it has been in business for 50 years. Really love the European design touches.
Richard has announced his plans to retire in the third quarter of this year. Richard joined our company as Senior Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer in 2008.
Over the past decade he has ably led our Information Technology division, tackling the myriad of issues that come with the rapid evolution of technological change and digital innovation and ensuring the organization’s IT and project management capabilities are keeping pace with the change.
We will miss his deep knowledge and his ability to share complicated ideas and concepts in a clear, simple and engaging way.
We are focused on a transition plan in light of Richard’s well-deserved retirement and will share news with you as decisions are made. In the meantime, I am fully confident that the strong IT leadership group Richard has built will continue to enable their teams to meet the needs of our business.
Please join me in thanking Richard for his many contributions and in wishing Richard and Lorraine all the best for a long, happy and healthy retirement together.
Details on a retirement reception will be shared within the next few weeks.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Photos taken by the Charlton Police Department.
I suspect the motorcoach was being serviced at O’Malley’s Truck and Auto Body, a business located somewhere in Massachusetts. The coach was parked in front of O’Malley’s when a car, exiting the parking lot of O’Malley’s, rammed right into the motorcoach with enough momentum to cause a fire.
Here is another angle of the incident:
How on earth a driver could ram into a stationary motorcoach in a parking lot with enough force to cause a fire is beyond me.
The driver was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No report on the owners of the motorcoach. I suspect they were somewhere else when this happened.
Filed under #safetoparkhere?
This photo, from the Armadillo Trailer Manufacturing website, highlights the trend of very small, very lightweight, and affordable trailers for the RV market.
Based out of British Columbia, Canada, Armadillo has been in the RV repair and manufacturing business for over 45 years.
They clearly have a passion for the classic trailers of yesterday: Airstream, Boler, L’il Bigfoot to name a few.
It looks very similar to the Armadillo.
This video provides a walkthrough of the Armadillo, which, from the manufacturer’s perspective is similar to the Boler but better, new and improved.
Fair taxation? That is a loaded question for Canadians. With a top marginal rate in Ontario of 53.5 percent, I might argue that Canadians generally experience excessive taxation.
The issue of fair taxation is of concern to the RV industry in this country. Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association of Canada (RVDA) host an annual awareness day with the federal government in Ottawa. This year, it was held on Thursday, April 26th.
The RVDA issued a news release captioned with this headline: Without action, campgrounds face 300% increase in taxes.
The industry has quite an impact on the Canadian economy estimated at $14.5 billion annually and growing. Canada has over 4,200 campgrounds.
But the continued growth success of the RV and camping industry is not assured. The promotion of the RV sector and proper infrastructure in our existing parks are crucial to the growth of the RVing and camping industries, as well as a prosperous Canadian tourism sector. The RVing industry contributes billions to the national economy, but campgrounds across Canada require infrastructural improvements in order to accommodate new camping and RV technologies.
That is an understatement. We have found it very difficult to find parks and sites that will accommodate our 40-foot rig. The picture above shows our coach at Milton Heights Campground. One of the better campgrounds in the Greater Toronto Area but a far cry from the best RV parks in the U.S.
I am starting to see signs of Canadian campgrounds making investments specifically to support larger Class A Motorhomes. Like Salish Seaside RV Haven in Victoria, British Columbia:
The park has been completely redesigned to be truly “Big Rig Friendly”. It comprises 36 pads of which all but a very few will accommodate the largest Class A Motorhomes. Most sites are waterfront with spectacular views around Victoria’s harbour.
We won’t see very many parks making these improvements with excessive taxation from the government:
“Our industry needs to be sure that we will be governed by a fair tax regime, including being eligible for the small business tax deduction,” said Robert Trask, Chairman of the CCRVC. “Without clarification from the government, our members face retroactive tax increases of as much as 300%. Having campgrounds pay a higher tax rate than billion-dollar corporations is dumbfounding.”
You can read the full release here.
I’m always finding new RV blogs — new to me at any rate. Mortons on the Move has been around for a while, since April 2015, as that appears to be their very first post.
At a relatively young age, they decided to abandon traditional career paths and housing to adopt the RV lifestyle fulltime.
It took a LOT of really hard work and over a year of preparation for us. While it sounds simplistic and easy to “pack all your bags and hit the road,” there are many complexities and difficulties in this endeavor. Here are just a few of them:
- Friends and Family – the hardest part of doing this is leaving the friends and family that are a normal part of our everyday, stationary lives. However, we plan to stay close no matter how far away we are!
- Animals – We had 2 horses, a cat, and 2 dogs when we first started planning this adventure. While the dogs are coming with us, we had to make arrangements for the rest of the crew.
- Possessions – While none of us want to be thought of as materialistic, you have to let go of a lot of “stuff” that you’ve collected over the years. You can’t take it with you.
- House – all the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put into your house to make it just right…
- Saving up $$ and budgeting – While going on the road lowers our overhead costs overall, it’s a good idea to have a good reserve to fall back on. Also, this isn’t a long vacation, so we’ll be budgeting and watching costs just like we normally would.
- Jobs – giving notice and giving up the security of good-paying corporate jobs for the entrepreneurial life
- Starting a (mobile) business(es)
- New Home on Wheels – truck and fifth wheel acquisition and updates
- The essentials – health insurance, mail, residency, etc
- Logistics – where to stay, how long, where to go, resources available, etc.
…and the list goes on. While it’s no fun to leave the people and things you care about, this experience has done a lot to “de-clutter” our lives and help us focus on the things that matter most to us!
Now that we are two years into this, we survive by working a number of remote jobs, take opportunities as they arise, and continue traveling supported by our network of fans – thank you!
I can relate to the amount of work it takes to get ready for a (mostly) fulltime RV lifestyle. The only difference is that Lorraine and I waited until our sixties to begin this adventure. I’m not sure I would have gone this path so early in life.
They appear to be a very talented couple and I came across their site when doing some research on solar panels. Here are a couple of their videos highlighting a very unique approach to going solar:
“Everyone says you’ve got to get ready financially. No, no. You’ve got to get ready psychologically.” — Lee Iacocca
The countdown to retirement on our RV Castaways website has changed from months to days. I must be getting close to retirement now.
The first phase is called “Vacation Time”. Extended travel, hobbies, time with family are all hallmarks of this phase. Some retirees never get past the first phase. Perhaps those of us who intend to travel mostly full-time in their motorcoaches hold on to this phase for as long as possible.
Moynes calls the second phase the plunge into the abyss of insignificance and considers this phase to be one of the top traumas that a person will face in their lifetime.
The loss of structure, identity, relationships, purpose and a sense of power can lead to starting the third phase of retirement, the trial and error stage.
If you are to accomplish anything with what time remains, it needs to happen soon. The relevant question is how will you contribute. So, you might try a few things. And if it works out, you enter the fourth and final phase of retirement, reinvented with purpose.
Moynes was asked what percentage of retirees get stuck in the first phase of retirement. He claims that he knows only two people who have remained in the first phase and who claim to be happy there. According to a Harvard study that he cites, the unhappiest retirees had not gone on to do anything productive beyond pleasing themselves.
An interesting and perhaps controversial read. It certainly made me think about what happens next in retirement although I am really looking forward to the first phase. I expect Lorraine and I will continue to be productive contributors to our family, friends and community and I will do everything I can to avoid spending much, if any time, in phase two. Plunging into the abyss of insignificance does not sound like much fun!
You can learn more about the four phases at Moynes’ website here: www.thefourphases.com.