By Jack Kean
Editor: Jack asked that we feature a younger picture of him this month.
With heavy heart and no small amount of trepidation, I must share with you a
new medical condition from which I unfortunately suffer. While some had
previously noted symptoms, the condition did not fully manifest itself until
last week. Once you read my account of this truly regrettable situation, you
will immediately recognize that I am definitely suffering from the malady.
There I was, stopped at a red light when a gorgeous blonde crossed the
street right in front of me. Of course, I was watching this lovely young lady,
when out of the corner of my eye I spotted an RV. What a dilemma. Do I continue
enjoying the lovely young woman or check out the RV? I wound up eyeing the RV
and that was the final proof-I'm suffering from a major case of RVO. In case you
are wondering, RVO is more technically known as "Recreational Vehicle
Without a doubt, you need to know if you or a loved one has
succumbed to this dreaded new disease. Read on for indicators while trying not
to think about Jeff Foxworthy.
If you have more than a nodding acquaintance
with Wal-Mart greeters in three states, you might have RVO.
If you've ever
walked to the backyard and spent the night in your motor home, you might have
If you've ever seriously considered cashing in your 401K to buy a motor
home, you might have RVO.
If the last time you saw your grandkids was at a
Flying J in Midland, Texas, you might have RVO.
If your wife believes she
lives in a motor home because you are in the witness protection program, you
might have RVO.
If it takes more than 20 seconds to answer the question:
"Where do you live?" you might have RVO.
If you pass on the Victoria's
Secret special to check the water level in your coach batteries, you might have
If your idea of winterizing is driving south, you might have RVO.
you forgot your wife's birthday, but celebrated your RV salesman's 40th with a
candy-gram, you might have RVO.
Now you know. So what does a dedicated RV
owner (and RVO sufferer) do when circumstances require a short respite from the
road? Go to an RV show, of course. When I left the Southeastern RV show in
Atlanta, it was without a new RV, but I was carrying a bag full of brochures
advertising everything from motor homes to a device that makes soda in your RV.
Pepsi and Coke better watch out because I may start my own company and sell
Kean's Country Soda.
I go to RV shows for two reasons: to see what I can't
afford and to get anything that's free. The results were lots and not much,
respectively, with the exception of a crisp new copy of RV Freewheelin'. One
company displayed inflatable hot tubs, but my RV couldn't carry an extra coffee
mug. Nevertheless, I enthusiastically recommend that RV owners and hopefuls
check out every RV show possible. It is great fun to see what's new and dream of
Kean's Travel Notes
Thanks to Jack C. for his heads up about overnight
parking in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tenn. He advised in a recent e-mail
that a city ordinance prevents parking in any place that is not an RV Park. I
urge RV owners to think carefully about where you spend your money. It is true
that many RV Parks are owned by individuals, and they deserve our patronage.
Most nights are not Wal-mart nights, but there are times when we have driven
long and need nothing more than a few square feet of space to rest.
Kean's Stupid Camper Tip:
Your RV is tall. Doesn't seem like much of
a tip, does it? Well let me tell you, I asked for your stupid camper
experiences, and you sent them. While I'm using the true story of a neighbor,
let me offer thanks to several who told of similar events.
It seems my
neighbor purchased a brand new class C RV, a bit on the small side. By way of
celebration, he invited half a dozen neighbors to pile in for the short
excursion to a local restaurant. He was proudly explaining all the great
features of his brand new RV as he pulled into the restaurantliterally.
see, my neighbor wanted to do the gentlemanly thing and drop off his guests at
the front door. Unfortunately, driving to the front door meant driving under a
brick portico (otherwise known as an overhang), and you guessed it-the brick
portico ripped his AC right off the roof.
Kean's Restaurant Recommendations:
If you are on Tybee Island, Ga., then
stopping at the Crab Shack is mandatory. They have a great deal of outdoor
seating and enough excellent steamed seafood to appease the heartiest of
appetites without breaking your wallet. If per chance you stop at nearby Hilton
Head, I suggest a meal at The Crazy Crab. Not quite as much food for the bucks,
but quality nevertheless.
If only I could figure out why so many places have
crab in their name.
Outdoor Resorts of America, Motorcoach Resort on Hilton Head Island is one of
the classiest RV Parks I've had the pleasure of visiting. The sites are concrete
and level with lush foliage and tall trees in abundance. The swimming pool and
hot tub are great, and the showers couldn't have been nicer or cleaner. It is a
great place to ride bicycles or just walk around and gawk at the luxurious RVs.
We had the smallest RV by far, and there were several hundred in residence.
(Note picture taken in park.)
Kean's Free Stuff
Now for the free stuff! Any RV Freewheelin' reader who
would like an electronic copy of my latest novel, What If The Winner Dies, may
simply request one via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The biggest advantage of an
electronic novel is that it is stored on the laptop you likely have in your RV
and takes no extra space, but is still ready for enjoyment on lazy afternoons. A
very brief synopsis follows:
"Harry Southward was the luckiest lawyer alive,
until all hell broke loose. Florida provided more than sunshine and sand when
Harry's wife, Glenda, dashed into their vacation condominium waving lottery
tickets over her head, laughing and shouting they had won forty million dollars.
What would any lawyer with forty million dollars do? Quit."
See you on the road.
Jack Kean is a columnist and the author of
Being From The South Doesn't Make Me Stupid, Deadly Sacrifice and now his new
book, What If The Winner Dies. You can read an excerpt from his new book and
several of his humorous articles on his website, www.jackkean.com.
Jack Kean 2004.