Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Ohio has been a pleasant surprise. I don’t know what we expected of it, I used have a picture in my mind of Cleveland and heavy industry. What we found was totally different.

Our major reason for coming this way was my desire to see the US Air Force Museum in Dayton OH. Billed as the largest air museum in the world, it is full of significant aircraft from light airplanes to the huge B52 bomber. We walked for 7 hours! Then at the end of the day we still hadn’t seen 2 of the galleries, plus in June they are opening a whole new wing to it.

Very rare B18 bomber

Bockscar. The aircraft that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki and ended WW2

Using the “Don’t plan anything, Stay off Interstates” method we wound our way northwards thru Columbus the capitol of Ohio. 

This was such a pleasant stop, we camped at Alum State Park just on the north of the city but fairly close to downtown. A picturesque park, unfortunately only having electric hookups but just repaved in its entirety this month, it’s on a huge lake and while we were there it was very quiet. We wandered down into an area called “German Village”. In the 1800’s a flood of German immigrants came to Columbus and set up in the same area, building German style homes and of course several breweries!

German Village, German style house.

The neighborhood has survived and been subject to a big revival in its fortunes thanks to the efforts of inhabitants starting in the 1960’s. There is a delightful little park dedicated to the man who started the revival. Just one lot in size, it is a special little refuge and beautifully tended. As we walked into the area we met a couple of people who were working on planting new flowers and shrubs. It just so happened that Bruce was the Chairman of the Garden Club who have taken this park and the general area under their wing, volunteering to maintain the park and numerous planters along the sidewalks. What a great example of community activism.

King Gambrius symbol from a now closed brewery

German Village neighborhood park

Bruce chairman of the garden club with Barbara

We have reservations in Jefferson OH East of Cleveland for the Memorial Day weekend (Only planning for holiday weekends!), and halfway between Dayton and Jefferson just happens to be Wooster OH. Using our go to phone app “RV Parky” we saw there was one campground and one Walmart in Wooster. Choosing the campground and letting the GPS take us there introduced us to Meadow Lake Park.

Meadow Lake

So peaceful

Rural surroundings

Meadow Lake isn’t listed in God Sam’s Guide, Passport America or Escapees. They don’t give discounts, they don’t even have any signs directing you to them. Even the entrance to the park has only a small sign to tell you it’s there. But oh what a tranquil and well-kept place. Only water and electric hookups with a dump station but well worth stopping at. The entire campground is shaded by huge trees. There are 2 small lakes, one stocked for catch and release fishing and for swimming. The permanent sites have concrete pads but the rest of the area is entirely grass, such a pleasant change from the usual gravel. To say we like this place is an understatement. This is the 2nd best campground we’ve been to after Bayfield in Colorado.

I think Wooster is populated by aliens. Everything is too perfect, I swear there’s not an uncut lawn in the whole town! The Elks Lodge is one of those warm welcoming places too, and they say we could have overnight-ed in the parking lot if we wanted even though they don’t show it as a possibility on their website.

Typical Wooster area house.

We made reservation months ago for the Memorial Day long weekend. The official start of summer in the US. It’s when the swimming pools open for the season and everyone who has been cooped up all winter heads out to go camping for the first time of the year. Hence our unusually well planned destination.

Memorial Day Parade

Huge bicycle contingent

We’re here for a week. It’s a nice park too with lots of amenities and 3 stocked fishing ponds. I intend to relax. Paint and fish.

There’s a plan that went well! I finished 2 paintings and got 90% done on a third, made some sketches for possible future paintings, then I was contacted by the RV Rally organizers for the Vermont Rally in July and asked if I would do a “Painting Party” for the craft area. Sounds like it might be doable, I’ll have to do some research and planning.

Meantime I broke out my fishing stuff for the first time in ages. I considered selling it all when we left San Diego but in the end kept it. First time out at the bigger of the 3 ponds I caught 3 small mouth bass! I thought the facility was catch and release so I put them back. Next time in the small pond I caught 2 more! Finally while Barbara was doing laundry I went back to the big pond, borrowed one of the row boats and caught 2 BIG big mouth bass! The first one was big and fat, obviously a female full of eggs so I put her back. The second was a bit smaller and having found out this WASN’T a catch and release facility I kept this one which weighed 2 1/2 lbs and measured 21” long.

Just a tiddler I threw back

I kept this one as it fit the grill so well

We managed to squeeze in a couple of visits to the Elks Lodge, a drive along the shore of Lake Erie, a tour of some of the covered bridges nearby and side trips to Ashtabula and Conneaut in our spare time.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Northern Kentucky

So here we are in Singing Hills RV park set to explore the area.

Singing Hills is in Cave City KY. The whole area is riddled with caves, the largest of which is Mammoth Caves in Mammoth Caves NP. This one cave has over 400 miles of known passages. It’s the largest in the world. They are currently working on the pathways in the historic cave entrance so the tours are abbreviated and it’s busy even in the “off” season. We had to make reservations for the following day and even then we couldn’t get the tour we wanted at the time we wanted it.

"Frozen Niagara" in Mammoth Caves

Having visited several other caves such as Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon Caverns and Luray Caverns we were a little disappointed with the “Frozen Niagara” tour we took. The other walking tour was longer but involved 500 steps. Barbara doesn’t do too well with steps so we took the shorter Frozen Niagara tour. We talked with some people at the campground who did the longer tour and they really enjoyed it. Maybe when the historic entrance opens again in 2017 thing will be better.

Fairly close is Bowling Green KY home of the GM Corvette car plant and the National Corvette Museum. Not being car fans the only reason we went to the museum was for lunch. The have a traditional American Diner there, we didn’t think the food lived up to the hype and glitz.

We did visit the railroad museum however and thoroughly enjoyed it. Their Hospital Car set me thinking about a painting and I started sketching some ideas back at the rig.

Pullman Dining Car

Hospital Train

Always wanted to ride out on the little platform at the back

There is a scenic route going north from here that goes thru Hodgenville, Bardstown and Elizabethtown. We planned on continuing to Louisville too but we had so much fun visiting Lincoln’s Birthplace, his boyhood home and the four museums in Bardstown that we missed Louisville entirely and went home for a rest. This is all beautiful country, we could spend months exploring just this one area, but we have to move on as we have plans!!

Didn't you always want to try this?

This fancy monument contains?

The log cabin Abraham Lincoln spent a few years in as a child

This log cabin without a fancy monument was where he was born?

Old village museum in Bardstown KY

There are 4 museums in Bardstown
This one is dedicated to General Hal Moore
The Movie "We were Soldiers once and young" 
starring Mel Gibson was based on his true story.

Elizabethtown was home to Carl Brashear
The movie "Men of Honor" was based on his true story
One of the T-AKE navy ships we built in San Diego was named after him. 
I briefly met his Grand Daughters during the shakedown cruise.

A lovely well preserved city center.

If you have your own plans to visit this area we’d recommend Singing Hills RV Park. It’s nothing fancy but it’s so peaceful. The park is so green, with large well-kept grassy areas, its own lake with license free catch and release fishing, warm welcoming owners. For GS members there’s a 10% discount but for Escapees members it’s 50% off the first 2 nights and 25% every night after that. Our 6 nights came to $136 with full hookups. It’s also only 7 miles from Mammoth Caves.

As we left we had an episode with our GPS. We call her “Nagging Maggie” a term we learned from the Dolinger Family in Maryland.

We wanted back-roads and I programmed Via Points joining the little towns along the route we wanted to take. I have to say that we have a very laid back method of route planning in that we only loosely sketch out the next day’s proposed route just before we go to bed the night before we leave.

This one got even more laid back when we forgot to do even that and I was loading town names into the GPS as I was eating breakfast an hour before we left!!

Anyhow Maggie got us about 2 miles from the campground and to a fork in the road with no highway signs. I went left when she wanted us to go right and in revenge she sent us down 20 plus miles of roads that were about 3 feet wider than the rig! I was expecting some huge farm tractor to come hurtling down the road the other way on one of the many blind curves. Luckily none did.

To get revenge on her we went our own way just to make her have to keep recalculating!

So what has this got to do with anything?

Only that this part of Kentucky is so beautiful. The back roads between Cave City and Maysville on the Ohio River are breathtaking. We definitely need to come back and spend a couple of months exploring this state. We aren’t even in the mountains which everyone says are the best bit.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Old Washington Kentucky

Our route north was designed to keep us off interstates, on scenic highways and in the direction of our next stop in Dayton Ohio.

We like to travel around 200 miles a day.

To keep our average camping costs down we sometimes stay in Walmart parking lots where it’s allowed and with the permission of the manager of the store.

All these lined up for an overnight stop in Maysville KY which is on the Ohio River east of Cincinnati.

After setting up we went looking for somewhere to eat. We’d seen the signs for the “Antique District” and thought there might be somewhere neat there. 

We didn’t find a restaurant but we did find Old Washington KY.

The next morning we took some mail to the Post Office there and explored this fascinating little place.

The Old Washington Post Office

Some interesting facts? The northernmost skirmish of the civil war was here when Morgans Raiders were attacked by Union Cavalry.

Harriet Beecher Stowe witnessed a slave auction here while visiting the village. She later wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” based partially on what she witnessed here.

The first Postal Facility West of the Allegany’s was here.

The first houses built here used the timbers from flat boats that brought the settlers here along the Ohio River. At the time this was the "Wild West" the furthest anyone had explored.

A terrific little find only made possible by throwing away the planned itinerary and playing it by ear!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Reservations were made for Memorial Day and the 12 days our Sally will be there. Enquiries were made for Ontario. We’ve suddenly gone planning crazy!!

Two reservations for Canada in June/July are confirmed. Why Canada and where in Canada??

Barbara has relatives in Ontario not far from Niagara Falls and way back in 1975 we actually lived in St Catherines Ontario. I worked in a shipyard on the Welland Canal, which is part of the St Lawrence Seaway linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

We may have still been living there except for one thing.

What is that one thing?

The Canadian winter! One experience of that was enough to send us scuttling back to Holland for several more years.

We started to explore Nashville TN.

The swamp known as Two Rivers RV Park in Nasheville

It’s kind of weird that we decided to visit Nashville as neither of us particularly likes Country Music. The first part of the week made us question coming here even more, as everything in the city seems to concentrate on parting you from your money. There’s nowhere to park without paying a fortune for it, there is construction everywhere and after 2 hours on a tour bus showing us the sights we decided there weren’t many sights worth seeing!

The Nasheville home of "American Pickers"

Inside were many of the things from the TV show.

As a diversion we searched on line and found that there was a Civil War Battle Field in nearby Franklin and we went there for the afternoon. A gentleman named Bob gave us a very informative tour of the Carter House around which the battle was fought. During the fighting the Carter family’s son Tod came to the homestead with his regiment and tragically was killed in the farmyard.

The Carter farm, look close and you can see some of the 1000 + bullet holes still in the structure

The Confederate cemetery in Franklin TN.

While we were in the area we sampled a few local brews and restaurants, then discovered that the ELKS Lodge for Nashville was also in Franklin and we spend the rest of the day in a trivia quiz there. They also have a Shrimp Boil on Saturday so we signed up for that and got invited to bring the RV over and camp in the parking lot for the weekend!

Nice Lodge

Their own swimming pool

Our Hosts

We are happy Elks and enjoyed our home lodge in San Diego (http://www.elks.org/lodges/home.cfm?LodgeNumber=168) immensely. Since leaving we’ve enjoyed many other lodges and been given a warm welcome everywhere we’ve been. Some lodges were simple a lounge and a lodge room. Others were grand, with golf courses, casinos, campgrounds - all kinds of amenities.

The Franklin Lodge (http://www.elks.org/lodges/home.cfm?LodgeNumber=72) to date has been the absolutely most welcoming ever! And a superb facility with it’s own swimming pool, gym, banquet room, a deck looking down on pastoral landscapes.

I think WOW sums it up best. Thanks to all our fellow ELKS for a great time, we’ll be back!!

Eventually all good things come to an end and we decided to move on to Kentucky.

Keeping with our “No Interstates” plan we took back roads, shown on the map as scenic, thru northern Tennessee to Cumberland Lake State Resort Park in Kentucky. The title seems rather grand and we expected a luxurious park like the COE park we stayed at near Texarkana.

We were unfortunately disappointed.

The layout of the park was poor and maneuvering our 36’ rig around the camp area was tricky. We had to select our own site as there were no rangers at the gate. We chose one of the 2 shown as “Pull Thru” - site #16. When we got there we found that it wasn’t pull thru at all and in fact was way too small for our rig. We backed into the one next to it, which was long enough.

We couldn’t find the power hookup. These are almost always on the left of the site (facing to the front of the RV) because that’s where the connections are (on all the RV’s I’ve ever seen.)

It turns out that the closest one to us was about 40’ away on the small site behind us.
Except it wasn’t a site it was the “Pull thru” for the site we were actually on. The sites in the park had recently had new posts installed with the site numbers on them. Site 15 and site 16 had their posts installed wrong! There was a faded painted number on the asphalt next to the post that was correct however! So the electrical connection 40’ away on the wrong side of the rig was ours! Good job we had a 20’ power cord extension to go with the 30’ cord built into the rig and a 25’ water hose to reach the water connection that was also on the wrong side of the rig and a considerable distance away.

The power pedestal closest and the water to the right of the rig.

We had intended to stay several days but being flexible and not making reservations in advance paid off, next morning we headed out again.

We looked around the night before we left and found what sounded like a great COE park. Unfortunately it didn’t open until May 20th. Searching some more we came across a couple of parks in Cave City near Mammoth Cave NP. One of the 2 gave 50% discount for the first 2 nights for Escapees and 25% the rest of the stay with full hookups, in a pretty park, and with their own fishing pond. Nice!

So here we are in Singing Hills RV park set to explore the area.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Top 10

I recently read a post on Facebook giving what they said were the 10 essential steps to a happy retirement RV adventure:-

1.     Choosing the right vehicle is the first step to the perfect RV lifestyle for a Retiree.
2.     Research Insurance for the RV and your own health!
3.     Discuss all the emergency services and medications you might need with your doctor beforehand.
4.     Take a print document your medical history in your RV
5.     Get a Locksmith to manually inspect the locks of your RV
6.     Chart all the RV dumps in your proposed routes beforehand.
7.     Have an itinerary, rough or fair, always at hand!
8.     Have a thorough estimate of your finances on the road.
9.     Get a proper RV Toolbox 
10.  Test it!

Facebook is a great thing, and yet Facebook is a terrible thing!


Well you can learn all kinds of neat stuff from links in Facebook – a great thing!
You can also get all kinds of misinformation from links on Facebook- a terrible thing.
The list of 10 things above was said to be the 10 essential things to do before setting out on your retirement RV adventure. REALLY??

Here’s my thoughts on the list:

1.     Choosing the right vehicle is the first step to the perfect RV lifestyle for a Retiree.

I disagree that this is the first step. The first step should be to decide if you and your partner are going to be able to actually go on such an adventure in the first place! Can you afford to buy an RV, are you willing to either sell your home or rent it out while you’re away? Are you going to be happy storing or selling all you furniture, keepsakes, hobby supplies etc? Can you be away from your friends, neighbors, kids, grandkids etc., for a year or more? Can you live on your retirement income? Are you healthy enough to be away for months at a time?
Many people CAN’T let go of their homes and “Things”, most people can’t tear themselves away from the kids and especially the grandkids. We’ve met several couples that while one would love to try full time RV’ing the other has said “Absolutely Not!”. And if you can’t afford to live on your retirement income then there isn’t likely to be a sudden answer to that! Likewise if you need regular health care then you aren’t going to be able to get around that very easily.

2.     Research Insurance for the RV and your own health

This one surely is part of deciding if you are able to go in the first place? RV insurance isn’t a show stopper but health insurance could be. The thing to look into is whether you will be eligible for Medicare or not when you are ready to leave? If so then you will need to select a Medicare Supplement provider that covers you all over the country. If you will need “Obama Care” insurance then where you live will be the most important thing in establishing the cost of that insurance.
Which is why I think the 2nd most important thing is deciding where you want your DOMICILE to be. For an explanation of Domicile versus Residence see http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2015/03/home-is-where-you-make-it.html.

On the other hand if you intend to keep your house and contents then you may not have any choice in your domicile so you can then explore your choices for Medical insurance.
Your choice of domicile will likely also involve a mail forwarding service which is an important thing to consider when you hit the road. Escapees.com can help you with all of this and lots more.

                       3 Discuss all the emergency services and medications you might need                         with your doctor beforehand

All this should have been part of deciding if you can go on the trip in the first place and the medication availability should be taken care of in your choice of Medicare Supplement provider. Our medication needs are taken care of through Walmart so we can go anywhere in the country for refills.

                         4 Take a print document of your medical history in your RV

I wouldn’t personally say this is essential and a paper copy might not be ideal anyway. Keeping an electronic copy on a cloud based server might be easier. Talking to you doctor and arranging that they will forward your records when asked is a common sense step. Personally we don’t get stressed about this but we don’t have any severe medical conditions. If we did have any we probably wouldn’t have gone full timing.

                        5 Get a Locksmith to manually inspect the locks of your RV
I can’t imagine why this would be on the list. Would you get the locks on your car inspected before you drove it?
Sure take a spare set of keys and have one set each so if you lose one set the other person can use theirs to get into the rig, but that’s not vital.

                        6 Chart all the RV dumps in your proposed routes beforehand.

Another HUH??
There are a couple of ways to go RV Camping. One is using regular campgrounds, the other is camping away from regular campgrounds (Popularly called “Boondocking”).
If you are camping in regular campgrounds, either commercial campgrounds or state/national parks then you can select the park based on the amenities at that park. You can have “Full Hookups” or “Partial Hookups”. The difference usually is whether the site has sewer or it has a dump station for sewer that you usually have to drive the rig to, to empty the tanks.
Boondocking is usually on BLM land or in a Walmart parking lot, neither of which will have ANY hookups. No need to panic though because the RV has batteries for electricity and storage tanks for fresh water and waste water so that you can live for several days without having to empty the tanks. When it comes time to empty the tanks then Cabellas Stores, Camping World Stores, some Truck Stops, commercial campgrounds and some state parks have dump stations you can use for a fee. There’s a smart phone app called “Sani Dumps” that will find free or pay dump stations so there is no need to plan a trip around dump stations.
If you want to try boondocking then you need to learn how long you can last without plugging into power or running the generator, and how many days you can go before the grey or black water tanks fill up. There are ways to stretch the time it takes to fill the tanks, we can make 7 days if we need to.

                         7. Have an itinerary, rough or fair, always at hand

I have to strongly disagree with this one!!
We’ve seen the best places, met the nicest people and enjoyed our RV experience most after throwing away the itinerary and only planning our next stop the evening before we are due to leave. That way you can stop longer if you like a place, and leave early if you don’t. If somebody tells you about a neat place to visit in the opposite direction from where you were planning to go to, then go to the new place instead! National Holidays and winter stopovers in high demand areas may require advanced planning but for the rest of the time DO WHAT FEELS GOOD!

                     8 Have a thorough estimate your finances on the road.

That’s all part of deciding if you can go in the first place. If you can’t afford it don’t go!
Do track your spending as you go however based on a planned budget. We have a spreadsheet that we update monthly to track our spending. If we find that we’re spending too much on gas we can stay places longer between “Hops”. If we are spending too much on camping we can stay at Walmart for a couple of nights or at cheaper parks. Our target cost for camping is an average of $25 a night. So far we’re doing that even when some campgrounds in high demand places have been $70 a night (Moab in peak season). Our biggest expenditure is “Entertainment” which covers admissions to tourist spots, movies, dinners out, drinks, cabs and all the things we can stop doing if we get out of hand. We also budget for the cost of maintenance and the replacement of tires (which are REALLY expensive).
If the budget is unrealistic in practice then change it! Some people stretch their money by “Work Camping”. Campgrounds both commercial and state/national parks use volunteers to keep the parks running. In return they will give you a campsite with hookups and possibly pay for your propane too.

                                  9. Get a proper RV Toolbox 

I have no idea what a “Proper” RV toolbox is!
If you don’t do any maintenance on your house or car then you probably won’t be doing any on your RV. If you do your own maintenance then you already have the tools.
RV’s are more maintenance intensive in my opinion. One saying I heard and agree with is – “RV’s are like houses except that they go through the equivalent of a major earthquake every time you drive them down the road”.
Things shake loose, so every now and then I go round and make sure nothing is going to fall off. Otherwise oil changes can be done at Walmart, truck repair shops can do larger maintenance.
More important is GET AN RV BREAKDOWN SERVICE. Either thru your insurance company, Good Sam or Coast to Coast. Towing an RV even a short distance can cost over $1000.

                                                       10 Test it!

Test your plan? Maybe test the tool kit? Test your medical insurance?

It should be INSPECT IT!

Unless you are a very experienced RV’er don’t buy an RV without getting an independent RV inspector to go over it thoroughly. EVEN IF IT HAS A WARRANTY.
RV systems are quite complex with 12 volt, 110 volt systems that parallel each other and have interlocks to prevent damage. There are generators that might run on gas, diesel or propane. There are propane systems for heating, cooking and even the refrigerator! Refrigerators can run on 12 volts, 110 volts or propane and are nothing like your home refrigerator. They can easily cost $1500 to replace. RV tires should be replaced about every 5 years regardless of how few miles they have on them and they cost $500 OR MORE EACH.  http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2015/08/tires-what-rotten-trick.html
A trained RV inspector can find problems that could cost many thousands of dollars to fix. They are worth every penny they charge.

So here are MY top 10 things to consider before you set off on your retirement RV adventure:

2       Are you and your partner able to go on an extended trip?
Can you afford it?
Are you healthy enough?
Are you both committed to leaving everything including family behind?
Can you organize health insurance, mail, banking, taxes, vehicle registrations, drivers licenses, vehicle insurance, internet connections and phone service on the road?
I would recommend anyone determined to do this to join Escapees RV Club (www.escapees.com) and to attend their RV Boot Camp BEFORE buying their RV.

3 Visit every RV show and RV dealer you can find and sit in every type of RV you can. Look at the layout and consider how you would watch TV, cook, eat, sleep in it. Decide if you can move around in it with the slides closed. Can you store all your things in it? You are going to have camping chairs, maybe a table, a grille, mats, a cooler for the outside. Clothes, crockery, cooking gear, computers, sports equipment, DVD’s, CD’s and more inside. Are you going to tow it? What will it take to tow it safely? What will the tow vehicle cost? Do you want to tow a car with a motorhome? Take along a motorcycle? Bicycles? What do they weigh? Can the RV safely tow that much? Here's how we did it http://banbrv.blogspot.com/2014/11/you-can-get-there-from-here.html

When we looked for our RV we took pictures of each one and made notes of what we liked and didn’t like in each. Eventually we found all of our likes and only 1 dislike (That we could live with) in the RV we bought.
Remember most people buy 3 RV’s before they get the one they really wanted! The better you research what you want in a rig the less you’re going to lose when you sell the first 2!!
Get a professional RV inspector to go over ANY rig before you buy it, even if it comes with a warranty.

4. Camp in the RV before you leave on the big trip so you can find all the stuff you forgot to get. Like hoses, coffee pots, tire pressure gauges, air compressors. 
Camp with and without hookups so you can tell how long the tanks take to fill and how long the battery will power the lights etc.
Get to know how to empty the black and grey tanks, fill the fresh water tank, fill the propane tank, maintain the batteries (If needed), light the oven.

5. Join “Camping Clubs” like Passport America, Good Sam and Escapees. Their camping discounts will pay for themselves, especially Passport America. Join an Elks Lodge - they have lots of lodges around the country where only Elk members can camp and there is always a welcome for you when you visit a lodge in a new town or city. elks.com

6. Make a bucket list, places to see,things to do. You’ll be somewhere and forget that you should have seen a major Bucket List item otherwise.

7. Use RV Parky, and RV Campground Reviews before you stop for the night to find not only commercial campgrounds but also state and national parks or even Walmarts where you can camp and get unbiased reviews of those paces.

8 Get a National Parks Senior Pass if you’re 62 or older. A one-time $10 fee gets you and anyone in the vehicle with you free entrance to National Parks for the rest of your life! Plus 50% off camping fees in National Parks and Corps of Engineers campgrounds nationwide.

9. Watch your budget. You can manage your budget in many ways and still have a wonderful time but don’t spend all your retirement savings.

10. Don’t skip the maintenance, good maintenance done as scheduled by the manufacturer is the key to avoiding costly breakdowns. A $50 oil change beats a $1500 towing fee.

Where’s the number 1??

I believe the biggest secret to a successful retirement RV adventure is to be DEBT FREE when you set off on it.