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For a moment, I didn’t know what I was going to do and then I knew. I was going to go it alone.

My husband and I had just bought a brand-new RV when he passed away 13 years ago. We’d been enjoying the RV life together since 1989 and this was our third American Eagle purchase. 

I decided I was not only going to keep the RV, but I was going to travel frequently. In fact, I’m often on the road with my cats from December through June. I typically wrap up my travel season by attending the annual American Coach Association (ACA) owners’ rally.

I’ve made a lot of close friends at the rallies over the years. We check in on each other when we’re on the road and always get excited when we get the chance to catch up in person. 

Driving the American Eagle is honestly really easy. It’s the packing and unpacking that’s the hardest part of any trip! 

Wendy Gaynor in Front of Her American Eagle from American Coach. Photo by Wendy Gaynor
Wendy Gaynor in Front of Her American Eagle from American Coach. Photo by Wendy Gaynor

RV Life

I always love kicking off my annual road trip at the Southeast Annual Christmas Party, a five-day event that brings together American Coach owners at a campground or resort in Florida. 

In January, I’ll be at the Florida RV SuperShow, a mecca for RVers and travel lovers that typically brings about 70,000 people to Tampa each year. 

The show is packed with everything an RVer could ever want or dream of, including the newest RV models, accessories, and innovative products that make RV life more comfortable.

Wendy Gaynor with Bones (Who Attends American Coach Rallies). Photo by Wendy Gaynor
Wendy Gaynor with Bones (Who Attends American Coach Rallies). Photo by Wendy Gaynor

In April, I like to combine RVing with my other passion – experimental airplanes. I’ll drive my American Eagle to the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida. I’ve volunteered there for the past 33 years, heading up a large airplane parts fundraiser that supports student outreach programs.

In May, I’m planning to meet up with friends at the national ACA rally on North Carolina’s coast. We’ll be at the Camp Hatteras RV Resort enjoying the beaches and all that the Outer Banks offer.

I’m eager to see the lighthouses and check out nearby Nags Head and Kitty Hawk – home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial!


After that, I’ll head to REV RV Service & Repair in Decatur, Indiana, to get maintenance work done on my 2008 American Eagle. 

I always go back there for service because it’s such a friendly group, and spending time in Decatur is close to my heart. I have pictures of everyone who built my American Eagle, and we reconnect when I bring my RV back each year. I also have friends there and a church so it’s always a nice visit. 

Before moving to Florida a few years ago, I lived in Massachusetts, so I’ll head back there once my maintenance work is done.

Wendy Gaynor and Belinda Moorefield - Southeast ACA member. Photo by Wendy Gaynor
Wendy Gaynor and Belinda Moorefield – Southeast ACA member. Photo by Wendy Gaynor

Maintenance Tips

Some people just hop in and drive but that’s not what I do. Before I head out, I always do a ‘pre-flight check’. That includes the tire pressure, fluids, oil, electrical, lights, brakes, etc. 

Plus, at least twice a year, I get up on the roof to make sure all the seals around the fans and vents are OK.

I also like to compare notes with fellow RVers whenever we’re together. You can always learn from each other. I believe in annual maintenance and always include a stop at the REV RV Service & Repair center in Indiana when mapping out my trip. 


The center handles any RV make or model and does everything from chassis maintenance to alignment to tech upgrades and replacement of flooring, appliances, seats, and more.

The recently remodeled center provides complimentary camping with electric hookups, a variety of free amenities (including laundry), a lounge area, and an outdoor patio with a fire pit to unwind and relax.

Wendy Gaynor at Arches National Park. Photo by Wendy Gaynor
Wendy Gaynor at Arches National Park. Photo by Wendy Gaynor

RV Travel Tips

I’ve been living the RV life since the 80’s so here are a few important things I’ve learned over the years.

Advance planning and reservations are important since RV campgrounds and resorts are often booked months in advance – especially since the pandemic prompted more people to hit the road.

When it comes to packing, less is more. You really only need four pairs of shoes – sneakers, flats, boots, and waterproof shoes. Whatever you think you need, take half that amount!

Ready to take your own country-wide adventures? Find awesome deals for RV rentals or post your RV through RVShare.

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