Our Annual Trip To Louisville – Part 2

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Yes finally. The conclusion to this exciting saga. I know the two of you who read my articles (hi mom and dad) have been waiting with baited breath.

The RVIA show always begins with a big fancy breakfast kick-off complete with guest speakers and fireworks. Actually there were no fireworks. But it DID start, yet again, at stupid-thirty in the morning. Since James and I are both pretty bad at mornings, this poses a yearly challenge. Last year we arrived so late we got to hold up a wall off to the side in the back of the banquet hall. This year, I’m proud to say, was a totally different story.

Truma sponsored the breakfast kick-off and it so happens they like us. Remember in blog part 1 when I mentioned we snuck in the show on set-up day? I left out something. We ran into some of our Truman pals as they were setting up their booth during our sneak-around. They invited us to sit with them at the breakfast….in the VIP tables! As the show sponsors, they had the tables up front and center! THAT was the motivation we needed to get there on time.

James you missed a hair…

On time. At the VIP tables.  Yep, we were off to a good start.

After a few various important people spoke, the keynote was given by Captain “Sully” Sullenberger; and wow. Hearing him retell the story of how he safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency landing in the Hudson River gave me chills. THAT woke me up.

After that, we beelined for the Coachmen booth. Coachmen was displaying their brand new campervan…the Crossfit, and y’all already saw the fruits of those labors.

And of course there he is. My little broken record.

I can usually last a good two hours on a video session but then I start wilting. James recognizes the early signs of my “wilt” quite well. First, I shrink about two inches. Second, my voice lowers. And third, my eyes dart around, desperately seeking the nearest escape hatch that will lead me to coffee. If James doesn’t get his act together and wrap up videotaping during those early signs, Scary Stef emerges. Lucky for him, he finished up quickly on the Crossfit footage and I happily skipped my way to Winnebago and their complimentary coffee bar.

Winnebago has the booth of all booths at the RVIA show. There are two VIP sections on raised platforms so important guests (and also me and James) can lord over the commoners down below while sipping lattes or eating ice-cream. They even had a stage set up and the top dogs gave Ted-like talks during the show. Even though James and I were all over the show, we always gravitated back to the Winnebagans.

Here’s the new CEO Mike Happe talking on stage…I took this from inside the VIP area with the espresso bar! Too bad they didn’t hire a “Ted” as CEO. Then it would REALLY be a “Ted-Talk”! Alas, this is a “Mike-Talk”, leaving me no material for something funny to say about it.

The crowd listening to the “Mike-Talk”.

Winnebago DID surprise us with a dark red Travato on display. But don’t get too excited, I’m not sure it’s going to become an available option. They brought it to get dealer feedback.


We nabbed Godfather Garfin to pose with us with his new red rig. Of the 5 pics the passerby snapped for us, this was the worst. I’m trying to start a new trend in the blogger world…I’m calling it the Bad Pictures Movement.    (What is wrong with me?!?)

I’ve got no clue what the dealers thought about the dark red, but wouldn’t that be a super cool option? (…this said from she who drives a screaming yellow Travato…)

At the end of Day 1, we had agreed to do a Facebook Live Event for GoRVing. If you’re not familiar, GoRVing is the media side of RVIA. We like to explain GoRVing as sort of the “Got Milk” of the RV industry. I occasionally write for their blog and do various collaborations with them throughout the year. For the FB Live Event, they wanted us to talk about something noteworthy we’d noticed from the show. We ended up talking about Taxa Trailers showing up, and how excited we are to see outdoorsy campers like these entering the RV world. I hope you’ll go check out Taxa Trailers. We’re rooting for big success for them. They’re paving the way for a new generation of campers and you can bet we’ll be watching.

While filming the Facebook video, we could see a party going on next store at the Leisure Travel Vans booth. So guess where we headed after wrapping up?

Fancy finger foods, complimentary cocktails…why can’t ALL RV shows be as luxurious as RVIA?!?! Dean was in typical Dean form, immediately giving us crap for not stopping sooner, how James must have stopped working out, how I’m probably there to bitch about his table…

See the orange pop-up part of the Taxa trailer back there?

Our friendship with Dean Corrigal from Leisure Travel Vans is probably our oldest friendship in the RV industry. We came on his radar after James and I had made a video of one of the LTV rigs, and I said I didn’t love the dinette table. It wasn’t even all that negative! We met in person after that video at an RV show and as we walked towards him to introduce ourselves he said, “you’re those Fit RV people who hate my table!” We ended up filming Dean and me doing a rebuttal video where he got to explain how the table had been totally revamped. He was pacified and the friendship began. But he hasn’t let me live down that table diss ever since. In fact just to mess with him, if you see him at a show, tell him you just watched the video where I said I hated the table. OMG SOMEONE PLEASE DO IT!

I have no explanation for this.

We ended up getting footage for a video review of the Wonder so expect that any day now. I won’t get too detailed since you can watch the video, but my oh my that Murphy bed system is just brilliant. (…though even if it weren’t I’d be scared to tell you; Dean would probably show up at my door for another rebuttal video.)

And quite possibly some of the most fun to be had happens AFTER the RVIA show closes up. There are parties and functions galore in the evenings. The Trumans nabbed us one night and took us to this upscale Brazilian steakhouse in the trendy part of downtown Louisville. There were about 20 of us and the Trumans had a private room. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend having dinner with a room full of Germans. There was no rush, and we spent a couple hours chatting over food and drinks, with no one in a hurry to be anywhere else. Definitely a cultural difference from our American eat-it-and-beat-it ways. I found it refreshing.

The final day of the show was my birthday. I suspect this is why James insists we attend this show each year; gets him off the hook. Well, not totally. In an attempt to TRY to be thoughtful, James bought me a few  birthday presents from the corner gas station.

Umm, thanks for the doo-rag, bag of balloons, and the mini-speaker, honey? Am I the luckiest girl on the planet, or what.

He did redeem himself by giving me this:

I’ve been wanting a double cable stack to replace the single I have in my home gym for ages…James is happy with what we’ve got, and has been using clever redirection tactics each time I bring up the subject. Therefore this is a very welcomed post-it note.

So, yeah, that was pretty much it for the highlights of our time at the RVIA show. Despite having only a few pictures from the show, somehow I managed to pull this story off!

Our next RV show will be the big one in Tampa in January. A totally different beast from the RVIA show for sure, but we’re looking forward to it since we’ve never been to that one before. We’ve even agreed to lead some sessions on healthy RVing in the Winnebago booth! If you’ll be around the Tampa area, hope you’ll swing in and say hi.

Hope y’all are having a great holiday season!



After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    30 thoughts on “Our Annual Trip To Louisville – Part 2

    1. Sal Esposito

      James I had a question for you. I want the K but need additional seating. Is it possible to remove one of the twin beds and install 2 captain chairs, one behind the other? Would I need to remove the driver’s side bed or passenger’s side bed? Is this a modification a dealership can do for me? I am trying to make K work for me.


      1. James

        I highly doubt that could ever be made to work.
        Underneath the bed on the driver’s side are a bunch of mechanical bis (Truma, Converter, etc.)
        Underneath the bed on the passenger’s side is the fresh water tank.
        Not really possible to remove any of those elements.

        1. Sal Esposito

          Thanks. I’ll try and contact aftermarket company and see if can add the seatbelts to the beds either sideways or forward facing. If I do forward facing seatbelts then can only be used while passengers are lying down.


    2. leia

      Happy Birthday, Stefany! My favorite parts of this blog entry were two of the captions: #1 “And of course there he is. My little broken record” and #2 “I have no explanation for this.”

      I’ve watched almost as many videos from the Leisure Travel guy as I have videos from you and James, in fact not long ago I made my husband sit through another one (Leisure Travel) and said “there’s THAT guy again!” 🙂

      And Brazilian Barbecue (oops, I guess it was a steakhouse) in Louisville? My, my how times have changed. I lived there from 1982 to 1999. It seems like light years ago now.

      I did make a video while I was there; actually, I was on TV and the TV station made the video. I had an unusual house in Southern Indiana and it made the news a couple of times. This was in the early nineties – the era of high-waisted mom jeans and “I have no explanation for this” (this being high-waisted mom jeans) other than the fact that I was wearing high-waisted slacks in the video. Suffice it to say, the video/segment wasn’t nearly as entertaining as what you and James have to offer!

      Even if we never end up buying an RV I think I’ll always enjoy reading your blog entries and watching most of your videos (I still haven’t watched the composting toilet video).

      P.S. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Thanks for the bday wishes, Leia! Funny, your favorite parts were after-thoughts I added last minute…HA! OMG LEIA I WANT TO SEE THAT VIDEO! Hey, I’m a child of the 80’s so have loads of my own “no explanation for this” photos and can empathize. Anyways, just give it a few years and your 90’s style will be all the rage once again. Your comments always make my day. Hope your holidays are the happiest and healthiest EVER! xoxoxoxo

    3. Dave Bernard

      Yo fitsters,
      How do you survive the endless after-hours RV show parties? You got excited about that Crossfit does it come with a set of Kettlebells or something? And how does Winnabego feel about that? It’s got the new Paseo. I’d love to get your impression of that rig. .. looks pretty cool. Keep up the good work. Love your blog!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Well it SHOULD come with Kettlebells! And “fitsters”, I like it. It’s kind of hip, kind of fit…I’m stealing that. The Paseo rocks. The dinette to bed configuration is efficient, and the dinette is solid. We did a 45 minute long Facebook live event of the Paseo when it was released at the Pomona show; our first live event ever (so it’s a little rough)! Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/winnebago/videos/10154381939825791/

    4. Roger Bohnke

      Always fun reading your posts Stef. Thanks for the update, and don’t let James off the hook on that double stack!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Roger!!! Oh believe me James will always remain on my hook. I’ve got the IOU pinned up on the kitchen memo board and once I’ve decided on the machine…I’m cashing in!!! (But now I have to decide! So many options!!!)

    5. Tom Cahill

      Ah, an email I actually look forward to getting. I was wondering, based on what you see at the shows you attend and the manufacturers you talk to, how long before we start seeing the kind of battery, generator and cook top you guys have being offered as standard equipment or at least an (non-aftermarket) option.

      Happy Holidays

      Tom Cahill

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Well Tom I DO know that Winnebago is heavy into testing as we speak, and will eventually (most likely) offer an inverter/lithium/underhood gen system like ours. But don’t get too excited about that, there isn’t an RV company out there that’s more thorough and anal about testing. Have you seen our vids inside their testing labs…omg they’re just amazing. The thing about WGO is they won’t release anything until it’s proven over and over again it’s safe, effective, and ready in every way…so it’ll probably be awhile. We’ve seen other companies release this stuff and use their own consumers as the testees…not cool. I’ll keep you posted if I learn anything more about a release date!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Yes, Norbert, we will be there! Hope you’ll come find us, we’ll be hanging out in the Winnebago booth and will even be leading some sessions about healthy RVing from the Winnebago display! We’ll be there Thursday – Sunday!

    6. Bruce J

      I like how this article says “Truman pals”…cue the conspiracy theories.

      Kidding aside, great coverage of the show.

    7. Andy & Kim

      Happy Birthday Steff!!!! That birthday card on a motel post-it is priceless.

      I went over to the LTV site and took a look at the Wonder. We’ll look forward to your video review, looks like a lot of groundbreaking design ideas there!

      Have a great Holiday season, hope to run into you guys next year.
      Andy & Kim

    8. Alain

      Our Safari Condo will be dark red. It’s nice you find it cool in real life, since we could only base our decision on pictures. At least one advantage of having to pre-order 12 months in advance is you can chose any Promaster color that is available, and not be stuck with the corporate color decisions (of course the down side is waiting 12 months…only 4 left…Yoohoo!!)

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Alain!!! We can’t wait to see pics of your Safari Condo!!! Four months goes by in a blink. Keep us posted!

        1. Alain

          I had forgot to say happy birthday. Dec 1st right? “Younger Next Year” really applies to you (OK, you can include James in that so he won’t pout…).

          I will send pics. It might even wind up demo’d for a couple of days at our local RV show, which occurs around the time we will receive it, since I’ve been pondering Jame’s “Ambassador” idea, and I get along well with the local dealer.

          For the next 4 months, I will have fun planning the big inaugural trip with my wife (yes I remember the “Binder of fun”), after a few shakedown weekends.

        2. Stefany - Post author

          Yep, Dec 1st…and boy you’re good for my ego! That “Younger Next Year” book is always in my head keeping me motivated (or guilt-tripped), love that you know one of my favorite fit books.
          Wish you lived closer, we’d love to see your Safari Condo in person…we do need to make it happen someday.
          And a Binder of Fun can take four months so GET GOING!!!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Awww, Sarah! It makes my day seeing you stopped by our site! Thanks for the bday wishes. Hope all’s well with you! xoxo


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