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Road to Super Bowl (Ga.)

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11:20 PM Jan. 30
Marietta, Ga.-----We are on day three of a long and winding RV trip from Chicago to Miami to join the rumble for Super Bowl XV1. Our dusty home has been named the Rabid Bear. Although our RV is decorated with Bears pennants and posters, not one Colts fan has given us the finger on our spin down I-65 and now I-75. We've had a few thumbs up from Bears fans.
The media has all kinds of tricks up its sleeve, but this one is unique.
Right now its about 25 degrees outside at the Brookwood RV Park just north of Atlanta. There's just me and my pal Angelo Varias on this trip. He brought along a VHS of "The Benny Goodman Story" starring Steve Allen and drummer Gene Krupa. We just finished watching snippets of that.
I don't think Dan Patrick spent Tuesday night on South Beach this way.
We are also solicting roadside tips on how to make the rest of our journey (and our trip back north) more compelling.......

......There are two important things to know when driving a 31-foot RV. Remember all the space behind you when you make a turn. Your RV clearly has to clear everything. And when you come to a stop, break early and allow about three times as much space as you would in a car.
Lexicon is also essential. We are not in a motor home. In 1976 the Department of Housing and Urban Development defined manufactured homes as residences and no longer vehicles. Mobility was no longer their function; being a residence was their main purpose.
In 2006 the RV industry had its best sales year in three decades.
"Baby boomers are coming into the prime buying age," said Kevin Broom, spokesperson for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association in Weston, Va. in an interview before we left Chicago on Sunday. . "The fastest growing group in terms of RV ownership is under 35. Young people are interested in Sports Utility RVs (that transport motorycles, canoes, etc.)
Our loaned 2007 Fleetwood Tioga RV retails for $69,995. We are not talking on cell phones as we drive. Fleetwood Enterprises was founded in 1950 by John Crean, who died last month at age 81. Broom said the Fleetwood RVs are popular with NASCAR drivers traveling the circuit with friends and families. Football analyst John Madden is afraid of flying. He travels in a 45-foot Cruiser IV, manufactured by Motor Coach Industries in Schaumburg, just outside of Chicago.
Maybe we will see the MaddenCruiser in Miami.
But now we have to get some shut-eye for tomorrow. It is an eight-hour drive to our next stop in Daytona Beach. I will try to write tomorrow, but our Daytona campground has a shuffle board court.

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Hey Dave,

I have an idea. When you get to Florida, take the RV to the Daytona Speedway for a couple of laps. See how fast you can get that puppy going! Might be valuable info for the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Could be a selling point for the the "under 35" crowd.


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Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by David Hoekstra published on January 30, 2007 10:23 PM.

New Orleans-Just A Game? was the previous entry in this blog.

Road to Super Bowl (Daytona Beach) is the next entry in this blog.

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