Spring is here, which means The Sixth Annual Advanced RV Fest & Open House, set for May 3-5 at our Willoughby facility, is fast approaching. We look forward to The Fest every year; it’s an opportunity for Class B enthusiasts, ARV owners and our entire team to celebrate our shared love for motorhome travel.

You can register any time between now and April 19th, but the Early Admission discount ends this Saturday, March 23rd. Click here to register for the event. 

If you’ve visited our Cleveland home before, we hope to see you and catch up. If this will be your first time, we can’t wait to meet you!

November 9, 2018

Temperature 42/23

My wife and I arrived at Advanced RV’s new headquarters Friday morning at 9:30am for our introduction to Baltas Vilkas, White Wolf in Lithuanian, for training as first-time owners of an RV and picking up of our just completed EcoRanger. We were greeted by Tricia and Viki as to be expected and the next person to greet us was Mike Neundorfer with his infectious smile. Brittany would have been present but she is in the last days of her own configuration process with her own mini me due any day now. Janice would greet us later in the day as she was gathering our dropped shipped items together such as the RV Superbag ready for our maiden voyage that night.

Walking around the corner partition in the new headquarters we laid eyes for the first time on our new Artic White EcoRanger sitting cleaner then it will ever be again. Frank was going to spend the day with us explaining systems and demonstrating hands on operations, but first Jody made us the official owners with title transfers and making sure the paperwork was official with DMV.

Arctic White Mercedes Benz Custom Sprinter Motorhome

After the paperwork was completed, we looked to Frank and asked where do we begin? His first step was a quick tour inside to see what Baltas Vilkas looked like in person. The dropbox photos throughout the build process only made the entire wait harder to bear but the photos at least kept us informed on the progress. Stepping inside our RV was magical for the first time. Yes, the wild colored curtains, dark walls, light wood cabinets, recessed lights and padded floors all did come together. It is hard to describe the wonderment when one finally sees the finished product in person when one has had so much input in the selection process. Unlike any other buying experience I have ever had; it was truly breath taking to see something that we made detailed selections on. This is custom work and if I had any qualms about something, I knew it was our choice and not some mass assembly line where we could have whatever we wanted as long as it was from column A or column B and only came in one color. That is not what you experience at Advanced RV. Advanced RV is truly the Burger King of motorhomes, you get it your way and you are treated as a King.

Custom motorhome luxury galley

Frank’s official training started with a tour going all the way around the outside from front bumper and ending back at the starting point stopping along the way and explaining how each item on the underpart worked and giving us the hands-on experience on actually doing and not just observing.

Breaking for lunch gave us an opportunity to meet the owner of Radio Days a full time RVer who was having some work done at Advanced RV and another couple who had just added 8,000 miles on their RV as they travelled out west for Balloon Fest in Albuquerque and scheduled a new air condition installation and adding levelers to their unit. Meeting and speaking over lunch to these owners reaffirmed what so many people have told me that the RV community is friendly and helpful.

After lunch was the inside tour on reviewing systems, panels and manuals. It may seem overwhelming, but the most important part was the magical phone number written in red that was the 24-hour help line. Frank gave us some time to unpack our luggage and put things away and Janice delivered our drop shipped items, so we had a good foundation to start our overnight trip. As I put away personal items, I kept thinking that I never needed to repack any of these again if I did not want to. No more checking into a hotel and dragging luggage through the lobby only to repack in the morning and back track the luggage through the lobby. There were a lot of questions and by the end of the day I was asking my wife only one question… did we really do this?

At 4:00pm we felt confident enough to call it a day and embark on our maiden voyage, so we could develop a punch list and be able to come back on Monday with more informed questions. This is the recommended pick up process. Arrive on a Friday to get introduced to the beast and have a weekend maiden voyage to test out and experience the RV finishing with a list of questions and come back on Monday to do more training. Frank topped off our water tanks at the end of the day handed us the keys and pushed us out of the nest to learn to fly on our own.

Our heads were full of knowledge, manuals were accessible, tanks full, except black tank, so we were ready to hit the road. Driving out of the bay doors and onto the street we realized it was snowing and getting dark fast. The original plan was to travel a few hours to a nearby State park and start our new adventure of being RVer campers. Our first stop was for groceries around the corner at the Giant Eagle followed by a quiet dinner at some hanging plant restaurant where we could decide which park to go to or which Wal Mat to boon dock for the first night. After Nov. 1 most Ohio parks stop taking reservations and although many are open it is first come first take. This was Friday of Veterans Day weekend but with the cold and snow we figured our chance of scoring a spot was pretty good. We would arrive in the dark but the parks we were considering were open.

Deciding where to camp on our first night was not taken lightly. This was the start of a new adventure and we wanted it to be positive. A little background on state of mind and body. We were tired from learning so much new information on the systems and actual operations of Baltas Vilkas. We had been training all day and now it was dark and snowing. The night before our airplane had some mechanical problem and instead of arriving in Ohio at midnight on Thursday after my wife finished work, we arrived at 4:00am Friday morning. I knew it was either a very late-night flight arrival or a very early morning arrival when I noticed the Cinnabun concession stand on the concourse preparing parchment paper to bake their first round of breakfast buns. We were scheduled to meet at Advanced RV at 9:00am in the morning to start on Friday but I called ahead and asked if we could be 30 minutes late.

Now after all day training and dinner it was decision time.

Our first sight in the morning.

Wisely we drove back to my Brother in Laws house in the country 45 minutes outside of Cleveland and told him we would be staying in his driveway which over looked his pasture. Attached is the first sight the first morning, a snow-covered field. We called my Brother in Law and informed him we were 15 steps away from his kitchen entrance but with our 800-volt lithium battery pack and 4X4 traction we would be roughing it in the snow conditions and would have breakfast with his family in the morning.

Determining the temperature setting inside the cab for a night dropping to 19 degrees was a guessing game. We finally settled on 68 degrees cabin temperature for the night and with the RV Superbag we were very comfortable. It took some getting used to moving together in close quarters with setting up the bed for the first time, hanging the windshield privacy curtain, determining which light switch operated which lights and making sure not to unintentionally programing anything but being tired yet safe we managed to get to bed in short order.

The next morning it was a thrill to wake up still warm inside our unit and having our own privacy in our own little cocoon. The first cup of coffee never tasted so good on a cold morning looking out the windows with about 2 inches of new snow and no schedule to keep. As I checked our status of systems on the Silverleaf all seemed in order until my wife pointed out that the gray tank was reading 100% full. This seemed strange since we had not used the shower or kitchen sink. Waiting until 9:00 I decided to call the help line and within a minute I received a call from none other than Frank. Asking me to push a couple of buttons and give him some reading he determined that one of our sensors was most likely experiencing some frozen water on it and giving a false reading. Given the cold and being a new system without any gray water in it froze but it was still safe to drive. Going on a short errand the readings dropped so it most likely was just a frozen sensor. Frank also explained some of the other issues I had but it was all operator error such as finding the proper control installed by Advanced RV and not Mercedes Benz seat warmer since our seats were custom. My take away is that the Help Desk number is responsive and I have confidence in it throwing me a life line.

We return to Advance RV on Monday and I am sure there will be more details to absorb but this is a mission I look forward to. 

-Owner of Baltas Vilkas

Plans can change for anyone, as they changed for one of our clients who scheduled a series of builds through the year. This client delayed their builds, and as a result, Advanced RV is helping to sell their chassis.

These 12 brand new Mercedes Sprinter chassis are available for purchase below MSRP. Plus, ARV is offering $1,000 in upfit credit to anyone who purchases. For a look at the vans and their specifications, you can watch this video on our YouTube channel.

Mercedes Sprinter Chassis available for sale and upfit

In the cold Cleveland winter, these Sprinters are inside, warm and relaxed.

In case you’re boondocking in an Advanced RV and can’t watch the video, here are some details:

  • Nine of the vans are 2017 3500 Super Singles, and the remaining three are 2018 2500s. All are 170″ wheelbase, extended-length chassis.
  • The vans are brand new, have been stored inside, and have next to zero miles.
  • Each chassis has the full Mercedes-Benz warranty.
  • They are priced between $45,000 and $49,000, which is around $4,000 less than MSRP and around $7,000 less than a similarly equipped 2019 model. Financing options are available.

Advanced RV is also offering $1,000 in upfit credit to any chassis purchase. It can be applied to anything we do. Popular upfits to consider are VB Air Suspension, our Quiet AC Unit, E&P Leveling, or a battery system installation.

Mercedes Sprinter cargo van interior

You could put anything in here!

To all the Do-It-Yourselfers reading, does this get your ideas rolling? What could you do with a blank slate? With the discounted price and upfit credit, a solid work van, a sleek mobile office, and an Advanced RV are all possibilities.

If you’re interested in learning more about these chassis, we’d be eager to discuss all the options. You can talk to our team by calling 440-283-0405.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 Super Single

It’s early 2019, which means the newest iteration of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is beginning to leave assembly lines and enter roadways across the world.

This is a thrilling moment for Mercedes-certified Master Upfitter Advanced RV. We have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the 2019 chassis since we first learned of the model’s planned renovations some time ago. The excitement only grew when we became acquainted with the vehicle at Mercedes’ Germany and US plants in 2018.

2019 Mercedes Benz Sprinter South Carolina

Mike inspects a 2019 Sprinter at a Mercedes event in South Carolina.

In the past year, Advanced RV President Mike Neundorfer spent time meeting with various members of Mercedes’ corporate team in Dusseldorf, Charleston, and most recently at the RV Supershow in Tampa. Aware of the growing pains associated with opening a new plant, Mike prioritized securing an early allotment of the long-awaited vehicle. As a result, Mercedes has allocated three chassis from the Dusseldorf production line to ARV, to be delivered in March. These chassis are part of our more than a year’s worth of planned orders; made available by Mercedes’ emphasis on building Standard-Length models first.

The German automaker is sending three fully-loaded, 2-Wheel Drive, Standard-Length 2019 Sprinters to our Willoughby facility. Of the three, one has already been claimed and will enter production immediately. Our pre-cab team will strip the chassis down and begin the delicate insulation, flooring, and wiring processes.

Advanced RV Motorhome Uptfit Mercedes Sprinter

Production begins with our Pre-Cab team and an empty chassis.

The other two chassis have not yet been claimed, and are available for immediate configuration. A $35,000 fully refundable deposit will reserve one of these Standard-Length, 170-inch wheelbase 2019 models. We are happy to discuss the possibilities over a phone call. Our team can answer any questions you might have about making a deposit, configuring a van, and how you can collaborate with Advanced RV to craft your dream motorhome.

For more information visit our available vehicles here, or call Advanced RV at 440-283-0405

Featured picture credit: Mercedes Benz

weekend wedding

Steve and I took a short trip to attend our college friend’s weekend wedding at Meredith Manor in Pottstown, PA. The last trip you may have read about was when Steve and I traveled through NY & PA in Giddy Up for our honeymoon last year. This time, we drove Cruzemobile for a short weekend trip and tried out features that we hadn’t experienced before such as the E&P leveling system which we came to appreciate.

We left Friday after work and began driving as many miles as we felt safe before we were too tired. I deployed the levelers for the first time at a truck stop where we parked off of the turnpike, and we went right to sleep. We were both exhausted and decided to fill up the diesel tank in the morning. We really noticed the difference the levelers made after parking in a Walmart the following night. Steve got out to watch the operation of the plate and jacks deploy as we were more awake than the previous evening. First, Steve was impressed by how much throw they were capable of, and I was surprised by how uneven the ground actually was where we parked as I witnessed the rear tires lift off of the ground. I have always been able to sleep anywhere, on any incline or surface, but we both woke up the next day realizing we weren’t achy or shifted into a corner from being tilted on uneven ground. If we had another night in the van, I may have manually operated the levelers and lifted only the rear slightly to see how comfortable a gentle incline would be for the head of the bed to be raised some. The system operated as intended and was simple to engage and retract.

Let’s take a step back as I jumped right into what impressed and surprised us on this trip with Cruzemobile. The discussion of how we were going to get to this wedding and where we would stay began months ago. Steve knows I am anxious about flying in airplanes, but we talked about if we should fly and take our vacation in Philadelphia after the wedding this year. Shortly after our initial discussion, we found out we are expecting our first child, and I definitely knew I didn’t want to fly. That left us with driving our vehicle and booking a hotel for the weekend or driving an ARV to PA and back. We decided not to take time off for a vacation this summer as we would be missing several weeks already when our baby is born later this year. I checked with Viki on the rental schedule and Cruzemobile was available for the weekend. Steve and I decided it would be nice for me to have a bathroom “on the road,” and since an ARV was available, we firmed up our travel plans. What a great decision driving an ARV turned out to be because the wedding we attended began at 10A and the whole celebration including reception was over by 3P! If we would have booked a hotel we would have been set to stay in town there that night of the wedding, but we were free to leave because we had the van. If we would have driven our vehicle, we would have had to make the decision to leave and take the loss on a hotel reservation to be able to have a slower paced and more comfortable drive home (which would also have required the need to buy another hotel stay somewhere on our route back for however far we were able to drive) or stay at the hotel near the wedding and make the whole drive home in one day on Sunday. Instead, we were able to drive at a more leisurely pace home, making two stops that we would have otherwise missed out on.

After the long drive Friday night after work, we woke up, ate breakfast, filled the tank and drove to the ceremony early Saturday morning. We had about 20 minutes before the start of the wedding once we arrived at Meredith Manor, and we changed out of our t-shirts and jeans in the parking lot. Within 10 minutes we were weekend wedding ready—I had quickly straightened my hair, dolled up with some jewelry and changed into a formal dress and heels while Steve groomed himself, suited up and put on his dress shoes. We walked to the outdoor ceremony seating and breathed in the fresh air of a beautiful day. Both of us were glad we made it in time and knew we could finally relax and enjoy this special time with our friends and their family as we made it safely to our destination. Cocktail hour followed along with the reception immediately after that which included the traditional first dance, speeches, pie cutting (instead of cake) and dancing. The whole wedding was over by 3P and as Steve and I walked back to the van, we were unsure of what to make of this early exit. We changed back to our comfortable travelling clothes and decided we would stop at Hershey, PA and see their chocolate factory which neither of us have visited before—amazed that we had time to slowly make our way home and make stops on the way.

We Googled churches in Hershey and attended mass before we stopped at Hershey Chocolate World. From there, we drove a few more hours towards home and stopped in a Walmart parking lot for the night. Sunday morning, we ate breakfast and drove to visit my grandparents in PA. None of these stops would have made the agenda if the wedding didn’t let out so early. Steve and I were grateful we drove an ARV which allowed us to save money on hotels, share new experiences because we could quickly change the itinerary and take the drive home slowly in spurts. After we hustled down to Pottstown and arrived at the wedding, the rest of our time was more relaxing than we could have anticipated.

Class B RV

RV and bus parking were near the entrance to Hershey Chocolate World!

We thought we were going to have to pass on a trip this year, and although not the Liberty bell or the historical trip we initially conceptualized, we felt like we did get to enjoy a vacation weekend thanks to the flexibility and freedom Cruzemobile allowed. What a great first trip with our baby!

Advanced RV

If you are interested in Cruzmobile or another ARV, contact us at 440-283-0405.

Wishing all of you safe travels and health in all of your adventures.

Cheers,
Steve and Brittany

Want to know more about Cruzmobile? Click here.

lake erie

A 9-day road trip in the Advanced-RV Giddy Up takes Andrew and Katharine from Advanced-RV headquarters near Cleveland, OH, along the shore of Lake Erie, and into Canada. Follow along in the final edition of our 7-part series, as the couple stops at Woodbury Vineyards on the way back to Advanced-RV’s headquarters.

Saturday started with a lovely morning on the cranberry bog. Today’s quests while en route back to the USA was to find a place to dump our recycling and get more fresh water onboard. Our fresh water meter was looking suspicious around 35 – 40%, and we wanted to have enough to take a shower.

Cabela’s stores often feature RV dump outs as well as fresh water, but the Cabela’s in Barrie did not offer fresh water. We headed south toward Toronto and popped off at an “On Route” pull out (highway stop) and successfully unloaded our recycling. We continued onto the QEW toward Niagara and the USA. The QEW ends at the border crossing over the two-lane Peace Bridge. It is an old, small, narrow bridge that takes you right into Buffalo. We successfully navigated customs and took NY-5 down the coast of Lake Erie.

We had one more “Hail-Mary” plan to find water—Evangola New York State Park. Before we stopped at Evangola, Giddy Up needed a big fill up on diesel—slightly over 17 gallons—that included fuel not only from the drive down from Lake Muskoka (230-ish miles) but also a full night’s worth of heat during a 36-degrees night plus heating some hot water. Most parks, like commercial campsites, are closed until May 1, but Evangola appeared to be open. It’s a large, lovely state park surrounded by forest with a big beach house and beach right on Lake Erie. We drove to the RV camping site area, and as you can guess, it was closed. We decided that we would get to Woodbury Vineyards—17 miles or so down the lake—and beg our hosts if they could spare us some water, or we could purchase some from them.

Maria greeted us in the wine shop, and she was as lively in person as she was on the phone. Phil, the winemaker, also came out of the back to greet us. As we started to talk about parking options, I took the moment to ask for water. Phil immediately offered up water and a water hose from his wine-making area—the cost was a tour of Giddy Up, with which he was fascinated. We bought a bottle of wine for dinner and one for Viki at Advanced-RV. We took a jaunt into the vineyards and found ourselves crossing into an overgrown area of vines and fruit trees, scaring away a few (big!) bunnies in the process. The fruit trees looked particularly old and overgrown but were also impressive and venerable.

Maria indicated that they had “taken on” the vineyard seven years ago to help save it and bring it back. This small section of old, untamed growth in the midst of the cultivated section seemed to tell part of that tale. We watched a lovely sunset from Giddy Up and made dinner as part of operation “clean up the rest of what we have” in the van.

lake erie

Sunday morning began with an intense, beautiful sunrise over a frosty vineyard. It got down into the low 30s overnight, but Giddy Up’s furnace kept us nice and warm. After coffee, we packed up our clothes and things, including a couple of bottles of wine. We bade farewell to our new friend, Maria, at Woodbury Vineyards and headed back to Cleveland.

 

To learn more about Giddy Up, click here.

To learn more about renting an ARV, click here.

As our other newsletter article makes clear, safely caring for your motorhome in the winter is vital to the vehicle’s well-being. This winterization process addresses the damages that might occur when temperatures dip below freezing. For those who plan on winterizing, Advanced RV has prepared a winterization checklist to help you with the endeavor. For the motorhome owners desiring a more convenient solution, this article will discuss storing vehicles with ARV in Cleveland. At our facility, RVs are safely shielded from the cold and can be upfit with new technologies as they await the spring.

Cleveland Winter motorhome storage class b rv luxury motorhome

The new Advanced RV facility has plenty of room for winter motorhome storage

The most practical benefit to storing a motorhome at our Cleveland facility is the opportunity for upfit improvements. For instance, many owners choose to upgrade to one of our Quiet AC Units. Instead of seeing winter as a hinderance to their travels, they use the downtime to make enhancements to their vehicles’ comfort and usability. Similarly, other owners service their battery systems or swap their tires for new ones. Motorhomes not built by Advanced RV can find significant improvements through E&P Leveling Systems and VB Air Suspension – components we endorse and implement into the majority of our designs. With these upfits, the motorhome is not idly waiting for winter to pass. Instead, the vehicle rests and reloads – poised to reignite its adventures in the spring.

Quiet Air Conditioning AC Units for luxury motorhome

A shipment of Quiet AC Units awaits installation. AC upgrades are one of our most popular upfits because they help make winter motorhome storage productive towards spring travel.

Regardless of the winterization strategy, it is imperative that a motorhome’s waste systems, water pumps, tires, and batteries are prepared for the cold. If these procedures are ignored, the motorhome will undergo serious damage as the fluids inside freeze, expand, and rupture piping. Do-it-yourself winterization will reliably prevent these issues, but the advantages of storing the RV in a heated environment must be considered. At a facility like ours, the motorhome’s exterior won’t have to endure the harsh winter elements. We wash the vehicle, top off its fluids, and ensure the battery is warm and plugged in. The motorhome returns in the spring looking fresh and operating at its best.

While ARV has offered winter storage for many years, this the company’s first winter in our new building. The 85,000 square foot facility is warm, secure, and offers plenty of space for your beloved motorhome. Plus, due to Cleveland’s geographic position, delivery to our location is a flexible process. Shipping an RV here is simple, but since almost 60% of the US population lives within a day’s drive of Ohio, driving here yourself is viable as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about motorhome storage, call us at 440-283-0405 and we’d be happy to talk.

class b rv

An abundance of warm weather has made for a great year of travel. Nonetheless, it is time to begin preparing your RV for the harmful freezing temperatures that loom ahead. In this article we’ll discuss why winterizing your motorhome is important. Plus, we’ll provide you with a downloadable checklist that details how you can ensure your vehicle successfully survives the cold.

Advanced RV Eowyn custom motorhome winter snow

“Eowyn” strikes a pose in the snow.

Winterizing an RV prevents the damage that occurs when temperatures dip below freezing. These low temperatures cause liquids to freeze and expand with enough force to rupture crucial systems within your RV. Indoor faucets, toilet valves, water pumps, and the macerator are all areas of concern. Advanced RV’s recent interior plumbing developments help to mitigate the problem, but extended storage leaves every motorhome susceptible to freeze damage.

“This type of damage is hard to reverse,” says Frank Kolasinski, a service specialist at Advanced RV, “Once it’s done, it’s done. You’ll have to spend a considerable amount of money to get you back where you were yesterday.”

class b rv luxury custom motorhome liberty advanced rv

“Liberty” enjoys the winter scenery.

We’ve created an RV winterization checklist to help account for each step of the process. The checklist includes instructions for winterizing your water pumps, sewage systems, batteries, and tires. We suggest you print the list out or bookmark this page to return to later. “If in doubt, I would always err on the side of caution,” Frank adds, “We’ve worked hard to make the process as easy as possible. We’ve placed winterization valves in convenient locations, and reversing the procedure is as simple as running water through the system.”

Advanced RV custom motorhome ice storm

“Escape” couldn’t escape an ice storm, but the motorhome continued to run smoothly in the cold.

Some RV owners circumvent the winterization process by storing their motorhomes in tropical climates or in heated garages. Many Advanced RV partners store their motorhomes at our Cleveland facility. Here, their RVs are kept in a temperature-controlled building and can undergo maintenance or be fitted with upgrades. “People like this option because it’s hassle free,” says Frank, “As an added bonus, their RV returns in the spring with some features it didn’t have beforehand.” Typically, people who select this option want to avoid making winterization precautions and foresee upgrading, for example, to a quiet air conditioning unit. That way, when warm temperatures return, their motorhome can hit the road without missing a step.

To learn more about systems installed in an Advanced RV, click here.

Johnston's Cranberry Marsh

A 9-day road trip in the Advanced-RV Giddy Up takes Andrew and Katharine from Advanced-RV headquarters near Cleveland, OH, along the shore of Lake Erie, and into Canada. Follow along in Part 6 of our 7-part series, as the couple travels north in search of cranberries.

With our course headed to Muskoka Lakes Cranberry Marsh, we flew around CA-407 and onto CA-400 North at highway speeds. Somewhere north of Barrie (near Craigshurst, I think), Andrew needed a break and saw a sign for a chocolate store at the next exit. (Such a smart man!) Clearly, a higher power was at work. We pulled over and stopped at a small, delightful chocolate store and small factory all in one. The young lady making chocolates in the area that consumed most of the building came out into the small store to serve us. Beautiful solid, butter crème, and Ice Wine chocolates were among the choices.

With our chocolate fix in hand, we wandered up the two-lane Penetanguishene Road and then, through the small town of Vasey, before joining back with CA-400 and getting quite close to the Georgian Bay off of Lake Huron—which means we hit three of the five Great Lakes, just missing Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.

We filled-up Giddy Up with more diesel as we left CA-400 and found our way to Cranberry Road, and finally to Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh and Muskoka Lakes Winery. Wow! This place is set up very well – trails, shop, and the Cranberry Marsh. We popped into the store to let them know we were here and check our parking. We booked our 3:00 p.m. bog to bottle tour, grabbed a bottle of cranberry-apple cider and went back to Giddy Up for lunch.Cranberries

The tour was very informative—I’ll never look at a can of cranberry jelly the same way! We learned many impressive things about the lifecycle of a cranberry, how they grow and how they are harvested. We were impressed by Johnston’s use of bees for the pollination process and ducks to help keep the algae down in the bog for natural pest control. Johnston’s also recently added wild blueberries to their farm for various blueberry products, including a cranberry-blueberry wine, which was very good.

The original founders were a man, who picked up several hundred acres of natural bog for $500 in the late 1950s, and his wife, who dug the farm out of the forest, sold cranberries and products, and played in a jazz band to help raise four kids.

We tasted five cranberry wines and enjoyed the white cranberry wine the most; we bought a bottle for dinner. The farm has several nature/walking trails with good signage and self-guided narratives. We took one of the longer ones through the forest and around the new and original bogs. In the winter, they recently added an ice trail for skaters—keeping it smooth with a Cranboni!

Cranboni

While bears and other animals will not eat cranberries, the addition of the blueberries and honeybees has added interest for the bears. We went by the electrified fenced-in area where the bees are kept. Apparently, the bears have figured out how to disconnect the battery—so, fortifications for the bees continue to be a challenge.

We had a nice evening snugly watching the sunset on the bog from the warm inside of Giddy Up. The temperature dropped to 40 degrees, with the occasional wind gust. We discovered a side benefit of using the convection oven to cook our dinner (ham and cheese quiche) was that it, too, helped warm the inside of Giddy Up. The white cranberry wine paired well with the quiche and sugar snap peas—a nice way to camp at a cranberry bog.

Muskoka Winery

To learn more about Giddy Up, click here.

To learn more about renting an ARV, click here.

Radio Days Interior

Behind every ARV van is a client with a vision and a team of craftspeople breathing life into it. It’s this relationship that makes our motor homes truly custom. It’s this trust that allows space for creativity and innovation to flourish. It’s what makes an RV a home.

Greg, owner of Radio Days, recently visited Advanced RV with a few projects in mind for our cabinetry shop, including a new cup holder and storage for underneath his bed. His instructions were simple: make it functional, and make it beautiful.

Rob, Advanced RV’s Cabinetry Team Leader, crafted a piece that not only included a cell phone slot, wide-based cup holder, and a loose change collector–it also carried the textures and theme seen throughout the coach up into the cab area.

“It’s fun when clients come in with ideas. It’s fun to make them happy; it’s rewarding,” said Rob.

This innovation wasn’t Greg and Rob’s first collaboration, either. They began envisioning Radio Days together in July 2017. Rob asked how Greg wanted to travel, what was most important to him, what his interests were. The motor home took on a few different names and identities in the beginning, but after diving deep into these questions, it’s true personality surfaced: Radio Days.

Radio Days Interior

Greg has spent numerous years working in radio and has a penchant for art deco, which also peaked with the golden days of radio. He translated these two interests into a beautiful and unique theme for his custom motor home. Bold, geometric patterns in rich colors cover the seats and a cased-in recording disk makes up his dining table/headboard.

Greg describes his approach to building Radio Days: “I come up with and idea and I make it ARV’s problem.”

Luckily, we are in the business of problem solving.

“This is not a factory,” added Rob, “it’s a team of craftsmen. Everyone here excels at thinking critically and creatively about design and function. Nothing is cookie-cutter.”

When building Radio Days, Rob and his team created custom fine cabinetry that mimic the lines of the old school radio mounted on top of the wardrobe. “I drew on my experience working on high end homes,” Rob said about the design and woodworking. “The artistry and craftsmanship here is fine focused.”

Radio Days Drawers

Knowing that his finished coach would serve as his full-time residence, Greg wanted to make sure that it was easy to change the decor and keep the small space fresh and interesting. Armed with that vague instruction, ARV’s cabinetry team designed Radio Days’ front wardrobe so that the fabric creating the illusion of a radio speaker could be easily swapped out with something new. Greg has a picture frame on his wall that contains 8 photographs he can rotate between depending on his mood. The vintage radio mounted to his wardrobe can be replaced with a fully restored replica of his dad’s 1936 RCA that he remembers listening to Cleveland Browns’ games on as a kid.

Restored RCA Radio

“Sitting around and coming up with ideas—how about this? What If we do it that way?—that’s the fun stuff. The whole give and take process,” noted Greg. “I would tell new clients, you don’t have to know how to do it! Never once have I worried whether or not an idea was possible. If you just let your imagination run, that’s when the magic happens!”

Indeed, there is a certain magic one feels when they step inside Radio Days. Just ask Greg about any of the design elements or decor and you’ll understand why.

Although ARV provides hundreds of fabric and finish samples for you to peruse during your configuration, the possibilities don’t end there, and Greg found art deco prints for his upholstery and galley accents that he purchased on his own and had drop shipped to our facility. Not so keen on the Mercedes-Benz emblem on the front bumper of his Sprinter, Greg worked with our engineers to come up with a radio dial that would take its place.

On his coffee shelf you’ll find a metallic lizard, and on his upper cabinetry you’ll find two metallic stars–all knobs his wife had picked out for their hutch to replace the boring original hardware. Nostalgic salt and pepper shakers and a dough family sculpture made by his wife and son are mounted to the kitchen galley. A print out of his wife’s favorite quote and a sign reading “All roads lead home,” gifted from a friend, reside behind the driver’s seat.

“Customization is in the little things. And the little things are what make the van your own,” says Greg about these personal touches.

Rob adds that, “Our clients put passion into their design. They’re not just building a toy, they’re creating a home. The same things that go into making your house a home apply.”

Greg wholly embraced the design process for creating an ARV motor home from start to finish, and continues to partner with ARV’s engineers and craftspeople in thinking innovatively about improvements and ways to incorporate his personality and passions into his coach. Radio Days is truly one of a kind, even by our standards for customization.

Greg summed it up best when he told me, “I chose ARV when I decided I didn’t want an RV. That was the pivot point for me. I wanted more than an RV, I wanted a home. There is no RV that can be or do what Radio Days is and does.”