Story by Suzanne Gibson | Apr 19, 2016
Photography by Keith Borgmeyer
The Fischer family experiences closer ties through vacationing RV style.
Curt Fischer believes the ability to pick up and go with his family and friends is the best part of owning an RV. He’s such a believer that this latest coach, a 45-footer bought in 2015, is the sixth one he’s purchased in nine years.
“When I first went to Central Bank and told Jim Sone I wanted to borrow money for an RV, he asked, ‘How long?’ When I told him 34 feet, he claimed I’d be back for a bigger one,” Fischer says. “We just kept updating through the years from 40 to three different 42 footers and then this latest one.”
Family bonding while on the road is a key aspect with wife, Dina, their four boys ranging in ages from 33 to 17, two daughter-in-laws and two grandchildren.
“Our family is race-oriented whether it’s NASCAR or sprint cars,” Fischer says. “Each of the boys started competitively racing go karts at age four. We’ve always been close, and as they have gotten older and now have families of their own, we’re still able to fly them in, or they can drive up and spend the weekend. Everyone has a blast, and it’s been really cool. The grandkids especially love riding around on the scooter and golf cart we haul behind in the trailer. We ride Harley’s, so we bring those along too.”
RV mania for the Fischers first began when long-time friends Rich and Lilly Clary from Texas invited Curt and Dina to travel in their 28-foot motorhome to a NASCAR race. “It was quite an experience showering in parking lot stalls with lots of different types of people,” Fischer says. “That part was not cool, but the racing was fun and so were the people. It was then that we decided to buy one of our own.”
Through the years Fischer recalls a few learning experiences when during their first trip with the boys, they woke up to 40-degree temperatures. “I didn’t know it took propane,” he says. “There’s no tank either, so we had to roll in the sides, pick up the jacks and drive to find a truck stop that sold propane. Those are good stories to laugh about later.”
Although propane is no longer an issue with the latest cab that is completely electric, Fischer says, “You learn so much, and there are so many teaching moments with your kids on these trips. Another time I was driving too fast up to a toll booth, and we started sliding on ice. I threw the transmission into reverse and luckily we did stop before hitting the toll both, and thankfully the transmission didn’t fall out. I learned the hard way to break early.”
And with ownership of any highly technical vehicle weighing more than 48,000 pounds, there are glitches along the way. According to Fischer, “These things are so smart they’re dumb. It may be a small thing, but every trip there’s something wrong. When you figure all the things these vehicles are required to do, it’s no wonder there is always at least one thing not working.”
It was in 2014 when Fischer, who also owns Fischer Body Shop, nearly gave up on owning another. “My wife, Dina, and I were coming out of the races in Charlotte with our latest coach and the engine blows up with less than 10,000 miles on it. The [American Coach] put in a new engine, I drove less than two miles down the road when the engine blows up again. In the meantime, I had already ordered a 45-foot coach and told them I didn’t want it if it was going to blow up too. In order to make good, they allowed me to customize exactly the way I wanted.”
With features such as foil wood, rear axle steering, specialty tiles, stainless steel appliances, a farmer’s sink, a wooden plank shower, a tiled bathroom sink, a cedar-lined closet and a queen-sized bed with a Tempur-Pedic mattress, Fischer is more than satisfied. Additionally, air ride makes traveling smooth and air leveling allows instant setup with just a push of a button.
“You can travel 1,200 miles on a tank of fuel, and you don’t have to pull over for anything,” Fischer says. “It is a comfortable and fun way to travel.”
Although his own ride is sweet, the most appealing part of traveling for Fischer is getting to know a lot of different people. “There’s a wide spectrum in the motorhome world including those who have a 16- foot pull-behind trailer for going to the river every weekend all the way up to this type of cab,” Fischer says. “When we go to Texas races, we set up next to every shape and size of RVs and there are people from all over. It doesn’t matter if they have a 20-footer or a 45-footer, they are just good people and we have a great time with everybody. The racing world is a different culture; everyone is like family.”