windsurf lessons

Have taught more people to windsurf than I care to remember. Number 1 is get lessons, and learn to do it the easy and correct way from the first minutes on the water. We sold boards and gave lessons, and had our clients sailing in minutes and they could enjoy the first hours on the water. We watched macho guys try and fail, but taught their girlfriends or wive’s in short order. Women learn quickly, as they listen and don’t have the strength to do things wrong or the hard way.

Steady winds and smooth water are also keys to developing the early skill set needed for waves, higher winds and shorter boards and water starts because the boards are too small to float you.

Rent first, and several times to know you really want to take on another money sucking, time needed, traveling, and equipment rich sport. Then go have the time of your life. Kitesailing will be the next chapter after, with even more money, equipment, and hours of fun.

About Foretravel

Foretravel info

This family owned east Texas custom builder has only built 6618 coaches in 50 years. In house designers, high quality cabinetry, and new standards for standard equipment, and some still unmatched today. A huge percentage of the coaches were custom orders, with “Yes” being the answer when you asked if something could be done. They had huge tanks compared to the market of their day, for water, grey, black and fuel. We have 149 gal. diesel, 102 water, 110 grey, 54 black, for a true boondocking coach. Standard was 3 8D gel house batteries, and 10Kw generators with auto start, and remote start from the bed. The only coaches with more are usually the Blue Bird Wanderlodges. Our coach has a transmission retarder braking system, with a 6 position joy stick. It controls decent speeds and normal braking, and added $10,000 to the cost, but was standard on Foretravels. Engines were set up with higher HP from Cummins than the other bands typically offered.

We love the solid walnut cabinetry, still have walnut half walls, and the feel of a classic custom yacht. We were lucky to find this coach with some pricey upgrades. The seller had done the new headlight package, and MCD double roller shades hidden behind the window valances, and the new Lazy Boy rocker/recliner. Love the bus style bay doors, the cargo bed drawers, and the hanging drawers in the storage bays. We have equipment not found on coaches built today, on our 15 year old classic.

We are happy with what we have found.

We have added a Samsung French Door SS residential refrigerator, Samsung SS Convection Microwave, Splendide Combo washer/dryer, and a Magmum Pure Sine Wave 2800 Inverter.  Other upgrades or replacements include a new 3 way 10 gallon water heater and new variable speed water pump, a 28″ flat screen, and a couple dozen other improvements

Fredericksburg TX recommendations

There are some very good places to eat, pick up the local tourist info newspaper.  Mico brewery, pie store, chocolates, wine tasting, and more.

The huge German resturant on the west end is Friedheim’s Bavarian Inn. 

We have also enjoyed the Garrison Brother’s Distillery in Hye TX, the first Bourbon Distillery in TX.  Tours, worth the time, cost and the samples are to be remembered.  Hye is just east of Stonewall before Johnson City on 290, Garrison’s is south about 3 miles of the Post Office, tasting room and general store.

Walmart notes

If you are doing Walmart or any asphalt parking lot, you know you would possibly damage the pavement with your jacks.  I can sure see why parking lot owners might not like having their parking lots punched with holes by RV jacks.

And the Walmart parking code of conduct suggests no slides out as I recall.

Galveston to see

We really enjoyed the jack up oil rig museum Oceanstar, at Pier 19, one block off the Strand.  It’s a great self guided, mulit media, 3 story example of a jack up rig, and the way the oil industry works off shore.  The videos, models, and displays are well worth the time.  Getting on the tool deck, standing by the towering derrick, and also watching the cruise ships back out were well worth the price.

red light issues

My main route home is 3 lanes east and 3 west, center median, 45 mph speed limits, with a separate last left turn lane set of lights into the neighborhood does not trip with my bikes. Years past I arrived at the intersection and the traffic control workers had the box open. We talked and they set the light to trip with the bike I was riding. Years have passed and someone has reset the light, and it no longer sees any of my bikes.

Now I try to watch to see if I might have a car behind me to trip the light as I come to a stop. If not, I just go straight thru, ride about a 1/4 mile east to a opening in the median, and make a u-turn to go west. Then come back and turn right to go north 2 blocks to my house. Problem with not tripping the light and stopping, means I need to make a right turn now across 3 east bound lanes to go south, not smart. Then I need a u-turn back north to the light, that will not trip either. But then I can take another right on red to go east, do the u-turn in the median to go west. Now going west I can make a right on red to go north. Real pain in the rear, but with 3 rights on red I can get home when I can’t make one left turn.

I have started making an earlier left turn thru the median, and then cut thru private parking lots to get to my street. Not better or safer, or legal, maybe?


Mudslinger is an inter rear fender extension to help keep the rear shock, and battery clean. It also will help so much to keep your legs and boots clean. Several companies make them, the hard plastic seem likely to load with dirt, I have a soft rubber one that never seems to load up. It must flex and loose mud and dirt as I run over bumps.

Having had both GS’s and GSA’s, I like the GSA for the better wind protection from the big tank when at speed, and the need to almost never be the guy needing gas soon. When I have known I was going off pavement, I elected not to carry a full tank of gas. We rode Copper Canyon, half tank full worked well.


Travco units were incorporated into the Foretravel company. I understand the owner groups merged after Foretravel gained control of the Travco molds and designs.

One sees the influence of the Travco front designs on the coaches from Foretravel starting in the 80’s.

Nice to know I can get parts and factory support on my 1993. Called Thur. for parts, and the parts guy pulled my year’s book. He answered my questions, got help for a old guy that was working there when my coach was built. Had the parts in stock, pulled them out of stock, sent them down to shipping, and I had them at my door 24 hours later.

about the Fleetwood Jamboree

22 ft 2005 Fleetwood Jamboree

We looked hard at those. I like the overhead bed, and then all the floor space for living. It kept the OL shorter, and still had everything we wanted. I was going to tow the bikes on the Kendon folding trailer. We would not need to tow a car to run around. It will be easy to park anywhere you want to stop and sightsee.

When we downsize, we will be back to looking for a B or a C.

Diesel miles

I have read diesels run 500,000 miles before any work on 80,000# over the road trucks. My coach only weighs in full tanks at 28,400, but is rated at 36K max. load and towing. Gas engines have a shorter life span in RV’s where often they are having to work hard all their life. Some say 80-100K is the life in an RV for gas engines.

On the RV forums new buyers always want to know about a high mileage diesel, like over 100K. Most often they are told, the diesel if serviced is not going to be the problem. It is usually the RV systems and structure that fails, from roof and wall leaks, and the results of driving the house down the road.

My two Foretravels were or are squeak and rattle free, one over 110K, the newer one over 95K. Everything still works like the day it was delivered.

Buying motorcycles sight unseen

Two times I’ve bought a bike, sight unseen, from people met on a forum.

First was a fly and ride R1200GS. Got picked up at airport, a lunch, and help to ship all the extras home. I then enjoyed a 2000 mile 10 day ride return from Atlanta to Ft. Worth.

Second was a pickup in CO, after the seller had all the service and back warranty work caught up on his 650X Challenge. Seller met us a couple hours south of his home on our route to help us, loaded on our trailer. Spent a week riding in Ouray and then some days in NM on our way home.

Both sellers were straight up, helpful, and things worked out really well on both deals.

I look for bikes in far away locations, as a chance to fly and ride new areas on my way home.

I enjoyed my 2000 mile wandering around on my way home. Forgot to mention, that a GSA that I had been looking at was on my route. The dear wife said I really should at least go by and see about it, and try to make a deal. I called that seller, arranged to see it the next day and made him an offer. He did not take it, so I turned north towards MO to ride northern AR and see a friend. Two days later the GSA seller calls to accept my offer. So I called a friend to fly to Little Rock and ride the GSA home. He and I had a great time, riding new to us bikes around AR, and finally to Texas.

I ended up with two GS’s and a GSA, and lots of parts and farkles. Spent the next week reorganizing the farkles. Ended up selling one GS on Wed. off the driveway to a guy driving by. Sold the other GS on Sat. to a friend after a couple of hours test ride for brunch. Came out of the deal with a GSA under warranty, all the upgrades I was going to put on the first GS, and we all had a great trip as well.

Sold GSA

Sold my GSA yesterday, and it leaves today. For the first time in 15 years I don’t have a bike or 3 in the shop. I stepped into the RV thing 4 years ago with a toyhauler. Carried 1 or 2 bikes, a fun year for sure. Then a Foretravel and towed a trailer with bikes, then a Blue Ox platform lift for a bike and towed car. Now a nicer and newer Foretravel, and now no bike.

We are thinking of more downsizing, and less things with wheels, and maybe no house for a while. Now to sell the Kendon, and the towed little car. To be down to only 3 tags, registrations, and insured vehicles. How weird could that be? No yard, pool, utilities, taxes, then why keep working?

But wait, what about a WR250R on the rear bumper? Maybe just the thing.

Getting TX driver’s license for the coach

In Texas, I got my non CDL Class B license last month, in Cleburne.  I drove the newer heavier 1998 U295 Foretravel to the office for the driving test, they were happy I was there to get the correct non CDL rating.  There is constant confusion on CDL and non CDL license requirements.  It is first weight dependent on the non CDL, C, B and A requirements.  Then whether or not it is a business related driving task, where it is a regular CDL.  We can drive our coaches over 26,001 pounds off the sales lot, but the serivce and sales staff has to have a CDL Class B to drive our coach.  I was legal with my old class C license with the lighter 1993 U225 Foretravel.  I was able to upgrade from a CM (motorcycle) to a BM.

I do see that Michigan has a RV license upgrade for double tow, when you hitch a trailer to the 5th wheel behind the truck, max length 75′, and some weight restrictions.  They call it a Recreation Double.

towing options

You might be able to tow a Dodge Journey, check out this site for transmission pumps to see if your car can be towed with their products.

Then you need the tow bar set up, most likely the brake system, and light system as well.

I have two towable choices depending on where and what we are going to do when we arrive.

That is a slippery slope at this house when we talk cars.

Wife has a Sienna, that she loves, but requires a pump. I had an Avalanche 4×4 we flat tow. But we also have a Blue Ox bike platform lift, rated for any bike, but can only flat tow 5000#. So to take the GSA, we tow a 2500# Saturn that lives in the warehouse. The little Saturn wagon is light, easy set up, and gets 24 to 34 mpg. The coach does not know the little car is even there, can’t say that about the Avalanche @ 6500# with it’s topper.

Tow dolly’s can help, but a pain to store at home and when you arrive, and you can’t back them up.


Weighing for registration, new rule?

I have now bought and brought into Texas 3 RV’s in the last 3 years.   One trailer from AR, and two Foretravels from OK, and CO, and each had to be  inspected to register and license them.  Only the most recent coach last month had to be weighed, might be a new rule.  Also remember to ask for and pay the extra dollar for the “out of state certificate”, was maybe the green form?

The 93 Foretravel that I traded in that we registered in 2011 had to be weighed (per the dealer taking the trade last month).  OK had a bogus weight listed, and that got put on the new TX paperwork in 2011.  As I happen to have a copy of a weight certificate that I had done when we first bought the coach in 2011, the dealer took a copy for his paperwork.

1998 U295

Wed. we closed on the new to us, 1998 Foretravel U295, 36′ coach. Just spent our 3rd night, drove home yesterday, got to within 3 miles of the house, and got a very nice campsite next to friends that fulltime.

Dear wife does not want to go home! Today we will swing by to get food and refer. things, and head for the warehouse to load everything from the last coach and spend the weekend gone.

Guess we need to list the house next week.

U225 leaves

The Foretravel U225 left the warehouse Sat. A very happy couple heading off soon for some full time living while they are able.

While in Fredericksburg TX two weeks ago we met a older couple in our dream coach. Another Foretravel, 36′, full of the upgrades, and a rare mid door we wanted. We were not buyers, and they assured us, they were not sellers. Fast forward 3 days and they have eyes on a newer Foretravel in East TX. We are invited to buy, and make the deal. Now, to sell the 2008 GSA, maybe the Blue Ox platform lift, and the Saturn wagon. We can now pull the Avalanche. Next I might down size to a 450-800 cc street bike. Next on the market just might be the house.

We have stepped on the slippery slope to RV living.

to slide or not to slide

I looked at slide and no slide units.

Enjoyed some of the units with, but found the main seating area seemed too wide, chairs and couches too far apart, impersonal. TV placement is the biggest problem, few or no sitting for enjoyment of straight on viewing.

Slides seemed to cut down on gross cargo, cut into the storage under the floor, and some loose the upper cabinet storage or reduce the inside heights or headroom or cabinets.

Helped a guy push his new underpowered slide back into his unit after he had tilted the unit to help the slide move downhill. His dealer said the new unit and slide “was fine, just had a ‘small’ motor on the slide”. I call BS on that answer. A total pain, with someone running the switch as he and I pushed at the right time and end to get the thing to work.

We had lived in a number of boats and trailers over the years and do just fine with an 8′ coach, would like an 8½. We choose a non slide unit for many reasons. Simpler, less expensive, lower maintenance, no leaks whether a slide is in or out, are our reason to be happy without a slide. Driving our classic 1993 unit down the highway is a quiet pleasure, compared to the slide units we have ridden in over the years.

Cuthbert RV homebuilt

That is a great link. More than just a home built, but a engineering marvel. His other videos I found, show a tour of the RV by his son, and there are a couple more as well worth looking for with a Google search for the RV the Cuthbert family built.

Foretravel walnut

Warm wood interiors, what is not to like? Same in my classic 1993 Foretravel Grand Villa. We love it more each time we step aboard, and find it harder to leave each time as well.

We find the new style of motorhomes more than over the top Las Vegas styles, or so cheap you don’t want to touch anything.

Our interior is original, solid walnut parts, or walnut plywood. We love the quality of the cabinetry, the tambour roll out of sight doors, Corian countertops, and household brand faucets. The fabrics on the barrel chairs is original and in perfect condition. Same with the carpets, though we are looking at removing most of it to install wood floors.

We looked at lots of brands, and kept coming back to the Foretravel quality. Our coach new in 1993 was over $220K, buy them now for less than $ .10 on the dollar. A cult following of owners, and great forum on the net. And the more I explore inside and under things, the more I come to understand just how well this coach was built. New today they sell million dollar coaches, glad they do, but love my classic.