The Kinsey & Kirk Family Vacation to Glacier National Park

Family_3The Kinsey & Kirk Family Vacation to Glacier National Park

by Christy Kirk

We were very fortunate this summer to take our family trip out west to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Glacier National Park.  We have family that live near Coeur d’Alene so once we made the decision to visit them we quickly realized that we couldn’t be that close to one of the most beautiful national Parks and not go.  So we made the 4.5 hour drive from Coeur d’Alene to Glacier.

We were amazed at the beauty of this park!  It is hard to imagine what this part of the country actually looks like until you see it yourself, pictures just can’t do it justice.  As soon as you enter the park you are surrounded by beautiful snow topped mountains with waterfalls, lakes & streams  My daughters Lorinda 16, Lainee 10 & Gracie 8 were in awe over the turquoise rivers and streams and wanted to stop at every one.    We entered the park through West Glacier and decided we would take Going to the Sun Road through the park to East Glacier and on to the Many Glacier section of the park to make the 10 mile roundtrip hike to Iceberg Lake.  As we were driving on the Going to the Sun Road the views were breathtaking however my daughters were more amazed by all of the Mountain Goats we saw near Logan’s Pass.  At every turn along the Sun Road the scenery became more beautiful.  Once we made it to East Glacier it was a mix of prairie meets mountains and a beautiful view of Saint Mary Lake.

Finally we made our way to the Many Glacier section of the park, equipped with Bear Spray we started our trail to Iceberg Lake.  Within the first 10 minutes, my parents, Ron & Brenda Kinsey, were convinced we were trying to kill them since there is an elevation gain of roughly 185 feet in only a quarter-of-a-mile!  However, they quickly got over that once we all learned that from safe distance we would be able to view a Mama Grizzly bear and her cub.  This was the most exciting part of the trip for my husband!  Along the trail we hiked through gorgeous alpine meadows, dense forest, Ptarmigan Falls and even snow.  My girls loved playing in the snow in July!  Finally, at an elevation of 6094, we reached our destination of Iceberg Lake.  Iceberg Lake is a beautiful crystal-clear Iceberg filled lake surrounded by mountains.

This is an absolutely gorgeous and amazing National Park!  We hope to visit again since it isn’t possible to appreciate all the beauty this park has to offer in just one trip!




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Extended RV Warranties: Don’t Travel Without One

No one likes to pay more than an item’s purchase price.  The taxes alone are a burden.  With some purchases, there are those nasty surcharges as well as handling and other miscellaneous fees.  And then there are extended warranties.  Some people do not feel right about paying extra for something that “should” work or take the position of, “I will deal with it (breakdown/repairs) if and when it happens.”

Well, I urge you not to make that costly mistake when purchasing an RV.  Like with a home or vehicle, even the best built RV can develop unexpected repairs and mechanical problems.  While a travel trailer may not have an expensive engine, certain simple appliance failures could be costly.  Statistics show that just in the second year, three out of every ten RVs will need a major repair.

You did not purchase your vehicle to have it sit in storage or in your driveway until you are able to afford to pay for expensive repairs.  You purchased your RV so you can take advantage of the RV experience: taking weekend trips, vacationing, camping, enjoying recreational activities, and spending time with family.

Unless you have extra dollars set aside, an extended and lifetime warranty is the single best way to protect your investment.  With a comprehensive RV warranty, you can get your RV into a shop and be back on the road hassle-free, without losing valuable time.  Additionally, extended warranties often include towing and roadside assistance benefits, emergency repair provisions, and even lodging reimbursements.

Do not put your finances at risk.  You do not want to face surprise expenses, especially costly RV repairs. Have the peace of mind that comes with an RV warranty, and sleep better at night knowing that certain major repairs will be covered, if and when they occur.

Choose Your RV Dealer Before You Choose Your RV

During the recent recession, the RV industry suffered greatly.  There were suppliers, manufacturers and dealers who had to shut their doors due to declining sales.  The good news for the industry is that the RV experience is now taking the country by storm and those that survived are seeing the fruits of their patience and hard work.

Couples and families are flocking to dealers with the hope and dream of having their own RV for long, comfortable vacations, easy weekend get-aways, or even a permanent “mobile” home for their retirement years.  And, of course, there are those who have been RVing for years and are looking for a newer, improved model.

Regardless of your reason for buying an RV and whether you are new to RVing or a seasoned veteran, there is one rule of thumb that should never be ignored, forgotten, or overlooked; one that passionate, loyal RVers take very seriously.  And that is the dealer you choose is just as important, if not more important, than the model you choose.

Why does this “unspoken” rule exist? Because RVers know or learn that it is what happens after a purchase of an RV that really matters.  You can choose a dealer and even travel far distances just to save a few bucks on the purchase price.  Just keep in mind that buying an RV is not like buying a car.  The relationship between the dealer and buyer really matters.  Just ask any loyal, caring dealer or customer, and they will tell you that the other is like family.  They are committed to one another and do all they can to protect and nurture the mutual relationship.  It is an experience worth a little research upfront.

So the question is: How can I be sure to choose this type of dealer; one that will not cause buyer’s remorse?  There are several factors to consider when choosing your dealer but here are a few of the most important ones:


#1 Experience

How long has the dealership has been in business?  It is not to say that a dealer who has only been around ten or twenty years is not a good choice.  However, when you see that a dealer has been around fifty, 60 or even more years, you can be certain that they have been doing many things right in order to be in business that long, especially if the ownership has been family-owned and operated through multiple generations.  And it is a good bet that they have created a lot of happy customers and friends along the way.


#2 On-site maintenance & service

Many RV dealers claim they offer great service.  What you may not know is that many dealers actually outsource much or all of its maintenance and service.  In fact, one of the most common complaints from RV buyers is that RV dealers are only interested in selling you a product and not in keeping it serviced afterwards.  This is often true with some of the larger dealerships because they have inventory to push off the lot.  They do not have time to “waste” on servicing the units they sell; that is not where the money is made.

A reputable dealer, however, understands that it is the post-sale service that establishes integrity and trust.  If you want to know how seriously a dealer treats service, take a look at his service bay.  If they have a service that is in proportion to their sales lot, they put an emphasis on service and they are the ones who have happy customers who keep coming back.


#3 Customer Service

Finding an RV dealer with a proven track record and a reputation for providing exceptional customer service is extremely important. When you spend thousands of dollars on an RV, you want a dealer who will provide outstanding customer service.  After your RV breaks down or needs maintenance is not the time to learn of a dealer’s careless customer service.  Selecting a dealer with a good reputation does not mean that your RV’s life will be maintenance-free.  It does, however, ensure that your needs will be met with the sincere desire and practiced capability needed to resolve issues and exceed the expectations of a satisfied, valued customer.

One way to be proactive in determining if an RV dealer values customer service is by asking if they have earned any manufacturers’ customer service awards; pay close attention to the Top 50 in this category.


#4 Sales

If you want to know if you are at the wrong dealership, the first sign will be the approach and technique used by the sales staff.  You should not leave a dealership feeling like you just tried to buy a vehicle on a used car lot.  Yes, every salesperson wants to make a sale and earn a living, but quality salespeople who work for a quality dealer understand that it is the sales experience that sets the foundation for establishing trust and a long-term dealer-buyer relationship.

A salesperson should not only be friendly and polite.  He should be very knowledgeable about the models on his lot as well as have a strong understanding of the industry.  Furthermore, the salesperson should be more focused on what you want and need from your RV and your reason for investing in an RV, than on making a sale or pushing a particular brand or model.  They understand that it is the experience of RVing that draws people; so make sure that you find a dealer that has salespeople who are passionate about the RVing experience and not just about putting cash in their pockets.  If you feel the positive vibe from the front line, you can almost guarantee it will continue throughout the entire dealership.  And that is a good thing for RVers, because experienced RV owners will often tell you that picking your dealer is just as important, if not more so, than picking your RV.

My RV Experience As a Life-Long Modern Trailer Sales Customer

Mr-and-Mrs-HeathMr. and Mrs. Heath bought their first trailer in 1969 from the original owner of Modern Trailer Sales, Charles Kinsey. They were originally attracted to Modern Trailer Sales because they were one of the first RV dealerships in the area. Mr. Heath says that one of the biggest strengths of Modern Trailer Team is that they are trustworthy and they treat their customers like part of the family.

“When we bought our first trailer, they never forgot us. They always remembered our names and knew who we were when we saw them. After we bought our trailer we couldn’t get our refrigerator to light up and Ronnie (they called him Ronnie at the time) came out and worked on it until he got it working.

We have bought 3 Nomad trailers from them. First, a 19ft pull type trailer that we raised our kids in. They gave me a foot tire pump with my first trailer, which I still have.

We quit camping and I sold [the trailer], but then when we decided to start camping again we bought a 15ft. When we decided to go to Florida for the winter, we bought a 24ft that had more storage. Later on we … got a 28 ft with more cabinets and storage while we were in Florida. We have taken all 4 to Modern Trailer for maintenance. They treat us like family. Ron and Brenda know us by name and that means a lot.”

Four trailers and lots of RV trips later, the Heaths have one tip to offer to new RV buyers when they are choosing an RV dealership and purchasing their first RV.  “Go to a dealership that you can trust and is family owned.  You have to go somewhere you trust and I guarantee you Modern Trailer Sales; you’ll be able to trust. I’ve known them for over 40 years.”