JoDo Chasing Rainbows

San Antonio RV Show

We attended the San Antonio RV show which was held from January 5 – January 8, 2023. We are not looking for a new RV. We are still very happy with the RV that we bought two years ago. We wanted to see what manufacturers are doing with floor plans as well as visit vendors. We were disappointed with how few vendors we at this show. There was cookware and knives. One good thing is that I found a company to wash and hand wax our RV. Our appointment is scheduled for next week. My disappointment surrounded the lack of different kinds of vendors. I looked forward to purchasing unique to RV products. That was lacking. I guess this is part of the COVID hangover.

Here are Donna’s thoughts.

It was great to attend a RV show after not attending for a few years. We attended on Friday during work hours in hopes to avoid large crowds. There was a decent size crowd. This is our first RV show in Texas. This show had numerous travel travelers and 5th wheels. There was a small number of class C RV and most of the class A were diesel pushers.

My only compliant in the RV section was that it was difficult to access the water bay areas. That is the most important area to me due to a poor set-up can make dumping miserable business. We met a couple who were looking for a class C. It was going to be their first RV. They had done a lot of research on models and amenities. I passed along that before purchase that they spend some time in the RV with the slides closed. You need to be able to see if you can access your bathroom, bed and refrigerator with the the slides closed. You don’t want to find this out on your first trip and realize you can’t get a drink out of your refrigerator when the slides are in.

It was good to be back doing things we loved doing before the pandemic.

Jowanna’s thoughts

I spent my time looking at what manufacturers are adding to RVs. Here are some things that I noticed.

  1. Higher end RVs are adding induction stoves and convection microwaves as standard features. I noticed that many more RVs have dishwashers. Most class A RVs had washer and dryers and those who didn’t were already plumbed to add aftermarket.
  2. One trend that I don’t like is size of TVs. RVs seem to come with three TVs – living room, bedroom and outside. My pet peeve is the size of the TV outside and in the bedroom. Why do I need a 42′ TV in my bedroom. This is where I sleep. I know I am in the minority but I don’t like electronics in the bedroom. The compromise is a small TV for Donna to watch. The outdoor TVs are also getting larger. I am not opposed to outdoor TV but you should not be able to see someone’s TV from outer space. It is just too much.
  3. 5th wheels are getting fancy with floor plans. My favorite is the door in the rear so that you enter and a mud room. The rest of the living space is elevated. It cuts way down on the number of times you have to go up and down stairs when you are staying inside.
  4. Last thing I noticed is the amount of RVs where double sinks in the main bath ar ea. I thought I would hate having once sink but we have lived quite easily with that. It does look nice but I would hate to have the extra cleaning.

I walked into more RVs than Donna did. I am amazed at what is staying the same and what is changing. This show had rigs that fit every price point. I took pictures of some of my favorites.

Fifth Wheel with mud room entrance. I was amazed at how much storage under the unit. I was impressed.

Travel Trailer with couch/murphy bed for optimizing space.

What does half million class A looks like.

Fifth wheel with rear raised kitchen.

Grotto of Redemption

During our time in Iowa, we had 10 days where our coach was being worked on in the Winnebago factory. We spent our time scouring Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota. The Grotto of Redemption caught my interest. It was a few hour drive from where we were staying but that was okay because we had nothing else pressing at the time. We made this a day trip. The drive was small towns surrounded by flat farmland as far as the eye could see.

This grotto is a creation inspired by Father Dobberstein. While he was critically ill, he prayed to the Virgin Mary to intercede on his health. In return, he promised to build a shrine in her honor. He recovered and his life task was born. He came to West Bend, IA in 1898 as a pastor where he started on his task. He spent many decades stockpiling rocks and precious stones. The real work began around 1912. He did almost all the work himself with his trusted helper Matt Szerensce. For the next 52 years they labored on this project. This project was not completed by the end of Father Dobberstein’s life. Father Greving was sent to take over clerical duties and help with the Grotto when Father Dobberstein was in his 70s. Father Dobberstein passed away in 1954. Mr. Szerensce worked on the Grotto until 1959. Father Greving cared for the community and continued to build the Grotto for 50 years.

We were completely blown away with the magnificence of this place. I’ve been to Grotto’s before but nothing like this; it tells the complete story of Jesus. I am not Catholic but as a Christian you could feel the Holy Spirit flowing through this place. I can see why over 100,000 people make a pilgrimage to this place each year. It is not an easy place to get to but it is something you have to experience in person. I don’t think any of my pictures do this place justice. The rocks and precious stones were placed with such precision. He could have build a small grotto and he would have fulfilled his promise. But this is a multi-level Grotto that includes the 12 stations of the cross. It is humbling. There is a museum next to the Grotto where you can learn about how the Grotto was built. There also is a food stand that sells hot dogs, chips and drinks. It is open 24 hours since it is an outside exhibit. Check their website before you go because they do give guided tours at different times during the year.