Dana Philp 28+ years RV sales experience, black belt in RV fun
Barney Alexander Senior RV driving instructor, more than 44,000 students, soon to be retired
He’s taught more than 44,000 RVers how to drive a motorhome. She’s taught at least as many RVers how to have a good time. Here’s what happened when Lazydays’ senior driving instructor and the RV industry’s guru of fun took the 2012 Thor Motor Coach Four Winds for a spin.
Dana opens the Four Winds door for Barney and bows as she
graciously shows him the way, like a chivalrous matador.
Dana: I’d make an “age before beauty” joke, but since this is
your last month on the job I’ll go easy on you, Barney.
Barney: I appreciate that. My first coach was a Class C about this
size. Most fun I ever had in an RV.
Dana: I’ll bet it didn't have an exterior protection like this coach.
The slick fiberglass with gel and clear coat protects the paint and
exterior so that both will hold up and look beautiful for a long time.
Barney: I also love the exterior storage compartment. It’s huge
and has spaces that act as coolers when you add ice to them. The
awning runs the length of the coach and the entry is nice and wide.
Dana: You’ll need that.
Barney: Hey, I thought you were gonna be nice.
Dana: Couldn’t help myself.
Barney and Dana climb aboard and stand in the spacious interior
admiring the surroundings.
Barney: The Four Winds is perfect for a family. Mom and Dad
have the full-size bed and the kids can sleep in the overhead bunk.
You’ve got everything you need for fun in this coach.
Dana: This is what we call a high-end, entry-level Class C.
The features are high-end and the price point is entry level. The
cabinet doors are solid wood. We’ve got a linoleum floor, which
is easy to clean, especially when you’re coming off the beach and
sand. We’ve also got a convection microwave oven with "chill
grills" in the air conditioning vent; this cools the immediate area
in front of the stove if it gets extra-hot there.
Barney: The bathroom has a porcelain toilet and a glass shower
door like you might find on a Class A.
Dana: Ready to take it for a spin?
Barney: Let’s get to it.
Barney sits behind the wheel and Dana readies herself in the
passenger seat. With a turn of the key, the Four Winds’ engine
roars to life.
Barney: With a Ford® V10 engine in a coach this size, we should
get great gas mileage.
Dana: The seats are comfortable and we’ve got a weather band on
our radio. That’s something you see on higher-end Class A models.
Barney: It comes in handy when inclement weather is in the
area and you have to alter your plans. It’s always better to be at
a campground wishing you were on the road than to be on the
road wishing you were in a campground.
Barney puts the coach in gear and pulls away. After a few
minutes, the Four Winds is on the highway cruising at 65 mph.
Barney: This coach handles beautifully. People like driving Class
Cs because they’re in their comfort zone. It feels like you’re
driving a pickup truck or an SUV.
Dana: Thor is a major player in the RV industry. They offer the
“Shield of Protection” on all their coaches, which is a Gold Star
Inspection before the coach ships from their factory. Each coach
also comes with
Concierge Connection, a 24/7 customer hotline
and “rapid response” on parts.
Dana toasts Barney on his retirement.
He taught over 44,000 RVers how to
safely operate their motorhome.
Barney: I’d recommend the powered, heated mirror package. A
lot of people think heated mirrors are only for dealing with frost
up North, but they will evaporate moisture in the rain. When
you’re backing up, it’s always a good idea to lower your big
mirrors so you can see your back tires. If you have the powered
mirrors package, it’s easy to do.
Dana: So how are you going to spend retirement?
Barney: I’m going wherever it takes me.
Dana: What about your wife?
Barney: She’s already retired and hasn’t stopped smiling.
Dana: Not for long. Once you join her, she’ll realize that
everything is double the price and half the fun.
Dana: We’ll miss ya', Barney.
Barney: I won’t be far away. You can always find me at
The coach rides off into the setting sun.
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