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The Life on Wheels program, founded by veteran RVer and author Gaylord Maxwell, recently concluded a six-day conference at the University of Idaho in Moscow.
Maxwell organized the summer workshop back in 1994 on the challenges and rewards of living in a motorhome for long stretches of time.
To his surprise, 80 students from 15 states signed up. Since then the workshop has turned into a weeklong conference in Idaho with 150 classes that range from RVing with pets to maintaining a healthy relationship with your RV partner. It represents the second of four sessions scheduled for 2005.
During the Idaho conference, Maxwell was interviewed by Michelle Norris of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.”
The following is the transcript from interview:

Norris: Well, could you describe the scene there in Moscow for us?
Maxwell: Beautiful scene, beautiful day, hundreds of RVs parked on campus. We have water lines going out to all these hundreds of RVs, and then we have septic service coming in and emptying their tanks. Hey, we’ve got a campground on campus.
Norris: (Laughs) Well, what kind of folks come out to this conference?
Maxwell: Well, they come from all over the United States. Ordinarily we’ll have 30-some states represented, but this year is unique in that we have a couple from Bermuda. They plan to leave the motorhome here and come over and join it on occasion and take trips around the United States. And they’re back this year, and they have a brand-new 40-foot motorhome.
Norris: Forty-footer, huh?
Maxwell: Yes.
Norris: Now you have quite a few course offerings. Can you give us some examples of the classes that people can take?
Maxwell: Yes. We have courses on full-timing. A lot of people live full-time in their RVs and just travel year-round. And then we have classes for beginners, classes like how to go about choosing the right RV. Then we have classes in the technical area, how to maintain the furnace, the air conditioners, that sort of thing.
Norris: Now that class we mentioned earlier, Harmony in the RV – I understand that class used to be called How to Live in a Sardine Can Without Killing Each Other.
Maxwell: That’s right. That’s a wonderful class because that’s true. That course kind of puts it bluntly, but that’s the way it is because 365 days a year, if you’re a full-timer, you’re within striking distance of each other.
Norris: Striking distance literally, I guess (laughs).
Maxwell: That’s true.
Norris: So what are the tips for people who live in close quarters like this?
Maxwell: Yeah, well, you just have to be understanding of each other. And, in my case, I think we get along fine because I’m hard of hearing. I don’t hear a lot of what I’m told.
Norris: Mr. Maxwell, tell us about your RV.
Maxwell: Oh, my RV. I’m on my 14th motorhome, and the one I have now is 40 feet long, has three slideouts on it to make it bigger, and it has two TVs, an in-motion satellite antenna, and it cost about $200,000.
Norris: It sounds like you’re riding in style.
Maxwell: You know what? It’s in style. And young people who look at that and say, `Well, that ain’t campin’,’ I say, `No, it ain’t campin’, and I don’t intend to camp.’ And I live comfortably at home, and I want to live comfortably in my RV when I’m out.