Motorhomes becoming more like home

By Anna Yee

July 1, 2012 Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 9:46 AM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- This is Penny Madding's summer getaway.

She and her husband live in their RV at Carl Spindler Campground and Marina in East Peoria.

To them, the 30-minute drive from their house makes a world of a difference.

"At home in Bartonville, I don't have the water like I do here," said Madding, "and these blue herons and that nature trail. It's just fantastic I tell ya. I walk out every day with my dog, and I mean, there's always something that I seem to find."

Nationwide, more people are buying into the RV lifestyle.

According to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, wholesale shipments are expected jump over the next two years.

That has a lot to do with saving a buck or two.

"It's a lot less expensive than staying in a Holiday Inn or going out on a long trip or paying airfare, those types of things," said Paul Wever, longtime Spindler camper. "We feel like our vacation lasts all summer, because we're here every weekend."

Sure, there's the cost of gas. but that's something Maria Gardener has found a way to cut down.

She and her husband now rent out their East Peoria house, using that money to pay for their new permanent home, this luxury RV, known as a fifth wheel.

"We definitely are saving money, and it's easy living," said Gardener. "I mean, we have a washer and dryer in our fifth wheel. We have three TV's, and it's real nice."

Rent runs up to $325 a month for water, electricity, and sewage.

More than 100 motorhomes can fill the park, which is usually packed on weekends and holidays.

"We'll have upwards of a thousand people in this area just for the fireworks alone," said Chief Michael Johnson, of the Fondulac Park District Police.

And Chief Johnson says safety isn't really an issue.

He says those who settle down here find comfort in calling it home.

For more information on the Carl Spindler Spindler Campground and Marina, click on the link above or go to

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