Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

This forum is for Born Free Owners and those interested in owning a Born Free.
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 Post subject: Preparing to Leap!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:29 am
Posts: 59
Location: Bakersfield, CA U.S.A.
Hey everyone!

Bonnie and I have found our Born Free. 2002 26 RSB. Buying it from Don. Now for a long trek across Texas to meet Don and his sweet wife and get acquainted with our OWN Born Free Motor Coach......well, after paying the balance for it, that is. :wink:

For us, the way this all worked out is Providential. We're excited, and we look forward to joining the Leapin' Lions Club and some day meeting some of you helpful people.

Tentative plans have us going to Texas the last of March. Our trip back will be our maiden voyage. Hope I can learn how to turn on and off all the valves and operate the system without going up in smoke somewhere on I-40. :oops:

Just had to express our excitement and joy. A fantasy dream of many many years is about to come true! :D

Two Happy Campers, I can tell you! :P

_________________
Jess & Bonnie Dixon
2002 Born Free, 26 ft rsb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:51 pm
Posts: 299
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
hi glad you got a Born Free -- when you get back to California and take a trip to San Luis Obispo look me up -- Bob Newby -- 805-441-1933


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:36 pm
Posts: 143
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
We're located less than 20 miles north of the Albuquerque I-40/I-25 interchange (I-25N, Exit 242). If you need a spot to overnight, just let us know. We have 30AMP and water hookups available.

The Albuquerque Camping World Super Center will be open by next week, and it's located about ten miles west of the same interchange. So, you can leave some of your money there, if you need anything before you can get to the Bakersfield CW.

Congratulations. You'll love your Born Free.

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Barbara & Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:13 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Congratulations on your new Born Free! How well I can relate to your excitement!

Two years ago we purchased our 2002 26'RSB from a couple in northern Michigan, sight unseen. Not only had we not seen the unit we were buying (except by internet photos), we had never seen a Born Free! AND we were first time RV buyers! We only knew Born Free by reputation and their web site. Greg had researched all the brands on paper. We had attended RV shows and come away disappointed by what we saw combining quality and price. (Born Free's were not on display at Dallas or Fort Worth shows then.) Finally Greg decided the safety factor was paramount and we began looking for a Born Free on the internet. Few and far between! We finally found our 26 RSB in Gaylord, Michigan and we knew we had to act fast. After numerous phone calls and lots of e-mailed photos, we took the plunge and put down a substantial down payment in early February on a rig we couldn't pick up until mid April. We didn't sleep for for a week! We wondered what had we done! Are we mad? People our age usually use more common sense, make more rational decisions. We felt like teenagers again!!!

Our Born Free was absolutely perfect and more beautiful than we could have imagined! It looked brand new. And it lived up to our high expectations of quality. As it turns out, no other Class C could have ever satisfied us.

We were clumsy at first in all the hookups, and it took me hours to boil water in the tiny kitchen. But the excitement has never faded even though we are much more relaxed and confident in our RVing abilities. Reading your post brought back all these wonderful memories! Good luck in your new adventure and welcome to the wonderful world of the Born Free!

_________________
Greg and Linda Giuliani
2002 26' RSB
2003 Chevy Tracker 4x4 toad
Datastorm F1, D2, DW7000, 117W


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 Post subject: Congrats
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:42 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Baton Rouge La
Hi Bonnie & ?......Congrations on your purchase of a 2002 26 rsb!! I am also a newbie to Born Free! I am 79yrs old - My wife (Edith) is 80 (01/20/2006) married 57 yrs.. (We had a 36' diesel Discovery for 7 yrs)
Like you, we are like Teen-agers again! The same things that Linda G posted above goes for us too....We bought last June fm Bill Hemme in Spencer Ia. Sight unseen! (many e-mails & pictures)....Went to Spencer in
our car (moteling it) 4 days, & 4 days back to Baton Rouge La. (99 24rb
E-450 53k miles) I have since added a Moto-sat tv sattelite, 3-burner stove, & a few other things! We now have 59k+ mi. & have met many extermely nice Born Free Leapin Lions in Branson Mo. & at the S.E.A. get
together in Brooksville Fl.
Joe & Edith Lefebvre - Baton Rouge, La.

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Joe Lefebvre 99 24RB 57kmiles
moto-sat sattelite


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 Post subject: Looking Before We Leap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 98
Location: near Falcon, Colorado
Greetings to all from the newest members of the forum. We are delighted to be on the verge of joining the group, and can hardly wait until this weekend when we journey to Humboldt to see and touch the one we think will be ours -- it's the 32-ft President currently pictured on the BF website.

We purchased a new 2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor (40-ft PDQ floorplan), then sold it six months later. On the maiden voyage from Florida to Colorado, we realized the quality was just not what we wanted for such a major depreciating asset. It was much more coach than we needed too, and we felt underpowered, and quite unstable on rough roads, in crosswinds, and among the semi-trailers that felt like we were being sucked into them as they roared by.

Since then, we've poured over the many other possibilities, large and small, and finally came to rest with Born Free. We are encouraged by the many positive comments we see here and in other fora, so look forward to this decision with confidence.

All going well, we hope to meet other owners if we can get away for John's 80th birthday rally in June, and perhaps join in on the Colorado gathering at the end of August. Until then, color us 'just looking.'

_________________
Len & Cathleen Campaigne
2006 BF 32' RT President


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 98
Location: near Falcon, Colorado
Wanted to share this note I found on another forum (RV.Net) as an example of the kinds of things that swayed us to Born Free:

(quote) Posted: 01/19/06 12:56pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DW and I attended an RV show at the Tampa Fair Grounds yesterday. We walked into the Born Free display area and I noticed a familiar looking face of a man sitting in a folding chair close to the entrance of the BF24RB that was on display. As we approached him I told my wife, "I think I recognize that man."

My wife and I made our living flying for a major air carrier. We flew in and out of most all the major US cities and, in so doing, had the opportunity to meet a lot of business men. Since all I ever learned to do was to push and pull a stick or flip switches, I have always admired people who could successfully run a business.

I walked over to the familiar looking man and said, "Sir, do you happen to be Mr. Dodgen?" He looked up and a broad smile spread across his face as he extended his hand. I told him that I had read quite a bit about his company(s) and that I appreciated his work and the machines that he has produced. What ensued was a very pleasant conversation with an extremely successful business man who has done a lot for the MH world and who apparently still produces a very good product and continues to be concerned about doing so and yet, is not one bit full of himself and/or his successes.

If I remember correctly, Mr. Dodgen said that he turns 80 this June and is planning to give a "party" for his Born Free owners.

The Born Free is on our short list of motorhomes. After talking to the Founder and President of Dodgen Industries, Inc., the manufacturer of the Born Free Motorcoach, and sensing his total commitment and devotion to building a safe, reliable product and keeping his owners happy, I think our list may have just gotten much shorter.

Jake "... may a rainbow always touch your shoulder." (end quote)

_________________
Len & Cathleen Campaigne
2006 BF 32' RT President


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 Post subject: Congrats!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:50 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Stacy, MN
I congratulate thenew owners, and encourage the future owners...you'll never find better service anywhere. Before, during and after the sale. I have had my BF for 10 months, it's my first motorhome, and I wouldn't go anywhere else.

I had a similar experience meeting John Dodgen. He was sitting in a lawn chair on the sales floor outside a rig (as if he was camping in it...relaxing outside.

I was going to ask a question about it, well, when he looked up and I realized it was Mr. Dodgen, he smiled and offered his hand. Just came in from a 3,000 mile trip, he had. Asked me if I was interested in a BF. (Mine was in for service at the time). I told him this, and he said, "oh, Wonderful! Come back when you've got 100,000 miles on it and we'll replace it <grin>"

I know some folks in this group who have nearly 150,000 miles on theirs. It's not a pie in the sky idea, at all.

I have been happily wheeling (or parked and enjoying my beachfront yard, as I am now in Corpus Christi TX) ever since.

I have a 26' for me and the bird, and it's just right, but then, I've only been home for about 3 months since I bought it. Wondering why not just put a few things in storage and kick myself free. If it works out that it is possible, I may just do that.

This is the life!

Again, congratulations. I really think this is the way to go.

PatTrish

_________________
26' RB
Jeep Liberty toad


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 98
Location: near Falcon, Colorado
Well, we did it. I have this evening prepared our application to join the Leap'n Lions, so we are ready to become full-fledged members.

A whirlwind trip starting with an overnight Amtrak train ride Friday night from Denver to Omaha, followed by a rental car drive to Humboldt, a meeting and test-drive with Jerry Ehrhardt on Saturday afternoon, and we committed to purchase the 32-ft President model at the factory. Repeated the drive back to Omaha, another overnight train trip back to Denver, and arrived home in Colorado Springs Sunday before 9am. We will go back to take delivery 24 March.

We were tremendously impressed with the Born Free facility, and the level of customization put into the coaches. Another 32-ft unit is just at the framing and insulation stage, so we could see the craftsmanship first-hand. The coach we are buying is just beautiful, and we can't wait to bring it home. We are calling it 'Steamboat Willie' after the Disney character, and will decorate appropriately.

Thank you to the public and private words of encouragement we received as we worked through this important decision. We plan to add our prairie home as a stopover place for members traveling in the Pikes Peak area.

_________________
Len & Cathleen Campaigne
2006 BF 32' RT President


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:50 pm
Posts: 355
Location: Stacy, MN
Congratulations! Sounds great! I walked through your rig (I think it was your rig) when they had first finished it and it was at the Branson MO rally. Wow, beautiful!

Maybe I'll stop over and we can meet...I have property in south-central Colorado and will be building there, maybe next year. (This year I have the Alaska Caravan to deal with so summer is already shot.)

Watching the weather. Hmm......looks like tough weather all over.

_________________
26' RB
Jeep Liberty toad


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 Post subject: NEW MEMBERS!
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 1995
Location: Spencer, IA
Cathleen & Len,

Congratulations on the purchase of your new 32' Born Free. Concerning preparing your application for becoming a member of the Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club, please note that the Born Free factory gives new owners a complimentary first year membership in our club. If you have already sent in your application with $15 payment to club secretary Mary Findlay, she will just extend your membership for an extra year.

_________________
Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:41 pm
Posts: 98
Location: near Falcon, Colorado
Well, no thanks to Amtrak for a two-hour delay along the way, but we managed to make it to the factory at 12:30pm yesterday to take delivery of the 32-ft President. Phil Overby, Jerry Ehrhardt, Mike (the assembly team leader), and John Dodgen himself were on hand to welcome us to the familiy. This was the prototype 32-ft RV unit, so the demo mileage added up to lots of TLC, and no significant snags during the walkaround.

What a thrill to drive off at 3:00pm, with the first leg a short hop to John's Rib Cage restaurant at Fort Dodge IA for some yummy BBQ before seriously hitting the road. At 4:30pm we were on our way, and arrived home very close to 24 hours later with an overnight Walmart stop for towels, linens, a few odds and ends, in Lawrence KS. Total distance was 895 miles, covered in about 14 hours behind the wheel, mostly above 60mph, and we used approximately 107 gals, for a respectable 8.3mpg.

Cathleen is the primary driver, and I spell her off every few hours. We both find this coach easy to drive, and steady on the road even in the face of wind gusts, semi-trailer rig wakes, and driving through the maze of Kansas City after dark. There is power to spare going up a hill even at a constant 70mph. The only rattle I noticed turned out to be the paper towel holder dowel moving in the slots since we had no towel roll installed.

The furnace came in handy and kept us toasty as we were probably right at the freezing mark during the night, plus the genset gave us all the power we needed setting up for the night, and getting up in the morning. In short, no surprises!

We look foward to meeting other owners at the Homecoming in June. Once we have access to the owner's side of the Leap'n Lions club, we'll post our invitation for stopovers in central Colorado. It won't be hard to find us -- just look for the shiny new 32-footer in our drive!

_________________
Len & Cathleen Campaigne
2006 BF 32' RT President


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:08 pm 
Hi Cathleen and Len: Welcome to the world of Born Free. It appears that you are Colorado residents and if in fact you are, you will be Leap'n Lion Club members of the South Central Region. My wife Mary and I are the Club VP's for the region. We live in Oklahoma. Our Club is quite active with rallies and caravans. Be sure to review the schedule that is posted on this website under Rallies and Caravans. There are a lot of opportunities to travel in 2006 with a really great group of Born Free owners. We have an Alaska caravan, Tulip Time Rally in Holland, MI, a John Dodgen birthday party in Iowa, a fantastic caravan that will tour Michigan, a rally in Ouray (currently full, however, taking standbys) and a hot air balloon rally in Albuquerque, plus several others. Congratulations on your BF purchase. Hope to see you soon!


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