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Motor home trend is on the upswing

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Planning for retirement, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Mary Olson didn't know which state she wanted to live in, so she made a choice that allowed her to enjoy them all: she bought a recreational vehicle. Olson had never driven a large vehicle or even gone camping in her life. "I said to the salesman, 'Maybe before I give the down payment I should go out on the road.'" She took the wheel of a 36-foot motor home (RV enthusiasts call them "rigs") and navigated a misty, windy day on Interstate Highway 10 in Texas. "I made left turns, I made right turns, got back and parked it between the yellow lines in the parking lot, and said, 'Oh, I think I can do this,'" Olson said. It was 1999, and the single former nurse had just joined the ranks of the approximately 1 million people in the U.S. who live in their RVs full-time, according to Rachel Parsons of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association in Reston, Va. With the wind in your hair, the road stretching ahead and your rear end firmly plan...