Monday, April 09, 2012

Solo RVer Nancy Bridges keeps on rolling

RVer Nancy Bridges of Lilburn, Georgia. (Julianne Crane)
Fulltime RVer Nancy Bridges has an infectious laugh and an invincible outlook on life, specifically when it comes to her life-on-the-road.

This Georgia-born steel magnolia first came across my radar on the day her 2006 40-foot Alfa See Ya Gold motor coach almost tipped over sideways.

Bridges' tilting coach. (Julianne Crane)
It seems a friend (who had only recently returned to the campground after being away for several months) had unknowingly directed Nancy onto a patch of ground that had been previously weakened by several days of rain, hail and snow. Within moments the verge's side gave way under the weight of Nancy's Alfa diesel pusher.

What resulted was her rig's dramatic tilting; its stunning rescue by Clinton of Eppler Towing, out of Madera, Calif.; and another amazing RV story for her children.

"Oh this was nothing," remarked Nancy, as her motor coach was being inched to safety. "My first motor home burned down only three months after I started RVing."

Bridges' burnt out '04 Alfa, totaled Prius
That incident happened one extremely hot summer day in 2008. Nancy was traveling west along U.S. Highway 2 in northern Montana. She was heading toward Glacier National Park and was about 90 miles east of Havre, the nearest town.

"A couple pulled in front of me, slowed down and were pointing to the side of the road, and then edged onto the shoulder," said Nancy. "I couldn't see anything wrong with my rig, but I gradually pulled over in front of them. The man came running up to my motor home yelling that my coach was on fire."

Nancy grabbed her purse, jumped out of her rig and saw small flames coming out of her rear battery compartment. Within a few minutes her entire recreation vehicle had burst into flames and was reduced to a burnt-out hulk. Her toad, a late model Prius, was also totaled.

Stunned but not broken, Nancy started gathering information on the Internet. Within only a few days, she had acquired a rental car, ordered a new Prius, and decided to drive to Glacier on the way to picking up her new vehicle in Spokane, Wash. A couple weeks later she located a used Alfa Gold motor home in South Carolina and drove her replacement Prius from Washington State to Hilton Head to pick it up.

Nancy's Alaska Highway T-shirt.
"Quitting was never an option," said Nancy.

"My husband, Bill, and I had always planned on RVing fulltime after retiring," she said. Unfortunately, Bill died in 2004 at 60 only a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Then her mother was ill and Nancy helped care for her until she passed in late 2007.

Once Nancy started living her dream, she was determined to continue. In 2011, between May through August, Nancy solo RVed the 1422 miles along the Alaska Highway.

"I just keep checking things off my bucket list."

Photos (click on to enlarge): Nancy Bridges and her Alfa See Ya Gold and Prius; (middle) her tilting motor home (Julianne Crane).  Nancy's first motor home burning (Courtesy of Nancy Bridges). Bottom: Nancy's Alaska Highway T-shirt. (Julianne Crane)

Read more of Julianne Crane's writing at


  1. I need a new toad and understood I could not flat tow a Prius, but this sounds as if it is doable. Dealer I spoke with told me "no", but Nancy Bridges figured it out, so I would really like to know how she did it. Thank you!

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