44th National Truck In Van Nationals Lakeland Florida July 6-10, 2016 by captsluggo
Rolling to Florida for the 44th Van Nationals in Tom Chronister's DEATHSTAR show van with Heather and myself from Wheels and Banana from the Vandidos.  After getting on the road we had our first mishap losing a fan belt and lower radiator hose.  After a 50 dollar cab ride to score parts and a little mechanical work we were once again underway passing through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and finally Florida.  We were welcomed with high temps and high humidity.  We mets lots of nice folks there, Rosie and Raul from Vandidos later joined our camp.
Live music nightly, a vanner carnival where I won a great Vanner quilt made of a bunch of old van run shirts and a big bottle of brandy.  Banana won a van chair.  In some of the games Rosie won the tacky tourist luggage game and I was the winner of Last Vanner standing, a sort of musical chairs game without chairs.  In the Van show Tom won Best Tandem van, best paint in class, best paint in show and U.S. Long distance.  We made some new friends from Sweden and Norway. About the only other west coast vanners were Matchstick, Blaine from Oregon and Michelle from Vegas. Got to party with RV and BVA from Ohio, Performance Inc. from Pa., Deb Vanner, Tom Cincinnati, Howard from MVL, Becki from Kentucky,Chooie, Larry Gibson, Boob Fetish, Jeff and Cindy Lou from Colorado, My childhood friends Wyatt and Chuckie came for while on Saturday, awesome to see them.  It was a wild time nightly with most everyone on crazy golf carts.  As usual Banana tore up he dance floor. On the trip home Sunday the computer for the fuel injection went south and after 7 hours on the side of the highway finally got towed to the museum of vanning with no help from AAA.  Big thanks to Panda Mark from Adventure Vans of Florida for stopping and helping us all day and night.  Joe and Bonnie from the Museum were great hosts and showed us the area while the van was getting repaired. Also thanks to RV for advice and more. We were not the only ones with problems, Gypsy the T shirt man was there and Jeff and Cindy Lou also had computer problems. Nice to see the museum and hang with boob fetish too.  I had to be back so Joe and boob took me to Tampa Airport and Banana went to his sisters scoring a ride with Howard from Midwest Vans.  Tom and Heather still had another breakdown near Comfort Texas but finally made it home days later.  Did i tell you it was Hot and Humid? Thanks to Sunshine Vanners for hosting the Nats.