Waking Up to A New RV: The Story of Michael Palmer 2448

The Ultimate RV Show 2021 tour has finally drawn to a close. After ten weeks of travel spent celebrating the fun of RV life with campers across the country, the Camping World team is taking some much-deserved rest.

The virtual show was a way to connect over the digital campfire, no matter your location on the map. With over 20 millions views of our streaming and on-demand content, we welcomed many new curious eyes to the RV community.

From exclusive interviews, to virtual RV tours, to active engagement in live giveaways—the thrill of the Ultimate RV Show was only possible with the engagement of our community, the very people that find camaraderie in a life lived in exploration and learning.

In a salute to the RVers that make the RV community the incredible space that it is (that’s you), we take a look back at the winners of some of our RV giveaways. Meet Michael Palmer, the winner of a Coleman Lantern 17B. In our last interview of the Ultimate RV Show national Tour, we check back in with Michael Palmer and his family to see how the RV Life is suiting them.

Meet Michael Palmer

After a year like 2020, there’s perhaps no one more deserving of some R&R in nature than Michael Palmer. An ER nurse and frontline worker from Michigan, Palmer won a Coleman 17B after engaging with a tweet from Camping World CEO, Marcus Lemonis.

Waking Up To a New RV

When Palmer’s phone started going off in the early morning hours, it very well could have been his 4:30am wake-up call for another shift in the ER. Much to his surprise, he discovered tweets from Marcus Lemonis himself—He was the new owner of a Coleman Lantern 17B travel trailer.

Coleman Lantern
Coleman Lantern

It was just a month into the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and Palmer was living apart from his 10-year-old son as a safety precaution. “We’re like best friends,” Palmer says of him and his son. When Palmer broke the news of their new adventure rig to his boy, he described his look of shock and excitement.

“That’s what happens when you speak good words,” he said to his son, demonstrating the lesson of spreading kindness and care to all. At Camping World and Good Sam, we say “Do good. Be good,” and Palmer and his work on the frontlines couldn’t be a better example of this credo.

Adventures in RV Ownership

Big NASCAR fans, Palmer and his son love the community at the racetrack.

“Being a NASCAR fan when you go to the racetrack, camping is a huge part of the sport,” said Palmer.

“When you walk around it’s parties, its barbecues, bonfires, just people having a good time.”

Now that the family has their own RV to set up at the track, the Palmers look forward to avoiding traffic after the race, and instead kicking back at their campsite with good food and good friends.

Michael Palmer and Son
Michael Palmer and his son are big fans of the racetrack.

First Camping Trip of the Season

Take a moment and imagine your first camping trip as a child…

For Palmer, these are fond memories spent summering at Silver Lake Sand Dunes at the family cabin. But, Palmer explains, ever since the family sold the cabin, he’s missed those carefree vacations. Now, Palmer keeps a seasonal plot at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, “…it’s like a second home for us.” Between May and October, the family hops in the car for a weekend getaway whenever they want.

Outgrowing an RV

The Coleman Lantern 17B is a fine starter RV, but before you know it, it’s time to upgrade. For the Palmers, that time came quickly and the team at Camping World of Toledo in Rossford, Ohio made the move easy. “I was thinking long term,” said Palmer of the switch. His 10-year old son will inevitably start bringing friends along on trips.

“Now that we’re on a seasonal plot, I can see us doing this for years and years,” said Palmer.

RV vs. Cabin: Which Is Better?

Sure, Palmer misses that cabin on the lake, but he doesn’t miss the upkeep. “There’s not a lot of maintenance,” he said of the RV. Setting up an RV is fast and easy. Roll out the patio mat, unfold the camp chairs, extend the awning and you’re home. Though all RV’s accumulate wear and tear, it’s far more manageable than a house.

Winning a Rolling Home and Fast Friends

“Everyone is just friendly to each other,” said Palmer of the RV community. His RVing Facebook group stays active, even during the Wintertime.

As Palmer looks ahead to the Spring, he sees many trips and tailgating events with his son in store for the future. His advice to prospective RVers?

“If you’re thinking about it, just do it. It’s on your mind for a reason.”

Palmer’s RV has become a hobby for him and his family, and his rig is something he plans on having for the rest of his life.


A heartfelt thanks for coming along for the ride on the Ultimate RV Show National Tour 2021. Where should we go next? Tell us in the comments.

Kelsey’s first career as a performing artist had her traveling the world. Eager to keep traveling, she hit the road to see the USA in a 69’ Airstream Overlander. Today you can find her writing about travel, design, and good food. When she’s not planning her next trip, she’s sipping on local beer and petting other people’s dogs.

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