FLORENCE, Ala. — On May 30, six best friends from Florence set out on the adventure of a lifetime; a trip across the country to the West Coast, inside a 1990 Tiffin Allegro they’ve named Pearl.
The friends are Will Champagne and his brother Charlie, along with Henry Tomlinson, Collin Huntley, Connor Bergeron, and Landon Dawson.
The group said the idea for the trip began in 2020.
“When my dad was about our age, he did a similar trip by himself,” Tomlinson said. He actually hit a lot of the national parks that we went to, so I had heard about his trip a lot and always thought it’d be something cool to do.”
Tomlinson asked his friends and he said they were crazy enough to try it with him. The group said they all chipped in to help purchase Pearl.
“Henry’s dad referred to us to Jerry’s RV Park and really we just kind of showed up and at first, when we saw it, just kind of worked; she was perfect for us,” Charlie Champagne said.
As the group made their way across the U.S. stopping at attractions and national parks, all seemed well with the adventure until just before the end.
“We were on the way home and she gave out on us; she got satisfied,” Will Champagne said. “She thought it was a West Coast trip and once we started heading east, that’s when she gave out on us.”
Once the group got to Moab, Utah, Pearl’s radiator was damaged beyond repair, leaving the six stranded—but not for long.
The Shoals community, even good Samaritans out west, came out in full support to get the travelers back home.
“It’s just an amazing thing the support and just the experience that we had,” Charlie said. “I don’t think anything could ever really top it in terms of the trip or really anything. This was the trip of a lifetime; it’s just surreal.”
The group said Pearl isn’t done for just yet; as soon as she’s repaired, they’re planning even more adventures.