RV Life: Darold and Randi Gleason

Welcome to RV Life, our look inside the lifestyles of Bassmaster Elite Series pros choosing a home on wheels over hotels. For most of the year, having all the comforts of home is a welcome reprieve from months of nonstop travel. Come along for a tour of the home-away-from-home of Darold and Randi Gleason. 
Home, for 10 months this year, is this Heritage Glen Elite Series 34RL, by Forest River RV. Exterior length is 40 feet, 6 inches with all the comforts of home inside, including a recent remodel by Randi that truly makes it like home.
 “We love the sense of community in an RV park,” Randi said. “Everyone is always so happy and loves their life, and there’s a sense of community we share with the other anglers. We all try and book the same campgrounds for those reasons.” At this tour stop, the Gleason’s neighbors were Gerald and LeAnn Swindle. 
The Gleason’s are a party of three that includes Rowdy. “I love it so much that I don’t even get homesick,” Randi said of the RV life. “We built our dream home on Toledo Bend Reservoir, and I never thought I could go on the road and not get homesick.” 
In their third season as full-timers, the Gleason’s have camped in all these states for Bassmaster events. South Carolina, Virginia and South Dakota will be added, as Darold also competes in all nine of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens. 
“This is part of what Darold likes the most, which is having room for all his tackle, across the entire season, right here in this storge,” Randi said. “He never leaves anything behind, and it never needs to be unpacked and packed from a hotel room.”
The storage, beneath the floor, extends across both sides of the 96-inch exterior width, making it possible for Darold, like Randi said, to never leave anything behind for the season.
Rowdy, always ready to greet visitors at the front entry, welcomed us inside for the tour. 
There’s not another RV like this anywhere. Last winter, Randi wanted a new sofa for the Gleason’s home on Toledo Bend. Darold reasoned they are only home for two months in 2022. Randi seized the opportunity to instead put the remodel budget into the RV. 
“It’s all residential furniture that we got from Amazon,” Randi said. The challenges of doing that meant the furniture had to fit through the 30-inch entry door, while not exceeding the weight of the factory-installed furniture. “Switching out the factory furniture allowed us to open up the space and make it more like a true living room.”
Like most modern RVs, the Gleason’s model comes with a full-sized TV monitor, stored inside a built-in entertainment center. 
This space gets used the most. Randi and Darold are both foodies, and they need plenty of space to prepare and enjoy their meals. 
“This is my favorite part of the kitchen,” Randi said. “Many RVs lack adequate kitchen counter space, and this island bar allows us to prep all our meals, and we make a full course meal each evening. That’s why the large sink is a must-have for us.”
Also at the top of the list is this coffee station that gets frequent use. “We have plenty of counter space so the coffee maker isn’t hidden away in a small area.” 
Another must-have is a full-size, double door, residential refrigerator. “I like to grocery stop for a week, just like at home, and there’s nothing worse than being limited to what you can buy, and not have space to store it in the fridge.” The unit runs on battery power when the Gleason’s are on the road. 
Randi can avoid having to make multiple grocery runs, and best of all, the meals can be planned ahead. 
Rowdy is everywhere, even as an energy drink. 
Another foodie must-have is this residential gas stove and oven. 
Randi made us homemade cookies; just like home. And just like home, the cookies were eaten in no time by myself and Andy Crawford. 
Like most custom homes, the built-in microwave comes in handy for leftovers. 
More evidence of a home away from home. 
Randi, an independent sales director for Mary Kay Cosmetics, spends time here at the work station. 
Another Rowdy sighting, this time during a daily nap. 
Randi also creates and manages Darold’s social media content, with the tools of the trade in the background. The plaque is purely inspirational. “It reminds us that we all have setbacks, and it’s really not about the cards you are dealt, but how you choose to respond and how you play them,” Randi said.
Equally as residential is the master bathroom, complete with walk-in shower.
Rowdy welcomed us to the master bedroom, complete with a 72-inch x 80-inch residential plush mattress, along with abundant storage in a built-in chest-of-drawers and full-sized garment closets.
There’s a touch of Rowdy toys on the bed, where he sleeps, of course. 
And spiritual inspiration with a copy of Jesus Calling on the nightstand.
All the comforts of home, including a TV in the bedroom. 
The washer and dryer are conveniently located in the master bedroom. 
“What I like the most about this? I never have to go looking around for a washateria in a strange town,” Randi said. Yet another benefit of RV life. Even the washer and dryer come along for the ride. And with that, the tour ended and Randi did a load of laundry, just like home.