Monday, February 25, 2013

My Roadtrek RV - A Year In Review

************  UPDATE  ********************
Thanks for finding my blog!  You're welcome to read the content on this site.  I have moved all of the content from here to a new site at:  There's all sorts of great info and new travel adventures posted at my new site.!  My Roadtrek was great, but I've upgraded to a Winnebago View Class C motorhome and like it even more than the Roadtrek. Head over to my new site to see what I've been doing and where I've been going.

At about this time a year ago, I purchased my Roadtrek 190 Simplicity RV.  While I had been camping for numerous years and owned a pop-up tailer, this was my first motor home purchase.  I was very excited about owning a motor home.  I was ready to undertake a period of travel and saw the motor home as the resource that would allow me to see and experience new parts of this country.

Overall, I can say that the Roadtrek has allowed me to travel to and experience new places.  Over the course of the last year, I took eight trips traveling to Maine (4 times), Connecticut, Quebec, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida.  I traveled over 14,000 miles and spent 70 nights in the Roadtrek.  New places I got to see included, The Gaspe Peninsula, The Outer Banks, Cape May, and the Florida Panhandle.  A good start for my first year.

Things I like about the Roadtrek are the following;

- It has a bathroom.  I have colitis and when I have to go, I HAVE TO GO!.  Having the Roadtrek gives me a bathroom where ever I go.  It really has helped get me out more.
- I can take it pretty much anywhere.  It can fit in most parking spots, drive on most roads, and fit in any campground.
- Its self contained and has everything for camping and travel.  I can boon dock on the road or at a music festival, stay at a state park with limited facilities or plug in at an RV park.
- Its a great road trip vehicle. Its easy to drive and handles well on the road.  Its easy to pull over and have lunch or take nap, park at a scenic turn out, or boon dock for the night.
- Its pretty efficient. I average about 18 mpg on the highway and around 15 mpg driving around.
- Its easy to maintain.  I've been able to do most of the routine maintenance like oil and fluid changes myself.
- Its been very reliable.  I've had one minor issue with the frig not lighting, but I fixed that myself by re-aligning the propane ignitor.  Everything else had worked without incident.
- Its comfortable to sleep in.
- Its easy to just take off and go on an impromptu trip.

I wouldn't say it has any short coming because I knew what I was buying.  But there are somethings that I have found can be a challenging;

- Stay put camping can be a challenging with such a small living space.  If it rains or is cold it can be confining.  Its not something you would want to take to Florida and spend the winter in.
- Moving around inside takes coordination - usually one person moves at a times.
- Its great for one or two people.  Not sure you want to try more.
- Cooking inside can be very limiting.  There's not a lot of space for food prep or extended cooking times.  Its also very easy to set off the smoke alarm.  Simple meals are best and we tend to eat out more that normal when we're traveling.
- Space is limited, so you have to take less.  Forget the golf clubs, gas grill, and multiple outfits.  I was a minimalist camper prior to getting the RV so this was easy for me.
- I wish the holding tank was a larger. I "go" a lot and tend to fill it up within two or three days.
- The generator is noisy when you use it since its not enclosed in a compartment. 

Some of the key add-ons and purchases I made to help with my travels include;

- The RV Superbag for sleeping.  Its more comfortable than a sleeping bag and easy to make up.
- The Yakima Doubledown 4 bike carrier. Fits in the hitch receiver and the bikes clear the spare tire.
- eBags Packable Cubes for holding clothes. They fit easily in the Roadtrek's storage shelves.
- Quick dry towels and face cloths from JC Penny.  Added grommets to all face clothes and towels for easy hanging.
- Added a plate rail molding on top of the amoire for added storage of soft items.

Overall, I've been pleased with my Roadtrek.  There are times I'd like something bigger.  Perhaps someday, but so far the Roadtrek is fitting my needs just fine.

I've already got several travel plans made for the upcoming year and looking forward to the next few years of traveling.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Winter Sojourn 2013 - Gulf Beaches

The second part of our winter sojourn was a camping trip to the southern gulf coast of Florida.  I'm now calling this our gulf beach tour because of all the beaches we're visiting. Our destinations were Fort Myers Beach and Fort Desoto Park in St. Petersburg.  We got everything repacked into the RT.  Balancing what we needed for a 12 week trip along with the bare minimum needed for some extended camping in the RT was a challenge.  Every cabinet and storage space was full.