Means of transport?


My goal for this upcoming journey has several parts:

  • See parts of the US that I’ve never seen before.
  • Visit friends and family, including Internet friends who I’ve never met face-to-face.
  • The ability to meander wherever I want, regardless of the availability of hotels, or other places to sleep.
  • Safety first.

At the same time, I don’t want to spend a fortune–on lodging, gas, or food–to achieve these goals, and I would also like to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on each part of the trip. How to manage this?

Enter the small RV. Chevy makes a wonderful small recreational vehicle called a Roadtrek. It is basically a conversion van, and includes a tiny but functional kitchen area, comparatively roomy living quarters, and one of the nicest RV bathroom facilities I’ve seen.

I think the middle size, 19-feet long, will do just fine for my purposes. It’s just a foot or two longer than most vans, has a nice long wheelbase (for stability), is not so tall that crosswinds will make it unstable, and the gas mileage is not horrible. Also, because it’s a Chevy and has a gasoline motor, any issues that crop up along the journey can be fixed at most repair shops or dealers. I understand that diesel motorhomes can cause nightmares in the case of a breakdown. Truck stops usually have places to repair diesel engines, but I have heard of one person who was stuck at a truck stop waiting for a repair for nearly a week. Not my idea of fun.

These vans include all the comforts of home: queen-sized bed, plus additional sleeping arrangements; air-conditioning and heating (propane tank); good-sized water tanks, both for fresh and dirty water; tiny refrigerator, two-burner propane stove, prep sink, and microwave; marine toilet, tiny sink, and both a handheld shower, plus an “in-aisle” drain with privacy door for a full-sized shower; Bluetooth; satellite radio; GPS; and built-in flatscreen TV. In addition, there is a dining table, full-sized mirror, and plenty of storage. What more could a girl need?

My challenge now is to find one of these gems! For my first trip (of several, I hope), I’d like to rent one. This will allow me to test the waters, and to see if what I think the benefits actually are.

More to come. Stay tuned!

January 18, 2013. Uncategorized.


  1. Doc Cross replied:

    Renting for the first trip is probably the smartest way to go. After a couple of weeks or more, you should know how you and the RV fit together.

    If Grace and I ever decide to go on the road like a couple of old hippies, we’ll probably convert an old school bus, since they are built for safety and are pretty cheap.

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      One of my uncles lived in an old school bus for awhile. I don’t think they did much traveling in it, though.

      The hard part of renting is to find someone who rents the type I’m interested in. The closest place I’ve found is about three and a half hours away.

  2. storytellermary replied:

    Hurrah, Karen! Your test drive should benefit many others when you report of the trip!

  3. Kaye Barley replied:

    I like the idea of renting too. My former boss and his family did this recently and everything about it sounded fun and exciting and just about perfect. With the added benefit of them being able to count on the agency they had rented from to come to their aid in case of an emergency.

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Now that’s something I had not even considered, but it’s a really good argument for renting.

      Do you know, or could you find out, from whom they rented, Kaye? And if they have any tips for me? (It would be great if they just commented here.)

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