It’s been three long years since last writing for the Roadtreking RV Lifestyle blog. Some of you long time readers probably wondered what Kris and I have been doing. Well, we sold our Michigan home and moved to our Arizona winter property. We bought a closer “summer” property. All this while dealing with real life like two heart attacks, losing our dog, Abby, and dealing with strange illnesses with our other dog, Tucker.
Probably the craziest thing my wife and I did in the past three years was go full circle owning four different motor homes. As a friend of mine has been known to say, I have a story.
The three year journey revolved around figuring how we wanted to retire. We were already retired, but we hadn’t fully thought out the “how” when the retirement day came.
One of the easier decisions was moving into a 55+ gated community. Our winter home in Mesa, Arizona was perfect. No more summer-long yard work. We are surrounded by family who also happen to winter there and we have several like-minded friends. The park is noted for hundreds of activities. You are only bored if you choose to be bored. It’s also two days closer to our son and his family. So last September we downsized from our 2,600 sq.ft. home and officially became “trailer trash” according to my nephew as we moved into out 950 sq.ft. park model trailer. We call this our winter base camp.
The 120˚F Phoenix summers are brutal so we did our research and purchased a 400 sq. ft. summer base camp in Show Low, Arizona. At 6,000 ft. elevation, the summer temperatures are 25-35˚F cooler. Just last week we left 99˚F Mesa and arrived in 72˚F Show Low three hours later. This 55+ community is a near clone of our other place with the added benefit of being visited regularly by elk, coyotes and other wildlife.
Those decisions were a part of our saner moments.
We love to travel North America in a motor home That much we knew. We had happily driven over 45,000 miles in our Roadtrek. Yet, over the past three years we completely lost our minds and owned four different motor homes trying to find that perfect fit.
The first insane moment was when we traded in our cherished Roadtrek CS Adventurous for a Class C Coachman Freelander. I wanted a dry shower. Yep, I got that. Problem was I didn’t fit on the toilet even though I’m just 6’ tall and 185 lbs. Drivability wasn't as good as the Roadtrek so we invested in a steering stabilizer that didn’t quit do the job. Other than driving and using the toilet, it was a great unit. There was way more room and even a loft for the grandkids. We drove it less than 10,000 miles.
Driving really became an issue so one day we window shopped a Class A Winnebago Vista 30T XL and in a moment of weakness we impulse-bought it. Right away I knew drivability was a top priority so an additional $3,500 was spent on a steering stabilizer and front/rear sway bars. My gosh, this thing was huge and it did drive better. Just not as easily as a Sprinter Van. We had two TV’s, a dedicated kitchen, bedroom and living room. The dry shower was being used for storage and rarely for showering. It didn’t travel well. Being wider and bigger, there was less wiggle room driving down the interstate or fitting into campsites. Parking issues eliminated impulse stops. We drove it only 15,000 miles.
We realized that what we really wanted was what we had three years ago! We swallowed our pride and did one last trade and bought a Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL. The shower is no longer an issue. It was perfect in every other respect for how we wanted to travel.
Did I mention that we pulled a Jeep Cherokee behind all three of our motorhomes? Funny thing was, it drove the best behind our Sprinter Roadtrek. I can’t explain why. It just does. While we didn’t really need the Jeep for the smaller Roadtrek or Coachman, it was a necessity for the Winnebago. This time we are leaving the Jeep at home.
It finally dawned on us that each motorhome type was perfect for a specific type of traveler.
The Class A motorhome made for a prefect base camp. Find a great campground that fits larger units and take the car (toad) to see the sites.
The Class C is a perfect family motorhome. There was lots of room. The thing was, it was just the two of us.
The Class B is perfect for exploring. Its also hands down the easiest to drive. That why deciding to come back was easy.
I may be biased, but it felt that both of our Roadtreks were a higher quality build with better technology than the others we owned. We looked at many other Class B’s before deciding to come back to Roadtrek. I wish we had never left. I blame it on silly shower envy (slapping my hand to head, vowing never to do it again).
Maybe some day I’ll write a more in-depth article about the pluses and minuses of the various motor home types. I can probably also give you some tips we found as we downsized to a 55+ retirement community. Heck, I have a dozen article titles wandering around in my head. For now though, Kris and I have hit the road in our new Roadtrek and wake up each day asking each other, “Which direction do you want to go?”