I feel like I've been drinking at the proverbial firehose. Even though our dealer orientation lasted the better part of two hours, there was so much to take in, so fast, that I scribbled as quickly as I ever have at a press conference and I still am far from confident that I know what switch does what, what valve turns which way and just what order I do things in.
Rick, the guy who did the orientation, was very patient, and was very logical in starting from the driver's position up front and working his way to the beds in back, then all around the vehicle from the holding tanks to the electrical and propane hookup to the sewer hose even the big Mercedes engine – which was so clean it looked new.
Steve, one of the service techs, re-caulked a couple of places in the bathroom around the sink and the coffee pot, the bike rack and GPS unit I ordered were installed and good to go. I'll consult my notes and read the thick instruction manual that comes from Roadtrek.
While the dealer filled the propane tanks, they didn't do so with the 20-gallon diesel tank. That would have been very nice. Instead, I drove off with just over a quarter tank. I filled it up tonight, after driving to my daughter's house and showing it to her and our son-in-law and grandaughters. At $4.15 a gallon, the 19.091 gallons I needed cost me just shy of $80. Yikes!
The ride home to the dealer was the first real time I drove the Roadtrek, other than a brief couple of test rides around the dealer parking lot.
It handled surprisingly well, though there's no doubt it is a truck powered by a diesel engine. I got home, tinkered with the GPS, adjusted the bike rack and grabbed a quick bite to eat. Then Jennifer and I drove to our daughter Wendy's house, a round trip of about 60 miles.
I was alerted by the forums I read over the weekend that there would be a lot of noise. There was, partly because stuff was rattling around inside the rig but a lot of those rattles are also because of the horrendous conditions of the roads I traveled. If there is any state in the nation with roads worse than Michigan's, I'd be stunned. No one can be as bad as our roads. Still, Jennifer was not pleased on her first drive on the way to Wendy's. She later confessed she worried for a minute or two we had invested all that money into a piece of junk.
But after showing off the rig to the delight of our granddaughters and Wendy and Dan – our daughter and son-in-law -we headed back home after sunset. With a full tank and the extra weight, the Roadtrek bounced around much less. I'm sure it will be even better when we put in some clothing and supplies and top off the water tanks.
The only problem we encountered was the utensil drawer in the kitchen area that kept opening and sliding around. I noticed at the dealers when we first saw the rig last week that the original owner had some tape on that drawer. In prepping it for us, the dealer removed the tape. We'll have to figure a way to secure it better than the duct tape I'm now temporarily using.
I like driving it. It's a comfortable cabin, there's a great view of the road, the mirrors do a terrific job of showing what's around and I never felt intimidated on the road. The engine, noisier than a gas vehicle, seemed plenty peppy enough.
So… there it sits as I post this, shining in the moonlight out in the driveway. I plan to spend some quality time in it tomorrow, getting acquainted with the various controls. I'll put together a video and post a tour here.
One thing high on my list is figuring out how to make the two rear passenger seats make down into a bed that our granddaughters will be able to sleep in. Our dealer orientation guy tried to set one up but the result looked anything but comfortable. And I'll start going through our list of supplies and arranging them.
Michigan's cold, normal March weather is back. After an unseasonable heat wave into the 80's last week, it's 36 degrees out there right now at 10 PM. If it doesn't warm up tomorrow, I may need to fire up the heater while working on it in the driveway. That's going to take a refresher course, a peek at my notes and a scan of the manual. I bet I'll be doing that a lot for a while.
But, bottom line, it's mine.
Jennifer seems happy. I'm bouncing off the walls ecstatic.
Cant wait to go somewhere. In fact, I'd sleep in it tonight in the driveway if it was not so cold.
I can't wait to go somewhere!