It’s in the Driveway!

Written by on March 26, 2012 in Observations

Today was delivery day and my new, previously owned 2006 Roadtrek RS-Adventurous is sitting in my driveway. It is now officially, paid in full, ours.

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.

My new tw0-bike rack

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!

 


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About the Author

About the Author: Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, and Norweigian Elkhound, Tai, travels North America in a Type B motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and frustrations of RV life on the road. He is the official on-the-road reporter for the Family Motor Coach Association. a columnist with Family Motor Coaching Magazine and his Roadtreking reports appear in numerous newspapers and publications. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, video editing and all things dealing with technology. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations. .

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  1. Laura klein plunkett says:

    Mike, we have an ’07 with the same utensil door issue. After multiple attempts at latch adjustments, we gave up and now use a short bungee from the knob to the spice rack on the wall above. Works great!

  2. Alan MacRae says:

    Mike, great post and congrats on your purchase. I was just noticing your bike rack and wanted to comment on that. Keep in mind that your rear doors are a fire escape and with that type of bike rack in place, you won’t be able to open the doors from the inside while you’re camping. I never gave this a thought when I bought our rack, which is a Thule “revolver”, which can swing away from the back doors with the bikes still attached. It also makes it convenient to access the storage space under the bed with the bikes still on the rack. It came to my thoughts the first time we camped and I left it swung away from the back doors while we were sleeping. So, if you keep that rack, make sure you take it off or whatever you can so it’s not blocking the back doors while you’re sleeping at night. You might want to consider a different rack, like the Thule. A bit pricey, but worth it.

  3. Terry Sykes says:

    Congratulations Mike!!! You are going to have a great time. Keep us posted on your adventures. For now I will be living vicariously through you so make it interesting.

    Take care.

  4. Roadtrekker says:

    The draw in ours kept opening. It is a little disconcerting to see that draw slide open at 65 miles per hour. Get two large suction cups with hooks- the type sold at craft stores. Secure a piece of rope vy removing the hook and put the rope through and tie a knot on the end so it cannot pull through on the two suction cups. One cup is stuck down on the draw front and the other is stuck down on the counter top just above. Now the draw cannot open.

  5. Barb says:

    I sell Roadtreks and it sounds like you got a good one.
    We do top of the gas tank. I would suggest a magnetic
    door closer that you can purchase in a camp store to hold your drawer closed. As far as any other noise use the not slip rubber mat that you can purchase by the roll at walmart. Place it between pans, under racks on the two burners and anything else that moves. You will quiet right down. You also have an automatic stabilizer that works with the abs brakes. Hope they explained that for you.

    • Mike says:

      Hi Barb… Thanks!!! Will pick up some non slip rubber mat.
      Now, they didn’t explain anything about the automatic stabilizer!
      They had to look up ABS switch. The sales person said it was for towing. The person who did the orientation said to use it when going down a hil to keep from applying brakes.
      What do I need to know?
      Where are you located?

  6. Patty Handy says:

    Hi Mike-we just purchased an 06 one week ago in St Louis at Van City. I’m having some of the same issues regarding the different types of power in the van. I stumbled across a gentleman on the Sprinter RT forums who lives in our city. We drove our RT over to his house and he explained things in a way that I “think” I understand. Our salesman was also thorough but there’s just sooo much to learn.
    Our utensil drawer has Velcro on the top edge, perhaps put there by the former owner. It definitely stays shut and doesn’t show when closed. I have to give it a yank to pull it open. I also thought there were a lot of rattles when I drove it and we don’t have it fully stocked yet.
    We are looking forward to our shakedown cruise tomorrow-just a one nighter.
    There’s lots of good info on this forum and the Sprinter forum–look for the conversion or RV section and then check Road trek.
    Sounds like we have lots of fun ahead!

  7. Karsten Askeland says:

    I just found your pages from a post in the RV Forum. Congratulations on your recent purchase. Being the owner of a Class B RV (Winnebago ERA) and also living in the cold winter weather (Southern Ontario) I read with some interest and amusement your wanting to sleep in your RV overnight just after you got her home.

    Too cold??? Too Cold?? What the heck is that about?? I have used mine all winter in the cold north. Mind you this winter has been milder than some. The lowest temperatures were down to 23º F some nights. The furnace works well and with lots of blankets I was toasty warm all night. It was a little “cool” to get up and use the facilities in the morning. But it worked.

    All kidding aside … I hope you have a wonderful time RVing. Don’t limit your adventures to just the “nice weather”. Winter RVing can be a whole new adventure.

    Regards

    Karsty

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