If I had a dollar for every person that said that I should go RVing these pockets would be empty. Traveling by RV wasn’t a part of our thoughts when Kris and I retired. Our travel plans includes cats, hotels and touring companies. Retirement started last fall by traveling to Niagara Falls, then Italy, eventually wintering in Arizona.
Things were great and going as planned. Arizona winters allowed for year-round cycling so I would easily would surpass the 2,800 miles ridden in 2013. Then one gorgeous, sunny morning in mid January while biking near Red Mountain I had a heart attack. Funny how things can change in, well… a heartbeat.
Fortunately it was a mild heart attack much like my first two. Winter became a series of trips to doctors and cardiac rehab with orders to minimize my travel. I felt fine, but doctors only allowed for exercise during rehab sessions. It was turning me into a grumpy couch potato. The doctors grew tired of my pleading and eventually allowed for restricted, slow riding within the retirement community. I was happy to finally get out and it was during one of those slow, boring rides when I saw it. There in the park’s storage lot was a Rialta Class B RV. I thought that it looked like fun and those dang doctors might actually let me travel in something like that.
I rode by that Rialta daily, thinking similar thoughts and eventually decided to Google it. The Rialta had been discontinued in 2005! Not being discouraged, my search criteria changed to similar RV types. It was mid February when I discovered Class-B RVing and got my first glimpse of a group of fanatics praising something called a Roadtrek. I didn’t know it then, but looking back, that’s when I was hooked.
I poured through everything, Roadtrek researching articles, websites and joining Class-B groups. It came time to talk it over with my wife, Kris. She is very cost conscious and lets face it, Roadtrek’s are not cheap so my hopes were not very high. Expecting an immediate “no”, she listened to my findings and I suggested that we visit a Roadtrek dealer. Kris nearly gave me another heart attack when she agreed.
We walked through pretty much every Roadtrek model. The 170 was too small. The 210 too big. The Mercedes too expensive. We went back over the weeks as we fine-tuned what we wanted. We really liked the 190, but we really liked the permanent bathroom in the Agile. Being a techy, the E-Trek was very cool. The big factor was coming down to drivability for Kris. She wanted to be able to comfortably drive the rig in the event I would become incapacitated. Gee honey, it was just a mild heart attack!
Winter was over so we returned to Michigan and setup a a test drive at the local dealer. Kris was expecting to drive an Agile, but was surprised when I asked to drive a CS. Going first, I was instructed to drive a path that included narrow, hilly country roads, a windy interstate highway at 70 mph and some city streets. Kris went next driving the same path. Just a few minutes into her drive, there she was driving one handed looking out at the scenery as if she had been driving the rig all her life. Driving was no longer a concern.
Robert, our salesperson asked what was our dream machine if price wasn’t a consideration. That would be the CS Adventurous E-Trek with the large refrigerator. Robert wrote an offer so good that the CS E-Trek was looking mighty good yet, we were still hesitant. Things were happening so fast, we were leaning towards taking a step back and reevaluating it fall. That’s when Jim Hammill of Roadtrek made his Easter rebate offer to anyone on the Facebook Roadtrek Group. It was just enough to get us to sign the paperwork and place our order later that week. We’ve been treking ever since.
In less than three months we went from car travels to becoming a happy camper with our first RV. What got you started?
A health followup… The doctors gave the thumbs up to go back at it so I rode in the Grand Rapids MSU Gran Fondo just six months after my heart attack. I finished 14th out of the 171 participants in my group. Not bad for an old crippled dude.