My Roadtrek As a Second Car

Written by on December 13, 2013 in Janet Arnold with 61 Comments
My Subaru in One of Her Better Moments

My Subaru in One of Her Better Moments

About a month ago my Subaru met up with a Jeep in a parking lot down by the beach. It was a little too close. Bummer. Now my Subaru is in the body shop getting some work done so she can be spiffy and new again. I love my Subaru.

While my car is getting her face lift my RoadTrek SS Agile has become my primary transportation. This is when I am glad that I got this small, very easy to manipulate RV. I am able to take it out with ease, well most of the time. I live near a big city (San Diego) and it is always a little crazy to drive around here. At Christmas I think many are too distracted to drive well. I find when I am out in my RT I tend to drive way more defensively than when I am in my car. Hmm, is there a lesson I should pay attention to here?

Here are the pluses of driving my RT on a daily  basis.

My RT Waiting for Action At a Moments Notice.

My RT Waiting for Action At a Moments Notice.

  • I sit up high so I can see more.
  • I definitely drive more defensively.
  • If I want to go to the farmers market and I turn on my refrigerator I have a good place to store my perishables. This is great when I am combining errands.
  • I park further away from the stores so I get my exercise.
  • I keep getting more and more comfortable driving a larger vehicle.
  • I meet people. It is not unusual to have at least one or two people that want to take a gander at the interior.
  • I didn’t have to pay for a rental.
  • I can drive to the beach and sit in my RT, read and watch the world go by, all the while staying warm on these cooler days. The same goes for the mountains.
  • It is cute. (in case you are not aware, I love my RT)

And then there are the negatives of driving the RT as a regular vehicle.

  • It is not always easy to park. That is why I often park a bit away from the stores so that I can park with ease.
  • I work out of many hotels. I have to be sure that there is parking for oversized vehicles. I can’t fit it into the parking garages. I decided this time to not work. Pity.
  • I have found that drivers here like to challenge vehicles larger than themselves. I even had a Smart Car cut me off once. What is with that?
  • It takes a little more time to get myself ready to go. First I remove the chock blocks. Then I have to back it off the levelers. I have to put the levelers away. I know it sounds small but it takes time. I give myself a little extra time when heading out the door.
  • When I return I have to give myself time to repeat in reverse the above process.

Almost every day I go somewhere. If it is close by and during the daylight hours I will take my 150 cc scooter but for the bigger errands I am so glad that I can climb into the driver’s seat of my RoadTrek and know I am comfortable and safe. I can also take time to daydream about my next long adventure.



Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island







For those of you who have been following me, below is a link to the photos from my Thanksgiving trip to Pinnacles National Park and Pismo Beach.

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About the Author

About the Author: Janet is from Southern California. After many years of sleeping on the ground, in a tent, she finally decided there had to be a better way. In the summer of 2013, she bought a brand new Roadtrek Agile motorhome. She has never owned or traveled in an RV. Janet is now traveling the U.S. and Canada for several months. Recently widowed, she decided that she wanted to visit and thank each person that has loved and supported her and her husband over the past three years. She also is a water color artist who is still waiting to pick up a brush since her husband died. Janet works part time as a tour guide and tour manager. She takes people on vacation throughout the United States and specializes in the National Parks of the west. Janet is happiest when she can share the great outdoors with others. .


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61 Reader Comments

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  1. Brian Duke says:

    Drive mine to work every day

  2. charles cowles says:

    I saw your pic of Peggy’s Cove lighthouse. We loved going there and staying in a B and B. We traveled to Prospect, Halifax, Lunnenburg, and PEI. Nova Scotia is so beautiful.

  3. Elaine says:

    Why do you level and chock every time if you are driving every day? I just leave mine in the driveway and go when I want. As far as the pills who cut you off, that has happened to me, too, with every RV I’ve driven, including a regular size van conversion. I just remind myself, I don’t like to be behind a big, carefully driven, view blocking vehicle either, so I give those people behind me plenty of space to do whatever they want to get around me. I even pull over to let a four or longer car tail get by once in awhile. Saves a lot of wear and tear on my nerves.

    • Janet Arnold says:

      Elaine, I am under the impression that leveling is important for my refrigerator fluids. My driveway is not flat and so I take this precaution.
      For all you RT gurus out there, is this true?

  4. Maureen says:

    Janet, Thanks for another great list. You have confirmed my vision. I need to understand more about the levelling requirements. If you are parked at home and are just using the SS Agile as a car why do you have to always level it?

  5. Elaine says:

    Do you have gas/electric fridge or just electric? I believe, leveling is less important for electric only, because it uses a different type of cooling. I could be wrong, though.

    My Ranger fridge is just electric 120 only, like in the house. I don’t leave the fridge on on while it is parked in the driveway unless I need to chill a day before a trip, and then I have to plug in. I am lucky my driveway is fairly level, so I don’t worry about leveling unless someone is trying to sleep in there (guest cottage mode).

  6. Fable Fox says:

    Hm… how important is leveling to etrek, being fully electric. Can Mike add more info here? Thanks.

  7. Elaine, I left you a PM re: your Agile in hopes you might share a few comments with me.

    My understanding is that leveling any of these RV’s is necessary when using the propane-fueled method of running your frig. The amonia-based liquid is boiled by the propane and the gas needs to be able to pass thru an orifice that can be obstructed by the liquid if the RV is not level. If the frig is turned off or is being AC/DC powered, then leveling isn’t required.

    • Elaine says:

      Hi, Jack, I’m Elaine and I have a Ranger, not an Agile. I can’t find how to look at a PM from you. Did you want to talk to me, or to Janet?

      I am glad you provided such a detailed answer. That s what I thought. I never bothered with leveling in my last RV with the 3 way fridge, either, unless I was using the gas mode. Except, of course, as necessary to get comfortable for sleeping.

  8. Roxanne says:

    We have a roadtrek too. I never thought about using it as a second vehicle. Good idea. We just got ours over the summer from a local place in NJ Colonial. We love it so far!

  9. Bob Jaye says:

    Guys, no need to level with the fridge not running. That being said, don’t forget to level it before you turn it on.
    Also, it does need to be leveled albeit not as precise when you use any of the power options other than LP. The 110v and the 12v positions still boil the ammonia like the LP, but there’s no flame to be affected by it’s unlevel positioning. Remember the flame is going to be pointing straight up no matter what angle the vehicle is sitting. Unlevel = the flame not hitting the right spot on the boil chamber when unlevel

  10. Carol Rea says:

    I’m retired with a limited income and, at the age of 61, have (almost) decided that if I don’t get the RV I’ve always wanted now, it’s not going to happen. What all this means is that I’ll need to sell my only car – a Toyota van – to do so and the Roadtrek would then become my only vehicle. I don’t drive often, no commute to work, so what do you think – does this make sense?

    • Janet Arnold says:

      First of all, you must realized that you are asking a question to someone who has quickly become a RT fanatic. I think your idea is plausible. I have not gotten to that point yet. I still have a car and a scooter.
      I say, Go for it.

  11. Maureen says:

    Carol, that is my plan. I have seen quite a few comments where some Roadtrekkers use their RT as a second car and some that have no problem with it as their only vehicle. Some even prefer to drive the RT. I can’t see any sense in having two vehicles as I too do little driving unless I am on a roadtrip. I am close to excellent public transit. Also, as I have two dogs, a small roadtrek is my target for everyday use as well as travel.

  12. Debbie Brown says:

    I want one

  13. Ross Cox RC Ross Cox RC says:

    I would like one where do you find one?

  14. How many people? A couple of grandparents and a couple of grandkids?

  15. I want one but on my budget will never see one . to bad

  16. Mike Jones Mike Jones says:

    Roadtrek Agile SS (Short Sprinter). :D

  17. Christine Craycroft says:

    I want one! Why do they have to cost so much?

  18. Mark Bea says:

    Would love to own one of these, maybe my lottery will come in someday LOL!!

  19. Tamra Yeater Williams says:

    I would love to have one

  20. Chris Sorbie Link says:


  21. Marieann Anderson says:

    retire, sell the house, travel around for a year

  22. Robb Thomas says:

    I’m going to do just that soon

  23. Michael Rasmussen says:

    Where can I get more info on this cool RV (specs, pricing, etc)? Looks like just the ticket for me! :)

  24. Don Gauvreau Don Gauvreau says:

    I would so love to have one of these!

  25. Christine Craycroft says:

    New ones are about $130,000!

  26. Connie Abrook says:

    Before you go out and buy one of these, check out the PLEASUREWAY as well

  27. Jane Morin says:

    I wish I had any kind of drive RV I like the small ones to go on vacation, save money on hotels

  28. Oh, Yes…just to be able to afford ,

  29. Christine Craycroft says:

    You can’t live in a base one. You have to do add ons.

  30. Remind’s me of the old V W Micro bus back in the day…

  31. Love it!! Do u have room for me? I’m not very big??

  32. Dovie Hannum Dovie Hannum says:

    Not enough room ,too expensive , we are looking at a B plus, Jayco Melbourne made in Elkhart,very nice

  33. William Giesecke says:

    Sad thing is that they are to expensive I would love to get an RT like yours I wonder how people can afford this my credit is shot and I live in a budget very tightly..

    • Janet Arnold says:

      I was told by the salesman, Dean, that buying an RV is not a necessity and it never will be. What they sell is a luxury and he told me that I needed to give myself permission to buy this. It took some time for me to give myself permission. Once I did I never looked back. I guess I still believe in that statement “where there is a will, there is a way”. I figured it out and now own this very sweet little RV.
      I bought new, but there are used ones out there.
      Keep a look out and you never know what you might find.

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