In all, we traveled about 2,300 miles through seven states – from Michigan to Florida, and back. It was our first trip in the Roadtrek and here are my takeaways from the long drive and four nights of sleeping in the rig:
- It drives best between 65-70 mph. I did all but a hundred or so miles and am now thoroughly comfortable behind the wheel. I've learned to rely on those big and extra wide side mirrors, have the hang of parking, cornering and handling the wind buffeting from passing 18-wheelers.
- The Roadtrek speeps best when the bed is set up as a king, rather than two twins. Easiest way to make it up is to open the rear doors, fit the sheets from the top end there, close the doors and then fit the bottom end from inside. Do it before dark so insects aren't drawn inside to lights.
- Don't drive more than 350-400 miles in a day, unless there is another driver. As comfortable as it is behind the wheel, that's a solid seven to eight hours driving. Any more will leave you cranky and overly tired at the end of the day.
- Get to your destination well before dark. I pulled it at or after dark all four nights. Even with a good flashlight, the darkness makes it hard not to avoid and then track in mud from outside. That happened to me the last night. Besides, if you set up before dark, you can easily find and gather firewood, level the rig if needed and make the hook ups much more efficiently.
- If it is dark and you do have to set up, use a lantern or a headband light, not a flashlight. I dropped the flashlight several times, finally breaking the bulb.
- Make sure all the doors are closed at night. Bugs love light. Bugs inside a Roadtrek will really bug you.
- Carry disposable gloves for pumping diesel and emptying the black tank. Both stink. Have hand cleanser nearby, too.
- Plot out the next day's destination before going to bed.
- Three days worth of clothing is enough. Most parks have laundry.
You can catch some of the other lessons I learned in the accompanying video.
As to my Roadtrek, I have ordered three new items:
From Crutchfield, based on repeated recommendations from other RVers in the forums I consult, I today ordered a replacement radio with an iPhone/iPod USB connector. It's the JVC Arsenal KDAHD65 CD Receiver. It was onsale at $129. For $59, I bought am InstallCard, which is prepaid installation. I have my pick of several specialty sound shops already qualified by the very helpful Crutchfield sound adviser to work on my Roadtrek.
From REI, I ordered two GCI Outdoor Pico Telescoping Chairs. I chose these again on the advice of other RVers. The chairs fold up super small, about the size of a laptop. Perfect for the rear storage area.
And from ebags.com as suggested by other RV.net forum friends, I ordered two large three-piece packing cubes – one blue for me, one raspberry red for Jennifer. They cost $26 for a three piece set. Each stores lots of clothing, very flat.
One more thing I need to get is a new digital TV. The one that is in my '06 Adventurous is pre-digital. While the dealer gave me a digital converter, it's not as easy to operate nor does it deliver the picture quality I'd like. I'm looking for recommendations.