Squeaks, rattles and the minor issues.

 Squeaks, rattles and the minor issues.

Maybe this is what I need? A friend sent me this picture suggesting it as an alternative to my Roadtrek. Amazing. Apparently, it’s the real deal. That second story must be like a pop up. I think I’ll stick to my RT.

I spent yesterday driving the RT to and from work and back again in the evening for a meeting. Throughout the day, I showed it off to colleagues and everyone seemed very enthusiastic and encouraging.

I really was impressed by the way it handles. I’ve put about 80 miles on now and am pretty comfortable with it, especially after finding a couple of noise sources like the pan that is used by the combination microwave/convention oven that sits on tip of the rotating lazy Susan glass. It clanked and clunk with every bump and my solution was to just take it out. Jennifer plans to get some foam and make little sleeves for storage. The next source of noise is the metal top of the two-burner range. Same solution should work, just put a piece of foam under it. And I learned that the utensil drawer that keeps slidingopen seems to be a common issue that requires some do-it-yourself repairs .

I’ve also been devouring the forums (you can see my favorites under the Blogroll widget on the right sidebar). I can’t believe how helpful other users have been. I’m learning a lot from them.

Jennifer drove it home from our meeting last night. It was her first time behind the wheel. She noted about the “flat,” truck-style steering wheel will take some getting used to.  And she was a little unnerved by a stint at speed on the freeway. The RT is definitely more top heavy than or SUV or her Accord. But she was more than comfortable by the time we arrived back home. It just takes a little getting used to.

Here’s the big question for today: Coming home after dark last night, I noticed something about the headlights. On low beam. the left in particular seems to be more down then out. The right beam illuminates more road ahead. I don’t know if headlights need to be “aligned,” or whether because the RT is so high off the ground the driver’s side headlight is pointed down more than the right to avoid blinding drivers or whether the its  bulb needs replacement. When I put on the brights, both beams both cover equal ground for quite a distance and are excellent. Can my RT dealer fix them? Our regular car mechanic? Or is this normal with tall RVs?

On the way home we stopped at a Walmart and I went to the automotive section after seeing tipsters on the forums say that’s the best place to go for the many little extras and accessories on my must-get list. Jen found some towels and some measuring cups and the like for the kitchen/galley. But I didn’t find much at all. Maybe because this Walmart caters to big city people?

Tomorrow is when we leave for Florida. Our major decision is whether we should use the Roadtrek or not? Jen is, surprisingly, agreeable if I want to. The vacation, long planned, is with family and we’ll spend the week before Easter at a beach house. There will be four vehicles, counting ours. I’m worried about whether the RT will fit in the available space. But a big part of me wants to take it.

We both have to work today and have another night meeting. And we work in the morning before heading out in the PM. I’m not sure that is enough time to think through and pack what we need for the RT to camp along the way rather then motel it if we take the SUV.



Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.


  • Hi Mike, I’m enjoying your blog and have subscribed to the RSS feed.

    I’d recommend taking the van. We have a 2007 Sprinter with a 2008 Roadtrek conversion. One tip, as long as the parking spaces are not for “compact” vehicles, you should be fine. It helps to find a space at the end of the row so you don’t get squeezed on both sides and I try to either pull through, or back in for an easier and safer exit. Enjoy the trip, the van can handle it

  • Mike, I just happen to be a lighting engineer. Your head lamps should be aimed at the same height above the road and have the same beam pattern. Your dealer should be able to aim them for you. If not, we can do it after you get back from Florida. Should only take us about 15 minutes to do the work.

    Have a safe and wonderful time on vacation and TAKE THE RT ! ! !.

  • Mike,

    Great blog. take the van and don’t worry about not having every last item you may need. There is literally a Walmart every 20 to 30 minutes between your home and your destination. Grab a road atlas from any of their stores and it will show you the locations of all of them.
    Add to that the fact that Walmart’s corporate policy is to welcome R.V.ers to park overnight in their lot and you will never need to worry about a forgotten blanket or can opener again.

  • Mike, that year sprinter has a little rolling like knob to the left of the steering column. It is used to adjust the headlights up and down while driving. My guess is that it was set up that way to compensate for varying loads, since it was designed (by Germans) as a commercial deliver vehicle. That may partially explain the headlight issue.

  • Terry is right Mike. Headlights need to aligned at identical heights even on big rigs.
    Unfortunately most people on the roads today, including drivers of small cars have no idea there is such a thing as headlight alignment. Even worse they have no idea how much their own headlights are out of alignment.
    Years ago it was common for headlight alignment to be checked routinely when the vehicle was serviced. These days they drive down the roads oblivious to how many people they are blinding even on low beam.
    My other objection is to the newer vehicles with a second set of lights below the main ones which a lot of folks seem to think need to be on all the time to look cool. These should be disallowed in my opinion or at least connected to the dimmer switch so they only come on with the high beams.
    My two cents worth.

  • Even managed to get my own name spelled wrong. Duh.

  • Where are the inside pics? Is this just click bait? Ugh!

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