May 1, 2010

How It All Began

At some point in early 2010, Tim and I began to formulate a plan to take approximately one year off to travel throughout the United States.  Since I’m a gypsy at heart, I had always dreamed of taking off and traveling for an entire year.  Unfortunately, although I am retired, Tim is still working.  Rather than wait impatiently until he could retire, I suggested the possibility of a leave of absence.  That way, Tim could take off now and work for as long as he wanted when he returned.  To my surprise, everyone bought into the plan, and the beginnings of what would become a nine-month trip began.  More about how this crazy idea came about can be found here.

Tim and I had come to the conclusion that in order to take our cat with us, we would have to travel by RV.  Now, Tim and I know absolutely nothing about RVs.  I’m not sure I had even set foot in one and didn’t even know where to start in our search.  Since I have done historical research for a living, I figured that researching RVs couldn’t be too different.  The internet and books would provide more information than I would know what to do with.

One of the first books that I reread was Live Your Road Trip Dream, by Carol and Phil White.  I had been inspired by that book prior to the seven-week trip I took when I retired from the City of Miami in 2005, and I remembered that the Whites had traveled for a year in a Class B motorhome.  That seemed to be a good place to start.

What, you might ask, is a Class B?  It’s simple, really.  It’s a van converted to a motorhome.  Class Bs can take many forms, can be built on a Ford, Chevrolet or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis and can range in length from approximately 19 to 24 feet.  Popular manufacturers include Roadtrek and Pleasure-Way.  So, Tim and I started looking at Class Bs.

We had missed the RV shows that had taken place earlier in the year, so we visited several dealers in the Denver area and looked at the few models that were on the lots.  Class B motorhomes are a tiny subset of the RV industry and are not widely available.  However, this type of RV seemed to suit us perfectly.  I wanted something that would be relatively easy to drive and park (I don’t even like to drive SUVs).  Handling a larger RV just wasn’t for me.  I didn’t even consider pulling a trailer – that would have put me over the edge.  I had also been turned off by the interior design features of the larger RVs, while the Class B interiors were much more my style.  Yes, Class Bs are tiny, but I thought we could deal with that limitation.  Tim agreed with this choice.

We discovered that we could rent a Class B motorhome from a nearby dealer and decided that a test-run would be a prudent move before we considered a purchase.  We made a reservation for July 5 for a week-long rental.

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