Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The First Ride

When I made the decision to live in a travel trailer, I’d never been inside of one. It’s kind of like deciding to move to Rio de Janeiro without speaking Portuguese. It sounds like fun, and it looks like fun, but just maybe you ought to see how you look in a Speedo before venturing onto the beaches at Ipanema.

So I went to Hershey, PA to see my options. The event was advertised as The World’s Biggest RV Show. That might well have been true – I wished I’d had an RV to travel between the acres of campers and trailers and motorhomes. But more fun that the vehicles were the crowds. It was a cultural Noah’s Ark, with at least two of every possible human size/ shape/ color/ culture/ dress/ etc. I recommend the show, but only if you’re prepared to walk a marathon.

Following that introductory course in transient living, I studied hard and delved deeply into the esoterica of what one magazine calls “life on the road.” I learned the difference between gray water and black water (a very important difference), about inverters and converters, air ride, air brakes, air pressure, air conditioners, and of course from many of the RV sellers that I contacted, air heads.

Here is the lesson – who you buy it from is as important as what you buy. I eventually bought mine from a couple near Phoenix, and it was worth the 2,335 mile trip to meet them and see the truck and trailer. They are lovely and honest people, the rig was in perfect condition, and when I picked it up, I could have gone to the grocery store for food and I would have been fully trained and equipped. Byron did the training, and his wife, the lovely Billie, provided everything I could ever need. Pots and pans, dishes and utensils, cleaning supplies, towels, sheets, everything. Study over, tests passed, time to graduate to life on the road.

Here is the video of my first trip. It was about 50 feet. In the rain. With two stops along the way.

No comments: