His Thoughts on Roadtrek Life


Why describe our Roadtrek improvements?


If you own a Roadtrek you know why you bought it.  You like to travel first, and enjoy your own adequate living space second.  If you don’t own a Roadtrek, think about buying a new or used one. Why? Some Roadtrekkers have downsized from a big Class A or Class C, or a 5th wheel. Others want to travel as their children leave the nest but dislike the hassle and expense of motel overnights. It is a personal decision. See if you can borrow or rent a Roadtrek if you’re investigating the travel lifestyle. We describe these improvements because they’ve increased our SAFETY, VALUE, CONVENIENCE, and COMFORT from our Roadtrek.  Some ideas may increase yours also.


How we think about improvements


When we bought our used 1995 Dodge Roadtrek 190 Popular we were the fourth owners. It had 82,000 easy miles and prior owners had maintained it carefully. We had borrowed a friend’s later model Roadtrek for a weekend, so we were certain that was what we wanted. Our first improvements were to increase SAFETY:  New tires, new shock absorbers, new brakes, a fire extinguisher, tire pressure and temperature monitor, and alignment.


Used Roadtreks are less expensive than new ones. On-line research can show you what is available.  Be sure to see and drive before you buy.  Since our used Roadtrek was around $10,000 and new ones cost from $75,000 to $110,000, we did not think that any changes we could make would decrease the VALUE of the vehicle. If we had purchased one new we might be afraid to drill holes, run wires, and make major changes – it would be like buying the Taj Mahal and remodeling it!  Most of our changes and upgrades were made to increase our CONVENIENCE and COMFORT.


Since storage and living space are limited, we found that if you can put everything in its place, clean up in a few minutes, and get on the road fast, it gives you more time for fun. In our Roadtrek we have a big table set up in the rear with two benches for day use. At night we stow the table legs and top in front of the driver’s seat and unroll our two sleeping sacks on the twin beds. Some Roadtrekkers keep the king size bed set up day and night, and cannot easily invite others for coffee and ice cream. We also have a front table that can be set for three for day use. Living arrangements are deeply personal, but CONVENIENCE is paramount with us.  That is why we have installed many electrical outlets, clothes hooks, dedicated storage, and kitchen amenities. Some Roadtrekkers never use the perfectly fine toilet and shower. Zounds, what a waste! Might as well use the Roadtrek only as a station wagon, stay in motels, and eat at restaurants.


Why do some RVs seem comfortable, whether small or big, while others seem confining?  Architects and interior designers know there are several ways to increase the apparent size of small spaces: 1. Cut off room corners to borrow space from adjoining rooms, 2. Use mirrors to lengthen sight lines, and 3. Use cool colors and small or non-pattern materials on surfaces. We have three additional wall mirrors (cheap fix) to reflect other parts of the interior to increase sight lines, and our carpet and furniture are blue with small or no patterns.  Visitors sometimes remark about how spacious our small Roadtrek seems.


My wife is an engineer and I am an author, so we stay connected through the Internet, cell phone, and office equipment.  We also want to know the status of all the electricals, so we have more and better battery and shore power monitoring than most.  Our TV is dinky compared to some and we only watch DVDs occasionally.  Many Roadtrekkers have big flat screen TVs, Dish networks, and surround sound hi-fi.  Equip your Roadtrek the way YOU want it.  Many of the described improvements have been borrowed from others.   Feel free to contact us with any questions, and we hope to meet you down the road or at a Roadtrek Rally.  Do join the FMCA and Roadtrek International Chapter to maximize your pleasure in your travels ahead.