Bear Cave

Bear Cave

We drove about 250 miles today in Labor Day traffic. Fortunately, most of it was going the opposite direction. We ended up in southeast Michigan, where we will stay for four days and then head south back into Indiana to a two week stay. Hopefully we can get everything put away and fixed, because we still have random crap not in storage. Some of it will have to be thrown away. Some of it is part of projects that we don’t have all the parts for, but I hope by the end of this week, we’ll be fully packed and ready to go instead of half-assing it everywhere we go.

I learned one very important thing: I hate driving this RV on the highway. The wind gusts shove it around, people drive like assholes and cut us off, and it makes my knees, back and neck sore. The engine is loud so we can’t really talk much while driving, but driving requires my complete attention anyway, so there’s not much to do but drive. We can’t really listen to music either because the music is so quiet we can’t even hear it over the engine and road noise.

The RV does drive well though, I just can’t do it for more than an hour at a time without feeling the pain. I am also wondering if getting an RV this big was the right decision. One of the things I wanted to accomplish on the road was taking more photos and building up a portfolio. I like images of run down farms, barns, equipment that is rusting, and we see a lot of it as we drive the back roads. I would love to get out and take photos, but pulling into someone’s driveway to ask permission is almost impossible in this RV. I’d like it if we had something smaller, but we aren’t going to tow a vehicle just for that.

For the most part, we plan to be pretty mobile and not stay in the same spot for very long. Our Allegro gets about 5mpg, which comes out to roughly fifty cents mile at current costs. If we could get something smaller with better mileage, that would save us money as well and allow us to do some upgrades right away instead of waiting.

I’m not feeling buyer’s remorse, but we discussed this while driving and figured something smaller would be a lot easier to handle and deal with, so we might look for something to replace this one. Consider this a starter package. We got what we wanted, learned what we didn’t like, and will use that to make the next one fit our needs better. We aren’t looking to do this right now, but probably in a year unless something happens to change out minds. For that reason, we won’t be putting much money into this one other than to get things working, but things like solar can wait for the next rig.

But how small do we go?

At the moment, we could go Class C or Class B. We have a lot of stuff, but if we can get rid of even more, we could probably squeeze into a larger class B. Some of you probably don’t know the difference, so I’ll explain. Class A is what we have now; they are the big bus like RVs. Usually a flat front end, open to the back, newer ones have slide outs. Class C is the next step down and has the bunk over the driver’s cab and has a truck-like front end. Class B is the smallest and is basically a van modified to live in.

For future’s sake, I’d love to have a well built, newer Class B. It would require us to downsize a great deal, but it would make us more mobile. The problem is room though. We could get rid of stuff we don’d need and consolidate, but we have three cats. Zoe has been confined to her crate since we moved in because we are afraid she’ll get into something and we won’t be able to find her. Rain has been out and exploring, except when we are driving at which point we crate her so she doesn’t get into anything. Odin has his own crate as well, but we frequently take him out to play with him. Tiffany has had him on her lap most of the time when we drive, and he behaves well. If we could find a way to make the area secure and large enough for the cats, that would be great.

Other than that, most of our stuff can be reduced. I would love it if we only had two weeks of clean clothes and did laundry twice a month. We have a lot of tools and I’m sure duplicates of many of them. The extras can be given away or donated somewhere I’m sure. We don’t need two tvs and could get by with a single small one by the bed. We already have laptops instead of desktop computers, and those take up little space. Food storage could be done much nicer and we could get rid of a lot of dishes we don’t need. Some were held onto because of sentimental reasons, some we thought we’d need but probably won’t. The extras can be given to family so we don’t lose them, but aren’t hauling them with us everywhere.

The one major thing a Class B wouldn’t normally have is a bathroom. But right now, our water doesn’t work anyway, and we’ve made it a month without running water. I wouldn’t say we’d get a composting toilet, but we could easily manage with campground facilities for showers and gas stations or stores for bathrooms. Its convenient having it on board, but not needed.

So if we can fit a bed, fridge, and microwave into a Class B, we might just go that route. We wouldn’t be limited to where we could stay quite as much, and it would be stealth camping at its best. We could just pull over wherever we were, close the curtains, and sleep for the night, only to move on the next day. We could also use campgrounds when we needed and maybe have electric and water on board so we wouldn’t have to rely on solar power all the time.

The more I talk about it, the more I like it. We’ll see.

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Eric is a dedicated technophile and strives to make things in Sleipnir as innovative, simple to use, and convenient as possible. He has worked a variety of jobs, from construction and manufacturing to working as a civilian in a law enforcement agency. He is an avid tabletop gamer and builds websites in his spare time.

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