In December, we drove across the country in our Honda CRV. On our travels, we shared the country’s highways with cars, trucks, motorcyclists, RVs and everything in between. I don’t think I’d ever seen as many different types of motor homes, caravans or campers as I did in those four weeks. We saw the most in the parks in southern Utah and each time we passed one, I longed to see the inside. Would it ever be possible? Is this a pipe dream or something we’d want to consider one day? I don’t know, but I was curious!
My friend, Erin, and I used to talk about it all the time. We thought we’d grow up, rent a full size Winnebago and drive across the country. Of course, at that time we were nowhere near having our drivers license nor would I ever be able to reach the pedals, but when we dreamt about it, we smiled. Then, as usual, life happened and that pipe dream of time in a motorhome hasn’t happened, YET. When we bush-camped in the Okavanga Delta of Botswana, we discussed winning the lotto with some friends of ours. And, of course, part of those winnings would go towards loaded vehicles to head off overland around the African continent. Sometimes we like to dream big-can’t hurt, right? So, one weekend, the husband and I channeled that childhood fantasy and went to take a look. Finally, I would get to go inside to see what all the fuss was about…I couldn’t wait!
We drove to La Mesa, about twenty-five minutes away from downtown San Diego to visit two dealerships. Walking into the first place, we found we didn’t really need to talk to someone; we could just go out back and play. Seriously! I think I ran out of the back door in utter delight! We popped into motor homes large and small of all colors and shapes. Some had an extra television on the outside, some had one and a half bathrooms, some had washer/dryers and some ran on diesel fuel. We went from vehicle to vehicle like kids in a candy store. Who knows if it’s something that will ever happen, but it was definitely fun to dream.
I’ve always loved the Airstreams. We continually see them around the state and national parks, glittering in the southern California sunshine. Something about the streamlined sparkly silver shell gets me every time, and here, I got to go inside. I felt like Dorothy entering Oz! With its rounded edges and sleek décor, on this day, if I were thinking of purchasing or renting a camper, this would have been it. It’s the little things in life, right?
At the second dealership, we chatted with a young man who’d been working there for a few short years. We got lessons in all things gas and diesel, Mercedes and Ford, and Winnebago everything. We hopped inside Class C’s (which would be our pick) and giant monsters the size of full-sized coaches. There were ones that slept two to eleven, ones that were decorated far more extravagantly than any apartment I’ve ever lived while the entire time all I could picture was camp…on wheels! How fabulous!
After gallivanting for almost an hour, we found our favourite. We’d seen beds float out of roofs with the touch of a button, banquets turn into beds and even heated floors, but if we had an extra $100,000 (US), we would hand it over and guess what? It was actually a Winnebago! Erin would be so proud! Small enough for me to reach the pedals, large enough to invite friends over, spacious enough to hold essential items and all those we all ‘think’ we ‘need’ and small enough to rock up to a campsite or coffee shop without difficulty. Nathan (our RV guru) told us about his visit to the Winnebago factory. The pinnacle of all things motor home, the adventure sounded like a visit to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory yet instead of heading out through a glass elevator with an everlasting gobstopper in your pocket; visitors just might roll out through the gates in their own custom-designed motor home. We have got to go there!
We left, brochure in hand (of course), wondering if this is something we’d ever decide to do. Either way, I finally got to go inside these magnificent vehicles and get a taste of what that full-time on the road life could be like. Maybe it could be a few weeks, a few months, a few years or a lifetime – who knows! What I do know is we both had fun searching and dreaming of another way life could be. Onward!