Ever since we made the decision to go on this journey, we have been discovering the available means of transportation. Do we drive our Subaru and camp all the time? Uh, no…for a thousand different reasons. Do we get a large RV with a small tow vehicle? No. We liked the space and comfort, but we didn’t like the limited mobility and the ridiculously swoopy paint jobs (what is up with American RV paint jobs?). Do we go with the iconically American Airstream trailer, pulled by a powerful pickup? Again, we didn’t like the idea of being limited to wide open spaces and RV parks, even though we were really attracted to the style and shine. We ended up choosing mobility over comfort.
Yesterday we picked up our 2017 Winnebago Travato 59K. It’s a 21′ Dodge Promaster chassis (really a Fiat Ducato, widely used for cargo trucks and European campers), fully equipped with all the modern conveniences we will need, just in a much smaller, more driveable package. We were treated very well by the folks at Reliable RV in Springfield, including a 25% reduction in the sticker price, and a very helpful hour and a half orientation from Ed. We hope their service remains as good as it’s been so far.
(The cushions convert to a queen-size mattress…we haven’t started sleeping separately yet!)
The online Travato community encourages new owners to name their rig. So, we are planning to call ours “Rocinante,” “Rosy” for short. Rocinante was the name of Don Quixote’s horse, and while the analogy doesn’t hold up completely, we are hoping Rosy is a steadfast and loyal steed, even if our journey proves to be quixotic.
**UPDATE: We realized too late that we had subconsciously ripped off one of our influences. In Steinbeck’s iconic, Travels With Charley, he names his camper “Rocinante.” We truly didn’t intend to steal the name. In fact, it was gratifying to see the same idea resonated with us. But, for the sake of ethics and originality, we hereby rescind the name of our van. Until further notice, we will no longer anthropomorphize our vehicle, and just refer to it as “the van.”**
Photo credit: Karen McQueary; Art credit: Pablo Picasso