We had just about had enough with dealing with our Roadtrek, and the RV Show in Tampa, Florida was a good opportunity to see what else and who else was out there. We had already been following all the major Class B RV manufacturers and what they were building, and all the problems we had dealt with were making it tough to not at least consider alternatives. And there were plenty to see at the RV Show.
Because the Alde system wasn’t completely fixed, the warmer Florida temperatures were a good excuse to head south. We got to meet Plant Guy, tour a huge selection of RVs, and meet the representatives from a few of the other manufacturers who were showing their latest and greatest.
We were interested in seeing the technologies being offered by the competition and this was a perfect chance to see them all in one spot. Some of the other Class B manufacturers are using the Lithium-Ion battery technology, while others have no intention of using technology that hasn’t been tried and tested, which to us sounds like a perfectly reasonable idea. We’ve learned that the best sounding technology is useless if it doesn’t actually work. That being said, no other manufacturer claims to offer what drew us to Roadtrek originally – which was a generator-free coach. We like the idea that you can run your microwave for a few minutes to just reheat food (we don’t do much actual cooking when traveling but have had many a pizza on the road) without needing to run a generator. Because we travel with a dog, we liked the promise that we could run our air conditioning for a few hours, strictly on batteries, without leaving the van with a noisy generator running, and having the van automatically start to recharge the batteries when low using their VoltStart system. The reheating food we’ve been successful with; the air conditioning running off the batteries we still haven’t been able to really test because of the time and aggravation getting the VoltStart system working. Looking back, we realize that it’s been almost 2 years since we started our RVing, and we haven’t really had a chance to just enjoy a fully functioning van to even truly evaluate whether this is the model for us.
At this point, we’re at a crossroads. Do we stick with our Roadtrek, which has been an…eventful experience, and continue trying to tie up loose malfunctioning ends, or do we decide to compromise certain features with another manufacturer who may not necessarily promise the moon, but who can certainly deliver stars?
What we did learn from visiting the RV Show was that there are people out there reading this blog (you know who you are, and hi, it was great to meet you!) and it’s encouraging to hear that we aren’t just shouting into a hole, and that if we decide to move on from Roadtrek, there are other manufacturers ready to make our RV travels a pleasure again (or for the first time, as the case may be).