Recap of 35 days travel in a Roadtrek

Having just completed a 35 day journey to New England and back in my Roadtrek 190 camper van, here are some highlights and thoughts from the maiden journey in the Roadtrek.

  • Total miles: 7,435
  • Average 212 miles per day
  • Shortest daily miles, 53
  • Longest daily miles 804 (final push back to home)
  • Average MPG 15
  • No Chevy mechanical issues, 1 oil change along the way,
  • No major Roadtrek mechanical issues (water pump burps, fridge flies open)
  • Overnights Breakdown:
    • State/County Parks: 14 nights
    • RV/Campgrounds: 13 Nights
    • Parking Lots/Rest stops: 7 nights
    • Mom’s Driveway: 1 night
    • 3 night stays: 1
    • 2 night stays: 5
    • 1 night stays: 22
  • States Traversed (in order): TX, AR, TN, KY, OH, PA, NY, VT, NH, ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, CT, MA, NH, ME, NH, MA, CT, NY, PA, WV, VA, TN, GA, AL, MS, LA, TX
Red Apple RV Campground outside Kennebunk Maine
Red Apple RV Campground outside Kennebunk Maine

My 2012 Roadtrek Popular 190 camper van  performed like a dream! I did, at the request of my hips, purchase a 3″ memory foam topper about 10 days in and cut it to fit the fold down sofa bed. Also purchased bed sheets and 2 more pillows. These were a vast improvement over the sleeping bag.

I was joined by a travel companion for 7 days, and the van functioned way better than I imagined with two of us sharing space. It’s well designed for 2 people. 

I found the fridge more than adequate and restocked perishables about once a week. 

General storage way more than adequate. I had much unused cabinet space. That space may have been used if bringing cold weather gear, which was not needed this trip. 

Only had to refill fresh water once, only dumped my tanks once. I made regular use of public/campground restrooms outside the van in order to preserve tank resources, but I now know I could have used my onboard flush commode more liberally with no issue.

The van scraped bottom multiple times on mild dirt campground humps/rocks and steep gas station driveways. I also abandoned my only dispersed Forest Road campsite along Blue Ridge Parkway when I started to fear getting stuck if it were to rain overnight, having come down a slight 1/4 mile dirt road to my dispersed campsite. Lack of ground clearance is my only complaint of the Roadtrek, and will be what prompts me to upgrade to a 4×4.

I intentionally purchased a 10 year old used rig with 100K miles because I wanted to make sure I like the travel mode of a campervan. I LOVE IT! I could do this full time happily. Being semi-retired and geographically untethered, this form of exploration provides a feeling of freedom and happiness that is hard to put into words. 

The one drawback is lack of transportation if I desired a day trip on a multi-night stay. In these instances, I did just roll out in the van and return to the same spot, such as my day trip through Acadia. I can see where a travel trailer would solve this, but in doing so, take away the in-city mobility and parking that I greatly enjoyed. I think I’ll get an e-bike and stick with the van mode.

Coming from a Jeep camper platform, I do miss, more than I thought I would, the ability to access even the mildest of dirt road boondocking. This was less an issue in the East, but I know it will be more so when I head west on my next trip. But otherwise big Thumbs Up on the Chevy Roadtrek as a compact and versatile travel and exploration rig!

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