Monday, December 5, 2011

Get-A-Way Vehicles - Dania

For the most part, I'm a Get-A-Way from the big city kinda guy. One of my favorite outdoor super stores is the Bass Pro Shops/Outdoor World in Dania. Any given day, it's like walking into Disney but during Christmas, it's even more so. As soon as you pass through the entrance, there is a roaring fire place and stuffed deer in a setting that looks like the cabin in the mountains I always dream about. It's little wonder the real Santa chooses Bass Pro as his winter headquarters. I went to look at maybe getting a tent but something caught my eye. The annual Recreational Vehicle show.

The RV lifestyle has not really interested me but I do have some experience. I lived in a 5th Wheel for a short time while I was between houses. I helped completely restore a vintage motor coach, and I spent a week traveling in Alaska with some friends for the actual RV experience. Each one of those fine vehicles had their pluses and even longer list of minuses. As I get ever closer to my early retirement date and given my desire to make exploring a full time venture, I thought I would give a little look see and get an idea what modern life on the road is like.

Like anything at Bass Pro, the RV show was way over the top. There were about 100 vehicles from North Trail RV Center of every size imaginable except small. They started from a van with a bed and toilet for about $80,000.00 to a palace on wheels for $800K.

Remember the days of Formica counters and cheap linoleum floors? Forget about it!! Try tile throughout and granite counters. How about a full whirlpool tub or toy hauling garage in the back for your golf cart or Harley. The options were insane. The pop-out models looked twice as big on the inside as the outside. They must have been designed by Doctor Who. The one that really got me had a staircase leading to the bedroom. I spent hours checking every model. Multiple indoor flat screen TVs with an outdoor one as well does not seem very back to nature to me. Nearly half the models had a better kitchen than my house. Most had so much storage you would need a treasure map to find your stuff.

You can forget about navigating with paper maps or hand cranked awnings and leveling kits. Everything is a button now. I'm not sure how much classroom time and simulator training it takes before they let you solo but in my case, quite a bit. I'm sure the next models will be fully automatic including the driving and nuclear power plant.

I don't have the price of admission for most of the rolling mansions but there was this one, not super stylish, but not like RVs of Christmas past. All I would need is a little pension money for gas and to get paid for blogging (or beg) for food and it would be totally do-able.


  1. Hahaha!! I'm amazed at how much luxury people think getting back to nature actually takes!! Personally, I don't get the point of hitting the road towing the equivalent of a 6 star motel suite behind you! How many luxury motel suite stays would $800k buy you anyway?!?! Our 1983 camper trailer is still going strong, costs virtually nothing to maintain - and we actually see stuff, not just watch TV in the air-con ...

    Better watch out or I'll be right up there on my high horse!!!

  2. @Red - I was hoping to get the opinion of a real traveler. Maybe you could post a few pics of your adventure hardened rig so these folks could see what a real window on nature looks like. I think my Xterra and a tent will do just fine for my purposes. I don't watch TV in my own house. To have one on the outside of a motor home just seems.... stupid. Since when did getting away mean bring everything with you. There was still that one that really caught my eye. One day I may be a world class travel poster like you and have to get it.

  3. Ah, the chicken/egg argument. Try this - one day you'll get it and THEN be a travel poster like me!!!!

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