Shaking and Rattling Down the Road

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By Thomas Fletcher, CFP®

I guess that was my attitude when I discovered my family was planning a trip to Maine in an

RV. Ironically the genesis for their idea may have been me sharing stories of when I was a kid and my parents rented a Winnebago and drove us all over the state of Wisconsin. What a great time we had. The one memory I couldn’t shake from that trip was the RV’s awful gas mileage. It was so terrible that on one dark day our Winnebago actually ran out of gas along a busy highway. I suppose we didn’t look like trustworthy people because nobody ever stopped to help us out, this despite my mother waving a red rag at the oncoming traffic to try and flag down an empathetic motorist. Eventually she gave up and my dad did the only thing he thought he could to get us back on the road: add enough kerosene to the fuel tank to get us to the next filling station. And it worked! But as they say, please don’t try that at home folks.

Now that I’m a little older and hopefully a little wiser, I sure as heck wasn’t about to run out of gas if we rented one. What concerned me the most however was driving an ungainly beast of a vehicle down some narrow backwoods road and sideswiping a truck or two, especially because of course my son was looking to rent the XL version. So we compromised. We drove our car to Sacco Maine, picked up the RV, then drove both the car and the RV about 30 minutes south to Kennebunkport.

My son and I both had the same impression once we got on the road:  it was a very similar feeling to an airplane

barreling down the runway before lifting off. All the pots, pans, dishes, cabinet doors, silverware and seemingly everything else on the RV that wasn’t latched down seemed to shake and rattle while the vehicle seemed to float in a somewhat suspended state as we accelerated down the road. I was however pleasantly surprised that the width didn’t present any challenges, even as the road became more curvy. And my wife’s idea of bringing the family car with us was brilliant because it’s a big process hooking up and disconnecting the RV to the campsite’s water, sewer, electricity, and yes the cable TV. High Livin’ for the Fletcher's.

I think you were waiting for this and yes, I was wrong about renting that thing. We traveled without any major incidents and wound up having a tremendous time. There’s even a possibility we may do it again next year, but maybe over a longer distance.  I’ll keep you posted.