The Beginning

The plan for years has been to step off the merry-go-round and hit the road. Jump in an RV and see the country. But getting off this merry-go-round has proven particularly challenging: a bad economy, a layoff, a listless stock market. ‘Nuff said. But the time has come and we’ve picked our date: April 2013. The world will have one less baby boomer in the workforce.

Then my wife raised the ante: let’s go to Alaska! The idea was not particularly earth shattering or unexpected. She’d been to Alaska years ago and we’d visited recently on a cruise. We’ve talked for years about spending a few months in Alaska and at one point I was advocating doing so by motorcycle. So there was no debate. Let’s go to Alaska. Sounds good.

How will we get there? Now comes the challenging part. Details. We don’t own an RV. Yes, we’re planning to buy a fifth wheel… but is that the best way to drive from Florida to the northern most reaches of America? It could be if your plans don’t include use of the Alaska Marine Highway. On the Alaska Marine Highway you pay by the foot for the vehicle you’re travelling in. And the price per foot tops out when you hit 21 feet. After that the rate per foot is as high as $77. Do the math and you’ll see the problem.

So the logical choice became a small motorized vehicle. Of course: a class B motorhome. I began researching online, thinking primarily in terms of a Rialta, the popular class B Winnebago built on a VW chassis… until 2005. That research and a vehicle my wife spotted on the road a few days later led to some interesting revelations. I’ll get into that next time.

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