I met a woman, Kath, online, through the Rainbow RV group. She’s also going to retire soon, and has been researching different kinds and classes of RVs. She sent me a link to one that I fell in love with right away, named, “The Pleasure Way,” I have to admit, I got many weird and interesting hits on The Google because initially, I wasn’t careful with my search terms. “How to pleasure your man…” “How To Get More Pleasure In Bed…” But this does look like the perfect van/camper.A, B, and C, are the three classes of self-contained motor home. I already know I don’t want to tow anything. I don’t want to go out into the rain, or at night to transition from driving, to being in my living space. Long ago, I owned a converted van, so I knew that the size could work for me. I spent a bunch of time obsessively clicking through the photos posted online with these listings. If they were beautifully staged photos of apartments, we’d call it Real Estate porn. Camper porn?
The next step for me was to go see some of these machines in person— metaphorically kick some tires before I had to go back to work in September. Unable to sleep because of all the thoughts banging around in my brain, I got up at 3:AM to do some more online research. I located dozens of RV dealers in reasonable proximity in New York and New Jersey. And, there were five places on Long Island. A few texts later, a road trip that would end up at my dear friend, Ali Behr’s Southold home was arranged.
The following day, I drove 125 miles to visit three RV dealers on Long Island. I wanted to see, in person, the Class B RV’s they had advertised on their websites.
My first stop had a high chain link fence, with razor wire drooping crazily around near the top. It was actually an RV repair place with three used Class A units for sale, a few in for repairs, various covers duct-taped open, power tools and electric cords snaking around on the oily ground, unidentifiable greasy parts on dollies, and someone’s new RV fridge sitting on a hand-truck.
The next place that I went to had a lot full of new and used class A’s, some travel trailers, a couple of pop-ups, and a few truck campers. I chatted with Chris, one of the salesmen. He seemed to be the “real estate agent” of the place, offering to call “an old guy” to have him drive over to the lot right away with a unit that the guy was trying to sell. He was also talking up a “B-plus” unit with two slide-outs. I lost interest in working with him when he repeatedly told me I’d have to tow a car behind me, all over the country so I could go get groceries. Yeah, no. Not so much.
I happened to be driving right past my sister’s final resting place. I’ve never gone there to “pay my respects,” because for me, her spirit is at the beach, in the mountains, in the woods—any place I’ve been that is stunningly beautiful—even the opera! I have had many one-sided conversations with her over the past twenty-two years, but this was the first time I’d gone into that cemetery since the bitter cold January day we left her there.
Just as with my meditation/conversation in Green Wood with Mary Rose, I needed to go “see” her, to think about this alternate future I’d been dreaming up for myself. I’m glad I went, and I probably don’t ever need to do that again. But while I was standing out there, I kept hearing her words, “I never got to go anywhere!”
The third and final dealer on my list, thankfully, was right in the town of Southold where my friend’s place is, and where I was spending the night. This dealer also had a few Class A’s, and a bunch of truck campers. I got to step into one of the truck bed inserts, and it was so claustrophobic, I immediately knew it wasn’t for me. So that was successful research, in its own way.
Then I made my way to Ali's place, where they made the most amazing cedar-plank fish ever! The next day, we walked the beach, did a quick trip to One Woman,the nearby vineyard, and I talked a bunch about this plan. I am so grateful for all the friends in my life.