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Back In The Game!

For the past year, I have been off the road and settled in to semi-retirement on my own lot in an Escapees park. Age has caught up to both my trailer and myself. The days of traveling 400 miles once a week are long over and gate guarding has changed considerably, especially for single gate guards. When I retired, I could swear I heard a sigh of relief and a “Me too!” from my 5th wheel. I still work part time in (Ugh!) retail. However, I still get itchy feet now and then to get out there and see what is over the next hill or see something new. What to do? Buy a new (to me) RV and move up to the next level, a motorhome, of course! Yep, I’m done with hitching up and towing. While I am still keeping my trailer to live in and truck for daily travel, I just bought a very sweet little Roadtrek Class B camper van for weekends and vacations. Hooray! It looks like a van, drives like a van, parks like a van in a single parking spot but it has almost all the amenities of home! It can also be used for daily travel when my truck breaks down and is being fixed not to mention it actually gets better gas mileage than my truck.

Meet Mariah, the new wind beneath my wings.

Mariah1     Mariah2

I found Mariah on Facebook local classifieds. A friend drove me over to check her out. She’s a 1992 Roadtrek Popular 190. She’s old but the price was very good, she’s in pretty good shape, she has all new tires, and she drives great! I went into the deal expecting some major expenses for repairs and counted those costs in when deciding to buy her. The main issues were a cracked windshield (now fixed) and the 3 way fridge only works on gas (but oh it works really well on gas!). On my first overnight trip, I also discovered leaking sewer valves (new replacements came with her though) and a leaky water pump (part is on the way). The awning looks to be in good shape, all curtains are there, toilet works fine, stove and microwave work, furnace and AC work wonderfully, all manuals are onboard, mileage is low. This model does not have the optional shower and water heater but the previous owner rigged up a sort of shower and I already have a solar shower bag. I heat up water in the microwave or on the stove to do dishes which won’t be necessary once it heats up here. I found an empty compartment with drawings for an exterior door and a cable going to the battery compartment. This is where the optional generator would have gone if installed. I will be looking into that possibility as well as solar. I did replace the stereo myself with a modern one which is the same model as what I installed in my truck. I also added a backup camera on the back.

The more I tear into Mariah, the more impressed I am with the company’s innovation. They used the available space very well and designed it for both plenty of storage inside and less drag outside. I love the trunk in the floor to store stuff and the table up front that uses the passenger chair turned around. The rear passenger seat makes up into a clever bed in conjunction with the front passenger seat and it does fit an adult just fine. I found several hidden storage areas and a hidden but handy power plug up front. The walls have 3-4 inches of insulation and the ceiling is padded. The bathroom door folds out to form a privacy wall both to create a bigger bathroom area and to provide privacy between the two sleeping areas. I added a long curtain nearby for further, faster bathroom privacy. The air conditioner and TV antenna are both built into the roof rather than sticking up outside. The 3 windows in the roof provide lots of light and star gazing. The sewer connection hose is built in! It is housed in a pipe and pulls out easily and already connected to empty the tanks. They even included a bar to pull the gray water tank valve open without reaching underneath. I wondered why they didn’t include a latch to hold the electrical/propane door open but then I found a bar that pulls out for that too. Awesome! It’s nice to have a built-in propane tank too so no more bottle hauling.

I was hoping to be able to keep the big table in back up to use but while all 3 twin beds are suitable, they don’t work for me in a single sleeping bag with a bad back. I finally gave in and put it down to make two twins into one big queen bed with two identical sleeping bags zipped together. That is sooo comfortable! Luckily, they thought to add that second table up front which while smaller is still large enough and comfortable enough for computer work or eating.

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All in all I am very happy with it and so glad I found it. I look forward to many happy trips in it. My neighbors are jealous!





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