Updated: Jan 5
Have you seen those ads on the internet “Rent an RV for a one-way Trip” and think who would want to go on a one-way RV trip! That’s scary! Well, in the state of agoraphobic fear due to COVID I became one of those people. It was the answer to my paranoid seclusion. This could set me free and get us home.
Florida is the worst state in the US as to handling the virus so in May I decided to do a 14 hr straight thru drive from St Petersburg, FL to Charlottesville, VA. It was a no brainer. I’d be safe! And I have been isolated now for eight months. In October I started planning my trip home. Florida however was in a full blown spread and I put it off until November. But, St Petersburg was still in the throes of Covid and I felt safe on four acres of isolated countryside views. Safe being the word. But I knew I was late getting home so I packed up and started the drive home. Only to get to the end of the street where I began to hyperventilate and sweat profusely. I thought my heart was going to pop out of my mouth. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave. I was paralyzed with fear. So I went back into my fort, locked the door and went to bed. How in the hell was I going to get home?
And as I tried so hard to regroup I kept thinking of the horror of becoming ill with COVID alone. Only Max would be by my side. What if I died? No one would know. Max could starve! My husband passed away in 2019. Many things I never worried about before seemed like giant boulders on my chest! Thumping away with each new thought.
Then when I feared I’d lose my residency and business it came to me... rent a one-way RV!
I began googling and ads appeared everywhere. I started filling out their questionnaires and providing personal information that would never had been shared in less desperate times. Each time I was advised that I’d have to go to Harrisburg, PA or Manassas, VA or Schenectady, NY to pick up an RV that I could then drive to Florida but I’d have to drop it off in Ocala or Lake Mary or Clearwater but nothing to St Petersburg. After two weeks I was exhausted and so disappointed. I couldn’t get home. I went to bed for two days.
Then the end of January I woke up one morning and said “fuck this” Max was horrified. He never heard me use this language. But I told him we had to go home!! We are buying a ducking RV and hitting the road. Suddenly I had a new sense of life. I am going home!
That day I sat down with the computer and searched for RVs. Knowing absolutely nothing about what I needed, wanted or could handle. I just want to go home!
After a lot of research I found that if I want to tow my car I had to get a Class C. A Class B which is smaller cannot tow my car. I also found out my car is 3303 lbs at “curb weight.” That means before I even put the key in the car it is 3303 lbs. the RVs can tow 3500+ depending on the size and models. But think about it. That allowed me less than 200 lbs of stuff. What normal woman has less than 200 lbs of stuff. Therefore a Class C RV with tow weight up to 5000 lbs was my new target.
It didn’t take long to find one I liked and could afford. But, the salesman asked me when I needed it. I said ASAP. He said it was not at the VA location. it was in Ocala, FL. They would have to have it brought up from FL. Huh. At $.75 a mile they would ship it from FL to VA so I could drive it back to FL. I was too cheap at that moment to consider that made sense. So on to another search.
Found a second one and this was in VA and very close to where I was. Great. It was a year older but it had the colors I wanted and the floor plan. Celebrate and thank God, Max. We are going home. The lady took my credit information and I told her my terms and we agreed on a price. Yes. She called me back and said she wanted me to understand they couldn’t sell that one to me at the listed price and they’d have to charge an additional $7500-8000. What? Why? She explained that this RV was the last one of that model on the lot. As if that clarified things to me. She continued to explain that if they sell that one they wouldn’t have one to show. So they’d have to charge me an extra $7500-8000. I told her I’d think about it.
What I actually thought about when I hung up was “Do I sound that stupid?” I mean we were in the phone for god sake. It’s not like she could see me! So now twice I found an RV, gave my credit info and then got played. Frustrated, disappointed and getting pissed I then got a phone call from a man in New York I had spoken to a week ago. I had written him off since he never called me back. He had found the one I wanted with the colors etc. it was two yrs old blah, blah blah. But to his delight I had learned a lot in the past week about doing business when buying an RV. By then I had learned I didn’t want anything used, I wanted an easy drive, only 24-26’ long and only the colors I wanted would do. I also had raided my budget but it had a limit! I was almost rude to him. He said okay and I knew I’d never hear from him again. After 30 minutes of disappointment I had decided to give up. I was on the bottom rung. I was so homesick and so scared. Then I got the call.
My New York new friend had just received two 25’ new units with white upholstery and white cabinetry as I wanted. I asked the price. It was much higher than my budget. His GM came down but nit enough. So I sent him an email that I was looking too far out if my price range. He called and damn if we didn’t work it all out. So, here we are getting ready to go home.
My new RV will be delivered by the end of the week. The Coltan RV company in North Tonawanda, NY
Will send an expert with the RV to train me in my own driveway. And then Max and I can finally head for home. No fear of getting near people on the road or in hotels along the way. We will be self contained. We will be safe.