Another Update on our Europe Trip!

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Well, the good news is, we’re getting better at this traveling-around-Europe business than the last time I wrote. Bathrooms, for example, are now way less scary. Each one tends to be a bit of a mystery to use. Do you pop coins in at the door? Buy a ticket and go through a turnstile? Leave money with some lady sitting outside? And besides those minor details, which one is for girls and which for boys?!?

So yep, happy to report I’m getting more confident at bathroom procedures, which makes my bladder happy.

We made another video update of our experience:


It hasn’t all been bathrooms and driving though.  Since we’re not here long, we’re packing tons of stuff into our days.  We’ve done some things that people would consider “normal”.  For instance, we rented bikes and rode around Lake Constance until we got two countries away, and then rode back.  These were 50 pound rental bikes (read: tanks), so this was quite a workout.  It didn’t stop James from being James though.


Also, since we’re in Bavaria, we pretty much had to do this.

We didn’t realize it, but this castle is actually a pretty recent thing.  Well, like 1870’s recent.  It’s not from the middle ages or anything.  Still, it’s every bit as impressive as you imagine it.

And  also also, since, we’re in Bavaria, there was this:

Since I’ve learned a thing or two about James, when we came across this, I started a timer.  I was wondering how long it would take him to try to reenact the German slap-fight scene from National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

Six and a half minutes.  (I was impressed it took him that long.)

And you guys know how sometimes it’s fun to sit out at the campground and watch that guy with the way-too-big fifth-wheel try to back into a spot that’s way-too-tight?  Well, this was kind of the European version of that.  While we were sitting out, a rather large (by German standards) trailer pulled into the spot next to us.  Except rather than husband and wife yelling at each other for 45 minutes, this happened:

Yep, campers from far and wide showed up to wrestle the camper into that spot.  And then, this being Germany and all, everyone had a beer (even James, which is extremely rare).

Well, I better sign off and get this show on the road. It’s early morning here, and today we’re headed to the Truma factory to do a tour. James is going to totally geek out, I just know it. Me, I can’t wait to see inside the unique buildings. The architecture of the Truma complex is SO interesting! There’s even some strange glass encased walkway over a street connecting some of their buildings that looks to have a conveyor belt to ride on!  So far, I’ve only been outside, will make sure to report back.

Also, James has heard there are robots, and he won’t be quiet about it.  (sigh…)



After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    35 thoughts on “Another Update on our Europe Trip!

    1. One Journey

      Loved this trip… 1 Outstanding, thank you so much for sharing. ❤❤❤❤❤ RV Journey ROAD TRIP! Advanced RV AC us quiet…

    2. Noel Fleming

      Hoping for an update on the European cassette toilet experience! Wondering if the experience was as vile as the information you revealed in the battle of the cassette vs composting toilet?!!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        HA!!! Well, it was wayyyy better. First off, James used like 10x the toxic chemicals he was supposed to so that helped. Plus, we weren’t dumping it into a toilet…they have outdoor facilities designed for dumping cassettes! And finally, we stuck to only #1 in the toilet…HA! We’re chickens, what can I say. One thing to note, there was a pretty obnoxious smell constantly coming up from the toilet whenever we used it. Probably all the use and abuse of being a rental; but still it was more proof cassettes just ain’t for us! xoxo

    3. Virginia

      Great Blog! I have to ask, Are you using cassette toilets in your rental RV and have you changed your opinion of them? Is there some secret additive that makes it possible to tolerate emptying the contents?

      1. James

        Hey there – yes, we did use the cassette toilet in Europe. It wasn’t so bad there, but a few things were different.
        First – we filled the tank with FOUR TIMES the recommended amount of formaldehyde-based chemical. It’s what they provided us.
        Second – we only used the tank for #1. We were staying at campgrounds that had nice facilities.
        Third – we didn’t empty the cassette into a bathroom toilet. They had well designed, very different, and very efficient facilities there for dumping chemical toilets. There’s nothing like that here in the US.
        But yes, under those conditions, the cassette toilet was fine. It still smelled more than our composting toilet at home though. So it lost on that score.

    4. Susan

      Hi James and Stefany,

      Will you by chance have a meet-up in Dusseldorf? My husband and I are subscribers of your youtube channel and also members of the Travato FB group. We will be flying into Dusseldorf on Thursday, Aug 31st for the show (staying through Saturday).

      Will you be hanging out in any specific areas while you’re there? Would love to say hello. We will definitely be in the area checking out the B-vans.

      Cheers and safe journey!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Susan! It would have been so fun to meet up, bummer we weren’t there on the same dates. Have a blast at the show tomorrow! It’s incredible!!! xoxo

    5. Bill Sprague

      The Europeans have such cool, small 4×4 RV’s available to them. I get really envious every time I see a video review of one. Your scenery shots have been spectacular. No pressure but keep them coming! I’m a geek, so I enjoyed the I’net Box ready demo of the Truma AC. I have the same kind of system for my home and once, in Nuremberg, I remembered I hadn’t set my system before leaving home in Maryland. I did it in Nuremberg! I also reset the system when I left Frankfurt for home, so it would be comfy when I got here. Geeks need toys! LOL!

      Safe journeys,


      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Bill! It always amuses me to hear people interested in the geek stuff James shares like that iNet box, lol. Makes me realize James isn’t the only “James” out there! xoxo

    6. Windy

      As always another great and informative video.
      It would be wonderful if you provide a video discussing how to rent an RV in Europe and any advise in RVing in Europe. I am planning to go to Europe and considering renting a RV.


      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Windy, good idea! We didn’t technically “rent” one though, ours was one of Truma’s RVs they gave us during our time there so we’re not quite sure of the rental process. But we did put up some blog videos and discussed some of the campground differences, you might want to check those out in our blog section! xoxo

    7. Bill and Betty Swiler

      Betty and I love your narratives and videos. BETTY ‘s mother was from Vienna Austria and her father from Zwickau Germany. We took our family to the Passion Play at Oberammergau a few years ago. It was a driving vacation in Austria and Germany. Love & be well, Bill and Betty

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Oh wow, I bet that was incredible to see and experience with your family! We loved RVing around Austria and Germany…though the narrow roads and steep switchbacks through the Alps were quite a challenge in a stick shift RV, lol! xoxo

    8. HANNES

      Enjoy your trip! The Allgäu arwa where you are is super for Rv vacations, down load the pro mobil stell Platz Radar app ( android and I phone free) also check out the European water heating system in düsseldorf…enjoy folks. Regards from Rveuropeontour ( YouTube)

      – From neat Stuttgart…

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Hannes! These are good tips, thanks for sharing! Hope you’re having an incredible time RVing in Europe…wish we could have RVed there longer!

      1. James

        No, actually they did OK!
        We live in the mountains, so I was engine braking mostly where I could. Played around a bit with the hill descent control as well.

    9. warsurplus

      Great video you two. Enjoying the armchair adventure to Europe. One note, the background music seems overmodulated on this video. The relative mix level is good compared to the voice audio, but the music is slightly distorted at normal volume. Your voices are not distorted at the same volume if that helps.

      1. James

        Interesting. It sounds OK on the original that was uploaded. Hopefully it was just a YouTube thing. Didn’t do anything different on this one.

    10. VW_Vista

      The people demand more footage of that 21-window Deluxe Microbus with the US-spec bumpers in the background @7:01 mark!! I can’t believe you’ve let down your most rabid VW enthusiast fan like this! 😉
      Also more footage of any T4 or T5 campers you encounter. Thank you.

      Pro Tip – the Rathaus-Glockenspiel in Munich is crazy cool and one of the few ultra-touristy things that are actually worth enduring the crowds for. Do see it if you have the chance! (watch your valuables while looking up!)

        1. VW_Vista

          James you’re a gentleman and a scholar!
          A friend of mine in our VW club was (perhaps still is?) the US distributor for Reimo camper products in NA ( he would often travel to the EU for the big RV/Camper expo and come home with tales of the amazing campgrounds.
          that, and now your blog has really lit the fires of desire for us. Perhaps we will look into renting an RV when we go to the Hessisch-Oldendorf VW show in 2021.
          Keep up the good work!

        2. Stefany - Post author

          VW, you should definitely rent while you’re there! The big campgrounds are a total spectacle well worth experiencing…and don’t get me started on the incredible fresh baked bread each morning; yummo!!!

    11. Matt

      Great video, as always!

      In the “good old days” there was lots more wrestling of camper trailers into tight spots and then having a beer with your neighbors. Today, most campers pull out a remote control and engage their electric mover, a device that drives the tires of the camper trailer and you just direct it with a joystick on the remote control in whatever tight spot you want.Costs about 2,000.- for single axle and about 4,500.- for double axle trailers and TRUMA is also making one.

      And while you admire European campgrounds with tight spots, I am still a big fan of big US campgrounds with large sites, lots of room to maneuver, full hookups and a fire ring and bench on every site….))) the grass is always greener…)))) Hope to see you at Caravan Salon!,

      1. James

        Hi Matt! I was just playing with one of those moving systems today at Truma!!! It is so cool!
        We do miss having a bench and table on our site. That’s one thing we noticed right away.
        I don’t know that I’d like the resort-style camping all the time, but since this was our first attempt, we figured we had best stick to established campgrounds.
        If we had more time, we would look into dispersed camping like we do in the US.
        We’re heading to Caravan Salon tomorrow!

    12. Greg Schultz

      About that sign that James is jumping in front of. . . Does it say “Kansas” in some foreign language?

      1. Matt

        This is the national flag of Austria, a small country south of Germany, that James and Stef entered. We don’t have border controls here in Europe any more so they just put some sign at the border so you notice that you are in another Country. Much like in the US when you enter another state.

        1. Stefany - Post author

          Matt, that was something I wasn’t sure of until we got over there, and was an interesting learning experience. Would there be border control like entering Canada from US? Turns out nope. On many roads it’s not even labeled you entered a new country. Very anti-climactic, LOL!!!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi John! Not sure how we missed this one, it looks just up our alley! It’s one of the compact Class Cs we’re very interested in, just as short as a campervan and about the same width too. We did see the Roller Team booth and walked through it, but somehow missed this one. Sad!

    13. John Fickel

      If you can when you get to RV Show please check out the Roller Team Triaca 232 TL. It will blow your mind. We are moving to Malta in Oct 17 and someday would love to get one.


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