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Well, it’s official. We’re in our new RV! And now that we’ve met him, we’ve decided to name him “Lance”.
Stef sent out a first picture on our Facebook page when we first met him at the factory. If you didn’t see that picture here it is:
That’s Russ with us at the Winnebago factory. Russ is the Winnebago Product Manager (and fellow Travato ower) who has been helping us through this build. But before that, we stopped in at Lichtsinn RV to fill out paperwork. We met Ron and his staff. They’re all super nice folks, and I’m completely envious of their RV video studio.
But at that point, there were still a few paint and touch up items to finish up. So check him out now! Here’s a few more.
We decided to paint the bumpers and grill a silver color. We’re no designers, but we think it ties in nicely with the stainless and aluminum elements on the coach. Personally, I think it looks more European – like a Vespa scooter or something.
So, as with any new rig, at this point, we’re still figuring out the best way to do things. Where to store this and that, where to put a trash can, that kind of thing. But I can update you on a couple items.
The Composting Toilet
We’ve survived our first experiences with the composting toilet! We had absolutely no experience with them before, and all I can say is that it’s a non-event. If you can use a toilet – you can use a composting toilet. The only “maintenance” item we’ve had to do with it was to add the composting starter medium. Here I am doing just that. The toilet comes with a brick of coco coir. I just put it in a bucket with two quarts of water and waited until I could crumble it up (it puffs up kind of like a sponge).
Then you dump it in the toilet and you’re done.
Now, we have no intention of trying to become “the other composting toilet couple.” We’re not trying to save the planet, and our reasons for getting the composting toilet are strictly practical; namely, saving tank space and conserving fresh water in a small RV. But I can tell you that, so far at least, everything you’ve heard about composting toilets seems to be true.
It defies logic, but there’s really no odor. Not even the odor of holding tank chemicals. None. The only thing you might notice is from the vinegar solution you can spray down the bowl with after use. Beyond that, there’s really no news. The teak platform Winnebago made to rest the toilet on works great. The fan is installed properly as well, and runs all the time; but it’s so quiet, you don’t notice it. Not much more to say than that. It’s a toilet.
The Bike Garage
We’ve already taken Lance to his first bike race. Stef and I participated in the Bicycle Blues & Barbeque races in Clear Lake, Iowa this past weekend. As a race-day companion, the Travato performed wonderfully. Here I am taking my bike out of the below-bed storage area.
We’ve got the room, but we’re still working out the best system for bike and wheel storage in the garage area. Eventually, we’ll get it completely dialed in. It took us a while to come up with a system in our last RV.
And speaking of bike storage, we’ve tried out the bike rack on the back. I don’t really intend to travel very much with the bikes up there – short rides on sunny days maybe – but it’s nice to have a place to store them that’s out of the way. (I still do lock them up – even though they’re 5 feet in the air).
And remember, our bed is raised pretty high to make room for the bikes. How is that working out?
Now, it does take a little effort to get up there. It’s not for everyone. And getting down is a leap of faith (literally).
But once you’re up there, our “penthouse” is extremely comfortable. I don’t know if it’s the mattress Winnebago uses, the Froli sleep system, or what, but we’ve both slept like rocks. And we know it’s narrow, but we didn’t feel squashed at all. (We still like each other… 🙂 )
Tomorrow morning, bright and early we’ll head out with Lance on the Driftless Adventure. Our first day’s itinerary features paddling and cycling. We’re looking forward to it.
I’m also hoping to conduct a few experiments over the next couple weeks – there will be other Travatos (Travatoes? Travati? Travatae?) around. I won’t often have the opportunity to have similar RVs experiencing the same weather and itinerary, so I’m hoping to try a couple things. Wish me luck.