7750 miles by car,700 miles by train,150 miles by foot,50 miles by tram or bus,12 miles by kayak, and 3000 vertical feet by all four passed almost without noticing while we lived through this wonderful adventure.
Meet Jiri, CEO and founder of a software company called Racom. Jiri had a conference to attend in Las Vegas, so he and his wife decided that this was their opportunity to road trip across the United States, a vacation they have dreamed about for years. After much research and consideration, Jiri, from the Czech Republic, chose Advanced RV for his cross-country tour of the U.S. Read on to learn more about Jiri and his travels, in his own words:
March 10, 2015:
I used to say we will have a big holiday in the US one day. I would add “when there is time and money enough on our hands” … and years passed. Then my 60th birthday arrived quite unexpectedly and our kids ended my procrastination by presenting me with a big road map of the USA, a lonely planet guide and several vouchers offering things like “Free transport to the airport and back”, “Free house and cat sitting”, “Garden watering guarantee” etc. I realized it is “now or never”, since we’re getting old and lazy and very good in inventing excuses why we can’t leave.
March 11, 2015:
I wake up in the morning, my head was (almost) clear and the decision was still there. Never mind, my always down-to-earth wife sure brings me back to reality. Surprisingly enough, Zdenka was nearly as enthusiastic about the idea as me. Apparently she got the bug as well.
July – August 2015:
I love the time of preparations for a trip “an expedition”. From the very beginning I wanted us to make it a pioneering trip, leaving a good portion to chance. We have never been in the US before, so it can be a discovery trip all right. The logical decision followed – we have to rent a mobile home (it may have been a pair of bikes and a small tent 30 years ago, but …). Coast to coast trip was the next obvious choice, then westward direction, then September – October season because of that direction and weather etc. etc… and 2016 the year. Let’s look forward to it one year longer.
I found out that renting an RV in the US is very easy, just a couple of mouse clicks and filling in the credit card number. However I wanted to ask so many questions before and no-one was willing to talk to me. Then the more I learned about the generally offered big motorhomes, the less I was happy about the idea of driving one across the continent. Fuel hungry, rattling monsters unsuitable for small roads and off-hook camping. Soon I learned the magic class-letters A, B and C and was very intensely looking for a compact class B vehicle. Too bad, the choice shrank to almost zero immediately and renting prices soared.
Eventually I discovered one individual owner of a seemingly suitable vehicle, willing to bring it from California to NY and then a company named Advanced-RV, having offices in Cleveland and LA. To my great delight, Stephanie from Advanced did communicate, answering my silly questions with patience and helpfulness. The silliest one was about the generator rental price :-).
May – June 2016
Things are getting serious. Viki (who took over from Stephanie) is busy with my questions and requests, arranging e.g. insurance for me. Then she introduces Grace to us and I have to respond with a picture of our Viano campervan. The same make, same color, same engine, same dashboard – Grace seems to be just a big sister of our baby.
We can’t decide on the length of the trip. I wish it could be left open. Then my company decides to take part in exhibition in Las Vegas in October and everything is settled fast. We can’t leave earlier than on 2nd September and on 10 October we have to be in Las Vegas. Flights can be booked.
Two of us and about 60 kilos (130 pounds) in 5 pieces of baggage landed safely at JFK. Seeing the long line of people waiting for a cab we decided to take the subway. Well, it was probably faster and more interesting. It would be almost comfortable as well, if there was ten times less baggage on us. We arrived to Manhattan at 6pm, took a picture of the old lady with the torch and fell in our beds.
When we left the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited train at 5 a.m., we thought we got out at a wrong place. Cleveland is supposed to be a big city, so getting out at an empty and dark place, where we could see one humbly lit little building in quite a distance and that was all, no other tracks, platforms, people… We reached the building and the place was almost full, since about TEN people waited for the train in New York direction. The train No.48 arrived and we were suddenly alone. After the two days we spent roaming New York streets it was really a strange feeling. The adventure started, I decided we take our time to get to Willoughby by public transport and let the single taxi waiting at the station leave. A bold decision indeed. That Monday was the Labor Day which meant that the nice dense scheme of Cleveland municipal transport lines was reduced to a very simple pattern. Our good angel Viki had to wait for us almost half an hour at the place agreed, since we narrowly missed one bus departure.
There was a happy ending after all, we eventually met Viki, than Mike and the one most expected, our home-to-be, her majesty Grace.
Before noon we were on our way towards Niagara, fuel tanks and the fridge fully stocked and heads full of expectations.
View a gallery of our custom Advanced RV’s at https://advanced-rv.com/gallery/