noun: a long journey for pleasure and adventure
verb: to migrate or journey with one’s belongings; travel constantly from place to place; lead a nomadic life
As many of you may have heard, we’ve been keeping the details of our next RV a secret for a while now – an excruciating 3 months, to be exact! When we posted on our blog in July that we were selling our Airstream and looking for a different RV, we never anticipated over 10,000 people viewing that article in just a couple of days!
At that time, we didn’t have a clue what kind of RV we’d end up in next. We had tossed around vague ideas, like buying a smaller used motorhome and sprucing it up a bit. Before we got too far into that process, we were sidetracked by a few unexpected emails we received from RV manufacturers, containing invitations to come tour their factories and headquarters.
A couple new models of motorhomes that we viewed came very close to being our new home (more details on those in a future blog), but one in particular really piqued our interest – and quite surprisingly, too, as it hadn’t even been built yet!
We talked to the manufacturer in question by phone a bit first, and they insisted that the prototype of this proposed RV was something we’d really have to see in person to get the full effect. We were willing to give them the benefit of the doubt – even without anything more than a verbal description to go on – and drove 6 hours to Decatur, Indiana to visit Allied Recreation Group, parent company of Fleetwood, Holiday Rambler, Monaco, American Coach, and retired brands Safari and Beaver.
At the time, “the full effect” was a rough mockup of an RV interior, built out of plywood in the middle of a warehouse. It looked and felt more like a kids’ playhouse than an RV, and we had no idea what the exterior would look like. Immediately in love with the concept they showed us for the interior and excited about the opportunity to contribute a little in the development of this and future RVs, we decided to go for it – so we’ll be leasing the Trek for the next year. Now that we’ve finally seen it in person after three long months of waiting, our instincts were proven correct: this is one heck of a cool RV!
The Original Series
The Trek was originally produced under the Safari brand in 1991 and has had many loyal fans over the years, thanks to its smaller size, features designed for active and outdoorsy RVers, and an adventure-seeking look and feel. It was sadly discontinued in 2008, with the Trek name later acquired by ARG, along with the Safari brand.
One of the most distinguishing features of the original Trek was a bed that lowered from the ceiling in the front living area of the coach, creating a combined living room/bedroom without the use of a pull-out sofa sleeper. Not needing a dedicated bedroom in the rear, the Trek could stay under 30′ long and still have the luxury of a queen size bed with a real mattress. Those of us who live in an RV full-time or for extended periods know how quickly a pull-out sofa can become a literal pain in the neck (and back, and shoulders, and hips..)!
One drawback of this layout is that it limited the living space’s usability when the bed was lowered (only problematic if one person wants to go to bed and the other stays awake) and there wasn’t a good place for guests or kids to sleep. We like to have friends and family come visit us, and occasionally they spend the night or several in our RV, so the older layout is less appealing to us at this time.
Today, at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association’s national trade show in Louisville, Kentucky, we’re so excited to be involved in the reboot of the Trek! We believe this updated model, while quite a bit different than the original Treks, will be a worthy successor. We’re so sure of it, in fact, that we’ll be spending the entire next year taking some pretty big adventures in one – from Florida to Alaska and everywhere in between – reporting our experiences and providing feedback to ARG for future designs. We’ll also be happy to show it off to anyone who wants to check it out, so if we’re in your neck of the woods please let us know!
Without further ado, we’d like to welcome you to tour our new home on wheels!
The Next Generation
The new Trek has solved the bed inconvenience with what they call the Trek Room – a mixed-use room in the rear of the RV, once again featuring the signature queen size bed that raises and lowers from the ceiling.
By night, a pretty normal bedroom:
By day, the raised bed exposes a closet that stretches the entire width of the RV. There are also two dressers.
The two dressers double as supports for the bed (when lowered) with space between them for a chair, so we’ll be adding a section of tabletop and creating a flat workspace that can be used as an office desk (as non-retired RVers, we’re so excited about this!) or for sewing, crafts, and other hobbies. It would also be a great area for kids to play (it would make a fantastic fort with the bed down!), or for pets to sleep in or be crated. Another idea – and this one’s for cycling enthusiasts – is to install a stand for a bike or bikes to be stored in the RV, upright between the dressers while driving.
Here’s a quick video showing the front and rear beds being raised and lowered. Watch carefully to see the closet raising and lowering with the rear bed:
The new Trek features a split bath, with a sink and toilet room on one side of the hall, and a shower stall with a swing-open glass door on the other.
We personally love this layout, because the sink/toilet room door is actually dual-function, and when swung completely open can close the bathroom and bedroom off from the rest of the living space. You can step out of the shower with privacy, then into the adjoining bedroom, using that area as a large dressing space when the bed is raised and closets are accessible.
A sliding wood bedroom door allows someone to sleep or work in the back room with relative privacy while others use the rest of the living space.
A few more features we love about our new Trek:
- The overall length is only 27′ 10″ – we’ll be able to fit easily in most parking lots and campgrounds, including those at state and national parks.
- There’s only one smaller slide-out, minimizing maintenance and making it easier to park in cramped areas.
- There’s the second Hide-A-Loft queen bed that lowers from the ceiling at the front of the RV, and the dinette turns into a bed as well – lots of sleeping options for guests! We’ll convert the dinette into a bed and line the wall with pillows to turn it into a cozy couch for movie watching. There’s also a comfy recliner up front with a reading light overhead. A sofa is optional instead of the dinette (keep scrolling for a photo).
- The kitchen feels residential with solid surface countertops, an under-mount stainless double bowl sink, and a chrome faucet with pull-out sprayer.
- Roller shades for extra privacy and room darkening
- Well-thought-out kitchen storage, like big pantry drawers and a pull-down cutlery drawer. Big drawers under the cooktop are great for cutlery and utensils. There’s lots of storage under the dinette as well, which is where we keep our pots and pans and small appliances.
- Thoughtful touches to make life easier, like this pull-out table next to the bed.
- The Trek boasts bus-class aluminum side-hinged luggage doors – a very nice upgrade from fiberglass, and typically only seen on high-end diesel pusher RVs. No more doors falling on our heads!
- The Trek Trunk, their name for the multi-functional rear exterior storage compartment, features easily accessible storage via a huge door on the back of the RV. During travel, the raised bed and closet in the Trek Room (bedroom) provides a massive amount of storage for RV tools and supplies, entertainment and patio items, adventure gear, and more. When you reach your destination, you’ll need to unload that area to lower the bed/wardrobe. We plan to use this space for items we’ll unload anytime we arrive at a campground. If we’re doing a quick overnight stop and can’t unload things outside, we’ll store those items in our car instead.
- Vetrolite® ultra-thick wall fiberglass, interlocking aluminum construction, and Vacu-bondTM wall lamination
- Full-body paint – no decals to peel or fade, and easy washing and waxing
- 18′ power awning with integrated LED lighting
- Back-up camera
- Premium driver and passenger seats – very comfy!
- Flush-mount LED interior ceiling lighting
- Tinted, frameless dual-pane tilt-out windows
- Ducted air conditioning
- Exterior entertainment center with TV. 28″ living room and 19″ bedroom TV’s with DVD player. LCD touch control dash stereo with AUX input on the front.
- Optional foldout sofa instead of dinette (in our case we preferred to have the dining table and storage drawers beneath it)
- Hose with sprayer in the wet bay for cleaning out the bay, washing dogs, gear, etc.
To see more Trek tech specs (say that five times fast!) and options click here, or the brochure below to download a PDF flyer:
We’ll be working with ARG on adding some upgrades to the Trek for our preferences, like extra batteries, an inverter, solar panels, a tankless water heater, and a few other items on our wish list. While these items don’t come standard, they may become a factory option someday. For now, and mostly to keep the price lower, they opted to leave it up to the customer whether they wanted those items installed by the dealer or someone else later on (like their factory service center, who’s doing ours). Overall, we’re very impressed with the items that are standard, however, so we aren’t going to nitpick these things that not everyone would need.
We’d like to extend a huge “thank you!” to all our followers for your support so far as we take on this new experiment of living in a motorhome instead of a trailer, and we hope you’ll tag along for all our upcoming Trekking! Please feel free to ask questions..and help us think of a name for our awesome new RV!