I began perusing RVs as a means to travel to my next book tour beginning this May. The initial idea was very exciting because I love buying a car: the haggling, the cat-mouse-cheese. But I did not know buying an RV is like buying a house, and buying a house has a space in hell between dental work and stubbed toes.
My life is simple. I want something small, not grand. I have educated myself on all the classes A-D (privately adding “Class Z” - the RVs you would expect a serial killer behind the wheel). Something I can afford, a sound investment that doesn’t mean I must sell 5.9 billion books to pay for (Those of you who are knowledgeable about RVs are saying, “Ha ha, little one! So thought we…”).
I stop at big, nice RV lots boasting a variety of sleek-looking, shining road warriors begging for exotic adventures. “I want a class C,” I explain to Mr(s). Salesperson. “I would consider a D.” Sounding as if I am talking to an implant clinician, I try not to giggle.
Salesperson asks, “What is your price range?” I don’t want to sound financially challenged, but I don’t want to sound filthy rich - a delicate balance (think “Grey Gardens,” chickens). Salesperson shows me a very cool RV. Wow! Everything I need. Nothing fancy, a warranty, nothing tres la-la, just a bed, a bathroom, a sound motor, and space to chill bottles of Coca-Cola. What a deal! And then I look at the price tag. “Why don’t I just buy a house?”
“Oh, you finance them like a house!” Salesperson says gleefully.
I don’t say what I am really thinking (which is a rarity): “Why don’t I just buy a new house?” or “For this I could buy a second house and just drag it behind my car.” Or my first response: “Why do these things cost so much! See how meth causes grandiose ideations!”
I casually ask for the least expensive RV on the lot. “Well, it’s rough,” says Salesperson, grimacing, like I just asked to drive a Class Z fresh off the trolling fields. But I learn the idea of “rough:” It could use some this-n-that, but nothing expensive. It’s older, but the engine is sound. It needs cosmetic adjustments on the outside, but it has a good heart. I realize I am looking at myself in the form of a Minnie Winnie.
Then I learn RV buying is akin to car buying. There is no way anyone is going to finance a “classic.” So my choices are 1. $7,000 appears in a box on my doorstep surrounded by rainbows and a tag reading “for you,” or 2. I finance a $50,000 hotel on wheels just to use on book tours and weekend retreats (Is it a real weekend of camping if “camping” involves an electric step-down, full length mirrors, and a wet bar?).
If I were going to drive to Zimbabwe or Mt. Everest or Yonkers to do presentations and book tours, I would consider the “investment,” as Salesperson likes to call it. Who wouldn’t like to kick back with a temperature-controlled leather chair with a frosty glass bottle of Coke and homemade s’mores after a day of discussing murder and gore? Who wouldn’t like having your shotgun passenger go make loaded nachos while flying down Route 66?
But I am just an author. I love to write, love to share my work with people who appreciate good books, and to meet these people. I am not a mega rock star or the doctor who cured the common cold. I am a minimalist, not a luxury – seeking diva. I have to travel as I have been: rental cars, hotels, and snacks on the fly. Sometimes, great ideas are akin to Girl Scouts selling cookies: you pat them on the head, smile widely, say “no, thank you,” and walk away.
I hope to see you on the book tour. I will be the one in the four-cylinder Kia.
“She is Crazy!” Madness and Murder in Memphis will be available on May 18, 2017 through Wild Blue Press. Judith A. Yates is now booking signings and presentations. You can schedule an appearance by CLICKING HERE.