Full disclosure: We are long-time Regency customers. We bought our van in late 2000 new and drove that thing into the ground. We finally junked it in 2014 after it couldn’t pass emissions in Illinois anymore. We put 240,000 miles on it and used it for every purpose imaginable. (See my About Us post for more on that van) When we happened upon Regency RV at the Hershey RV show, we were thrilled. We are pretty brand loyal in general and didn’t know that they were back in business.
Ideally, I’d prefer not tow anything, and so van life appeals to me. Most Class B vans are built for two people so we thought we’d be looking at a custom build with a pop-top to get sleeping for three people. So, when we saw this van, I got super excited. It has most everything on my wish list:
Sleeping for three (plus our dog)
Sofa seating in back
Two office areas (we need a little privacy)
Overhead airplane-style cabinetry
Built-in TV (not for watching- we’ll use them as extra computer monitors)
Legless awning (you would not believe how many times I walked into the awning legs of our pop up camper)
Tall interior! (7 ft 4 inches in this case)
The Explore is built on a Ram chassis and has all the safety features (back up camera, Park Sense Control, Cruise Control) that you’d expect in a new van. It also seats six so when we’re home we can drive it around town as a typical second car. It fits in regular parking spots and has no weird RV sticker striping to make us look like campers. It would work great for stealth camping in the city too.
This bad boy will also tow 2150 pounds which are perfect if we decide to pull a pop up camper again for big family trips. I have a secret plan to bring everyone to Disney World or Myrtle Beach, where you can have ten people on one site. Good thing my kids don’t read this blog. 🙂 We also could tow a utility trailer full of woodworking equipment and be a mobile cabinet making crew. We could full time in this thing pretty quickly.
The microwave is convection-allowing you to bake the occasional cookie still. The only thing we may need is another burner. I’m mulling that over. I know we can buy a countertop model if we need it.
We went to Hershey expecting to check out the Travato, Pleasure Way, Winnebago, and Air Stream vans and so stumbling upon Regency was super exciting.
Downside: I don’t know that any Class B will have enough storage space to live in for any length of time. In a small area, you cannot have any clutter. We know that we’ll have to downsize our belongings, but we will need clothes, food, and a coffee maker.
Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews of our other contenders.
There and Back Again or just like a bad penny, we keep turning up on the road. When I pulled my oldest kids and began homeschooling, it was all about having the time to travel, and we did. We used our Regency Conversion Van to pull our Pop Up Camper all over the United States. We were as far south as the Florida Keys and as far North as Door County Wisconsin and practically everywhere in between. With four and then five kids, it was the only way we could travel and stay within our budget.
So, here we are again.
Why do this?
Because our youngest kid (now a teenager) doesn’t remember any of the cool places, we’ve ventured.
Because this is our last kid at home and after he graduates life will begin a new chapter, and it’s a now or never situation.
I thought about waiting until we were ready to hit the road before I began this blog, but decided that it would be more fun to chronicle the entire adventure from start to finish (whenever that may be).
I plan on journaling the entire saga, including:
Choosing our camper. Will it be a Class B, B+, or a trailer?
What if any tow vehicle will we acquire?
How does home educating a teenager work on the road?
Will I successfully obtain coffee regularly while we travel? How about Donuts?
We’re not locked into any of these plans; one of the beautiful things about life is how we constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started and articulating the process is interesting in itself.
How will we get started? Well, we’ve already begun to research campers, vans, and trailers. I’ll blog about the pros and cons of each. After we get our rental home sold (hopefully before Summer 2020), we’ll hit the road.
Whether you’re ready to join us, already out there, or just vicariously curious, I’m happy to welcome you to Windy City Rover!