• Back to School

    My vest-making projects came to halt in late July, when I enrolled in an online course “Introduction to Photoshop.” My previous attempts to use Photoshop had been unsuccessful, despite doing the tutorials and watching YouTube videos, so my husband suggested I look for a class. The course was offered by www.ed2go.com through my local community college.

    Little did I know that the class would pretty much take over my summer—I spent many hours completing each of the twelve lessons; however, I can honestly say that I learned a lot and now love creating artwork in Photoshop.

    I knew from my past attempts to use Photoshop that some of the basic concepts were layers and masks. These features allow you to combine elements from different photos while leaving the original photo unchanged. I learned how to create a basic photo composite and then added complexity by applying various effects (filters) and adjustments. For example, when creating a composite you would need to add shadows to make the picture look realistic.

    My primary goal was to improve the pictures on my blog and create a portfolio of my hand-made items. I found that many of my pictures had distracting backgrounds. By the end of July, I could successfully replace the backgrounds and create simple composites for my post A Year of Vests.

    Other topics included photo editing and retouching, color theory, and the difference between raster and vector images (graphic files that are infinitely scalable, while raster files are composed of pixels so resolution is lost when scaled up in size). My favorite topic was digital painting, which I used to create virtual costumes for our dogs, which you can read about in my post Happy Halloween! I recently started using my new skills to design custom greeting cards for friends and family, as well as our annual Christmas card.

    One of my other goals was to develop a new logo. I purchased my crown logo from Fiverr earlier this year, but I wanted to create a new logo that would combine the various elements of my website/blog. My new logo design started with the traditional railroad crossing signal (to focus on my father’s ALCO books I have for sale in my On Track Publishers Book Store). I created a more abstract design by eliminating the R R and replacing the yellow and black with custom colors to represent my interests in cross-stitch and quilting. I chose a triadic color theme using the mauve color from my crown logo. I am gradually introducing my new design to my blog and social media accounts.

    About halfway through the class my new Apple MacBook Air finally arrived, so that made the class even more fun!

  • Happy Halloween!

    Virtual Halloween Costumes created using Adobe Photoshop

    During the past few years I have made very elaborate Halloween costumes for our three dogs. In 2019, our groomer wanted to turn Topper into a unicorn. She decorated Daisy as a rainbow, and I resurrected my rainbow costume I had made nearly 40 years ago.

    In 2020 we adopted our third dog, Bear, and I was inspired to turn the dogs (and willing family participants) into Care Bears. My groomer also helped by painting the dogs and making the headpieces.

    In 2021 I continued the Bear theme, this time recreating Winnie the Pooh (our nickname for Bear is actually Pooh Bear). I used a combination of store bought and hand made costumes. As you can see, no one (but me) looked too happy in costumes.

    Halloween 2019 was a rain-out and there were no trick-or-treaters in 2020 and 2021 due to the Pandemic. Furthermore, most of the neighborhood kids have moved out or left for college. So this year, I decided to skip the hassle of dressing the dogs and posing for pictures by creating virtual costumes to post on Instagram, Facebook, etc.

    Over the summer I had completed an online Photoshop class offered by ed2go.com through my local community college. I basically wanted to learn how to make composites for my blog, but the 12-lesson course was very comprehensive and I enjoyed learning a variety of techniques, such as digital painting and photo restoration. I particularly enjoyed digital painting, so I thought I would incorporate this technique into my Halloween costume design.

    Our final assignment was to create a portfolio with a sampling of the projects we completed during the class, as well as any of our own work. My portfolio is available at https://behance.net/kingontrack.

    During my online class, I learned about a website called Pixabay.com to search for free images (see note below). I searched “Halloween background” and downloaded the pumpkin image. I also searched on “haunted forest” for additional background ideas. Which background do you prefer?

    For instructions click here.

  • The Blog is Back!

    After taking a break from blogging about our adventures (and misadventures) with our 2015 Roadtrek E-trek, I decided to reinvent my blog with a focus on my other interests, which include sewing, quilting, and scrapbooking,  I have included the old blog posts, since RV travel remains very popular (although not for us)  and people may still be looking for information about the E-trek. According to RV Lifestyle, there will be a huge demand for used RVs in 2021.

    Although it has been four years since we sold our E-trek, we still keep up with the latest Class B Motorhome offerings. In 2020 we adopted a third dog, Bear, and we still have our “Etrek Dogs,” Topper and Daisy, who were featured in The Etrek Blog.

    Daisy, Topper, and Bear

    During the Pandemic I rediscovered my love of sewing and purchased a new Janome sewing machine. After making a supply of masks, I moved on to various custom items, such as a car seat organizer for my husband’s car.  I modified the seat covers we had purchased for our E-trek with pockets on the front to hold cell phones, masks, and sunglasses, as well as a hanging organizer for the dogs’ accessories. Eventually I hope to offer some of my custom-made items for sale and add them to my Etsy store.


    We have been experiencing classic summertime weather throughout the month–hot, hot days, broken up by occasional rain and thunderstorms. We have not taken any trips to speak of, other than a few day trips. On July 3rd, we drove to Princeton Battlefield, about an hour from our home. To call it a day trip is an exaggeration–we left about 11:00 AM and were home by 1:30 PM. However, we did pack lunch and eat in the E-trek, so at least it was worth filling up the fresh water tank! Plus, the dogs always enjoy an outing!

    We ended the month just as we started–with a day trip. On Sunday, July 31st, we went to visit our son Ryan, who is working as a camp counselor at Blair Academy again this year. We packed lunch and left about 11:30 a.m. After about an hour of visiting with Ryan, we were on our way about 1:30 p.m. and home by 2:30 p.m.

    Putting the AC to the test

    The hot weather did give us an opportunity to test the battery performance while running the AC. Since having our E-trek serviced at the Roadtrek factory last September, we had never officially tested the AC.  We take most of our trips in the fall and spring, when the weather is moderate, so we didn’t really need to use the AC for more than an hour or so. While parked at home, we keep the E-trek cool with our new sunshades, and we also open several of the windows.

    With temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, we wanted to see how long the AC would run, now that we have the battery balancer and VoltStart. In previous trials (e.g., E-trek Battery Log-May), the AC would run between 3 and 4 hours; during the fourth hour, the inverter would alarm signaling that the batteries were too low.

    Last Saturday, after nearly 5 hours, the AC was still running. Even when the battery strength was at 11%/21 VDC, the VoltStart did not turn on the engine nor did the inverter alarm sound. At that time (approximately 4:45 PM), we turned off the AC and shut off the inverter, because we did not want to keep running down the batteries. We plugged in the E-trek to shore power (20 Amp), and the batteries were fully charged by the next morning.

    We recently learned that there are additional instructions for activating VoltStart, so we are planning to retest with the new instructions, now that we have the updated manual. We will follow up shortly with new test results…




    Last September we changed the diet of our dogs, which you can read about  on our page titled Traveling with dogs–feeding the dogs. Both Topper and Daisy were due for some shots in April, so they both had a check-up. They received rave reviews from our vet! Both were at their ideal weights and the vet was especially complimentary of their teeth, which Karl brushes nightly before bedtime.


    Both Topper and Daisy need to be groomed every 4-6 weeks. Although Topper is a Goldendoodle, his hair is very curly like a Poodle, so we keep his hair short to avoid matting. We have a grooming table and equipment set up in one of our bathrooms, as well as a “Utilitub” (an oversized tub with shower head hose) in the laundry room for bathing the dogs. Daisy needs a bath often, as she gets dirty running around in the wet grass. At a minimum, both dogs need at least a foot bath once per week. Daisy has always been a challenge to groom, so we have been taking her to a professional groomer that works at our vet’s office.



    It is allergy season, and we noticed Topper had been licking one of his paws so much that it was red and raw. He had actually pulled the hair out from between the pads, so we scheduled another vet appointment last week. The vet has recommended Zyrtec twice daily and we are also supplementing his dinner with Omega-3 gel capsules, which are supposed to help reduce the itchiness. He seems to be feeling better now and the paw is much better.



    We are trying the Adaptil collar on Daisy, as she has been especially prone to barking since Ryan came home from college last month. Every little sound seems to startle her, and with Ryan home, there is a lot more activity than usual. The collar is supposed to respond to the dog’s temperature and release pheromones. The reviews were mixed on Amazon, but we will give it a few more weeks as recommended. If not, we can get a refund. We also have “Thundervests” for both dogs, which we purchased especially for fireworks season. We live near a minor-league baseball stadium that has fireworks several times a month during baseball season, and the vests are supposed to have a calming effect. Mainly they just look cute!



    On the subject of barking, Ryan has also been helping me reduce Topper’s demanding bark when I am preparing the dogs’ dinner, as well as both dogs’ barking to be released from their crates when I get home from running errands. Both Topper and Daisy have attended training classes and I have also worked with a private trainer; however, barking has been a persistent problem for both dogs. I have the Citronella spray collar for Topper, but the few times I used it he was so traumatized that I cannot bear to put it on him. Even if he sees the collar he gets starts pacing (although he does stop barking too, so I guess it does work). Basically, I have been too lazy to consistently train them, and they generally get their way (e.g., get let outside when they are barking at a deer in the yard), but Ryan has put a stop to that and has been training me to train them. Topper is getting better at waiting for his dinner, because whenever he barks I stop preparing his food. Daisy is not as food-focused, but yesterday it took nearly a half hour for Daisy to stop barking before she could be released from her crate. She would stop barking, but as soon as I would approach the crate she started barking so I would turn around and head back down the stairs. Topper, on the other hand, took only a few minutes to stay calm in his crate, so he was released quickly. They are catching on!

    2016-0528 Margie with Daisy


    We also decided to get Daisy a swim vest because she has fallen in the pool a few times. She runs very close to the edge when she is chasing her ball. If we bring her in to the pool, she swims well, but when she falls in, she struggles and can’t get going with her swimming. Both Karl and I have had to rescue her just before she goes under. Although she is always supervised when outside, we don’t want to take a chance that we can’t get to her in time.


  • Our Analysis

    Listed below are links to Excel spreadsheets we have created to organize our research and findings.

    We created RV Analysis to weigh the pros and cons of the different RVs we were considering, as discussed in our first post, Making the decision to purchase the RV.

    To keep track of the battery strength we created Etrek Battery Log which is referred to in our post Our 2015 Roadtrek E-trek.


     This post was inspired  by a reader question regarding how to install the privacy curtains that come with the E-trek. We will answer his question and also an explain a possible alternative: SunShades.

    If you have been following our blog, you know that we typically head out after dinner and arrive at our first destination sometime between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. We are usually pretty tired, and after taking the dogs out we just want to climb into bed (which we always make up before we leave).


    However, first we have to hang the privacy curtains across the front and side windows. The curtain that covers the sliding door is simple–it just slides across the rod; however the other curtains take more time. They are in three pieces that connect via Velcro. We leave our three pieces connected. The Velcro at the top of the curtains follows along from above the driver door window, around the handle and visor, behind the mirror, around the passenger visor and finally the passenger door window. The visors should be lowered to keep the curtains in place and help them conform to the shape of the front windshield.

    IMG_1118  IMG_1120  IMG_1117

    About a month ago, when we were still deciding whether or not to sell the E-trek we purchased SunShades from Amazon, to protect the interior of the E-trek from the sun and heat. They are custom-made for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500. We hadn’t opened them since we were still debating about whether we would be selling the E-trek, but it was recycling week so we decided to take a look, so we could get rid of the shipping boxes. We are going to try them as a replacement for the privacy curtains on our next trip.

    IMG_1076  IMG_1077


    Mother’s Day came late this year. We were supposed to pick-up our son from college on Mother’s Day, just as we had in 2015, on the hottest day of the year. This year, however, Ryan wanted to stay an extra week to spend time with some of his friends who were graduating on May 15th. Originally I had planned to stay home with Topper and Daisy, since the dogs (and me, apparently) add a layer of complication to college drop-offs and pick-ups; however, when I started to load up the E-trek with food and provisions for Karl, I decided  to invite myself and the dogs for the trip. We got a last minute reservation for doggy day care at the Pooch Hotel near Boston, and somehow we were all packed and ready to go before 6:00 p.m.

    We had several stopover choices: multiple rest areas along Route 84, Cabela’s in East Hartford, but we made it all the way to the Cracker Barrel in Sturbridge, MA by 9:30 p.m. There were a few other RVs in the lot. It had been raining for most of the drive and was markedly cooler than our trip last May–in fact, we finally turned the Webasto heater on after freezing for most of the night. (We had it set for hot water production only.)

    IMG_0978  IMG_0981
    Saturday morning the weather was clear, so after coffee and filling up with fuel, we were on our way to Boston. However, we noticed a message on the dash “Check Diesel Exhaust Fuel See Operator’s Manual” along with the “Check Engine” indicator lamp lit. After a brief freak out (me) and cursing the day we bought the E-trek (Karl), we pulled into the next gas station.  Karl remembered a tip during our initial walkthrough at the dealer regarding not letting the DEF get too low (more on this later), and had fortunately stowed a 2.5 gallon jug of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) in the rear of the E-trek. Karl added the DEF hoping that would clear the message. (It did not.) Also, since the “Check Engine” light was illuminated,  the manual suggested that “the DEF may have been contaminated, diluted or not compliant with ISO 22241.” Our first thought was when we refueled at a poorly-marked diesel fuel pump (just before leaving Sturbridge), we put regular gas in the E-trek. Furthermore, the manual warned, that

    After the first message and under normal operating conditions, you can drive on for up to approximately 50 miles Then a warning tone sequence sounds and the engine can only be started another 10 times.

    Needless to say, we were perplexed and tried to calculate how many times we would need to stop the engine: one start already used when we stopped to add the DEF, another to drop off the dogs, a third after loading up the E-trek Ryan’s dorm, another when we  pick-up the dogs, and so on. Suddenly ten starts seemed pretty limiting, so we decided to let the unit idle during each stopover. Furthermore, it was Sunday morning, so the likelihood of contacting Mercedes-Benz service was slim to none. There was a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Boston; however, they would not open until 11:00 a.m. and the service department was closed.


    Another shock occurred when we got a text from our son asking what time we would be arriving. It was 9:00 a.m. and he was actually up and allegedly packed! We had just dropped off the dogs at Pooch Hotel, and got to his dorm at 9:30 a.m. I stayed in the idling E-trek while Karl and Ryan brought down bin after bin, many electronics, five coats, two suits, two fans, and numerous other belongings that somehow fit in his closet-sized dorm room. The last step was to mount Ryan’s bike on the new rack we had assembled and installed the day before. (We had recently purchased a new rack that could accommodate Karl’s ElliptiGO, which he has been wanting to take on one of our battlefield trips. It will hold an ElliptiGO and a regular bicycle, or two bicycles.) Forty-five minutes after arriving, we were ready to go. Now if only the E-trek would make it back to New Jersey…


    Topper and Daisy were ready to nap after playing at the Pooch Hotel for a couple of hours. We had driven well over 50 miles without any sort of warning tone. We hit a bit of traffic as usual, on the Mass Pike, but overall the drive home went smoothly despite the ominous message. The “reserve fuel” light went on just as we approached our road, so we knew we were home free. Disaster averted.

    Naturally Karl called Mercedes-Benz first thing Monday morning. The service technician’s initial diagnosis was that we had let the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) get too low and we would require a service appointment to reset the message using their fancy computer diagnosis system at a cost of $400 and not covered by the warranty. According to the Mercedes-Benz, the initial DEF supply should be good for 20,000 miles and we were at about 7,600 miles when the message appeared. The service technician said that idling accelerates the use of the DEF, and since we often idle the E-trek (i.e., to charge the batteries via the underhood generator), the DEF had gotten too low. Unfortunately, there is no way to check the level of DEF (as you can with oil), which is why the dealer recommended having DEF on hand.

    Something still didn’t seem right–we had never gotten a message that the DEF was low, and according to the manual, there should have been two warning messages: one when the DEF was below 1.5 gallons and another when it drops below .8 gallon.   We certainly didn’t want a $400 repair bill for something that wasn’t our fault. When Karl called to cancel the appointment so we could do more research, our case escalated to a high level customer service manager to resolve this issue, so the Tuesday appointment went on as scheduled. Sure enough, the problem was not the DEF level but rather multiple fault codes that had triggered the error message:

    1. Upstream Turbo Temp Sensor faulty, needed to be replaced and reassembled
    2. AdBlue System Faults, so AdBlue (the Mercedes-Benz brand DEF) was topped off

    The bottom line is that we were not at fault, so there were no charges for the service at all, although they first said they would be charging us to top off the DEF, but Karl protested and they waived that charge as well.

    So you may ask why we would share this tale of woe when we are trying to find a buyer for our E-trek. After two successful trips ( the DEF message notwithstanding), we are reconsidering and feel we may regret selling the E-trek without giving it more of a chance. Even though we have not fully embraced the RV lifestyle, we do benefit greatly from having the E-trek available for our occasional weekend road trips. We could never fit all of Ryan’s college belongings in our pick-up truck–we need the E-trek to get him to and from college. It makes the drive to Boston much more pleasant when we can break it up and park overnight with our own bathroom and food supply. The E-trek gives us the most flexibility since it is all-electric and we don’t have to plug in or run a noisy generator. Plus, we do like to include the dogs in our outings–they get so excited when they see us loading up the E-trek. Finally, it continues to amaze and amuse us that we have so many issues and makes us wonder: did we jinx ourselves by using the tagline “What could possibly go wrong?”


    It was the anniversary of our first overnight trip and the weather forecast was good.  Coincidentally, it was National Park Week, so we decided it was the perfect weekend for our first trip of the season.  We actually left ahead of schedule Friday night–last year our plans were delayed due to the Webasto hot water heater auto-draining in our driveway when we filled up the fresh water tank–and we arrived at our usual Walmart in Camp Hill, PA before 9:30 p.m.

    IMG_0656  IMG_0655

    Originally we had planned to go to Gettysburg, however, when we learned from a recent Roadtreking podcast that it was National Park Week, we knew it would be even more crowded than usual at such an always popular destination. This was confirmed when we saw there were several Class A’s in the Walmart parking lot. (On prior trips we had seen maybe one towable in the parking lot.) We decided to park behind one of the Class A’s, next to the grassy area where we could walk the dogs.

    IMG_0654  IMG_0672

    We decided to go to Antietam instead, which is about an hour from Gettsyburg in Sharpsburg, MD. We had recently been there for our final trip of 2015 during Halloween weekend. On Saturday morning, after making coffee with our MyJo Presto Coffeemaker, we dropped off the dogs at the Cozy Canine near Gettysburg and were on our way to Antietam by 8:45 a.m. It had been raining Friday night into Saturday morning, so we stopped at the Battlefield Market for a second cup of coffee in the hopes that the pavement would start to dry out so we could go on our bicycle ride before lunch.

    IMG_0717  IMG_0700

    When we arrived at the Antietam Visitor Center, the parking lot was full; however the three RV/bus parking spots were open, so we were happy to settle in. We have been to Antietam maybe a dozen times over the past 25 years, however, I realized that we had never been to Antietam in the springtime while the trees are in full bloom–we have always come in the fall, since the anniversary of the Battles of both Antietam and nearby South Mountain were fought in mid-September.

    IMG_0723  IMG_0681

    It was not particularly warm, but we were still able to start our bicycle ride by 11:00 a.m. I had remembered to charge the action camera so we could actually film our ride (video coming soon). One disappointment, however: the tower we usually climb to take pictures of the surrounding landscape was closed for repairs. Maybe it is being “loved to death,” like Yellowstone! (This is a reference to RV News from the April 18th Roadtreking podcast) Nonetheless, we enjoyed a slightly chilly 8-mile ride and then enjoyed lunch in the E-trek–we were fully stocked with salad, cheese & crackers, and apples. About an hour later, Karl left for part 2 of his ride (8 miles is not enough for him–he prefers a 20-mile ride, so he can tour the battlefield by bike). I enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours watching some shows I had downloaded onto my MacBook.

    Even though it wasn’t hot outside, the inside of the E-trek was getting warm, so I closed the windows and turned on the AC. I checked the inverter display, which indicated the battery was 85/86% charged. Even after running the AC for an hour, the battery strength was still 84/85%, and I could hear the battery balancer come on from time to time, so it is definitely improving the batteries’ performance. Last year, running the AC for an hour would diminish the battery by at least 10% per hour (see my battery log from last May). What a difference from last year, when our inverter started alarming and the Webasto hot water heater launched into automatic drain mode (both events triggered by the battery not being charged by the secondary alternator/underhood generator while driving).

    IMG_0726  IMG_0730

    When Karl returned from his ride, we drove around the battlefield and took some more videos. As I mentioned, it was particularly beautiful this time of year, and by the afternoon, it was warm and sunny. We stopped again, and had a snack in the E-trek, before heading to the Bavarian Inn, just across the Potomac River, where we had a dinner reservation.

    IMG_0765  IMG_0709

    The next morning, we wanted to squeeze in another bicycle ride before picking up the dogs at 10:30 a.m. Even at 8:00 a.m., two of the three RV/bus spots were occupied! My goal is to ride 6 miles/day, so since I had ridden 8 miles on Saturday, I only needed 4 miles on Sunday–a good thing, since it was cold again. (In fact, I almost used the cold morning weather as an excuse to bail, but Karl talked me out of it.) Karl, of course, kept going and when he got back, there was another bus waiting for our spot, so we can’t imagine what Gettysburg was like during National Park Week!


    On the way home, we reminisced about some of the sites of our misadventures last year, for example, the gas station where we noticed the Webasto draining again, as well as a bees’ nest on the diesel fuel pump, which we disturbed while filling up the fuel tank! About halfway home from Gettysburg, we stopped at Cabela’s to empty the grey and black water tanks, and we were back home before 2:30 p.m. An hour later, both dogs were bathed and the E-trek had been unloaded. What a difference from our first trip last year!



    Note: This post was started in mid-March and completed today, April 18th

    Even though we are trying to sell our E-trek, we still plan to take some trips to our usual spots over the next two months, probably two to Boston and at least one to Gettysburg. Our son, Ryan, was home for Spring Break this past week and it was unseasonably warm, so we decided it was time to de-winterize. We thought we might need to drive him back to Boston, due to the pending NJ Transit strike which could potentially disrupt his train travel, so we wanted to be prepared. As it turned out, he switched his reservation from Sunday (March 13th) to Friday (March 11th), to avoid the strike, and a possible ride back to Boston with us and the dogs (not his idea of a fun road trip!) Well the strike was settled, but nonetheless, he was on the train Friday. Prior to driving him to the train station, we performed step one of de-winterizing: sanitize the fresh water tank. After adding the diluted bleach to the fresh water tank, the instructions were to drive around for an our, so the round-trip to the train station was perfect.

    IMG_0407   2016-0311 Metropark

    Over the weekend, we drained the fresh water tank and refilled it with a mixture of fresh water and bleach as per the E-trek Owner’s Manual. We had purchased some heavy duty ramps to elevate the rear wheels, which made it easier for Karl to access the valves to take the Webasto out of bypass mode. The ramps had the added benefit of leveling the E-trek on our sloped driveway, which we thought would improve the accuracy of our water tank level readings.  We let the water run through all the faucets and opened the city water valve to flush out the antifreeze and the water smelled like bleach.

    The next day, when we checked the water again, it was a little foamy and still smelled of antifreeze, so we emptied the fresh, grey and black water tanks, and repeated this step (i.e., refilled the fresh water tank with a mixture of fresh water and bleach), and ran it through all of the faucets, including the instant hot/cold water dispenser and opened the city water valve. Our intention was to check the water the following day, as the E-trek Owner’s Manual says to leave overnight.

    At that point everything came to a halt. First of all, the following week was rainy followed by another snap of cold weather. Just when we thought Spring was finally here! Secondly, both Karl and I were sick with some virus that Ryan had shared with us while he was home for Spring Break. I basically didn’t do anything for two weeks. Karl, the breadwinner, suffered through his workdays, and loaded up on Sudafed and Mucinex at night.

    Let the E-trek de-winterizing end!

    Between illness, bad weather, and filing our taxes, we didn’t get back into this project until last week. Since it had been four weeks since we began the process, we had to start over with sanitizing the fresh water tank, driving for an hour (okay, five minutes), draining the fresh water, refilling with a mixture of water and bleach, and running the mixture through the lines with a little bleach. Fortunately, a day later, the water was clear (not foamy) and smelled of bleach, so we could drain the fresh water tanks and finish the final steps of E-trek de-winterizing, which include running more water through the faucets and changing the filter for the instant hot/cold water dispenser. Finally, after a month, we were de-winterized and are now ready to take a trip!

    Our plan is to go to Gettysburg this weekend on the one-year anniversary our first overnight trip. If you have been following our blog, you know that’s when we first experienced problems with our E-trek, such as the inverter alarming and the Webasto launching into automatic drain mode due to the low battery charge. We wouldn’t discover the cause for a few months when, on the hottest day of the year, our engine overheated in Boston due to the serpentine belt slipping off the secondary alternator/underhood generator and wrapping around the engine fan. Now, with the secondary alternator replaced, battery balancer installed, as well as our upgrade to VoltStart, our E-trek is performing great!



    Price reduced to $120,000

    We have decided to sell our 2015 Roadtrek E-trek. We have simply decided that we don’t like traveling enough to justify the monthly payments. We are homebodies at heart, which is why we thought we would enjoy a little home on wheels; however, whenever we drive off for one of our trips, we can’t wait to get home. We could not imagine taking a week-long trip, let alone for several months. So after one year, the new RVers have concluded that we should cut our losses and stop feeling pressured to travel everytime we look out the window and see our beautiful E-trek looking sad and underused.

    The good news for a prospective buyer is that we have fully tested and documented all of the service issues with our unit. While at the Roadtrek factory, the battery equalizer was installed to provide better performance of the AGM batteries. In addition, we upgraded to the new Voltstart system. Our asking price is $132,000 $120,000. Listed below are links to the original dealer listing and MSRP bulletin with all of the original features, upgrades, and specifications

    Original Dealer Listing

    2015 Roadtrek MSRP Bulletin

    Interested parties should contact us via email to theetrekblog@gmail.com.



    Ordinarily we try to give our E-trek a run at least every other weekend, but ever since the massive snow storm of January 23rd, we haven’t been able to do so. We were all set to take it out this past weekend, but when we looked at the remaining ice patches on our narrow steep road, we decided it was not worth the risk. Instead, we decided to plug it in and turn on the Webasto heater to keep it warm during the very cold weather that occurred during this Presidents’ Day/Valentine’s Day weekend.

    More snow is in the forecast for this afternoon, so my husband, Karl, will likely work from home. One problem that I may not have mentioned is that our two dogs, Topper and Daisy, have periodic spurts of nuisance barking–sometimes it’s a deer or fox they see outside, sometimes its a noisy truck they hear on the road, and sometimes it’s just one of us opening a door or coming into the room. Sometimes the sound of one of our voices even makes them bark.

    This makes it very difficult for Karl to participate in conference calls at home, because the last thing you want in the background is one let alone two barky dogs. Even when on vacation, he is frequently on calls. Sometimes he sets up in the E-trek, where he can escape the barking. Today he has many meetings scheduled, so he plans to sit in the nicely warmed-up RV and even try out our new convection teapot we got for Christmas.

    Sure enough, by mid-afternoon, the snow was falling yet again. Although it was not a major storm, it was just enough to make the roads treacherous; in fact, Karl had trouble getting up our steep driveway. The dogs, as usual, were thrilled to see more snow.

    IMG_0356 IMG_0357


    We recently (January 5th)  celebrated our one-year anniversary of being E-trek owners. We had been having a mild winter so far, so we were considering de-winterizing the E-trek and using the E-trek to drive our son, Ryan, back to college in mid-January and stopping over in Connecticut on the way home. We were even going to leave the dogs in New Jersey at a kennel we have used in the past so we would have a little more freedom.

    That week, however, the forecast was for a sudden drop in temperature, so we decided against it. Instead, I stayed home with the dogs while Karl took our son back to Boston. I had made a pledge that I would never again make the round-trip to Boston in one day, and since my husband wanted to be back home in time for the football playoffs, I was out of luck. Well, I guess Karl felt bad that I had missed the trip up to Boston, so he suggested I take the train up to Boston for Ryan’s birthday, which was the following week. In the process of packing, I needed some travel-sized items that were still in the E-trek. Of course, these items needed thawing, but they were still usable.

    A few days ago I decided I should go get the rest of the toiletries from the E-trek. For one thing, we were starting to run low on liquid hand soap, so I wanted to get those just in case I didn’t get to the store for a few days. When I opened the bathroom to get the soap, I noticed half of one of the plastic rods which secure items in the shower shelf was missing. I had a small plastic case with a puff and body wash. How this created enough pressure to crack the rod is a mystery to me, but it happened. The other half of the rod was on the floor. On our recent drives in January, we had heard something rattling around, but never thought to look in the bathroom. (We thought the rattling was a piece of hardware from the iPad mount.)

    IMG_0199  IMG_0200

    Then I remembered that we left a stash of coffee supplies in one of the kitchen galley drawers. Sure enough, when I opened the drawer, I saw that the single-serve creamers had exploded and created a nice sticky mess by spilling onto the sugar packets and teabags.

    IMG_0197   IMG_0198