Locking up the house at 2 a.m. we again wondered – Is this the one?
Our search for a Dodge Travco RV has taken us from Ontario’s cottage country to sunny South Carolina. We’ve tire-kicked and walked away. And, we’ve made plenty of (expensive) mistakes.
At 7 a.m. our plane lifted off, soaring to our last chance for a Travco. Landing in Madison, Wisconsin, we were met by a smiling lady holding a hand-printed “Travco Or Bust!” sign. The woman was Kay Cummins, our vintage RV angel.
She led us to a waiting vehicle, where we met her husband Mike. He and my husband Martin hit it off right away. Both shared many interests including hot rods, custom cars and drag racing. Kay’s sunny personality and her love of her late father showed immediately. On the drive to Baraboo she told us about Jerome Thiessen and his lifelong passion for flying, vintage trailers and hot rods. He even constructed his home as an add-on to an auto shop that would make professionals drool. His property boasted a private airplane hangar and runway as well.
But we were here for a Travco. While we stood outside admiring the surrounding Wisconsin dairy land, Mike opened a tall double garage door. Rising slowly like a curtain on a stage, it revealed the Travco. Our Travco.
The 1974 270’s pristine white paint glowed in the sunlight. The chrome trim sparkled, from the rims to the bumpers and everything in between. Mike climbed into the original driver’s seat and started it up. The engine purred. He backed it out of the garage so we could take in the beauty – the perfection – of this impeccably restored Travco.
Inside, the Travco continued to impress. Clean. Properly installed upgrades. Everything worked. I thought I was going to cry. Actually, I did a bit.
After we settled in and met Kay and Mike’s corgi dogs Rocket and Daisy, it was time for a test drive. I’ll admit I was scared. Not about the Travco dying on the road this time. I didn’t want to put a mark on it or get it dirty.
Driving a Travco for the first time was an experience, to say the least. I’ve never driven anything so big, but it handled well. I learned to anticipate hills and start braking long before I thought I needed to. I had fun.
That evening, Martin and I spent our first night in the Travco. Night sounds of chirping frogs wafted in on the cool breeze from the open windows. Before going to sleep on the comfortable couch beds, we gave the interior a cursory search. It became a challenge to us to find something wrong with this Travco. We couldn’t.
I wish we could have met Jerome, however this was an estate sale. He passed six months ago from complications following an accident when he crashed a vintage half ton towing a vintage trailer after attending a hot rod show.
Next story – the journey home.