When you retire, according to several websites, you should buy a R.V. That is a motor home. I am not sure putting older drivers with fading reflexes in vehicles the size of a huge bus is such a good idea.

But now you can add me to the list.

After some research, including consultation at the dog park and an online search, we purchased a used RV. The price was only one-tenth of a new SUV. The plan is to try it out and see if we like this lifestyle. If so, we can move up to a larger and newer RV.  

Driving a 31-foot-long by wider-than-you-think RV is seductively easy. A “C class” motor home is built on a van frame. The driver’s view is not much different from a large pickup, but what is behind and over you is as large as a house!

They say there are those who have driven their motor homes into an overhang and those who will. So far, I am in the last group.

A used motor home keeps you busy. First, you have a motorized vehicle with at least six tires, a large engine and all the stuff that makes it go and stop. Then you have a house with plumbing, electrical, AC and a flat roof — all which moves and must be hooked up and leveled at each new “home site.”

As Bob of Bob’s RV told me while he explained the sewer system to me for the third time, you never stop learning about your motor home. YouTube has a great RV series. It always looks so easy.

With the help of a young man who must be a gymnast, I repaired a couple of roof leaks, dry rot and installed a backup camera. Now, I am working on the “automatic” leveling system. The manual must have been written by a NASA engineer.

Thanks to our cold winter, I winterized the home. Another learning experience. This spring we will find out if I did it right. I know I left a trail of 80 gallons of water as I drove to Hitchcock.

As Bob told me, the happiest days for RV owners are the day you buy it and the day when you sell it. Sounds like a boat — maybe I will buy a boat next year; after all, I am retired.

Alvin Sallee of Galveston is exploring retirement. He can be reached atalvinsallee@hotmail.com.

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