My Pleasure-Way Life: Barbara-Lynn Smith | 2006 Plateau Owner

A retired tech integrated circuit layout engineer that has gone from Silicon Valley North (Ottawa, Ont.), to Silicon Valley in California. Barbara-Lynn Smith now calls Southern Georgia home. Helping fellow Pleasure-Way owners get to know their van, Barbara-Lynn bought her Pleasure-Way Plateau van in 2006 when she moved to California. That was 15 years ago.

Flying wasn’t my thing.

“I had always wanted to travel and see the world. At the time, flying wasn’t my thing, so driving around to see and experience different places was the perfect way to go. I loved going out exploring to see where roads go with no particular destination in mind. Traveling in style with my house on my back seemed to me, the perfect way to enjoy nature’s beauty.”

An RV dream come to life.

“I first heard of Pleasure-Way back in 2004/2005 when I was looking for my dream home. I was dreaming of life in California and how wonderful living in a home on wheels would be. I started researching Class B RVs and came across what was referred to as the ‘Cadillac of Class B’s’, Pleasure-Way motorhomes. I made my decision. 15 years later, still full-time living in my Plateau, I know I made the right choice!

 My Plateau had a name long before I got her.

“The beautiful weather and scenery in California made me think about how living and traveling in a small motorhome was my dream. As a child, I used to play with Barbies. I remember Barbie having a large motorhome that was called the Barbie Dream Van. So, back in the planning stages of creating my ideal new life in California, my future home was going to be the BDV (Barbie Dream Van).”

A rare photo of me in front of my Barbie Dream Van. Paso Robles, CA.

 The first of many favourite memories.

“The feeling of “It’s mine!” as I drove my brand-new home off the lot was my first favorite memory. Realizing I had the power to make my dreams come true was part of that.

My first big trip will always be a good memory. Working full-time, I had vacations and weekends only. With my extracurricular activities, I didn’t go too far. But on vacation, I could take a couple of weeks at a time and hit the road and actually go somewhere. My first big trip was to the Pleasure-Way Factory Rally in 2007 in Saskatoon. It was a trip of travel-firsts. I’d been living in it already for almost a year and had everything figured out. Getting to travel somewhere far in it was a personal milestone. Planning my route, where to stop, what to see on the way was all part of the experience.”

Have a dream. Set a goal. Make it happen.

“Owning and living in my PW allowed me to achieve my goal of retiring early from the long hours and stresses of high-tech life. I learned that I can live in a small space and have a beautiful front yard to enjoy. I don’t need to have all the possessions and debt. I can hit the road, with or without a plan, just get in and drive anywhere I want. It’s taught me to be self-sufficient while working, and keep my home rolling on the road.”

“It gave me freedom to go anywhere and have everything I need with me.”

Testing out the new solar system in the California desert over the Christmas holidays.

Learning on the fly.

“I was living the van lifestyle, and that came with a bunch of daily challenges. I had to learn the upkeep and maintenance of my RV, and how to keep things in place while driving down the road. I had to learn how to urban boondock to avoid the dreaded knock on the door at 2 am. How to select sleep spots that I hoped were safe. One of the hardest things to learn was how to feel safe in my new home. This isn’t a conventional lifestyle.”

15 years of RV travel, and the adventures continue.

I’ve been to quite a few places in my Plateau. I’ve been to:

  • San Diego, Yuma, Quartzsite,
  • Niland, Albuquerque,
  • Phoenix, St. George,
  • Big Timber, Oregon,
  • Washington, Idaho
  • Mount Shasta
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison
  • Burning Man in the Nevada desert
  • Grand Mesa in Colorado.
  • Tour of the factory in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
  • National and state parks include Yellowstone, Black Canyon, Humbolt Redwoods, and the Sawtooth Mountains
My late partner, Lou, and I at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon, SK. The group outing at a factory rally
Bottom of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado.

“Every place I’ve been has had some sort of special meaning and helped me learn my Plateau and overcome my fears.”


What I know for sure.

“I’ve given so many tips over the years to many owners. Take the time to connect. Join all the various online owner’s groups. Use the resources they provide to help get the most of and enjoy your Pleasure-Way. Make it yours. Don’t necessarily do things just because someone else did – it may not work for your situation or your type of camping. Organizing and outfitting your rig to suit your tastes and travel style is such a fun part of the adventure. Use your imagination and be creative in your home on wheels.”

The top of Mount Shasta in California.

Travel exposes you to new physical geographies that can inspire our mental world. Don’t be afraid to let the world tell you what to watch out for!