Posts Tagged ‘Road Trips’

WanderWith.Me | Roadtrip Across The World | Wow + Incredible

Thursday, May 8th, 2014
An overland odyssey, of dust, snow, and distant shorelines, capturing moments of life and landscapes, cameras, prime lenses, weathered journals and rain soaked musings, inspirations, lyrics and poetry. Head and heart given to the road, the mysterious and ever unfolding unknown.” WanderWith.Me”

1-wanderwithme 1-tumblr_n5840pnZPh1qhxikro1_1280.png 1-tumblr_n46gz1VRul1qhxikro1_1280.png 1-tumblr_n4uy77Pr6N1qhxikro2_r1_1280.png 1-tumblr_n0lvddbtKP1qhxikro1_1280 1-tumblr_n2dsmh2Tl21qhxikro1_1280.png 1-tumblr_n3bwkzKsBE1qhxikro1_1280 1-tumblr_n4urwc5Yh61qhxikro1_1280.png 1-tumblr_myzrxdUyrJ1qhxikro1_1280 1-tumblr_mzpx86rfgM1qhxikro1_1280.png 1-tumblr_mzz9y3HQqY1qhxikro2_r1_1280Our quick interview with Colby & Alita is all it takes to re-open our eyes to how little we need, and how much we are missing. Grab a car, great company and get going. They are truly inspiring, in the most unpretentious of ways; two world travellers living the dream.

 

What were your reason/s for getting an ‘adventuremobile’?

The adventuremobile idea was an answer to questions about how to reach remote areas in the Americas and Africa, then stay awhile to experience and photograph them.

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Why the Toyota, as opposed to any other off road campers and vehicles?

I’m a bit biased, but Toyota’s were well loved and depended on growing up in Bend, Oregon and you still see many 50 & 60 series cruisers around town there today. I researched other rigs, but the list of possibles shortened when looking at reliability, spare parts and roadside repairs. The rest seemed pure serendipity, as I got a heads up on a rare Troopy for sale on the side of country road in Vermont. The photos are still up online here, amazingly! I fell in love at first sight and purchased on the spot and over the phone, then spent three wonderful days with the owner and her family on their gorgeous woodsy property in Stowe, Vermont. I took two weeks to drive and camp in the truck while moving across Canada and the States, that after changing the fluids and tires out in Montreal.
It seems like you’ve done some work to the ‘Green Beast’. What customizations have you made? Any small luxuries added?

I had some years traveling abroad and living along the West Coast in an RV so had come to appreciate needing less and keeping life simple. This was Alita’s experience in her travels abroad as well as it allows more time for the creative work we both love. The first decision on the Troopy was to build only below the window line to keep a light filled open space inside the truck. The rest of the work was about self sufficiency with an idea to live comfortably a couple weeks at a time. Here are some of the customizations…

· AutoHome graciously sponsored us with an incredibly comfortable and rugged roof top tent

· Cabinetry to contain our food, refrigerator, tools, clothes, and misc. storage needs while also allowing room for sleeping indoors.

· Fabrication work to better secure the rooftop area which keeps spare parts, recovery gear, and extra diesel.

· Solar powered energy system for charging cameras, computers and the refrigerator (140W solar panel, inverter, sun charger, 3 optima batteries)

· 15 Gal water system with sink allowing us to filter water from hoses and rivers, reducing bottled water use. Also, a very handy outdoor solar shower.

· Our getting unstuck gear includes Toyo MT tires with 2 spares and repair kit, Winch with Nylon cable, MaxTrax, Tow Rope, Shackles, Hi-Lift & bottle Jack, Shovel and wood cutting gear

· Surfboard rack, maybe the most important item!

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We can’t have helped but sensed a bias to travel in Mexico. Why Mexico? What other terrain do you guys conquer?

We’re driving down to Argentina so Baja and mainland Mexico were some part of that but Mexico is also Alitas home country. As Alita has travelled here extensively, its been an incredible start to the journey in terms of getting to know people and places more deeply. It’s also been a great way to further reduce the things we found weren’t so needed, especially living in a smaller space.

 

Any good stories? Future travel plans?

Yes, and so many seem to start early in the morning! In Nayarit, Mexico, we awoke to a motorcycle outside the tent while camping miles down an extremely isolated beach. We climbed down to see a man hunched over, furiously digging in the sand. He then pulled a large leather satchel off his motor bike and started filling it with dozens of turtle eggs, to move them safely to an incubator. The sight of him – goggles on and motoring off down the beach on an antique motorcycle with a satchel full of eggs and his little dog hanging off the back was a movie-like sequence, but we weren’t quick enough with the cameras!

 

As for future travel, we’re looking to reach Panama by late Summer then fly back to Mexico and Oregon to spend time with family. We’ll return to the truck and the adventure in South America later this Winter.

♥ Colby & Alita

They have a great website with a Tumblr Template so follow them on Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.  Links on the their website.  So follow their blog and amazingly photographed story here: WanderWith.Me

Foster Huntington | His Toyota Camper | Van Life

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

 

(Source)

A year ago, I started fantasizing about campers other than my VW Syncro. It felt adulterous. I had been living in it for a year and half at this point and the cost of maintenance was catching up to me. Syncro’s are pretty amazing vans. Mine had an Audi engine, front and rear locking differentials and could go any where I wanted it. The problem was reliability. Only 300o were ever imported to the US, and very few people know how to work on them. Many times a minor break down such as a fuel pump or a starter turned into a week long search for a mechanic that was willing to work on it let a lone had access to the right parts. My van was made in 1987 and had 292 miles on it when I bought it. With the right maintenance, It will keep working forever, but my regiment of 40k miles per year were wearing on the car. From afar, VW van’s are very romantic. Living in one is a totally different story.

Unfortunately, there aren’t that many good alternatives to a Syncro in terms of capability, size and efficiently. Sportsmobile’s weigh twice as much and cost between $50-100k. Depending on the, year there are problems with the Diesel engines and the MPG are hard to swallow. Eurovans are plagued with electronic issues and never come in 4wd. A full size truck and camper is way to big. I wanted something, I could parallel park in a city and make my way around narrow forest service roads. Eventually, I settled on a Toyota Tacoma and a poptop camper.

Go to a remote area for an activity like surfing, snowboarding or climbing and you’ll likely see a Toyota truck with a pop top camper. Unlike a rare German 4×4, the parts are ubiquitous and any garage in the world can work on them. Sure they aren’t as “c00l” as a VW, but one break down in the Mojave desert cured me with my fixation of how cool my Syncro was.

After doing a bunch of research on forums like Wander the West and The Expedition Portal, I focused my attention on a Four Wheel PopTop camper. All though not the fanciest, they have been making campers for 40 years and have a cult following of people that use theirs in harsh situations. To maximize usable space, I decided to remove the stock bed and put an aluminum flatbed on the truck. This would allow for the side entry I loved about my van, as well as a lower center of gravity and increased storage around the wheel wells. On a tip from a friend, I got in touch with AT Overland in Prescott, Arizona and they helped design, source parts and work with Four Wheel to build the camper. The whole process from conception of the idea to delivery of the finished product in Prescott took eight months.

The ruberized canvas walls have an insulative layer that helps with condensation and keeps the camper warm in cold temperatures.

The camper is based off of a 2013 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab. The truck has a V6, six speed manual and the off road package. I upgraded the truck with a 2-inch lift from Old Man Emu, an ARB Bumper, Warn Winch, Airflow Snorkel, Firestone airbags in the back and a custom rear leaf set up from Deaver in Orange County.

Parked in Baja on the campers maiden voyage last summer.

When popped, the bed slides out to roughly the size of a Kingsize.

Extra fuel storage and some badges of honor from the road. Between the fuel cans are two Max Trax for putting under the tires in sticky situations.

AT Overland fabricated 4 Lockable aluminum boxes under the flatbed for extra storage room.

A 20,000 BTU furnace keeps me the camper warm during cold nights. This opened up a ton of possibilities for me.

Compared, to my Syncro, the Four Wheel Camper feels like a Four Seasons. It has an electric fridge (powered by two marine batteries and 160w panel) a two burner stove (two 10 pound cylinders) a furnace (runs off the propane and 20 gallons of freshwater and an outdoor shower.

This month marks the two and half year mark for living out of my vehicle. It’s flown by. My initial plan to spend a year on the road has morphed into a way of life. I love living out of a small space. It forces me to limit my possessions and conscious of the mess I make. Instead of buying something when I’m bored, I travel to a new place. My new camper gives me piece of mind to continue my travels . I’m hoping to have it for twenty years.

Here are some more links,

Gone Tomorrow (Ian Durkin),

AT Overland,

Four Wheel Campers.

How To | Campfire Dinner | Date-Day

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Photographs by: Mikaela Hamilton

This feature focuses on a recipe many people call ‘the hobo meal’

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things you’ll need:

-firewood

-peppers, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, smoked sausage (and really any other vegetable you’d like)

-aluminum foil

-olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic

-knives + forks

01-'how-to' moakler-20 13-5instructions:

first, get a great fire going- the more coals the better.

then chop all of the vegetables + sausage & place on aluminum foil.  drizzle with oil + seasonings to taste.

bunch aluminum foil up into a big ball (I typically wrap an extra layer around the aluminum so nothing leaks out)

lay in the fire & let cook for around 15 minutes, depending on how hot your fire is (often I’ll rotate it halfway through to make sure everything is cooking fairly evenly)

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while you’re waiting for that to cook, keep warm with some coffee + bourbon cream.

14-411-'how-to' moakler-15806-'how-to' moakler-96after 15 minutes or so, take it out of the fire, add a few more seasonings, & eat your heart out.

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dessert:

s’mores, duh.  but why not get a little crazy & add a Reese’s?

things you’ll need:

- graham crackers, chocolate, Reese’s, marshmellows

- skewers

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I think it’s important to get outside with someone that you care about and explore.  Simple things.  A hike or a walk in a forest and why not pack a little lunch.  In this example… just packing some things in a car and visit a Provincial Park and day-camp and hang out for the day would be nice.  It’s easy to pack a cooler with some goodies to cook up.  Bring some cooked chicken in marinade and throw that in a another pouch.

Van Life > Sorry… Car Life | 2001 Toyota Echo Turned Into a Micro RV For RoadTrips & Camping

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Taken from: TinyHouseTalk.com

 

Man Turns his Toyota Car into Micro RV for Stealthy Car Camping

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Who would guess this unassuming Toyota Echo would be able to sleep 2 people comfortably (if a little cozily, you do have to like your traveling companion)?

I believe you’ll really be awed by the simplicity of this car conversion so I encourage you to read the rest of the story and tour the entire car camper below:

 

When we make cross country drives it can get expensive to stay in a motel every night.

So for less than the price of one night’s hotel stay I converted our little 2001 Toyota Echo into a stealth camper.

I already had some of the materials on hand so really all it cost was the price of a sheet of plywood and a 6′x8′ piece of indoor/outdoor carpet.

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Above is the back seat in it’s day-to-day mode. Those are camping pads strapped to the front of the seat. We very rarely use the back seat to transport passengers but it’s still possible although not very comfortable at this point. I plan to add some cushions soon.

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Above and below is the trunk area deck. There’s a cut out on the left to securely hold a 5 gallon water bottle in place.

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Under the deck there’s room to store a wooden folding table, camp stove, a laptop and a few other small things. A plastic dishpan will hold our kitchen stuff.

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Above and below the transformation to sleeping deck is taking place. Front seats are slid all the way forward and seat backs are tilted toward the front of the car. The bottom of the rear seat has come off and is placed securely over the transmission hump. Three pins along the edge of the seat will fit into corresponding holes on the underside of the deck so everything locks securely in place.

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Two views of the fully extended sleeping platform. Just over 6 feet of space with your feet extending into the trunk area. With the self-inflating sleeping pads it’s a comfy but firm bed.

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Notice the two white U-shaped things protruding just below the rear deck. They were there to hold the back of the original seat in place. One of my goals in designing this was not to permanently alter any part of the car so that everything can be put back to stock should we decide to sell it. So I built this little folding table that fits onto those things.

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Voila! With the addition of my laptop and a couple speakers the car is transformed into a media room to watch DVDs or listen to CDs.  I’m reclining on the back side of the forward tilted front seats. With a couple pillows it’s actually quite comfortable.

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And we even have a storage space for it, check it out below:

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Here’s the trunk fully loaded for a trip. With 2 of those super comfortable reclining outdoor chairs it’s a pretty nice camping rig if you like to spend time in the great outdoors. It takes us less than 5 minutes to pull everything out and set everything up. I still need to address having some kind of system for privacy though. I’m thinking that one of those old-fashioned roll up shades attached to the rear deck could pull over the entire sleeping area and no one would even know you are there.

 

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I discovered these great alternate compact camping chairs at Amazon. They hold 300 lbs. and fold into a 4″x4″x14″ case which will allow me to store them under the back deck and eliminate the large amount of space taken up by my current folding chairs (shown above). I plan to have all camping equipment in the car at all times so all we have to do is pack a bag of clothes and go.

Honda Element Camper Wanted | Explore + Everyday Vehicle

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

1-tiny ecamper-001Watch a video on YouTube here about it.

Would love to purchase a used Honda Element and then have the eCamper installed to make it great for camping with the kids.  Imagine using it for everyday commuting and you can easily pop the roof and sleep in the top in the Spring/Summer & Fall with proper sleeping bags.  It would be great for roadtrips anywhere or extended travel that gives you the option to save so much money by not even renting a campground for the night (or expensive lodging).  Use that money for food and adventures instead.

This company also makes one for the Jeep.

Simple Life | Skinny + Chunky Dunks | Why Not | Road Trips

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

In the quest to live a simple life… you also want to do things you have never done before or in a really long time.  We live in a great Province that allows us to simply pack up the car and head north in the search for old dirt roads we have not traveled and countrysides that we have not explored.

1-LMS TINY LIFE-001Step 1: Wake up | Step 2: Go out for coffee & decide on the spot that a road-trip up north would be fun.

tumblr_n14933olzn1s6f4r5o3_500Does not matter the weather in the summer.  What it is in the morning does not mean that it’s going to be like that later on in the day.  Don’t spend the day wasted thinking you can’t go outside.  Play tunes, have some cash to stop at a little general store for ice cream.  Throw a bottle of red in the trunk.  No glasses needed since you can share sips from the bottle and throw some snacks in a mini-cooler.  Might as well bring a blanket.

1-Google Maps - Mozilla Firefox 23032014 12736 PMDrive anywhere.

1-1-IMG_2975If you see an old barn in a field and you think that you can sneak across a field to it without being seen… do it.  Bring wine and your blanket.  Hell you can even put down the blanket anywhere if your out of the way and hang out.

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If you come across a place where the (x) is located on the map above… then park in the car east of the beach and walk down.  Hang out till it gets dark and just enjoy the wine till it’s pitch black.  Wear what you want… it does not matter.  Just don’t splash around too much for someone to call the OPP.  Great thing about that beach is that you can walk out so far and it’s shallow…

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tumblr_mucouhQnU01qeqfrto1_500Just have fun.  It’s much better to get outside and enjoy the warm summer nights.  Laugh.  Play.  Explore.

Just get out of your comfort zone.  This summer will be fun.