The Show Must Go On

A couple months ago we announced that we were putting the van on a freighter ship and sending it from Argentina to Florida, and that we were leaving South America. I think that shocked a lot of people, (remember here).

A few weeks ago the van made it to Jacksonville. For various work reasons, Stevie and I were in no position to deal with it, so one of our best friends picked it up and drove it to Tennessee where it was sold.

Beckett, thank you so much for your help on that mission. You’re a true soldier.

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I’m not going to lie to you. It was hard saying goodbye to the Sprinter. I lived in that van since 2006. Eight years. Countless nights. Untold adventures. It was a solid rig. Gonna miss that one. But times change.

The number one question we’ve received since we’ve been back in the States is, “What’s next?”

Well, the show must go on.

Here is part of what’s next….

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When Stevie and I evaluated our life goals last summer, we knew that we wanted to spend more time in the States close to family and friends, but neither of us wanted to settle down in a house or apartment. We wanted to continue to live on the road, and raise Soleil as a nomad.

Originally when looking at new vehicle options we were considering something smaller that could be shipped to another continent like Europe, but after a lot of analysis we determined that didn’t make sense.

The better plan for us was to have a big home base rig in the United States, and then buy/rent/borrow transportation in whatever country we head to next, (probably Spain).

 

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So, this is our new North American casa. It will be our home and adventure rig for Mexico, the US, and Canada. We plan to break him in during 2015. We may be coming to a location near you, so if you have some driveway space, let us know!

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Our new home is 36 feet long with one big slideout on the driver side and a 2nd bedroom slideout on the passenger side. This creates a ton of living space.

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Below, the bedroom slideout open with the awning out…

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Easy access to the roof where we’re thinking about installing solar panels. We’re researching that now…

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Looking into the cockpit. Our new home is built on a Chevy Workhorse chassis with the Allison transmission. He’s a beast.

 

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Looking from the back forward. We plan to make a couple modifications/improvements. We’re going to rip out the carpet and go with a hard floor (much easier to keep clean), and we’re going to reupholster the furniture with something more our style.

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Nice big kitchen with a double door fridge…

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Another improvement, we’re going to take out this stove top and put in a stove top with an oven.

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Washer / dryer combo… clutch when living on the road…

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Master bedroom, queen bed, two big closets, and tons of storage…

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2nd closet and work desk (Stevie says it’s a vanity) in the bedroom…

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Bathroom and shower…

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We knew that with a motorhome this size we wouldn’t be able to drive around town, so we also bought a fully rebuilt, retro 1988 4×4 Trooper. We’ll tow this behind the motorhome. When connected, we’ll stretch just about 45 feet in length.

It’s going to be interesting to drive this set-up through Mexico.

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So, the transition has gone fairly well. It would have been significantly more difficult without such amazing friends and family there to support us.

I want to give a big, huge, loving thank you to the following people for letting us couch-surf over the last 10 weeks. You opened your homes and hearts to our crazy whirlwind  circus and we are so grateful.

THANK YOU:

Cyndi Morrell – Abuelita

Richard Hallman

Cheryll Anglin

Brent & Indra Trujillo – Tio and Tia

The Simko Family

Pa and Nana

And a special thanks to Corrin and Glenn for letting us house sit your beautiful place in Hood River.

 

-TREE

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Comments

  1. Wow! That’s a big rig. I’ve been following your adventures for years and I’m really glad that you’ll be staying mobile. Really interested in hearing more about the Bounder and how it will be set up.

  2. Upgrade! Nice rig! and I love the Trooper

    PS: I will pay $1000 for a video of Tree wrestling around with the stinky slinky!!

  3. Awesome rig! Great choice to get something mobile. A few things that you might enjoy: We traded RV’s with an Irish family (RV Exchange) and it was a GREAT experience. People who are not using it for a home base are very flexible in timing, so you can even trade different years. I put a link to my blog on how to do an exchange http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/47659/European-Exchange-2 in case it helps with your planning. Also, we ripped out carpet and put Pergo in our 27′ adventure rig and its been the greatest thing ever. Still looks new after 7 years and it only took a weekend (was almost fun once we borrowed a table saw). For the seat recovering, an inexpensive solution many have loved is buying terrycloth sheets in a bright color from Target to make simple, stretchy covers that can be washed if velcro is added. AM Solar is the go-to for RV solar panel installs. Lastly, I’m just a wee concerned with that big rig through Mexico. I know people have done it with lots of stories to tell, but even at 27′, my rig there felt huge. Maybe if you’re just parking for awhile, but driving… PTSD just remembering that adventure 🙂 I am so VERY EXCITED about the fun that you’re about to have! Thanks for sharing, Tessa

  4. The universe has been out of sync since the Trujillo family left the roads.
    Riots throughout the u.s.a., oil prices falling, and many other things randomly going crazy.
    Now that the Trujillo’s will be back on the road, I would expect the universal alignment to correct and to calm down.
    Let’s not have this happen again. I know you 3 did not envision such chaos in the universe with your decision to leave the road.
    But, now you see the consequences – so, bear this in mind if you get the notion of “settling down”, once again.
    🙂
    Cheers

  5. As a 9 year veteran burner, on behalf of Burning Man we invite Sprinter Life to spend a greater part of August 2015 in the black rock desert of Nevada.
    Burn baby Soleil burn!!!

  6. well we’re glad to see you didn’t think small 🙂 Very fancy and will certainly be a change from Sprinter. Congrats on the new home!

  7. Naomi Chance says:

    WOO HOO! Nice whip!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Very nice! After living in the Sprinter that Bounded must feel like a mansion 😉

  9. It looks like a mansion compared to the sprinter. I think ~30ft RV is perfect not too big and not too small. I am happy that i can keep reading about your adventures. Like most of us stuck in our sedentary lives…living our dreams through your reality….

  10. That’s fantastic! How fun!! I don’t have a ton of parking but if you are ever in Central Ohio you are welcome to park nearby and stay here or at least have a tasty meal! 🙂

  11. Sebastian Ruiz says:

    guauuu!! Muy bueno AMIGO

  12. Colin Lantz says:

    Dang straight up ‘Merican. That thing burn dinosaur juice?

  13. Isaac Levinson says:

    Winning!

  14. WOOOOOOOOOOOOW WOWOWOWO stevieee es increibleeee me enamoré!! GIGANTE ELEGANTE IMPONENTE, WOW! yo voto por esa casa propia!!

  15. Dominic Sagar says:

    Hopefully we’ll see you in Colorado

  16. David Curran says:

    Well……shit … I wish I was doing that. Going to be fun times.

  17. We have the 32 ft Southwind version of that rig, almost identical but it’s on a Ford V/10 chassis. Takes me forever to get anywhere but I like it, low and slow. I still have not installed rooftop solar, we use a 120W portable panel from Go Power that is nice to have as auxiliary because you can set it up on the 30 ft cable to follow the sun or while you are parked in the shade. The first mod you want to do for boondocking is to swap all the incandescent bulbs out for LEDs, it will extend your battery time by 4 or 5x right there, they run about .25 amps vs 2.0 for incandescent. We have had great success with these Elite series, they are quite sturdy and well made. We use the COB plate type in the key ceiling and counter top fixtures, bayonet plug type in the lesser used fixtures. Customer service was very good – http://www.m4products.com/elite-series/

    Love the Trooper too, my 86 retired to Guatemala where I am sure it is still churning on. Great choice. I am glad to see you back on the road!

  18. Great choice to visit Spain! I just spent six months walking over 2800km of the country (ie three Camino de Santiagos). The friendliness of the Spaniard is amazing.

    Sorry to see the Sprinter go.

    • We cannot wait to get to Spain! I’m happy to hear that it did not disappoint. Sounds like you had an epic trip. Awesome that you walked 2800km! Incredible. I don’t think we’re that tough. Where are you walking next?

      • I just arrived in New Zealand four days ago. I will spend the next three months doing the Great Walks. By the way, New Zealand is big on van camping here!

  19. Phew. A very very tiny part of me thought, Uh-oh, going back to the US, going mainstream/suburbia? Should have known better. 😉

    • That’s okay. Honestly, even WE were worried when we got back that we’d get sucked into one spot. Now that we have the RV, Tree and I are both a little less anxious about that. We’re starting to get that giddy feeling when you think, “Where to next?”. Maybe we’ll run into you at Overland Expo this year!

  20. Ahhhh… que bueno, me da envidia…. la mejor de la suerte guys…..

  21. Martyn Howorth says:

    Doublewide…..this has the full Howorth seal of approval! Just landed back in England.

  22. gp’s put solar on our last three fun mobiles. Shoot him an email if he can help.

  23. Little Lava says:

    LOVE YOU THREE!

  24. So are you going to build a 3rd seat for Soleil between the 2 passenger seats?

    • Good question! She has a really solid new carseat that we need to attach somewhere….not sure where. We’re thinking about getting another little captain’s chair, or bolting it to the ground or sofa? We need professional advice. Obviously. 😉

  25. Doug Moore says:

    OK, Good idea. Used, gas and not too big. Cash only. No debt. Less stress. Freeier lifestyle. Better happiness. I”m with you.

    Love the 88 Trooper

    doug

  26. Anonymous says:

    Very nice.

  27. Liz DeStaffany says:

    i am so happy that the beat goes on!

    🙂

    🙂

    wooooooo!

    • We are, too!! Someday we want to take our Bounder to Venice and park on the street for a week or so. We can party down with all the rastas and hippies…and YOU! 😉

  28. That had to be like losing a member of your family!!

    You probably already know this but just in case there is a Facebook site called “On the Road to Mexico” and the majority of members are RVers. There are several people on there that are experts in Rv’s and the towing of another vehicle. Not to mention all the RV sites in Mexico and what fits where and some boondocking places also. Ask Bill Bell as he is the administrator of the site and has RV’d all over Mexico and parts of Canada. Plus he handles the insurance needed for Mexico..

    Just my two pesos worth…

  29. Charlie Doll says:

    Just curious, now that the Sprinter’s happily on its way to new owners are you going to change the name of your blog?
    Bounder Life perhaps? 🙂

    • Hey Charlie. Yes, we are in the process of building a new site with a new name and moving the archives over. My goal is to have it up in January. Fingers crossed! But, no, it won’t be called Bounder Life. We learned our lesson and picking a name that scales a little better.

  30. You don’t have to change the name of your blog. You might be in a Bounder, but you will still be “sprinting” across the land. Here’s to your “boundless” energy! X

  31. Anonymous says:

    Have been following you folks from the beginning and you have revived us and renewed us many times with your travels through central and south America, including our one time home of Bolivia. You will find lots of encouragement in the “fulltime” life. There is just so very much to do in this field. Check out my at Technomadia, very detailed about the RV life and helpful.

    Good to have you back, and hope you will stop in and see us, just up the hill from Palm Springs.

    Leo and Elo

    • Thank you for commenting Leo and Elo. You made our day. We love hearing from people who have been following our journey. Your support is more appreciated than I bet you realize. In many ways, sharing our experiences made them so much richer. I’m glad you’re still with us here in the States, and yes, when we pass by your area, we’d love to stop by. We’ll be in California/Arizona/Nevada coming up real soon. Not sure of our exact route, but stay in touch. xo.

  32. If you are ever in the Bay area!! stop on by….

  33. Laura Robinson says:

    Hi- I am loving your blog. I am such a late comer to your show, but will go back and start from the beginning. Anyway, I have a Sprinter RV and have been out and about, a few weeks at a time, for about 3 years, and love it. If you are ever in the Kansas City area, I have a couple of places for you if you need a stop over.
    Enjoy your travels!

    • Thank you, Laura! That’s a super sweet offer that we will gladly take you up on when we’re in your neck of the woods. We love meeting new people. I’m happy to hear that you’ve been getting out and about in your Sprinter. I love that van! But our Bounder is awesome, too, especially with Soleil on board. Any secret stateside destinations that you might recommend?

  34. We are getting our new Sprinter in two weeks. Really excited.

    Question-you didn’t worry about bandits in Mexico. Several friends have told me kidnapping rate is very high. Crooks, including police, are a worry. No problems?

    Love your stories and adventures.

    • Hey Bob. I’m so excited for you guys! Hooray! We did worry a bit about bandits, but in Mexico, there are so many safe campgrounds that we rarely ever left the Sprinter unattended. Also, there’s a pretty well-traveled path through Mexico that felt safe. It usually starts down Baja, ferry over to Mazatlan, travel down the coast and then cut in through all the Pueblo Magicos (Tequila, Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende, etc), cut over to Oaxaca, and then cut over San Cristobal or to the Yucatan. We didn’t experience any problems in Mexico, thankfully. People were very friendly and helpful, and we only had a problem with Police trying to falsely ticket us (looking for bribes, no doubt) in Acapulco. I would avoid Acapulco. When you’re ready to head south, let me know. I’ll answer as many questions and relay as much info as I can 🙂 Thanks for sharing our adventures with us, looking forward to sharing yours!

      • What a thoughtful and comprehensive answer. I can see why you have a great following. We aren’t ready for such an adventuresome trip. We are 77 and that gives you pause in being too far from medical services. I rode a motorcycle to Alaska about 15 years ago and we took our motorhome to Alaska as well, a couple of years later. We will have to see how we do with this when we take off early July.

        Thanks again.

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