In October 2015 our travel plans changed drastically. We were stopped in our tracks. When my mother passed away unexpectedly, we inherited a burden that we never anticipated. If you haven’t had this conversation with your parents or your kids—DO IT NOW!!
Managing the property, the belongings, the accounts and the hassles has been interesting, educational and at times; heart-wrenching. I am happy to say that the property is now under contract and will likely sell within the next ninety days. That means we need to get serious about getting www.slowcarfasthouse.com back on the road again.
This year of sitting still has taught us a few things. Among those things is the fact that we can’t sit still. We took several shorter road trips and saw some terrific scenery. Kino Bay is always a great getaway. Kino Bay, Mexico The Canada/USA border is an amazing place to adventure. Canada/US border area Vancouver Island Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast Sunshine Coast were beautiful and interesting. The Olympic Peninsula has some hidden gems among the crowds Olympic Peninsula And Baja never lets us down. But we also learned something else about our travel…………..
We learned that we want a few more comforts on board with us. We want a bathroom that we can count on and we want a shower of our very own. We want a bed that does not get folded up and down every night. We want a little more space for the dogs and humans. And sometimes, we even want an air conditioner (gasp) !!!!
So we have started a new project. We are building a modified truck camper. This unit will be a chassis mount camper on a 4×4 truck. It will have adequate storage, off-road capabilities as well as interior space and a bathroom, shower and AC unit!
There we go. The “cat is outta the bag” and I will now share some photos of the acquisition and build of the new unit.
We began with hours of intense research comparing possible builds. We looked at larger vans, schoolies (school bus conversions), class c’s, truck/campers, tiny homes and even ambulance conversions. All of them had pros and cons. One issue we had was our lack of space/time to start from scratch again. We needed a unit that had the basic insides completed and could be modified and ready to hit the road fairly quickly.
Gathering all the input led us to the conclusion that a truck and camper would best suit our particular needs. We considered hard-sided and pop up styles. We looked at luxury models and base models. Elsewhere in the world it is a common configuration but in the USA there are very few chassis mount campers. There are high-priced, high-end examples of this type of unit in brands such as XP and Tiger. Our tastes and budget tend to run a little leaner, so we would work with our friends at ATOverland to help us make our own version of the chassis-mount truck camper.
In selecting a truck, we knew we wanted a gas engine and a ¾ ton chassis. We wanted something fairly new, but not fresh off the assembly line. The dogs requested an extended cab with roll down windows – and that narrowed the options quickly. We found an awesome deal on a 2013 GMC 2500HD at a fleet dealer in Phoenix. So we grabbed it. This base model, work truck had power, suspension and just enough comforts inside.
As far as a camper – we looked into many brands and styles, makes and models. We went in as many campers as we could find. We searched nationwide for available campers and compared prices with reliability ratings and personal reviews. We had narrowed it down to just a few brands that we would settle for. And then a Northstar Arrow appeared on our screen! It was one of the brands and models that we felt would hold up to our expectations.
The camper was located in Grants Pass, Oregon, so we called on the help of friends near Portland to go take a first look. We asked them to peek and peer and kick and sniff on our behalf. We have some awesome friends- and they did this big favor for us! Once we were assured it was a solid unit, we made an offer- and the seller accepted.
We now owned the truck and camper portions of our new build project……..
Next up— road trip to Oregon to pick up a camper!