We are less than 2 weeks away from the 12 month marker since we left our UK home for our temporary life in the truck. We thought we would review a few things so here is the first post about our year of life on the road.
6 REASONS WHY WE LOVE OUR TRUCK AFTER 12 MONTHS
1. IT WILL GO ANYWHERE – and it has proved it more than once!
We can drive over any terrain – rocks, sand, mud, snow, and water [we have a snorkel].
Our truck has 4×4 off-roading capability and high clearance for those rocky off-road tracks and this has come in useful many times.
We spent Christmas and New Year 2017 negotiating 4 tight, snowy, icy, mountainous switchbacks when we stayed on the side of a mountain in winter at Penticton, British Columbia. We were glad our truck was very capable that month.
Visit our youtube page to see our Canadian Christmas Day sledging movie for a fast-paced tour of our daily precarious route down the mountain!
We have travelled from the north to the south of England to Holland and on to Belgium, across 6 Canadian provinces [Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta] and through 13 states of the USA [Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington State, Oregon, California, Nevada]. Our truck has coped every step of the way.
We have learned that we can live off-grid for a whole week using our 2 tanks of water and solar energy – camping up in the hills is easy when you have this capability.
2. WE CAN PARK ANYWHERE [almost]
We have found that our truck is not too big so we can use it everywhere on a daily basis – and it is surprisingly lighter on fuel than we expected – certainly for a vehicle of this size. We get approximately 15 miles to a US gallon of diesel at our cruising speed of 60mph.
It is big inside but small outside and fits into a regular car parking space so we can park on the street or at the supermarket, even at busy times.
The only slight issue is the truck’s height of 11 foot – but, having said that, it has only deterred us from parking twice in 12 months.
3. OUR TRUCK IS AN ALL WEATHER VEHICLE
We have travelled and camped in this insulated vehicle in temperatures as low as -20°C or -5°F and as high as 45°C or 110°F.
We have camped in snow, heavy rain, and dramatic, coastal storms, survived a battering by Hurricane Matthew at Cape Breton, crossed dusty deserts under hot sun, and seen everything in between – and we are still willing to travel further in this truck.
In winter our living space warms up quickly using our gas heater or an electric heater or we just make toast and the heat from that soon warms the place up too!
For the summer we have windows that open out fully to generate a through-breeze. We do need a fan to cool the inside space down if it is super hot at 40° and we prefer to cook outside to avoid adding more heat. Our fly-screens mean we can open windows and the door most of the time too.
4. LIVING IN THE CAMPER IS SURPRISINGLY COMFORTABLE
We sleep even better in our truck than in houses and hotels – although we do like to stop in a house or hotel occasionally to use the wifi, do laundry, get some jobs done and have a base from which to see some local sights. We have a proper sprung mattress that is a full sized double so our bed is as comfortable as our one at home.
Sitting inside the camper is always easy and comfortable whether we are watching movies on the laptop, doing some route planning, eating a meal or reading a book.
For cooking, we can roast, bake, grill, toast, boil, fry, braise, saute – everything we could do at home.
Outside – we can put out the awning and shelter from rain or shine and we can climb up onto the roof for an even better view.
5. SO FAR OUR TRUCK HAS BEEN RELIABLE & ROBUST
Maybe it’s the low mileage but in 12 months, the only things that have been broken are a loose water container that we bought and didn’t tie down properly, an alternator belt [we had a couple of spares on board] and a loose hose clamp [that just needed tightening].
6. WE MANAGED TO GET ALL OUR STUFF IN THIS TRUCK
There’s a surprisingly large amount of storage.
Inside the camper we have 6 large drawers, a shoe box that is big enough for hiking boots too, 14 cupboards, and 2 large under-seat locker storage areas that are big enough to house our inflatable canoe and more!
We also have a large storage hatch over the top of the cab, under-floor storage, 1 outside locker, various outside boxes, jerry cans and storage for our wood blocks [for levelling on uneven ground].
It looked tight when we set off but it has housed everything we have purchased on our route as well as everything we left home with.
In essence – in this truck, we can go anywhere, see and do anything, have pretty much all we need on board and be comfortable while we do it.
In all honesty – after 12 months – what more should we expect from a truck?