The Truck Is In Pieces

October 1st, 2010

Front end work on our truck
Repairing our truck

Life in the back of a truck (part 4)

April 9th, 2009

This is part of an ongoing series on what it’s like to live in a truck camper fulltime. You may read other articles here:

  1. Part One – The fulltime lifestyle
  2. Part Two – Why a truck camper?
  3. Part Three – Weights & Dealing with them
  4. Part Four – Boondocking resource conservation

Gordon recently posed a question over at the Truck Camper Magazine blog that seemed like a great idea for the next part of our Life in the back of a truck series. He’s curious just how long his readers can boondock and what tricks they use to manage it. I got a bit long winded, but here’s my response.

The resources we have to work with are:

  • 46 gallons of fresh water
  • ~300 amp hours of battery in 2 Trojan T-1275 12V batteries
  • 60 pounds of propane in 2 30# tanks
  • A Honda eu2000i generator
  • ~4.5 gallons of gasoline plus whatever is in the scooter and generator (up to around 2 gallons if both are full)

Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Still, we manage to do fairly well when we find a place we want to stay for a while. It takes a little effort to conserve resources, but we manage to live quite comfortably for up to a two week stretch without running out of anything or breaking out a military desert survival handbook. Just how do we make these resources last and what sacrifices does it take, you ask? Well, read on to get a taste of the Hitek Homeless lifestyle!

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Carlsbad Caverns

March 29th, 2009

Group Shot - Parks Ranch, NM

I hate to post two stories so close together, but since our internet connection is about to go from ‘two tin cans and a string’ to ‘no one can hear you scream’, I’m going to go ahead and put up the Carlsbad post along with a link to the fancy pictures.

One of the sights we were both looking forward to since we hit the road was Carlsbad Caverns. Neither of us had been here since we were children and while I couldn’t recall anything about the cave, I remember being fascinated throughout the entire trip. Since we’ve taken up caving as a hobby, Carlsbad has taken on the aspect of your run of the mill holy shrine and a required pilgrimage.

We knew our America the Beautiful pass would get us into the Big Room for free, but one day underground wasn’t going to do it. We’re trying to stick to a budget here, so rather than paying for a guided tour of other sections of the cave or other caves in the park, I emailed a couple of people in the local grotto and asked if they had anything going on. It was short notice, but they both responded and took us on two separate trips in two days with two caves each day!

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Dear Claire,

September 5th, 2008

Thanks for posting. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. We have been very busy working and enjoying ourselves. Thankfully, we have been able to do both at the same time.

Claire @ http://escapethe9to5.blogspot.com

Hi Jen

How long do you think your trip will last?

Is it a trip or a change of lifestyle? If it is a trip how do you plan to make the transition back to the 9-5 grind if ever? Do you worry about the future? Do you worry about being homless

How do you manage for money? Do you live off savings or do you work along the way?

I am really intersted in your blog and your plans for the future. I am having another life crisis and I need to do something to change my life.

Cheers

Claire

As for how long the trip will last: forever, I hope. It is definitely a change of lifestyle. From the shedding of all of our accumulated baggage and absurd “needs” to opening up to new people and opportunities, we have changed. Even if the trip was tragically cut short, I have learned new values that I will always keep with me.

At this time, I do not foresee myself returning to the 9-5. I find it very stifling. My career, while profitable, was a drain on my physical and mental health. I cannot imagine returning to a cubicle, ever. I cannot imagine sitting in an office working at least 9hrs a day, sometimes 16, for someone else’s dream. Life is way too short to live that way.

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No, we still haven’t decided

August 8th, 2007

At this point, it’s almost a joke. I talked with my folks the other day and the first question they asked was ‘So, have you decided what you want yet?’. The answer is ‘yes, but…’

Our goals are (in no particular order):

  • The ability to go almost anywhere
  • Maintaining as much self sufficiency as possible
  • Keeping to a modest budget during both the purchasing and living phases
  • Being able to bring along a few toys to help occupy the time
  • Having enough living space to not kill each other

The perfect vehicle would be roughly:

  • 4×4
  • diesel
  • no more than 25′ long
  • larger on the inside than the outside
  • very popular in order to be available used and at more affordable prices

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