July 6, 2020

We're back! Thank you for your patience during the move.


PLEASE READ (click)

My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW firt,

A place to discuss all activities related to the Great Outdoors & Camping

Moderators: Rileysowner, Fire Cakes

Post Reply
LAZ 1
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 3:52 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW firt,

Post by LAZ 1 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:20 pm

WELL ...
SEPT 02, I am officially, a HOMELESS PERSON.
After that, I will have 'NO FIXED ADDRESS".
And I may soon be living out of my TINY little AWD SAFARI Micro Motorhome ....
potentially FULL TIME!

Image

My hand built D.I.Y. custom SAFARI AWD Micro Motorhome / Class "C", is more spacious than a simple van conversion. It has an actual square box as living space, with a full time / full sized bed, lots of storage space inside and out, and will be mostly self contained, with removable propane stove, built in water system, and porta potti. This AWD Micro M/H is bigger than most of the many different camperised vans that I have owned and travelled in for the last few decades. But it is still compact enough, and light enough, with AWD, so I can bounce down the road less travelled, looking for remote and isolated camping spots.
Enjoying the journey as much as any specific destinations.
Just another Gypsy rambling along ....

I will try out this tiny rig first on a few shake down cruises here in the Candian Pacific North West, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and a bit of the BC Interior.

The HORIZON'S UNLIMITED RALLY at Nakusp, this weekend, Aug 26,27,28, seems like a great place to start.


I will see if the life style of a FULL TIME wandering nomad is for me.

Possible/eventual long term destinations include;
- Western and Southern US, states
- Mexico, the BAJA/Pacific coast, and the Yucatan,
- with Belize and Costa Rica as potential endings.

Or maybe not?

I DO realize that the only real difference between myself as a "homeless person" , and the ragged people with shopping carts filled with all their worldly possession, is the much higher cost of my wheels. And this perspective will keep me humble. Although my definition of "adventure" no longer includes sleeping in ditches and culverts, as I did when I was a young Hitch Hiking Hippy kid, that spirit lives on. That kid was known to say ,
"If it doesn't fit in my backpack, I DON'T REALLY NEED IT".

And all that travel and camping experience, with emphasis on IMPROVISATION and MINIMALISATION, eventually translated into my aptly named book,
The Budget Backpacker, Winchester Press, NY.

While it would be great to return to those carefree days as a Hitch Hiking Hippy,
realistically, time has marched on, and my knees just ain't up to the task of carrying my entire life on my back, no more. SO, now I will drive my own "MOBILE Man Cave" with me wherever I go. And my cave has a nice thick memory foam mattress.

AND, unlike touring with a bicycle or motorcycle, the SAFARI AWD Micro Motorhome has room for my constant companion, XENA, the Warrior Princess, a beautiful 75 lb GERMAN Shepherd female, to continue her role as MOBILE ALARM and SECURITY SYSTEM, and interceptor to stand between me and Grizzly bears and Javelinas and two legged varmints.

Look out world, here we come.
road trip, Road trip, ROAD TRIP!!!
(;-[)

User avatar
Herbie
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 640
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:45 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by Herbie » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:27 pm

Awesome.

Post lots of pictures. The difference between "Instagram Hero" and "Indigent Homeless" is basically down to posting pictures on the internet. Have fun!
"My minivan is cooler than your bro-truck"
2003 Astro AWD Astrolander/ZMB - GTRV Top Transplant, 4" OLV Lift, NP233 T-case, evolving interior
1995 Safari GTRV Organ donor - gutted and gone.
Image

LAZ 1
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 3:52 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by LAZ 1 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:34 am

I discovered that the difference between "Adventure Traveller" and " HOMELESS PERSON with shopping cart" is really not all that much. I spent a Winter a few years ago in Phoenix, in a 21' motorhome. I had the motorhome parked, and was exploring Phoenix by bicycle, ALONG SOME OF THE CANALS, when I came across an impromptu campsite full of ?Homeless people?, ?Gypsys?, ?Vagabonds? or ?whatevers?.

I had a $1500 mountain bike, an expensive super light tent and sleeping bag, and flashy Lycra bicycle clothing, and they had ...
whatever they had. A mix of shopping carts, and old bikes with trailers, and backpacks.

They welcomed me in, and we had a great conversation, sharing travel stories, and local knowledge.
Basically all members of the same tribe ....
just some have more expensive wheels than others.

I have had similar experiences at motorcycle ralleys, where we all showed up on our massively expensive BMW motorcyles [ with all matching BMW clothing that costs more than some other brands of motorcycles ], at bicycle tour camp sites, and at some remote CAMP sites only accessible after a few days of hiking in.

Those who wander are a special breed.
And usually, they welcome fellow travellers with hospitality and good manners.
Even at the homeless camp.

Looking forward to my rambling ...
Larry Z
aka
LAZ 1

User avatar
mdmead
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2155
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:45 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Selah, WA
Contact:

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by mdmead » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:31 am

Sounds like fun to me! I like the idea of it all, but with a wife and teenage daughter, it isn't going to happen for me. Hopefully I can live vicariously through you and others! :muhaha:
Matt
Selah, WA
-96 GMC Safari AWD Hi-Top Conversion -->Stalled 5.3L swap & 5" lift
-74 Ford Bronco -->Far from perfect but mine!
-99 V-10 Ford Super Duty Super Cab 4x4 -->Stock with 285 Cooper ATs
-00 Ford Focus Wagon -->The Red Turd
-95 Ford 24' Class C Motorhome -->My big block sleeper
-07 Can-Am Outlander XT -->My yellow 4x4 quad for work & play
-04 Ski Doo REV Summit -->Still several chassis behind!


No new projects until the current ones are done!

User avatar
doyoulikeithere
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 2091
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:27 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Misty Mountains of Cowichan BC.

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by doyoulikeithere » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:20 pm

Hey Larry, thats sound like a great way to live !!
Astro and Dog, mans best friends.
now alls you need is a KLR on the back of that rig to complete the set.
Happy Trails My Friend. BTW I quit workin for Blow-co, er um, Lordco ;)
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 - Blue.
2016 Yamaha XSR900 - Silver.
1990 Astro - AWD - Brown.
1987 Astro - With 5 Speed & 4wd - Silver & Blue.

astrozam
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2788
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:57 am

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by astrozam » Sun Aug 28, 2016 3:34 pm

Looks like a cool set-up, more pics would be great if you can :supz:

User avatar
srdragonusa
I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:23 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Vista CA

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by srdragonusa » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:05 am

astrozam wrote:Looks like a cool set-up, more pics would be great if you can :supz:

x2 Would love to see more of the rig. Did you build it from scratch? Do you have any pics of the build?

-P@ul
2003 Astro EXT AWD
1995 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 3" lift
1999 Kawasaki KLR 650 Um Camo?
2012 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X (Wife's ride)

User avatar
H2OJoe
I finally get the smurf thing
Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:49 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: White Salmon, WA

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by H2OJoe » Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:28 am

Good on ya! And happy travels. Very true that all who wander are not lost. :cheers:
2001 Astro LT AWD "Redneck Edition", 4" Custom Lift, 30x9.5R15LT on stock wheels, Hightop conversion, custom interior, custom roof racks, external solar shower, front recovery points

LAZ 1
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 3:52 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by LAZ 1 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:01 am

Almost ready to head South ... just got my Travel innoculations, and in a couple of days my dog gets her shots and a certificate so I can bring her into Mexico.

Finishing off a few non-essential detaiks ....
Finally got the front bumper detailed / lightened by water jet cutouts, added a grill guard, and painted it all Black.
Looks GNARLY!!

ihatemybike
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2275
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:57 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Elgin, IL

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by ihatemybike » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:47 pm

Words cannot describe how cool I think this is.

My wife and I dream of ditching the house and roaming. I'm gung-ho for a RTW trip, where she seems she'd just be happy tooling around North America.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86

LAZ 1
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 3:52 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by LAZ 1 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:36 pm

Almost ready to leave for Mexico. Just a few details to finish up ...

Fortunately
my original plans to attend the Overlanding Expo in North Carolina were delayed, so I missed out on a "hurticane experience."

Here is a pic of my new Do It Yourself /Custom designed front bumper/grill guard. 2" receivers front and back for a removable winch.

Image

PS: IF YOU DREAM OF RTW,
YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT THE HORIZON'S UNLIMITED and the OVERLANDING web sites.
Lots of regular people are just chucking their daytoday lives and going for it.
(;-{)

Astrophysics
I sleep in my van
Posts: 860
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by Astrophysics » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:54 am

Nice design on bumper and grille guard. Good work.

ihatemybike
I plan to be buried in my van
Posts: 2275
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:57 am
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 6
Location: Elgin, IL

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by ihatemybike » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:43 pm

Can't say that I'm a fan of the bumper/brush guard design, but it does look like it will get the job done.
Aaron

2005 Astro (Gandalf) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, 130k+ miles
1997 Astro (Grumpy - $250 Rally Van) - AWD, 4.3L, 3.42, LSD, 2" lift, 31" tires, 335k+ orig engine, $30 eBay fuel pump
Prev Astros:99,97,00,94,87,86

User avatar
Wiley
ASV Supporter
ASV Supporter
Posts: 327
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:02 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: Socal

Re: My personal DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... Pacific NW f

Post by Wiley » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:56 pm

2 pics since Aug, this guy doesn't want to share. [-X
2guys1truck.com: 2004 AWD Chevy Astro from California to Colombia!
want to follow along, or think our paths may cross, Facebook kjswiley

LAZ 1
I get chills without my van.
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 3:52 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Update - DECLARATION of INDEPENDENCE ... La Vida loca

Post by LAZ 1 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:36 pm

Well,
I have been in Mexico for almost a month now,
living in a rental Casita, and LOVING IT DOWN HERE!

I have stopped at Ajijic, about half a day drive due East of Puerto Vallerta. This is a great place to visit, or live long term, and it is full of GRINGOS from all around the World, who view Ajijic as PARADISE.

I intend to use this location as my base camp for exploring all of Mexico, and possibly Belize.
But for now, till the weather cools on the coasts, I will spend Christmas and possibly some of January here.
The streets here are NARROW and built of COBBLESTONE, and ROUGH would be a polite way of describing them. The van has a few new marks on the roof from rubbing up against trees and telephone poles while creeping along these streets. but so far the BILSTEIN shocks and 700 lb overload rear springs are proving their worth. But mostly I walk or ride my bicycle, and leave the van parked.

gotta luv it.
(;-[)
LAZ 1

PS: just about everywhere I go my beautiful German Shepherd Bitch Xena makes me new friends. Yesterday, while enjoying a milkshake in the town plaza, several people, Gringos and Mexicans, came up and commented on how pretty she was. And one Mexican offered to give me his purebred 2 yr old Male GSD for free.

A beautiful GSD seems to be a universal welcome sign, here and in the US and Canada.

Post Reply