Monday, December 17, 2012

Cold is relative!

You would not BELIEVE the ridiculous amount (and caliber) of people that stalk me in my little Toyota motor home.  I’ve had people approach me in coffee shops, grocery stores, bathrooms (you heard it right, bathrooms), restaurants, bars, and even park outside my rig at 1:30a.m. waiting for my return.   Most of them ask “Do you have a wood stove in there???”  And I say… “Oh shit! My house is on FIRE???? HELP!!!!.......................... just kidding!!!”  All jokes aside, yes, I do “have a wood stove in there” and that tiny wood stove is the primary reason I’m surviving my first Alaskan winter in an RV.  Oh, I didn't have a chance to take any good winter pictures yet, I'll get on that!

Quantifying the efficiency of my Kimberly wood stove by weighing & measuring firewood.
 I’ve had a lot of requests for an update on this blog… wish granted.  Many folks have emailed and asked if I have abandoned the motor home and fled to the warmth and creature comforts an apartment or house… and I say to them… “Nay, here I hold my mobile ground!”  The recent temperatures in Alaska have been unseasonably cold, hovering between -10 and 0 degrees F in the Anchorage area over the past few months. Not only have I made it this far into the winter and been put to the test by the extremely cold temperatures, I have actually enjoyed myself, and have become addicted to the un-conventionalism that has become a way life!  To tell the truth, I can’t see myself renting or purchasing a house anytime soon.  The way of life on the road is just too much fun and has led me to unique opportunities, people, and experiences, that I otherwise never would have known if I lived in conventional housing.

 So… how can I sum up my experience of living full-time, completely off-grid in an RV the past 9 months, through the 1st half of the Alaskan winter??? MOST EXCELLENT!  Sure, it’s cold as hell when I wake up in the morning (if I don’t keep my tiny wood stove stoked with firewood all night).  Yes, I have to thaw out the ice on the INSIDE of the windows every morning.  No, I no longer have running water because I have no reasonable means of keeping my pipes thawed out.  And sometimes I get scared in bed and hit my head on the roof at 3:30a.m. when a shotgun randomly goes off inside my camper… except it’s not a shotgun, it’s an exploding can of soda because it’s SO cold that pressurized cans explode.

Tobias the wolf dog joining his human counterparts on a backcountry ski session in Turnagain Pass, AK.
Here’s a quick list of my recent (significant) challenges:

1)    No running water?
“How does he wash himself and not smell like a dead skunk?”
Solution: Purchase a membership to a local gym.  I simply take showers at the gym every day and fill my 4 gallon drinking/cooking/dish water jug there once a week.  Yes, I only use 4 gallons of water a week.  Embarrassing? No way… I feel good about it.  People don’t realize the resources they waste when they take those resources for granted every day.

2)    What about a bathroom?
Solution: After my RV’s blackwater tank (toilet wastewater holding tank) froze solid with a 15 gallon poop-sickle (despite heat tape & a heat pad, -50F antifreeze, and rock salt in the tank), I removed the RV toilet and purchased and installed a miniature flushing porta-potty (Camco 5.3 gallon from Sportsmans Warehouse) in the RV toilets place.  It holds 5 gallons of waste, the tank won’t freeze because it’s completely inside the RV and I flush with RV antifreeze, and the porta-potty can be dumped very easily.

My new & improved winter throne.

3)    How do you stay warm?
Solution: My Kimberly wood stove! With these cold temperatures, I would quite literally be dead (or preserved if you believe in cryogenic freezing), however this little wood stove provides all of my life-giving heat.  Sure, I have to keep the tiny firebox stoked with miniature pieces of firewood every 3 hours, but it burns a relatively miniscule amount of wood, it eliminates the condensation from cooking and breathing, and it provides a cozy 80 degree temperature difference (it was -10 F outside and 70 F inside one night).  I do have a propane furnace, but propane produces too much condensation inside the camper and it is expensive, whereas I split and collected my firewood for free.  Not to mention, since I am completely off-grid with no electrical plug-in, the propane furnace would drain my 12 volt battery within 8 hours of use.  My Kimberly wood stove will run non-stop, 24-7, as long as I clean out the ash from the firewood every 14 hours.

4)  How do you keep your batteries charged?
Solution: I simply use my RV as my daily driver… driving to and from school, work, running errands, weekend adventures with friends, and looking for a “parking spot” for the night.  This daily driving habit charges my battery by utilizing the Toyota engine's alternator (it typically takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour of driving to fully charge my battery).  I also have two 30-watt solar panels (for a total of 60 watts) that provide a good bit of charge to my batteries on days that I don’t drive.  For instance, my 19” flat screen TV consumes 35 watts and my LED light bulbs consume 4 watts, so I can basically watch a movie and run all of my lights strictly from the power provided from the sun.  Pretty cool.  I will soon have a thermo-electric generator that uses the heat from the wood stove to create an additional 50 watts of electricity.

How hot does the Kimberly stove get on "full throttle?" How about this hot...
Advice for the curious or those wanting to live off-grid in an RV throughout a cold winter…

1)    Get a Kimberly wood stove! Check out the link at the top of my webpage for more information!
2)    Buy imitation (or real if you can afford it) sheepskin blankets to use instead of sheets.  These fur blankets do not get cold like cotton sheets and make your bed much more inviting;^)
3)    Get a small 12 volt fan to recirculate the warm air from the ceiling down to the floor of your RV… if not, your floor area will cooler by 20 degrees F or more than your ceiling area.  I placed my 12 volt fan directly above my wood stove and blow the hot air directly back towards the floor to circulate heat.
4)    Drain your water and live in a “dry home” to avoid major tank freezing, pipe-bursting problems…  Get a gym membership to take showers and fill your drinking water jugs there.  Get a flushable porta-potty to use as a bathroom (because you DON’T want to go outside or try to find a bathroom at 3:00a.m. when it’s -10 F outside), and you sure as hell don’t want a 15 gallon frozen block of piss & poo stuck inside your blackwater tank.
5)    Purchase solar panels to help recharge your batteries! Despite the lack of daylight hours in the winter, my solar panels significantly contribute to keeping my batteries charged every day.
6)    Replace all of your lights and appliances with extremely efficient, low-draw products! Replace your incandescent light bulbs with 4 watt LED light bulbs and use a fan to recirculate air that has a low amp draw (hopefully 4.0 amps per hour or less).  For instance, most deep cycle RV batteries have about 80 amp hours, so if you have a fan that draws 4.0 amps per hour, you have about 12 hours of battery time before you’ll need to recharge (because you don’t want your battery to get much below 50% depleted to lengthen battery life).

Besides the RV life, what have I been up to?  Maybe you don’t care, but I’ll speak a bit for those who do care or might be bored at this moment… I've been talking with an executive film producer from National Geographic and I’ll be applying to be on a new and upcoming reality TV show where 10 contestants are placed in the Alaska bush and have to survive with absolutely nothing for several weeks… it’s due to be filmed this coming spring… keeping my fingers crossed!  I’ll be heading to New Zealand to go whitewater kayaking in a few months with three good Alaskan kayaking buddies, so that will be a horribly good time.

 In attempt to serenade people with my tone-deaf voice, a motion has been made to start up a band (of an un-defined genre of music) with a mutual banjo-playin’ & singin' companion, this should be SO good!  My master’s thesis work (where I’m creating a river and lake water isoscape for Southcentral Alaska) is rolling along fairly well, and I expect to graduate this coming April.  Lots of skiing and speed flying (with new videos) are soon to come… and maybe, just maybe, some sleep would be nice!  Someone once said “There’s no one but yourself to blame,” and this quote holds true for how busy I feel right now, but busy ain’t bad when you're enjoyin' yo self!!!  Rock on and happy holidays to all you folks…


Monday, November 12, 2012

End of the paddling season...

The end of the paddling season was officially begun this weekend with the beginning of ski season.  It was a good one!  Here is one of my latest videos of a pack raft trip with Roman Dial, Luc Mehl, & myself attempting to paddle some of the more difficult rivers in the Southeastern United States.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Alaskan winter is here, off-grid survival begins!

Boiling water for coffee... only took 9 minutes to reach a rolling boil!

It's finally COLD & winter is officially here!  In Anchorage, Alaska, the temperatures are dropping into the single digits at night and the snow is beginning to fall.  In the past, I never paid too much attention to this fall-to-winter transition... but now I am!  Why? Because when you live in a traveling motorhome with no where to "plug-in", you are forced to find off-grid solutions to keep yourself alive in the cold.

34 F outside, but 81 F inside!

   I was forced to think "outside-of-the-box" to keep myself alive this winter, and my solutions are working really well right now!  There is one reason I am going to survive this winter in my little motorhome... the life-blood of my off-grid lifestyle, otherwise known as the "Kimberly wood stove."  This little gem provides all of my heat and does an incredible job at keeping my little home toasty warm.  I have also been doing the majority of my cooking on this Kimberly to avoid using my counter top propane stove (which causes excessive condensation in cold climates).

   Pretty soon I will have an add-on oven that will sit on top of the Kimberly, which will allow me to bake pizza, casseroles, pies, and all kinds of goodness.  I also will have a thermo-electric generator soon, which will sit on top of the oven and produce electricty from the fire's heat, this way I'll be able to charge my laptop/cell phone, power my lights, a fan, a vacuum, or charge the RV battery.  The owner is also creating a hot water coil system, where I can hook my sink & shower's plumbing directly to the little wood stove, start a fire, and take hot showers... pretty cool!

Wiring my solar panels (I actually electrocuted myself because the solar panels were in the sun!)
   The Kimberly stove is obviously my centerpiece, and I can't rave enough about it!  To help charge the batteries, I have two 30 watt solar panels (60 watts combined) that work very well, even with the minimal sunlight we receive up here in Alaska.  I basically try to park facing the sun every day (they are up on my roof and tilted towards the front of the Toyota.  Since the motorhome is my daily driver, the alternator on the engine actually charges my batteries after a few errands around town.

My home for the night, overlooking Cook Inlet with the Alaska Range in the far horizon.
   The one downside to living off-grid in a motorhome in a cold, winter climate... frozen pipes.  It just isn't feasible to keep my water "running" through the winter, as it will cause the water pump, pipes, and tanks to expand and crack open.  To avoid that carnage, I drained my drinking water and grey water (sink/shower) tanks completely.  I flushed the pipes with RV antifreeze (they say it's safe to drink, but I don't want to test that hypothesis) and shut the shower & sink down for the winter.  I just take showers wherever opportunities arise.

Practical functionality ain't got nothin' on attitude.
   For drinking/cooking water, I simply carry a 4 gallon jug and refill it about once a week (the water won't freeze this way).  I rigged my sink plumbing where my dish water in the sink falls directly into a 5 gallon bucket beneath the sink, & I can easily dump out the 5 gallon bucket as it gets full.  It's shocking how much fresh water people waste every day, and how little water you truly need to survive.  I connected my toilet plumbing to my waterpump, which flushes RV antifreeze down the toilet every time you flush (instead of water).  This allows me to still have a bathroom for the winter.  I also took toilet freeze-proofing precautions by applying a 12 volt heat pad and heat tape on my blackwater tank and piping, which I can thaw out if the RV antifreeze doesn't live up to its -50 F expectations.
Releasing thesis work stress via banjo.
Thesis work: Collecting data & modeling Alaskan Rivers. Gulp...
     It seems like there is no time to get "bored" these days.  I search for interesting new places to park my home every night (usually with an awesome view), and I have yet to experience getting kicked out of my parking spot for the night.  Alaska truly is a laissez-faire state.  Moving around is pretty fun, I almost feel like a modern-day nomad.  Whitewater kayaking season is wrapping up, so it's about time to stash the kayaks for the season.  Finishing off my master's thesis (creating a hydraulic isoscape for Southcentral Alaska) and playing the banjo currently fill my time up in the RV, at least until ski/speed-fly/snowmachine season come knocking at my front door.  That's the update, more soon enough...


Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to Build Over-cab Bed Supports

It's inevitable. If you own a Toyota motorhome, the over-cab bed area will begin sagging over time on the edges.  Eventually, the bed's plywood will sag to a point where you will not be able to open your doors (ie: your doors will make contact with the plywood bed).  This problem is prevalent in Toyota motorhomes because the truck body is narrow and the camper is much wider, making for a much wider over-cab bed overhang than other motorhomes.

There are 2 ways to fix this issue:

1) Replace the plywood in the bed area, which is extremely time consuming and very difficult to do without tearing something apart.
2) Built custom over-cab bed support rods!!!!!! YES!

Here's how to perform the latter option.

Step 1:  Buy some 1 inch DOM aluminum tubing, 1/4 inch aluminum plating, and 1/4 inch aluminum angle.

Step 2: Support your over-cab bed area to the desired height (make sure your doors can open... generally you want about 1/2 an inch of clearance from the door to the over-cab bed area)

Step 3: Cut a 2" x 1.5" piece the aluminum angle.  Open your door and set the piece of angle over the top FENDER bolt.  Mark where to drill the hole in the aluminum angle, then drill the hole!  Install the aluminum angle with the stock fender bolt.

Step 4: Cut your aluminum plating into a size that you feel is sufficient to support your over-cab bed area (I cut my pieces into 4"x8" rectangles).  Drill 6 holes (evenly spaced throughout the aluminum plating) in the aluminum plating.

Step 5: Hold your aluminum plating up to your over-cab bed area in the position you want the aluminum plating mounted.  Measure the distance from the aluminum angle to the aluminum plating, and cut the aluminum DOM tubing to this measurement.  Smash the angle iron side of the DOM tubing flat, so the DOM tubing can be welded to the aluminum angle.

Step 6: Hold the DOM tubing into place, and scribe the DOM tubing with a marker, measuring how much of the DOM tubing must be cut until you get it to sit flush onto the aluminum plating.  Cut the DOM tubing appropriately on the scribes until the DOM tubing sits flush on the aluminum plating.

Step 7: Once the DOM tubing sits flush, hold the tubing in place and "spot" weld the DOM tubing into place on the aluminum plating and aluminum angle.

Step 8: Remove the aluminum angle and plating, weld the DOM tubing strongly to each, and reinstall the one piece back into place.  Use 1.5" wood screws to secure the aluminum plating to the over-cab bed area.  YOU'RE DONE!  Now you can open your doors again!  This will also add a TON of support to your Toy home and keep the over-cab bed area from bouncing.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Kimberly wood stove: Features & Burn Display

I have been getting a lot of recent email regarding the small Kimberly wood stove.  It inspired me to produce a video on the stove features and capture an example of how the stove's secondary combustion burn actually works.  This is the only stove in the world that can do what it does (burn 8 hours on a sawdust log OR 6 hours on 5lbs of quality, dry hardwood, provide a 1,100 degree cooking surface & oven, produce electricity, and produce hot water... all completely off-grid!  If you are interested in purchasing this stove, or for more information, click "Information on Purchasing a Kimberly wood stove."



Monday, July 16, 2012

Rock & Roll, literally... How much weight can a small RV hold?

This weekend the little Toyota motor home was REALLY put to the test... The mission:

Load 6 grown men, 6 kayaks, & a ton of gear into a 19 ft. motor home, then make a 500 mile drive to a whitewater kayaking festival in Denali National Park.

   Did we make it? Yes, but almost didn't when I found a roofing nail in my near-flat rear passenger tire)!  Once we loaded all the people and gear into the RV, I did a test swerve on a back road going about 45 mph.  Whoa.  If any animals run out in front of us, I wish them luck, cause I DEFINITELY am not going to swerve around anything.  We managed to putter along at 45-55 mph all the way to & from Denali Park!

   I would estimate that we had about 1,500 lbs of gear, boats, and people added, with about 500 lbs of that on the roof made of 1 inch stick framing.  Yipes... BUT, the Toyota motor home proved to be a champ and carry the weight just fine.  We stopped often & used our hands to feel the tires for excessive heat, as well as the axle bearings.
   The kayak race on the Nenana River (the 37th annual Nenana River Race) was a great time! I still have sore muscles where I did not know muscles existed.

   Recent updates to my "home" include a hickory hardwood floor (the floor wasn't too difficult to install, just a little time consuming) and a new garden, free of lettuce-eating aphids.  It should be about time for my first motorhome-grown salad within the next week:^)

Until the next adventure...
      - Timmy

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Restore your Toyota motor home...

Hi everyone.  I recently put together a "How-to" guide on restoring water damage in your Toyota motorhome.  It would probably be helpful for any motor home water damage fix.  Here's the link (the link is also on my home page at the top "link" section)...

Also, here's a video:

1st Descent of Grant Creek

So, Matt Peters and I went in to attempt a first descent of Grant Creek, just outside of Moose Pass, Alaska.  It turned out to be an EPIC! We expected to hike in 1 mile, run 2 rapids, and float out a mellow little creek.  Instead, we got lost in the woods, Matt lost his helmet (and ran the creek without a helmet), there were WAY more than 2 rapids and they weren't mellow at all, amongst other shenanigans.  Here's the video (it was a quick edit job, so don't expect anything too motion picture like!)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Adrenaline, a Fatality, and a Mud Hole

     You hope to never see it, nor want to be a part of it, whether it be a complete stranger or a close friend.  A gold miner drowned (less than 15 minutes after we floated by him and waved to him) on Willow Creek this past Saturday.


      What may seem a simple, obvious no-no to most folks turned out to be an over-looked fatal mistake for Josh Pool of Wasilla, Alaska, an experienced commercial diver.  As we floated by in our kayaks, we noticed they had a floating cataraft with a dredge out in the most turbulent part of the rapid on Willow Creek (a rapid called Five Fingers).  Unfortunately, Josh was apparently wearing a 50 lb. weight belt to hold him under water while looking for gold.  He was wearing a black drysuit (hard to see underwater) and no life jacket, so once he slipped and fell into the river, there was no option of keeping his head above the water.  James Castro, Scott Smeltz, and I teamed up with the Alaska State Troopers and rescue team to find Josh around the area where his friend watched him fall into the river... we found nothing and had to give up after 2 hours of careful searching.

Here I am a little bit nervous, making sure I hit the "line" at Triple Drop rapid, Upper Willow Creek, Alaska

      It was a sad moment, and his friend was obviously really upset.  This river (and rapid) is a fairly easy intermediate kayaking run, and is usually plenty safe to swim (in the event of a capsize)... IF you are wearing the proper safety gear (life jacket, helmet, and drysuit).  In Josh's case, the 50 lb. weight belt was a very bad decision in turbulent whitewater.  I hope that gold dredge miners will hear about this case across the state, and wear the proper safety equipment on the river.  It was unfortunate that Josh had to learn the lesson the hard way, and once again, the river proves that its power is not to be experienced without prior safety precautions.
     On a lighter note, Paul Schauer, Matt Peters, and I got to do an incredible kayaking run (leading up to this tragic event) on Upper Willow Creek, the best class V-V+ whitewater run Alaska has to offer.  I'll have some pictures up soon!

     After the search and rescue mission for Josh ended Saturday evening, I managed to get the Toyota motorhome stuck in a mud hole pretty bad while trying to find a camping spot in Hatchers Pass.

         Scott and I used the come-along winch to pull the RV free of the mud, a few inches at a time.  Scott proceeded to bury his Dodge Caravan in the same hole, and once again, the come-along winch saved the day.   What a weekend, adrenaline on Upper Willow Creek, an unfortunate fatality on the Guard-Rail section of Willow Creek, and a bi-epic in a mud hole!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On road, off grid

I woke up to a friendly gesture on the hood of my rig.

       Well, I've now named the motorhome "Pittsburgh Nelly."  Never mind where I picked that one up, just thought it sounded right.  At this point, I've moved almost everything I own into this 19.5 ft. long area (thanks to craigslist for lightening my load).

     My most recent project was planting a small garden just above the couch.  This should serve as a means of veggies and herbs to counter my meat-eatin' habits, which will (after this summer) primarily come from salmon, caribou, moose, and ptarmigan (considering I have successful catches & hunts this summer & fall).  I suppose that's about as off grid as it gets for food options on the road.  I'm pretty psyched to have romaine & green leaf lettuce, onion chives, rosemary, basil, and dill within a few weeks.  No, I'm not going to eat the flowers, just thought the rig needed a bit more lively color.

What you see when you open the door

      With 19.5 ft of length to work with, I don't have a lot of roof space to stash everything I own... BUT I've somehow managed to squeeze it up there.  2 cargo boxes, 3 kayaks, 1 bike, 4 racks, 2 solar panels, a chimney for the wood stove, and an air conditioner that came with.  I'm half-way expecting all of this gear to fall on me when I'm kicking back on the couch one night.  Gulp.  You would think it would be overly top-heavy, but shockingly enough it's actually not too tippy (I have to tell myself that to justify keeping all my crap up there).

     I just accepted a job with the USGS (United States Geological Survey) as a hydrologist for the spring/summer/fall, so I'm pretty excited to be working outside on the rivers again!  Pretty cool have 2 kayaking buddies as a co-worker & boss too!  More soon enough...


Monday, May 14, 2012

Going crazy on a 4,000 mile drive by myself

I recently drove 4,000+ miles solo from Los Angeles to Alaska.  Since I was by myself,  I began talking to myself.  Here we go...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Doing things the right way... the FIRST time!

      So, I had this zany thought... when you build something, why not build it the CORRECT way, the FIRST time around... so I did!  I want my new home to be as "off-grid" or "self-sufficient" as possible, where I can create my own heat, electricity, hot water, and cook without power from "the man."  Here is my new & improved home:

and another one:

and my prized interior possession:

      I'm on my way back towards Alaska at the moment, currently in Vancouver, BC.  The last 2 weeks have been consumed with pouring all of my energy into my new home, and I think it is turning out to be pretty rad!  Once I have a little more time, I'm going to be posting a "How-To" guide for all of the modifications I have made to this little Toyota motorhome.  Here's a list of modifications I've performed:

* Install a Kimberly wood burning stove!  A MOST EXCELLENT decision! If you are interested in this highly efficient and beautiful wood stove, I am a dealer... contact me directly or go to the Kimberly stove website and tell them that TIMMY SENT YOU!!!

* Install solar panels and a power inverter... my electricity comes from the sun!

* Install a custom made roof rack to carry whitewater kayaks and all of my gear for living "small, but big."

* Install a Badlands Basher front bumper and a good set of lights (in a potential, unfortunate scenario where my home might hit a moose, this will be a very good thing)

* Install a roof ladder, so I can actually access everything 10 ft. over my head.

     There you have it, that's all the eye-candy for now.  I'm currently in Whistler, British Columbia, where I plan on paddling a few steep creeks with the pack raft (or kayaking if I can find a hard-shell kayak).  Stay tuned for more adventure and a "How-To" section...

Timmy J.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Big bumps for big smiles

     "This thing puts OUT!" I just finished installing a nice sound system into the RV. After all, what's life without music? Turn it up, and it feels like someone is repeatedly punching you in the back of the head. Cool.

     I'm in Redding, California at the moment (having the steering aligned because she is pulling left too much), then I'll be on my way to Portland, Oregon tonight. A bit of kayaking and visiting friends, then off to Vashon Island where I will be installing a Kimberly wood stove... wait till you see this wood stove, probably the most functional (and coolest) addition you could possibly make to an RV.

Well, back on the road for now...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Leaving the Alaskan snow behind for "sunny" California

Well, I'm still alive, although I thought the food poisoning on the plane flight from Anchorage to Los Angeles was going to KILL me.  At about 2:00a.m. there was a medical emergency (some guy passed out) just 3 seats away from me, and EXACTLY 5 seconds after the medical emergency was announced and attracted everyone's attention, I proceeded to puke my guts out into a Safeway shopping bag I had prepared anticipating my ill-fated moment.  Yuck, but man did I feel better after that hurl.  I was going to post a picture of the incident, but I thought that's a picture none of you people want to see.

So here I am in a motel in Los Angeles, waiting for my new home's final improvements before I hit the road towards Alaska.  I've been watching a few short videos I made during the winter, and decided this was my favorite one...

Well, enough of these "old" adventures.  I pick my RV up early tomorrow afternoon, so let the "unknown" begin, or continue...

Monday, April 23, 2012

The 1st step to living small, but BIG: move into something smaller!

There is a point in life that many people reach, a phase of change involving the desire to create your OWN space, your OWN sanctuary, your OWN... home.

I've hit this phase and acted on my needs. My new home awaits me, over 4,000 miles away in Los Angeles, California. In a few days, I will be flying to Los Angeles, and DRIVING this new home back to Alaska, where it will become my FULL-TIME living quarters. Wow, I never thought I would purchase an RV, let alone become a full-time RV'er, but here I am... and everywhere I will be.

My new home is actually EXTREMELY rare among RVs.  It is a 1989 Toyota Odyssey 4x4.  Essentially, it is a 4-wheel drive Toyota pickup truck with a STELLAR house attached to its chassis.  In fact, only 6 of these motorhomes were ever built! I feel lucky to have come across this beast, and it only seems fit to celebrate this vehicle's unique existence with a blog!

Theoretically, my story is not unique. Hundreds of THOUSANDS of people have lived out this full-time RVing endeavor well before my time. However, I have one element that justifies this blog... I'm going to be living in an RV full-time, year-round in Alaska. That's right, when all of the other RV's are heading south to chase temperatures above 32 degrees F, I will be documenting my adventures and hardships throughout the Alaskan winter.

At the very least, this blog will act as a source of entertainment, information, tips, and humor for living the "hard life" on the road:^) Ha! How hard could it be...gulp...