Pre-coffee, but my timeline was something like this:

travel trailer

From 1988-1990 I lived in a travel trailer, a 22ft (?) Holiday Rambler of late 60s or early 70s vintage. Looked like the one in the pic on the right.

I bought it while I was in the Army so I’d have a place to live on the family land when I got out. I think I paid $5k for it. I was glad to have it because I exited the army with a ready-made family.

Hotel Ranger

collage genasun controller underbed storage

I traded a Suzuki DR650 dualsport for a Ford Ranger with 160k miles, title for title. Blue book prices were $40 apart so we swapped.

I found a Fiberine (?) fiberglass camper shell for $25 on craigslist because the guy’s wife was nagging him to get it out of the back yard. I replaced the locks (no keys came with it) and the gas struts that were dead. I did a minimal build in it:

  • sleeping platform (3/4” scrap plywood over 2x6” slats in the bed supports
  • 60w panel on the roof (~$250 at the time!) and a Genasun 5A MPPT ($100). The Genasun was early enough in their production that the serial number on it was hand-written.
  • grabber pole made of 6ft of PVC with an L-bracket hoseclamped on the end. Great for pushing/pulling stuff into place without climbing in
  • underbed storage tote, the kind that goes under your residential bed. Two fit neatly side by side and stored stuff nicely.

campervan retirement


  • 2015 - started thinking about a campervan retirement ~2028, reading forums, posting on /r/vandwellers (different username)
  • 2016 - research intensifies, RTR.

bought a van

  • 2017 - bought vehicle, started the build, RTR

I stopped buying physical objects (other than food and other consumables) to start reducing Stuff.

going full-time

  • 2018 - transferred job to an area where I could live in the van and save money, RTR

snowbirding retirement

  • late 2019 - work got shitty, realized I had enough $$ to retire early. I retired in Dec 2019.