♫Music Playing♫ Hi, I’m Martin and I’m Bethany from We were originally doing a lot of
stand-up paddle board races and we had a dog, who subsequently and unfortunately died, and we didn’t want to stay in hotels so we wanted a way to get around and be a
sort of a self-contained mobile base camp. So we had a Sprinter van built out
and we took two or three months off every summer. And we traveled the country. And from that, it turned into, “We love this lifestyle, where do we want to live?”. We
couldn’t decide on the best place to live, but we decided that there are a lot
of places that had a very best season. The idea of living on the road full-time
became much more of a reality. In order to accomplish that, we needed a
vehicle that was truly four season and could take us to all the places that we
wanted to go and play all the sports that we wanted to. So, after hundreds of
hours worth of homework, we realized that nobody makes a true four season RV and no one makes a four-wheel drive RV so we started back on the drawing board and we
had to create our own. It’s called an M-1083, which is a six by six five tonne
military truck that has multiple applications. This was a gun truck and it
probably had a surface-to-air missile battery because we’ve got 70,000 pounds.
These springs in the back. The cabin was built by Global Expedition Vehicles. The
reason why we chose a military truck is we wanted a vehicle that could go on any
road, anytime, in any weather. So we started with 48 inch military tires,
which are virtually bulletproof. We also have central tire inflation system that
we can adjust air pressure from 20 to 75 pounds on the go. When you’re looking at
the box, this is our cabin. Our cabin ends right here and all of this space back
here, which is four and a half by eight by six-seven is our sports garage. We have our spare tire, all 400 pounds of
it. Mountain bikes, touring bikes, and the entire detritus of our athletic life.
This door can actually be left in patio mode, which supports almost a ton or can be lowered to almost the ground where it becomes a loading and unloading ramp. And what was really shocking to us and it may be to a lot of people is that
how inexpensive the military sells vehicles. The military, as we all know,
pays a small fortune for a world-class truck and 15 years later sells it
literally for pennies on the dollar. So it does look like a high-end item, but
the chassis can be purchased from $3,000 and up from a government auction site.
Right now our plan is to travel the United States. We’ve crisscrossed the
country several times. Next summer we do plan to take it up to Alaska to really
break it in and then once we get all the bugs worked out, our idea is to take it
all the way down to the tip of South America. ♫Music Playing♫ Well, welcome. You can see from the entry door that this cabin is well insulated. About three inches thick and that goes
all the way around this thing. It is also gasketed so we are nice and
tight inside. When you enter, you can see that it’s a pretty simple design. For
starters, we’ve got some great windows, these are double pane glass, nitrogen
injected, and also gasketed. They’ve got two different locking positions so we
can leave them locked with a little bit of an air vent. They’ve also got a full
blackout screen. We can also magnet that up so we’ve got a really cool bug screen.
Our electrical panel is an easy view wherever you are in the cabin so this
allows us to monitor things like water as well as our solar usage. Speaking of
solar, we are actually energy neutral. So what that means is we can pretty much
live off-grid indefinitely. The only time that we need to run our three point six
kilowatt generator is if we’re running the air conditioner or if we want to run
the dryer. This thing does have a washer and dryer on board. We got our queen-size bed as you can see and underneath that is where you can see a lot of storage.
The exterior images of the truck you saw two side doors, those actually go all the
way through and underneath. This is our two water tanks which store one hundred
and forty-five gallons of water as well as three of our AGM batteries and all of
our other mechanical and electrical units. So in addition to being able to
heat the cabin using reverse heat from the air conditioning unit…one of our
bigger upgrades on this thing was hydronic heat and that’s really nice
because not only does that heat the cabin, it can also preheat the engine in
extreme cold conditions. Whenever the engine is running we are actually
getting hot water back here, which is great. When the sun is bright and we’ve
got a full battery bank, we’re actually just able to use an induction cook top,
but when those temperatures drop we can use the diesel cook top to not only heat
the cabin, but make a meal using very little fuel. When we live in this thing
full time we tend to buy things in bulk and are able to store a lot of food and the things that we need for long trips when we may not
get to a grocery store or farmers market. On the opposite side of the cabin, we’ve
got a nice little dinette. Each side has storage underneath the seats and the
table can drop down and be folded into an extra sleeping berth. As we go toward
the front of the cabin we do have a full bath, which is a surprise to some.
This is something we can’t live without, but we do have a shower in here. The sink
faucet becomes the shower nozzle. Across from the bathroom we’ve got a Vitrifigo refrigerator and freezer. It’s very well insulated compared to the dorm
style refrigerators that you see in a lot of RVs. Above that we’ve got, my
favorite, a washer/dryer right on board. We can actually run the washer just off
of our solar power. If we need to run the dryer we do have to run the generator,
but it’s wonderful to have on board. It prevents us from having to stop at
laundromats along the way. Obviously in any vehicle you’re gonna have a poo
issue and nobody wants to talk about poop, but poo happens and you got to deal with it. Most people have a black water tank. They’ve got to go to RV sites, wait
in line, get the big old poo hose to dump it out. It’s a horrible experience and
it’s a complete turnoff to traveling by vehicle. We have what we think is the
coolest system ever. It’s the European cartridge system. What it is is you open
this little door and you have the magic cartridge. The magic cartridge pulls out
and you have left your entire deposit, so to speak. You take this into a public
restroom with you, in any public gas station, undo the nozzle, flip it over,
pour it into a toilet, and you are done. And then you just reinsert it back in
here. No smell, no fuss, no poo hose. You’re
done. I think there’s different kinds of people.
Some people love a stationery life, where everything is regimented,
preplanned, and there’s routine. And there’s definitely comfort in a routine.
You wake up, you have coffee from the same coffee mug, you go to the same coffee
shop, you drive the same route to work. And there’s stability and comfort in that.
And there’s a big part about travel for us that is about the exploration.
Exploring new food, exploring different people, getting to meet new friends in
every place that we wake up. It has been an absolute dream and it’s something
that’s accessible to everybody because this lifestyle, it costs less than our home did. We don’t have a mortgage, we don’t pay for utilities.
Being on the road has let us leave behind some of the drudgery of that
day-to-day life and allow us to explore a little bit every day and choose our
life. To front-load those things that we want to encapsulate in our lives right
now so that we don’t have to have any regrets later. That’s absolutely true.
What we want to do is, we want to be able to do the things that we love to do
while we still can do them. Waiting till you’re 70 is a great idea and you may have more money and things may be easier, but your abilities to do things may be
compromised and, you never know, you might not make it that long. For somebody who
wants to start living a travel-centric kind of life I would say that they have
to start by making small decisions today that lead up to that point. We meet a lot
of people who tell us, “Oh that must be nice. It must be nice that you don’t have
a cubicle job”. Sure. There are some things in our lives that are, that we’re very
fortunate for, and some things that are completely by design. And I think that if
you start with the little choices waking up and saying, “I want to go…” fill in the
blank. As Tolstoy said, “Every great journey begins with a single step”. You
have to make that commitment as Bethany was saying. If you say to yourself, “I want to travel”. Well, that’s the goal. Once you have a goal you can
develop a map to get you to that goal and that means
giving up some of these things which have become ordinary, but are really
unnecessary. Do you really need to go out and spend five bucks at Starbucks? Do you really have to spend 150 bucks a month on cable TV? On a day-to-day basis it’s
nothing, but $120 a month is $1400 a year with interest it’s almost $20,000 in a
decade. He’s my nerd. Make some sacrifices, ride
your bike, skip the coffee, skip the lunch, put that money aside, and through
compounding and we all know that money it doubles every 10 years at 7% and
every 7 years at 10% . If you’re in your 20’s you can retire by 35 even if you’re
making 35-40 thousand dollars a year, easily. Set a plan, set a goal, don’t fall
into the golden handcuffs. I have lots of stuff now. I’ve got to maintain it. I’ve
got to repair it. Take that first step and live the life that most people
dream about and that’s really attainable for anyone on any budget. Less is more.
Less is definitely more.

About the Author: Michael Flood

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