Early on in our time together we decided that quitting our jobs and sailing off was an awesome idea. It came from Heather’s sister Ann who was setting off to do just the same thing when we met. Only problem was we were in college, broke and didn’t yet have the kind of jobs that could let us afford to own a boat and travel. So we buckled down, finished college, found those jobs, got married, bought a boat and learned how to sail it. Then at 28, we quit said jobs, moved our apartment stuff into a storage unit and headed to the Bahamas. Well this was the start of 22 years of living, working, saving and cruising aboard, culminating with a 6.5 year sailing trip around the world (we did ship the boat up the Red Sea to avoid piracy so that we could cruise Europe). It’s been an incredible life changing adventure and after close to half our lives on a boat, we are ready to try something else.
The spark of the idea came when during those years living aboard, we took up back country camping. We loved it and decided before heading out to sail the world, we wanted to do a bit more backpacking in the US National Parks. But first we needed a home for that and all we had was a 4 cylinder S-10 truck. So the search started for an affordable 13′ fiberglass camper. Fortunately, we found one for sale (these are tough to find), but it was a bit of a wreck. Ok, maybe not a bit, it was a wreck! We dragged it back to the pier in Boston (remember, we live on a sailboat) and rebuilt it from the ground up over the snowiest winter in recent history. It became our new home for the 3 month trip around the USA. During this trip, while camped at a National Park, an Earth Roamer came in. This chance encounter opened our minds to a different kind of RV and planted the seed.
So nearing the completion of our sailing trip we started to think about what is next? The research started and we quickly came to see that the Europeans (mainly the Germans, but others as well) and Australians love this type of Overland/Expedition RV. Plus, we hoped to take this new tiny home back around the world. So the search started for what we thought would be the ideal chassis. After more time spent on online searches and research than you would think possible, we settled on a 1988 Mercedes Benz 1120 AF retired fire truck from Sweden. To make things a bit more challenging, we bought it sight unseen and handled the details while sailing across the Atlantic (hey at 6MPH it takes 2 weeks to sail across from Cape Verde).
Now the story starts on how we have transformed this 30 year old fire truck into an Expedition RV that we hope will safely and comfortably take us back around the world!