Life as a tortuga is good. I’ve got everything I need, and it’s always with me. My driver is learning from me … simplicity, yet lacking nothing.
We’ve chosen simple living … but with every necessary convenience: kitchen, bathroom, shower, electricity and gas. We’re ready to go anywhere and stay anywhere. We pack way over 400 amp-hours and have two propane tanks. It’s a home! A tiny home.
We’re adaptable. If electric power is available, we just plug in. If water is around, we attach to the spigot. If sewage hookups are close, we use them. And if not, we’re fully self contained.
We just look like any clean and polished truck and camper … new-ish … nothing hanging from it … no slide-outs, no generator or other equipment. Just like locals heading out for the weekend.
Our accommodations are a spacious ninety, yes 90, square feet of living quarters (that’s around 9 square meters). Well, actually a little more, as the extended cab in our truck has storage space under the back seat.
We’re maneuverable too! We’re a long-bed truck, with a short turning radius. 4×4 of course, good for the back roads in any weather … good for the beach … and good on the highway. Any place a truck can go, we go too.
We’ve got a quiet ride too … we don’t listen to the rattling and squeaking of our home when we cruise down the road. We’re up front, in a nice quiet truck.
The “what and why” of our brand of simple living
We work and live in western North America. The stunning landscapes, varied flora and fauna … well, there’s no reason to go elsewhere.
- Propane is always available, and repairs for Chevy, Dodge or Ford trucks are handled by every mechanic.
- Water is plentiful and RV dumps abound. Internet is everywhere.
- A big battery bank provides plenty of 12V power. We use 5 batteries for the camper alone, some are charged up via the alternator, some with solar, some with shore power if we’re plugged-in. There’s no need for a generator! Here’s a look at the batteries… in 2014, and upgraded in 2018.
- What about 120VAC power? We’ve got a couple of comments:
- Shore power … a plug-in: In the deep winter, we use an electric heater (with the propane furnace as a backup). That means we appreciate shore power when available. However, the propane furnace is always there if there isn’t a plug-in.
- Power inverters … a messy and inefficient business: We’ve chosen to avoid inverters. No matter what you spend, they are hugely inefficient. And, inefficiency means power lost. So, we think 12VDC. Well, that means LED’s for all interior lighting, laptops for computing and video, the use of small battery operated desk lamps, and 12V thingies! Or, candles for that late night game of cards, or late dinners. Romantic too, yes?
- What about those sizzling summers? Here’s the options we’ve chosen:
- We find that a 12V Endless Breeze Fantastic Fan works well – just try not to park in the blazing noon sun. That’s only for mad dogs and Englishmen, right?
- If we have shore power, we use a little Vornado fan.
- It that doesn’t work, then the Culer Space Cooler is just like A/C. It runs either 12VDC or 120VAC.
Finally, think light weight, think compact, think multipurpose, think useful … maybe even in that order. Backpackers know lightweight and compact stuff: emergency catalytic heaters, dinnerware, and more. Big goose down comforters … light but so very warm!
Of course, for every rule, there’s an exception: Lodge cast-iron stuff. Individual skillets that fit on a serving board – yum, eating sizzling hot … not light, but purposeful … and nothing cooks like cast iron!
Simple can be fun!! Simple does not mean doing without.