February 22, 2010

The ECamper

One of the biggest questions we had while planning our year sabbatical, was how we were going to get around. After many hours of planning we were able to put together a list of ideas that would serve to give us a general idea of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, but still give us plenty of room for flexibility and spontaneity. However, we still needed to figure out how we would get to all the places and things we wanted to visit and do. A sense of nostalgia had us looking at VW buses initially, but with two small kids, something more reliable seemed more appropriate. After a few searches on the internet, we came across something exciting, yet very different, the ECamper.

The ECamper is a Honda Element modified with a pop-top camper that sleeps two, and by folding the two back seats up, as in a standard Element, two more can sleep on the floor. For us, the choice ended up being fairly easy, the hard part however, was how we were going to get our ECamper. Since the modification is only done by a little tiny company way down in San Diego, not only did we have to find an Element, we had to then get it down to San Diego for a week to have the ECamper installed.

Having owned two Hondas previously, we figured we'd be better off sticking to something that would get us through the year without having to worry about any unexpected issues.

Finding an Element turned out to be easier than we feared, and we ended up making a road trip out of the trip to San Diego. We were able to get out and see Joshua Tree National Park as well as much of the southern coast of California. On our way north again we did get a chance to try out our new "home", in the rain nonetheless, and were pleasantly surprised at how spacious and comfortable the whole set up is. Waking up in the rain, I was as to whether or not I could pack up everything, including the pop-top, without getting out of the car. With a bit of creativity we were actually able to repack, get car seats back into place and close the camper without getting wet. That was after we put together a makeshift table and ate breakfast inside as well.

Needless to say, we are anxious to get back on the road and do some more ECamping... We have some big plans for the coming months with plenty of nights on the road so we are excited. For now though it's back to skiing in the mountains around Tahoe for a couple more months.