Nomadic Living on 80 Square Feet
Lucille’s first extended trip
We have resided in five States and had homes in each, and the most miniature house was nine hundred square feet. We traveled around the globe but little in our homeland, America. Sure, we have used vacations to see friends and family taking freeways to get from point A to B, calling it a vacation, but never taking the time to go off the freeway to see America.
We are entering foreign territory, the nomadic territory, in our twenty-foot tiny house on wheels, Pleasureway camper-van. The total living space in Lucille is seven by 12 feet or 84 square feet. Lucille has all one should need: A kitchen, a Bath, and Beds that are best suited for lilliputians. Lucille even has a hot shower; we must sit on the toilet. We have it made compared to Francis McDermott in her Nomadland role; she had to do her business in a 5-gallon bucket as many of today’s nomads do. We have no interest in becoming full-time nomads traveling from part-time to part-time jobs, from the sugar beet fields of North Dakota to Amazon Centers in Texas. We want to spend some time on off-the-beaten-path roads in small-town America, hearing and recording people’s stories. We would also like to see the natural wonders of America, the national parks, state parks, national monuments, national recreation, and wildlife reserves. Even in our home state of North Dakota, we have been affixed to the main highways and byways, and it is time to see North Dakota.
We have finally finished the house to a point where we can venture out on our first extended road trip of eighteen National Parks. It is a grand two-month adventure—an adventure we have yet to determine if we can survive in eighty square feet. Our most extended expedition is seven days.
Let me introduce you to Lucille. Lucille is a 2007 Pleasureway RV with low miles and well cared for. If you have checked on class B or B+ camper vans, most are between “completely out of reach” and ridiculously expensive. You can buy a lovely house in North Dakota for less. It is why the Nomadland homes are self-built “Schoolies,” a bed in the back of an Econoline Van, or a rebuilt ambulance. It’s also the reason we searched long and hard for Lucille. The crazy part is people can buy a much more significant RV that can be purchased new for a fraction of a class B van.
Lucille has aged well, and we have made a few improvements: a new “Apple Car Play” ready with a backup camera stereo system, mattress, fresh potable water fill hose, and new tune. For the cost of a new comparable-sized Pleasureway B RV, the 19’6″ Ascent, at $188,000.00, we can make $140,000.00 of improvements to Lucille and still not be at $188K. The RV industry has gone mad with costs.
Can we live for two months in eighty square feet? We are about to find out. Our rules of the road for Lucille are:
- Off the Beaten Path as much as possible, freeways were the only choice.
- No reservations that fix a rigid schedule likely means campgrounds out of the parks, small town city RV parks, Costco, Walmarts, and Bureau of Land Management boondocking. But you could luck out on first come, first serve Park Campgrounds. A treat hotel stays evey ten days possible.
- Speeds not to exceed 60 mph.
- Miles traveled in a day not to exceed 300
- The minimum stay at any National Park/Monument/Recreation is three days and two nights.
- Collect and document the journey and the stories of people we meet with photography, video, and the occasional essay.
- Enjoy and be thankful for God’s creation, the people, and places.
List of Nation Parks to be visited:
- Badlands NP SD
- Wind Cave NP SD
- Rocky Mountain NP CO
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP CO
- Great Sand Dunes NP CO
- Arches NP UT
- Canyonlands NP Ut
- Capitol Reef NP UT
- Bryce Canyon NP UT
- Zion NP UT
- Death Valley (if open)
- Yosemite NP CA
- Sequoia NP CA
- Joshua Tree NP CA White Sands NP NM
- Carlsbad NP NM
- And three more on the return
Join us on our adventures on:
YouTube at— https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcLfWR39SOo5TrblfjFg0gg
Facebook at— F-Stop Drifters Travel Adventures
My Website— https://jamesbondly.com