It might have been inevitable. Even as we purchased our Palomino Pop-Top Camper two years ago, the question was there; “Is this really the right camper for our long road trip south?” Logan & Brianna of PanAm Notes were completely supportive, being in mid-trip themselves with the exact same camper. Others now on the road, such as Ken & Anaka of 30forThirty, are happily driving pop-tops. We knew it could work for us, it was more a questions of did we want it to?
The benefits of a pop-top are many; lightweight and having a lower clearance combined with the airy feeling is great and we have LOVED our times in Tequila. In the last two years we’ve logged over ninety nights in our beloved camper, enjoying every trip. And yet, two thought nagged in the back of our mind…. as we felt chilled on a wet winter January trip here in Oregon we wondered, would we be absolutely frozen at altitude while crossing the Andes? Jim, especially, feels the chill and the uninsulated canvas walls did little to keep out the frozen air. Second, after two years we already found the literal process of raising and lowering the top as we set up and broke down camp tedious. When living in the camper once we’re on the road would we so come to dread this process?
Now you might ask yourselves, and rightly so, how difficult is it really to set up and, seriously, can’t you just put on another sweater when it’s cold? And the answer, of course, is yes and yes. However, we are old enough to know what will end up being tedious to us over time. While on the road long-term on our RTW backpacking trip we quickly learned what we were willing to deal with and what we didn’t find quite so acceptable. The folks at Travelfish, that fantastic source for all things SE Asian, even have a term for people like us; flashpackers. The Travelfish definition is as such:
A flashpacker shares some of the characteristics of a backpacker: a sense of independence, no fixed itinerary and relatively long periods of travel to more exotic and far-flung destinations. Whereas backpacking is traditionally associated with budget travel and destinations that are relatively cheap, flashpacking has an association of more disposable income while traveling and has been defined simply as backpacking with a bigger budget
What we’ve learned is that travel , long-term travel, can be hard. It is wonderful, amazing, enlightening. It is also boring and tedious and difficult and uncomfortable and can push your boundaries in ways you have never imagined.
“Traveling is hard. Anyone who says difference isn’t a traveler; they’re a tourist. A travelers’ ife and their trip are on in the same, living life while traveling rather than taking a vacation from life. – quoted from Black Sheep.
We’ve also learned that something that might not be an issue at all for an occasional weekend away can start to feel like an enormous burden when confronted with it over and over on a daily basis. With this in mind, as we continued to enjoy frequent outings in Tequila, Jim exhaustively searched for other alternatives and finally, in a bit of a fluke, found a 2012 Adventurer camper, greatly discounted, because the dealer wanted to make room for 2013 product.
And so….. we introduce our new home. Tequila II. With more storage, more head room above the bed, a bigger dining table, and upgraded woodwork and countertops, with the purchase of Tequila II we finally feel confident in having come as close as possible to our perfect home for driving the Pan Am.
Tequila is now for sale (let us know if you know of anyone!) and we’ll find her a new home with the perfect family. A fantastic option for the typical camper, we have nothing but good thoughts about our cozy little road house of the last two years and knowing she’ll soon be gone is bittersweet.
The Next Big Adventure is excitedly moving ahead towards our ultimate end game of becoming global nomads as we make our home on the road and the newest addition to our little family just puts us one step closer.