I sold the Sportsmobile.
I woke up this morning feeling a lot less badass. As I watched the Sportsmobile’s new owner drive away I couldn’t help but think that a big part of my history was driving away as well.
So many dreams, trips, and adventures in that van. It opened doors to places and experiences that I could never have foreseen five years ago. In a lifetime of buying stuff, it was the coolest and most liberating personal possession I’ve ever had.
The van lived up to every promise that it made. We took five trips from Indiana to the West, multiple Florida trips, and countless local excursions. I’m not sure how many nights I spend in it, but too many to count. It kept us safe, warm, and on track. Wherever we went we had the coolest vehicle on the road. People would always come up an introduce themselves and ask questions. Even in the last hour of owning it, as it sat there in my office parking lot, folks were coming up and commenting on it.
What I loved about the van.
Perhaps the best thing about it was the freedom it gave us to roam. It didn’t need much to get you moving. Once out there in the wilderness, there was no place that it could not go. All of the options, however remote, were on the table.
So, why sell it? Just as the universe moves from order to chaos, the inevitable progression of travelers is to go from smaller to more comfortable. At 45, I didn’t mind the awkward sleeping and cramped quarters. At 50, and with just a few more creaks, something a little more spacious and homey seems like the right call. The van’s mileage was still within the power train warranty, and it kept its value very well. It does get expensive and time consuming taking care of another full vehicle, with it’s own engine and complicated systems, with insurance and tires and service.
So, what’s next?
I have a new Ford F150 Lariat that I’ve modified for some overloading. Also picked up a top of the line 10 x 14 Kodiak canvas tent. For this summer’s trip to Montana and Wyoming I’m going back to the truck camping paradigm. It will probably be more work, but there are definite benefits. The truck is much, much more comfortable and mobile to drive. Then tent, when set up, has a lot more room than the Sportsmobile. I also have some Tent-Cots for quick one night stops. It should be a good platform for my solo travels, hosting a kid or two, and fishing base camp with my buddies. Kelly is not so sure about it, but I think the clamping experience can win her over.
After this summer we are going to look at Airstreams and think about making the transition to spending more time on the road. Perhaps through a several week Arizona or desert trip into the winter to escape these brutal midwestern winters. And, to use a platform during summer trips to escape airBnBs for family vacations and their high cost.
A part of my heart, soul, and mojo will always be with that van. The new owner is a cool guy, and he will add a lot miles and memories to its lifespan. Charlie, if you are reading this, good luck. Remember - just because the four wheel drive will get you there doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to try.