A chronicle of my experience in owning my first "Four Wheel" brand "Fleet" model pop-up camper

This Travel Thing Started With A VW Bug

Much of my young life was spent living out of VW Bugs and Buses. My first stint living in a vehicle came when I graduated high school at the age of 17. I went to start a life after school to the place my family had summered since I was born, Cape Cod.

Me pictured with my 1971 Super Beetle
Along the great divide in my 1971 Super Beetle

It never occurred to me that living out of a vehicle was any kind of a hardship. It seemed like the natural way to go as my priority was to be where I was and figure out the details later.

I had always done a lot of camping out with my friends, so to me it was an adventure more than anything, it was what I could afford. The concept of living beyond my means was a relatively short term period of my life that came later on.

I had a really tiny house on wheels! I would spend my summers on Cape Cod and my winters traveling around on what little or no money I had. I remember leaving one winter for Florida with $300 in my pocket and the will to get to the next gas station, not necessarily the gas to get there.

I worked at a restaurant during the summer months so paying for food was not an issue. Finding a place to park and sleep was definitely a little challenging at times, but I got good at it.

jimmy windsurfing in the early days
Early days of Windsurfing

The beach life on Cape Cod was my dream come true. I became addicted to the sport of Windsurfing. Every dime I earned was spent on gear. It was one of many addictions I would go through in my life, one of the better ones.

I managed to save enough money to drive to Florida several times, and across the country several times, all in my various Bugs and Buses.

A special thanks to John Muirs hippy handbook on VW’s is definitely in order. It was the greatest car manual ever written for people that didn’t know how to work on cars.

I really loved the highway, something new every second of every minute of travel.

Somewhere around 1988 I sold my last Volkswagen and went to Hawaii to chase a Windsurfing dream. I chased, I failed, and had a good time doing it. Then came years and years of not much travel at all. Life settled in and I stayed on Cape Cod and lived the beach bums life. No regrets.

Alcoholism also eventually settled in as it does with many folks. The Northeast winters began to have a very detrimental affect on my psyche. I came to a crossroads and with the help of a friend made the decision to quit drinking. I chose sunshine over prescription drugs for my depression. Back to Hawaii I went, on and off for the next six years.

I would rent brand new vehicles using as many coupons and freebies as I could, and I would live in the rent-a-cars in Waikiki! That is a whole other story for a whole other blog!

Oahu 2010

The best of times in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I will be back and forth to Hawaii for many years to come.

Pine Key 2018

After getting my dream truck, a Toyota Tacoma I began to get the highway bug again. I got a “topper” for the back of the truck and decided to go on a road trip. It was an experiment to the Florida Keys and back to see if I still liked that life. And I did!

Florida Keyes 2018

The next winter I did it all over again, this time all along the Desert Southwest and once again, I fell in love with the road. I got tired of bumping my head and scrunching around in the back of the truck and decided to live in style a bit.

Arizona 2019

My requirement for a camper was that I needed it to go on the back of the truck so I could go WAY off-road for miles and miles and miles. After many long internet sessions studying about truck campers, the choice was pretty clear. For my truck there was only one way to go that fit my needs.

I don’t own a home, and I don’t have kids, so I guess I can (barely) afford to get one of these….


stock photo of tacoma with camper on back

Photo Credit: www.fourwheelcampers.com


Photo Credit: www.fourwheelcampers.com

I’m not ready to advertise for these guys just yet. Read along and see how it goes. I will post on the blog as my experiences go, and see where this all takes me. I am a veteran of the road and a beginner blogger. Glad to share with the Four Wheel community. I’ve already met so many folks that have these gems. I hope my experiences can match up to theirs.

And to think its only just beginning, all over again.