Exciting stuff—Jef and I took Gypsy into the Angeles National Forest for one night to test out the rig. So far, the solar panels haven’t flown off, the bed hasn’t collapsed, and water tank isn’t leaking. The electricity is flowing, and there appears to be more than enough room for all our stuff. Nice.
That said, I did learn a few things:
- All of the daily necessities need to be easily accessible. I didn’t really enjoy crawling under the bed to fetch the paper plates, which were stuffed behind two heavy backpacks.
- Water does not drain from flat-bottomed unlevel sinks. I don’t think there’s anything I can do about this except sweep icky water toward the drain with my hand. And then I’m stuck with an icky hand, because rinsing it off would produce more water in the sink. Sigh. This van dwelling stuff is not for germaphobes.
- Do whatever it takes to prevent squeaky wood. I may have to take apart the bed frame and the deck underneath it and reassemble them adding wood glue because the squeaking is making me crazy.
- Wow, two people in a van is pretty darn cramped. If one person wants to use the sink or get into the fridge, the other has to be either outside or huddled on the bed.
- It gets super cold at night inside Gypsy. A down comforter is a must if the temperature is below 60 at night, and I’ll probably try to insulate the van better.
It took awhile to find a decent camping spot. Big Dalton Road was a little too populated. Lower Monroe Road was only for off-road vehicles. We finally settled into a spot near the end of Shoemaker Canyon Road.
Not a bad view, eh?
The graffiti wasn’t so great. The area was also littered with beer cans and vodka bottles. Ugh.
A note for other boondockers, there is no data or cell phone service within 3 miles of this spot. That was kind of a bummer, but we made do with idle chit-chat. Hmm … when did talking face-to-face with someone who knows me well become less preferable than burying my nose in a digital device and reading the thoughts of strangers? What kind of monster have I turned into? Well, I know I’m not the only one—you’re reading this right now.