LOAF and Friends

Page Last Updated: November 2017

“  Her brother Haken had taught her that there were two kinds of people in the world: the ones who always chose the shortest distance between two points; and the ones who looked for the scenic route where the curves, slopes and vistas were to be found. ”
                                                                                                                                                                                 Henning Mankell


I have to Thank My PARENTS ... 


They introduced me to car-camping when I was in my early teens. Early family trips were made with small, leaky, sometimes floor-less, canvas tents into places like Round Lake or Algonquin Park in Ontario. Our family camping outfit eventually evolved to include larger tents with floors, separate dining areas, canvas sided tent trailers and finally to larger tent trailers with heaters and basic cooking capabilities. We camped, fished, hiked and canoed.

At that same time I was being exposed to back-country camping through my seasonal employment as a Canoe Ranger in Algonquin PP. In hindsight, this imprinting set the stage for the passion I eventually developed for back-country wilderness travel, travel in general and most recently, this hybrid of road tripping and overland travel.

I've been fortunate to find my kindred spirit. Most of our 'travelling', over the years has been self-propelled ... we paddle, walk/hike/backpack, dive/snorkel and cycle ... and, she still prepares most meals.

We spend a few nights in a tent most years. However, now that we are retired, we sometimes rely on an Adventure Vehicle (Note: photos from our encounters) to get us to those locations that are further from home and that enables us to be there for extended periods of time. 

We continue to enjoy most of those same active pursuits. 

But, now we have the option of returning to a comfortable vehicle-based camp at days end, if we choose. 


Our Adventure Vehicles



2013 - Present

2011 Ford F350 Lariat 4WD CC SB SRW 6.2l V8 Gas / 2013 Lance Camper 855S 4-season

This rig should suit us well for a number of years to come; it's not exactly what we wanted, but it's very close. 

Living in a truck camper provides us with a convenient and mobile base for the types of outdoor activities that we enjoy. We're not Full-Time RV'ers. However, we will be spending extended periods of time travelling this way - we've heard others refer to travellers like us as 'Part-Timers or Some-Timers'. Currently, we're living in 134 square feet ... it's a tiny house on tires ... a Lance 855s camper on a Ford F350 truck ... a Lance OA Ford ... a LOAF.

Go to Our Rig on the horizontal menu bar for LOAF's current status or click on Meet LOAF for ALL the details.



From the Beginning 
Our Rentals: Domestic and International (Costa Rica, New Zealand)


1988 and 2009
Ford F250 4WD RC LB SRW V8 Gas / Frontier Camper and Ford E350 V8 Gas Class-C 

We rented a truck camper in 1988 for our first trip to NWT/Yukon/Alaska and a Class-C motor-home for a 2009 trip with friends that repeated much of the 1988 trip. After travelling in the Class C, for the short period of time that we did, we knew that we would never want to own one ... the high decibel noise level inside, while driving is very stressful; everything bangs, squeaks, shakes, rattles, falls and sometimes breaks. Rent before you buy!

Each of the following photos is taken along the Dempster Highway in Yukon, CANADA


1994, 1996 to 1998
1994 Ford F350 4WD RC LB SRW 7.3l V8 Navistar Diesel / 1988 Frontier Camper


This was the FIRST travel rig that we owned. We travelled west and north with this set-up in 1994 and 1998, to Canada's' Atlantic Provinces in 1996 and around Ontario in 1997. Stabiliser jacks were removed for travel, we never seemed to need them. The camper body rested securely in the truck and there wasn't any overhang in the rear. We didn't modify the truck's suspension; the 1 ton truck handled the light weight camper fine, there was no obvious suspension sag and no body sway. The only modification to the truck was the addition of a full frontal, custom built, stone and brush guard. We bought the camper used, we re-caulked all the joints; sanded, primed and painted the exterior and built a couple of storage boxes that we mounted on the rear wall. The camper sustained heavy damage when a tree branch punctured a large hole in the cab-over one winter. We had it repaired and sold the unit soon after. We were without a travel rig until 2005.


Toyota Terios (Under Construction)

We flew to Costa Rica in 2005 and rented a small SUV. We drove the Pacific Coast from as far south as Dominical to the northern border with Nicaragua.


1996 Chevrolet Express 3/4T Van V8 Gas / 2004 Keystone Travel Trailer Zeppelin 2 

Our SECOND set-up. We purchased Helen's Dad's van and bought a new travel trailer. We only had this set-up for a year. We did a 5 month trip west across Canada, then north into NWT, Yukon and Alaska and then south down the west coast of N. America before heading east and north towards home. We logged about 29000 km on that trip. The van was a comfortable vehicle to drive but I never enjoyed the 'towing' aspect of this set-up. The additional length added to travelling disadvantages in a variety of ways ... fuelling up, parking in urban areas, driving on slick roads (snow, mud) or in the mountains. The long wheelbase limited our destinations and we often dropped and stored the trailer several times, in order to get to more 'out of the way' locations.


2006 to 2013
2008 Toyota Tacoma 4WD CC SB V6 Gas

Our last major road trip was in 2005 with the van and travel trailer. Following that, we were heavily involved in building a retirement home for several years. We continued to do road trips, but were never as well outfitted travelling in a Toyota Tacoma with gear in the back and boats on the roof. 


Van Kiwi (LOAF's cousin) is a 2012 Ford Transit E350 Diesel 5-spd Manual Cargo Van that's been converted into a Camper Van.

' Wry seems quite excited about my choice of mobile home for the next 3 weeks on NEW ZEALAND's South Island ... dontjathink? '

It can 'apparently' sleep 3, has a teeny bath area with hand shower (that we'll never use) and a cassette toilet, the energy systems are solar and electric and propane, there's a heater, the kitchen spot includes a 3-burner stove, a sink and a small fridge, storage is minimal, there's an outside awning, nA/C in either the van or the cabin and 'The Rig' comes equipped with 3 of most things

We ferried from the North Island to Picton on the South Island. We drove our rental car from Picton and picked the camper up in Nelson, then drove the following 2415 kilometre route: > Stoke > Moteuka > Kaiteriteri > Westport Hokitika > Fox Glacier > Cromwell > Te AnauCurio Bay > Whaitaka > Oamura > Rakaia River and finally > Christchurch, where we dropped the camper off.


Future Build(s)

If we ever upgrade to another truck camper, it would be something like these.

Truck: Ford F350/450 ... Flatbed w. Cargo Boxes Gas 4x4 XC LB SRW 
Camper: Northern Lite ... 4-season, non-slide, side door

Truck: Various
CabinOverland Explorer

If money was no object and we could justify an expedition truck; this would be our top choice.

Truck: Fuso
CabinEarth Cruiser


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