New family member
Girmantas | Travel | April 05, 2010
So once you say “surfmobile” the first picture that comes to your mind is a 70′s VW Bus or some Chevy Van. True but at the same time – not… An oldsmobile is a real surfer’s dream. Still, everybody would agree that a real surfmobile is a car that is cheap, has a lot of room and is reliable. Unfortunately, nowadays cheap vans built in 70′s are not so reliable and if they are, prices are rocket-high.
We decided to buy a car in Canada mostly because of legal issues. EU citizen can’t buy a car in Mexico (or maybe can, but that’s too difficult to get it clear), US is also not so friendly, but most of Canada provinces allows EU citizens to buy and, what is most important, legally register a car. As we mentioned before - Aistes student is a car dealer. When we visited him in Vancouver he told us that his Toyota/Lexus dealerships sells over 3000 new cars a year! Quite a dealer, eh?! Thanks to Cooper – before we left La Ventana the car buying process was already on the way.
We were ready to get some rusty crappy van that would last another 5000 miles and then we could simply forget about it… Unfortunately, once we stepped into Cooper’s office, our plan was ruined. Green Mercury Villager LS was parked right there for us. Built in 1995, automatic gearbox, 150 bhp, AC, power windows, new tires and so on. And everything - in perfect condition! The only sign of use is a dent on the trunk left by a ball. Actually we did not even understand how professional car sellers invited the insurance broker, fixed the licence plates, checked and changed all of the oils and liquids in the car, issued the check report, charged credit card and put the keys in our hands.
Only then we realized being fooled! We spent just a few hundreds more than expected and got newer, better, simply excellent car that costs probably twice as musch in reality! But nothing we could do about it. So we proudly present - our new family member that from now on will be responsible for our travels, food storage and sleep…
We started to camperize the van immediately. We took the car back to White Rock and spend the whole day undoing and redoing the car. Here’s the result
Buying some stuff took some time too. For our travels we bought:
- We found a nice foam mattress at IKEA AS-IS for a half price – $99 USD, size fits perfectly.
- For cooking we chose Coleman dual fuel stove for $80 USD at REI.
- For Baja travel we got a shovel, extra gas tank power inverter for the car. All together was another $70 USD.
- We also spent another $200 USD for bedding, cooler, some dishes and other accessories.
So camperizing the van in total took three days, covered US and Canada territories (from Vancouver to WA state) and costed another $500 USD. The only good thing is that we have planned this amount quite accurately. Also we were lucky that Chalmers and Gillian had all the necessary tools and some wood for the bench, so we did not spend any money to make the frame.
The van is already livable and made it’s first 400 miles to Seattle. We spent a great Easter weekend here. Went to mountains, remembered Mexico while drinking margaritas and simply had a lot of fun.