Q: Why a truck camper ?
A: The vast majority of people travelling overland like this are in SUV’s with roof top tents ( often Toyota LandCruisers or LandRover Defenders ). Many on motorcycles as well. We have even met people cycling and walking the Pan American Highway ! We wanted something bigger, more comfortable in inclement weather and more secure than a roof top tent but not as big as a traditional North American “RV” – which are completely impractical for rough, narrow Central/South American roads and difficult / expensive to ship. The truck camper seemed like a good compromise in the “driveability vs liveability” debate. So far we have found it very comfortable and have adapted to its compact dimensions
Q: How long did it take to get to the bottom of South America?
Most folks we speak to that have done this trip spend at least a year getting there. It’s over 23,000km’s direct from Kelowna to Ushuaia, and of course we did not go direct – there were lots of detours! It took us almost a year to reach the bottom then several more months returning to Buenos Aires before shipping home. And we had been to many places before which made it faster for us.
Q: How is your Spanish ?
Developing ! Honestly, quite poor but we are learned more each day. We could handle all the basics but fell back on “Say Hi Translate” for discussing more complex matters. There is often someone around keen to use their English in the more well touristed places. I would say most foreigners we meet only have very limited Spanish skills and they get by just fine.
Q: Do you get homesick ?
There were certainly things we missed – family and friends of course, but with FaceTime, Messenger, WhatsApp and a regular blog we feel pretty connected to everyone. We also fly home periodically, which helps a lot. It’s not a stretch to say that, through the blog we are actually reconnecting with old friends and colleagues we would not normally hear from as often. So, to any who are reading it, keep the comments coming – we love getting them and always respond…!
Q: Why a Sprinter ( after the truck camper ) ?
We loved the truck camper, no question about it, and it served us very well all through the PanAm. In fact, it was faultless ! We simply decided that for Australia and beyond we wanted a vehicle that was just a bit bigger, had a fully functioning shower and could be slept in without it being obvious we were inside ( that’s tough with a “pop up” camper ).The Sprinter is also probably the most universally available vehicle we have seen in all the continents we have been on – MUCH more generic than an American full size pick-up truck. We’d also spoken to many overlanders who had Sprinters and they swore by them. Finally, if you wanted a diesel powered, full 4×4 van in Canada, a Sprinter was the ONLY option. So far we have been thrilled with the choice.