MAK and Owen bought a Toyota Tacoma and left in 2016 for a sustainable life. Lets talk about their story!
Quick facts about the Toyota Tacoma
car manufacturer: Toyota
year of construction: 2008
how many seats: 2
complete weight of vehicle: no idea we’ve never weighed it
how many kilometers: 172,000 miles
cylinder carpacity: 4 cylander
output of the motor: 2.7L
consumption at 100km: about 17 miles a gallon
top speed: We try to keep at 70 miles an hour or less.
motor fuel: Standard
costs of repair per year: Just oil changes.
vehicle taxes: Im not sure
Tell me a bit about you and tell me, what made you want to start vanlife?
We are MAK and Owen. A married couple that left Atlanta, Georgia in 2016 to go on the road full time.
We are fulltime freelance designers and work from the road. We wanted to start vanlife because we did a 6 month road trip after college and fell in love with the movement more than just one particular place.
When we left in 2016 it was for a sustainable version of the first trip after college!
Why did you choose the Toyota Tacoma and not a smaller or bigger one?
We’re currently on our 3rd and are working on our 4th home on wheels. We are still trying to find what the perfect setup is for our life, work, and offroad capability that we want!
We think that this new (yet to be revealed) version will be the winner for us!
So, if not your vehicle, what Toyota Tacoma would you choose too if you could and why?
We’ve always loved old Toyota Land Cruisers. We would build out a Troopy Land Cruiser but sadly there isn’t enough workspace in them for us. So we will just admire them instead.
Did you work anything on your vehicle yourself or did you get a carpenter?
Our first home one wheels was a VW Vanagon Westfalia, and we did everything on that van ourselves other than replace the engine. Our second home on wheels was a 1985 Toyota Sunrader 4×4 and we did everything from scratch on that build.
It took over 8 months to complete. For the Tacoma and current home on wheels the 2008 Tacoma we did the build ourselves, it only took 2 days. I think it’s because we now have a lot of practice building things.
Our new set up that we should have by mid-January we’re having a company build it for us, because we wanted to travel until the day it’s ready!
If you could rebuild your campervan, what would you change and why?
For our current home in the Tacoma, we honestly love it! We wouldn’t change a thing on it! The past couple of vehicles have really taught us what we do and do not like, so it was easy to design the build for the truck and feel confident in what we made!
How long did you work on your Toyota Tacoma before you started your trip and what was the hardest part?
Only two days! If you are wanting to get out there fast we really recommend a truck camper! The hardest part was deciding how to organize the drawers below our bed.
What do your friends and family say about your vanlife-choice?
We are very lucky to have supportive friends and families. When we left we didn’t know how long we were going to do this. Now that we’re 3 years in they are just as supportive as day one!
We are so thankful for them supporting us living our dream!
Which countries did you travel to with your vehicle? Which one was your favorite by now?
We’ve been to the USA (where we’re from), Canada, and Mexico so far. We honestly love Canada and Mexico so much!
The people are kind, inviting and each country has something beautiful and new to explore!
What was the most beautiful road you have driven with your Toyota Tacoma?
There are a lot of beautiful roads but we loved the road leading up to the Bugaboo Mountain Range in Canada. The road lead up to a trail that takes you up to the Bugaboo Glacier.
It was long, remote and so beautiful the whole way!
Some people prefer campsites for the night, others love free camping somewhere in the middle of nowhere. What do you prefer and why?
We are free campsites in the middle of nowhere. Reason being is that we like to be outside enjoying nature.
When you are in the middle of nowhere it’s quieter and makes you feel like there are still things untouched by humans on this earth.
What is the hardest part about living in a Toyota Tacoma?
This is a hard one for us to answer. We’ve been doing this for so long now that we have most of it figured out. If we had to say something through it would be working through breakdowns.
When you live on the road, your car is your home, when your home isn’t working or is in the shop you very quickly become homeless.
It’s very hard to keep a level head and stay positive, but those are so important to see yourself through a stressful time.
What is the best part?
There are a billion best parts, but I would have to say that every day is a different day then the last and who knew it was possible to be so happy all the time?!
How do you fund your travels? Do you also work online?
We have our own business. We do graphic design, motion graphics, illustration, and freelance photography!
How much money do you spend in a month?
It honestly varies. Because we work full time we do not watch a budget all that closely but we do spend most to all of our money on gas and food.
We fill up on gas 2-3 times a week and go to the grocery store the same number of times.
There are more and more people who want to experience vanlife. What is the most important thing you would wanna tell them before they start?
Pick a vehicle that you can count on. If you go out in an unreliable vehicle you stand a chance of spending far more money on fixing your vehicle or staying in a hotel while it’s being fixed.
That is what we did in our first home on wheels and we nearly spent every dollar on fixing it when it blew 2 engines and a radiator in one month.
The whole point of vanlife is to get out there and experience the world, and I hate to say it that isn’t going to happen if you are just going from auto shop to auto shop.
Or worse you have to cut your journey short like we almost did.
How long do you plan on living in a van? Do you have a long term plan?
We plan on doing this permanently until it doesn’t make us happy anymore, and I have a hard time imagining that ever being the case.
We plan on doing the Pan-American Highway down to the southern tip of South America and then shipping our Toyota Tacoma on wheels to other continents! There is no end in sight for us!
Wer die beiden verfolgen will, der schaut mal hier vorbei. Mittlerweile besitzen sie den neuen Toyota Tacoma.