Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Here it is -- the information many of you have been waiting on the edge of your seats for.


Well, probably not. But here it is anyway. The thing is - as you are all traveling along with us - seeing the pictures of the places we visit and the experiences we are having - we - the three of us + one dog + one cat are living in approximately 95 square ft. 

95 square feet for 6 months - 24/7! 

Therefore, our van is a VERY important topic to us - this 95 square foot space IS our home - and unless we find a job that provides accommodations it could become our ONLY home for the years to come. 

And how do we feel about our move from a 134 sq ft trailer with truck/canopy to our camper van? 

We LOVE  it! 

Absolutely LOVE our van -- the whole idea of being able to get into our seats and go -- or to stop and access the back -- is ideal - for us. 

So - we love the whole - but some of the parts .... not so much. In order to make things much better for us next winter certain things will HAVE to change and somethings - well -- we can dream - can't we?


Before we get to the alterations that we have planned -- let's talk about the name we have given our van - after all - it is a part of our family now.

I never really thought about naming our van - we never did name our trailer. But then, reading about Kevin and Ruth with Sherman and then travelling with Bill and Carol in Jeanie and towing Willie - we started to wonder. The straw came from follower Brian from Austin, who commented that surely our van deserved a name. Hmmmm - notice how things are hard to come up with when you are really trying. 

But Derek persevered -- he must have had some extra time on his hands one night because he sat there for a few hours -- think, think, think.

Crazy that he actually came up with a name - a GREAT name, a VERY appropriate name, the name


Which means in Spanish 'little horse' or 'rocking horse' - also sea horse but the rocking part rings true for us. You see - when we are driving down the road - specifically down MEXICO roads - there is a definite swaying motion - rocking - if you will. We can laugh about it but if things are not completely secured, odds are that very shortly they will be flying through the air. And taking a curve a little too fast......

And to top things off - Derek found this cute little video. PERFECT.


As you may recall, upon purchasing our Caballito we had many changes in mind -- big dreams of van renovations. Turns out that we had more ideas then money last summer so in the end the changes were minor - the interior anyway. Adding the solar panel to the roof and taking out the hot water tank, to provide more space for storage and a nifty outdoor bbq table, were life changers. 

But - 2 1/2 months on the road now has taught us quite a few things about living in such a small space. What we need and what we don't.

First, what we DON'T need - a MUCH smaller list:

- the dinette is too large  - I don't have a good picture for it but the dinette seat nearest to the kitchen creates about a 12" space to fit through to get to the back of the van - it is a constant source of aggravation. The seats of the dinette don't need to be so wide anyway - so either the one or both will be narrowed - the table too most likely.

- the shelf we have over the back has GOT to go. Oh it sounded good last summer and more so when we purchased 4 large bins to place on the shelf. We are now realizing that we barely go into the bins, which means of course, that we can live without everything in them. Plus we are tired of not being able to stand at the back - to - uh - go to the bathroom.

- carpet flooring - We THOUGHT that we could live with the carpet for this winter but we were completely wrong! Yes, it has plastic over most of it but really - everything is getting trapped where it isn't. We looked at a few small hand held vacuums as we went through the States but knowing how gutless they are we didn't buy one. Vinyl or laminate flooring is a MUST! SOON!

Now what we DO need: 

+ an awning, a screen room and a carpet - a MUST for next year. Lets face it, 95 sq ft is small for the three of us. A little girl I know needs A LOT of room to play! With the warm temps down here in Mexico doubling our living space on the outside would be a dream! Something like this from Camping World is what we have in mind.

+ new closed cell foam for our bed - we are just getting by with the old foam plus a new foam topper - it's ok - comfortable enough. Unfortunately the bed foam is in two parts. In order to slide the bed in, to increase the head room, all the blankets must come off and one cushion is place on the other. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. So - we leave the bed extension pulled out and spend most of our time moving around the van hunched over. Next year one piece of foam that we can roll up and therefore push in the extension.

+ front and roof rack - we are not HUGE fans of the back rack with bins on it. It works for now but the hassle is that we can not use the back doors unless we take the rack off which we did at Villa Corona. Instead, we would like to add a large beefy front rack to provide space for a few more batteries and add a roof rack to carry stuff. Our handy friend Bud, in Nampa, could do the work for us - something to consider for next fall.

+ PAINT - lots and lots of paint - inside - outside - paint. Last fall I found this picture from Glen over at To Simplify. THAT is what I want I said to Derek - we can do it - we need paint. Derek was pretty gun ho himself and so, since we first saw this photo we have been dreaming of the day that we pimp our ride to look like a - tank. Although we like the look of this one we are leaning more towards a lighter or khaki green for the body with black for the bottom - not quite as metallic as this one below. We would also like to have the bottom sprayed with rock guard to protect the lower portion of the van. 

The picture that got us thinking about how COOL el Caballito COULD be!

And of course, as I've mentioned - a complete paint job inside. Right now I feel like we are living in a wood panel house - ya - like the wood panelled cabin we lived in for the last two summers.

In the DARE to DREAM category:

+ a skylight over our bed - Derek and I have about 6" above us up on the bunk - not much! At first I woke up almost hyperventilating from the lack of room. We've both gotten used to it but just imagine if we could all lay up there and look up at the stars and have a little more room to boot!

Well, I think that ends the list - plus all the little things we haven't quite gotten to like window coverings, removing the last of the valour walls and recovering the upholstery. 

I have no idea WHEN or HOW these changes will get done. Since we live the winter on the money we make in the summer, a strict budget must be adhered to. We'll have to see what can be done sooner and what will have to wait until latter. As always, we'll keep you apprised of our modifications.

I'm glad that I FINALLY got this post down on keyboard.


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: The internet offers an unending list of resources to assist us with our alterations. We would really be in luck if we had a truck camper because Truck Camper Porn offers a ton of ideas - but really some could be adapted to our van - I think. Have you been to TCP before - a pretty neat site! If only I could see inside some of those rigs.....


  1. Wow. I can't imagine. I'm a minimalist, but that's tiny. Can't wait to see the transformation.

  2. Caballito is a real trooper, faithfully taking our favorite little family from adventure to adventure ... lol.

    Yes, that is a tiny space, but we can tell you are grateful and thankful for what you do have, and what this freedom means to your family.

    We have met folks in 40' diesel pushers who complain about the tiny kitchens and bathrooms and the lack of storage ... sheesh ...

    It really is a mindset, isn't it !!

    "The best things in life, AREN'T things"

    Take care ... TnT

    1. A REAL trooper and thankfully fully up to the challenge of carrying us around.

      Yup - 40ft pushers PLUS a 20ft trailer behind! Don't EVEN get me started on THAT topic! LOL

      The best things in life are family, friends and travel!

  3. Nice name, creative...the rocking horse :)

    Less a hundred square foot is miraculous for a family of three plus, wow.

    You mentioned the space could be expanded outside in your tropical scenario. I don't know if you've considered it, what about one of those portable 12'x 12' or so screened enclosures with a floor? I've seen some pretty nice ones, some even have a tented area attached making another room. http://www.afterschool.com/p/coleman-weathermaster-screened-6-tent-748036?site=CA&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc_as&utm_term=FPS-142336&utm_campaign=GoogleAW&CAWELAID=1603486422&utm_content=pla&adtype=pla&cagpspn=pla

    I'd feel safe if your dog barked at strangers getting near your domain.

    1. Yes, Derek did well didn't he - he's very good at that kind of thing - he's our resident namer.

      Miraculous - no doubt.

      Yup - that's the kind of thing we need but instead of the link you sent something more suited to attach to the side of the van - plus - our caballito is very high off of the ground so the door must be raised as well. That is why we will most likely go with getting an awning and then the walls that surround it. But we are open - it might just be a tent like structure.

  4. Yes, 95 sf with 3 humans plus a good sized dog and a cat would be intense!! Me in my 72 sf trailer with no pets makes me wonder sometimes, but I love it!! I made several modifications and am quite happy with the end result!

    Safe Travels...........


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