50 States... Or Less

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Introduction

How to get rid of all of your stuff and live in a box with wheels for a year.
The GMC Here is our home for the next year.

Well hello there, and welcome. We’re Paul and Alana Cloutier and we are starting off on a 1 year long road trip around the US and Canada in a vintage motorhome that we’ve restored.

Every year we try and do a couple of big 2 week long trips in the car, usually to the southwest.These trips were always a blast but we felt like we were always rushing and never really getting to know any of these places. There was also a lot of the country that we couldn’t really get to on a 2 week trip.

We had come out of several startups in a row and were thinking about starting another one, but not quite ready for the commitment yet. As we were talking about it we both really just wanted to take some time and travel, we both had very fond memories of our road trips. If only there were a way to just do that for a while. So we actually looked into it and realized that it was cheaper to take a year long road trip than to live in the Bay Area.

Our Living Room This is just before we left, before we added the kitchen table and a few other details. but you get the idea here.

So, we found a 1977 GMC Motorhome in great shape, and with the intention of just redoing some of the wall paper inside spent a year restoring nearly every component on it. We nearly gutted the interior and replaced all of the plumbing, the furniture, the electrical systems, and, upgraded to all LED lighting and solar panels. We redid the entire cockpit with new seats, dashboard and gauges. We replaced almost every single suspension, braking and steering component. We are now totally off the grid and can stay for quite a long time anywhere we want.

Our original plan was to leave in May of 2010 but as we started working on the motorhome and upgrading things we ended up taking way more time than expected and now only 7 months late we are hitting the road. Plus its more poetic to leave on January 1st of a new year.

Our Kitchen and Bedroom This is looking towards the back showing the bar(!) the closet, the bathroom and the bedroom.

Our basic plan is to head south through California and then through the southwest along the mexican border through Texas and the south to Florida which should keep us out of the snow. From there its up the east coast with some excursions over towards Kentucky and Tennessee and then up to New England and then back down toward Chicago and up to Michigan and Wisconsin and then up through the Dakotas and Montana to Canada. From there we’ll head south through the seattle and portland and then back in the Bay Area towards the end of the year. Man... written out like that it sounds like a lot of driving.

So follow along with us here on the site. We’re posting our daily progress on the home page so you can see where we are and where we have been, and as quickly as we can get them written we will post stories and photos of the places we are going to.