Franken-camper (Drive Day 1 minus 14 years, 12 days)

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Gary thinks the Avion, propped up as it is on adjustable jacks and four skinny columns of bricks because we need the truck to run errands, looks like an elephant on toothpicks. My mother-in-law doesn’t want her only grandson Alex working inside it in case it topples. The precarious hassle of backing a truck under a jacked-up camper is the one main drawback of truck-bed campers. You can’t just unhitch it like a trailer or fifth-wheel and zip off to the grocery store empty. Still, the Avion looks a lot steadier than the camper my father built for the first road trip down the Pan-American Highway in 1973.

19 crossing stream copy
photo by David Bruce

Of course it helps that the commercially built Avion doesn’t weigh north of 14,000 pounds, like my father’s mad laboratory contraption.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.

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