The Rig  

“Phileas”

is a 2007 Fleetwood Bounder 35E and is home to the crew of Life Among Pines. His name was inspired by the character Captain Phileas Fogg, the protagonist for Jules Verne’s classic Around the World in 80 Days. He is exactly 36 feet long, and 10.5 feet wide with the slides closed for driving. He has two slides: one in the bedroom and one in the main room, as well as all the luxuries that any modern home could provide: three sinks, a bathroom, a shower, a three-burner stove and oven, a microwave/convection oven, a queen-size bed, two TV’s, two wardrobes, a kitchen dinette booth, several comfy chairs, a bookshelf, a full-size futon, a washer/dryer combo, and much, much more. Phileas’ interior is filled with storage, which has been adapted for maximum organization and efficiency of travel. He also has large storage “bays” along both exterior sides, which house all of our sports/adventure gear and outdoor furniture.

We purchased him on July 1st, 2016 from a local dealership and spent about five months preparing him for life on the road. We fully renovated his interior and added many tech upgrades that would improve our ease of full-time traveling and boondocking. He has the important job of towing “Wendy the Cherokee,” our tow car, which he does quite well. So far, he has driven us clear across the country, through 17 total states: from the East Coast state of NJ to the West Coast state of California, all the way up to Northern Washington, and currently throughout the Southwest. Phileas is sure to see many more adventures over the next few years, along with the rest of the Life Among Pines crew.

Newbury Caldera National Volcanic Monument, Oregon

“Wendy”

is a 1992 Jeep Cherokee Briarwood. She has a forest-green-colored body and wood paneling along each of her sides. Her name was inspired by the character Wendy from Peter Pan, which has been one of Sam and Brendan’s favorite books for years. Sam saw her listed on Craigslist in late-October 2016 and immediately fell in love. Sam and Brendan were especially drawn to Wendy’s vintage “woody” look, and they knew they had to have her. When they first brought her home, she was running well mechanically, but needed some serious help cosmetically. Brendan and his dad completely restored her, to ensure that she was in tip-top shape for her new life of travel. This entire process took about 3-4 weeks and easily over 100 total hours, but it was well-worth the time and energy, as she is now an extremely dependable vehicle. They ensured that her power windows, locks and seats were working, patched her flooring, fixed her headliner, refreshed her carpets, cleaned and painted her underside to prevent rust, fixed some body damage, reattached her right side mirror, and painted her wood trim with a fresh brown coat of paint.

“Wendy the Cherokee” is towed by “Phlileas the RV” when we travel to a new location, and is then unhitched and driven locally once we have reached a semi-permanent area. She is most commonly seen sporting a shiny, aluminum canoe on her roof (“Belafonte”). Like “Phileas the RV,” she will surely explore much more of the US as she travels along with the rest of the Life Among Pines crew.

“Belafonte”

is our shiny aluminum canoe, which is transported on the roof of Wendy, our toad vehicle. His name was inspired by the name of the boat in the Wes Anderson cult film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. We purchased Belafonte in July 2017 to replace our previous red canoe “The Nautilus,” which was stolen when we were in Los Angeles (RIP). Like Wendy, he was another thrifty Craigslist find, which we bought in La Pine, Oregon. So far, Belafonte has accompanied us on many floats in Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. He will surely sail down the rivers, creeks and lakes of many new locations to come.