Moving Out and Onto the Road: From Boston to Everywhere

Discussion in 'Americas' started by kta, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. kta

    kta Riding Everything Everywhere

    Sep 10, 2007
    I have spent way too much time reading this site over the years and not enough time participating. Here is where it starts.

    First a quick introduction. My name is Evan, I live just North or Boston, MA USA. I'm 25, I rent, and I work from home as a freelance web developer. Here's a not-so-close-up photo.


    I have been huge into bikes for many years. I rarely own a bike for more than a few months before I swap out to something new. The R60 above was an awesome bike, I had it listed on ADV for sale a little while back. I'm generally into vintage Japanese bikes, but the occasional beemer is fun too. I try to keep track of my bikes by posting photos of them here: and by posting blurbs about them here:

    I have been planning a big adventure for quite a while but haven't (until recently) decided how I was going to do it. The plan is to leave for a significant amount of time, 6 months or so to start, and live on the road. I want to start out just touring within the US, east to west, up through Canada and Alaska. While I'd like to leave North America, money is an issue. I will be working on the road, and in order to work on the road I need reliable internet service and a place to conduct business.

    The solution I came up with is this.


    I got a dilapidated old 1970 16' camper! I will tow this camper around the country with my trusty Jeep, and will hang a motorcycle off the back. The camper will give me a home base where I can work on a computer comfortably to earn my living. It will also allow me a launching point for any type of motorcycle trip I please. I can dress the bike for short jaunts or long excursions. Flexibility is key.

    I will be traveling with a camper but this will at heart be a motorcycle adventure for me. I love to ride and plan to ride everywhere!

    So I am currently in the middle or renovating the trailer. I've gutted it and am ripping out the walls. I'll be rebuilding everything inside with new so it is a nice comfortable living space where I can conduct business.


    Once the camper is ready I will really be under the gun and excited to leave. I am not tied to a lease so am free to head out whenever things fall into place. I'm going to buy the Dom Wright's Guide to Free Campgrounds and hopefully cut my total monthly expenditures so I can build some savings while on the road. Traveling is win win!

    As for where I plan to go, I have a list. A long long list. I'm not sure the best way to post this, so I guess I'll just paste it in. There may be a few oddball locations that didn't get filtered out, but mostly this list has been made by reading the incredible journals of fellow ADVers. Every place is guaranteed to have amazing scenery and wonderful biking. I will be buying a dual-sport before I head out.

    • Nipton, NV (old western town)
    • Valley of the Fire State, NV
    • Moab – Slick Rock Trail
    • Death Valley
    • Braken Cave (bats)
    • Baja
    • Badlands
    • Salt Flats
    • Snow Mt. Northern CA
    • Dalton Highway, AK to Arctic Circle
    • Laguna Diablo, AZ
    • Delta, CO (cool desert riding) (also Timberline Trail)
    • Lake McClellan riding area near Pampa, TX
    • Dempster Highway, Northwest Territory, Canada
    • Hyder, Alaska (salmon glacier)
    • Rock Mills, Alabama (dead nothing)
    • Lolo Pass, Idaho to Montana (77 miles of S)
    • Mt. Patterson CA and NV (killer off road)
    • Sierra Nevada Mts.
    • Northern Cascades Highway
    • Colorado River Canyon NE of Moab on 128
    • Skull Valley Prescott, AZ (Iron Springs Rd.)
    • Monument Valley, AZ
    • Flagstaff, AZ
    • Sedona, AZ
    • Poison Spyder Trail near Moab
    • Portugal Cove, Newfoundland
    • St. Johns Harbor, Newfoundland
    • Banff, Albert Canada (riding!)
    • Grande Ronde River at WA/OR Border
    • Alaska!
    • Deals Gap (Tail of the Dragon)
    • Sorona Pass, CA (11,000 ft.)
    • Sugarloaf Mt. Fire Lookout, OR
    • South of Paige, AZ
    • Four Corners
    • ‘Devils Postpile’ Mammoth Lakes, CA
    • Bodie, CA (goldrush town)
    • Vegas
    • Brice (Bruce?) Canyon National Park, UT
    • Redwoods
    • Yosemite
    • Ferry to Gaultois, Newfoundland
    • Bella Coola, BC
    • Klamath River, CA
    • Silver Canyon, NV
    • Laurel Lakes Trail
    • Colombia River, WA
    • Canyonlands National Park
    • Grand Canyon
    • Great Basin
    • Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
    • Bay of Fundy
    • Alabama Hills
    • El Mirage (salt flats)
    • Fremont Peak, Mohave Desert, CA
    • Guanella Pass, CO
    • Owens Valley, CA
    • Monument Valley, AZ
    • Ouray
    • Beartooth Pass
    • Zion National park
    • Central CA Wine Country
    • Mt. Rainier National Park
    • Glacier National Park
    • Yukon
    • Grand Staircase, VT
    • Black Rock Desert, NV
    • Aguasabon River Gorge near Terrace Bay, ON
    • Ouimet Canyon 50 km E of Thunder Bay, ON
    • Kitt Peak, AZ (observatories)
    • Boulder Alley Trail, Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CA
    • Destin, FL
    • Mono Lake, CA
    • Pacific Beach to Copalis Beach, WA
    • Notch at La Plata Canyon, CO
    • Pecos River
    • Dinosaur National Monument
    • Miami Creek Trails by Oakhurst CA, N of Fresno on 41
    • Mojave Desert
    • Randsbury, CA (moto town)
    • Red Rock Canyon State Park, Socal
    • Sumer Lake, OR
    • North Cascade Highway (rt 20) WA
    • Cascade Moutains in Washington
    • Silver Dollar Saloon Red Mountain, CA
    • Sequoia National Park
    • Yellow Pine, ID
    • 141, CO
    • Tioga Pass
    • Calse Powell
    • Top of the World Highway, AK
    • Mt. Shasta, Northern Cali
    • Pan-Am Trail
    • Oaxaca, Mexico
    • Walker Valley, WA
    • Olympic Peninsula
    • Sandhills, NE (Brownlee rd)
    • Denali Highway
    • Mt. Lassen National Park
    • San Felipe, Baja
    • Black Bear Pass
    • Imogene Pass above Telluvide, CO
    • Goblin Valley
    • Pecos, NM
    • Jackson Hot Springs, MT
    • Chiapas, Mexico
    • Gold Mountain Trail, Big Bear, CA
    • Grand Tetons
    • Sawtooth Mountains Stanley, ID
    • North of McCall, ID
    • Jarbidge, NV (gold mining camp)
    • Buels Gap, VT
    • Adirondack Park
    • Skyline Drive Canyon City
    • Guanacoste, Costa Rica
    • Suches, GA
    • Pikes Peak CO
    • Mt Washington Auto Road
    • Kancamagus Highway
    • Lunar Lake, NV
    • Mt Cheaha Alabama
    • White Sands, NM
    • Study Butte, TX
    • Bow Lake Alberta
    • Athabaska Glacier Alberta
    • Randsburg, CA
    • Comet Ghost Town
    • Gallatin National Forrest
    I have the list, but I'll more than likely just wing it and use it as a rough guideline.

    I've been slowly selling off and giving away most of the large items I own so I don't have to store them. The only things I have to find a spot for are my hydraulic motorcycle lift, and my custom built tire changing station, too bad they can't come with me. I'm sure they'd come in handy.



    I'm really feeling the itch now. I'm also feeling like the date of departure is coming up quickly. It's going to be an enormous lifestyle change but one hell of a trip.

    I plan to continue with updates here in this thread, as well as mirror much of the information on my existing blog at

    Follow me on my journey. If you need any sort of web work I'm sure we could work out a trade for a few nights of parking in your field! I'll see you on the road. :D

    Gear up Rubber down.

  2. Benjava

    Benjava ?

    Jul 22, 2006
    Location Location
    Good luck young man. PM me when you get to the SF Bay Area.
  3. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Jan 29, 2002
    out and about
    Very cool, kta.
    Go with the wind. :thumb
  4. chain

    chain All Good Supporter

    Aug 28, 2002
    Central IL
    Roll on! Looks like an epic adventure.
  5. Gillmartin

    Gillmartin Desultory Dilettante

    Aug 3, 2001
    Oregon City, OR
    –noun 1. a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc.

    Damn, that sounds like fun... (says the 40-yr old with spouse, kids, mortgage...) I hope your trip ends up being all you expect it to be, mainly because I (and I suspect a whole lot of other folks) will be living vicariously through you.

    If you're still looking for a home for the lift and the tire changer, I'm right up 93 in Methuen. I'd be willing to buy them outright, or just hold them until you get back.

    Good luck, ride safe.
  6. kta

    kta Riding Everything Everywhere

    Sep 10, 2007
    Gillmartin - Thank you for the offer! I think I've decided not to sell them because I'll lose too much and they'll be hard to replace at a later date. However, I may take you up on your storage/usage offer. I'll keep you informed.

    On a whim last week I went out and bought a dirtbike to carry with me on the trip. I was originally thinking of a single dual sport, but what the hell, I'll bring 2 bikes!!!! One hanging on the front of the jeep, one hanging on the back of the camper.

    It's a 1994 KTM 300exc that I got an amazing deal on (you wouldn't believe it if I told you). Here is a picture of it from Saturday when I was going through it. It's a complete bike and runs strong, but needs a couple regular items (wheel bearings, brake pads, sprockets, etc).


    I used to have a 1999 KTM 300exc a few years ago. I was initially hesitant about making a 'downgrade' to the 94 model, but after comparing photos I don't think I'll be able to tell the difference. Other than inverted forks the 1994 is almost identical. Supposedly in 1998 they made the frame a bit slimmer and got rid of the rear shock linkage, but I doubt I'll notice on the trail. Here is the 1999 in a similar state back in 2004.


    So now I'll keep my eyes open for a small street bike to bring with me. A CB350/XS400 would be perfect. I had a 1977 XS400 a few years ago too, it was the best year of the SOHC XS. Very light and nimble, and had a cafe type look stock.


    The trip preparations continue. More to come . . . . .
  7. tn-steve

    tn-steve Addicted

    Jan 2, 2007
    Clarksville, TN
    Best of luck Evan. Sounds like one hell of an adventure. I'm located in Clarksville, TN (near Nashville). PM or e-mail me if you need anything in my area. I've got shop space for repairs and wireless internet.
  8. RocknTroll

    RocknTroll Been here awhile

    Jun 25, 2006
    Man this sounds great, just adding my 2 cents
    If yer near white sands ya gotta check out Carlsbad Caverns
    If ya get to the Sawtooths ID there's a killer campground just west of Bonniville Hot springs.
    Think about a small generator, batteries an a UPS so ya can work while yer camping.
    If ya get out to California PM me we're in Sacramento right now, but try to get up to R place in northern CA as much as we can.
    Don't need web work but if we're up north while yer here ya can park at R place and ride round up there.

    Best of luck to ya :clap
  9. Eurobiker

    Eurobiker Vintage Cat Herder

    Apr 23, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Sounds like the makings of an epic adventure. Give me a shout when you get out this way. :clap:clap:clap
  10. RoyB

    RoyB Dartmouth, Massacusetts

    Aug 3, 2004
    Dartmouth, MA
    Great idea.............Ya gotta do this stuff while you can!

    I hope that 6 cylinder motor in that Jeep is up to the task...........And really watch that transmission...You'll be maxing out its GVW I'll bet.........

    Another idea is to gut the trailer, install a rear fold down door and a fold down bunk to sleep........

    Walmarts allow camping in their parkinglots and they are free.........

    Leave the whole Jeep thing home and just do this trip on a bike....More better!.................

    Lot's of options................Have a great trip!

    BUZZARD II Old Geezer Supporter

    Jun 4, 2007
    Gee, all those places and your going to miss New Jersey, the Garden State.
  12. kta

    kta Riding Everything Everywhere

    Sep 10, 2007
    I'll try not to cry myself to sleep over it, haha!

    The jeep inline 6 is one of, if not the, most reliable american motor ever built. I have no worries about it's ability to tow the camper long distances. However, I am going to install an oil cooler and a transmission cooler just to be on the safe side.

    Thanks you for all the kind words everyone! Any place that get's mentioned in this thread I'll add into my list. I'll also make sure to tag base with all of you as I pass through your area!
  13. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer Supporter

    Aug 20, 2004
  14. kta

    kta Riding Everything Everywhere

    Sep 10, 2007
    After pulling back some of the walls on the camper I found a lot more water damage than I expected. Many of the boards were completely rotten and there was certainly more than a little mold.


    So I put on my respirator.

    .. . and I began doing some extreme demo.

    I ripped out the front and back walls as well as the ceiling.

    I've already started putting the ceiling back in with all new wood and paneling. It's going to be brand spanking new!

    Unfortunately it is going to be raining/snowing around here for the next week solid so I had to tarp everything over. I'll have to wait it out - which is a shame because I was on such a roll. It took me 3 full days from dawn to dusk to rip everything out and start fresh.

    I also ordered a brand new full exhaust for my KTM which should be here shortly. I'll order up the wheel, steering and swingarm bearings this week and get the bike 100% while the weather is still bad.

    Trip preparations continue. . . . .
  15. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

    Jan 29, 2002
    out and about
    Good thread. :thumb
  16. dukethedog

    dukethedog Been here awhile

    Sep 8, 2007
    Orlean, VA
    i have a great camping spot on my farm in Virginia for you and the trailer. Right off of Skyline Drive, and tons of rolling farm country two-lanes. Sounds like a great adventure. Look me up.
  17. wingysataday

    wingysataday Been here awhile

    Feb 19, 2007
    Boise, ID
    that sounds freakin awesome!!! I'm envious! Like the other guy, I would b nervous pulling all that weight with your jeep. I would make that trailer as light as possible!
  18. kta

    kta Riding Everything Everywhere

    Sep 10, 2007
    I've also received a couple PMs from people concerned about my Jeep. I'll agree that the Jeep isn't an optimum towing vehicle, but it is rated to 5,000 pounds. My trailer, even when packed full of motorcycles and gear will still weight considerably less than that. I also plan on installing a transmission cooler and oil cooler.

    The long and short of it is, the Jeep is what I have, so it will have to do. It's a great all around vehicle and has served me very well over the last 5 years that I've owned it. If any problems arise, I'll fix them or make due.
  19. kta

    kta Riding Everything Everywhere

    Sep 10, 2007
    The snow has made the last couple weeks difficult. The camper has suffered injuries.

    Prior to the snow a couple weeks ago I had put the first layer of plywood on the ceiling of the camper, but did not have time to put any of the support studs over top (campers are built from the inside out). We got 8 inches of snow the following day and the plywood simply couldn't hold the weight. It caved in. Oh well. I'm only out $40 or so.


    However, in the meantime I've been working on the KTM 300exc. It needed a few parts; a kickstarter shaft, the rear wheel had a flat spot, most of the bearings were worn, the levers were bent, and a couple other odds and ends. And in my traditional fashion, instead of just buying a couple parts, I bought another complete bike! I bought a 1994 250sx from the local dealership through eBay. It was in much better condition than my 300exc and almost every part can swap over.


    This weekend I completely tore both bikes down to the frame.


    I swapped over almost everything from the 250sx. The 1993 and 1994 300excs had inverted WP forks from the factory which were reasonable but are known for having front wheel deflection issues. So I swapped the entire 250 front end over which uses a conventional style Marzocchi fork and was a very popular front end for many years.

    Anyway, I spent two full days tearing through the bikes. I even dug into the motors to swap kickstart shafts and clutch baskets and hubs.


    I ended up with the completed 300.


    The 300exc is now completely ready to rock. It is in excellent mechanical condition all around and is ready for my many off-road adventures!!! I plan on tearing it down again next week to thoroughly clean every part as well as replace a few rubber bushings, but as of right now I am VERY happy with what I have accomplished. It took me nearly 30 hours or so.

    I've decided I am going to build a garage door into the rear of the camper so that I can store the bike inside it. This will prevent me from hanging weight too far back and it will also be safe from the elements and theft.

    Trip preperations continue. . . .. .
  20. HarryK

    HarryK Adventurer

    Apr 23, 2007
    Western NC
    Sounds like a real road trip!! Having the trailer and the bike will give you a lot of flex. Especially if you have the ability to keep the $$ coming in by doing your web work in the trailer. Seems to be a good plan!! Good luck.
    I live a mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway ( Boone NC) if you're thru here and need anything give me a buzz. I'll be in and out ( got some rides out west & south planned) during April, May & June, but here mostly.