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Life On The Road: Slow Car Fast Home


Danielle Boucek and Tommy Krawczewicz were living and working in Denver when they realized they needed a change. Struggling to take time off to travel in their busy lives, they realized they would rather see the country than pay skyrocketing rent. Now, they run their business from a 1992 Toyota Odyssey RV named Nigel. See the build and their travels for yourself at @slowcarfasthome.

Year, make, and model of your RV?

Tommy: “1992 Toyota Odyssey”

 

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How did you choose your rig?

Danielle: “I think that the number one thing was probably cost. The second was that Tommy has always had Toyotas and he knows how reliable they are. This has the same engine that all of his cars have always had, and almost all the shops across North America can work on them.”

T: “There’s no computers; it’s all mechanical and everything is really easy to fix.”

What changes did you make to it?

D: “We pretty much tore everything out. Basically, we added a lot of storage in here. A lot of the old cabinetry was built really poorly and space was used in weird ways. For the most part, it’s the same layout, just done better. There was also carpet and wallpaper everywhere. We updated it and made better use of the space.”

 

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When and why did you decide to travel full-time?

D: “It kind of goes back to when we were living in Denver, Colorado. We moved there in 2015 and lived in North Carolina prior and were paying really cheap cost of living so were traveling all the time. Then suddenly, we were working non-stop in Denver because it was so expensive to live there. We hardly saw our dogs, and took maybe two trips in two years and hit that wall.

[We asked ourselves], ‘Are we going to live our lives just to pay our rent, or to have experiences?’ We used to have a van before this for pop-up events for our business in Colorado. We took it out for weekend trips and realized we could live on the road but had to be realistic about what kind of space we needed.”

 

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What’s your favorite place you’ve been to so far?

D: “I still think it’s Jackson, Wyoming. We loved going to Montana, specifically around Glacier, but there wasn’t enough free camping on the side we wanted to be on. And we haven’t gone everywhere we want to yet.”

T: “I love Moab, I like Joshua Tree, and I also loved camping on the beach in Oregon. But Moab was where we decided we wanted to live on the road.”

 

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What’s been the biggest hurdle with adjusting to vanlife?

D: “Tommy wanting to take a shower every single day. The first two weeks were so hard adjusting to not showering every dayreally saving water for dishes and for the dogs. So really just water usage. You don’t think about it. Even now when we go home, the running water blows our mind.”

 

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What do you do for work?

D: “LowTide Longboards is the business we started four years ago. We’ve always done this out of the space we lived in. My day-to-day responsibilities are customer service, Instagram, and design and painting. He’s kind of like the manager. Since living on the road, we also write for blogs and companies. Tommy makes wood art on the road: wooden trays, tables, and other cool stuff. We have a ‘shop artwork’ section on our website that’s travel-inspired.’

T: “I do all the woodwork, cutting, and staining for LowTide.”

What’s the biggest challenge with running a business from the road?

T: “Space is honestly one of the hardest things for us.”

D: “There’s also a lot of dog hair in here. We try to separate them while we’re painting. And ordering things can be a challenge. In the past month or so, we’ve dealt with chasing down our packages. We usually have it held at a UPS store and have to plan where we’re going to be and where we’re going to send it. If we do happen to get to that place before it gets there, we have to linger for a bit.”

 

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How do you decide where to go next?

T: “A lot of times, we look at the weather and that determines where we want to go.”

Do you have any tips for fellow entrepreneurs who want to travel full-time and go remote?

D: “I would say to expect to adjust how you do things. It took us a while to get to a comfortable and ‘normal’ routine working on the road. I still struggle painting outside when it’s super windy, but not everyone will have hands-on work like that. But I always tell everyone to have your business settled before you head out on the road. Starting a new business and starting a new lifestyle would be too much. And make sure your business influences the space you design inside your vehicle, too.”

 

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Rapid Fire Q&A

Pancakes or waffles?
Both: “Pancakes”

Favorite part of the RV:
Both: “Couch”

East or West Coast?
Both: “West”

Summer or winter?
Both: “Summer”

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