- Falcor The Dodge Van -
Leo Jenkins set out a goal to drink a beer in every state. Well, it came down to finishing the goal with Alaska and then North and South Dakota. The idea of buying a van in Anchorage and converting it started cultivating in his brain. He's no stranger to life on the road and "full timing" it. The van he was looking for plopped onto his radar and he booked his flight to Alaska to start his conversion and drive south.
Leo decided to take it one very large step further and made plans to drive "Falcor" the van all the way to South America and make a documentary on the whole process. Surfing and climbing in the great outdoors along the way, Leo and Falcor might even ship off to the southern tip of Africa where they'll continue the journey north.
I had asked Leo to make a short video tour of Falcor and little did I know that he's actually a comedian as well. Enjoy the video at the bottom that Leo shot, edited and produced by himself.
Adventure Mobile Specs:
-Model Ram 2500
-Length never measured it 12ft maybe.
-Interior Square Footage less than 40 sq ft.
-Purchased From/Location I flew into anchorage Alaska and gave myself a 24hr time limit to find and buy a vehicle that I would drive to southern South America
-Cost in materials for the conversion
The van, which will be referred to as "Falcor" from this point forth, was already built out with a cabinet and bed frame. I used that set up for close to a year before redesigning it. If you include the refrigerator, solar panels and solar generator, and roof rack, I have spent around $2,000 for the build out.
-Is the conversion complete or still in progress?
Just like any home, I'm not sure if it is ever "complete" I am constantly making minor improvements. I added a fingerboard to the side last week to keep up my climbing strength on the road.
-Tell us a bit about how the idea to rebuild this Adventure Mobile came about.
A few years ago I set a goal to drink a beer in every state. Last year I traveled once around the world going east. When I arrived in Hawaii from New Zealand, I checked that state off my list, leaving only Alaska, North and South Dakota. I decided to get a flight to Anchorage and drive through the other two.
Who is involved or part of the crew with your adventures?
For the most part I have been solo. I pick up hitch hikers whenever I can and have even had some people travel with me for extended periods but for the bulk of the miles it's just me and Falcor.
What materials did you use during your build? Any reclaimed/upcycled items?
When I finally got around to making some modifications, I did so at my dad's house in Phoenix. I used as much as I could from his barn scrap piles and fixtures. I also utilized as much of the existing build out as possible.
What are your future plans with the Adventure Mobile?
If Falcor stays healthy we will visit every country in North, Central and South America together, surfing, climbing and adventuring along the way. I'm shooting a documentary on the experience now.
If we survive, I'd like to find a freight ship to transport the van to Africa and continue from south to north.
Walk us through your kitchen setup (stove, sink, water source, etc.) and what items you're using (make, model if applicable).
I actually just upgraded to the new Jetboil duel burner camp stove. It's not out until next year but they didn't feel right letting me make the trip with the old stove I had. The two burner pulls out from the back on a custom drawer system I made allowing me to stand while I cook. I also have a single burner installed inside to use in the event of inclement weather or a stealth city camp situation.
My sink is a collapsable one from Sea to Summit, which saves me valuable space. It's easy to carry down to local water sources which helps me to conserve my drinking water.
I carry about 5 gallons of water internally and another 7 on the roof in a large container.
How many can the Adventure Mobile sleep and how is the sleeping arrangement designed?
I switched out the pillow top full mattress for an 8" futon. This enables the space to act as bedroom, entertainment room, dining room, and office. Typically I sleep with it in couch mode but it sleeps two otherwise.
What is your power source? (make and model of items your using).
I have a goal zero yeti 400 and a single Grape Solar 100w panel. I'm strongly considering adding another panel though as the single is only getting 60w in good conditions.
What is your source of heat if any? (make and model of items your using)
Endless summer for me! I try to stay in places where I need a fan instead of a heater!
What has been the hardest part about living in your Adventure Mobile? (parking, water, trash, etc)
I'm not new to the hardships of traveling. The being a little dirty or experiencing slight discomforts from time to time. What gets me more often than not is when people have no tolerance for your lifestyle. It is common for people to make jokes about being a rapist or a pedophile because you own a van. There is no way to be more vile, more egregious, more loathsome than to be either of those things. To the contrary, just about every single person I have ever met that lives in a van, part or full time, is an absolutely incredible person.
Where can people follow or find out more about your Adventure Mobile? (social media, website, etc.)
I am very active on Instagram @leo_jenkins
I have also recently started a FB page about my documentary called, Van Life: The Pleasures and Pains of Nomadicity
Leo has also just released his most recent book "First Train Out Of Denver" which you can pick up for a read.
Tour Of Falcor The Dodge Van