Taking on the road-trip of a lifetime in a 1990 Toyota Pickup
In 2013, Ashley and Richard Giardino left their desk jobs in Vancouver, BC and set out on an overland adventure in their 1990 Toyota pickup truck “Little Red”. Over the next two years they travelled 65,000 kilometers, taking a zigzag route south from Canada to Central and South America, and back to Canada. Their adventures included hiking the Andes, exploring 15 different countries, and sleeping in a roof-top tent for 400 nights.
Building an adventure mobile for overland travel
It took a great deal of planning and work to get the 1990 Toyota Pickup ready for the epic adventure Richard and Ashley were about to embark on. The truck had been left for dead with flat tires, a cracked windshield and covered in mold and rust, but Rich and Ash knew this was the vehicle to take them on their Pan-American journey. They resurrected it back to life and outfitted the truck with all the gear they would need to live off-grid and camp on excluded beaches for weeks at a time. This included a small fridge and magic bullet blender for food prep, plus their laptop, camera gear and LED lights. To power all of this equipment and keep their devices charged they installed a dual battery system with a Samlex 1000W pure sine inverter and an SRV Samlex solar charging kit.
“Seven years ago, I installed my very first solar charging kit, a Samlex 85W kit…I had no idea what I was doing, and it was the first time I had installed any solar or electrical system in a truck before. The best part was, I did it the day before we were leaving on our trip and two years later it was still working great.”
Planning to hit the road again on a world tour with Little Red 2.0
Fast forward to 2021, Richard and Ashley are planning for their next world-travel adventure. They are rebuilding their truck with a Go Fast Camper system to allow them to not only live comfortably but also work from wherever they are in the world with off-grid power. They expect to be using their computers and camera gear more on this trip, so they have increased their battery bank size and solar panel size so that they will never have to worry about their electrical needs when camped out for extended periods of time.
They have installed two 100W Samlex Solar panels on the Go Fast Camper solar panel trays and connected them to charge a pair of 85Ah Full River AGM batteries. They have combined this with a Samlex PST-600-12 pure sine wave inverter inside the camper to charge their laptops, camera gear, and power their daily necessities with off-grid power. Living out of their little truck is essential to providing them the freedom they want as they travel the world. With the proper planning and power system, they can confidently live and work in their camper regardless of how long they are off-grid or where their overland adventures take them.
“Thanks to our Samlex solar system and PST-600 inverter, we are able to keep our laptops and camera batteries charged wherever we are in the world.”
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Follow the Desk to Glory overland adventure