Selecting our Dolphin

As we decided to head out on this journey we asked ourselves what would be our ultimate mode of transport. Luckily, as Cameron is a mechanic, we had options available to us that otherwise would be too costly. Essentially, a fixer-upper was our target.

Other than cost, our main considerations were:

  • Dependability and availability of replacement parts across the border.
  • Automatic v. manual. We ended up with an automatic, acceptable in the reliable Toyota chassis, yet Cameron still dreams of a manual.
  • Fuel efficiency. We didn’t want an 8-cylinder gas guzzler or anything too large as we’d end up paying to lug extra weight around.
  • Storage for our kite gear. Would it be on top of the vehicle, inside or back in a trailer?
  • Comfort. This one came from my court, I did want a few elements of comfort as we’d be living in this vehicle for a long period of time! Comfort also included conversations around having a toilet/black water tank or having to rely solely on doing our business elsewhere.

The main contenders:

01. ’87 Toyota Vanwagon, pimped out with window tint. At the time, Cameron had this beauty in his possession. We considered an addition of a roof-top sleeper with gear storage in the back, or pulling a trailer for gear. We quickly decided to sell the Vanwagon as we wanted more space and didn’t think pulling a trailer would be easily maneuverable.

02. Cargo van for gear, while hauling a trailer to live in.

03. Class C RV. 20’ or less. Allows us to fit into most regular-sized parking spaces. Would be reasonable for gas mileage.

In the end, the Dolphin was the first RV we looked at and, although she needed a lot of work to be road-worthy in our eyes, she met all our criteria. Check here to see the work and love we put into getting the rig ready.