Ms Piggy

by / Sunday, 25 August 2013 / Published in Small Space Living

No insult is meant to this fab new home of mine, but there is hardly a more fitting name than… Ms Piggy! Just about the least aero-dynamic vehicle you could drive, she’s wide, squat, not very tall and has plenty of spunk.

Was This Motorhome “Thing” Planned?

When I set out on the Vespa trip, it was truly going to be a few weeks on the road, yet I didn’t have any real plans for a conclusion. Over the past several years, I have become very interested in the tiny house movement along with motorhome travel. As I was riding across the country, using Priceline or Airbnb to make my nightly arrangements, the only complaint I had was packing and unpacking each night. Onerous!

The saddle bags had to be taken off the bike and everything inside unpacked. The top case needed to be emptied. Sometimes the motel would have outside room entrances, so I could bring the bike practically to the door. Other times, it was necessary to load onto a cart and wheel my belongings to the room. The worst was upstairs rooms in motels with no elevator.

As the trip went on, from East to West across the US, the winds became an increasingly daunting factor. I stayed in towns for two and three days hoping to be able to travel in less windy conditions. For people who lived there, the winds were part of life. For me, they were the only source of annoyance on my trip besides the packing and unpacking.

So, the notion I had been toying with for a long time began to seem more immediate: get a small motorhome, use the Vespa as the “toad” (RV language for towed-behind vehicle, or the daily rider) and live on the road.

Enter Ms Piggy.

A 1979 GMC Jimmy Van Coach, custom built for the original owner on a Van Dura chassis, with an extra wide body, low profile and fully self-contained… which means I get to carry my water- and my “waste”- with me. 19 feet long, with an extra 3 feet for the Vespa carrier.

There is a tiny bathroom with shower and a galley kitchen. Sleeper sofa and dinette that converts to another bed. Everything I need for life on the road.

 

The funny part is that I had already minimized my possessions for life on a Vespa, so there is plenty of storage space for my needs on board. I even went the extra luxury of buying new cowboy boots (you might remember that I have only really missed having my beloved black Justins and a cute pair of shoes along.)

The proprietress had been holding these beauties in the back "until the right person came along".. That's Me!

The proprietress had been holding these beauties in the back “until the right person came along”.. That’s Me!

Compartmentalized storage, hyper organization and a few cute touches are all that I needed to make living in Ms Piggy truly feasible. I wonder if I could have jumped in so easily if I was moving down from a larger apartment as opposed to moving UP from a Vespa?

Since this unit is small, I can park it pretty much anywhere. The carrier for the Vespa makes it a bit long for the average parking spot, but not unreasonably so. In places where I can stay for a few days, the Vespa gets rolled off and used as transportation- and fun.

For now, I am meandering up the West Coast. I’ll talk in the next post about finding places for the night, which is part of the adventure. But at least I can answer my most-often asked question of “Where do you sleep at night?” with…

IN MS PIGGY!

 

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