The Mighty Toyota Itasca

We left our home in Fort Collins, Colorado on September 6th.  Our house is rented out and we are traveling to shows around the Southern US for a few more weeks, including a festival in Alabama and house concerts in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As we travel, we also have time to look for venues and future work. After that we will return to Fort Collins in mid October where I will rehearse and perform with John Magnie and Steve Amedee. Our new trio is called Young Ancients. There will be plenty of info available soon at YOUNGANCIENTS.COM, and at Young Ancient History here on tumblr.

We are traveling in a 1986 Toyota Itasca RV with our dog Zeus. When Celeste and I started talking about our travel plan, we started looking around online for a vehicle that suited our needs. The perfect vehicle would be a living space for the three of us, it would be able to carry a small PA, and have a living area, kitchen, bath and room for clothes. It wasn’t long before we started searching around for a Toyota RV. It fills all the requirements. It’s amazing how many strangers walk up to our RV to comment on it. We met a guy in a parking lot the other day that went on and on about how he had been looking for one in Georgia and can’t find one. 
It’s an older vehicle so we are slowly adapting it to our needs and learning how to live in a very small space. Mechanically, the first thing we did was reinforce the suspension with air shocks. They can be filled with up to 100 lbs of air and raised the clearance quite a bit.
The next thing that needed attention was the rear differential. The camper sits on a Toyota chassis with dual wheels. It started to show signs of trouble a few weeks ago in North Carolina. Several garages in several towns agreed to do the work until they saw the RV in person. Nobody could get it on a lift. After nearly 2 weeks we found possibly the best specialists in the country for the job. They work on drive trains exclusively and are big fans of Toyota Rock crawlers. They had us on the road in a day and a half with great results. 

The next item we will have looked at is the transmission. We found a quality shop in close proximity to Carolina Beach to have it looked at. It is all fixed up and the RV is a completely different ride now. 

After a month, having traded the responsibilities of being a home owner for those of a rolling home, I’ll take the RV any day! And as far as the dog goes, after watching the activity out the front door of a house for the last several years in Colorado, he seems pretty excited to see what cool new stuff is outside the front door every time it opens now. Every day is an adventure for all of us.
We are in Alabama for 4 days of shows with the Pura Fe Trio. Should be a fun week. After Alabama we will be heading to Tulsa, Oklahoma, a place I dearly love. Thanks for reading, stay in touch!

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