Heading cross country in the old postal van (1 Viewer) Photos 

Apr 23, 2020
Reaction score
Reno, Nevada
I bought this 1999 GMC Utilimaster van at auction because the odometer said it only had 43K miles on a V8 diesel engine. On the initial drive, somewhere between Barstow and Reno the odometer stopped working.......I've had no engine trouble, but on occasion it'll blast out some white exhaust. I gutted the cargo bay and set it up for living. It has all the essentials. A mechanic did a fluids exchange , cost a lot, he said my transmission fluid looked like mud and my engine oil was 2-3 quarts low. I've never seen any oil leak down below.

I recently decided my job sucked more than the pay was worth, so I put in my notice. I love to travel by any means, and I've accepted the reality that life is short so I should go while I can. With a bit of "trepidation", a bunch of "I have no idea" and a whole lot of "zero f*cks given", I decided to drive "Shevanigans" East. I have family in NC and I've always wanted to cross the country, to see what lies beyond. Will I make it? No idea! But I realized it has only been my fear that has kept me from trying, so I fear no more. I hopped on a freight train the same way, just went. No mentor, just a bunch of You Tube bravado and I mastered the next task along the way. I absolutely loved those adventures, but this is the next, always challenging ones self outside of the comfort zone. I hope this works out in a similar fashion!

We are not very stealth, so free campsites along the way will be the goal. I plan to take the southern route along I 40. I am quite concerned about police harassment given that It is an unusual vehicle and may attract unwanted attention. State to state travelers are probably a good revenue stream for small town road pirates. I carry no drugs, but there is always open alcohol /liquor in the cargo bay/living compartment.

I worry about running into snow and having to use snow chains, gotta make a detour into Denver on the 23rd I have duals on the rear. Must I put chains on both of the dual tires? A fedex guy said I need only place them on the outside tires. The speedometer is 5 mph slow, so 65 mph read 70 mph, it tops out at 65 mph. Not sure if the previous owner put some kind of governor or restrictor plate on it. Pretty slow up the hills, not a lot of power. Hopefully not many steep mountain passes along I 40. I'm traveling alone, I have no drivers bay stereo. I'll listen to music/podcasts on my phone with earbuds, the van is real loud.

500 miles or 7-8 hours a day is the goal. Up early, drive with the sun and find a spot to camp before dark. Repeat as necessary. The Slabs call to me, I look forward to finding East Jesus and Salvation Mountain when I get back West. If anyone else is traveling along that corridor 11/12-30, DM me and maybe we can hook up. Updates will follow. If anyone has tips, suggestions or any other useful info I would be appreciative.

Last edited by a moderator:
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Total amount

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $20.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $20.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $20.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $20.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.