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Adventure Vehicles 101: Affuera Vida Bus
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Colin Boyd and his family moved into their converted Mercedes-Benz 508D bus/Affuera Vida studio to spend more time together and have adventures on the road.
BRYAN ROGALA: All right, guys. So we're walking around the parking lot at Overland Expo. This is where you're going to find really cool people with awesome, very rare adventure vehicles. So we're going to go walk around and see who we can talk to, see what cool rigs we can find.
Colin, what's going on, man?
COLIN BOYD: Nice to meet you.
BRYAN ROGALA: This is amazing.
COLIN BOYD: Thank you.
BRYAN ROGALA: Tell me about this.
COLIN BOYD: This is a 1978 Mercedes 508D. It was a German command and control center, so it was in service until 2014. We moved in two hours after we bought it and been on the roads ever since.
BRYAN ROGALA: Tell me about the trip, and what the purpose of this vehicle is, and why you guys moved into it.
COLIN BOYD: We wanted to do this trip as a way to connect as a family and show our kids some of the world that we've been fortunate enough to see.
BRYAN ROGALA: Awesome.
COLIN BOYD: So we launched Affuera Vida, which is Sofia and I's production studio. "Affuera Vida" means outside life.
BRYAN ROGALA: So tell me about the build-out and what you guys have done to it.
COLIN BOYD: We were able to really do some really nice cabinetry, we did a heated floor, and because this was a communications rig, it had wires coming out of everywhere, and we got it wired up really nicely before we left.
BRYAN ROGALA: Well, you want to show me around the inside a little bit?
COLIN BOYD: Yeah, let's take you in.
BRYAN ROGALA: All right, let's go check it out.
COLIN BOYD: So this was the generator shed. So this is a unique feature, I think a lot of vans could use this. Some of them have it, some of them don't. We've used it as our systems shed.
BRYAN ROGALA: Oh, nice.
COLIN BOYD: So we've got propane, fresh water, gray water in our Nemo solar shower, and then electric hookup.
BRYAN ROGALA: A real house in here.
COLIN BOYD: We've got diapers, we've got babies. We love this van because of the space. So we've got an upper bunk, which is about a queen sized bed. We put in a lower bunk for the children. The kids love it in there, there's a ton of space.
We've got a full wardrobe up here for all of our clothing, a little IKEA wall for toiletries, and locking slider drawers. We went with a horizontal fridge on sliders, a propane stove because we cook a lot and we really try to eat healthy on the road.
BRYAN ROGALA: What is your favorite part of this thing, whether it's the experience or the rig itself?
COLIN BOYD: That's a really good question. What do you think, Soph, what's your favorite part?
SOFIA ALDINIO: Oh, I just love to be able to go to all these cool places--
BRYAN ROGALA: Sure.
SOFIA ALDINIO: --and adventure with the kids.
COLIN BOYD: I'd agree. I think having everything you need wherever you go, and to know that if the storm rolls in, or somebody's sick, or the tire blows out and you're on the side of the road, you're actually-- you're fine. You have everything you need, and you can sort it out.