Fawkes On The Road

Fawkes On The Road

When i first had the idea to roam inside an RV across Europe, i was not sure what vehicle to choose. It was after some months of benchmarking that i came to the decision i need something small (to access areas reachable by cars) with an ergonomic living room (where i can code) and that allows me to stand up (at 6’ 2’’) when cooking.

Initially i was tempted by the Ford Nugget Plus, with high roof and integrated toilette. I then switched to the plain Nugget, since i need something less showy to park. Then i realized the Nugget is taller than 2 meters too, thus resulting almost impossible to park into underground garages.

I’d also like the idea to have an all wheels drive vehicle, to be more confident when using it outside of tarmac. This requirement restricts the possible options to:

  • VW California
  • Mercedes Marco Polo
  • VW Transporter alternatives built by 3rd parties (aka Westfalia, which equips the Nugget, the Marco Polo and earlier California models)

At the end i opted for the VW California, since it has the advantage to be tested by standard crash tests and, well, i like it more.

When i go to the VW dealer in October 2022, they told me it will get them about one year to build the vehicle… The microchips crisis due to COVID and Ukraine war doesn’t allow for more certain timing. I ordered my California nonetheless with a 500 euro deposit and a very long term loan to cover the ridiculously high price…

I chose basic safety options, 4motion with rear diff lock and steel rims. As for the color, it should represent a sort of rebirth from my ashes (the second one), so the phoenix was the first thing i thought of: it must be red, i named it Fawkes!

At the start of December i noticed the California 4motion disappeared from VW price lists. I asked info to the dealer, but they said VW doesn’t communicate anything to them. By reading online posts i came to the conclusion the California assembly line (T6 has a dedicated one) would be dismissed soon, since the company is going to focus on other hybrid/electric platforms. I started picking alternatives, which i don’t like as Fawkes in any way (the Possl Campster has small water tank and no 4WD).

Then, at the start of March, the dealer called me, stating that my California has been produced, one of the last, and that i can get it at the end of the month!

I was stroke by mixed feelings: one part of me was enthusiast, the other part, the conservative one, was scared. I was put abruptly in front of the consequences of a choice i maturated last summer, once some of my fixed points collapse (again), leaving me with more freedom to think about what i really want to do.

I have to leave the city where i lived for almost 50 years, with my parents for the first 25 (they moved to another city in the meanwhile), with my ex for the next 19, and, since 2018, alone, with the company of Ruby (my dog) which joined me in 2021. I need to leave my friends, the one I’ve got before getting married, the few i met in the middle, and the fresh ones i get in the last 5 years.

I’ve learned that good things come from drastic changes, so i try to ignore my conservative side, sure that my friends (the real ones at least) will be there when I’d come back to pay visit, my family supports my decision and i won’t miss Milan anyway.

So here we are: Fawkes is sleeping in the garage right now, but we’re ready for new adventures: on June we’ll move to the feet of Mont Blanc, that will be our new home base for the next four years (at least). From there we’ll travel across Europe, like migratory birds, heading north on summer, and south when cold strikes. There’re no plans, no limits, plenty of freedom.

Follow this blog if you’d like to read more, and have some insights from our nomad life. I’ll try to post only when i have something decent to say and some pictures to match.

Until then, happy roaming!

PS - I’ve developed a pretty nihilistic approach to life, which brings me to avoid useless fights. This is an opinionated blog, if something i write offends you, please don’t take it too seriously, life is short…