Our American road trip


New member
I have been a long time lurker on this forum and finally have a good reason to post something. Me and my girlfriend have started on a long-awaited road trip and since the stories and thoughts posted here before have been a great inspiration, I thought I might share a little of ours as well.
Originally from Estonia, we have been residing in Calgary for the last couple of years. Three weeks ago we packed everything we needed to our minivan and sold the rest (which wasn´t a a whole lot anyway). We headed west, towards BC and have been slowly finding our way to Victoria where we are about to board a ferry to Port Angeles, WA. From there we are planning to head south following the coast to San Diego and then back up to Calgary through Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana. Our visa allows us to explore for three months so we are hoping it is going to be enough. Well, it has to be. We plan on spending most of the time in the parks and forests, hike as much as possible but also see the best the cities have to offer.
Our choice of vehicle is definitely not as fancy or cool as lot of the others on this forum, but we are hoping it will work for us. We basically followed the principle "the best vehicle is the on one you have." And we had a Toyota Sienna minivan, which we bought mostly for weekend camping trips to the Rockies. But with little modifications to the bed platform, some TLC for the car itself and we were off. And so far so good. I will add a couple of pictures from my build.

Kitchen area in the back - had quite a tight budget for the entire build so no fancy stuff. Total cost of the bed platform was about 100$.

I build the platform in a way that I could fold it up and fit the second row seats in it without removing the whole thing from the van.

Beautiful BC.

Our route is only vaguely plan out so any recommendations are highly welcome. From Port Angeles we will probably follow the coast south until around Portland but we defiantly like the unexpected detours. I´ll try to post some updates as we progress and keep an eye on this thread.

Mel & Iris


Expedition Leader
Hi Mel & Iris,

This sounds like a wonderful adventure. Be sure to get many pictures for your memories and our enjoyment as well. I will be following along, scribbled.



New member
Sounds like a great adventure and the perfect time of the year. I wish you safe travels, many memories and a lot of fun!