Interview with David Soza: polymath, engineer, and wanderer.
Show Notes for Podcast Episode #43
Interview with David Soza: polymath, engineer, and wanderer.
Scott Brady discusses with David Soza the merits of light weight and minimalism, along with the essential design considerations for expedition campers. They also do a deep dive on critical Tacoma modifications for strength and durability. David shares his experiences living remote and off the grid, along with lessons learned by just being still.
This podcast is supported in part by:
David’s fascination with adventure travel started at the age of 14, when he took his first 4 day solo packing trip into the Catalina Mountains of Arizona. David built his very first overland vehicle in 1976; 41 years ago. It was an offroad VW beetle modified inside to be a one man sleeper/camper. Over the last 4 decades, David has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles, for years at a time, by 4 wheeled vehicle, backpack, motorcycle, and mountain bike. David has built a number of expeditionary vehicles, including one that was featured in a prominent offroad magazine. David intimately understands the challenges of extended minimalist travel.
David was part of the early ultralight backpacking movement, before it became a more mainstream part of the outdoor scene. Like the current camper world, much of his early gear was self designed and built. Commercial options simply did not exist.
David is a professional mechanical engineer, with over 37 years of research and design experience. He is also a journeyman level machinist, welder, and fabricator. David has founded three design and manufacturing businesses, producing paradigm changing approaches to both new and old challenges. This vast combination of experience and passion is now focused on Tern Overland LLC.
You can find David at Tern Overland LLC.
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
[00:00:00] Scott Brady: Hello. Welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I'm your host, Scott Brady and my co host Matt Scott is not with us today because it's his birthday. So happy birthday Matt, and thanks for being such an awesome co-host and friend. You have made such a difference in this podcast so thanks for being you and happy birthday man, and I have a good friend and a wonderful guest today, Dave Soza. Dave has been literally my neighbor next door. He runs a company called Turn Overland and they bring in windows and doors and other accessories for vans and campers, etcetera, but I really look at Dave as a polymath. He is really one of the few that I have met in my life that has managed to create mastery in so many different levels of his life, and as we're going to talk about today, that has really come from his experiences and that's going to be kind of a thread that we're going to have through this conversation. So, David, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
[00:01:00] David Soza: Scott it is just really an honor to be here. I'll tell you I've been a fan of the podcast since the very first episode so I never thought that I would be sitting here in this seat, but it really is an honor to be here.
Scott Brady: You're so welcome. No, I just so appreciate you being on the podcast, and we were just talking right before we started recording about what are you drinking today?
David Soza: I'm drinking a Egyptian licorice tea. This is actually given to me as a gift. I like licorice [00:02:00] teas.
Scott Brady: Oh, nice.
David Soza: This is really good stuff here. It keeps my throat clear.
Scott Brady: Oh, okay that makes sense because you also seem to enjoy coffee too. So maybe you have your coffee in the morning and then move to teas after that.
David Soza: That's exactly it.
Scott Brady: Oh, that's smart. Yeah, when I first started the business, Jeremy Edgar was one of my first employees and he had grown up... part of his youth was in Argentina. So he drank maté tea every day and he wouldn't drink coffee. He would walk around with this little bowl with a... and they call it a Bombilla which is the straw, and he'd be walking around drinking his motto tea for most of the day and what he liked about it was he never really had that kind of caffeine crash so... yeah that's smart, and so many travelers tend to drink tea over coffee. They've maybe learned from the long haul.
David Soza: Well, and it's also easier because you don't have the cleanup and so forth.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's true.
David Soza: Just drop the teabag in. Even this tea is easier [00:03:00] to clean up.
Scott Brady: That makes, that makes a lot of sense. Well I think it would be fun to make the listeners aware of some things that you have done and one of the ones that many of the listeners will know of is the top truck challenge, and maybe give us the background on that. I can't remember if you were in the first year or one of the very first years of the event, so tell us what you drove and how that experience was for you.
David Soza: Okay. So I was in the very first event, which was really something and what had happened was, just to back up a little bit I had taken a trip around the U S in a little Honda civic and I came back in 1987 and I decided that I really wanted to do more of this, so I wanted to build a vehicle that was even more capable. So I started this in late 1987, and I finished the vehicle I think in 1992 or 93, so it was many years it took me to build this, but some friends of mine had taken a photograph of the truck and they had sent it to four Wheeler magazine, because they had heard that they were going to have [00:04:00] this new event. They were looking for contestants and all this stuff so this was unbeknownst to me, and there was something like 300 and some applicants, I guess, and out of the 307 they chose the 10 that they wanted there and I was one of them. So I got this letter in the mail from Four Wheeler magazine about something that I wasn't even sure what it was about, and in the beginning I wasn't sure that I wanted to do it because it didn't seem like the right venue for me, you know, I mean this... Four Wheeler magazine was a magazine that I liked to read and I was into four wheeling for sure, but what I'd built really wasn't a four wheel drive vehicle in that sense, it was an expeditionary vehicle is what I called it. And you would call it an overlanding vehicle. Now, the word didn't exist.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Certainly wasn't properly used yet.
David Soza: No, exactly. So I thought, well, you know, this doesn't make a lot of sense. It's like taking a Motor Home to an autocross race. What the hell am I going to do with that? But I did decide to go because I thought, you know, this is a chance for me to really test that aspect of the vehicle and it was an opportunity and I had just [00:05:00] gotten the vehicle running. I'd hardly had a chance to drive it. So I hadn't had a chance to shake it out and I wasn't even used to driving it yet. You know, that's a big deal. Being able to drive the vehicle, being really accustomed to the vehicle. So I took a vehicle that I was not accustomed with, it had never been tested, to the contest with some of the best in the country. So it was kind of a gutsy, maybe a stupid move, but I really felt good about that.
Scott Brady: And you, as I recall, you won best engineered on that event and that had to have felt really good because I would certainly, as one of your many talents, I would certainly describe you as an engineer and I believe that is what you started your professional career as, and you worked with Intel for many years. So how long did you work with Intel?
David Soza: I worked for Intel for 14 years.
Scott Brady: 14 years wow.
David Soza: I worked in the tech industry a total of about 18 years. So a [00:06:00] long time in the tech industry.
Scott Brady: And then, when we were talking earlier, you mentioned that Intel was giving people sabbaticals and you took some time off and what were some of the first things that started to change for you as a traveler from those... maybe the early backpacking trips and that early sabbatical that you made? What were some of those lessons that you drew from those experiences?
David Soza: Well I think that I was really starting to question my life's direction by seven years into my profession and I really started to see that the things that fed my soul I really wasn't getting from my work, and so the trip that I took at the seven year point was a chance for me to really kind of evaluate those things. I had always been very comfortable in nature. I liked the outdoors. I love to travel. I love the sense of adventure, and even though I was very successful in what I did and it was very interesting and I was working with some of the most intelligent people possible. I just wasn't finding the satisfaction. Yeah, the trip around the [00:07:00] country was a little over three months. A little over 14,000 miles.
Scott Brady: That was a lot of driving in three months driving.
David Soza: Yeah, it was in a little Honda civic that I had actually setup for autocross racing because I've always liked vehicles and I bought a Honda CRX SI and I had it set up for autocross racing and it was a blast. But that was the car that I took around the country. Tiny hatchback.
Scott Brady: Perfect.
David Soza: I just lived out of the car. I didn't spend a single night in a hotel. I did spend a few nights with friends around the country that I knew, but other than that I was in the car the whole time, and it was a very sparse existence. It was some of the best times of my life and certainly one of the most transformational times in my life, because over the period of those months, I really was able to nail down the things that were important to me in life. They were, none of them were material. When I came back, I was pretty much committed to making changes and it took a long time, but I did make those changes and I incorporated them [00:08:00] into my life so...
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's been fascinating to hear some of those other stories that came later and it seems like that you've had these moments of time where you either been able to be involved with a company like Intel, and then you go through this, through this journey maybe in the wilderness to a degree. Right? And then you come up with another idea that consumes your creative efforts. And then it seems like you come back into the wilderness again and as I remember you mentioning that you spent quite some time in the wilderness of Wyoming, that is such an interesting story. What brought you to decide to literally go solo off the grid completely into the middle of nowhere, and then what did you learn from that experience?
David Soza: So there again, and you're right about that. I have gone through these cycles and that was, I guess, the second major cycle that I went through. I had done some engineering consulting and I'd had a couple of businesses at that point, but I [00:09:00] was really at a turning point in my life where again, I was searching for meaning if you will. And I decided that I needed to take a timeout and I needed to do something really solitary to a large extent. So, I got involved with this rebuilt property caretaking and there are people out there that have these large tracts of remote land. They want somebody out there to kind of keep an eye on things and these are jobs that nobody wants, because they're hard, they're scary, they don't pay anything. I mean, it's a miserable deal. So I got those jobs. I said, I'll take them. So yeah, the thing is Wyoming, there was a guy that owned a 21 square mile ranch and there was an old homestead on it that was at the bottom of a Valley and the homestead was built in, I think, 1890 or 1891, and none of the buildings were habitable at this point, but he wanted to start to do some restoration on them and I said, I would work on that. But, yeah, I lived out there for an entire summer. I moved in, early may. [00:10:00] In the middle of a snow storm and that was the beginning of it for me. I spent the whole summer out there.
Scott Brady: And did you find that, I mean, maybe it's the combination of that... but what did the physical work do for you? Was that something that you enjoyed and what did you learn from that? And then I would suspect that you probably had a lot of time for stillness and personal thought. And what did you learn from that quiet time?
David Soza: Well, it was a lot of physical work for sure. I was pretty exhausted at the end of each day, and it was also the most solitude that I'd ever experienced in my life. I mean, even the times when I've done a lot of solo traveling, but... and I've done a lot of backpacking solo, but they've been for a few days at a time or a week, you know maybe even up to two weeks, but we're talking about an entire summer with hardly any human contact and that was a much different thing. You really get inside your own head in that time. There's a period of time where you don't feel it so much and then beyond that, [00:11:00] you really have to learn it a little bit yourself and you have to understand yourself and you have to understand your fears and face them. You have to understand your anxieties and face them. So I think that it gave me confidence actually in myself and it could have gone either way, I suppose I could've gone screaming into the night, you know, but I found that I could count on myself and I found that I wasn't the worst company. It gave me a chance to really sort through a lot of things that I was out there to do. By the way where I was, there was no communication of any kind, there was no cell phone, there was no internet, there was no anything. And so not only was I without human contact, but I was without any sort of safety line. So if a rattlesnake got me or if an animal got me, or if I fell and broke a leg, it could be weeks before I was found, if I was ever found.
Scott Brady: Sure. You may have just gone back into the environment in a way.
David Soza: I might have, I might've just gone back into the environment.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's interesting. When I [00:12:00] first got out of the air force, I knew that I didn't want to move back to California where I grew up and I moved onto my aunt and uncle's ranch, and it was a 56,000 acre ranch and there were people there. My aunt and uncle were there and my wife at the time was there and everything else, but it was some of my best memories because you would wake up in the morning and you'd put a saddle on a horse and you would ride fence line and it was just... it was actually a very beautiful existence and I knew it was not what I wanted to do with my life, but to do that for a year and a half. All I was doing was working on the ranch and going to college. And that was... I learned a lot about myself during that time so I think it's good for... and maybe that's what draws so many of us as Overlanders to the outdoors, to the back country is this idea of let's get remote. Let's get some stillness, even if it's with just the people that we love, but [00:13:00] get some stillness, get some time in our heads and figure out that we actually like our own company, and we built some confidence that we could then apply to life after that fact.
David Soza: Yeah, I think there's really a couple of aspects of that. One is that you need the change of scenery because you need a change of reference frame for your life. You know? If you wake up every morning, you'd look out the same window, you see the same things. And after a while, you know, your brain just naturally doesn't see anything. But if you wake up every morning and you look at a different window, when you see something different than it forces you to assimilate things in a new way so it will bring things to you that you wouldn't have ordinarily learned, and then the stillness is the other part of this. That is the assimilation of what you've learned. In other words, you learn a lesson and then you have to internalize it and that comes through the stillness. So travel allows us, both of those. It allows us a new frame of reference and it allows us the time and the luxury to assimilate those things.
[00:14:00] Scott Brady: Yeah. And oftentimes we don't, we're so bombarded with communications and entertainment and distraction that we really don't have that time to be still and learn the lessons and realize that we've gained a lot of confidence as travelers or whatever else. Now, coming back a little bit to the top truck challenge, what were some of the things from that vehicle that you realized. Worked really well. And you would want to incorporate into future projects and then maybe what were some things that you realized that you wouldn't incorporate into future projects?
David Soza: Well, of course, even back then I had a real appreciation of the value of keeping a vehicle light, keeping the center of gravity low and those sorts of things.
Scott Brady: And what was the vehicle that you had for that?
David Soza: It started out being a 73 Ford F-250, but I mean, from there, you know, it went down to a bare frame. The frame got severely modified parts came in from all over the place. I mean, it almost was a handmade vehicle by the time it [00:15:00] was done. The only things I used off the original vehicle were I think the cab itself, the doors and the frame and that's about it. Everything else came from somewhere else. That motor came from somewhere else, that transmission a lot of the suspension I designed and built myself. A lot of the chassis work I designed myself. A lot of engineering in that truck. A lot of time, a lot of hand work, and the funny thing was I didn't have a lot of money at the time. So I built a lot of that using very crude tools. You know, I didn't have like a big machine shop and all this capability to laser cut this and that. Everything was hand cut and, you know, stick welding to me is amazing that I was able to put together what I did, but I did. So I think that, you know, just the balance of everything, just the fact that it was a balanced vehicle in terms of the suspension, the engine and everything, nothing overpowered, anything else and I think some of that came from, I've done a lot of different automotive ventures, like I mentioned. [00:16:00] I autocross race and did some other types of racing. I race motorcycles as well. But anyway, I learned a lot from all my other automotive ventures and I incorporated those into my truck because I wanted my truck to handle well, I wanted it to drive well, it needs to be a multipurpose type vehicle. But ultimately I wanted to be able to endure.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Survive something like the top truck challenge. Right?
David Soza: Right, because there were a number of challenges and they were very difficult. A lot of the things were very difficult and certainly not suited for something that was as specialized as mine. But here's the interesting thing about it. I completed every challenge except for one, there was only one challenge that I decided not to attempt and that was a really steep hill climb and my carburetor really wasn't able to function on that steep of a [00:17:00] Hill. If it had been a little bit shorter Hill, it would have made it. But it was a long Hill. It was pretty technical and it was very steep, and I saw one vehicle nearly roll on it. There was a guy in a Unimog that got halfway up and couldn't make it, he tried to get down and ended up sideways and started clearing out. I mean people were right, because we thought that damn Unimog was coming down. It was going to clear a wide path. So after that I decided, you know, it just wasn't worth risking my vehicle.
Scott Brady: Sure, sure. Something you'd worked so hard to build.
David Soza: That's exactly right. I wanted to live to fix that and go another day. By the way, one of the first things I did when I got back was I ripped off that carburetor and I engineered a fuel injection system for it. So that's one thing that I learned for sure. Mechanically.
Scott Brady: Yeah. In fact, that's funny. One of my first off-road vehicles that I had was a 1953, M38-A1 Jeep, and it, it had a 289 V8 swap in it, which is common for that vehicle and I had carburetors on it in the beginning, and [00:18:00] I was constantly failing climbs and getting stuck because of the... I mean, I wasn't a very good driver either, but you know, I was learning so much, but the vehicle wasn't helping, and when I went to a fuel injection on that, it just totally changed the way that I could operate the Jeep. It really made a big difference, but it's funny how some carburetors they'll work great. I mean, I had a 1984 Toyota pickup that had a carburetor on it and it never gave me any trouble on climbs. So I think it probably has a lot to do with how the carburetor is designed and probably the orientation of the fuel bowls and everything else like that. Plus it being a really small displacement for the cylinder. It probably wasn't getting flooded as easily, but it worked fine on climbs, but that top truck challenge for me was one of my first exposures to this kind of stuff. I remember reading all of those early four Wheeler magazines and just being completely [00:19:00] wide-eyed and wanting to do the top truck challenge and wanting to compete and ultimately, I believe that event lost its way because they were no longer street legal or they were very loose interpretations of being street legal vehicles, which I think stole so much of the charm of the event. And I even suspect that Rick PayWay who was so involved with designing the event, I think he would have preferred to have kept that spirit of those first couple events. I mean, maybe like the first four or five years, but once they were kind of a loose interpretation of a car then you realize that you're no longer looking at individuals capabilities or individuals innovations. It was just...
David Soza: It was a bunch of druggies.
Scott Brady: Yeah. A bunch of tube frame vehicles, which is too bad. Yeah, hopefully they consider doing something like that again, but keeping it back as a doorslammer, all the safety systems have to be in place and certain limitations. Cause that was such a [00:20:00] neat and inspiring event for me and it was that paired with the Camel trophy that forms so many of my early inspirations towards, you know, vehicle projects and vehicle performance and all of that, and that ultimately led to my passion for travel.
David Soza: And it was a really grassroots thing. In fact, you know, in that very first edition, there was me, there was a guy named Sonny Honegger who's been active in the sport.
Scott Brady: Legend.
David Soza: Legend. He was in the very first one.
Scott Brady: With the samurai, right?
David Soza: No, no, he had his war wagon.
Scott Brady: But didn't he end up becoming like a samurai guy.
David Soza: He was the samurai guy and he also had a thing called a rock spider that he built which is one of the very first, really high articulation rock climbing vehicles. I mean, he was really, a leader.
Scott Brady: Innovator.
David Soza: Yeah, very much an innovator and I was an innovator. I mean, a lot of the things that were on my truck actually showed up in other places after that. Then there was Rick PayWay. He was one of the original [00:21:00] competitors as well. He wasn't with the magazine at that point, just a guy with a GPW with a 400 and some cubic engine.
Scott Brady: What a neat guy,
David Soza: Rick was so cool and you know, one of the things about Rick is that Jeep, he was almost like a cyborg with that Jeep.
Scott Brady: He was one with the machine
David Soza: He was one with the machine. Yeah. I mean, he could absolutely handle that thing in any circumstance and he could control every aspect of that vehicle. Really fun to watch him drive that.
Scott Brady: He's such a character. I've always enjoyed getting a chance to travel with him when I do.
David Soza: I haven't spoken to him since the event. I'd love to meet him again.
Scott Brady: I think he's back in Arizona now so maybe we'll find a way to get them up for lunch.
David Soza: Yeah. Do that. Absolutely. Cause I'd love to talk to him.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that would be great. Speaking of innovation, you at some point in your journey, started producing products for the archery industry. Talk a little [00:22:00] bit about what you were making and what was different about it and what makes those bows still desirable today?
David Soza: Well, I had been involved in archery since the seventies so it had been a long time passion of mine, but it was one that I'd kind of set aside because of life demands and so forth. I kinda hit a lull in my life and I decided, well, you know, it's a chance for me to pick up archery again. So I went back to shoot in my old bows and I just realized there were a lot of shortcomings with them. A lot of the basics of what I needed weren't there, so I just went back and started redesigning these bows based on just the fundamentals of what makes an arrow fly. I just went back to the very, most basic essential first principles of what makes an arrow fly out of the bow and I designed a bow from that, and that bow pretty much revolutionized that part of archery. And it was a metal riser that used the limbs of Olympic bows, which were already highly developed. So I had the best limbs in the world and now I had the best riser in the world [00:23:00] and I put the two of them together and it was magic, and of course, you know, like anybody that upsets the industry like that. I had my detractors for sure. I had people that loved me and people that didn't, but there's, there's no question that it redirected the entire industry, and now there are lots of offerings around those lines, but my bow still after all these years, the bow that I designed is still at the top of the heap. A friend of mine won the Senior Men's World Championship IBO, I think last year, maybe the year before, with my bow. So it's still out there. There's still people shooting it. It's very sought after. There's way more now than I ever sold it, for which I had to have a couple of dozen.
Scott Brady: What a neat thing, and when you talk about your travels, I noticed that you have this theme of, kind of simplicity and minimalism and kind of bringing it back again to overlanding. You have [00:24:00] recently been designing and manufacturing your interpretation of what a fully enclosed expedition camper should be. I think it would be good to talk about that as a subject with the listeners, because one thing that I have found in this industry is that people get away from, or they don't prioritize the things in campers that are actually the most essential attributes of campers and they focus a lot on the things that are not essential, or if they stop working, isn't the end of the world. So for example, One of the things that I see oftentimes done poorly is either the Insulet of properties of the camper or the weather protection of the camper. You and I were talking earlier today about Maslov's hierarchy of needs, and we somehow are more interested in the LCD placement of the TV than we are in the R value of the [00:25:00] camper or where the water lines run in the camper or if they're even our water lines, which the absence of water lines is actually better than water lines. I think for those that are listening, when you look to buy a camper, start off with what is the first principle of what this thing should do, which is protect you from the weather? It should be a retreat from the storm. Now that can be easily determined by where you like to travel. If your travel is 99% in the Southwest in Baha, then maybe that camper can have some fabric sides to it. And it's not a primary consideration. But if your plan is to travel from Pruto Bay down to Ushuaia in any weather then you're going to want to minimize those mechanical moving components, and those were points. Just the number of fabric sided campers that I've seen fail [00:26:00] just due to high vibration frequency on corrugations. It was where points they show up very quickly. So from your perspective, having traveled so much and built your own campers and everything else like that. What do you see as being those first principles and those core, maybe three to five elements that people need to look for in a camper before they even consider if it has a TV or not.
David Soza: Right. So I think the things that are most important for me are I think number one, the ability to sleep well, because sleep is a fundamental of life now, and you start losing sleep and things are going to go downhill for you very quickly. So, you have to be comfortable enough to sleep. You need protection from the most severe weather for sure and you need a way to prepare food inside in the event that the weather doesn't allow you to do it outside, and after that the list starts getting a lot thinner, you know? And it's just really basic stuff. You need to carry a little bit of water. You need to have a way to filter it. But, [00:27:00] that's really kind of it for me. Then everything after that is a luxury. I mean, the things up to that point are things that you really need. Everything after that, I think is a luxury.
Scott Brady: And you mentioned that after those base components are satisfied, it actually becomes more of an emotional decision, and I can understand why, because in the times that I've looked at campers and trailers and things like that, I have found myself being very emotional about things like, Oh, it's got this really comfortable shower and it's got this, you know, it'll have a hundred gallons of hot water on board or whatever, and you really start to gravitate towards those luxuries, which I would not suggest for a moment that those are things that you shouldn't consider. It's just understanding that after those core attributes of lightness, because payload is always a consideration, and even if you have a one ton truck with a 5,000 pound payload, any pound that you add will degrade [00:28:00] the performance of the vehicle. So even if it has a payload. Use a small percentage of it so that you gain back performance in the way that the vehicle works off highway, and how efficient it is, the fuel economy that you get. It's going to cost you less to ship the thing, all of that is going to be a factor in it. So, I think it's that durability of the structure. It's ability to protect you from weather, and the lightness of the camper, which directly correlates to performance and payload, particularly on a vehicle like a Tacoma. That is something I think that it's worth us talking about a little bit, because your original impetus for this camper was, how do I build a camper for myself that will work within the very limited payload capacity of a Tacoma? So talk a little bit about how you achieve that in the ways that you can share with the public, but what were some of the core ways that you achieved a fully enclosed camper that fits within the payload of a [00:29:00] Tacoma?
David Soza: Well, I think one of the things that you need to be able to do, anytime you tackle a project like this is to not let yourself get pulled down the road already traveled. You need to back all the way up to the beginning and you need to ask the questions that we were just talking about and then you need to look around and see what the best materials are that can achieve these. One of the things that I realized is that there were materials out there. You know, the materials had gone way ahead of the other technology in this area. A lot of the technology in this area was really a set up back in the sixties and hasn't really changed much. So I looked at entirely new ways of constructing this thing and I found some materials and talked to a lot of experts. A lot of experts told me I could never do this. Talked to some 3m engineers and so forth. They said, well, that's a great material, but you can't work with it. You can't bond it. You can't do this. You can't do that. Well, I figured out how to do all that and we figured out how to put together a shell using [00:30:00] thermoplastic honeycomb. It's a fiber reinforced material. It's extremely lightweight. It's very thermally efficient, it's very sound efficient. It's incredibly durable. I mean, you can beat on this stuff with a ball-peen hammer, not leave a mark on it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I remember when you first got the small section of test panel, and you said, Scott, come over here, and you hand me, I think, the biggest Crescent wrench you had I think is what it was and you just said wail on this thing and we left like the smallest imprint. Cosmetic mark was nothing structural and I was hitting it as hard as I could.
David Soza: Right, exactly. You know, there's nobody else you can take a ball peen hammer to. Just walk around the expo and start hitting people's campers with a hammer and see what happens. It's not going to work out so well, but our camper can, except for cosmetically, you're not going to see any damage from that kind of thing. So very strong material.
Scott Brady: And that translates directly to brush and trees and, you know, trail impacts and things like that.
David Soza: All [00:31:00] kinds of deflections. The other thing about it is that the methodology that we developed for joining the panels allows for flexible joints. The joints are actually designed to be flexible as opposed to be rigid and so they can flex almost indefinitely without failing. Whereas if you try to build a rigid joint, no matter how rigid you make it, it's eventually gonna fail due to fatigue. So fatigue is the killer, but if you design something to move, then it's not suffering that same kind of fatigue and that's what we've done.
Scott Brady: So it seems those long joints being able to flex and move, but you still have the strength of triangulation that's come from the angles that you've incorporated into the camper, and without adding a lot of accessories at its basic weight, how much does your Tacoma camper weigh, excluding the flatbed? Just the camper.
David Soza: The camper alone with everything in it is going to weigh about [00:32:00] 400 pounds, but I've removed the bed in order to put it on because it's a flatbed and everything. So it's only added about 250 pounds to the stock Tacoma weight, which is about the weight of a fiberglass canopy. Yeah. Right. So for the weight of a camper shell, I have a camper I can stand up in and I can sleep in. I can cook in, and I can carry a certain amount of gear. So yeah, to me, it's, it's a real luxury and it's got a very low center of gravity. The entire roof of the camper can be lifted on fingertips. Four people can lift it on a fingertip. So that's how light it is. So there's almost no weight high up, even though it looks tall, there's no weight on it. It's just air volume. Yeah, that's right.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I'm going to repeat that one more time for those that are listening. So the net increase to the weight of the Tacoma after your camper and flatbed is only 250 pounds? That's amazing and I [00:33:00] think that needs to be what camper manufacturers start to look at more seriously is you can't put a 1200 pound camper on the back of a Tacoma and expect it to work because you're at a hundred percent of the payload capacity before you even add water or a person or your dog or, or your hairbrush, not in our case. You know, or whatever hair hairdryer or whatever, you know, before you add anything to it, you've already consumed a hundred percent of the available payload of the vehicle. So the fact that there are campers like yours and there were other manufacturers that are starting to make lighter campers as well, which is so encouraging. But the fact that you can have a net increase over the stock vehicle of over 250 pounds and have a bed and a place to stand and a place to cook and completely out of the elements. That's a new standard for the industry and it's so encouraging to see. Another thing that I really liked about your camper is that you [00:34:00] decided not to incorporate a whole bunch of complex systems. If you want to cook inside the camper, bring in a stove and cook inside the camper, but most of the time people cook outside, because you don't want your camper to smell like salmon, you want the outdoors to smell like salmon, or you want to cook over a fire, or you want to, you know... and certainly using a jet boil on the countertop to make coffee in the morning is an easy thing. So I actually think not incorporating a stove is smart.
David Soza: Yeah. Well, for my personal camper, I think people would be surprised at how baron it is because the camper to me is only a place to take refuge and a place to sleep. If I can be in the outdoors, I'm going to be in the outdoors. That's where I'm going to make my coffee. It's where I'm going to cook my breakfast. That's where I'm going to do everything. So I don't have a lot of built-in stuff. But, you know, there is the option to build those things into the shell. You're still going to end up with a lighter camper. But, you know, the less you can do with, and the more your mindset is around that, minimalist philosophy, then the more you're going to benefit from all of this, and the [00:35:00] benefit for me is I have a Tacoma that I could drive a hundred miles an hour down a washboard road with and be able to control it. You know, I would never try to do that with a thousand pound camper on my back. I mean it'd just be insane. As soon as something got sideways, I'd be rolling. So this thing, it's a phenomenal, if a nominally good handling vehicle as a result of it and a capable view.
Scott Brady: And the use of the flatbed gains so much interior volume. Because you're not having that loss of space with the wheel wells and the width of the bed construction, and you're gaining all of that back in interior space. The way that you've designed the flatbed is also very clever with how it hinges and where it has those triangulated load points and everything else like that. It's very, very clever. It's good to see that. It's good to see campers like yours coming to market. It looks like scout campers got very simple systems in it as well, which [00:36:00] keeps the weight much lower for Tacomas and things like that. It looks like a lot of other manufacturers are taking note of the fact that you can't in good conscience sell a camper that is exactly equal to the payload of the vehicle. Because who's going to drive it? As soon as you put a human in there, you're way over payload now.
David Soza: Well there's so many Tacoma's out there that are way over payload.
Scott Brady: They really are.
David Soza: And it's a Testament to the durability of the Tacoma.
Scott Brady: They're amazing vehicles.
David Soza: Yeah. But still... I've heard this analogy of thinking of your vehicle as it, as an animal or something and having some compassion for.
Scott Brady: Mechanicalsympathy, right?
David Soza: Mechanical sympathy. Yeah. That's a good way of looking at it. I wouldn't overload a horse and expect it to carry all this crap for me. If I had to load a horse up, I'd get off and walk myself. So, I think having some sympathy and just having some respect for the fact that this thing is so well engineered is incredibly reliable. These vehicles that we have today are [00:37:00] so incredibly reliable that we become complacent about it. But we shouldn't be because they are still mechanical things and they can still fail.
Scott Brady: Well, it's something as simple as the fact that the, that the back 20% of the Tacoma frame is unboxed, and as you put more and more weight aft of the rear axle, it puts an enormous amount of leverage on that frame member and so much so that there are aftermarket kits that you can weld on to strengthen the frame. But even once you start to deal with articulation loads and leverage imparted on the rear frame members, it's a really good idea to strengthen the hangers for the rear shackles so being very mindful about the fact, if you keep the Tacoma light, it will last you a quarter million miles all day long. When we get it up... I think I bought my own Tacoma project. My first big project that I did was on a [00:38:00] four-door Tacoma, 2004, and I loaded it up and I'll admit it on this podcast. It was over 7,000 pounds and that was totally wrong. I added so many things that it didn't need. I didn't think about the fact that it is a light duty truck that needs to be treated kind of like a backpack. Not a Freightliner, you know, it needs to be treated like a backpack. And if I had. Built that truck differently. I know that I would have enjoyed it more and it would have performed better. But it's amazing the things that I had to do to the vehicle just to make it work. How low I had to go with the axle gearing to get it, to move around. The changes I had to make to the brakes, the changes I had to make to the frame. All of those things could have been avoided if I had just kept it much lighter. And it was still a vehicle with a roof tent. It's not like it, like I had a camper on there. I just added too much junk.
David Soza: It didn't fundamentally change your experience.
Scott Brady: No, it didn't. It could have been so easy just to have a ground tent and [00:39:00] call it a day.
David Soza: I mean, I'll share a little story with you back from my backpacking days, you know. Started out with my backpacking probably around 60 pounds, something like that, which a lot of people start out heavier and then you get lighter and lighter, lighter as you go. Well I finally had gotten down to where I was below 30 pounds and I eventually got down below. 20 pounds for a five-day pack. But, at one point I bought this little hammock and I thought, man, you know what a great thing it is going to be to have this hammock at the end of the day. I had visions in my head of swinging from a hammock after a hard day. Right? And I started carrying this thing around with me, along with other stuff, you know, and I finally came to the realization that the real luxury wasn't having that hammock at the end of the day. The real luxury was not having to carry it 40 miles. That was the real luxury. I mean I could sit on a log. I can lay on the grass. I mean, I could do all those kinds of things and I didn't have to carry them there. And so those were the kinds of mental processes that I went [00:40:00] through that I carry over into my vehicle philosophy as well. You know that sometimes the greatest luxury is the thing you don't carry, the thing that you don't have to worry about being stolen. You don't have to maintain, all of those kinds of things.
Scott Brady: So talking about your current Tacoma project, which you've had since the vehicle was almost new, how long have you had your Tacoma? 10 plus years?
David Soza: Yeah, I bought it with 30,000 miles on it.
Scott Brady: What are some of the things that you have done to that truck that you most appreciate, the changes that you made that made you feel made the best difference for the vehicle? For your kind of travel?
David Soza: I think, well I think, and this is kind of true of any vehicle, but I think the tires and the suspension were the best thing, and then after that I did some chassis work. I've done extensive work on that truck. So it's hardly recognizable at this point. But, yeah, you know, the tires and the suspension were really the biggest thing.
Scott Brady: And what is your current favorite tire for the vehicle?
David Soza: I prefer a [00:41:00] 255, 85, 16, but I also like the 235, 85, 16. I like skinny tires. I don't like large tires because the mechanical loads that they put on the vehicle are just way too great. I think one thing where people go wrong with tires, is that they don't really consider the weight of the tire. When you go to a much larger tire, you're going to get a heavier tire, but even with smaller tires, there's a lot of difference between the weight in a tire. And what I typically try to tell people is that. If you add a pound to your tire weight, it's like adding 10 pounds to 12 pounds to your payload. So like within the 255, 85 16, there's like a 40, 50 pound range over four tires depending on the manufacturer. Right? So, that's 400 to 500 pounds of payload, essentially that you're putting on the truck. If you look at it in terms of breaking acceleration and even things like the [00:42:00] way the suspension...
Scott Brady: I see what you're saying. So because it's reciprocating mass, it has much more leverage on the system than some kind of a static load or even dynamic that's fixed to the vehicle.
David Soza: Right. It's all dynamic loads. It's either rotating mass or it's reciprocating. Yes.
Scott Brady: And in this case, it's both. So you're trying to accelerate it, stop it and control it. So you're right, paying attention to the tires... and that's a good point. If you have a lightweight vehicle, like don't put an aerated tire on your samurai because it's going to be hard to get it down to a low enough pressure to perform properly and then you're hauling around a bunch of unnecessary weight that the vehicle doesn't under any conditions need, you know, because it's so lightweight to begin with. Yeah that's a really good point and something that's important for people to remember. What are some of the things that you've done on your suspension that you feel made the biggest difference on your Tacoma?
David Soza: You actually alluded to it earlier, but [00:43:00] the rear frame on the Tacoma's is pretty flexible. And so I've done a lot of chassis work back there, and I also have done some across chassis work to strengthen the spring hangers in the rear because the way they're designed on a Tacoma, the spring hangers will deflect under load. So I have a system in there that keeps the spring hangers from deflecting. So everything stays in alignment, but. Everything that I've done is very careful not to stiffen the frame in terms of its ladder type of flexibility, because that's actually part of the suspension. And, and if you make, if you do away with all that ladder type flexibility, and you're going to end up with just a board, you know, you're not going to have any kind of articulation on your vehicle because the actual articulation from the suspension is not that much. I can roll over an 18 inch rock without deflecting, anything else. I still have all that flexibility in there.
Scott Brady: Well, that's an interesting point, and if we strengthen members of the frame [00:44:00] that were designed by toyota engineers to flex or to rotate, etcetera. Then all of that leverage is going to be put somewhere else and maybe it'll be at a frame crack, and I actually experienced that, in Greenland with the high Lux, which the high Lux frame is boxed all the way to the back. And these had been reinforced because suspensions were changed from Leaf spring to coil spring to accommodate the 44 inch tall tires. And we actually had a frame failure on a high Lux after, well, after it went into a crevasse, but that's another story. Yeah. We actually had a frame failure because of the fact that it had been so heavily reinforced in one area that it actually broke at the area that it was most lightly reinforced. So, yeah, you're right. It's just going to move those leverage points someplace else. Those failure modes to some other place. Whereas the stock Tacoma frame. Is flexible enough [00:45:00] where it'll take those inputs and it'll move and flex much like a Springwood. And you want to allow it to continue to do that. Whereas if you get over payload, then you have to try to fix that because then you get this huge beaming effect and all these other changes in characteristics. So yeah, you're right. Keeping it light then you don't have to do too much on that. Cause I remember when I looked at what you did in the back of the frame, you actually retained the ability for the frame to flex, because of those joints that you incorporated.
David Soza: That's correct and I want to stress to you that a lot of these types of changes are serious engineering challenges and they're not necessarily intuitive to the average, garage type modifier. So if you're going to make these modifications be very careful, because like you said, you know, you stiffen one thing up, you're going to move the stress to somewhere else. So where's that gone? And is that going to be, you know, potentially hazardous or whatever.
Scott Brady: Everythinghas a consequence, right?
David Soza: Everything has a consequence. Yeah.
Scott Brady: And it's so easy to forget that, you know, every time we [00:46:00] change something on the vehicle, we do make it oftentimes less reliable. There are very rare occasions where, especially in a Toyota, there are very rare occasions that making modifications to those vehicles make them more reliable. Like one that comes to mind is on the 80 series there's a small heater hose at the backside of the lock. If you upgrade that to a much better quality heater hose, then you can reduce a failure mode, but there are very few of those kinds of modifications. So with every time we change the vehicle where we're affecting those engineered systems and those redundancies and those buffers that the engineers from Toyota incorporate that make them so reliable. So being mindful of "let's do less of that" and keep it as close to stock as we can or only change the things that we really need to have changed for sure.
David Soza: And there, again, if we keep things light, then the need to do those things becomes minimal.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's right. You really don't have to make many changes.
David Soza: It all works together. You know, it's just like getting back to backpacking. [00:47:00] I carried an Arc'teryx pack for a long time. Fantastic pack. Carry huge amounts of weight in that thing. But I realized that, you know, when I got my pack down to 19 pounds, I was carrying it around in a 12 pound pack and I didn't need a 12 pound pack anymore. I could go down to a three pound pack. So again if you can cut down on what you have to take then then the means to carry it becomes far easier.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Expenses lower, fuel economies better, driving experiences better for sure. Along those lessons learned, I do like to ask this of our guests. What are some of your favorite books in all of your readings in that time that you were able to spend alone in Wyoming and maybe on a Sunday and reading a good book? What are some of your favorite books that you've read in your life?
David Soza: Wow. Well, that's a really tough question to answer because I've read a lot of books. I read all the classics and I've read almost everything from people like Hemingway, Steinbeck, Orwell, [00:48:00] all of these people. Abby, I really enjoyed Abby. I've read everything they've written and I've read a lot of other authors. I think if I had to pick one book and this is just a disservice to everybody else. It could maybe be, Viktor Frankl's man's search for meaning. It's a little book, a little paperback book and if people haven't read that they should take the time to read it because it's a quick read and it's pretty profound in a lot of ways.
Scott Brady: Yeah. For those that are listening, I read that book recently and it talks about this gentleman's experience in the Nazi concentration camps and by the time you get finished with his story... yeah, it was profound and it was just extremely humbling and it's a reminder of how life can change so quickly, and also it shows the possibility of the human spirit and what he endured and how he came out of the other side of it with his own [00:49:00] humility and his own awareness around life and others. Yeah. It's a really powerful book. It's something that people should take the time to read and I've heard that recommended by others as well. I would definitely second that recommendation.
David Soza: He makes the point in there that some of the strongest individuals were the first to go. You know, so. It's the people that are the most flexible that survive. Adaptable, not the strongest.
Scott Brady: Yeah no, that is so true. I remember him saying that the ones that were sure they'd be out by Christmas or sure they'd be out by whatever holiday. Those were usually the ones that would give up the quickest and I can't even imagine I don't apply any experience towards those thoughts that I just shared. It's just what I gleaned from him. His insights into that experience are very, very profound. Right. For sure. Are there any others that come to mind?
David Soza: Well, if you want to read an author, that's still alive. One that I read recently [00:50:00] is Ryan holiday's, silence is the key.
Scott Brady: Stillness is the key.
David Soza: Stillness is the key that's an easy read as well, but it's a very good read and I think it has a lot of lessons for modern society. I think a lot of people are really suffering now. I mean, you know, you and I grew up in a time before so much noise, you know? And, now there's just constant distractions, social media and everything else, you know, but at least we have, we have our roots in a time when there wasn't that. So we're a little, maybe a little better at coping with it, but for a lot of people it's overwhelming, and they don't even know it. They don't even realize the negative effects that it's having on them, but this book makes you think about that and maybe it'll change your habits a little bit.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It's beautiful, Curated a piece from the Stoics and it's probably the book that I've gifted more than anything else is that book. So that's another wonderful recommendation, and I think it very much applies to travel because we have such short periods of time to have these experiences. If we [00:51:00] can find a way to get into the right mindset of just being open to those experiences sooner, where we can uncouple from our devices and our day-to-day and our patterns and everything else and become the traveler. The more quickly we can do that and be open to those changes, the more profound our trips I think are so I really see that as being another great volume for people to read.
David Soza: Well, it really gets to the point that travel at its essence is in our head. We think about it as an external thing, but it really is an internal thing. You know, travel is a chance for us to frame our life and ourselves and the world in a way that we haven't seen it and to internalize that, but, you know, the travel is I think, a necessary part of it because when we're wrapped up in our daily mundane lives, it's very difficult to see it beyond that. So when you're out there, you're able to see beyond it, but ultimately the travel that happens, the journey that you're on is in your head, and so you can have it [00:52:00] 50 minutes from your house, or you can have it 50,000 miles away. So another little story I'll share with you if you'll allow.
Scott Brady: For sure. Love it.
David Soza: I'd love to experiment with these kinds of things with myself mentally. So I've done a lot of unusual things. But one thing that I decided to do, I was traveling through Moab many years ago and I was in a very remote area, entirely alone. I didn't even have my dogs with me on this trip and I decided that, I needed to spend one whole day, just one day of my life. Without doing anything, and this is difficult for me, you know, I'm a busy guy. I don't sit still. So I decided that I wanted to watch the sunrise and I wanted to watch the sunset and I wanted to do nothing in between other than just be aware of everything that life brought to me. I didn't want to make anything happen at all. So I made up a little bit of food, put it in a bag, got some water, got a little sitting pad. And I found a place up on a bluff with an extraordinary view around me as almost [00:53:00] 360 degrees off this little sand dome. I climbed up there in the dark, sat down, waited for the sun to rise, and I sat there all day long except to get up to use the bathroom. But other than that, I didn't move and I tried not to think about anything. I tried to give my surroundings my 100% attention. So I wanted to be aware at every moment of the temperature, the position of the sun, the sounds around me, the animals around me and at first I thought, you know, about 30 minutes into this. I thought I am never going to make it because it's just not going to work. Then a couple of hours in, I started getting into the rhythm of it, you know, and by three or four o'clock, the hours were just flying by and before, you know it the sun was on the horizon. I sat there the whole day and that was the most, you know, it really opened my eyes to the fact that you know, we can travel thousands of miles to have these experiences, or we can just sit still and pay attention. You [00:54:00] can get to the same place in your mind, but it really has to be through your attention, not necessarily...
Scott Brady: Your location.
David Soza: Your location or your itinerary. We get so hung up on that. I want to see this. I want to see that I want to stop here. I want to go there, you know, and they think the more they cram in the more they're going to experience when in fact they would experience more just sitting, I would venture to say that I experienced more of Moab in that one day than most people do staying there in a week.
Scott Brady: Yeah cause you were open to it.
David Soza: 100%.
Scott Brady: I do an almost daily kind of quiet time like that, where it's, you know, meditative in my own way. I mean, I'm really bad at it, but if I make it to 15 minutes... I started at five and I got to 10 and after about six months and now I'm at about 15 minutes and it's amazing if you don't have any of those other inputs, I don't let myself look at my phone. It's all shut off. Right and boy, [00:55:00] my monkey mind is going in a thousand different directions, but I think that has been really good for me. Because it makes me realize my mind is constantly going in a thousand different directions and now after I've been doing it for over a year, maybe I'm only going in 750 different directions or some days I might get to 500 different directions, but I can notice the change. I can notice that I'm more productive during the day. It's helped me work through things that would occupy my mind regrets or whatever. So yeah, I think it's really powerful. So for you to do an entire day, that's amazing. That is really cool.
David Soza: Yeah. Well, and nowit's something I want to do again. I want to start doing more of those things. I've kind of been, you know, I go through these cycles, like you say, I've been wrapped up in my business and you know how it is with a business, you know, it really intrudes on your time. I do meditate every morning just as you do. Yeah. I get up at 4:00, 4:30, so I have a long day.
Scott Brady: That is totally uncivilized, man. No, I'm kidding. Some people are early risers. I am not an [00:56:00] early riser.
David Soza: It's brutal. I mean, when I meet people for breakfast, they say, when do you want to meet? And I said no. You need to pick when we meet for breakfast, because I will be unreasonable.
Scott Brady: You're halfway through your day by the time you meet me for breakfast.
David Soza: I'm ready for lunch by the time you want to meet. Yeah. But I mean, I know it's unreasonable. I do get up early, partly so that I have the time to do this because it has helped to center me for the day and you know, this process of being aware of the fact that your monkey mind is going crazy and, and then redirecting that back, that builds neural pathways. It does. Yeah. And so the more you practice it, the more those pathways become ingrained and it becomes a tool that you can use at any moment to bring yourself back from that insanity.
Scott Brady: Oh yeah. From the brink, right? Yeah. Oh, that's good. Well that leads me kind of, to one of the things that I really wanted to ask you cause I think you'll have so many insights for the listeners. If you [00:57:00] were to recommend or just have some suggestions or some thoughts, even, for someone that was coming new, into travel, new, into overlanding, what would you share with them? What would be your top three to five pieces of advice or suggestions that you would give to someone new to travel?
David Soza: Well, just to give a little perspective, I guess, you know, my very first experiences in this were in a 1965 Oldsmobile, Delta 88. Big giant car that I bought for $300, but I was so glad to have it. You know, 17 years old and I immediately started driving it places. I did a lot of traveling around Southern Arizona and I did a lot of traveling in the backcountry with it, which is ridiculous. I mean, it's got like six inches of ground cleaner, like a five degree departure. So I dragged that thing through sand washes and everything you can imagine, but the point is I didn't have tools, you know, I didn't have a winch, you know, it turns out [00:58:00] nobody made a winch bumper for an old 88. Didn't know when I bought it. But no, I didn't have any of this stuff and It really was about overcoming my own gremlins in my head, you know. The fears of traveling, the fears of breaking down and back then there were no cell phones. If you drove 15, 20 miles back into the desert and broke down, you were walking 15 or 20 miles out. That's it. It's the way it worked. Yeah. So there were no other options back then, but you know, these days, there's not a lot to be afraid of. So I would say not to focus so much on the physical things past the things that we talked about, you want to have some shelter for the weather, you want to be comfortable so you can sleep. And those sorts of things, you want to have water and you want to be able to fix food to eat, but beyond that, you don't really need a lot. So work on the aspects of your character that would allow you to travel farther and more confidently, you know. Things like security, confidence, [00:59:00] Competence, all of these things are things that you develop within yourself. They're not things you build into a vehicle and ultimately if you try to compensate with the vehicle for things that you lack, you're going to end up paying the price for that eventually.
Scott Brady: Yeah. In more ways than one, right? Pay the price in money and time to try to accommodate for that and then mechanical things will always fail you. I mean I've had land cruisers not start it. It's very rare that that happens, but I've had land cruisers let me down and you're right. I think that... and maybe it's because that's what we're reinforced in. That's what the message is oftentimes in the industry and that's why we try so hard in this podcast to try to remind folks that it's not the stuff that's going to give you the great experience. It's the doing, it's the going, it's the seeing that's going to make you more and more confident. If you look at the early travelers, the early, around the world explorers. They had a fraction of the stuff [01:00:00] that we have available at our fingertips today on a phone and it's just amazing what they accomplished and they just did it from their own desire to see, and to go and to do. That's wonderful advice that reminds people that let's work on ourselves first, let's get some education, let's get some training, let's go out and do it and get lost and get stuck and break down and figure it out. So that way we have the confidence in ourselves to explore a little further next time.
David Soza: Try to see the world through the eyes of a traveler as opposed to a tourist, you know, because there's a big difference. You know, you can have all the Instagram photos and all the videos and you can have all the vehicle and all the, all the gear and, you know, you can visit all the fancy places, but if you never internalize any of it, then you really haven't traveled to those places at all, and you haven't taken advantage of the places that they can take you in your own mind. So that's really the essence of it. If you will, you know, actually [01:01:00] that brings another thing to mind. There's a movie called Walter Mitty. Great movie. I love that movie, and I'm not going to spoil it for people that haven't seen it. I think that any of us that have a yearning to go do this should watch that movie, but in the very end of the movie, they really show you what the most important thing it's not the extravagant experiences so much as it's the small experiences fully experienced. If that makes sense. I'm trying to word this very carefully, not to give away the ending in the very end, you know, that what they called the quintessence of life or something. It was this very simple thing and the guy that thought that he didn't have any of it basically had it all. Yeah. So it's, it's a very interesting lesson. Yeah. You can travel all over the world and see nothing. Yeah. You can travel a few miles away and see it all, and you're a much better traveled person. Just [01:02:00] remember that. And you know, it doesn't take a ton of money. It doesn't take a fancy vehicle. It doesn't take a ton of gear. Yeah. Pretty much anybody with the heart and the desire to do it can do it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Thank you for that encouragement, Dave, and thank you for all of the great conversations that you and I have shared around breakfast here in Prescott and that's really what inspired me to want to have you on the podcast is that I have learned so much from you and as I've shared before with the audience, I know less than 5% of what I hope to know about this subject and I have learned you have definitely moved the needle for me and the things that you've shared and the lessons that I've learned from you and your travels and the way that you prepare vehicles and equipment. So I'm really grateful for our friendship and I'm grateful for you having been on the podcast today and for reminding people that it isn't about checking boxes, it isn't about how far you go. It's maybe about how much we learn about ourselves and about how much we learn about the place that we're in at that moment.
[01:03:00] David Soza: That's right. It's a good lesson for life too.
Scott Brady: I guess one last question, where can people find out more about you and about turn overland and some of these new things that you're bringing to market? What's your website?
David Soza: The website is turnoverland.com and we also have Instagram accounts and so forth. If you wanted to learn more about what we're doing with the camper, you can also contact AT Overland because they are partnering with us on the building of these campers.
Scott Brady: Perfect. Yeah. That way people can see a little bit more of these amazing new products you're bringing to the market. I like it. Very good, Dave, thank you so much. I appreciate you being on the podcast.
David Soza: Pleasure.