Eco Neato (Eric Talaska) - Visitor Welcome Intro
Due to traumas related to military service, other work and many people in general, I volunteer here.
See my service dog in action. I'm looking for a second service dog. I have no family or significant other.
I know others who have been traumatized, but hide, don't take care of themselves and don't contribute. That's not good.
I'm traveling full-time in a 20' innovative, (relatively) minimalist campervan.
I travel full time as a distraction and because I become hyper-sensitive to a single environment and neighbors.
I don't waste money. I don't smoke, dip, do any drugs, etc. I don't even waste time; I'm always constructively busy.
Eco, off grid, minimalism technology and lifestyle
Innovations, problem solving, customization, DIY
Safety and security
Current Main Projects
Fix my volunteer advocacy website pages (incomplete transfer to new design platform)
Videos, mainly about pet care and off grid living
Present through March, 2020: Southern California museums / research / education focus
Why do you post your personal life on the Internet? Isn't that dangerous? See my privacy statement here
Why don't you travel overseas? I want to, but there are too many significant cons: Shipping van: High cost, risk of van and personal property theft and/or damage, shipping takes 10 days one way, customs and border inspections and interviews are likely to be extreme hassles, very limited availability of VA healthcare, language barriers, high fuel costs. Here is what I do as a more practical alternative: Tour cultural museums and watch travel videos. I've already been to Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Canada (vastly) and Alaska.
Where are your places? Sedona, Arizona, Westminster, Colorado, Yellowstone National Park.
What's in the Boxes on the Back? How are They Mounted? See details on my storage page
How is Driving a Diesel Powered Van Eco Friendly? See explanation here
What engine and MPG? Mercedes Benz 6 cylinder turbo diesel - 17 to 23 MPG; have a very heavy load around 8,000 lbs.
What does Eco Neato mean? It simply sends the message that being eco/green is neat.
Stealthy or Not?
My van looks extremely unusual and gets a lot of attention. This was not my intention. Everything on the outside has a utilitarian purpose and is not placed there to get attention, especially since I prefer to be stealthy; however I obviously prefer purpose over stealth. Nonetheless, many would consider the utility items stealthy because the vehicle looks like it has a utility purpose (research, utility work, etc.).
Will I go Crazy in Small Space? No. By far most van dwellers and even couples who live in smaller vans are very happy. I installed many windows for good views of nature - much better than most offices. My van is tall enough to allow me, 6'4", to stand. I am outside quite a lot walking, etc.
Do I get bored? No.
What do I do for entertainment and with my free time? I go to dog parks and interact with others and their dogs since losing mine. I spend a lot of time watching science, etc. videos online. It takes a lot of time to maintain and keep the van clean inside and out.
Will I get another pet? I'm trying to get one. ADI service dogs take years to obtain.
Do I get lonely? Yes, especially since losing my service dog; only interested in rare like minded, smart and clean friends.
Am I Willing to Meet Strangers? Yes. No smoking, heavy drinking or controlled substances. I have tried making friends online (Facebook groups, etc.) only to be overwhelmed with malicious trolls. I'm kind of weird in the sense that I don't eat or drink in restaurants. I also try to restrict myself to like-minded people who are well educated and thus share the same concerns about environmental issues.
How Do I Entertain / Keep Guests Comfortable?
A night guest could sleep across the front seats with a pad in the middle. All front windows can be covered well. There is a privacy curtain separating livings spaces. Or set up a tent, etc.
Swivel bucket seat. Small tables. Outdoor chairs, one that rocks. High quality hammock.
Unlimited internet WiFi with cellular signal booster, outside charge ports for USB and 110V.
Hydraulic sit-stand desk, 24" TV with side vision and even a printer.
Commercial free music, front and rear bluetooth high quality speakers.
Two long range radios for communication where no cellular.
Deep tissue powered kneading massager and rolling wood foot massager.
Comfortable diesel heat and solar powered air conditioning; many fans and vents. HEPA air filter.
Throw toys to play catch anywhere. Dog to pet, but too old to play with.
Healthy treats and meals. Lots of refrigerator room. Filtered drinking water. Induction stove.
Safety: 24/7 outside surveillance recording. Self-defense weapon options.
The interior is beautifully decorated for a relaxing feel. There are many high-mount privacy windows.
What do I Eat / Cook? Mostly raw health food: I heat or cook veggies, etc. lightly in olive. I eat a lot of organic apples. I eat nuts. I pick wild food when available and practical (usually in Washington and Oregon). I take many supplements. I distrust the food industry, especially restaurants.
Where Shower / Use Toilet? Campgrounds, gyms and few other places; have flushing and dry chemical toilet options in vehicle. I have an outside shower for use when in forest / BLM land a longer time.
Monthly Costs: Ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 depending on campgrounds, maintenance, etc. I do not itemize or keep close track of my budget. I simply buy what I want and need.
Can I afford a House? Yes. I choose this lifestyle until I find the right house at the right price.
Would I Consider Buying a Larger RV? No because I plan to buy a house and want to use this class B as every day commute and for travel.
How Much Stuff Do I Own? I donated most to thrift stores and relatives. Everything I own fits in this 20.5' long van! I do now have a storage unit and hate them. I'm a true minimalist.
Internet / Data / Cellular Details and Recommendation
Full Time Nomad? Yes; I live in the campervan full time. I avoid hotels / B-Bs due to cost, germs, bed bugs, filth, smells, noise, break-ins / staff thefts, hidden cameras! and reservation inconveniences.
Why Spend so Much Time in California? California has a lot of problems: Expensive, crowded, crime, fires, drought, floods, earthquakes, etc. I am there a lot because of the ocean beaches, amenities, warmer and drier winters, diverse culture and tourist attractions. It's conveniently straight south from my summer hang-outs of Oregon and Washington. I can hang around the most expensive and beautiful areas cheap. There are filthy and evil people everywhere. There is no perfect place for me.
Where I Camp: About 90% mostly fee based national park/forest and state campgrounds, 5% free urban parking (usually lots), 5% other or stealth
It's very rare I camp in a typical private campground or RV park due to extreme costs, tight sites and rules. I made a large effort to shop for one or more campsites to buy, but the HOA fees and restrictions are deal killers.
Future Location / Plans: Frequent migrations; environmental advocacy / YouTube videos focus
USA travel: All states including Alaska, but not yet Hawaii; Foreign: Belgium, Germany, Canada, Mexico
Favorite Places: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Benson Sculpture Garden, Colorado, Sedona, Arizona, Mount Rainier, Washington, Olympic National Park, Washington, Hunter Springs Park, Florida
Where I Would Live / Buy a House: Unknown. Significant pros & cons everywhere. Requirements: Safe, quiet, shaded walking trail.
How long Living on the Road Full Time? Since July, 2015
What if No Sun for Solar? Even when rainy or cloudy there is usually sometime during the day my batteries charge via solar, but on rare days of extreme rain, shade or clouds where I run out, I idle my engine or drive for about 10 minutes to recharge good. This is also the world's first RV / campervan that can plug into an EV charging station. I'd rather do that every rare once in a while than lug around and deal with a generator like I used to.
Lifestyle Pros and ConsHotel for several weeks or I have a backup tent shelter, pad, portable solar, etc. so that I can sleep at a campsite. I can use Uber to and from hotel and campsite or rent a car.
Looking Forward to the Most: What we will learn after the James Webb telescope is launched around 2021.
Work / Contributions to Society: Self-guided non-profit environmental advocacy; Diverse educational media productions; innovations such as a vehicle brake patent, solar powered air conditioner, etc.
Business Experience: Extremely diverse, but short lived due to traumas. About 30 jobs.
Adverse Records: None. I am of exceptional honesty and integrity. I have passed extensive background checks in the Army, etc.
Formal Education: B.A. in Communication, 1995 - Univ. of Arkansas | Paralegal Cert., 1998 | Web Design and e-commerce, 2014 - Peninsula College, Port Angeles, Washington.
Status: Single, always straight, clean-cut, never married, no children
Where Originally From: Born in Findlay, Ohio, raised in Texarkana, Texas / Ashdown, Arkansas area until 18.
Age: Born in early 1969
Religion: Agnostic (not atheist). Non-denominational.