PHOTOS OF THE STEALTH HOTEL

Someone looking at this website might be as curious about the Isuzu NPR truck (a.k.a. the Stealth Hotel). What's inside the box; how functional is the concept stealth concept; where is it typically parked when in Europe?  So, I have compiled a collection of photos of my Isuzu truck, which show the truck during its remodel, the interior of the box, and an assortment of locations where I have remembered to take a photo while it has been parked overnight.  That previous sentence is a warning that this collection of photos might be boring.

I selected this model of truck because smart people told me that (i) it is a very durable diesel that is likely to keep going for several hundreds of thousands of miles, (ii) it's relatively easy to repair, (iii) it can make tight corners, plus (iv) it is fun to drive.  This particular NPR truck was selected because its box was appropriately sized for Europe (Goldilocks like) and the configuration of the side and rear doors for the box suited my plans for the remodel.  It was purchased at an internet auction, and then driven from its former home in Oklahoma City, OK, to North Las Vegas, Nevada, where the remodeling work was done.

Remodeling took much longer than intended.  Looking back, there are plenty of things that could be changed (or simply not done).  Nevertheless, there is a long list of things that were good ideas.  The truck has served me very well throughout my travels (so far), and I have become quite fond of it.

Here is an extract from an email I sent to a friend, while discussing the Isuzu: "I love it! I just hope it doesn't let me down. I would prefer to stay in my stealth hotel rather than a normal hotel, without a doubt. No searching for a hotel, or driving around looking at no-vacancy signs. No reservations needed. No lugging luggage. While there is no room service, none is needed...everything is within easy reach. No re-packing to leave. And, no checkout deadline. Finally ... no hotel bill. I am--almost--as comfortable living in this box as when at my own home. And, as I have said already many times, having a bicycle is something special. I can't capture with words how empowering my bike is for me. Each day, I suspect that I see about 10x as many locations as I would if I were touring with a rented car and using hotels (which I have experienced on many occasions)."

Comment:  When the Isuzu was purchased, the interior of its box looked like this. It had been used as a delivery truck.

Comment:  The remodel took months and was done entirely by me in an outdoor location, which made the process more difficult.  Basically there were 3 phases to this project: (i) the roof which was popped up for needed head room, plus skylights and vents were inserted; (ii) the equipment underneath was attached to the chassis (tanks, a bank of 6v batteries, and the electrical and plumbing systems); and, (iii) ultimately, the interior living area was created. 

Comment:  This is essential--a comfortable place to sit with access to the internet or pre-recorded entertainment.

Comment:  See ... comfortable.

Comment:  Actually, I was using a selfie stick, rather than relaxing.

 

 

Comment:  Dual monitors were installed, because I am accustomed to working with 4 at my home.

Comment:  The remodeling involved working with various materials.  For instance, shown here are wood, corian, reflective acrylic, and vinyl wallpaper.

Comment:  The rear 2 feet (the 'garage', found on the other side of that pocket door) is where my bicycle is kept.

Comment:  The bike, stabilized with velcro mounts, can be loaded or unloaded out the rear double doors in less than a minute.  Perhaps this bicycle is the most utilized feature of all.  Also, hard to see in this photo, are storage cabinets on each side for such things as an electrical generator (yet to be used), tools, and other bulk items.

  

Comment:  Supposedly these can collectively capture about 500 watts of power per hour, if the sun is shining.  Supposedly.

Comment:  During 2016, I first took the remodeled truck for a test run to Sequoia Nation Park in California, USA.

Comment:  After it passed the Sequoia test, it next was driven in the Colorado Rocky mountains for a month for further evaluation.

Comment:  September in Colorado is a great time to tour that state.

Comment:  Here's the Isuzu on the day in May, 2017, that I departed Las Vegas, Nevada, to ship the Isuzu to Europe.  That's my remodeling assistant helping to send me on my way.

Comment: The Isuzu was shipped from the port city of  Galveston, Texas, USA.  I had to fly to Germany several weeks later.

Comment:  It took about 3 weeks for the shipping company to get it to Bremerhaven, Germany, from Galveston.  Not all of that time was spent at sea, however.

Comment:  The rest of the photos are simply the Isuzu sitting wherever I happened to spend a night in Europe...or, rather, where I remembered to take a photo.  These photos are not in chronological order, but instead loosely organized in regard to whether I liked the parking spot--starting from the better locations, then the mediocre, typical spots, and finally some locations that were utilized under desperate circumstances.

Comment:  In only a few instances did the Isuzu spend a night in an RV park.  Here in this photo, the parking was made available by the owners of a tourist attraction.  Examples like this often presented an opportunity to socialize with fellow vagabonds or just ask questions -- assuming you both knew the same language.

Comment:  Same situation in this instance.

Comment:  This is a German RV park owned and operated for profit.

Comment:  In the majority of instances, the Isuzu simply pulled into a quiet location and spent the night isolated.

Comment:  From this point on, I will not bother to add comments to these photos.  Most of the following photos just show a location easily found, that offered some privacy and quiet during the night and following morning.  Typically, the following day, I did not depart the location until the afternoon or late evening.  Instead, I utilized the bicycle while the Isuzu remained in its overnight location..

Comment:  This ranks among the poorer locations.  It was too public.

Comment:  This overnight spot was selected under desperate circumstances.  Caen was a brutal city to drive in, and I stopped at this location late in the evening to explore on my bike.  I couldn't find any good overnight spot and then I discovered that my bike's tire was torn and need repair immediately.  So I just stayed the night in this spot, with wheels on one side up on the curb--Euro style.  Actually, it was a quiet neighborhood with a few university students passing by, and it sufficed without a problem.