Travels With Frito Road trips are the stuff of life

Seriously? A European parcel delivery van named "Frito" as a road trip vehicle?

In fact, it's near perfect. It's fuel efficient, a joy to drive and you can stand up and walk around inside.

But most important of all, you can sleep in there.

I'm landscape photographer. A big part of landscape photography is being in the right place at the right time, usually at the edges of the day.

"Magic Hour", it's called. It's a misnomer, for it lasts just a few minutes when the sun is close to the horizon. Those fleeting moments are treasure for landscape shooters and we'll do whatever it takes to be somewhere interesting and beautiful at those times of the day.

It's not as easy as it looks. Let's say you want to shoot the sunrise. You need to be on location and ready to shoot well before dawn. If you stay in motels, you need to set your alarm for very early indeed, for it's often a long drive to the location. At the other end of the day, if you shoot the sunset, you'll find yourself facing a long drive home in the dark, arriving back at the motel long after the restaurants have closed.

Frito lets me sleep right at the location. When my alarm goes off, it's just in time for sunrise. I peek out my curtains and if it looks promising, I'm out the door immediately. If the sky looks uninteresting, I can roll over and go back to sleep.

And, of course, Frito is the restaurant, too. If I need to wait for better light, I can make coffee. In fact, I can make breakfast. Let's have porridge!


A propane stove, a well-stocked pantry, an electric fridge, two lawn chairs, a hundred litres of water and a comfy bed and I am good to go. Or stay, if I choose. I can linger in the wilderness for days. I even have my own pillow.

This is for me the perfect road trip vehicle. Essentially, Frito's a stealth RV. In addition to his many other attributes, a white van like this is basically invisible to the general public. Nobody notices, nobody cares. You can park (and sleep) pretty well anywhere you feel safe.

These are Road trip stories, the decade-long adventures of Frito and I on the highways of North America. The story begins in Phoenix, Arizona. Please, join us.

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Created By
Peter Mclennan


Photos by the author

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