Lonely Planet Writer

Meet the 25-year-old travelling across the US who spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van

Some people think travel is expensive, but a 25-year-old man travelling across the US has come up with an ingenious plan.

alaska makes you stoked #tribeselfie

A post shared by johncharlesputrino (@johncharlesputrino) on Nov 17, 2016 at 5:41pm PST

John Charles Putrino from St Petersburg, Florida, spent $250 converting his truck into a camper van, and has just set off on a voyage across the country.

This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

John Charles has a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500, and has spent the past few months building a sleeping storage system into the back of the truck.

This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

He equipped it with a mattress, heavy blankets and a 15 degree sleeping bag and insulated it with cheap reflective material, and plans to spend most nights sleeping there.

This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

John Charles has also brought along camping equipment as he plans to do some backcountry camping.  “The thought of being in complete solitude surrounded by nature excites me,” he says.

This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
This guy spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

“I’m sure the first few nights in the tent will be spooky but I want to challenge myself and push my comfort zone.  The goal of this trip is to see national parks, cities and other points of interest. Most importantly I want to see the raw beauty of our great country.”

John Charles Putrino spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
John Charles Putrino spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

During this trip, John Charles will also be volunteering for WWOOF-USA (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Host farms from this organisation offer lodging and meals in return for volunteering on the farm.

John Charles Putrino spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
John Charles Putrino spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

While his trip has no official end point, John Charles says his ultimate aim is to move to a state out west and get a job that excites him. “I want to create my own business idea and eventually start my own sustainable farm or ranch,” he says.

John Charles Putrino spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino
John Charles Putrino spent $250 turning his truck into a camper van to travel across the US. Image: John Charles Putrino

“Travelling and volunteering will teach me the skills needed to achieve my dream. My long-term commitment is to live a healthy satisfying life. Our time on earth is short and I want to make the most of it.

To follow John Charles’s journey,  visit his website here or Instagram

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