Even if there’s not much room, Toyota Chinook camper vans have something really special and unique! Through a friend we got in touch with Michael Weybret, a talented young director from California who moved into The John Muiracle a year ago after needing some change in his life. Living the dream some may say, but it’s certainly not always easy either to sleep, work and cook in 54 sq ft! See his interesting story here.
What’s your story and how did you end up buying your camper van ?
How much time do you have? Haha It was a pipe dream of mine for the longest time, first car I ever wanted to buy was a westfalia when I was 13. When this all happened I was 24 and living in LA. I basically lost my job, girlfriend, and apartment in the span of 2 weeks (felt like 2 minutes). Without a reason to still live in LA I was looking for a change, and basically buying a camper is what made the most sense to me. I was really nervous about going for it but I had a lot of friends behind me pushing me to go for it. Ultimately when the right rig came my way I couldn’t pass it up.
What is your adventure mobile and does it have a nickname?
“The John Muiracle” is a 1982 Toyota Chinook with a Frankenstein’ed ’93 22r Toyota engine in it. I have 54sqft of living space and it is all pretty original inside. I put in some new cabinets with a little help from my buddy and some elbow grease here and there to make it my own. This thing is my baby now. I get offers for it every now and then and I couldn’t even begin to put a price on The Muiracle.
What is the Do Something Cool project all about?
It all sort of started with a really bad idea for a tattoo… In the break room of my old surf shop we were giving ourselves tattoos from a tattoo machine we bought on eBay (I know… I already said it was a bad idea). When it was my turn I didn’t know what to do and somebody suggest “who cares, just do something cool.” So now that impulse decision is forever written on me left leg. And it sort of grew from there! First as a battle cry to get out and live adventurously, and then a more directed quest to keep living a life full of good stories. Since then I have just been sharing, listening to, and making new stories every day and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that bad idea.
What is the best road trip you’ve made so far?
Well I sort of left The Muiracle behind for this one. But I drove over 9,000 miles with 4 of my best friends this fall on what we called “Dude Cruz 3.” We hit something like 18 states, 2 canadian provinces, and just about every KOA there is over 43 days. It was some wild times. Y’all should check out the hashtag #dudecruz3 and see for yourselves. There are some dude butts in there haha but a lot of really awesome moments.
Did you meet someone that changed your life in one of your travels? In what way ?
Oh man, just about every day. Most recently it was a guy named Pedro that was trying to buy my old car. I told him about my living situation and he got so jazzed. We swapped stories for over an hour, this guy hitchhiked all the way from south Florida to Los Angeles 4 days after graduating high school. Along the way he looked for work at Home Depots and played guitar on street corners for money, and he says he only knows two songs! Meeting people like Pedro has changed my life in so many ways, mostly in teaching me that everybody has a story. Each person you meet has something special about them that makes them light up just talking about it. If you are willing to share that special spark you have with somebody, it is pretty amazing what you get back from them.
Can you name 3 items you always have with when you’re on the road?
Camera. I get ansy just thinking about going through all these photos when I’m older.
Compass. My father gave it to me some years back. Orienteering has been a hobby of mine, but it really has become a token piece more than anything. No matter how far you go you can always find your way home.
I have about 100ft of paracord with me at all times. So random, but a good tip.
Boot laces, clothes line, backpack straps. Comes in handy for just about everything.
What are your 3 favorite places to spend the night in your camper van?
I have a secret park in LA with free public wifi. I spend a lot of time there when I am in the city for work, more time then I would like. But it’s not a bad spot and the sunsets are bitchin’.
I camped out on my friends property just outside Yosemite early last summer. I still dream about that spot and that week.
And just about anyplace where I can hear the ocean. Thats sort of the idea isn’t it?
Follow Michael and Do something cool!
Blog : www.dosomethingcool.com
Instagram : @dosomethingcool