Campfire Chat: John H. – Owner of the First-Ever All-Carbon Fiber Evolution
Mar 07, 2023
Nimbl Evolution #59 Owner on Motorcycles, Truck Campers & Globetrotting
We had the opportunity to sit down with John H., the newest Nimbl vehicles owner & the owner of the first-ever all-carbon fiber Evolution. We covered all things overlanding, traveling the world & how he landed on Nimbl Vehicles as his means of exploration.
Beginning in his early 20s, John was afflicted with wanderlust, a love for motor vehicles & itchy feet that only dirt roads could scratch. Dirt biking & snowmobiling in his adolescence led to traversing North America via motorcycle from Michigan to Alaska 6 times, with a 7th trip planned in the new Nimbl Evolution. Over his lifetime, he has traveled extensively on his BMW GS through numerous continents. John now intends to use his new Nimbl to travel the Americas with his wife, Clarissa.
In 2015 John purchased a GMC-Hallmark truck and camper combo, equipped with mounting options for his various motorcycles. Initially, John was attracted to Hallmark for the personality, quality & pop-up style camper. After a few years with a Hallmark, he got the bug to upgrade to a more functional vehicle. He began visiting & researching all of the leading expedition vehicle manufacturers in the industry.
Fast forward to 2020, John found himself visiting our shop in Northern California. He had little to no desire to go with a larger Unimog-style vehicle, as it was less practical for the type of traveling he planned to do. He eventually narrowed it down to the Nimbl Evolution & another truck camper built on a smaller chassis.
He suggests that before you choose a rig, you always define your mission before anything else. Be very specific & move forward with the end in mind. Make note of the service & support you can expect from the manufacturer because that is way ahead of price. Get clear on what you want to accomplish with your new rig. Where would you like to go? What does the rig mean to you?
Over the years of travel, John has never lost touch with his itinerant side. While his adventurous nature and positive spirits have always remained intact, his personal missions & vehicle requirements have evolved over time. Different stages in life call for different amenities.
When you’re overlanding on a motorcycle versus a truck camper there are some key differences. The most obvious is that you have to carry your home with you on a bike.
“There is a freedom to motorcycles,” John says. “In small towns in Europe or other countries, I still prefer a motorcycle. You don’t have to get stuck in traffic and you can ride them where a larger vehicle simply could not make it. In some places, you can even ride your bike upstairs and park it basically anywhere.”
With a truck camper, you don’t have to worry about finding rooms, you are able to relax more & longer; and can travel much easier in the wintertime. Truck campers have everything you need and nothing you don’t. His perfect travel arrangement includes carrying his bike on his truck, so if he needs to run into town or recon trails, he can do that without risking getting into to a sticky situation or needing to pack up camp.
There was no compromising while designing his custom all-carbon Nimbl. With motorcycle mounting points in the front & rear of his vehicles and a DOT-approved 50 gallon auxiliary fuel tank, John is ready to hit the road with 2 or 4 wheels no matter where he goes.
When it comes to vehicle assisted travel, one can always expect challenges and accomplishments along the way. According to John, having the right attitude is always crucial. When I asked him what some of his greatest challenges were, he said, “absolutely nothing. I have been broken down, sick for days, turned around at borders, and stuck without tires, but in the end, it was always okay because I knew, like everything in life, it always ends up. The dirt and the roads keep scratching my itchy feet. I don’t like making plans for where I will eat or sleep because it always works out. Overlanding has scratched that perpetual itch.”
Equipment or gear John brings on every trip:
- Paper maps & GPS
- Tools & Recovery Gear
- Money & Back-Up Money (multiple currencies & cards)
- Tempur-Pedic Pillow
- Good Clothing
- 2 Pairs of Sunglasses
- Tire Repair Gear
John’s favorite off-road locations around the world:
- Albania & Montenegro
- Thailand & Laos
- New Mexico
- Southern Utah
- McCall, Idaho & The Bitterroots of Montana
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- The Rocky Mountains