Adventuremobiles: Jess Kimura’s 1983 Bigfoot Camper

Jess Kimura AKA @danger_p is no stranger to sending it. As a past Women’s Rider of the Year and Women’s Video Part of the Year recipient, it is obvious she doesn’t take a lot of down time. That is why we weren’t shocked when she showed up at our office the other day on her way down to Mexico for a month long surf trip with her brand new adventuremobile, freshly gutted and fixed up this past summer. We hopped in for a few miles down the I-5 and caught up with what she has going on under the hood.

If you want to keep up with her travels and see pictures of the camper’s condition when she first bought it, check her out on Instagram @danger_p.

We heard the engine coming from pretty far down the Pacific Coast Highway.

So, tell us what you got.

It’s a 1996 Ford F150, 4.9 liter inline 6 cylinder. One of the most reliable engines ever made. The camper is a 1983 Bigfoot 8-foot fiberglass camper. The floor of it is 4×8 and the cabinets extend. I also have a 100 watt solar panel with two 6-volt batteries to make a 12-volt system, 500 watt inverter for non 12-volt items. There’s a sink that works with a water pump and a water tank, pretty basic. And there is a furnace in there that I’ll never use.

And why did you decide to go for it?

I’m sick of sleeping in a tent and I don’t like sleeping indoors. It’s awesome, I’ve been sleeping in the backseat of my truck for so many years and before then I was sleeping in a Subaru station wagon… so to have everything, it’s just so sick.

A handmade shelf full of necessities when traveling across the border.

And where are you taking it?

I’m taking it to Mexico to go surfing, undisclosed location. This time for at least a month. I’m gunna go down and just live on the beach on a dirt road, edit the upcoming movie (The Uninvited Project), do all my physical rehab stuff and otherwise, just be in the ocean every minute that I can be. Be in the water for sunrise, come back, play guitar, read books, edit, go to sleep, and repeat 30 days in a row.

Sick! Will the project be out this fall?

It’s a two-year project but were releasing a four-part series in the fall. The first is the teaser for the two-year, and then three full parts or something.

Part-time editing bay, part-time studio.

How is editing in the adventuremobile?

Well it removes all distraction. Like when I’m at home, I cannot sit down and edit. I have been trying to edit this teaser for six months now and I didn’t start until two days ago on the road. I just put my table out in the middle of the desert and just zipped through it. Because at home I just always have to do this or that. It’s just total focus. If I was ever going to write a book, or if I was an artist and needed to make a life-altering painting, I would do it out of something like this because it removes all distraction. I totally understand now why writers go to random hobbit houses on a secluded island somewhere to write their books, like lock in.

And we understand there is a Bigfoot connection is?

The Bigfoot connection is that I’m from Vernon, and the factory of the camper is in Vernon.

Another handmade shelf full of necessities. Check the initials on the axe.

How did you score it?

I missed a couple ones on Craigslist, I would email them and be like, “I’ll give you exactly what you’re asking,” and by the time I got in my car they were gone. So this one I just got in the truck and started driving as soon as I saw it and I got it for really cheap, but it was a total tear down, rebuild.

How much work did you put into this thing?

Hundreds of hours, for sure (laughs). May, June, July, it was two months at least. And then Ben Bilocq, who is like the Bigfoot specialist, cause he did his already and his hobby is campers, probably put in a solid month of being in there every day before and after work and all days on weekends because it was right after my surgery and I was still on the couch for the first bit. We completely gutted it and redid everything. All the lines, all the electrical, put in a solar system, painted it obviously, put in a new floor, ripped out all the old cabinets, and put in a new bed. That’s about it.

Does it have a shower?

Shower is a bag of water with a hole in the bottom, and the ocean.

What are you most stoked on in it?

Well the thing I’m most stoked on came the other day when I was way out taking it on its first test run way out in the wilderness. There was like this super steep ditch that I seriously would’ve been screwed crossing in even a dirt bike, but I was like “Let’s see what she can do!”. Put her into 4-low, hit the gas and it was like vertical, I didn’t even have to press the gas, it crawled up the hill by itself. As I came up over the crest I was like “Yeah motherfucker!”. Not only do I have this house but it’ll go anywhere, ya know? It’ll go places I can’t walk!

Are you going to take this out in the winter afterwards? Or are you keeping this in Mexico?

I’m not sure yet, it depends if I feel like doing the drive back up. I got this thing for dirt cheap. I would like to get another one and redo one for winter, with winter in mind. This one, I didn’t put spray foam and there’s gaps in the insulation. But from doing this one, it was like my practice model. I’d like to make a really pimp one one day. This camper was $1200 American. Well, $1800 Canadian.

Last question, bathroom?

No, I have a poo shovel and I shit in the woods.

Properly playing “Surf Wax America” as she leaves us on her way to Mexico.

Source: TransWorld SNOWBoarding

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