By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orca’s – 7/16/18

For the eighty third installment in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orca’s, we are very pleased to share the story of David Gonzalez. You may know his as the @overlandnomad.

David’s travel in his off-road vehicle center mostly around weekend adventures in Texas, but they are of course inspirational and exciting. You can give him a follow and check out adventures through his Instagram gallery here.

Maybe it’s the similarities to our friends Rich and Ashley (and previous Dirt Orca interview subjects) of @desktoglory, but I like David’s style choices when it comes to his build and focus. The mid 90’s Toyota 4×4 will have a place in my heart forever and for good reason. These are the vehicles that helped build the Toyota brand into what they are today.

An avid outdoor enthusiast, who gets the most out of his free time, David is focused on sharing his love of the outdoors with his family.

Check out our interview and some photo’s from the @overlandnomad below.

What do you consider to be your place of work? 

I work at a private school as their operations supervisor and also do their day to day I.T. troubleshooting. Fun fact, I was a Border Patrol agent before this job.

Tell me about your vehicle. What do you call it? 

I have three awesome 4WD vehicles. My main rig, a 1994 Toyota Pickup AKA The Nomad, my daily driver, a 2002 Toyota 4Runner AKA The Mule, and my wife’s truck and family hauler a 2011 Nissan Xterra Pro-4X.

What other vehicles did you consider and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the one you bought? 

I bought The Nomad back in spring of 2010, my senior year in high school. It was owned by a co-worker of my dad and had been begging the owner to sell it to me. It took six months of telling him. Bought it for $2000. This truck was really what got me into the off-roading and more importantly in the overland community.

Have you made any upgrades or changes to it? 

Many changes have happened to The Nomad. First thing was the lift and big tires, which I blame the 19 year old me trying to look cool on the road and at the beach. Then after working as a Border Patrol agent, I got really into the outdoors. I got a roof top tent to put on top of the LEER camper I had and started going on weekend adventures. After learning about pop-up campers, I drove 12 hours north to Oklahoma and picked up an 80’s Wilderness camper. Last evolution to The Nomad has been the Four Wheel Camper. The Nomad he’s seen two engine rebuilds, complete changes of old hoses and old components.

What is your favorite part about it living/working out of your vehicle? 

As a “weekend warrior”, I dream of getting out of town and hitting new dirt roads, new bike trails, and camping with close friends and family. As a father of two, my main priority is to get my kids out as much as possible (And here in Texas, if the sun permits) My 3 year old has gone on many adventures with me since he was 1. I proudly tell people that he has gone on more adventures and camping trips than people I know.

What is your least favorite part about it?

My least favorite is being in a rush. I hate that. I like to not have a schedule, to be able to enjoy the different places that we stumble upon.

What is the best place you have taken it?

With The Nomad, it has only done trips in Texas. My memorable trip was to a Texas Overland meet event north west of Dallas in this beautiful property owned by a member. What made it memorable is that my friend and I drove our rigs about 10 hours north and then back. We had never done that many miles on our rigs, so we didn’t know if we would even make it. It was a trip that I was very proud of because The Nomad had zero issues, we got to see some really cool spots, and meet awesome new friends. In a few weeks, The Nomad will be doing a week-long trip head to Big Bend. I have a feeling that trip will overtake as the best trip ever.

Favorite road you’ve driven?

Black Gap Road in Big Bend National Park. Big Bend is my favorite so far. I love deserts and wide open areas. Black Gap Road is a trail that requires 4WD and is fairly easy. It’s a lot of fun to drive through with spectacular views.

In one word, what describes your approach to life?


If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about living from a vehicle, what would you tell them?

Memories are the most important thing that you can build during your lifetime. That is something that I rather have than material objects. Memories with my family and friends is something that I cherish and never forget. Don’t overwork. Take weekends to get out and explore. If you have kids, get them outdoors. Like now. Doesn’t matter what age. Be thankful for what you have.

It takes a special kind of person to recognize that the journey, not the destination, is the point of life. Travelers know this. Was there a point in your life where you became conscious that you were one of those people? 

You know that’s a good question. I do have a moment when my head clicked in gear and became obsessed with adventures. A few years ago, I packed into my dad’s Subaru with a few close friends and camped into the backcountry of Big Bend National Park. Never in my life had I been in such natural beauty and never had I witness such tranquility. Being able to hike up in the desert and could stand on a hill and see over the land for miles and miles and hear nothing. You know that ringing noise you get sometimes in your ear when it’s pure quiet? I could hear that. It was amazing and is a feeling I look for. The feeling of being alone and not a soul for miles.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *