We all know Matt Foley wouldn’t approve of living in a van, but what about a Cayenne? This spring Harrison Schoen decided he was going to give up his solid planted life in Salt Lake City and make a go of it out on the road in his 2008 Porsche Cayenne. You can’t drive your house, but you can definitely live in your Porsche. Pack up what little things you can, and hit the road while you’re still young.
Schoen joined the Navy at 18, and after several years of service he headed inland to get the heck away from the sea. He headed to Utah and set about making a normal life for himself. After just 18 months of that, including the year of COVID-driven hell that we all have lived through, he decided to head out for a drastic change.
“Being in the navy and living on an aircraft carrier,” Harrison said. “I learned how to live small. So after getting out, I moved into a two bedroom house and before long I was living in the garage and renting out both bedrooms so that I could live for free. Even then I got tired of things still taking my attention away from just living life.”
So off into the world he went; just Harrison and his trusty 100,000 plus mile Porsche Cayenne S. He set about modifying the vehicle to be able to take on the world. This included a 3-inch lift kit, tubular upper control arms, new poly-bushed lower front control arms and 18-inch wheels shod in mighty 33″ off-road tires. He also added a roof rack, which houses a storage box, portable shower, awning, and off-road lights.
Schoen chose to make a departure from the common trend these days of slapping on a rooftop tent and sleeping inside that. Instead he chose to build a sleeping platform inside the cargo area of the Cayenne. In part this was done because sleeping in a rooftop tent is much more conspicuous than inside the car, which would have limited Schoen to designated campsites. He preferred having the flexibility to crash in parking lots and rest stops if necessary. And, you know, roof top tents are heavy, and having weight up that high is rarely a good thing in off-roading.
Schoen has racked up an impressive 20,000 miles in the Cayenne since he bought it in Feb. and at the moment he doesn’t see an end to the adventure.
“I’m really enjoying traveling at the moment,” he says. “Some of the reasoning was to do something different from every else in society. The navy prepared me for everything I’m doing now; living in a small space but also the solitude. I don’t get that lonely and I’ve been fortunate enough to make friends all over the country. There’s a great community of people living the ‘van life.’ I’m just taking it to the next level because my Porsche allows me to get to places most people can’t reach.”
Forget van life, Cayenne life!