There’s no shortage of beards and suntans in Andrew Waits’s portrait series of Americans living out of RV campers and cars. The subjects of Boondock are, technically, nomads: they live out of their vehicles, not bound to any one plot of land. But after that, this mini-population becomes more difficult to qualify.
“There is no defined archetype of person represented in this project,” says Waits, a Seattle-based photographer who found a plethora of diverse stories within the communities seen here. Plenty of the people depend on disability, pension, social security, or savings to get by. Others work as campground hosts, jewelry makers, or haircutters. Some even work remote jobs online.
The tie that binds is choice: “The only constant is that at some point the vehicle became more than a vehicle,” Waits tells Co.Design of these communities (who have like-minded counterparts in England).
It’s a lifestyle with a storied history: the Tin Can Tourists formed during the pre-Depression years in Florida, presumably for early camping enthusiasts. Later, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road became a runaway hit that would inspire a similar kind of wanderlust-infused, vagrant lifestyle. Today, it seems that many vehicle dwellers in Boondock are looking to escape the stresses of a tethered life. Waits says some may have chosen this life after the economy tanked; others want to reject the idea that a home is made up of many possessions.