MotorBiscuit Exclusive: Meet the Veteran Who Lives in a Porsche Cayenne off-Roading Camper

Are you living your dream? Harrison Schoen is. 24-year old Harrison Schoen is a veteran who recently ended his Navy career to embark on a new journey. After getting out of the Navy, Harrison decided he wanted to travel the world. The first stop on his world tour would be Thailand. When the global pandemic derailed his plans, he improvised and turned his 2008 Porsche Cayenne S into an off-roading camper that changed his life.

“I was tired of what I was doing every day”

Harrison Schoen sits atop the hood of his modified 2008 Porsche Cayenne S | Harrison Schoen

Harrison Schoen graciously gave me 15 minutes of his time on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021. He first ended up on my radar when I had discovered stories about a veteran who was living out of a modified 2008 Porsche Cayenne S. I then discovered that Harrison ran a popular Instagram account and was generating a lot of buzz on YouTube.

After reading the stories of Harrison’s extreme Porsche off-roading camper build, I wrongly assumed he would be a recluse or radical survivalist discontent with society’s current direction. When I got to interview Harrison for myself, I discovered that he was a resourceful young man with plenty of life experience who wouldn’t let the pandemic hold him back from living his dreams. Harrison is forging his own path, and luckily for us, he is documenting the journey as well.

“I felt like I was always waiting around for the next thing to happen to me or for me.”

Harrison Schoen

This Porsche Cayenne S isn’t your average SUV

Harrison Schoen’s modified 2008 Porsche Cayenne S | Harrison Schoen

Harrison purchased his 2008 Porsche Cayenne S for $9,000 from an elderly gentleman who had maintained the vehicle well over the years. Schoen had always been a fan of European vehicles. He owned an Audi Q5 but found its chassis limiting for the types of extreme off-roading that he wanted to do.

Harrison bought the 2008 Porsche Cayenne S in February 2021. It had approximately 124,000 miles on it. Today as of August 16th, 2021, the Cayenne has about 143,000 miles on it. The adventurous veteran added a Eurowise 3-inch lift conversion kit and upper and lower control arms to the Porsche Cayenne S.

He also added 33″x12″ Nitto Trail Grappler tires to tackle all sorts of terrain. Harrison’s Cayenne isn’t just made for off-roading. He customized it to make it habitable as he tours the country, checking out some of its greatest trails and national parks.

“I’m hoping to run it until at least 300,000 miles”

Harrison Schoen’s modified 2008 Porsche Cayenne S | Harrison Schoen

Harrison and his 2008 Porsche Cayenne S are both in it for the long haul. He began living in the vehicle on May 27th, 2021, and has been doing so for about two and a half months. He plans to ride out with the Cayenne until it reaches at least 300,000 miles.

The 2008 Porsche Cayenne S features a Thule rooftop cargo carrier. Harrison also stores his surfboard and road shower atop the Cayenne. He keeps a Camp Chef Teton 2-burner stove, some cooking essentials, a small bed, and clothing in the back of the vehicle. He also keeps books, shoes, and tools in the back of the Cayenne. Harrison even modified a small IKEA file cabinet to fit inside the vehicle for extra storage.

Offroad Tour with Porsche Cayenne S during the 'Porsche Experience For Women' Event on July 11, 2016 in Leipzig, Germany.
Offroad Tour with Porsche Cayenne S during the ‘Porsche Experience | Isa Foltin/Getty Images for Porsche AG & Porsche Design

Harrison stores a Goal Zero generator in the second row of the vehicle. The second row is also where he keeps his camp chair, water, and a Dometic fridge. All of the gear seems like a tight fit, but Harrison is confident that there’s enough space for a travel companion if needed.

The $25k Porsche Cayenne S build

Harrison Schoen's silver 2008 Porsche Cayenne S.
Harrison Schoen’s 2008 Porsche Cayenne S | Harrison Schoen

Harrison has spent about $3,000-$4,000 on minor replacements such as coils, spark plugs, and air filters. Labor aside, he has spent close to $25,000 to build this habitable off-roading beast—a small price to pay for the adventure of a lifetime.

His YouTube and Instagram audience have both grown rapidly, and soon his content should be able to support his lifestyle entirely. He has a genuine passion for European vehicles, driving, and photography. In 2018 Harrison purchased a Sony a7RIII camera and has been snapping amazing photos ever since.

“I don’t think I’d be who I am if I never learned how to take photos.”

Harrison Schoen

Harrison uses his photography skills to earn money on the road as well as his vinyl wrapping skills. Thus far, he has traveled from Salt Lake City, Utah to St. Louis, Oregon, Seattle, and San Diego. Harrison Schoen plans to keep on livin’ the dream off-roading across the country and looks forward to taking his audience along for the ride.

RELATED: Here Are 5 of the Best Small Vans for a Camper Van Conversion