The Rig

Our Trusty 1994 Chevrolet Suburban with nearly 200,000 miles.

Over the years, the only changes we have made to our Subby is to upgrade the front suspension to a heavy duty one. We have also added 18” wheels. The engine is still kicking, and she remains a beauty, as you can see in the picture below.

Inside changes make it our home on the road: We folded the middle seats downand removed the back row of seats     completely, leaving us with room for a full-size mattress plus three large storage bins. However, this was not enough, so our dear carpenter friend, Maestro Giorgio, made us a cabinet that our mattress fits on with room for 6 under-the-bed bins to slide in. Electric invertors for the lighter provide all our recharging needs, and an electric cooler works for a refrigerator, using either 12v from the car battery or 110v standard current.

The Bike Rack: For our two mountain bikes, we got a huge rack made in Sweden that tilts for easy rear access, and even though it is nice and sturdy, we have already done some welding to the moveable tow ball attachment to put it in a fixed position, because the part had stripped on our first trip out from the bad roads … not even off-roading!!! Eventually I will contact the makers to let them know how this product handles on regular South American roads.

On the right you can see the extension tent we found in the U.S. which allows us some extra space and fresh air inside when camping. Liz and her sturdy sewing machine have outfitted the bedding and made everything from red covers for the bike seats, to rugs and mosquito netting for the back windows.

Changes Not Made: We did not want to add anything like heavier front and rear fenders or Jerry cans for gas and water, or extra wheels, because most countries down here require permits for after-market parts like those. We’ll see how our monster bike rack stands up to the cop’s test as we go.

The only problem we see is that our car is a gas guzzler and the best we are expecting to get is 13 to 15 mi/gal, so we will drive only during the day, averaging 50 to 60 mi/hr, and strictly from point A to point B where we will walk or ride bikes while in town. Our plan is to eat away all the money we save on gas and to declare a positive impact on our carbon foot print as it relates to this adventure.

5 Responses to The Rig

  1. Anya says:

    This is great Mommy and Daddy! your pictures of auyantepuy are beautiful. I found that thats one of those landscapes that just can’t be captures on film, but what you took comes pretty close. Mommy, you were always a natural photographer! I love you both and am excited for you as you continue on…and I want pictures of the opera house in Manaus, as well as where the rivers run together. And of course a pink dolphin if you see one. Until then, tudo bom!

    • Raul & Liz says:

      We are getting your comments – thanks 🙂 Daddy is helping with the photos since I shake a lot now, but they did come out pretty good. (I think Daddy did take the one of Auyantepuy) We have pics of the Opera House – took a tour – and it will be on the next post. We’ll work on the rest. Love to you!

  2. rony fu says:

    muchos saludos raul y liz que sea muy felices…!

  3. Alejandro Molero says:

    Remember the holly envy I feel…. So, I want to be like you when I grow up….
    My pastor friends is in Bello Horizonte… all the way down south… Excuse my mess!
    Good blog… Stay in touch….
    Blessings, bro´s… Take care…

  4. Benito Varela says:

    Dear Raul and Liz
    “Start living now. Stop saving the good china for that special occasion. Stop withholding your love until that special person materializes. Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God.”
    Mary Manin Morrissey
    Speaker and Author
    This is a great example you are showing to many, keep us posted
    Benito Varela

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