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.