When Taylor and I started planning this trip, we considered our options for transportation. Many people use 4-Runners or Land Cruisers with roof top tents or sleeping platforms in the rear. VW “hippie vans” like the original VW Bus and the later Westfalia versions are a classic, popular option.
We wanted something reasonably comfortable, reasonably reliable, and reasonably cheap. The vans are tempting because of the combined living space and the ease of stealth camping. The SUV’s are a good option because they’re cheap and very mobile.
The most common breakdowns I’ve seen in overland adventures, seem to revolve around overloading- CV joints, wheel bearings, and springs. Beyond that, no matter what you drive, eventually something will break. We wanted something we could fix on our own, on the road. Simple enough to work on myself, but with the modern advantages of fuel injection and OBDII.
We ultimately decided on simply keeping my 2005 Chevrolet Silverado. I’ve owned the truck since I was 18 and since it was brand new. I’ve done almost all the maintenance and repair myself and know the truck inside and out. It’s 4x4 and V8 powered and is relatively light for its capability, leaving us with plenty of payload capacity for our gear and living arrangements.
I’ve used the truck for farm work, hauling wood, pulling equipment, and on mountain trails. It’s comfortable for hours on the highway and has always been easy to work on.
Since it’s just a regular cab, with an 8’ pickup bed, we’d need to do something to make living in the truck a bit more comfortable. The obvious option is a pickup camper- easy, comfortable, and proven. We ultimately decided on a Four Wheel Camper Grandby. I’ll do a quick write up on the camper in another post..
- 2005 Chevrolet Silverado, 2500HD
- 6.0L Gas V8
- 4l80E Auto Transmission
- 4.88 gearing
- Rear Detroit Locker
- Custom Built Front Bumper
- Warn Winch on custom built, receiver mounted carrier
- Yaesu FT-7900R Dual-Band Mobile Transceivers
- (2, his and hers) 7" Ram X-Grip Tablet Mounts
- 160 Amp Alternator
- Isolated and fused dual battery system, with 2/0 gauge welding cable
- Underhood and Center mounted junction blocks
- Fused 2/0 cable to Anderson connectors, front, center and rear.
- Air-Lift load-leveling airbags with Daystar Cradles
- On-board ViAir compressor, 3 gallon tank, and regulator
- Toyo A/TII 285/75 R17 on 17” aluminum H2 Wheels
- Custom Built Aluminum Truck Bed
- 180k miles, because we only said “reasonably” reliable..
Check out our build threads-