Road Trippin' Rigs

  • The 03 Astro was a killer road tripping rig just too small. Great 4x4 went everywhere and very nimble wheeling. I never had any doubt I could get in and out of places.
    It got 19.4 mpg on extended trips. Defiantly tight for two people and gear. The attic was a huge bonus and made our lives much more comfortable.
    Small 9in roof vent without a fan. no room for an indoor kitchen
    IMG_2607.jpg but good bug screens and airflow. The roof vent really helped even without a fan.
    IMG_2324.jpg IMG_2752.jpg

  • Heh... I'd forgotten about this thread and was all ready to start a new one - with the exact same title. !Aye, caramba!! Thanks goodness fer' autocomplete, eh?

    Anywho... seems like deserves a "bump" and also refiling under "Gear Head Mind Hive". So post up pics and analysis of yer' road trippin' rigs, for better or for worse. Share the good, the bad & the ugly. Inquiring minds are curious and, I suspect, a topic many of us have given a fair bit of thought.

    Speaking of Which....

    @Moose said in Powell River Area Climbing:

    (Also...I want me one of them Delicas with the 4X4 and steering wheel on the right. They don't sell them in the U.S., but I've always seen plenty of them in Squamish, and from visiting Canadians here in Seattle.)

    @Scole said in Powell River Area Climbing:

    The Delica is the coolest rig out there. I want one.

    Looks like you are both in luck: DelicaUSA 🚐

    I noted the rig in the On the Verge video was sporting a cracked windshield. Indicative of frame flex and for many years the nemesis of the Power Wagon. Or mayhaps she just took a rock? Any insights?

    Rock on! 🐕

  • @toby said in Road Trippin' Rigs:

    Or mayhaps she just took a rock? Any insights?

    Christie is still driving that rig, so either the crack is minor, or she has had the windshield replaced.

    Most of the crags around here require some driving on logging roads, so pretty easy to catch the odd pebble.

  • My best road tripping rig yet. Not perfect but close. to be perfect it would be the 4x4 version and have a sink.

  • @Scole, @Moose & anyone else familiar with these rigs: I'd be quite interested in why you lust after the Delica. Other than "it's cool". Presume we're prioritizing function over form and enlighten me, eh?

    @NickG said in Road Trippin' Rigs:

    My best road tripping rig yet. Not perfect but close. to be perfect it would be the 4x4 version and have a sink.

    Point taken. 🙂 Definitely would make the short, short list if 4x4. Maybe a bit too big for other stuff though. Hence the follow up on the Delica.

  • what is this Delicia rig and where are the pictures?

  • OK so i found it. Its cool but tiny. at that point you are back to the size of the Astro. Also that little Toyota 4x4 van from the 90s. Looks like a vanegon Syncro has more room.

  • @NickG Here's at least one site that shows Delicas.

    They are pretty small, but the 4X4s seem to be super popular among Canadian climbers.

  • It looks like I'll be in the market for a new(used) one soon.... Been saving up, and applied for a loan. Waiting for confirmation but yesterday was told it is noted as "recommended for approval."

    This is a big step for me and makes me nervous. I have never had anything besides a rental apartment that I haven't paid for outright.

    I'm hoping for a 2016 Ram Promaster 2500, high top. But not seeing much at all from private sellers in this area and even those from dealers are not what I'd call nearby.

    My build will be basic, and slow going. I expect I'll be buying an empty work van, so will need to put in insulation. Nice walls and floor would be nice, but for this first winter I'm just going to use something simple, and hopefully can transfer my current bed from Penny, even though the fit won't be perfect.

    Next year I'll start to make prettier.

  • Roxul is very good insulation, easy to instal and reasonably priced though with the pandemic aparently there is a shortage. You can cover the walls with 1/4in laminate in various finishes, bead board etc for about $30.00 a sheet give or take depending on finish. you do want to run your wireing before you insulate and cover the walls.

  • @Moose Defiantly a cool rig but my astro has 1 7/8th inches more clearance and looks to be about the same size. certainly very capable 4x4 in the astro as well.

  • After beating my "RV" 4-Runner up the steep, narrow, tilted, & rough switchback mining road at right, to 8,500' on Monday, I find myself doubting that most folks will take their "sissy-wagons" up similar roads. Of course Nick is the man to prove me wrong.


    My Idaho camp that night.


  • @FritzRay the astro has been up any and every mining road we found. incluning to the point that the 4x4 tours in teluride turned around. Obviously my sprinter is not 4x4 but has a boatload of clearance. still it is not doing any serious wheeling. I do hope to be able to get into almost all of my favorite cam sites as long as things are dry. The 4x4 version of the sprinter is supposed to be quite capable. One issue is is that if you have a fancy build inside rough roads beat it up.. Of course you have the same issue with a cab over on a truck. glue and screw everything..

  • I have had many of the rigs listed in the past. The fancier your house on wheels is, the less likely you are to push it off road. Im my opinion, a smaller, more versatile rig with AWD or 4x4, will get you to more climbs and killer campsites than a luxury sprinter will.

    The Astro vans are quite capable, I've owned two of them. Their weakness lies in the fluid drive which was designed for a car, not a truck and has longevity issues. I owned a Chevy express AWD which was an awesome rig, Big enough too build a decent camper, but designed to military truck specs.

    With the exception of the Express, and now the Delica, I have found vans to be comfortable, but limited, and generally prefer a 4x4 truck with shell or camper, sacrificing comfort for function. I just bought a Mitsubishi 4x4 diesel truck after giving up looking for a Delica in Mexico, but may look into switching if they make them available here.

  • @Scole I've never seen one of these Delica rigs, nor talked w/an owner. I'd love to hear from either because real people's opinions are generally much more trustworthy than marketing verbiage.

    We're going to need a new rig before too long. Genifer took one look at the Delica's, pronounced that they are ugly, and no way she's driving a rig w/steering wheel on the right. That does not mean that a Delica is off the table, however, as she was adamant about not buying American when we bought our AWD 2007 Ford Fusion and that car has been absolutely awesome: 200K w/minimal hassle.

    I too, favor 4x4 trucks with camper shells for the reasons you mention. When my beater rig two wheel drive Mazda B1600 (that is right, only 1600 cc's) was totaled by a ditz crossing double, double yellows to make a left hand turn into oncoming traffic, I used my AK fisherman money to buy a '91 F-150 4x4 sporting an inline 300 cubic inch six cylinder engine, manual transmission, manual locking hubs, and an old school style shell made from wood, aluminum skin and interior wood paneling since I do not enjoy how fiberglass rigs "sweat". That shell is history. The truck itself has been a great rig. I have lost track of how many times I've rolled over the odometer but it is either +300K or +400K miles. It has been to AK and back, towing a trailer w/all our belongings, way bitd before the AK Highway was paved. The air quality folks are amazed every time I need to get it tested. Body and interior need a fair bit of TLC now. I plan on restoring it but I need access to a shop and requisite ducats. My 01' Ford F-150 got totaled by a ditz talking on her cell phone 30K miles after 10K got put into rebuilt engine, front end, etc., but the chassis itself had 300K on it so insurance company screwed, blued, and tattooed me on the deal.

    Be all that as it may, the "killer road trippin' rig" is kind of meaningless w/o a list of requirements/objectives, wh/will necessarily differ. Mine:

    1. AWD/4x4
    2. I have a strong preference for manual but need automatic transmission for Genifer.
    3. Reasonable ground clearance.
    4. Small enough for around town use but large/comfortable enough for "stealth bivvy's". We're pretty much tent campers, out of necessity these days, but would be great to be self contained.
    5. Reasonable fuel economy.

    Heh, yep, many conflicting criteria here. Which is what makes pondering this stuff interesting fer' inquiring minds - the one rig does all is indeed a high a bar, but still worthy of analysis and discussion. Bottom line is that it is a bevvy of trade offs, so please elaborate upon yours when posting up so the rest of us can grok where yer' coming from.

    I am presently arguing for:

    1. We're on a half acre w/no covenants => build a shop.
    2. Restore 91' F-150 and buy a shell. I could handle most of this w/parts and investing some "sweat equity".
    3. Buy a new AWD car/suv for Genifer's around town use.

    Doing the math we can accomplish the above for considerably less than the cost of a diesel powered new truck and gain the added value of a shop to boot. Be ideal if I was 30 years younger and did not have health issues.

  • "no way she's driving a rig w/steering wheel on the right." If they produce the Delica for the US market it will be left hand drive. The one I have seen at the surf shop at Punta Mita is left hand drive, manual, and up close looks pretty nice.

  • @Scole I have 229.8K miles on my Astro I did rebuild the front diff @ 200k have looked for the AWD Express but they were always very hard to find.

  • If you could find a used express in AWD that would be the low budget road. If money is not an issue I don't see how you can lose with the 4x4 sprinter. they drive super easy around town. haven't wheeled with one but they seem to have a ton of clearance.. Certanly my T1n has boatloads of clearance just no 4x4:( and it only cost $27k to convert it to 4x4. love straight sixes 🙂

  • @Happiegrrrl check out car Gurus, auto trader and carfax to find a van. try to get a loan from a credit union. they are vastly superior and more affordable than regular bank.

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