Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Great Faces, Great Places

El Tigre is now officially a South Dakota resident.  We paid sales tax and got it titled and registered, all for a few hundred dollars.  The "Great Faces, Great Places" state makes if very easy for full-time RVers to give them money.  Admittedly, we slipped a few notches down the cool factor scale by getting rid of the old Colorado plates.

South Dakota license plate:  "Great Faces, Great Places"

After we picked the truck up in Pagosa Springs, and visited our friends in Denver, we drove to Scott's brother's house (Skip and Amy) in Indiana.  Here, we started the laborious process of making El Tigre "our home".  Skip spent countless hours refacing our kitchen cabinets and making new drawers and doors.

Skip and Scott burning the midnight oil in Skip's workshop

Along with all the interior work, Scott ordered $1500 in auto parts that were delivered to my parent's house.  He's working on making El Tigre a lean, mean, cool machine.  He's also becoming an expert on the mechanics of the GM 6.5 L diesel engine -- at least I hope so, as the drive shaft, radiator, water pump, oil cooler, and fan clutch, all of which are sitting in my Dad's barn, probably need to go back in.

One of many auto part deliveries

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Van Update. It's not a Van!

So much has happened since we last checked into the blog.  So much, and yet, so little...  The exciting news is that we did in fact find our 4x4, diesel, Pan-American dream mobile on eBay, and the transaction went better than anyone could ever dream.  It is a a Provan Tiger Camper built on a 1994 Chevrolet K2500 Silverado Truck.


When we flew to pick up the truck, Gary, the previous owner, drove over an hour to pick us up at the Durango airport. Then, he drove us back to his home, where we were greeted with the sight of our new (old) truck and the high-altitude beauty of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  Gary and his wife opened their home to us for the next couple of days while we got the truck ready to drive back to Michigan.  Kelly fed us salmon, asparagus, and roasted potatoes for dinner with homemade raspberry pie for dessert!  If we ever sell the truck, I hope we can make the buying experience for the next person as pleasant as they made it for us.

Scott, Gary, and Kelly pre-yumfest

People have asked why we wanted a 4x4 or a diesel.  The reason we wanted the 4wd is a little more obvious. We plan on driving it from here to the tip of South America.  There will be roads and beaches that would be off-limits for a traditional 2wd van.  As for the diesel question, diesel fuel is a bit easier to come by south of the border, the engine has a longer life, and it gets better gas diesel mileage.

It's been 3 weeks, but we still can't stop calling our new truck "the van".  Every vehicle we've ever traveled in has been a van...Toyota LE, Toyota Previa, Ford E350, Toyota Hiace, and a Ford Transit.  We've never been the type to name our vehicles, so it's been hard not to call it "the van". We're still trying to get used to calling it "the truck" or "the camper", but it's definitely NOT A VAN!