Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Truck Preparation

We've spent the past 5 months preparing ourselves and our truck for extended, overland travel through the Americas.  At the time we purchased the truck, we didn't realize how lucky we were to get our hands on a Provan Tiger.  To the untrained eye, a Provan Tiger looks like a slide-in truck camper.  The cool thing is that it's actually an integrated motorhome, where you can walk between the cab and living quarters.  It's everything we ever wanted -- 4x4, diesel, a roomy living space, in a very small footprint.

We've made some major improvements to the truck (1994 turbo diesel Chevy Silverado), as well as the living quarters.  Now that we are in the final weeks of preparing to cross the border, it's been fun to look back on everything we've done.  Almost all of the upgrades were preemptive fixes.  The jist of it is that Scott has done an amazing amount of work to get the truck ready for adventuring in isolated areas.

When I was starting my research on overland travel in the Americas I found a lot of blogs with vehicle modification information.  It was interesting and very informative to see the cost associated with such a venture.  What follows is a very boring list of modifications and cost.

1994 Provan Tiger Camper Modifications ($4500)
  • Instant Water Heater (Removed old 6-gallon water heater) $120
  • Vinyl floor covering (replaced old carpet) $30
  • New/bigger drawers, refaced cabinets, new doors, new hardware $400
  • Exterior shower (scott's absolute favorite addition) $50
  • New foam bed $120
  • Custom 7' x 2.5' x 2.5' aluminum box  $776
  • Re-routed plumbing and electrical
  • Custom battery box $100
  • Towel bars, shoe holders, clothes hooks, etc. (major Ikea-fest) $150
  • 12-volt 4.3 liter NovaKool refrigerator (replaced Dometic 3-way fridge) $1000
  • LED lights (replaced incandescent energy-hogs) $100
  • 135-watt solar panel (in addition to the original 80-watt) $400
  • Xantrex C35 charge controller  $143
  • TriMetric battery monitor TM-2025 $205
  • 2 x Trojan T105 6-volt 235 amp-hour batteries $295

1994 Chevy Silverado K2500 Turbo Diesel Truck Modifications ($6000)
  • Replace upper and lower ball joints $463
  • Replace pitman and idler arms $360
  • New KYB Monomax shocks $240
  • 2 additional leaf springs from Oregon Spring $600
  • 6 new Michelin LTX AT2 tires $1430
  • Diamond Eye 4-inch exhaust (replaced 2.5-inch! exhaust) $500
  • High Efficiency Air Filter $57
  • New radiator thermostat $23
  • Replaced harmonic balancer/pulley $100
  • New high-output water pump and gaskets $220
  • Upgraded radiator fan clutch and fan blade $200
  • New PMD (pump mounted driver) mounted remotely (away from engine) with heat sink $280
  • Synthetic transmission and differential fluid change $400
  • Synthetic engine oil  $60
Other Truck Mods:
  • Stereo/MP3 player $50
  • Husky floor liners in cab $160
  • Custom seat covers $160

Spare Parts (approx cost $500)
  • 5 x Fuel filter $84
  • 5 x Oil filter $70
  • Fuel pump relay $13
  • Fuel pump $86
  • Fuel pump strainer $20
  • Crankcase breather element $52
  • Oil pressure switch $26
  • Radiator hose upper and lower $50
  • Wiper blades $11
  • 4wd actuator $120
  • Serpentine belt $30

Overland/Travel Equipment (approx cost $750)
  • Lug nut cover/lock $25
  • Locks for all of the exterior access doors $10
  • Locks and cables for gear and vehicle $80
  • Ridgid brand cordless oscillator/drill set $136
  • Craftsman 192 piece mechanics tool set $126
  • Lots of other random tools and fix-it stuffs (i.e. DUCT TAPE and adhesives) $100
  • GPS Garmin Nuvi 1450 $170
  • Guidebooks and road atlas' $100


River Chick said...

LOVE it! Can't wait to see more pictures, especially of the inside after you move all your stuff & toys in. I would also love to hear more about the exterior shower.

Also, if you have not already, be sure to pick up a batter charger/jump starter. Only $25-$50 and worth every penny. Mine saved me more than once!

MK said...

Howdy, I have a 96 PVT pretty much the same as yours. If you dig a little in the for sale section at the expedition portal you can probably figure out which one it is. I have two questions for you. Where is your spare tire? Where did you get your LED bulbs for the cabin, and if you don't mind could you share part numbers. Hope you guys have a great trip!

Heather and Scott said...

Hi MK, One spare tire is mounted underneath and the other is in our "toy box" without a rim. The LED bulbs actually came from IKEA. I purchased a 3 pack of LED "puck lights" (ensuring they were 12 volt). I dismantled the lights, cut out the old bulbs and connected the wires together -- a bit more than plugging in a bulb, unfortunately.