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Thread: What to drive from Colorado to South America?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Currently Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
    Posts
    862
    I'd go with reliability and 4x4 capability over sleeping in the car. I'd rather have an RTT on a rig that I know will get me from point A to B everyday, even when my curiosity wants to take me off the beaten path, over having extra space to sleep inside my rig.....breaking down more for extra space is not an economic return I value. Further, 4x4 capability expands your limits; the Kombi limits them. You're going to want to treat yourself every now and then with a hot shower, food cooked in a proper kitchen, a comfy bed, with coffee served at your leisure - it's inevitable. So the interior space inside the Kombi, to me, would get old just as quick as sleeping on top of my rig. Again, reliability and capability over interior space would be my choice.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    341
    As for speed?
    Not really a consideration. Some countries have a countrywide limit of 50mph, and much of the rest - off the main drags anyway - have roads bad enough that 50mph will be a dream.

    One consideration that IS important is the ability to start the engine when it is well below freezing and at an altitude of 4000 metres. Not a trivial task for some diesel engines.
    Tony LEE
    Photo Albums,Travel Map
    OZ - 1978 MC8 DIY converted coach
    Europe - 7M Hobby Class C motorhome.
    USA - 35' Airstream Cutter Motorhome
    OZ - OKA 4WD with motorhome body
    S America - F350 with Bigfoot Camper

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    341
    It would be rare for anyone driving south through Peru to miss camping at Quints Lala in Cusco, so what drives in here could be considered pretty representative of "suitable Vehicles"

    These are the vehicles here over the last few days. Not shown are a couple of 2WD small vans.





    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-W...0/DSCF3376.JPG

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-p...0/DSCF3377.JPG

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-I...0/DSCF3408.JPG



    As you can see, there are a few US vehicles, but none driven by US adventurers. German, Swiss, Australian, French, Brazilian and Argentinian


    and since getting right to the bottom is the ultimate goal, all these vehicles at Ushuaia last christmas are suitable too



    Last edited by Tony LEE; 11-23-2014 at 01:11 PM.
    Tony LEE
    Photo Albums,Travel Map
    OZ - 1978 MC8 DIY converted coach
    Europe - 7M Hobby Class C motorhome.
    USA - 35' Airstream Cutter Motorhome
    OZ - OKA 4WD with motorhome body
    S America - F350 with Bigfoot Camper

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    226
    A few thoughts after being on the road for 3 months in Southern South America.

    • There have been multiple times I have wanted one or the other type of vehicle (4wd high clearance vs. van).
    • Numerous times it would have been really nice to be able to camp/sleep/cook inside the vehicle. Primarily in the south where it was raining and cold. To a lesser extent in the northern desert where it was cold and windy. But I can deal with cold and wind, rain sucks. Also being able to camp inside the car with some semblance of stealth would also have been nice on occasion.
    • Numerous times it was nice to drive a vehicle with larger tires, full time 4wd and low range. Knowing I could go up a road without having to worry about getting stuck or what the conditions are mitigates one more thing to worry about. Yes you can do the whole pan american in a 2wd car. But, even in Chile, most of the roads to national parks border on 4wd. Less wear and tear on a vehicle designed for these roads than a car.
    • The ability to move fast, safely, over rough terrain should not be dismissed lightly. Whether its for convenience/fun to have more time at your destination rather than on the road and reduce driver and passenger fatigue, if its to avoid undesirable situations (when someone tells you they have finished paving ruta 40 but really they haven't and your 10 hr drive just turned into a 13 hr drive), or if its an emergency/life/limb situation and you need to make it somewhere quickly, having a vehicle designed and configured to travel safely on rough terrain at speed while carrying heavy loads can be very valuable.


    In the end the vehicle choice is not a correct/incorrect one. Its more of a personality test based on the kind of trip you want to have, and what car you want to take with you. In the end, the "material stuff" really doesn't matter...its who you take with you, what you get to see and experience along the way.

    HTH,
    Corey
    '97 lx450, 180k, lockers, ome 850/863, fox, arb, ep9, 285 [Yoko I/T's|Nitto TG's], 4 working doors(1 more than the old fj55 ) My South America road trip, http://hobogoesrogue.wordpress.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    3,465
    Quote Originally Posted by coax View Post
    A few thoughts after being on the road for 3 months in Southern South America.

    • There have been multiple times I have wanted one or the other type of vehicle (4wd high clearance vs. van).
    • Numerous times it would have been really nice to be able to camp/sleep/cook inside the vehicle. Primarily in the south where it was raining and cold. To a lesser extent in the northern desert where it was cold and windy. But I can deal with cold and wind, rain sucks. Also being able to camp inside the car with some semblance of stealth would also have been nice on occasion.
    • Numerous times it was nice to drive a vehicle with larger tires, full time 4wd and low range. Knowing I could go up a road without having to worry about getting stuck or what the conditions are mitigates one more thing to worry about. Yes you can do the whole pan american in a 2wd car. But, even in Chile, most of the roads to national parks border on 4wd. Less wear and tear on a vehicle designed for these roads than a car.
    • The ability to move fast, safely, over rough terrain should not be dismissed lightly. Whether its for convenience/fun to have more time at your destination rather than on the road and reduce driver and passenger fatigue, if its to avoid undesirable situations (when someone tells you they have finished paving ruta 40 but really they haven't and your 10 hr drive just turned into a 13 hr drive), or if its an emergency/life/limb situation and you need to make it somewhere quickly, having a vehicle designed and configured to travel safely on rough terrain at speed while carrying heavy loads can be very valuable.


    In the end the vehicle choice is not a correct/incorrect one. Its more of a personality test based on the kind of trip you want to have, and what car you want to take with you. In the end, the "material stuff" really doesn't matter...its who you take with you, what you get to see and experience along the way.

    HTH,
    Corey
    Well said. I like all my bases covered, 24/7. So my truck reflects that, more as I do more to it.

    Cheers

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Venezuela
    Posts
    14
    Anything to the south of the border I would not want anything other than 4wd, at the least a very capable 2wd pickup.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    all over
    Posts
    24
    I dont suggest an old Rover. Maybe Toyota.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    California, U.S.A.
    Posts
    593
    Quote Originally Posted by kchristian View Post
    We went as far as Panama in a Montero and I've gotta admit, we had to seek out opportunities to use 4WD.
    I guess a lot has changed down there since the early 1990's.
    I spent the better part of a year driving, surfing, and wheeling, while on the way to Costa Rica and back... and spent at least half our trip on dirt/mud/sand tracks of all kinds.

    OP,
    If you want to hit jungle tracks, drive on the beach, and be able to go where ever you want, take the 4x4...you'll be glad you did.

    Have a great trip...Cheers
    '02 Montero: OME suspension, ARB front bumper, Superwinch X9, sliders, 4mm skid plates, telescoping rear light, spare tire Blitz can mount, extended breathers, K&N air filter, BajaRack, IPF lights, Cooper S/T Maxx 265/75/16's, RUD 4x4 Grip Chains

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    9
    One advantage of the VW in South America is the local clubs. If you are so inclined you can meet local VW owners who will treat you as an honored guest. If you have mechanical problems they can tell you the best mechanics to take care of any problems.

    https://www.facebook.com/Volkswagen-...7438776981921/

    Had a great time with a Kombi in Bogota.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    238
    Take whatever you're most comfortable working on yourself.

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