previous adventure mobiles
2002 subaru outback wagon
we set out on our first long trip across the USA in ruby sue in 2013. we knew we wanted something reliable, with all-wheel drive, and enough space to pack our stuff and have a place to sleep if we couldn't find a place to pitch a tent. i built a make-shift sleeping platform out of plywood and 4x4 posts in about 1hr a couple days before we'd leave San Francisco, CA. we only bought ruby a few weeks prior. this trip taught us a lot about what we would like to have in an overland vehicle. 3 months in a subaru from San Franisco, CA to Buffalo, NY gave us some ideas for a redesign. the entire trip, all we had to do was stay on top of oil changes, absolutely no other issues. when we returned from New Zealand in 2015, we spent a few weeks reworking how we would fit everything in our trusty subaru before pointing her west (well south then west) to again explore the States and land in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. we reworked the platform, using PVC for legs to save weight and a more sturdy plywood top. this fit way better and was easier to setup and take down. we added a couple bike rails to the roof and new crossbars to let us fit our box up top with the bikes. though shorter, this trip was way more comfortable in the car, but if you decided to sleep in ruby instead of the tent, your nose was still about 5 inches from the ceiling -- the dream of getting a van like we had in New Zealand was in full force...
1992 nissan largo super saloon
after a year of wellington city life and taking rental cars to destinations a few hours away on the weekends, we started itching for a vehicle we could camp in and use as a weekender and for some longer trips. we started looking at mitsubishi delica models, and then came across this funky little nissan AWD van of similar styling. manny, as he was named by a previous owner, lived in auckland, so we flew up without a return ticket, in hopes that we'd found our new adventure van and could settle on a price and he'd bring us home to wellington, all in a weekend. and it was about that easy. was we first drove by him, we were sold. our test drive was slow, sluggish, loud, and amazing. it's an old underpowered van, designed to slowly explore the new zealand countryside, and we were all in.