making the transition from decked-out jeeps and lifted tacomas did not come easily
to be honest the Chevy Astrovan was not exactly at the top of our list of capable adventure vehicles
From initial research to trip departure bringing Vincent Van-Go! to adventuremobile status was several years in the making. As hinted above, the Chevy Astrovan was not on the original list of capable adventure rigs. However, after searching classifieds and online auctions, those vehicles considered capable rigs were either over budget or mostly battered and bruised. We then reevaluated, listed out needs vs. wants, and finally got comfortable with the idea of owning a minivan.
After all, an adventuremobile is truly what you make of it.
why a Chevy astrovan as an adventuremobile?
- Budget - Affordable and economical. For this journey a vehicle meeting both of those criteria would be an absolute requirement. While the standard Chevy Astro does not contain any of the luxuries found in most of today's RVs, it did fit the bill and through a variety of lessons learned it has been made road ready for what we expect lies ahead.
- Fuel Economy - Vincent regularly averages 15-17 mpg. On his best day, Vincent acheived 20 mpg on an all-highway trip. Compared to your standard gas powered RV, Vincent's mileage far exceeds their benchmarks for mpg performance.
- Comfort - The addition of the pop-top has proved to be the largest contribution to Vincent's level of comfort. With a completely separate area for sleeping and relaxing, passengers are no longer forced to eat, sleep, and hang out inches from their dirty hiking clothes and gear.
- Storage - With the rear seats removed, Vincent offers tons of storage capacity. Combined with the use of plastic bins, each with their own dedicated spot, there is far more space available than will ever be needed to accommodate dog, gear, 2 bikes, and an additional passenger.
- Reliability - The Vortec V6 powering Vincent is the key component to what will keep this trip moving forward. GM's Vortec engines offer excellent low end torque and with routine maintenance consistently exceed 200,000 miles in their lifetime.
- Capability - Where the rubber meets the road, the All Wheel Drive system (optional on the Chevy Astro platform) has far exceeded all preconceived notions. The AWD system has far surpassed all expectations in both snowy and inclement driving conditions alike.