Road Trip Rigs - Climbing Magazine

Road Trip Rigs

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Mercedes Sprinter Van


  • Maximum living space plus tall enough to stand in

  • Safe in a crash

  • Will make everyone around you extremely jealous


  • Pricey (think $50,000 new)

  • Imported vehicle, so repairs are expensive

  • Your friends will want to take your rig everywhere.

Volkswagen Vanagon


  • Many come pre-outfitted for life on the road.

  • Sweet vintage look

  • Great conversation starter


  • Not sold new in the U.S. any more

  • Repairs aren’t cheap

  • Slow on the highway

Ford Econoline


  • Best cost-to-space ratio

  • Can find a great deal on used commercial vehicles (think plumbers, electricians, etc.)

  • Solid, workhorse engine


  • Outdated look; also known as “creeper vans”

  • Poor fuel economy (read: low miles per gallon)

  • Doesn’t handle well

Toyota Tacoma


  • Can drive it just about anywhere, including on 4x4 roads

  • Easy and straight forward to build in

  • Inexpensive for a truck


  • Truck-bed set-ups, while efficient, can feel like coffins.

  • No living/cooking space

  • Better for shorter trips

Subaru Wagon


  • Excellent gas mileage compared to truck or van

  • Easiest to drive

  • Known to last forever


  • Makes you look like everybody else

  • Requires a roof cargo box for extended trips

  • Difficult to sleep in; tent-sleeping recommended

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