I need a little (???) help/advice. I am planning a trip with my son from Miami to Anchorage and then south all the way to Santiago, Chile and from there to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It will last about 4 to 5 months and around 20 to 25 thousand miles.
My intention is to get a 2008/2009 F-250/350 and a pop up camper that goes "inside" the bed, like this one [northstarcampers.com/TS1000-01.asp]. It wheights about 2,000 pounds. Is the double rear wheels a must or SRW will do fine? I need to considerer that the truck will go through dirt roads and most probably some muddy ones on the way. I think DRW may will improve breaking distance and better distribute the weight and thus diminishing my chances to get stucked on mud, am I correct?
The bad point on DRW that I'm considering is that the truck will be a lot wider, not a big issue in most of the US but may be on narrow dirt roads in Central and South America, not to mention a pain to find parking spots.
Also diesel engines used to digest "bad" fuel better then gasoline but now we have ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) and there is even a warning to use only this kind in the F-350. Well, ULSD have from 50 to 15 ppm of sulfur while Brazil's diesel has 2,000 ppm in rural areas and 500 ppm in metropolitan areas. I'm affraid that some sensor may even shut down the motor by detecting this "bad" fuel.
And what about the diesel-exhaust fluid (DEF)? Will the car stop if the resevoir finish? Will it work without it or some sensor will also block the emgine?
I would go for manual transmission, also think is more reliable, cheaper (and easier) to repair and find parts on the move. But damn it is hard to find a 08/09 low mileage diesel 4x4 crew cab manual!!! Would anyone here risk a trip like this on an automatic transmission?
Any other issues I should consider?
If anyone cares to see, here are the routes of some of the trips I made: Car trips
Thank you all
1976 Ford Willlys
1977 VW (that I transformed into a 7 seat tubular buggy in 2005)
1994 Nissan Pathfinder
1998 Suziki Vitara
1999 Suzuki Samurai
2002 Mitsubishi L200
2007 Mitsubishi L200 Savana
(and some bikes and street cars...)
I wanted to do a similar trip also... just a dream of mine. Now let's get to the important things: About the tranny: An auto will work just great, they're very reliable, and way better off-road, so don't be worried about that. About the rear differential, keep in mind this: if you get a dually, check out the clearance, if you gain a wider track but end up near the floor you will definitely get stuck. If the new diesels require special fuel, rule them out.
I wish you the best of lucks. If by any chance you drive through Caracas send me msg with the date, i'll join you for a while .
Hmmm, i see, sad thing there isn't a recent Bronco model, that would fit your needs just right, i own a locally made roof tent and i think it's a great addition. Another 4wheelers you might want to check: Still in the family: Ford F-150 Raptor, off-road ready Reg cab pick up (there will be a crew-cab coming soon), probably a bit smaller than the F-350, around 38k$ new of the lot. Land Rover Wildcat (it is too small, but it is a blast). If you still want a pick-up, using the top camper you want to install in the back, and need off-road capability, go for a Reg-cab Dodge Powerwagon, it comes very prepared for off-roading.
I wonder what kind of job you have that leaves you enough time to travel like that and with enough funds?.
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