Our New Tiger "Bandit"
On November 12th, Yvette and I traveled by train from Springfield Mass to Columbia South Carolina with a brief layover in new York City. The second half of the trip we had purchased a ticket that allowed us a sleeper car with two beds and a bathroom. The trip was uneventful though I must say, American seems to be centuries behind in its rail system design. Though we were impressed with the speed and comfort for the first half of our trip, it seemed that we were being transported back in time to the steam rail era once we left Washington DC. With my GPS in hand, I measured our speed as low as 40mph and less at times.
We arrived in South Carolina at about two in the morning and were greeted by steady pelting rain and a cab driver named "Lou" holding a tattered USC umbrella. Though Lou wanted to swing by the local stripper club to pick up some extra revenue baring customers, we successfully urged him to head to the hotel. The plan was to hang out in Columbia for that Monday, then pick up the truck the following day. But when we contacted ProVan early the next morning to let them know we were in town, they were excited to have us and invited us over right away.
After a quick breakfast, the production manager picked us at our hotel and we headed to the Provan Shop. When we arrived I couldn’t tell who was more excited about the delivery of our new vehicle, us or the entire ProVan crew! I was impressed at the cohesiveness of the group and how proud they were of their product. Even though we were not scheduled to pick up the vehicle until the next day, one of the team members gave me a complete walk around of the vehicle and answered all of my questions and addressed any concern we had. We were told that they had a problem with the generator a few days before and had replaced it. It was nice to see the first generator on the floor where I could look at it up close and even though it had nothing to do with my current generator, they explained to me what was wrong with the first one and what they did to rectify the situation. (Did any of you electronic geeks catch that?) Anyway, one of the things I mentioned to the team was that we would be driving back to New England and that I had concerns about freezing. Without batting an eye, a few members of the team jumped in and offered to do a step by step one on one winterization process with me the next day.
I would be more than happy to write about the entire process of receiving this colossal machine we named "Bandit", but then it wouldn’t be a blog post, but more like a book! They were very thorough indeed! The next day we completed the winterization step by step, spent some time continuing and finishing our walk around, signed all of our paperwork and then off we went on our first drive on some local back roads. It drove great, plenty of power, great breaking action and quiet. We only intended to drive for about 20 minutes, head back to the hotel and relax for the rest of the day, but it wasn’t to be. The truck was so great and fun to drive, we took it shopping, bought fuel, got lost and finally finished up back at the hotel 3 hours later. We are very happy campers indeed! I’ll post again when we start our way back north and give you our first trip report!
See Photos Below
Rugged bumper sporting a Warn 10,000lb winch. Digital TV antenna up top.
Truck is powered by a 6.6 Duramax Diesel. An exhaust brake helps reduce brake wear and is very effective.
Getting "Bandit" parked for the night before we head home.
The smaller faucet is for filtered water.
Couch folds out into a bed.
Upper bunk. Ladder can be stowed on bed when not in use. Just don't do it when someone is sleeping.
Aluminess rear bumper with swing out spare tire and storage box. Also shovel and axe package. (Pilot wheel is for trailer, see upcoming post.)