Our stay near Lake Mead pointed out one weakness we had not anticipated in our trusty VW Jetta. We couldn't get our kayak down to the water without a lot of dragging and cursing. Four wheel drive and decent ground clearance were a must and we had neither.
Our potential candidate would have to be able to carry our 12 foot 100 lb kayak on it's roof, adapt to our towing system, carry 42 gallons of freshwater and have a manual transmission. As an extra bonus, what we found was also half the weight of our soon to be decommissioned towed.
After a lot of craigslist hunting and phone calls, we headed into Quartzsite to see if we could do some horse trading and creative funding to find this little gem. As you can see, George approved immediately. This 1988 Suzuki Samurai was almost a perfect match for what we needed. A two piece hard top model makes it even more suited for our needs since I would be reusing the roof racks from the VW to carry the Hobie.
The tailgated bed area was the perfect size for hauling water into camp as well as propane, prospecting tools and of course, George.
Even the paint scheme almost matches like the rich guys outfits we see in Quartzsite! We still have our little VW but we are sending it home with family soon where we will use it again for work commutes and town runs this summer.
It has been a blast going through the Suzuki and fixing all the little things to make it perfect for us. We have already clocked quite a few trail miles on it while exploring old mines and washes. Stay tuned for more from the deserts of AZ!