So there was a huge thread on the best vehicles to rubber tramp in. Mostly it broke down to people bragging about their investments and successes with their vehicles. Well, I thought it'd be fun to hear about the iron horses that FUCKED you. I feel like most travelers who've rubber tramped it for at least a few years have at least one story about the vehicle that they just never should've gotten. The van that breaks down every 50 miles, the bus that catches on fire, the car that blows a head gasket during rush hour in a large city, you know, THAT one.
I figure this would be helpful to tramps because (in my experience at least) buying a vehicle on the road is normally a case of finding whatever looks like the best deal at the time while you got the cash. Everyone's heard about VW's and Internationals and what not, but there also hundreds of other styles of vehicle out there that could seem appealing to live in, but might have major issues that aren't necessarily gonna be immediately obvious. This thread could serve as a warning to anyone looking for a traveling vehicle.
Personally the one that fucked me was a 1989 toyota 4wd 3.0 truck. At first I was stoked, $1000, 25mpg, bed to sleep in, 4wd for the mountains, 150,000 mi. I got about 3 good months outta it, then in the middle of nowhere in the CA desert the tranny blows three gaskets at once and drains all its sludge in about 30 seconds. The result, a totally wrecked tranny, about a minimum of $1000 to repair. Considering that it happened in the middle of nowhere, the cost would've been more like $1500 to get it back on the road.
Since I've talked to a few heads up north who've had pretty much the same experience with older toyota 3.0 trucks, definitely never doing that again.
That v6 in the Toyota is a known gaskit blower,now the 22re engine is bulletproof ! Also a inline 300,that comes in a Ford pickup,van is the shit to get! I also like a chevy van,had a 82 one ton,350 4 bolt main,along with a 700 trans !
I dunno I have had two volvos, both had the same engine but two different bodies, an 82 and a 89, the 89 I traded a cheep cherokee for straight across in seattle, only thing wrong with the volvo was when you hit the high beams it killed the engine - I traced the wires and found there was a separate circuit for each so I wired both headlights to the one good circuit (think it was the drivers side HL circuit was the good one. The 1982 had no speedometer, blown out drivers seat, ductaped glove compartment and tint so badly bubbled that I couldn't see a damn thing out the back. I made a spiderweb out of old wire in the frame os the seat and stuffed the bucket with foam from some old curbside couch cushions and zip tied the fabric back together. Both had blown rings and +200,000 miles on them but took little oil to keep on the level and drivable, but I did make the 89 worse in 4th of july pass, westbound, 3AM me and a mustang stuck behind a semi in crossover interstate construction, the 'stang went for it and I followed, the 'stang powered up the mountain, mine made a loud BANG! and after that smoked like a chimney, but it never threw a rod, seized or blew the head gasket, just smoked a lot. spokane to seattle 5 quarts, seattle to portland 6 quarts, smoking all along the highway. Then PPD took it cause they don't like tramps with out drivers licenses.
After that mainly just look out for anything from the 70's and early 80's thats been sitting for more than a year, condensation gets all in the gas tank. I had a 75 chevy 20 with a hightop, wet room, 4burner/oven, fridge - 350, edlbrock and riser intake, headers and flow masters, failing starter and about 4 gallons of water in the gas tank, made it from Yreka, ca, Los Angeles, ca then to Jacksonville Florida, where it finally had enough and I had to drop the gas tank and dump nearly 27 gallons of watery fuel in a wafflehouse parking lot while the rednecks watched in wonder shaking their heads. 5 gallons from the gas can and I split.