Buy this truck and drive to South America for the price of a Rubicon

I love browsing through the depths of the Expedition Portal for sale sections. Besides seeing some seriously cool vehicles, you get a peek at the many adventures they’ve had through the years, and the many adventures still to come with new buyers. Just the other day I stumbled upon a perfect example, a 2003 F-250 fresh from its travels with a German family. It comes equipped with five all-terrain tires, a Bilstein suspension, an air compressor, medical and mechanical equipment, camping and cooking gear, and a Four-Wheel Camper complete with bathroom, fridge, and all the amenities. Basically, it’s a ready to go overland vehicle; just fly out with your clothes.

These sorts of deals pop up every so often, but what surprised me about this particular one was the price; just $18,000. I knew that someone would snatch it up quickly, so I waited, and I waited some more. It has now been over a month since this truck hit the for sale page, and the price has been dropped to just $16,000 USD. Why should you care? Because that means that you could buy some plane tickets, fly out and purchase the truck, and drive to South America for less than the cost of a new Jeep Rubicon.

Okay, so what’s wrong with it? From what I can tell, not much. It’s a little high mileage, around 185,000, lacks that expensive and precise feel of today’s overland vehicles, and has been well used and loved throughout the years. None of that is a deal breaker though, which leads me to believe that it might just be that this truck doesn’t fit the overlanding image. The seats are an ugly green, it’s not lifted, and there aren’t bumpers, lights, or accessories hanging off every corner. If there were, I have little doubt this truck would have already sold. Don’t worry though, at the current price you could easily install a 2.5-inch Old Man Emu lift and 35-inch tires. This alone would completely change the look and performance of the vehicle, while still leaving enough cash to undertake the trip of a lifetime. So lets look at what you get for $16,000.

The truck

• 2004 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT 4×4 Crewcab

• 5.4-liter V8 Engine

• Air-conditioning

• Electric windows and mirrors

• Car-Hifi with Aux/MP3/CD-Player

• 5x all-terrain Cooper Discoverer A/T3 (new 2015)

• Bilstein B8 5100 shocks

• Battery (new 2016)


• Tire pressure gauge

• Air compressor to inflate tires

• Folding shovel, hand saw, and axe

• 20-liter Jerry can

• Homemade storage box with 12-volt cooler between front seats

• 2 wheel covers

• Thermal mat for windscreen

• First aid kit and mechanical kit (starter cable etc.)

• loads more…


The Camper

• Make: Four Wheel Camper

• Model: Hawk

• Type: slide-in/pop-up

• Year: 1998


• Bed Size 78 x 47 inch + 16-inch extension

• Pillows, blankets, duvet cover and woolen topper for better sleeping climate

• 3-way refrigerator

• 110-volt electrical system

• 12-volt outlets

• 2 burner propane stove

• 1 burner portable propane stove with cartridges

• 10-gallon freshwater tank

• Sink

• Outside shower

• Forced air furnace with thermostat

• 2-gallon propane tank

• 5-gallon water canister with tab

• Fire extinguisher

• Table (inside)

• Foldable camping table

• 2x folding chair

• Stepladder

• Portable gas stove

• Cooking equipment and cutlery, bowls and thermo cub, coffee filter, espresso maker

• Porta-potti

• Awning

• LED interior lights

• LED outside porch light

• 2 roof vents (1x power, switch burned)

• CTEK dual battery system with battery guard

• Deep cycle battery (new 2015)

• Mechanical camper jacks (mounted under the truck on self-made brackets)

• Thermal pack (for added winter and summer insulation)

• New front lift panel installed by FWC (2016)

• and loads more!

Of course all older vehicles have some issues, and the current owner was nice enough to be up front about them in the interest of a quick sale.

    • The truck is registered in California but unfortunately the passed smog check was not transmitted successfully to the DMV. So the truck is currently on PNO, but I have the certificate and the truck passed without any issues!
    • The truck has many small dents/scratches and a bigger one in the tail gate. But everything works just fine.
    • The drag links have some play and should be changed sooner or later.
    • Driver’s cup holder in ashtray is broken.
    • Camper had a leaking roof but was fixed.
    • Cover of both roof vents are loose because of not matching hole pattern.
    • Cables of the level indicator of the water tank where cut off by the previous owner.
    • Velcro on the Arctic Pack is a bit torn off.

While we can’t speak to this vehicle with any personal experience, it certainly looks to be an interesting option. It may not be the hottest vehicle on the road, but it’s a perfect travel truck, and an affordable way to take that trip you’ve always dreamed of.

For more information and photos, check out the full ad on the forum for sale section here. 

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Senior Editor while living full-time on the road.