Our "new" Tiger...

HMR

Rendezvous Conspiracy
It all started at the Expo M&G on Fiesta Island. There were lots of cool rigs full of Expo bling to drool over but I found myself drawn to a funny little Astro van owned by Suntinez. It was like a scene in an old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs would happen upon a tiny, little Teepee out in the desert: He'd poke his head in the door and inside would be a 20,000 sq.ft. mansion with a tennis court and bowling alley. It wasn't quite that dramatic when I peered into Suntinez's van but it did make my jaw drop a little. Bathroom/shower, 3-way refrigerator, A/C, generator, furnace, 2 separate sleeping areas, stove, sink, microwave... how the heck did they fit all that stuff into a 16' vehicle?!

Suntinez gave me a great intro to the company, Provan, that designed and built the Tiger. They were in production from the late-80's until 2005 when Chevy stopped making Astros (Provan now uses full-size trucks for their platform). I decided then and there that I MUST find a Tiger to add to our camping quiver. My wife loved the idea so we came up with a plan and a budget. After 5 months of searching (I was expecting to fly and buy somewhere far away), we found EXACTLY what we wanted (AWD, low miles, hard top) 30 miles from our house. :costumed-smiley-007

1994- It's an oldie but a goldie:


Dirtbike rack coming soon:






 
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Adventurerider

Adventurer
"You got to love it when a plan comes together", nice find and congratulations, really cool Tiger, many happy travels!!
 

kcowyo

ExPo Original
:Wow1: :Wow1: :Wow1: :Wow1: :Wow1:


Man... that thing is so great I can't even express myself...

After a few nights in DV with Suntinez, I totally agree with your "how do they fit it all in" mindset. I was stunned and super comfortable and very envious. Had I not spent some time with Tony the Tiger, I might not have such an appreciation and jealousy for your find. It looks cherry!

I can think of a few other people who are going to be very, very excited about your new Tiger. And the hardtop... ohhh! I'm so jealous I could puke!


:clapsmile

.
 

Adventurerider

Adventurer
I would like to find out more info on them, my mother is looking to start spending winters traveling, could you share how you found your incredible rig and if you have any tips on where you/or should look for one?
Thanks
 

ihatemybike

Explorer
OMG, that thing looks clean! Can I ask what you paid, as I'm super jealous right now.

Owning three at the moment and a total of seven in my life, I have an abnormal obsession with Astros. My second was a 1994 that I pushed to over 211k miles before I made the mistake of selling it.

Do you know which 4.3l it has, VIN 8th digit Z (EFI) or W (CPI)? Does it have fiberglass or steel leaf springs? 1994 was a transitional year for both, with the latter being the better.

With the RV body, the Astro's weight is pretty much at the stock engine's limit. Luckily since the engine is essentially a 350 with two cylinders removed, all the same engine tricks work. Still feel the need for more power? 305 and 350 swaps are quite common and require zero body mods, almost like they were designed to have a V8 (cause they were).

Want more off road ability?
Lift kits are available from 2"-8". 2" lift will allow the use of 235/75R15 tires. Most people choose the 4" lift to run 31" tires though.
http://www.overlandvans.com

It is also possible to swap the AWD transfer case with a 2 speed transfer case.

Common problems
Fuel pump at roughly 100k miles, as the fuel filter is often neglected on these vans - replace pump with ACDelco/Delphi to last another 100k plus miles, cheaper replacements just don't last / replace the fuel filter every 20k miles

Idler arms - replace with Moog and grease them every oil change

Front diff axle seals, unnoticed leaks = diff destruction - recommended replacement every 75k miles

Transmission, GM's smooth/soft shift wears the 3-4 clutch pack, usually good for over 150k miles - install Transgo shift kit asap

A couple of great forums for these vans.
http://www.astrosafari.com
http://astrosafarivans.org
 

HMR

Rendezvous Conspiracy
I would like to find out more info on them, my mother is looking to start spending winters traveling, could you share how you found your incredible rig and if you have any tips on where you/or should look for one?
Thanks
IMO- The best source for Tiger info is here. Click on "Database" to view the For Sale section. They seem to catch even the most obscure listings for used Tigers.
 

HMR

Rendezvous Conspiracy
OMG, that thing looks clean! Can I ask what you paid, as I'm super jealous right now.
Answered via PM.

Does it have fiberglass or steel leaf springs? 1994 was a transitional year for both, with the latter being the better.
Fiberglass. I'm going to replace them with a custom steel leaf pack (new hangars, etc.) from a local spring manufacturer. The previous owner recently installed Firestone airbags so it rides fine with the fiberglass leafs, I just don't like having the airbags doing 90% of the work.

Want more off road ability?
Lift kits are available from 2"-8". 2" lift will allow the use of 235/75R15 tires.
The van is lifted (not sure the exact amount) and has a brand new set of 235/75R15's. I like the tire size.
Common problems
Fuel pump at roughly 100k miles, as the fuel filter is often neglected on these vans - replace pump with ACDelco/Delphi to last another 100k plus miles, cheaper replacements just don't last / replace the fuel filter every 20k miles

Idler arms - replace with Moog and grease them every oil change

Front diff axle seals, unnoticed leaks = diff destruction - recommended replacement every 75k miles

Transmission, GM's smooth/soft shift wears the 3-4 clutch pack, usually good for over 150k miles - install Transgo shift kit asap
Awesome info. Thanks!

Those are great sites and were very helpful during the last 5 months of research.
 

Gear

Explorer, Overland Certified OC0020
Wow!! Congrats Jeremy. I like the hardtop. Can't wait to see it in person. Sleeps 4, interesting!
 

HMR

Rendezvous Conspiracy
And the hardtop... ohhh! I'm so jealous I could puke!
LOL! I was so jealous of all your cozy FWC shots I decided to upgrade from the RTT.

Gear said:
Wow!! Congrats Jeremy. I like the hardtop. Can't wait to see it in person. Sleeps 4, interesting!
You're one of the few Expo people who know the top secret location where it's stored.
Bring your scooter and rack so we can take measurements. :bike_rider:
 

suntinez

Explorer
I've been wondering how your hunt was going, nice find!! And close to home, that's great - I flew to OK to buy mine, a little nerve wracking since I'd never seen one. I think in hindsight I would've preferred the XL (hardtop) version - alot more storage and flexibility.

Let's talk springs sometime, I want to upgrade my rear suspension too. Tiger talk, yeah ... and I love the bugs bunny analogy :) Congratulations!
 

T.Low

Expedition Leader
Wow, that looks great. Congrats on the find.

I really like those, as you might imagine.

Keep the pics and updates coming. Especially one with the dirtbike on back.:bike_rider: And sleeping area of the interior.

I may take mine to Baja next fall (with enduros on back). Might have to stop by and see yours along the way.

Hey, you have a garage tall enough for that thing? I have two garages and can't fit my slightly lifted pop top Astro in either one!
 

HMR

Rendezvous Conspiracy
T.Low- Your Astrolander is AMAZING! :bowdown:

I'll try to detail the upgrades we have planned. Today's project is picking out Pergo-type flooring to replace the factory-installed burgundy shag carpet. I either have to ditch the stock interior colors or just buy a disco ball and embrace it.

You're welcome to check it out anytime you get down this way. I store the Tiger in a private aircraft hangar. It would never fit in my 2-car garage.
 
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