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From Manhattan to the Mojave, Mexico to the Maritimes, we have complete trust in Denny.

Trust is a key component to life on the road: trust in your partner, trust in reliable fuel sources and trust in infrastructure, and when things go completely awry—as we have experienced—trust in the good of humanity. However, trust in your vehicle is number one. Our truck, a Mitsubishi Fuso FG140, named Denali Faraday (“Denny” for short), has proven to be a more-than-capable sidekick on all our #vanlife adventures together.

Finding the perfect partner takes time. In our case, it took nearly 18 months. We knew that if we were to make our round-the-world adventure a reality, there were a few non-negotiables with regards to our vehicle.

First, we needed the right chassis and the right systems. It needed to be able to handle extreme weather conditions while at the same time offer a few creature comforts. It needed to be serviceable around the globe and above all, it had to be safe and trustworthy. After all, it would share responsibility for our safety as well as our canine companions.

WEATHERING THE WEATHER  By definition, a #vanlife adventure means being prepared for whatever the road may throw at you, including Mother Nature, so it was important we have a 4X4 rig that was sufficiently insulated. We needed a vehicle that could withstand subarctic conditions in our hometown of Seward, Alaska, but also for our future plans which would take us to some of the world’s colder climates.

We found our previous vehicle, a mid-size motorhome, restricted our movement in extreme weather. To avoid winter’s wrath, we would usually leave Alaska by September and not return until April to ensure safe passage, but with Denny we can come and go as we like.

Further afield, our truck has carried us through some pretty extreme weather. He has taken us along the Alaska Canada Highway in the dead of winter where temperatures plunged to -25F/-32C, and through the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, in sweltering 110F/43C heat.

COUNTRY/CITY CROSSOVER  A 4×4 truck camper gives us access to wilder locations and allows us to explore some of the lesser-known pockets of the globe. However, the smaller-sized chassis offers us decent maneuverability in big cities, too. At 6.4m long x 2.3m wide, we can easily fit into parking spots or parallel park on city streets and also meet restrictions for most vehicle ferries around the world.

New York City was an ambitious proving ground for Denny, but he proved up to the task, handling the Big Apple with ease. We crossed the Manhattan Bridge into the heart of the city. After a bit of urban exploring, we snuggled in for the night in a no-fee parking zone two blocks from Times Square.

FUELING CONVERSATIONS  Whenever we meet like-minded travelers, the first question they overwhelmingly ask is, “What kind of fuel economy do you get?” This is a key consideration when traveling long distances to unknown locations.

For a fully loaded 12,500lb/5,669kg rig, we are pleased with the fuel economy of our tiny home on wheels, and the two 30 gallon/113L diesel tanks provide up to 800 miles/1,300km between stops—an invaluable addition in our excursions to the Arctic on both the Dempster and Dalton Highways where fuel stations are few and far between.

GLOBAL SERVICE  One of our key requirements when choosing our truck was a chassis that would be serviceable globally. We love the deep rumble of an American V8, but that satisfying sound will soon lose its charm when trying to replace an engine part in inner Mongolia. We also wanted a chassis that was reasonably affordable in terms of maintenance and repairs, which is absolutely the case for Denny. From the average and easy-to-acquire tire size to the practical price of air and fuel filters, maintenance and repairs don’t generally break the bank.

Denny is genuinely part of our family, playing the leading role—or at least co-lead with our dog, Lucy—in our adventures. We place our complete trust in him to carry us on this journey safely, securely and happily.

From Manhattan to the Mojave, Baja, Mexico to the Maritimes of Eastern Canada, he’s shown he can conquer whatever highway, dirt road or sandy track, is laid out before him.

Next stop the world.

ABOUT BEN & REBECCA  For more than a decade, life-long travelers Ben and Rebecca Pazdernik have enjoyed life on the road, venturing beyond the glacial beauty of their home state of Alaska to roam the vast North American continent. Having built an international online audience in the process, in 2018 the couple purchased a FUSO FG140 4×4 expedition vehicle to embark on an extraordinary around-the-world adventure. For more, follow the journey on their Outliers Overland YouTube channel.