I just got back from a trip to Canada around mid September, yes during the COVID-19 pandemic (that’s another camping story), and was settling in for a regular work week (as regular as I get at work weeks that is) and I began reminiscing about the last time I was in Arizona during a cross country trip on my Harley-Davidson bagger. I was reflecting on how beautiful it is out there and how I hadn’t been to Arizona for many years even though I now have a friend who lives out there…
… and then I got severely #sidetracked.
On September 23, 2020 I packed up “Blue Bomb” and took off on my solo cross country tent camping trip.
For those who don’t know, Blue Bomb is a barn find 4×4 that I drove out of Nashville a few months ago and it rides and functions like brand new (looks it too). It’s such a joy to drive and although I was reluctant to add miles to this low mileage collector mini-truck, this trip was going to be its proving ground.
Here’s how I packed Blue Bomb up for a 5,000+ mile trek
Perfectly New Foldable Back Seat
Needing to prove that this li’l truck is in NEW CONDITION, and being an avid tent camper, I set out on the open roads to go Cross Country In A 25 Year Old 4×4 Geo Tracker. I’d been itching to see how these Trackers and Sidekicks could function as a loaded overlander 4×4.
I began tossing stuff in behind the back seat with it in its seating mode and quickly realized the shortcoming these mini 4×4’s all have: lack of inside storage space. I’d be flying solo so I wasn’t going to need to use that back seat but I didn’t want to completely remove it and change the originality of the mini SUV. Luckily Sidekicks and Trackers have back seats that fold up almost flat upright against the back of the front bucket seats and make a nice barrier to prevent storage compartment items from encroaching on one’s cockpit area while on the move.
With that back seat (that seems like nobody has EVER sat in) nicely folded upright, I put a giant, yellow-top storage container from the big box hardware store inside, and it fit like it was made for Sidekicks and Trackers. I used that container like a trunk to keep stuff from sliding around. I was able to stack smaller storage bins on top of it and its indented cap kept those mini bins in place very well. There was still a shoe box width space between it all and the tailgate door so I was able to sandwich stuff there too. That gap became the ideal holding compartment for my Coleman camping cot.
I carried groceries in a cooler of ice, and a basket of munchies for snacking while driving all on the seat and floor beside me. In the large storage container I had my motorcycle helmet, two small green Coleman propane bottles, a couple of LED lanterns, a hatchet, a lighter and some fire starter newspaper, a small gas grill, a two burner hot plate, 8×10 tent and supplies for it, two sleeping bags and a pillow, plus my empty backpack. On top of the yellow lid I piled a shoebox plastic container of dishes, and another one of camera equipment and electronics. There was a laundry bag and two Harley-Davidson hard bag removable luggage inserts — one of which held toiletries and the other held my clothing. Traveling light.
If I had been traveling with a companion, I’d have had to pack a bit more consciously. A roof top carrier would have been nice in that event, and I did long for my mountain bike which would have required one of the tailgate bike racks that I have, however I didn’t want to risk marring the exterior of the beautiful classic car with either a roof rack or a bike rack so I went without.
How Was the Trip?
The Tracker handled like a brand new mini SUV, because it is almost brand new. My trip was a bit over 5,000 miles and was a completely amazing experience without even the slightest problem of any kind. I had ample room for many days on the road with camping gear, a vehicle that functioned like new on the highways and like a rugged 4×4 when off road.
During the trip I always calculated the gas mileage after each fill up. I sometimes got 22.5mpg, usually got 23.5mpg, and often got 25mpg. Driving overnight in the wind and rain through hurricane Delta at the border of Texas and Louisiana on my way home, I was on I-10 with fallen trees all over the place and capsized transport trucks everywhere so I drove 45 – 55 and got 30mpg!
The voyage started at 15,813 original miles, and in the following video you can watch as Blue Bomb turned 20,000 miles.
Watch as the odometer rolls the mileage onto 20,000
Wouldn’t you love to have a beautiful looking Tracker, a true piece of history that you can drive worry free and experience what it was like to have owned one brand new back in the day?
Well it’s for sale! Read about this 1995 Geo Tracker 4×4 “Tin Top” here.