The ‘Go Big!’ video series comes to a dramatic conclusion when Nathan, Roman, Tommy, and I spend the night inside our huge and affordable SUVs in the middle of a beautiful Utah canyon. The main point of this series is to figure out which one of these three old SUVs is best for overland adventures? Is it the GMC Suburban, the Ford Excursion, or a Cadillac Escalade? When we all voted, we really surprised ourselves.
In this series, we purchased each vehicle with a $10,000 budget in mind. Tommy spent $4,000 on the Suburban. Nathan spent $8,000 on the Excursion, and I spent $6,000 on the Escalade. We then took them to our friend and certified mechanic, Toby at German Auto in Boulder, Colorado. He gave us the good and the bad news. We had to spend some additional money to get these SUVs into safe driving status. They required work on the brakes, some oil leaks, and a rear differential.
Naturally, we drag-raced these three against each other, took them into a spring snow storm, and even did 0-60 MPH accelerations with a 7,100 lbs camping trailer. The big SUVs survived these challenges. We outfitted them with a bit of camping gear and larger BFGoodrich KO2 all-terrain tires.
It is time to take them on a 700+ miles trip from Colorado to Moab Utah and back. Check out the season FINALE episode below.
Spoiler Alert: when everything was said and done most of us voted for the Cadillac Escalade as the best affordable overland camping SUV! Yes, it does not make sense at first, but… The Escalade was the quickest accelerating, comfortable riding, most efficient, and relatively capable. These qualities made up for the fact that it did not have a lot of ground clearance and the lack of a low-range 4×4 transfer case. Nonetheless, the AWD system and the comfy suspension did the trick!