The Search for an Overlander

Hermes, International, Panamerican

The search for the right overlander is important because it is going to be your ‘home‘ for an extended period of time. Your ‘home’ needs to be reliable, safe and of course rugged enough to get you where you want to go. Some will suggest that when traveling international you should be inconspicuous, try not to bring attention to yourself. However, as a 6’3″ red-head we feel like we are going to stand out no matter what so we might as well travel comfortable and enjoy our ride.

We began the search on craigslist within our home state of Colorado; scouring posts for a sportsmobile, truck or whatever would fit our travel needs. Although a sportsmobile seemed like a great option it was either a bit more than our budget would allow or the amount of work needed to get it up to long haul condition would have broken the bank. As the weeks went on our search began to widen to the point where we were looking nationwide. Finally, a Silverado 1500 with low miles appeared. The truck was in excellent condition, meticulously maintained and had the start to what we wanted for our trip.

After 8 long weeks of searching for our house-on-wheels we decided to go for it and take a risk on the sight-unseen Silverado – the major hitch being that the truck was in California. After several, several days of negotiations we bought one way tickets to San Jose and rolled the dice.  After some of the conversations and the seller’s request that we make the transaction in cash we had a lot of logistics to work through and some doubt that the sale would in fact take place.  Buying and selling a vehicle on Craigslist can be risky and this seller was concerned enough to put us through some hoops.  We arrived and made our way over to the meeting place check in hand and putting our trust in the seller to make this all happen. We knew exactly who he was when he drove by, the truck is a beautiful beast.

Purchased Hermes from CA
Meet Hermes, picked up from California

Large capacity transmission fluid cooler
Fabtech 6″ lift
35″ Nitto Trail Grappler tires
Flowmaster exhaust
Nerf bars
SnugTop camper shell
Rockford Fosgate amplifier and 2 12’s
Rear sway control bar



Besides being awed by the truck, we were also intrigued by this guy; strolling up looking like Hollywood.  He even stopped the young waitress in her tracks and never before have either of us seen someone stumble for words like she did, we still laugh about it.  I asked what he did and he said a family mental health professional, “Changing the world one family at a time”.  But mostly he’s an avid climber, he had just returned from climbing El Capitan.

Purchasing the overlander
Exchanging papers at the bank

Off we were on a test drive and to the bank to finalize the deal.  Everything checked out and we were anxious to get on the road. This was a quick trip with three long days of driving to make it back to work on Monday morning.  We were sent on our way with an admiration of our courage and we were pleased to have the first major logistic of finding our Overlander that we now call ‘Hermes’, a reference to the God of land travel.

Retrofits for Travel (Details on each to follow)

Sleeping Plateform
Auxiliary Power – Dual Battery System
Cargo Rack

Maddie Kolb
Maddie Kolb checking out the ride