In case you were wondering why we chose a camper trailer instead of an RV or bus to make our journey, the answer is simple: versatility. We want to have the freedom to leave our camper in a (hopefully) secure campground or parking lot if need be, so that we can explore hard-to-reach areas or take a trip into the city.
We checked out a wide variety of options, including the possibility of converting an old bus into a luxurious motorhome with the help of a local company here that does just that. Though the idea of making the journey in a vehicle with full AC, a spacious dining area and kitchen, a huge master suite, and plenty of storage was undeniably appealing, we didn’t want to be limited in where we could go because we were driving such a huge tank. We also really liked the compact Mercedes Sprinter camper vans, but found the price to be inhibitive (200,000 AR or more- that’s over 40k USD… that we’d have to pay in cash).
Given our limited budget, we decided to trade our VW Suran for a 90’s era Ford Ranger of equivalent value, and use it to pull a camper trailer. The next challenge? Actually find the trailer! It turns out that in order to cross the border between one country to another (certain countries excluded) we have to have our camper trailer registered just like a car or truck. The only problem is that the laws in Argentina were changed about 20 years ago, so now you don’t have to register trailers. That means in order to register a trailer we had to buy one that had already been registered – i.e., one that was 20 years old! (note: it’s possible to register a new trailer but you have to have it inspected and then pay a WHOLE bunch more money; it’s basically a huge pain and cost-prohibitive).
We searched high and low online and finally found a trailer that was just the right size (not too big – 75 square meters) and was complete with a license plate and all the required reflectors in place. Aside from the pukey green color the previous owners painted it (easily fixable!) it was perfect.. just needed a little TLC and some little tweaks to make it road-ready (solar panels!).
Little did we know what a HUGE PAIN in the arse it was going to be to get the paperwork done. More on that in the next post!