The Car

Introducing ‘Rodrigo’, our faithful travel companion. Rodrigo is a 2004 Toyota 4Runner with a 4.7 liter V8 that cranks out 235 horsepower. He has an automatic transmission and is fitted with air conditioning and stereo for our comfort. We added a 300W inverter to charge our electrical appliances on the road.

We named the car ‘Rodrigo’ in honour of the most underestimated achievement in American travel history. Rodrigo de Triana, born in 1469 in Spain, travelled with Columbus on board of La Pinta. He was the first one to see America, but Columbus later said “Yes, but I saw something late yesterday evening already but I was not sure it was land”. So poor Rodrigo did not get any credit or reward.



We have a roof top tent from Cascadia Tents that comfortably sleeps 2 on top of the car. You can climb into the tent on an aluminium ladder that folds up and fits easily in the trunk.


Rodrigo has already travelled 170,000 kilometers. We took him in for a full maintenance at the Toyota dealer in Richmond, BC and he has been running smooth since then!

5 responses

  1. My Toyota is fantastic … 🙂

  2. Get a Mustang , or a big ass red neck pick up truck 🙂

  3. Hey Guys, I see you have BC plates, and was interested how do you deal with the lack of car title and did you let your ICBC insurance expire when you left US? Didn’t have any problems while crossing borders?

    Would be glad to chat about it more via e-mail/facebook.

  4. Hello to you,

    Since that is exactly the car I’m buying, can you tell me please, how much gasoline you used over your trip and how much cost you?

    Did you buy car insurance at every border crossing? How they calculate how much to pay? Did you estimated your stay in the specific country and paid accordingly??

    Thank you very much,


    1. Hi Yishay,

      Regarding gasoline : we drove 25.000km in a not-so-fuel-efficient V8, so a lot of money went to gasoline. Prices differ very much per country and we did not keep separate track of that. If you know the fuel economy of your car, you can figure out how much a 25-30.000km journey will be. Fuel prices are about 60-70% of US fuel prices in most countries – except in Ecuador where it is significantly cheaper (25-30% of US prices).

      Regarding insurance : we obtained Canada and US insurance when we registered the car in Canada. For Mexico, we arranged insurance prior to crossing the border (through Sanborns Insurance). For all countries we purchased insurance at the border. The price for insurance is typically related to the type of car (an SUV is sometimes more expensive than a normal car) and the duration (some countries ask for minimum one month, other countries you can pay per day). Insurance for one month is about 25-30 USD in most countries. We did not obtain insurance for Guatemala (no option to buy at the border) – so you may want to explore how to get that. For Chile and Argentina we recommend that you arrange your insurance before driving across the border – perhaps through an international agency, because local insurers don’t easily provide insurance to foreign-registered cars.

      Enjoy the trip!

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