Adventure Tool Company's 4wd Provan Tiger Build

#1
So, after several seasons of traveling around the Rockies and the West attending different events in our trusty FJ60 (Rhino Ride) it was time to find another vehicle to add to stable to support the growing ATC business. We started looking at camperizing the 60, buying and upfitting an 80 or 100 (that may still happen!) or locate a 4wd based camper. We looked at truck campers to go on my trusty 2500 GMC (we've had several Lances and love em), we looked at Sportmobiles (tough to find and pricey), looked a Class C Chinooks (BAJA edition and also hard to find) and of course the Earthroamers and other high end campers were simply too pricey for what we wanted. Well, we hadn't found much until I was C-list surfing and found a 1995 Provan Tiger on a K2500 4wd Chevy chassis with the 5.7 v8 up outside Estes, Co. After looking at it, inspecting the systems and driving it, we purchased it. Now, our intent is to restore and upgrade the Tiger for long distance travel/events. Here's a short list of our plans:

- inspect, replace, repair any suspect internal, external, underbody camper parts (checklist built)
- strip and repaint exterior
- add ATC logo wraps
- suspension lift(3-4 in.) update suspensions systems
- add larger wheels and tires
- add custom front and rear bumpers
- winterized tanks and water systems
- add additional insulation
- strip and redo cabinets and interior (custom cabinets already being built)
- removed 3-way fridge and replace with AC/DC fridge
- baseline engine and drive train. Upgrade to HD parts. (5.7 is strong, low miles and was run on Mobile1)
- increase battery system with with additional batteries and solar
- new bedding and rear seating area
- redo wet bath with new shower surround, toilet, sink
- add microwave and stereo
- add LED interior and exterior lighting
- add new fans and sky lights to interior
- add roof rack with new ladder and lights
- add awning
- replace all exterior hatch covers
- tint windows
- replace heater with new heater and ducting work to bathroom and top bunk
- custom under sofa cabinets with drawer system
- new vinyl flooring
- etc.....

Our goal is to take a few local trips to get a full understanding of the Tiger and it's abilities and limitations (not doing Moab trails or Blackbear!) while learning where we can go that normal RV's can't and doing it in comfort.

If you've ever restored or updated a Tiger or RV, I look forward to your advice and suggestions.

See ya on the road, the next event or on the trail!
 

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#4
Let it begin......

First order of the day.....

We got a foot of new snow and I'll be pulling the interior cabinets today to deliver them to the cabinet maker. We're having all new custom cabinets made out of birch and stained. The bathroom surround will be covered with a real shower surround material (not plastic wall paper) and we're adding a microwave and new power inverter system into the gallery cabinets. It's nice to be working inside with heat today!

I'll be posting some demolition pictures later!
 

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#5
Very nice. I will watch with great interest as I have the exact same chassis and engine. Was wondering what kind of suspension lift could be made with a K2500.

My suggestion for rims and tires. Found some 16" forged Alcoa good for 3750lbs each and E rated 285/75/16 tires also rated for 3750 lbs. Helps a lot because the k2500 as only 8600 gvwr.
 
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#6
Doing the same thing today

I'm in Boulder. I'm stripping out my 1994 tiger right now.
I'd be interested in contacting your cabinet builder as I can see that this will be a bunch of work.
I'm surprised to find that there is no insulation in the roof.
Make sure you strip off the side interior panels to see if those horizontal side seams have leaked. They are backed by wood strips that rot quickly.
Also, you probably know this, but all the screws come out better using a square drive bit, rather than a phillips head bit.
Sam
 
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#7
Congradulations Paul,

I can help you with with the rear bumper. Here is the one I designed and built for another ExPo Turtle owner:



I also have a design for a unique tool wrap if you have any interest.
Thanks Joaquin-

Shoot me a pm about your wrap idea and thanks for the bumper suggestion!
 
#8
Very nice. I will watch with great interest as I have the exact same chassis and engine. Was wondering what kind of suspension lift could be made with a K2500.

My suggestion for rims and tires. Found some 16" forged Alcoa good for 3750lbs each and E rated 285/75/16 tires also rated for 3750 lbs. Helps a lot because the k2500 as only 8600 gvwr.
Polo-
Thanks for info. It's amazing how heavy the interior is since they used particle board! We're having all the interior done in furniture grade birch plywood that is stronger and lighter! So I'm looking for ways to reduce my weight. I haven't decided on the wheels yet but your recommendation is in the same direction.

Thanks
 
#9
Part one

Spent all day Sunday pulling the interior and then getting it over to my cabinet builder. I swear there was 500 lbs of screws holding the cabinets in! Here's a couple of shots off my ipad. My wife took more stills with her camera and shot video on the ipad as a record of the de-construction.

I'll be ordering the new AC/DC fridge, tankless water heater, exterior compartment doors and furnace this week. Once they arrive the reconstruction will begin!

Btw, if you need any used RV appliances lmk.
 

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DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
#10
Welcome to the Streak!

You will find the most active Tiger owners group here: http://tigerowners.freeforums.org/index.php Download the "Book of NoETA" as the essential starting point.

You can read about the choices I made on our Tiger here:
http://diplostrat.org Many will not apply to a Bengal, because of the differences in construction, but the thought process may be helpful.

Basically, the challenges of the older Tiger are:

-- The lack of insulation for real winter use, as opposed to three season use.

-- Lack of space for really big battery banks

-- Challenges of fitting enough solar.

The good news is that all of these can be managed.

FYI:

-- Truma USA are now selling an "Acua Go" endless hot water heater that is plug and play for old Suburban units. Might be very interesting: http://www.rv-dreams-journal.com/2014/12/2014-rvia-show-truma-louisville-ky.html

-- The larger Propex heater can be shoehorned into a Bengal and offers more heat and MUCH less noise than the Suburban units.

-- Aluminess make very nice front and rear bumpers; the rear one including a tire mount and storage box.

-- The Bengal is a good candidate for a generator delete if you are willing to live without air conditioning when not on shore power.

The other alternative might be to go all diesel, but that would be a lot of work and very pricey.

And, a quick note to Don Joaquin: I saw and admired that bumper. Didn't realize that it was your handiwork. Very nice.
:)
 
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#11
You will find the most active Tiger owners group here: http://tigerowners.freeforums.org/index.php Download the "Book of NoETA" as the essential starting point.

You can read about the choices I made on our Tiger here:
http://diplostrat.org Many will not apply to a Bengal, because of the differences in construction, but the thought process may be helpful.

Basically, the challenges of the older Tiger are:

-- The lack of insulation for real winter use, as opposed to three season use.

-- Lack of space for really big battery banks

-- Challenges of fitting enough solar.

The good news is that all of these can be managed.

FYI:

-- Truma USA are now selling an "Acua Go" endless hot water heater that is plug and play for old Suburban units. Might be very interesting: http://www.rv-dreams-journal.com/2014/12/2014-rvia-show-truma-louisville-ky.html

-- The larger Propex heater can be shoehorned into a Bengal and offers more heat and MUCH less noise than the Suburban units.

-- Aluminess make very nice front and rear bumpers; the rear one including a tire mount and storage box.

-- The Bengal is a good candidate for a generator delete if you are willing to live without air conditioning when not on shore power.

The other alternative might be to go all diesel, but that would be a lot of work and very pricey.

And, a quick note to Don Joaquin: I saw and admired that bumper. Didn't realize that it was your handiwork. Very nice.
:)
Diplo-

Excellent info and links! Thanks! I've already reached out to Provan and they're sending me some new replacement parts. What a great company!

Picking up the cabinet and interior lumber this weekend and starting on the inside.
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
#12
Good News/Bad News

Paul,

I need to see you at OEXPO West to get a "Misc. Cr@!" label for my bag; didn't have time last year.

The good news is that, given the age of your Tiger, nothing owes you anything; which makes any kind of upgrade feasible. I have been very happy with the Cognito Motorsports goodies that I have installed.

The bad news is that your Tiger is old enough to suffer from the belt line curse. The previous owner of Tiger insisted on a butt joint where the two aluminum siding sheets join. There is a bumper strip, but it leaks and this can lead to wood rot. (Modern Bengals do not have this joint.) There are reasonably easy fixes, but it is worth the effort to make sure that you do not have any rotten wood inside before you address the problem.

Another worthwhile upgrade is to a Magnum Energy or similar inverter/charger. Besides giving better charge performance on shore power, it would allow you to run the microwave on batteries. Challenge is finding space to mount; some put it in the cab, behind the driver's seat.

Best wishes!
 
#13
How far are you gutting yours

Paul,
I've now got my 94 Tiger CX stripped down to the framing inside. If you are not removing your headliner, you may be able to inject some foam up into the cavity between the head liner and the roof.
If you want to take a look and talk shop next time you are down in Boulder, let me know.
I'd be interested in your rear hatch, water heater hatch, spare tire mounting post (or is yours under mounted?), tires, hubcaps and other such stuff that you may be upgrading.
How much were your replacement cabinets, or could you PM me the contact info of the cabinet maker?
-Sam
 
#14
Prepare for fuel pump replacement

While you have the fridge and flooring out, consider cutting a opening in the plywood floor (in the exact spot that your right hand is resting in your first photo on this thread).
This panel can be reinstalled to make it easily removable in the field or auto parts parking lot, so that you can replace the in-tank fuel pump from above without dropping the gas tank to get to it.
Be careful to just cut through the plywood, as the gas lines are really close to the plywood surface. This hatch will also make it easier to replace the gas filler and vent hoses once they rot and start to leak. This is a common problem with the older tigers.
-Sam
 
#15
While you have the fridge and flooring out, consider cutting a opening in the plywood floor (in the exact spot that your right hand is resting in your first photo on this thread).
This panel can be reinstalled to make it easily removable in the field or auto parts parking lot, so that you can replace the in-tank fuel pump from above without dropping the gas tank to get to it.
Be careful to just cut through the plywood, as the gas lines are really close to the plywood surface. This hatch will also make it easier to replace the gas filler and vent hoses once they rot and start to leak. This is a common problem with the older tigers.
-Sam
Thanks Sam. Great suggestion. I spent all day Saturday pulling the sofa, water tank and shower surround....wow, lots of work!
 

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