Callahan Family New Year Week Adventure around Moab in a Rental Tiger - Part 1 of 2

Tom Callahan

New member
First time posting on EP - hope this is in the right spot and of some interest!

In October my family attended Overland Expo East in Asheville, NC where we spoke and showed a slideshow about a family self-drive safari in Tanzania. While there, we enjoyed looking at all the cool vehicles and gear and talking to so many interesting people. The guys who run Adventure Travel Sports Rentals out of Golden, CO were there with their Bengal Tiger camper on a Ford F350 platform. That got us thinking creatively about a winter vacation adventure….

We reserved the Tiger rig for the week after Christmas. Gaylord and Matt (pictured below) provided great ideas about where we could go and what we could do, organized maps and suggested camp sites, and delivered the rig to us near the Denver airport (with a full tank of gas, some local beer, and a homemade meal in the fridge! Talk about great service!)

Here's a couple shots of the interior:

We headed toward Moab, UT, but night fell before we got there. We stayed that first night in the ghost town of Cisco. It was so cool to wake up in morning and explore the somewhat eerie and dilapidated 1970s-era surroundings.

My daughters (ages 14 and 17) and my wife are really pretty great sports -- it was clear by the time we were leaving that our week in and around Moab would be unusually cold. In fact, the temperature never got much above freezing and was sometimes as low as 5 degrees. "There's no bad weather, just bad clothing"-- so we loaded up on cold weather gear and hoped that the propane furnace in the Tiger rig was up to the task! (It was.)

We spent our second night in Arches National Park, where it felt like we had the place almost to ourselves. We had our choice of camp sites and only ran into a few other people on the trails. The colors, rock formations, and terrain can be captured in photos - to an extent - but what struck me most was the extraordinary quality of quiet and stillness here. I cannot do it poetic justice, but I think it has something to do with an altering of our sense of time and the fleetingness of our existence. That sounds sad, but the feeling was more liberating than anything else: Live and appreciate it while you can.

We awoke the next morning to a blanket of snow, and the park was if anything even more magical.

We left Arches and drove along a road where we could stop and look at old rock engravings (petroglyphs) and watch a couple rock climbers working a difficult route up a cliff face right by the side of the road. We stopped at a trailhead and hiked to Corona Arch - a gorgeous trail.

We then took a little shortcut -- a trail marked "easy" in Charlie Wells' "Guide to Moab, UT Backroads and 4-Wheel Drive Trails." Umm…not so much in those conditions. But thanks to the Ford's 4WD low-range, locking rear diff, and especially the tire chains included with the rig, we made it through! (There are no pictures of this section because our primary photographer was busy trying to contact a divorce lawyer….)

Next stop on our free-wheeling and make-it-up-as-we-went-along agenda (the best kind!) was Dead Horse Point, a Utah state park with extraordinary views. We again had the place nearly all to ourselves.

That evening was clouded in, but the morning was clear and the sunrise was breathtaking.

To be continued here:
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Red rock and snow!!!!! How was the trail to Corona Arch? Easy to follow and navigate? Great choice of vehicle. What a great company to rent from. A1 service. Sadly lacking today.

Tom Callahan

New member
Yes, Corona Arch trail easy and clear and very satisfying. And yes, very satisfied with the rental and outstanding, personal service from the guys!


New member
Good call on the trip! Your girls look like real troopers - no visible sign of the usual teenage angst from being forced to breath the same air as their parents! I could use some tips from you on how you accomplished that. :)

As time permits please also share what you liked or didn't like about the Tiger. Looks like a great vehicle for you guys.

Tom Callahan

New member
Thanks Hanes - the girls are pretty great and fortunately take after their Mom! As far as the Tiger goes, it felt very sturdy and well designed. The open pass through between the cab and the camper distinguishes it from traditional pickup camper backs and is a big advantage in my view. 4 full-sized people are tight but entirely manageable for a week. I think it would be ideal for a couple. During our week the temperature was too cold for too long (between 5 and 25 degrees the whole week) for the level of insulation around the water and plumbing systems on that model- eventually things froze up, but by that time we had planned to stay in a lodge anyway so it didn't impact our trip. I believe they can be outfitted with extra insulation if you intend a lot of cold weather operations. I would also opt for a second house battery to extend the time without need for generator power. The F350 platform was well suited to the camper and performed very well both on and off road. As I said in another reply though, there are people on this forum and at the tigerowners forum who have far more experience and miles under their belts with this rig (DiploStrat is one example on this forum). I would take advantage of their wisdom if considering a purchase.