Camping and Living in an Isuzu Trooper SUV

This video (embedded below) by Bob from Cheap RV Living is an interview with Dave, a retired Greek Orthodox and Episcopal priest who is now a Buddhist priest that leads clients on vision quests in the wilderness. He took the back seat out of his 1991 Isuzu Trooper and laid a wooden platform in the back, and that gives him a surprising amount of space inside the vehicle. He also took out the passenger seat to give himself and his dog even more room. He has a metal divider between the front and back sections of the vehicle that he uses to hang gear. I love the headroom and large windows that the Trooper offers.

Dave’s approach to living in his SUV is very minimalist:

“My style and approach to living from … the Isuzu Trooper is more of a mountaineering/backpacking approach, so the gear that I use and the mindset I use tends to be a mountaineering/backpacking/expedition-type mindset. So I cook outside as much as I can. I tend to use backpacking equipment, and so the Isuzu is what carries it from one place to another. But I like being as close to nature as I can and having really good gear, so that if it is blowing a blizzard, even if I’m in a tent, I’m warm, I’m safe, I can make hot coffee, I can cook.”

To which Bob replied:

“Instead of having to fit it all into a backpack, all you have to do is fit it into an Isuzu Trooper.”

As a mountaineer and backpacker myself, this is definitely something I can relate to. If backpackers can spend 5 months walking with everything they need on their backs, you and I can certainly fit everything we need into any vehicle.

The first half of the video is Dave telling his story of how he came to be living in an SUV. If you want to skip all of that, the SUV talk starts at 16:35.

(Again, click here to view the video on YouTube if you can’t see it above.)


I was going to leave on my trip this morning, but there are snow storms a few¬†hours south of here in the mountains, so I’m putting it off for one more day. Ugh. But I am definitely, definitely leaving tomorrow (Friday). Definitely.

2 thoughts on “Camping and Living in an Isuzu Trooper SUV”

  1. Yep, Dave the retired priest is a total minimalist bad-ass. I must’ve watched that video five times when I saw it show up on Bob’s channel. I camp similarly to you in a small suzuki SUV but with fewer gadgets and slightly simpler setup. I thought I was pretty minimalist, but Dave the priest is on a whole other level entirely.

    Cool blog, by the way. There’s a few of us SUVRVing types out here, but we’re definitely a minority.

    – Rambling Dave

    1. Hi Dave. Yeah, I really enjoyed this video. While I have done trips as bare-bones as Dave’s setup, I certainly don’t live that way. Very impressive guy and setup. Thanks for commenting!

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