Steve Dilk is a climber and skier based in Carbondale, Colorado, and like so many of us he spent a great deal of time and energy looking for a basecamp-worthy rig. Unlike so many of us, though, he zeroed in on the Chevy Astro Tiger Provan GT-just when you think a Chevy Astrovan couldn’t get any sexier. Dilk has worked at various gear stores in the Roaring Fork Valley and most recently as the shipping and handling manager at Cripple Creek Backcountry. He also works as a legal assistant to fund his backcountry habits. We caught up with him to learn more about his sweet ride.
1997 Tiger Provan GT Astro
How did you get it?
Relentless searching on Craigslist yielded a seller in Denver. I was lucky and got the first phone call in to him and he was nice enough to wait for me to drive in to town from the mountains with cash in hand.
How did you modify it?
I have added load-lifting struts to help with raising the top when there is snow. My girlfriend and I put in a Pergo hardwood floor. I added a 150-watt solar panel and full solar set-up. My girlfriend also sewed an insulated curtain to separate the cab from the cabin/ living quarters. I also made the bathroom into a gear closet because I needed the space.
How many states has the vehicle visited?
Sports? What kind of gear do you carry?
I use the vehicle as my mobile basecamp for backcountry skiing, rock, and mountain climbing all months of the year.
Easy to drive, affordable to fix, lots of character in the rig, unique and somewhat rare, functional without being obscene. Great user fan base.
Hard to find (being somewhat rare is pro and con), uniqueness means people always want to nose into the rig at all time of day or night to check it out, rear-wheel-drive not all-wheel-drive, needs lots of mods to be functional in the winter even though Provan bills as a year- round, off road company, I have found their rigs were not specifically meant for winter use.
Overlandia is the art, science, and romance of driving in the dirt.