Why Do We Use Chevy Suburbans At Dreamland Safari Tours?
Our fleet of Chevy Suburbans transports small tour groups across deserts of deep, dry sand, over rocks, and through unbelievably sticky mud. After years of driving them, we’re still sometimes surprised by their capability. We also love that the suspension feels pretty soft for a truck intended for off-road use. If you’ve ever experienced the stiff suspension of riding in a Jeep or a Gator, you understand the difference.
We also love the visibility that our Chevy Suburbans provide. They sit up high and have huge windows. It’s a perfect match for the vast and stunning landscapes our guests experience on their Dreamland Safari hiking tours, photography workshops, and camping trips. Also, the trucks have comfortable seats, and space for long legs and longer camera lenses.
We’re sometimes asked why we don’t offer Utah ATV tours. There are other companies based in Kanab Utah that offer tours in UTVs, also known as side-by-sides. We prefer our Suburbans for several reasons. For starters, we can roll up the windows to keep the dust out. Out of our hair, our teeth, our food, our camera gear, places like that. Those handy dandy windows are tinted for protection against the summer sun and they keep all sorts of weather on the right side of the glass. We give tours when there are six inches of snow on the ground and we head out in June when it’s 95 and the sun is beating like the heart of a jackrabbit being chased by a coyote. Air conditioning is amazing when you are exploring places such as Peekaboo Slot Canyon, The Wave, the Grand Canyon, and more.
The truck protects us from the elements. July, August, and September in the desert can bring summer monsoons. Giant thunderheads form almost instantly and unpredictably. Torrential rain or even hail can combine with wind and lightning. Most of the time, monsoons miss us. They’re either over here or over there, giving us dramatic photographs with the dry sky overhead. But if you spend much time in the summer desert, you’re eventually going to take a monsoon rain on the head. Our Chevy Suburbans provide great shelter. A truck roof has never been better appreciated.
Do you know what else the Dreamland Safari Suburbans have? Space! There is room for backpacks, camera gear, tripods. We know you don’t get to come to these remote locations very often and you want to bring your camera gear to record the big event. We welcome it.
We also like the feel of group camaraderie that forms while riding to distant destinations such as White Pocket. Friendships develop. Jokes are told. Questions are answered. Our guides share history, geology, and fascinating tidbits about desert life and ecology. Our guests are just as fascinating. They love to travel, have awesome tips and great stories. All this is missed if riding along in a string of ATVs.
Do ATVs have their place? Absolutely. They get people to out-of-the-way places, we love that! ATV owners gather to ride in groups and form great friendships. Fantastic! Our guides are known to sometimes explore the desert on their days off on ATVs and even dirt bikes. We definitely think there is a place for ATV tours. Travelers looking for an off-road thrill should book an ATV tour. There are great tour companies in Kanab that offer them. We trade the open-air sensation for comfort. One way isn’t better than another. It just depends on what you’re looking for.
You’re obviously interested in vehicles if you’ve read this far. Let’s hit up a basic point about off-road vehicles. What the heck to call them…Folks who are not off-road enthusiasts often confuse the term UTV and ATV. This article has used the term ATV because that’s the name we most often hear from visitors, but ATVs and UTVs are different. All the local tour companies we know use UTVs. UTV stands for utility terrain vehicle. They are also called side-by-sides because the vehicles seat passengers side by side like a car does. Many UTVs have two seats, fitting four riders. ATVs are usually designed for just one or two people.
Other differences: ATVs are smaller and are steered by handlebars with the rider straddling the seat. If there are two riders, one sits behind the other, hanging on to the driver. The side-by-side, or UTV is commonly used for tours because it is directed with a steering wheel, not handlebars, and it uses brake and gas pedals like a car, not hand levers and a thumb throttle, like an ATV. A UTV feels familiar to anyone who has ever driven a car while an ATV might take more practice. Glad we cleared that up, aren’t you?