"So, bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"
Although, Don McLean and American Pie might’ve been a one hit wonder, there are two things he sings about that for sure are not one hit wonders, whiskey and Chevrolets. But we’re DECKED, so we’ll talk about the truck, for now…. DECKED Whiskey hitting the shelves July 4th, 2030.
Established in 1911 and still kickin’, Chevy has been around the block. Chevy has a broad lineup of trucks, SUVs, cars, they even have the Corvette. A respectable group of roommates for sure, but what we want to talk about are their impressive trucks. Chevy owners are known for their brand loyalty, once a Chevy guy, always a Chevy guy. They make sure their wife, their kids, and their dogs are all behind the wheel of a Chevy.
They produce two truck classes, full size and mid size, the full size truck is the Silverado and their midsize truck is the Colorado. We'll start the show with the Silverado. The Silverado comes in three flavors: 1500HD, 2500HD, 3500HD. The Silverado is by far their most popular offering and it’s no surprise considering its excellent towing capacity, powerful available engines, and intuitive tech features.
Chevy Silverado, you best be getting one
To kick this party off, we reached out to our friend Carlos (@inciarte4x4) who drives a 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Trail Boss. The Trail Boss that Carlos drives has the bulletproof 4.3L V6. He's added a 6” lift and 37" Nitto Trail Grappler tires. With that rubber and that motor, offroading becomes substantially easier.
The word, "stock" is not in the DECKED customer word list. Carlos passed on his secret to perfecting the Chevy offroad build, here's what he had to say…
“It has been a challenge for me to modify my dream truck a “Chevrolet Silverado” to my hobby which is Overlanding because we only see Toyotas or Jeeps and it is difficult to find accessories for other truck brands”
Well, we commend Carlos on sticking with the Trail Boss and not getting deterred by the difficulty of sourcing parts, because while it probably isn’t the end result, the current edition of his truck is nothing shy of badass.
Here is his build list:
- DECKED Drawer System
- Overland Roof Top Tent
- 37” Nitto Mud Grappler TIRES
- “Abrams ”- Black Rhino Wheels
- 6” Lift Kit from Zone Offroad
- ARB TOURING AWNING
- Xtrusion Overland Bed Rack XTR1
- “Light Shield Aerosking” - AVS Auto Ventshade
- Curved Quad Row - Auxbeam
This list goes on, and on, and on, check out the rest of the build on our Build Of The Month blog post featuring Carlos’ truck.
“If we go back in time, I remember when I put everything in the bed of the truck and had to be strapping things and I was always careful that nothing flew out or lost it in each camping place that I arrived, now I feel so happy to have this Drawer System.”
When you have a truck, and you put stuff in the back of it (like you’re supposed to), inevitably, one day, the wind will get to it and something will fly out the back. Ideally, it’s not your dog, or your bike, or your YETI cooler. DECKED offers a two pronged solution with the drawer system. You can put your most valuable items inside the locking, weatherproof drawers and try as you might, nothing will ever fly out AND for the bigger items (coolers, dog crates, Uncle Larry) the DECKED system has tie downs to keep your precious cargo strapped in tight!
Chevy Colorado: The little brother
The Silverado leads the Chevy charge as a big brother, but it would be a sin to forget about the younger sibling of the Chevy lineup, the Colorado. This truck can handle itself and whatever else the world has coming for it. Whether you’re driving it to and from the hardware store on asphalt or across the country using only dirt roads the Colorado lineup has something for you. If you’re mainly driving to the hardware store, we’d stick with the base 2.5L 4 cylinder gasoline engine. It will do the trick and won’t break the bank. However, if we know you, the reader, you trend towards liking some serious off-road wheelin’ more than your inlaws like talking about politics. If that is the case, we recommend the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, this package is available with a 3.6L V6 Gas Engine or a 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel 4 cylinder engine. That’s just the beginning, other off-road goodies include locking front/rear differentials, stronger front control arms, tougher rear axle, skid plates for days, Multimatic spool-valve dampers, and 31-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires. Eleanor Segura of Motor Trend writes, “this truck can crawl over boulders with aplomb, plow across treacherously muddy ground, and laugh off snowy terrain.” And that is just stock, what happens with a few modifications?
You guessed it, one our fine DECKED customers has Colorado that ain’t stock. Collin (@cpr.diesel) was quick to modify his 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 (with the Duramax engine, of course). Here is a list of his current modifications (emphasis on current, he is not done yet):
- 17in Dirty Life Beadlock Wheels
- 315/70 R17 Milestar Patagonia
- Leveling Kit (Collin didn’t need to change anything in the suspension department, Multimatic is a legendary suspension manufacturer, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it)
- Addictive Desert Designs “Honey Badger” Bumper
- Smittybilt X20 Winch With a Synthetic Line
- Tuned Engine and Exhaust
- Coming soon: compound turbo setup
Last but not least, the tried and true DECKED Drawer System. A must have for any truck owner who likes to crush the work week and then hit it hard on the weekends.
This is what Collin had to say about his DECKED system:
“I work as a heavy equipment field mechanic and use my truck for side work. This is where the DECKED drawer system is a necessity. My truck is by no means as capable as a full blown service truck but just having a place to keep my tools that is dry and safe is a huge help to me. I used to keep everything in tool bags which did work; however, they would become disorganized and it took more time to find what I needed. The DECKED drawers allow me to stay organized and access everything quickly and easily.”
So what makes the Colorado the truck to get over the competitors?“
"I chose the ZR2 over the Tacoma and Ranger mainly because it was the only midsize truck offered with a diesel at the time. I mainly work on diesel engines and that's what I’m most comfortable with. The 2.8 Duramax makes good low end torque for offroading and great fuel mileage on the highway.”
Chevy is also about #vanlife
We are DECKED, so we talk a lot (too much? not enough?) about trucks, but we’ll be damned if you forget that we make drawer systems for vans too. #vanlife is a real thing and we think more of you need to get behind it.
Van life is all about storage efficiency and maximizing space. There is no better way to keep gear secure and organized in your van than with a DECKED drawer system. While it takes up a decent amount of space in your truck bed, there is still plenty of room to play in your van with a DECKED system installed.
You guessed it, we make a system for the Chevy Express Van. The 2021 Chevy Express Van comes with three different engine options: 2.8 L 4-cylinder diesel, 4.3L V6, 6.6L V8, all have their own specific benefits, just depending on how you plan to use your Chevy van. With a starting price of $33,000, we’d say that ain’t the worst deal out there, especially if you’re gonna lay down some more green paper to upgrade it to your liking.
We reached out to long time friends of DECKED, @joshsoholt and @samsoholt, both who are avid outdoorsmen, hunters, and conservation enthusiasts (hence their establishment of @publiclandtees). They drive a 15 passenger Chevy Express 3500 Van, one that is far far from stock if we do say so ourselves. Enough blabbing, here is the breakdown of the build:
- Removed 100% of the interior finish from behind the driver's seat back including the seats and seat rails. From there we drove the van out to Quigley 4x4 and had them complete the 4X4 conversion 3" Lift as well as mount and balance new rims.
- 315 70 R17 BFGoodrich KM3 tires.
- Quigley Advantage front and rear bumpers complete with inset trail lights as well as rocker guards, roof rack, Universal fender flares and we had it wrapped in green and cream.
- DECKED Drawer System for a weapons carrier
- Cargo Glide
- Hand built Bed Frame.
- Havelock wool was packed into the walls, doors and ceiling to reduce sound and insulate.
- Zamp solar controller that connects the two 100 watt Zamp obsidian panels that feed the Dakota Lithium batteries that takes care of all the power needs we require.
- Dometic Fantastic Fan was mounted in the roof for heat removal
- Molle webbing and pockets were tack screwed to all the doors and are adorned with zip pockets to complete this travel hunting specific offroad beast.
- Finally we fitted an outfitter tent that connects to the van through a horseshoe shaped door to the middle cargo doors on the van.
“All of these modifications and choices were implemented in an attempt to create the most use specific hunting vehicle we could conjure up. We are very pleased with the result, it's up to any task and the most organized hunting rig we have ever used!”
Well, it’s been decided, #vanlife might be the move. The ease of use is seriously impressive and life is made easy when you know where everything is, perks of the DECKED drawer system being one of the centerpoints of this build.
“Since there are typically two of us using the van, we have each claimed a drawer so it does a couple things. They keep our individual gear separate and organized as well as providing each of us a lockable space to store our more valuable equipment"
Now, why the Chevy Van over another type of van or truck?
“The Chevy Express Van was the most off-road and tight space logging road capable option, it's essentially a truck chassis with a van cab. so 10,000 lb towing and 1 ton payload. This platform is insanely good at clawing through mud, snow and rocky trails. The van keeps everything locked and dry as well as a warm place to sleep and a warm dry spot to get gear organized and on each morning. It's truly been a good choice and a joy to use. Accessibility to hard to reach areas and convenience and comfort during multi day hunts once we get there are really second to nun with this rig. It's just so easy and comfortable to base hunting trips out of, we love it.”
PSA: Sam and Josh are big DIY dudes. They had to make some modifications to the DECKED system (voiding the warranty) in order to make the system fit their specific 15 passenger 2 wheel drive Chevy Express 3500. We do, however, make a system that fits certain Chevy Express Vans. If you are interested to hear how the boys did it to their van, this is what they had to say:
“In order to make the Decked fit into the Express Passenger Van, we had to work around the rear heat/ac fan on the driver side. Cut the rear driver side top of the ammo can off, and installed a service body mount on that same corner to give us enough room. Then we screwed the top to the service body Mount and the service body Mount to the floor of the van to give it more rigidity.”
If you're haulin' gear in your Silverado, climbing rocks in your Colorado, or getting millions of followers on Instagram living the #vanlife you can rest assure that the golden bowtie, Chevrolet has you covered. Add a DECKED system or DECKED Tool Box to the mix and you might just be set for life.