In recent years, the Porsche Cayenne has become a popular blank canvas for some pretty awesome and highly capable off-road builds. Our latest example of this relatively new phenomenon is this 2008 Cayenne S, owned by Harrison Schoen, which was recently featured over at Dmarge. What makes this particular story so interesting, however, is the fact that Schoen transformed his Porsche SUV not only into a capable off-roader but also made it a mobile living space.
“Since getting out of the Navy shortly before COVID, I’ve felt tied down and trapped in regular routine,” Schoen explained. “Bills coming in, going out and so many unnecessary things occupying my time. I’ve decided to leave those behind and live completely from my Cayenne. An unlikely pick for this type of thing, but it’s what made the most sense for me.”
The Cayenne S is actually a great choice for such a build, as it offers permanent four-wheel drive, loads of power, and a comfy interior. Older used examples like this are also quite cheap – Schoen picked his up for a mere $9,000 when it had 125k miles on the clock.
Of course, Schoen has spent a lot more equipping the Porsche SUV for serious off-road duty and as a place to live, literally. It’s been treated to a four-inch suspension lift, upgraded control arms, aftermarket wheels with beefy tires, and amenities including a shower, awning, and roof-top tent to sleep in on those pleasant weather nights.
Schoen admittedly could have saved a lot of money on parts by going with a more conventional choice, but the cost of getting into something like a Jeep Wrangler would have been higher. At the same time, the Cayenne is a pretty reliable vehicle, and in Schoen’s case, he’s only had to replace the alternator and water pump thus far.
“Parts aren’t really that much more expensive,” Schoen said. “The biggest cost would be if you took it to Porsche or an independent Porsche outfit, and they’d have a big labor cost.”
At the end of the day, Schoen’s awesome Cayenne is proof that these vehicles make fantastic off-roaders, as well as great living spaces, too. And that’s precisely why they’ve become much more popular in recent years, especially when you factor in just how cheap they are – for now, that is.