Adventure Vehicle Opinions

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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Jan 4, 2014
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1,099
I found an older thread related to this topic, but I'm curious about where current thoughts are.

I'm feeling like it is time to bite the bullet and get a new adventure mobile. My crossover Mitsubishi has taken me to many places it probably wasn't meant to go to, and as she's gotten older I've started to want to push into more areas she probably shouldn't go. So, I'm wondering what people think are good adventure vehicles. Genuine 4wd is a must, from there I'm open to pros and cons. The higher end of adventure rigs is out of my price range but if those are your opinions that is still cool to know.

Thank you for your input!
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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more practically speaking, I've been driving a 2006 4runner SR5 with 4wd since 2006 and it has been a superb choice so far. but realistically, you can do like 80% of the stuff that I do in a carefully driven Subaru. on the other hand if you're @Udink you better have a Jeep with two solid axles so you can do much more serious stuff and also keep yourself entertained by frequent field repairs :).
 

Artemus

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For my money the hands-down best 4WD explorer, stock, is the vehicle I have now. The latest generation Toyota 4Runner. But it has to be the Trail Edition with KDSS which means the locking diff. too. Put some BFG AT KO2's on it and it is the best off road and on road handling truck I've owned. Our 2014 turns 100K on our road trip to CO this weekend and we will be putting in to shore at the 100K turnover to sit on the hood, drink a beer, and celebrate this great truck. It has never, not once, broken down and stranded me and it has put me in places on the planet I probably should have not driven to.
 

Outdoors24

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Mar 27, 2015
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I have a Rav4. While it's not a true 4WD, I have been impressed with Toyota thus far. One vehicle I have been looking at is one of the new Chevy Colorado trucks. Their newer trucks can come with a little diesel engine that supposedly helps it get 30mpg. It would be nice to have good gas mileage on road trips. They have 4WD and should be capable of a lot. But until the time comes to upgrade I am stuck with my 96 XJ. Good luck with your research! There are lot's of great options out there.
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Can’t go wrong with an FJ (though they’re no longer sold in the States and the price for used ones is climbing), a 4Runner (smoother ride and plenty of space inside, though pricey), or a Taco. Throw on a winch, lift kit, skid plates, a shovel, traction mats, and a farm jack and you can go anywhere! Let us know what you end up going with.
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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Messages
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For my money the hands-down best 4WD explorer, stock, is the vehicle I have now. The latest generation Toyota 4Runner. But it has to be the Trail Edition with KDSS which means the locking diff. too. Put some BFG AT KO2's on it and it is the best off road and on road handling truck I've owned. Our 2014 turns 100K on our road trip to CO this weekend and we will be putting in to shore at the 100K turnover to sit on the hood, drink a beer, and celebrate this great truck. It has never, not once, broken down and stranded me and it has put me in places on the planet I probably should have not driven to.

I'm always a bit envious of these as they roll into the park (they're very popular as rentals for those who "don't want to stay on pavement"). What is your opinion of the length and size? Ever run into issues while out and about with feeling "too big?"
 
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Personally my adventure mobile (and daily driver) is a diesel F-250. I think for the money (diesel motors last forever...a Powerstroke with 100k miles is just finally broken-in) a used F-250 is a great option. Tons of HP and torque. However if that's not your thing, I think Toyotas are a great option, either the Tacoma pickup or the 4Runner.
 

Pianomover

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Personally my adventure mobile (and daily driver) is a diesel F-250. I think for the money (diesel motors last forever...a Powerstroke with 100k miles is just finally broken-in) a used F-250 is a great option. Tons of HP and torque. However if that's not your thing, I think Toyotas are a great option, either the Tacoma pickup or the 4Runner.
I’ve got an F250 diesel 97 it’s a bomber. Gets me everywhere I need to go
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Personally my adventure mobile (and daily driver) is a diesel F-250. I think for the money (diesel motors last forever...a Powerstroke with 100k miles is just finally broken-in) a used F-250 is a great option. Tons of HP and torque. However if that's not your thing, I think Toyotas are a great option, either the Tacoma pickup or the 4Runner.

We also have a diesel F-250 (2014, I think) and expect to last quite a looooong time. However, it has a much longer wheel base (crew cab with mid-sized truck bed) and doesn't ride nearly as smoothly as our FJ. But, we did put a 3-inch lift and underbody protection on the F-250 as we do sometimes take it "off pavement". I wouldn't, however, even think about taking the F-250 down, say, the Flint Trail (although I know it's been done by vehicles of that size).
 

Carcass

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Personally my adventure mobile (and daily driver) is a diesel F-250. I think for the money (diesel motors last forever...a Powerstroke with 100k miles is just finally broken-in) a used F-250 is a great option. Tons of HP and torque. However if that's not your thing, I think Toyotas are a great option, either the Tacoma pickup or the 4Runner.
Yep, I got a 2016 diesel that has seen some nice action. Pulled some people out. Yea the turning radius aint ideal and if you don't mind some desert pinstriping now and then it will get you where you need to go.
 

Carcass

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There is always the Unimog if you want to get really serious.
57292126-770-0@2X.jpg
 

Stephanie B

Steph and Blake
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Yep, I got a 2016 diesel that has seen some nice action. Pulled some people out. Yea the turning radius aint ideal and if you don't mind some desert pinstriping now and then it will get you where you need to go.

I remember the days when I’d jump out of the passenger seat to hold back branches of cats-claw and such. No more. Desert pinstriping is a badge of adventure (or a “who cares” attitude)!
 

Carcass

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I remember the days when I’d jump out of the passenger seat to hold back branches of cats-claw and such. No more. Desert pinstriping is a badge of adventure (or a “who cares” attitude)!
I've gone through 2 running boards so far.
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
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I have to echo @regehr half to full joking comment about the Jeep.

My 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee is about to be put up on the market... it has to have close to 30-40% of its mileage on the trail since my parents owned it previously and used it almost exclusively on dirt or to drive to dirt. New motor, radiator, belts, battery, starter, and soon power steering and only 140k-ish miles (about 10-15k on the new motor).
It has been a joy on the trail and has been on all kinds of places with never a problem but a flat tire (the city driving seems to break her). The latest power steering outlay of $ cash and the glaring look from my wife has convinced me it is time to move on.

Luckily my second job should help pay for something diff, so I have been reading the previous threads as well.
 

swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
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I have had a YJ and a TJ and loved them for the high clearance, 4wd, short wheel base, and just fun to drive without doors and a top. What I didn't like was the lack of storage space, horrible mileage, and small gas tank. I have a Jetta TDI that has 240,000 miles on it that went a lot of places it shouldn't have gone because of the great mileage. Since our vehicles were getting quite high mileage we purchased a new Tacoma last year. So far we have really enjoyed it. It gets fairly decent mileage, has a good size tank, and plenty of storage space. The downside is the long wheelbase, looking over the massive hood, and of course the initial price.
 

Artemus

I walk
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Jun 25, 2012
Messages
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I'm always a bit envious of these as they roll into the park (they're very popular as rentals for those who "don't want to stay on pavement"). What is your opinion of the length and size? Ever run into issues while out and about with feeling "too big?"
Well the external size with regards to maneuverability is not bad at all. It has an excellent, short, turning radius which reduces the problems caused by it being a little big. Course the only smaller vehicle you can get with full-on 4WD chops would be the jeep CJ's. There are many backcountry roads that are just a little less wide than the 4Runner with regards to brush as you have heard with the comments with regards to desert pinstriping.

On the inside it is just big enough for our family of four (two of which are canids) to do a long weekend car campin or a full week car camping with the rocket box on it. We can roll distance to a backpacking trailhead with three or four people no problem.

The only reason to go smaller in my experience, on backcountry western roads, would be to enable better gas mileage to get to the trail.

My hybrid RAV4 was much better mileage and smaller but couldn't do even medium grade 4WDing. so it is no longer in the stable. I replaced it with an F150 to tow the RV and that truck and my previous Tacoma reminded me how the 4Runner drives MUCH smaller than any pickup out there. Especially on the difficult stuff.
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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Jan 4, 2014
Messages
1,099
I blew a tire trying to go up into the Henry Mountains yesterday. It reminded me of how nice a more adventurous vehicle with better tires sounds. A front tire change onto a donut in 97° temps with twenty miles of dirt road to drive back is becoming obnoxious
 
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