Greetings all! My name is john, and I'm trapped in central Illinois - nothing but corn & soybeans as far as the eye can see:) I'm looking at retiring in a few years, and am starting to prepare for it now:):):)
First off - this is one unbelievable forum - FANTASTIC! VERY useful info.
To get to the point......
I'm basically a motorcycle traveler who must switch to 4 wheels d/t some medical issues. My last long trip was 6 weeks of exploring the lesser known aspects of Northern Newfoundland on my Beemer. Well - those days are behind me, and I'm looking to 4 wheel it. After a few weeks of lurking and searching this site - I've decided that I would like to get a pickup and a pop-up camper. Though I could certainly get by with a flip pac (which would be absolute heaven after years of motorcycle camping:), I'll probably go with a hard-sided pop-up so that the wife can fly in for a week or two at a time to join me:)
I have the benefit of building my system from the ground up, hence the massive flow of questions I'll be sending to the various groups on this list. My initial question is in reference to getting a pickup to haul the popup. Though I drove a Wrangler for 13 years, I've never had a pickup - domestic or import. I KNOW that I risk starting an age old (to you - not to me:) war by asking the following - but here goes! (And Yes, I'm also working my way through the search function with my questions - but this is simply faster.)
I'm pretty much going to look at full size (I'm 6'5" and 290#) pickups with extended (not crew) cabs. Maybe short bed - maybe long. Depends on the popup I end up getting.
So - my local choices are 2-4 year old Ford, Dodge, Nissan and Toyota. Maybe gas - maybe diesel, definitely 4x4. The questions....
1) Are there any pros or cons that a newbie like me might need to be aware of based on a given brand, i.e., Brand X had terrible diesel engines from 2003 - 2005, but they're decent now.
2) This rig will be used mostly for Spring-Summer-Fall trips throughout Canada (BC & NWT) and Alaska. Re repairs and parts - I have no idea of what brands are common up in those areas, i.e., would I be less likely to find a Nissan or Toyota dealer in Deadhorse as opposed to Ford or Dodge?.
3) I plan on keeping the truck a long time - so the added cost of going diesel isn't a concern. Any problems with diesel availability in the outback regions described above?
4) Any other thoughts or suggestions? Again - I'd like to do this right from the get-go, and it looks like this is the place to post my questions. (I have cross-posted to cover both domestic and import trucks, BTW.)
Thanks up front!
john (aka - BoneDaddy)