Small Truck (Tacoma)
Big Truck (full size)
Small SUV (Jeep/FJ)
Mid-size SUV (Land Cruiser/Land Rover/4Runner)
Massive SUV (Suburban/Camper Van)
Minivan (kill me now!)
A car and good hiking and camping gear. Don't be a wuss!
I'm a jeep guy (04 TJ) but my Bro - In - Law has an 80 and I love it. It pulls like a tractor. For an expedition rig that 80 is awesome. I love my Jeep but storage will always be its downfall, not to mention having the ability to sleep in the truck if you have too...having that ability would be nice when the weather is really bad. (besides the driver seat that is :-)
I chose the the large SUV from the options. I have had an 80 series, sold it a couple of years back (wish I still had it). It worked well, but know that I have two little girls, 3.5 and 2 weeks old, I don't know if I would have been any better with an 80 than I am in our family car, which is to small for the four of us.
I really like the 80 series, but I am 6'2", and with two carseats and the driver seat back all the way it's a tight fit.
I am now looking for a 96-99 Suburban to haul the girls, the dogs and everything else in between. The biggest difference is that the suburbans are made for us fat ***** Americans. In my case, I appreciate that as the extra space is really needed.
1997 LX450 -Stock DD-285/75/16 Cooper STTs. - SOLD Spring 2008
2002 Suburban K2500 - 8.1L Stock as of now.....
I did not vote. Circumstances simply vary WAY too much to make an easy call. I say that having tried pretty much everything but the minivan option. These are just since we had kids and listed in chronological order:
FULL SIZE TRUCK 1/2 ton Chevy Extended Cab: Great truck, suicide doors sucked but we could fit five (only have two kids but could only bring one of their friends which was a drag). It towed great and was a passable off road vehicle. Dogs and gear road in back. Had a cap with rack. Just about perfect for our camping using a pop-up camper. Equally great option for tent camping. Tough to beat a full size truck for cargo.
JUST GET A CAR Subaru Outback: With a cargo rack or roof box and camping more along the lines of backpacking, this bullet proof car can get me into a whole lot of Colorado, especially in the summer time. Not a true off-roading machine but surprisingly capable. Only room for five and if you bring pets along as well, you'd best pack lightly. Bought it new in 2005 and plan to give it to my son in two years to run through high school and beyond. Has required nothing but routine maintenance and pushing 100k.
MID-SIZED SUV Xterra: Liked it as a daily driver but again, only room for five. Great off-road but not super roomy. MPG no better than a full-sized truck. The Subaru hauls almost as much gear. Decent for towing a small trailer.
FULL-SIZED SUV: We want it all and we want it now. No more size compromise. 2009 Suburban with seating for eight. Kids can finally each bring a friend! Hooray! Comfy ride, ours was not at all built for off-road (running boards, low plastic air dam on front bumper) but could do modest stretches. Downside, despite being a full-sized vehicle there are limits to its towing capability particularly in mountainous terrain. Our latest camper exceeds them which brings us to the current family adventure vehicle:
HEAVY DUTY FULL-SIZED TRUCK: Dodge 2500 CTD Crew Cab, Short bed. Room for six (they can still each bring a friend). Lots of cargo room -- it's sure nice having that truck bed again. More than adequate towing in the mountains. Not the greatest daily driver due to size and mpg but ride is nice enough. Should be long-lived. Kind of a pig off-road but high durability factor.
The point is that the bullseye is always moving when it comes to these things. Families grow, interests change, "needs" change. It is really hard to pick that vehicle that will do it all. Thought I did a couple of times but I was wrong. If push came to shove, I would say that one of the current half ton crew cab full sized trucks would offer the best compromise and least danger of out growing.
For me and my family, our 4runner is serving us well. It's my DD (although I mostly bike or take public transportation for work) and works great for pulling our tentrax trailer. We have a 20month old and a little girl on the way (due 11/28), plus two 70lbs dogs. We can fit most all the camping stuff in the tentrax, and I'm saving up to get a baja rack to throw more stuff on the roof.
2008 4runner SR5 4.7V8, 3" OW/Radflo lift, locked, armor
08' 4Runner SR5 8-banger
73' Landcruiser FJ40
Econoline 350,12 passenger. Yes they are 2 wd, but that can easily be changed. Consider:
More ground clearance stock than most factory SUV or 4x4 trucks.
With 2 bench seats and seating for 8, you can still fit 5 full size bikes in the back.
Same WB as the Excursion.
Shorter than a Suburban.
500,000 mile reliability.
You can pick them up for less than 40% of MSRP when 2 years old, convert to 4x4 and still spend less than $30k.
9' of cargo space with the bench seats pulled out.
6500# tow rating or more.
You can buy an E350 and convert it to 4x4 for less than $20k and have a very nice vehicle.
You will likely never outgrow it.
Makes P/Us and SUVs look useless.
We have driven our Excursion for 8 years and love it (I am a little offended that it wasn't listed in the Massive SUV section ). We have kids ages 17, 14, 12 and 10.
- Lots of passenger room
- The most cargo space
- 3/4 ton chasis
- solid axles
- diesel options (lots of torque)
We have over 300,000 miles on ours, original engine (7.3 PSD) and transmission.
We get accosted by sales people when we drive onto dealer lots, they want the Excursion as a trade. It won't happen.
When the kids are gone it is going to get a roof top tent and kitchen kit in the back and we are going to have fun.
But, everyone has to find what works for them.
Just traded in our 2010 JKU for a 2010 4Runner SRT.
More room, more power. Nicer vehicle all around for the 4 of us and 2 dogs.
2010 Toyota 4Runner SRT
2006 Suzuki DR650
I sold my FJ60.....Sad day!
Well...My wife is happier now....
2012 Honda Odyssey
Was not a fan at all.....but after a few trips around town the Honda Odyssey is a great tool....
This rig has great aftermarket support.....