What is the greatest overland vehicle ever sold new in the US?

jim65wagon

TundraBird1
Good points.

I wonder why we rarely see a pickup in the #1 spot....well, it is on my list. ;)
On my list too. first gen Tundra, not too big, not too small, good power-to-weight ratio, reliable and capable. It excels at versatility. With a tonneau cover and a bed rack, is my preference.......
 

Scott Brady

Founder
On my list too. first gen Tundra, not too big, not too small, good power-to-weight ratio, reliable and capable. It excels at versatility. With a tonneau cover and a bed rack, is my preference.......
Yeah Jim, those Gen 1 Tundras with the 4.7 are incredibly reliable.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
You guys are all wrong...

The "greatest overland vehicle ever sold new in the US" was this one:








Granted, this one only has 2 horsepower, but it doesn't need any gasoline and it can be repaired almost anywhere with common hand tools.

:D
 

mtnbike28

Expedition Leader
Kermit,

I also have both (the 80 is new to the herd) but the family prefers the 80 already.
1. It's more comfortable, by a lot!
2. Taller than the cap on the Taco.
3. I have slept in the both of both and preferred the 80, partly because I could go from drivers seat to bed without
getting out. Nice for stealth and safety.

That said, my Taco has been nothing be great for all out travels! Lots of trips and over 200 nights camping in it!

Question: Why are most "overland" vehicles wagon types, instead of pickups?

I have and currently own both, and I always prefer a pickup with a topper over a SUV, you can haul more gear
plus keep that dirty gear separate from the passenger compartment. THe other thing I don't understand why some guys
remove their toppers and build a rack for a RTT, which leaves all the gear open to the elements and prying hands.

So my vote would be any pickup with a topper...want to narrow that down more, a Toyota...even further a 1st gen Tacoma, the 2nd gen close behind, then followed
by the 1st gen Tundra.

View attachment 143713
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
As far as actual expedition records, I would have to go with the Land Rover Series I. The first vehicle to make a complete crossing of the Darien Gap in 1959-60.

images.jpeg images-4.jpeg

Range Rover Classic. First ever vehicle to complete full traverse of North and South America via Darien Gap in 1972.

images-1.jpegimages-3.jpeg

Jeep CJ. First ever land only crossing of the Darien Gap in 1985-87.

images-5.jpeg
 

Scott Brady

Founder
Did you make it all the way across the Darien Gap with that truck?
We drove to Yaviza, which is the end of the Panamarican for North America. There are no bridges across the Rio Chico (other than a foot bridge), so it is as far as you can drive into the Darien Gap without rafts/boats to get you across.
 

David Harris

Expedition Leader
We drove to Yaviza, which is the end of the Panamarican for North America. There are no bridges across the Rio Chico (other than a foot bridge), so it is as far as you can drive into the Darien Gap without rafts/boats to get you across.
That looks pretty tough where you were in that photo.
 

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
My pick would be the 80 series, as unexciting as that may be. Over 200,000 hard miles on mine and it is tight as a vault still. Only squeaks come from the gear or cargo inside the thing. For me, a main consideration as to what is a great vehicle relates to what vehicle needs the least amount of upgrades to be useful. If a vehicle is built well to begin with you don't need to farkle it out much. The simpler the better in my book. Cruisers in general are good in the regard. Having a bunch of different pursuits that I typically tie into a trip, the interior space allows for a lot of versatility for a given trips needs.





I think if I was travelling though and was planning on sticking more to dirt roads and pavement I would be going with a Subie. After a bunch of travelling last year in an Outback XT I discovered there was less compromise than I thought there might be and the fuel cost savings were great.


What's the best vehicle? Probably depends greatly on what you want to do. Really are a lot of good options out there these days.
 

TangoBlue

American Adventurist
Last Wednesday my wife and I were on the way to the Washington, DC, Auto Show in my Prius (carbon offset for the Tacoma). She asked if I had to replace my truck what would I want to replace it with? Hmm. I thought about the different trucks I've been in from classics to modern offerings; Land Cruisers to Land Rovers. I was really stuck -- the only truck I really liked, for what I do, is my Tacoma. As submitted earlier - 1st gen Tacoma, 2nd gen Tacoma, 1st gen Tundra nails it for me too.
 

Clutch

<---Pass
Kermit,

I also have both (the 80 is new to the herd) but the family prefers the 80 already.
1. It's more comfortable, by a lot!
2. Taller than the cap on the Taco.
3. I have slept in the both of both and preferred the 80, partly because I could go from drivers seat to bed without
getting out. Nice for stealth and safety.

That said, my Taco has been nothing be great for all out travels! Lots of trips and over 200 nights camping in it!
I like 80's too....and 100's and 60's and 40's...;)

My personal top 5 list of travel vehicles are all Toyotas, but the further down the list you'll see 1st and 2nd gen Ford Broncos, F250's, K5 Blazers, Suburbans, Power Wagons, Jeeps, etc....towards the bottom are VW's, AMC Eagles, and Landy's. ;) Sure we Americans tend to get jealous of what is available overseas, but we are pretty lucky to have such a huge selection to pick from here.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Enter a vote for the Toyota/Lexus 100 Series. This is the best overland vehicle faceoff, not best off-roader, and the Hundies offer superb comfort, plenty of power, decent range, tremendous reliability, big tire capability with the stock suspension and a workable traction setup that doesn't require driver intervention. It's a spacious truck without being gruesomely large; two people can sleep in it if the need arises and it's palatial for a solo traveler. Plus it has an SUV's advantage of keeping your stuff climate-controlled and relatively secure.

Build quality is superb, and the two I've owned were, at 100K+ miles, virtually as-new in all areas. They are routinely good for a quarter-million miles and are decently supported in most countries, and if you feel the need to upgrade components, the truck is well supported by the aftermarket. Compared to its well-loved predecessor, the Hundreds are more comfortable, are more powerful, tow (in most model years) 1500 pounds more, and have better fuel economy than the 80s, and lose only in the very small number of technical situations where a solid front axle is an advantage.

I'll also submit that there is an even greater advantage if daily driver duty gets any points. I know of no vehicle that will remain as competent in routine pavement use after being equipped as needed for serious trail use. It is an excellent choice when it's not sensible to have a dedicated overlanding rig. In fact, once the roof rack is off-loaded, you have to check out the tires and rockers to know it's not only an upscale mall crawler.

P1010310.jpg

It would have been difficult in earlier years to support this choice because of their high cost, but the years have, even with the truck's modest depreciation, reduced the price of Hundies to a price that's competitive with other options, particularly if one buys into the idea (as I have) that a 100,000 mile Hundred is no closer to end-of-life than many showroom-new alternatives.

As for some of the other vehicles I've owned that it beat out:

Jeep JK: The JK wins hands down when off-roading, but gives away too much pavement and easy trail comfort. Build quality and reliability are also concerns.

Toyota/Lexus 80 Series: A fine truck, but beat in almost every category by the Hundreds.

Toyota Tacoma crew cab, circa 2004: As Scott mentioned above, the truck was superb. Just the right size and with all of the suspension dialed in. But the Hundreds got my nod for overall comfort, enough space to sleep in, and the fact all your stuff didn't get rained on and muddy. (Plus, let's admit it, by the time Scott and James Roy finished with it, that was NOT the average Tacoma.)

Jeep WJs: A fine overland truck, and a good sub $10K entry point. But the loss of some internal space could be important when carrying necessary gear, and the tire size is severely limited without going to a too-tall-for-general-use lift.

Mercedes Sprinter: A lot more capable than it would first appear, but limited by its 2WD to good roads and/or good weather. It was great to have all that quality living space in such an economical and reasonably-sized vehicle, but the best overlander's pretty much op priori going to need four-wheel drive.

Unimog 416 Expedition Camper: Mine was famous for its months-long Sahara expeditions, and there'd be no better option for being parked on a beach in Baja. But it had no ability to make time. If we assume overlanding counts quick runs to the desert, beach or mountains Friday night after work . . . not so good.

Various dualsport motorcycles: Too much adventure compared to the enjoyment; too many comfort compromises forced by the limited carrying capacity.

BMW R60/2 with a sidecar: That made a big dent in the carrying capacity problem, but it was common to find road surfaces where the rig, let us say, lacked harmony.

SO . . . Get the newest Hundred series you can afford (preferably '03-on due to mechanical upgrades) that's been well-cared for and has a full service history and then don't look back. That'll be $0.02 please. :sombrero:
 

grahamfitter

Expedition Leader
While own a Westy....not reliable enough to break the top 10. Don't let cuteness make decisions for you. ;)

Before a VW purchase is made, one should lay their thumbs on the work bench, have their best friend take a 4# sledge
and smash 'em, now if that person is quite alright with the pain...they should proceed and purchase a VW Syncro.
When I first bought mine, a 2wd '85, a friend said "You're going to love everything above the floor and hate everything below it". Never was a truer word spoken.
 

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: Hands down-2007 thru 2010, JK Unlimited-Rubicon--but must be built on-

With minor mods (pre 2012) will go anywhere/tow and carry over 1000lbs cargo-highway/sand/rocks/shale/hills-etc

Can't comment on post 2012--too many variables-

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
 
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