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    • I do a lot of adventures, like trips to the High Sierra and off-roading to the top of the White Mountains. But those trips have come at a toll to my Subaru Outback. My transmission is out. My engine knocks. My suspension is shot for the second time.

      I'm looking to buy a 1 or 2 year old vehicle for rigorous adventures. Constraints are that it must be:
      - 5-6 seater, with decent leg room on the second row
      - Capable of carrying a heavy payload without damaging the vehicle, unlike my Subaru. I often travel with up to 5 people in the vehicle, plus water, my dog, firewood, and gear.
      - 4x4 with transfer case for the low gear
      - Locking rear-diff preferred as well as the possibility to put on 33 inch tires without a suspension lift

      What would people recommend? @vegasphotog, @Pathfinder, @driveshaft , @DanSolarMan, and @Eddieb, I've seen you all talk about on and off-road adventures. What do you drive? Any suggestions?

      I've been looking at Tacomas and 4Runners. They seem like the cool, hip adventure vehicles of choice these days, but they're a little weak payload and engine-wise. I'm leaning for a truck, but an SUV might suffice.

      This kinda stuff is what I do 👇

    • Great pic Kevin.....I have owned many Subies and Outbacks...I thought it was a lifelong marriage...but, my 2010 Volvo XC70 is so much better....but, the downside is I like it so much I don't like to get it dirty like I did with the Subaru. And, I am hoping with my uptick in business that I will be buying a 2017 XC90 WAGON by the end of this year......but, I really had to consider at $40K for a used 2017, how willing will I be to go off road. Thus, I think I need to get a used TACO with a shell for MY purposes.

      BUT, for your purposes and if I were you, I would seriously consider the Nissan Armada. I bought a new Nissan Frontier off the showroom floor once and it was a nice truck and I liked the features...I have never owned a Toyo tho.

    • I know those XC90's are so so nice! It's hard to imagine off-roading them! You mean you don't want to do this:

      That's was my previous vehicle, a 95 4Runner.

      The Nissan Armada never crossed my mind, but it looks like a pretty beefy candidate for an adventure vehicle. 8500 lb tow, 1784 lb payload, 390 HP, 394 ft/lb torque, that's pretty impressive. But the combined EPA fuel economy is really down there at an abysmal 15 MPG.

      I've been looking closely at Tacomas too. Problem is they hold their value too well. The price per mile depreciation for a used one, even 8 years old, is higher than that of one bought new. It defies all automobile economics. They should lose tons of value when they leave the lot, but they don't. I speculate this is happening because Tacomas are getting more and more popular each year, but the used supply is fixed and low. Historically, Tacoma production was a fraction of what it is today. There's just not many old ones on the road because not that many were made, compared other trucks, like the F150.

      The problem I have with the Tacoma is that the payload capacity is <1200 lbs for a double cab. 4 or 5 people, plus 10 gallons of water, firewood, and gear can easily be 1,500 lbs. Also, I'm pretty sure the back seats are tiny. I don't understand how overlanders don't break their tacos and 4runners.

      Does anyone have experience with F150's? I see you can get them up to 3k payload capacity and the Supercab is HUGE. 40" leg room in the back!

    • I know you said you are looking at used cars, but what about the new RAM 1500 with the off-road package? MotorTrend named it 2019 truck of the year. I'm assuming even a 1 or 2 year old Tacoma or 4Runner is still pricey. My brother just bought a new 2019 RAM 1500 (with the off-road package) out of state and I was shocked at how affordable it was.

    • This is my buddy Scott, I’m in the co-pilots seat. We just won the 2019 Parker 425 in our class 3700 and we were headed for the podium in this shot. His 73 year old badass dad is congratulating him. He drove the first 150 mile leg. I co-piloted the entire race. My back!

      We won the longest off-road race in America last year. VEGAS to Reno. I say we loosely. It’s Scott’s Jeep and he also took rookie of the year honors. Scott and I have been competitors for years. He likes the way I co-pilot and I’ve signed on to race with him this entire season. This is off-roading to the extreme, many times the guy that gets his machine to the finish wins. Many times the first three or four racers are within minutes or seconds of each other after hundreds of miles of brutal pounding.

      I’ve done most of the most difficult and dangerous trails in America, the thing I can tell you about this sport is you must have a high tolerance for pain and you must be able to tolerate breakage. When it can it will. When we win a race in the JeepSpeed class at that moment we are literally the baddest Jeep in America.

      I am partial as you might imagine to Jeeps. Born out of a need to defend our country and able to carry people and equipment to the most inhospitable places you can concieve. Short wheelbase and narrow track vehicles. Jeeps are built not bought. Any backyard mechanic with minimal skills can join one of thousands of Jeep clubs and have the help from others to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

      From Moab to the Rubicon to The Fordice not to even mention trails like Rimrock in WA state where one wrong move means death and several of my good friends and family have met this end. Some of my earliest memories were in the back of old Gunnysack mud, flying winch cables and no seatbelts. We lost a woman at a Jeep race in the 60’s because her bufont hairdo with all the hairspray caught fire and tragically ended her life. It is a sport you can logging road on the weekends or win the longest off-road race in America.

      Bring your busted knuckles, your pocketbook and your sense of adventure!

    • Kevin, I've been weandering back roads, dirt roads and double track for many years.

      My first 4x4 was a Scout II - I loved that vehicle - even the brake lines were above the axles and entered at the top of the brake housings.

      I have had several full size Chevy trucks - 2500 and 3500 duallies, a Ridgeline, a Jeep Cherokee Chief, an '84 Suburban, and others. My FJCruiser was a 2010 Team Trail version. I finally traded that in on my wife's Avalon, and bought a new 2015 4Runner Trail edition with lockers front and rear. My 4Runner has taken me many interesting places, from Yellowstone and 70 miles north of Toronto in January, to just driving in the mud chasing short eared owls this evening. I find the size of the 4Runner great for two people, or 3 or 4 very close friends who pack very compactly. Its engine is more than adequate off road, and adequate, if not inspiring, on the interstate. I towed a Moby1 trailer with it in the mountains without any issues. My FJCruiser didn't like pulling trailers in the high country. I took the ice driving course at Steamboat Springs two winters ago, and the vehicles we drove were Blizzak shod 4Runners -> great fun driving on reverse banked ice covered turns in a 4Runner.

      Really great off road vehicles aren't really that nice to travel on the interstate with, and I do a fair amount of long distance travel for much of my trips from Indiana to Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, California, Yukon Territory, British Columbia, etc. The 4Runner (or a Sequoia or Armada) does this just fine. For me the 4Runner has a nice balance of good road manners and comfort, with fairly serious off road chops. I am not a rock crawler, nor a mud bug driver. I do want to travel on double track and back country routes that TAKE ME somewhere - overlanding so to speak, not rock crawling. If I was into rock crawling, I would want a lifted vehicle with much bigger tires, but they make poorer interstate cruisers, which I suspect you already know.

      I looked at and drove recent Tacomas, and the small Chevy ZR2. I loved the ride of the ZR2, but the gas milage wasn't that great, and so I finally bought a new 2018 Ford F-150 3.5L Ecoboost FX4 XLT Supercab. I love this truck - rear lockers, good ground clearance, and a 600mile range with the 36 gallon gas tank. The highway fuel economy is very similar to my 2015 4Runner, but the F150 tows 5000 pound trailers with ease, and the turbocharger means you don't lose horsepower as you climb up into the higher mountains. One thing I really like about my F-150, is the the rear seats fold up backwards toward the back of the cabin, and the floor is perfectly flat with no driveline bump which means I can stack all sorts of backs, packs, suitcases back there out of the weather if there are just my wife and I. do I have an ARE bed cover and I am seriously looking at the drawer systems from Decked.com - I did love the hidden locking dry locker in the back of my Ridgeline years ago for hiding camera bags at trailheads.

      Every vehicle seems to involve some compromises some where, but I am quite pleased with my current 4Runner and my F150 FX4. There are times the F150 seems too large and bulky and then I prefer my 4Runner, but the F150 is much faster and stronger in traffic, and passing. It gets up and goes.

      One vehicle I haven't tried yet, but am thinking about - Ford makes their full sized Expedition with a 3.5 L Ecoboost engine and an FX4 chassis set up - so if you prefer an SUV to a truck, that might bear looking into. It is on my list to drive. For years I have lusted after a Range Rover, but the cost, the need for premium fuel, and my general miserliness, have left me quite satisfied where I am with my 4Runner and my APPROVED VEHICLE white f-150 FX4 SuperCab.

      I am sure the F150 will swallow 33 inch tires without any lift. My F350 Tiger RV has 34 inch tires on 20 inch rims with out a lift

      I will be happy to try to answer any questions if I can help you out in your choice of vehicle.

      My wheel well this evening -

    • The Ram 1500's are pretty cool, and capability wise they fit the bill. When I compare it to other trucks, the F150 comes out on top.

      The biggest advantage the F150 has is its all-aluminum body. It's 700 pounds lighter than the previous generations. Besides superior MPG, the horsepower and torque to weight ratio are much better on the F150. The F150 V6 Ecoboost specifically has a much higher torque to weight ratio than the Ram 1500 with the 5.7L.

      The F150 crew cab has 43 inches of leg room in the back, versus 35 in the Ram 1500. My brother has the Superduty (F250+) crew cab, and it's nearly identical in size. Having ridden in the back on numerous road trips, I can attest that the extra 8 inches of rear legroom is the difference between enjoying and hating a road trip. For me, the extra legroom in my future vehicle is very important because I often travel with more than 2 adults. A photo of Marie sitting beside me in the back of the Superduty. So much space. 👇

    • Thanks for the wealth of info, @Pathfinder 🙏 You're just the person I have all the questions for because you own the two vehicles on the top of my list.

      I've pretty much ruled out the Tacoma because the payload capacity is just too low, though the stock collision avoidance is a really nice perk that doesn't come on the 4Runner or Fords. The 4Runner and the F150 Supercrew are what I'm weighing. The new price on a 4x4 4Runner with lockers is about the same as the F150 XLT Supercrew 4x4 FX4 (So many options!), but at 15-30k mile F150 is significantly cheaper. My rational side says buy a used F150. I do plan to take whatever I buy on high clearance 4x4's trails, but not rock crawling. So, will the extra 5" in width on the F150 be a deal-breaker? I don't think so, but I know on occasion the F150 would get in some really trick situations.

      How's 4-LO gearing compare on the FX4 and 4Runner? And how do you like the Ecoboost? It's nuts that the 3.5L Ecoboost puts out 470 ft-lbs of torque! Definitely beneficial for towing, but it also seems super useful for some steep, high elevation 4x4 roads.

      When I went from 31's to 33's on my '95 4Runner, the slight change in ground clearance was transformational. It was just enough to avoid bottoming out and damage on some gnarly trails like Hell's Revenge in Moab. So, that's why I say I'd like 33's. Actually, I heard some people put 35's on the new F150's without mods. I don't buy it. I bet they rub.

    • We just won the 2019 Parker 425 in our class 3700 and we were headed for the podium in this shot

      Wow! Congrats!!!

      I love how modular Jeeps are, and the community around them. I'm worried that I'll kill whatever Jeep I buy with my habits of running really high payloads.

      Having driven a 95' 4Runner up and down many difficult+ trails from the Sierras to Moab, I can objectively agree. When it can it does happen. And it does get expensive. I'm going to stay away from rock crawling with my next vehicle for that reason.

      Rock crawling back in the day. I ran bigger tire after this 👇

    • In terms of interior space, I think you need to compare the F150 to the RAM 1500 crew cab. The dimensions are much closer give or a take a couple of inches. My uncle has owned several F150s and my brother has had a RAM 2500 for 10 years until he just bought a new RAM 1500. I think the newest RAM 1500 puts the two trucks pretty close to each other in terms of specs. Each have their strengths and weaknesses. Both my brother and uncle love their respective trucks, so either way it feels like they are viable options. I was just shocked at how much you can save by buying from a large out-of-state dealer. Buying a new RAM 1500 was literally cheaper than buying used due to major dealer incentives.

    • I think part of the difference in driving, between my F150 FX4 and my 4Runner is the difference in throttle ramping between Ford and Toyota, the difference between the 5 speed and the 10- speed transmission.

      Toyota's throttle ramp on the 4 Runner is very shallow and takes a deep press of your toe to really get into the engines torque curve which is above ~3000-3500 rpm as is the throttle ramp on the FJCruiser and I have a suspiscion that this is a deliberate engineering choice by Toyota- makes for very effective speed control in 4WD LO ( which is important in preventing breakage of driveline parts on rough terrain ) - whereas, my Ford F150 ( and a previously owned Toyota Tundra small block V8 pickup ) has a much faster throttle ramp which means one leaves the stop light very quickly if one desires - this is nice on the road and in traffic, but maybe not quite as nice in 4WD LO - I don't have much experience with 4 WD LO in my F150 yet - haven't needed it locally - as I said, my vehicles are to take me somewhere into the back country to do something out of the vehicle.

      I do truly admire the hard core off road racers like DanSolar above. I love the European off WRX racers and the ice racers, but my goal in the back country is to get in and out safely, comfortably and securely without breaking anything if I can help it. So far, I've had pretty fair luck with my plan.

      I really thought I would need the V8 powerplant due to a 5000 pound trailer I tow from time to time - too big to easily tow with a 4Runner or a Tacoma, but driving the Ecoboost and Ford's tow rating for it of 11,000+ pounds convinced me other wise.

      Here is a nice cheesy video of the 2018 Ecoboost dragging the V8 F150 - the Ecoboost gives up 25 HP to the V8, but has 70 foot pounds more torque and it shows - they have added more ads to this video since I first saw it - sorry for that

      Ultimately you have to decide if a full size truck will fit in and through the terrain you are travelling in. There were lots of places at the FJ Summit that I would definitely not have been comfortable trying to go with a full sized truck, and a few places a full sized truck would probably not made it through, at least not in my hands.

      But I do prefer the space, the carrying capacity, and the comfort of a full size truck on long interstate trips getting to some interesting back country. SO you have to pick your poison, I think.

      In the evenings recently, I have been streaming The Gymkhana Files - a quasi history of Ken Block's series of drfiting, off road racing videos - very entertaining but makes me wonder how many times you can get away thumbing your nose at the old soul catcher.

      Ken Block made a comment I found rather interesting and unexpected - he said he had way more traction on ice with studded tires, than he had on gravel courses with off road tires. Drifting on ice is fun, that's for sure.

    • Yeah, if dealer incentives are really good, I could see how the RAM 1500 is a good buy. You've inspired me to give them a test drive. I can honestly say I haven't been in a RAM 1500, and I should stop talking and get in one before I compare them more. The F150 gets super expensive if I want dual climate control and leather seats. I've pretty much ruled that out, but it looks like you can get a better interior for cheaper in the RAM.

      I too didn't believe that the cabs in the Superduty's and the 150's are identical. Interestingly they are as of 2017, the F250-F550 got the same all-aluminum cab that was introduced in the F150 a few years before. It's literally the identical cab.

      The specs from Ford show that every dimension is identical to the 10th of an inch. It sounded too good to be true, that the half-ton F150 gets the same huge, comfy cab as the 1-tons. But yes, it's legit. Parking must be a pain...

    • Dual Climate control and leather seats and heated seats, etc. - I looked at dual climate control, leather seats, heated seats in Laramies and Platinums, but found what I wanted in an XLT - no climate control but the vehicles I've had before with climate control I had to monitor manually anyway ( BMW 3s, Suburban, etc ) and I specifically DID NOT want moon roofs or such - but I did find nice heated seats in the woven nylon XLT interior - and I like'em.

      I did read that the bodies on the F150 and the SuperDuty F250s and 350s were all the same but I never actually checked the specs to verify it.

      I am kind of wishing I could find LED or HID light offerings from Ford. The existing bulbs are adequate, but don't match the HIDs I have had in other vehicles. I noticed this in my F350 Tiger too.

      The F150 is not an urban cruiser for me - its fine in Indianapolis, or St Louis, but I think probably not optimal for San Francisco. It does need full size parking spots.

      The start stop technology, means remote starting is just a few bits of software away, so my truck came with remote start - I wouldn't have ordered it, but it is nice on cold winter mornings, I wouldn't have ordered the larger 36 gallon fuel tank either, but I find I really do like it - It lets me choose where I refuel on trips via Gas Buddy - I can drive to Denver from my home in western Indiana with only one gas stop if I want to. The range is almost twice that of my 4Runner.

    • BTW.....officially and unofficially...I totally enjoy when I am on a mission like this and doing data collection. I wonder how some people can just "buy" something like this. LOL

    • I tend to agree... until Tesla proved they make very good cars. I don't own one, but I would probably just buy one if I had the means. 😀

    • Yeah, it's actually quite fun to data collect like this. For me, it makes the purchase more exciting because I know what I'm buying is exactly what I need.

      Speaking of data, I need to share this!

      I graphed the depreciation of a bunch of vehicles, both the total purchase price and the price per mile because I wanted to understand their depreciation curves. Since depreciation is an inescapable figure that often plays the most significant role in the true cost of ownership, I figure it was important to understand it. I primarily focused on depreciation per mile because I think cost per mile is the most important financial figure for comparing vehicles.

      What I found was fascinating, specifically with the Tacoma. If you buy a new Tacoma and sell it at 125k miles, it loses 25% less value per mile than if you buy a used one at 40k miles and sell it at the same number of miles, 125k. A new Tacoma is cheaper per mile to drive than a slightly or significantly used one. That makes no sense.

      As compared to the F150, it has a healthy depreciation curve. It loses value to where it makes a used purchase make sense for someone like me who doesn't have the cash to buy new, but still holds value way better than a sedan and most SUVs.

    • Yeah, the F150 would be a no go for me if I lived in the city. I'm in the San Jose suburbs and rarely venture into the city. Fortunately, I have a quite wide driveway too. If I end up getting the F150, I can guarantee you I'll be taking public transit up to SF.

      Did you get Sync 3 in your F150? I found Car Play in my brothers Supercrew to be my favorite feature on road trips.

      I'm looking forward to 6 seats if I can swing it with the F150. I have a large extended family, and somehow we end up with people riding in the cargo area of our crossovers. I envy @Chris's minivan for that reason.

      36-gallon tank sounds like exactly what I need. I spent a few days between Christmas and new years on camping dirt roads without touching pavement in Death Valley. I came dangerously close to running out of fuel with my 400-mile range on my Subaru Outback. We had to cut the trip short to go back to the Gas Station. Going from a 21 Avg MPG to a 17 Avg MPG that people are reporting on Fuelly with the Supercrew 4x4 3.5L Ecoboost would be tough 😢Wishing Ford's electric and hybrids would get here sooner, but in all reality they'll probably start out a $50-60k in the Lariats and Platinums. Double my budget, so waiting won't make a difference.

      Allie loving the dusty dirt roads on our last trip 👇

    • No I dont have Sync 3 - my truck is an XLT, not a Lariat or Platinum - I specifically DID NOT want a moon roof and all the Platinums and Lariats on the lot seemed to have Moon Roofs or some sort of roof opening and I wanted a metal solid roof - cheaper, stronger, and quieter, or at least that's what I thought. Mostly cheaper and less likely to have breakage issues.

      I have had very little success with voice commands in a moving vehicle - so I didn't get that upgrade either. My iPhone connects seemlessly with Bluetooth very quickly, but also with a charging USB cable from the truck to a nice dash mount hooked on the an air conditioning vent. I should get a picture of it - I bought the mount - A Grip All in One Mount from Verizon and it works ok - keeps the phone face visible but below the upper surface of the dashboard, and easy to reach for touch commands on the phone surface. I think Siri will work but I confess I do not use Siri mostly because I refuse to use Siri, or Alexa. Call me an old curmudgeon.

      I do rather like the the OEM GPS in the truck, despite its location in the dash which. is remarkable because I routinely dislike OEM GPS units, and I routinely use my Garmin 3597, which I greatly prefer to any OEM GPS I have ever used - I strongly prefer the screen position of sitting up on top of the dash, rather than down in the dash requiring one to look away from the road with OEM GPS units. ( I have used Garmin GPS units on motorcycles and cars since its introduction in the 1990s so I feel very comfortable with them and the 3597 is one of the best they ever made IMHO. It does respond to voice commands, but again I refuse to do that )

      The truck does pretty well with fuel I think - I drove to Denver and back in a nasty winter storm for the lunar eclipse, and averaged 17.66 mpgs in 20ºF weather with snow flying while driving ~2200 miles at 75+ mph in some fairly significant winds. Road surfaces were secure except for a brief part of the trip along the Colorado Kansas border when I had to drive much slower 50-55mph.

      The fuel milage is much better at 60-65mph. The fuel economy is affected by wind; the truck has a significant sail effect. Fuel in Denver was $1.79 at Costco. My fuel bill for the whole trip was $251.53 which is much less than a few years ago in a Tundra. Gas is cheaper now, but the milage was a bit better than the Tundra too.

      At 55 -60mph I think one will average close to 20 mph depending on terrain, wind, and the weight of one's foot. I think the fuel economy is very close to my 2015 4Runner or better, and I usually - but not always - do running fuel mph talleys when travelling.

      How do you get 6 seats? 2 in the front row, and a bench in the rear is what I have. I do like the very large console between the two front seats - gives me a place to stash a few tools, compass, binoculars, maps, and a free small treats with caffeine.

    • Most of my adventures are on 2 wheels.

      In New Zealand we don't get huge amounts of your jumbo US wagons. Our vehicle market is predominantly Japanese due to them driving on the same side of the road as us. Most of those that own US trucks here do so because they are into the hot road aspect of having a V8.

      My last off road vehicle was a 2 door Suzuki Vitara with 2 inch lift running 31's.

    • Talking 20 mpg for a 4x4 full-size truck is unheard of!

      You can get the front center console in two configurations, either the center console like yours or a folding center seat with cup holders and a tray on the back of the seat. So, I'd get the folding version. I've ridden in this seat before, and it's surprisingly not bad because the truck is so wide. At the very least, it should be useful for the dog when driving 5 people. I'm not a fan of the dog riding in the bed. Just too dangerous for a pet I love.

      I've never liked the OEM GPS's because the ones I've used don't do well with forecasting and routing around traffic. But I realize that's really only a big problem in gridlocked metros, like the SF Bay Area where I live. That's why I like CarPlay so much. I can use the traffic apps I love, Google Maps and Waze, on the fixed screen.

      Now that I think about it, I've used the OEM GPS in the Superduty in Utah because Google Maps and Waze were getting me lost. Ford's mapping worked quite well on the backroads of Moab and Indian Creek country. Google, Apple Maps and Waze work so well near me, but they fail me when I get to other areas of the country. It's probably because I'm so close to their HQ's.

      You can get Sync 3 in the XL and XLT, either through an equipment package or the STX package. I love car play so much in my friends' cars, but I've been living all my life without it. So do I really need it? I don't know.

    • Nice! Love those 31's!

      Our American trucks are quite large. And our fuel prices are absurdly cheap compared to most of the world. I really wish that wasn't the case. If we had expensive fuel, we'd probably already have electric and hybrid trucks. I wish I could op for an EV truck, but that's impossible. And it might be a decade until they're affordable. Until then, Ford will be happy to sell Americans millions of gasoline trucks every year, even when they have hybrids/EV options.

    • I think the Rivan will be taking orders this year or next year won't they? For delivery in late 2020

      400 miles range is pretty impressive, and useful for local trips. I assume towing will lower it substantially.

      It really does look very interesting and checks many of the needed boxes in a utilitarian luxury truck. If it is priced near the posted $69 K it will find a ready market I believe. Expensive, but several K less than a well equipped Raptor.

    • Yeah, I think it'll be a big deal! Apparently, Amazon and its 700 million round it led, agree there's a market.

      The 400 mile version is a 180 kWH pack, and my guess is that will only come in the nicest trim and be over $100k. The 230 mile 105 kWH pack should be around 69k (after tax credit). If the cost per kWH for battery upgrade is the same on the model 3 ($280), then the extra 75 kWH would add 21k.

      If I could wait and splurge on an EV, I'd wait for the Tesla pickup. Since I do a lot of road trips, the supercharger network is almost a requirement for me.

    • I wondered about a charger network.

      Maybe Rivians will be allowed to use the SuperCharger for a fee? Win/Win??!!

      The Rivian will look better than those diesels taking up slots too!! 😜

      I am really amazed at the cost of vehicles these days. I keep reading that there is no inflation too... Hmmm...