Debating full size or FJ Cruiser | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Debating full size or FJ Cruiser

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FrankRoams

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I am not posting this thread to get a clear winner, I know ultimately this is base on my needs and only I can decide that. I am posting this to hear ideas, experiences, and maybe cautions. I want to hear what you love, what you would have done differently in retrospect.

So here's where I am at. I have an F-150 and decided to give this overlanding thing a go. Of course, I loved it. it's a lease through my business. Long story short lease is up in 10 months, so I need to decide if I buy it (or similar) or buy something else. I really do like the F150 and it does have it's limitations. I think I have settled on an FJ Cruiser as an alternative.

I chose the FJ because it's bigger than a jeep, and IMO more comfortable. Toyota, so I know it will run "forever". Lengthy mod options and proven platform (I think). Decent payload.

My F150 has amazing payload which is great for long trips, I like the bed and options that offers. Also, the Ecoboost gives the best fuel economy of any Overlanding rig I considered. It's long, and it's wide that's about the only real con.

I am not interested in rock crawling but do want to be able to get myself out of a pinch. As I mentioned, at the beginning I am hoping to get more of a discussion and experiential conversation going. Have fun, show off your rig and let's talk building an adventure Truck or FJ!
 
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9Mike2

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A Limited Slip or Locker in the rear of the F150 would probably work really well for you. Even the FJ doesn't have that much interior room as your pickup. And that's the other thing you have to consider is will the F150 fit on some of the trails. I hope you the best on what ever you deside...
 

FrankRoams

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A Limited Slip or Locker in the rear of the F150 would probably work really well for you. Even the FJ doesn't have that much interior room as your pickup. And that's the other thing you have to consider is will the F150 fit on some of the trails. I hope you the best on what ever you deside...

Absolutely, this is what I struggle with lol. The interior of my F150 SuperCrew is nice, insanely roomy and comfortable. I have yet to encounter a trail that is too narrow that I want to go up, but the thought is constantly in the back of my mind.
 
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O.Dfj

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I feel the front seats of the fj have tons of room I'm 6'2 and fit with room to spare. The back seat is small but i have sat in the back for a few hours comfortably. The cargo areas is small however with the back seats folded you have plenty of room for gear. I carry 2 jerry cans, a giant ice chest, 6 person tent, two Plano boxes full of camping gear, recovery bag maxsa boards, axe, and shovel with the seats folded down.

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9Mike2

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Frank, Raul's rig is the one I was hoping to show up that day, it's pretty rad! He gave us a tour at the Bass pro shop get together early this year. He also some pretty cool stuff from his company too..
 
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PNW EXPLR

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Ok, So we have both.

As already mentioned, size is definitely a concern. If I wanted pinstripes i would have ordered them. So with a full size, there are trails that will tempt you to turn back.
On the flip side, you can bring anything to feel you need with almost no limitations. And the available power is nice. MPG not so much.

The FJ, will not be exempt from trail hazards. It is still going to get pinstriped, but maybe not as often.
Space WILL be a concern. You just can't put 10# of crap in a 5# bag. But, yes, you are welcome to try though.
The back seat is useable in the FJ but it's small. If you are going to outfit the FJ you will probably lose the rear seating, so now you have a two seater.

Not trying to turn you away from either choice, but..The new Chevy Colorados with the diesel motor are pretty sweet, Also the Tacomas are good, just expensive in my opinion. Either way you get the bestt of both worlds ..... truck bed for all the crap, seats 4, Smaller than a full size but not too small....

Here is a pic of our rigs....
 

TnK1

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I'm biased for the fj, as far as the space concern I've always felt that I now just have to take only what I need making it more efficient and and less glamping since you can't take the kitchen sink, but that's also my preference and I will be doing a trailer build to please the misses


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FrankRoams

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I feel the front seats of the fj have tons of room I'm 6'2 and fit with room to spare. The back seat is small but i have sat in the back for a few hours comfortably. The cargo areas is small however with the back seats folded you have plenty of room for gear. I carry 2 jerry cans, a giant ice chest, 6 person tent, two Plano boxes full of camping gear, recovery bag maxsa boards, axe, and shovel with the seats folded down.
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I sat in one, haven't test driven it yet but I agree. The front was roomy and comfortable. Everything looked good and well made. And I "think" I can make the space work.. It's my wife, myself, and the dog.

Frank, Raul's rig is the one I was hoping to show up that day, it's pretty rad! He gave us a tour at the Bass pro shop get together early this year. He also some pretty cool stuff from his company too..
This is something that I am definitely waiting to see. I am hoping he will be at the simi valley meet up later this month. My wife loves the F150, she's lukewarm on the FJ and, literally an hour ago she saw an L470 and REALLY liked the idea of riding in that, lol.


Ok, So we have both.
As already mentioned, size is definitely a concern. If I wanted pinstripes i would have ordered them. So with a full size, there are trails that will tempt you to turn back.
On the flip side, you can bring anything to feel you need with almost no limitations. And the available power is nice. MPG not so much.
Love that you have both, how perfect is that!? And your comment on pinstripes is exactly my view, lol. I do love that payload is not an issue whatsoever in my F150. I think the real solution will come with experience. We will find what we like to do and where and that will eventually dictate the rig.

I'm biased for the fj, as far as the space concern I've always felt that I now just have to take only what I need making it more efficient and and less glamping since you can't take the kitchen sink, but that's also my preference and I will be doing a trailer build to please the misses
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This is a fair point, I run into this mountain biking and doing other stuff, I went to a smaller bag traveling for business and it has saved me headaches by only taking what I need.

I knew you guys would come through with some good stuff! My wife just threw the L470 or landcruiser into the mix. She thinks if we don't keep the F150 that's the way to go for her comfort.
 

Arizona Overland

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I think it just depends on what you want to do in the end. I wouldn't trade my Tacoma for any vehicle on the market. But, if I could afford to have another vehicle, I would seriously consider an FJ. I would love to build one up. But not for the price Ive seen, though honestly Ive only looked at one. Mid 30s is what the guy told me. I just thanked him and walked. He probably didn't take me serious anyway because I was driving my go to work car.
I wouldn't consider a full-size for what I am interested in doing. So it all comes down to what do you want to do, and what will make you happy. Good luck to you my friend.
 

BeardedOverland

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We had a family friend that would take his fullsize Silverado Z71 on a couple of trips, it was an extended cab with a long bed, for the most part he didn't have a problem, only once did he have to reverse for almost a mile due to the trail getting too rough and not having enough room to turn around, but that could have been avoided with a little modification on the truck or better planning of the route. The case of beer we had been drinking may have also been a factor. It was great having him with us though, we were all in Baja's so he carried the wood and oversized gear...
 

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We got an LX470 a little while back and really like it. Super comfortable, smooth ride without feeling boat like, lots of room and nice big windows. The limited interior space compared to the overall size, and the tiny windows are big deal killers for me, with the FJ.
My dad's f150 does seem a bit long and wide for the trails here in Tennessee, but I'm sure it would do ok.
Have you considered a gx470? If you don't need the space of the LX it is a really nice option. It's based on the LandCruiser Prado, so very capable.


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FrankRoams

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We had a family friend that would take his fullsize Silverado Z71 on a couple of trips, it was an extended cab with a long bed, for the most part he didn't have a problem, only once did he have to reverse for almost a mile due to the trail getting too rough and not having enough room to turn around, but that could have been avoided with a little modification on the truck or better planning of the route. The case of beer we had been drinking may have also been a factor. It was great having him with us though, we were all in Baja's so he carried the wood and oversized gear...
Fair point, to be honest, the few trips I have been on, I have not encountered a trail too narrow that some careful driving couldn't navigate. Always good to have someone that can be the sherpa, lol. I am in southern CA so these desert trails are usually wide enough, and traveled enough.

I think it just depends on what you want to do in the end. I wouldn't trade my Tacoma for any vehicle on the market. But, if I could afford to have another vehicle, I would seriously consider an FJ. I would love to build one up. But not for the price Ive seen, though honestly Ive only looked at one. Mid 30s is what the guy told me. I just thanked him and walked. He probably didn't take me serious anyway because I was driving my go to work car.
I wouldn't consider a full-size for what I am interested in doing. So it all comes down to what do you want to do, and what will make you happy. Good luck to you my friend.
I did some research and found that the Taco and 4runner width, are within 4 inches of my F150, not sure how much of a noticeable difference that makes on the trail. If only have 4 inches of wiggle room, I am likely not going that route anyway, lol. I think the FJ does have the narrowest width at 75", I am at 79.9". That really makes this more about the length that trail width IMO. Which honestly surprises me they are so close.
 
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FrankRoams

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We got an LX470 a little while back and really like it. Super comfortable, smooth ride without feeling boat like, lots of room and nice big windows. The limited interior space compared to the overall size, and the tiny windows are big deal killers for me, with the FJ.
My dad's f150 does seem a bit long and wide for the trails here in Tennessee, but I'm sure it would do ok.
Have you considered a gx470? If you don't need the space of the LX it is a really nice option. It's based on the LandCruiser Prado, so very capable.


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I actually did consider the gx early on, I heard really good things about it. But the aesthetics of FJ caught my eye. I think I were to go this route I would opt for the Landcruiser or L470, more interior space seems like a good trade-off considering what I am coming from.
 

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Unless your rockcrawling you can get to most destinations in a full-sized rig. Just slower...lol but hey I roll in a 2500 Suburban so far so good. Pint striping iand tight Jeep trails will be an issue depending on trail but a trade off for being able to haul everything and sleep in my Burb

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ColoradoRick

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I find the FJ really more capable than I use it for. It is not mainstream however. By that I mean, things I have considered like a drawer system are seemingly a bit off or not available like they are on the Taco or 4Runner or even the Land Cruiser. I have been told that the market is too small by more than one company. I wish I could get that system that Drifta builds in AUS. Power is adequate in the stock condition, but I worry about add ons adding to much weight for a daily driver without adding a supercharger. I could be wrong but I still think about it.
I have been able to add folding tables and way too much gear with the seats folded down. So far it is pretty decent. In the wind it is a big square box, Towing a trailer is little effort. Not near as comfortable and relaxing to drive as my Range Rover was, but not uncomfortable. Maintaining it is relatively cheap by comparison. A normal visit w/ the RR to the car doc was in the $700-$800 range, with the FJ it is usually well below $200 at the dealer.
 
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