Looking for some advice

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oneeleven

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Kansas
First Name
Eric
Last Name
Jenkins
Currently I own a 05 Dodge 3500 CTD. Very nice truck for the age and lots of life left in it.

I am torn between investing money in a legit suspension system and winch bumper... etc. or selling and purchasing a used Colorado ZR2. All in all I imagine it will be close to the same investment after considering the factory lockers included in the ZR2.

I live in KS so the closest spots to explore are typically forest type areas, but I am eager to get to Utah and more desert type terrain. I used to rock crawl in jeeps and that’s not necessarily what I’m looking to do here. More so explore back country fire roads and find remote camp sites with amazing views. In your experience will I be happy with the full size rig or should I go mid size?
 

Mike harpe

Rank V
Member

Influencer II

1,788
Georgia
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Harpe
Member #

20679

Currently I own a 05 Dodge 3500 CTD. Very nice truck for the age and lots of life left in it.

I am torn between investing money in a legit suspension system and winch bumper... etc. or selling and purchasing a used Colorado ZR2. All in all I imagine it will be close to the same investment after considering the factory lockers included in the ZR2.

I live in KS so the closest spots to explore are typically forest type areas, but I am eager to get to Utah and more desert type terrain. I used to rock crawl in jeeps and that’s not necessarily what I’m looking to do here. More so explore back country fire roads and find remote camp sites with amazing views. In your experience will I be happy with the full size rig or should I go mid size?
It depends on your personal preferences. I have an 18 power wagon that has front and rear lockers, factory warm 12k winch, ramboxes, and front disconnecting sway bar. I put a 4.5" rough country lift on it and am waiting on 20" wheels and 37" tires. I plan to overland in it and want to do a lot of off road and mild rock crawling.

A midsize can go places a full size cant. But a full size has more room inside it. If you are looking at buying a new vehicle, check out power wagons. Even used ones are amazing. They come with a 6.4 hemi and gets around 13-15 mpg considering it's an 8500 pound truck.

Granted my truck cost 65k new but I've got all the bells and whistles. They do make a tradesman with the power wagon package if you want bare bones off road truck with manual windows.

Again, only you can decide. But we can help guide. I'd suggest looking in person at the options and picturing your gear inside the vehicle and decided based on comfort.
 

oneeleven

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Kansas
First Name
Eric
Last Name
Jenkins
Thanks for the feedback. Two main factors for me would be that this would be a family adventure. So minimum of two adults and two kids. Realistically speaking I can probably only make one or two long trips a year. But when I find myself 750 miles from home, I obviously want a capable vehicle for both enjoyment and reliability.

I love my truck and it could be equally capable as a power wagon if I invest in lockers and so on.

My hang up is that I could get the ZR2 which would be arguably more capable for the same amount of money and newer.

Been going pros and cons in my head for a while and it comes down to a coin flip each time. I guess I’m just hoping for an angle I haven’t considered yet.
 

Buckaroo

Rank V
Member

Traveler III

1,549
Bramley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire Forest, UK
First Name
Dave
Last Name
M
Member #

19695

Ham Callsign
CB Handle: Buckaroo, UK FM Ch.30
I have no idea what these vans are being from the UK, I do know that a full sized USA van is feckin' HUGE compared to our UK large vans.
So, in that context, the UK large van ( USA mid) will be very comfortable for a family of 4 and can include a toilet and shower.
Now imagine my van in comparison.
A 1984 VW T3 ( vanagon to USA ) , To me that is comfortable and gets anywhere. To you it's gonna be smaller than your average sedan.
Most of Europe ( especially England) has very narrow, torturous, twisty, uppy/downy, turny roads where as USA has 500 mile straight as a die 90 feet wide roads.
Choose a vehicle suitable for the terrain you intend visiting most. Only you know what you really need.
 
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Wallygator

Rank II

Contributor III

473
USA
If I was in your situation I would keep the 1 ton diesel.
First of all you have four people and you all are going to be way more comfortable in the 1 ton. Your kids are going to get bigger.
The 1 ton is over built and will last you a very long time.
The 1 ton is also very versatile and will do just about anything you want to do, both now and in the future. Eventually you may want to get a bed camper to be more comfortable, the 1 ton can handle that task easily. Or any towing/hauling task you may need.
The 1 ton just needs an auxiliary diesel tank and you have serious range before needing to refuel.
You are familiar with your current truck and it is reliable and you stated you love it, I would keep it if I was in your situation. 1 ton and done.
 

ScottE

Rank VI
Member

Navigator I

3,377
Austin, TX
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Etkin
Member #

13439

Currently I own a 05 Dodge 3500 CTD. Very nice truck for the age and lots of life left in it.

I am torn between investing money in a legit suspension system and winch bumper... etc. or selling and purchasing a used Colorado ZR2. All in all I imagine it will be close to the same investment after considering the factory lockers included in the ZR2.

I live in KS so the closest spots to explore are typically forest type areas, but I am eager to get to Utah and more desert type terrain. I used to rock crawl in jeeps and that’s not necessarily what I’m looking to do here. More so explore back country fire roads and find remote camp sites with amazing views. In your experience will I be happy with the full size rig or should I go mid size?
Stick with the 3500!
 
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RoarinRow

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Elk Grove, CA, USA
First Name
Rolando
Last Name
Nispiros
Member #

17011

I agree on the 3500 for the sake of comfort of 4 people, power, and limited amount of time you actually will go overlanding/camping. Cause when you're not overlanding, then you have an awesome 3500 to do house runs and pull like there is no tomorrow.
 

oldmopars

Rank IV

Enthusiast II

1,037
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
My suggestion is to not buy anything yet. If you have good tires on the Dodge, get out and use it. Find those fire roads, forest service roads, etc. Get some basic camping gear if you don't have it and just get out there.
Once you have gone on a few trips you will know what the limits of your truck are and if you really like doing this enough to spend big money on it.
Your truck will take you a lot of places, more than you think. Learn to drive it as is, then if you think it needs a locker, or bigger tire, then spend the money. Or if you decide this is for you, but your truck is too big, then look at a smaller option. But don't do anything till you take what you have out and see if this is for you and what you really need.
I have a 90 Suburban, bone stock down to the tires. I can take it down some really amazing roads to awesome places, I know yours will do the same as is. Don't get caught in the hype that you have to spend huge money to basically go car camping in the woods. Yes the better the 4X4 the farther you can go, but most of the time even the toughest trails in the US have other options to get you to the same places.
With the millions of miles of roads on government land (FS, DFW, BLM and State Forests) I bet there is less than 2% of those roads you can't take your stock Dodge down.

Get out there and enjoy first, then build or buy what fits YOUR style/needs.
 

oneeleven

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Kansas
First Name
Eric
Last Name
Jenkins
My suggestion is to not buy anything yet. If you have good tires on the Dodge, get out and use it. Find those fire roads, forest service roads, etc. Get some basic camping gear if you don't have it and just get out there.
Once you have gone on a few trips you will know what the limits of your truck are and if you really like doing this enough to spend big money on it.
Your truck will take you a lot of places, more than you think. Learn to drive it as is, then if you think it needs a locker, or bigger tire, then spend the money. Or if you decide this is for you, but your truck is too big, then look at a smaller option. But don't do anything till you take what you have out and see if this is for you and what you really need.
I have a 90 Suburban, bone stock down to the tires. I can take it down some really amazing roads to awesome places, I know yours will do the same as is. Don't get caught in the hype that you have to spend huge money to basically go car camping in the woods. Yes the better the 4X4 the farther you can go, but most of the time even the toughest trails in the US have other options to get you to the same places.
With the millions of miles of roads on government land (FS, DFW, BLM and State Forests) I bet there is less than 2% of those roads you can't take your stock Dodge down.

Get out there and enjoy first, then build or buy what fits YOUR style/needs.
This is probably the logic I know I should follow. It is easy to get swept up in all the “must have” equipment and fun gadgets.
 

Mike harpe

Rank V
Member

Influencer II

1,788
Georgia
First Name
Mike
Last Name
Harpe
Member #

20679

I wish I could put the auxiliary spare fuel tank that goes in the spare tire well, but sadly I have a gas engine and it supposedly causes check engine lights tying it into the stock system
 

Anak

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,271
Sandy Eggo
I wouldn't get rid of your CTD. No way. That thing has more life left in it than does a brand new Colorado.

Aftermarket support for heavy trucks has increased in the past decade or so. Lots of guys using them as chase vehicles, and then taking them on side trips while they are out there. Sure there will be spots you can't access, but no matter what vehicle you have you are giving up something.

I don't recall which magazine it was, but a few years back someone did a trip they called the "The White Truck Challenge" or something like that. A quick Google search isn't finding it, so I probably have the last word wrong. Could have expedition, excursion... I don't recall. At any rate, it was a bunch of guys going out off-roading/camping in their largely commercial work trucks. These were the same rigs they took to the jobsite Monday through Friday. They had a good time with it.

I will say that you want large tires for the sake of weight distribution. That Cummins is a heavy engine, and the rest of the truck has to be pretty well beefed up to withstand the torque. You want to be able to spread some of that weight around when you get into anything soft. The ability to air back up after airing down should also be a priority.

There is a thread or two around here for full-size rigs. Go through those threads and you will see plenty of pictures of guys getting out there and going places with their real trucks. You don't need to step down in size to go out and get off the beaten path. If you want to go rock crawling it might be another matter, but for the sake of family trips you are probably best off with your CTD. I say this as someone who has both a 3/4 ton 4x4 Suburban and a Jeep Cherokee (XJ). The Bride doesn't do the Jeep trips. Those are a "go be crazy by yourself/with the kids" thing in her mind. If it can't be done gracefully in the Suburban then she isn't interested.

Just my two cents.