Trying to select the correct vehicle for first overland build

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

263
Arlington, VA
First Name
Wade
Last Name
Duvall
Member #

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
I've owned/own many, many Jeeps (Wife has a 2016 Grand Cherokee currently), full-size trucks (Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan), etc but the truck in my avatar/sig has been the best combination of everything so far. Since even the long-bed mid-size trucks won't have a bed long enough for you to sleep in that means you have more options since bed length doesn't matter as much. As such, I'd recommend checking out a Colorado ZR2 or ZR2 Bison, I'm partial to diesels but the V6 is also a solid option. The ZR2 will give you excellent capabilities while maintaining great on-road manners and comfort that a Rubicon (Wrangler or Gladiator) just won't have, because I've owned a Rubicon as well. There is a solid aftermarket for them, too. I'm 6'1" with a 36" inseam and have plenty of room.

If I didn't have kids and were in the market today I would probably go with an ECLB (Extended Cab Long Bed) ZR2 or ZR2 Bison with the Duramax, get an extra foot of bed length and still have storage space inside the cab while maintaining the short wheelbase of the CCSB trucks. If diesel isn't your thing then the 3.6 gasser has plenty of power as well.

Having driven both my mid-size truck as well as an F-150 with the 2.7EB on trails in Colorado it reaffirmed by decision to go with the mid-size truck. It's just so much easier to maneuver on trails not to mention much easier to manage in cities and tight parking areas.

I also wouldn't be opposed to a Gladiator, however the common complaint that I hear is that people 6' or taller have problems with leg room due to the driver's seat not going back far enough. I haven't driven a JL or a Gladiator yet to be able to compare it to the JKUR that I had, but with my JKUR it was a chore to take on long trips. Noisy, twitchy in the wind, not the greatest ride quality on less-than-perfect roads, etc. Maybe I'm just getting old and prefer something a bit more comfortable and refined, who knows. :)

Good luck with your search! I can't wait for summer and a nice, long road trip again.
So you're right. On paper, the Bison is the perfect for my needs, it would require almost no aftermarket (just a rack and eventually maybe another rear bumper), people love it, but honestly I'm a bit put out by the poor predicted reliability and only mediocre safety ratings. I know a few owners of some of the lower tier trims that are mixed on it. THAT SAID, it's hard to tell if those reliability ratings will hold for the higher trims. I also grew up when American cars were just a total joke and have never fully been able to shake that view. FWIW I have the same worries with Ram (Hemi tick and all the doodads falling apart are common complaints). Ford Ranger also doesn't do great in predicted reliability either. To further confuse matters, JD and CR often give opposite scores (Gladiator gets high praise from CR and JD says avoid).

Additionally, I set up a simulated midsize long bed in my living room with a bunch of cardboard that I was going to dispose of anyway. I really don't see myself being comfortable in there, and if I want to fit a second person, forget it. So if I want to sleep in the back, it's full size all the way. That said, there seem to be a lot of great RTT options out now, and I'm not against that at all (would consider even on full size).

Edit: did a little more looking into CR vs JD and it seems like CR sends out surveys to owners as well as uses passed performance to assess the reliability. JD seems to use a mix of this plus having experts look over the cars built and materials as well as past performance of powertrain. Seems like the Colorado specifically had an issue with the fluid in their 8 speed that's resolved but CR still penializes them for (for example).
 
Last edited:

bgenlvtex

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,798
Texas and Alaska
First Name
Bruce
Last Name
Evans
Member #

19382

So you're right. On paper, the Bison is the perfect for my needs, it would require almost no aftermarket (just a rack and eventually maybe another rear bumper), people love it, but honestly I'm a bit put out by the poor predicted reliability and only mediocre safety ratings. I know a few owners of some of the lower tier trims that are mixed on it. THAT SAID, it's hard to tell if those reliability ratings will hold for the higher trims. I also grew up when American cars were just a total joke and have never fully been able to shake that view. FWIW I have the same worries with Ram (Hemi tick and all the doodads falling apart are common complaints). Ford Ranger also doesn't do great in predicted reliability either. To further confuse matters, JD and CR often give opposite scores (Gladiator gets high praise from CR and JD says avoid).

Additionally, I set up a simulated midsize long bed in my living room with a bunch of cardboard that I was going to dispose of anyway. I really don't see myself being comfortable in there, and if I want to fit a second person, forget it. So if I want to sleep in the back, it's full size all the way. That said, there seem to be a lot of great RTT options out now, and I'm not against that at all (would consider even on full size).

Edit: did a little more looking into CR vs JD and it seems like CR sends out surveys to owners as well as uses passed performance to assess the reliability. JD seems to use a mix of this plus having experts look over the cars built and materials as well as past performance of powertrain. Seems like the Colorado specifically had an issue with the fluid in their 8 speed that's resolved but CR still penializes them for (for example).
You're headed for analysis paralysis.

So many variables, and people will push what they like for their needs.

Step away from the line, make a list of the things that you really ARE going to do not aspirations. It's very easy to start out thinking to do some resonable trails and primitive campsites and have that morph into going to Moab to climb rocks, avoid that pitfall and make a careful self assessment.

Set a hard budget.

Make an educated and measured decision based on your needs.
 

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

263
Arlington, VA
First Name
Wade
Last Name
Duvall
Member #

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
You're headed for analysis paralysis.

So many variables, and people will push what they like for their needs.

Step away from the line, make a list of the things that you really ARE going to do not aspirations. It's very easy to start out thinking to do some resonable trails and primitive campsites and have that morph into going to Moab to climb rocks, avoid that pitfall and make a careful self assessment.

Set a hard budget.

Make an educated and measured decision based on your needs.
I have a background in experimental physics so this is really in my nature. It's hard to get a good picture of reliability because 1. you can't predict the future 2. the internet is full of enthusiasts or angry customers and not much in between 3. professional opinions may or may not be trustworthy.

Again, the purpose of this thread was simply to help me break my Taco tunnel vision and have some people who've done this more than me weigh in. And that has been a huge success, I have a much expanded list of things to consider and just need to really look at what I want, what's most important, and trim down based on that. Obviously there are a lot of great trucks out there and if I don't pick the same one you got, it's not because you made a bad purchase, but because my needs are different.

Budget: I said ~40k but flexible. I've considered some vehicles in the 45k range. I would not go a dime over 50.5k OTD, and it better be near perfect. This covers the car only. I have a seperate sleeping budget.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bgenlvtex

bgenlvtex

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,798
Texas and Alaska
First Name
Bruce
Last Name
Evans
Member #

19382

I have a background in experimental physics so this is really in my nature. It's hard to get a good picture of reliability because 1. you can't predict the future 2. the internet is full of enthusiasts or angry customers and not much in between 3. professional opinions may or may not be trustworthy.

Again, the purpose of this thread was simply to help me break my Taco tunnel vision and have some people who've done this more than me weigh in. And that has been a huge success, I have a much expanded list of things to consider and just need to really look at what I want, what's most important, and trim down based on that. Obviously there are a lot of great trucks out there and if I don't pick the same one you got, it's not because you made a bad purchase, but because my needs are different.

Budget: I said ~40k but flexible. I've considered some vehicles in the 45k range. I would not go a dime over 50.5k OTD, and it better be near perfect. This covers the car only. I have a seperate sleeping budget.
LOL, I too have a background in experimental physics, albeit amateur status, frequently under the careful supervision of high proof ackyhaul. I prefer "undocumented engineer" though.

Sounds like you have a handle on it, good luck, be sure and let us know what direction you go so when you fail spectacularly we can mock you and remind you that you were forewarned.
 

DRAX

Rank II

Enthusiast II

366
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Ham Callsign
W9DRX
So you're right. On paper, the Bison is the perfect for my needs, it would require almost no aftermarket (just a rack and eventually maybe another rear bumper), people love it, but honestly I'm a bit put out by the poor predicted reliability and only mediocre safety ratings. I know a few owners of some of the lower tier trims that are mixed on it. THAT SAID, it's hard to tell if those reliability ratings will hold for the higher trims. I also grew up when American cars were just a total joke and have never fully been able to shake that view. FWIW I have the same worries with Ram (Hemi tick and all the doodads falling apart are common complaints). Ford Ranger also doesn't do great in predicted reliability either. To further confuse matters, JD and CR often give opposite scores (Gladiator gets high praise from CR and JD says avoid).

Additionally, I set up a simulated midsize long bed in my living room with a bunch of cardboard that I was going to dispose of anyway. I really don't see myself being comfortable in there, and if I want to fit a second person, forget it. So if I want to sleep in the back, it's full size all the way. That said, there seem to be a lot of great RTT options out now, and I'm not against that at all (would consider even on full size).

Edit: did a little more looking into CR vs JD and it seems like CR sends out surveys to owners as well as uses passed performance to assess the reliability. JD seems to use a mix of this plus having experts look over the cars built and materials as well as past performance of powertrain. Seems like the Colorado specifically had an issue with the fluid in their 8 speed that's resolved but CR still penializes them for (for example).
Yeah, the 8-speed behind the v6 had problems with the wrong fluid killing torque converters. The new fluid seems to be working well for those with the 8-speed. With the diesel you'd get the 6-speed (6L50) which is a proven trans. The early V6 trucks (2015-2016) also had the 6L50 6-speed but there were complaints about "chuggle" which ended up not being a problem with the trans but rather the trans tuning and engine lugging at low speed. A software update fixed that problem.

Another complaint that pops up is the sound of rushing water in the dash just after cold start, fixed by adding maybe a pint of coolant to the surge tank to prevent air from being sucked into the system since there are chambers and such in the surge tank don't provide enough leeway should the coolant level just barely be below the mark.

CR doesn't deserve a second of anyone's time, while they claim to be basing things on survey results I don't think I've ever had a vehicle or product live up to what they claimed, good OR bad.

I'm only one example, but I bought my truck new in November of 2017. At 16k miles a sensor in the exhaust failed and was replaced under warranty. I'm now at 3.25 years and just over 57k miles with no problems. Solid truck, runs great, no mysterious leaks, rattles, or other noises, and has been one of the best built, problem-free vehicles I've owned (which at this point is 2 dozen vehicles and somewhere around 9 of those 24 were bought new). The only vehicle that has been as good or better was the 2012 Honda Pilot we bought new for my wife. The only problems were a defective sun visor early on and covered under warranty and then a wheel bearing starting to grumble with just over 100k miles. We traded it in once it hit roughly 126k miles. Did regular maintenance by the book and it served us well.

I'm hoping my Canyon will do just as well.

Anyway, just wanting to relay first hand experience as well as the issues that contributed to some low rankings. I don't think you can go wrong with any mid-size truck these days as long as it fits you and your needs/wants. Finding the Goldilocks vehicle can be tough, but I'm sure you'll do fine since you're not rushing into it. Just remember that nobody makes a perfect vehicle otherwise we'd all be owning it. :) I'd rank how the vehicle feels to you and your wants/needs higher than what CR, JD, etc say. If you bought a Taco because it was the "gold standard" in reliability and compromised on comfort (A common complaint I hear but can't comment on it myself) and find it rather uncomfortable for long drives do you think you'd be happy with your purchase? Probably not. A random warranty issue is temporary, the comfort level is reasonably permanent.

Also, not knowing exactly what you're going to put in or on the truck, you'll want to check the payload sticker on each truck you look at. It'll tell you the factory payload capacity as built from the factory, a lot of the more off-road spec'd trucks have much less payload due to the suspension. There are also full-size trucks that will have less payload capacity than a mid-size truck. Payload is all people, including the driver, stuff in the cab, stuff in/on the bed, and any hitch weight on the hitch. It's really easy to go over the payload capacity when outfitting for overlanding, especially if you have a wife and kids/family that go with you. Would suck to find the truck you want only to find it's not rated to haul everything you want, just something to keep in mind. Good luck!
 
Last edited:

Billiebob

Rank V
Member

Traveler II

2,365
earth
First Name
Bill
Last Name
William
Member #

18893

Budget:
$40k for vehicle but I'm flexible for a few k higher.
Good budget to open the choices, obviously used but newer and low milage so plus, plus.

1/2 dirt bikes, sleep ready, says a trailer for the dirt bikes.
OR an SUV capalble of towing a toy hauler, tent trailer camper combo

114283206-M.jpg

But that will limit capability towing a trailer soo..... this is always about compromixe.....

Maybe short box with sleeper plus 2 bumper bike carriers ????

p2HFmHuo-mXILRmKAJ_tI30cqI203KUcVpvRvVwTDhw.png

Who can tell me the date of ^^^^ that picture.......
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SquishBang

MazeVX

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,484
Gießen Germany
First Name
Mathias
Last Name
Kreicker
Member #

8002

So you're right. On paper, the Bison is the perfect for my needs, it would require almost no aftermarket (just a rack and eventually maybe another rear bumper), people love it, but honestly I'm a bit put out by the poor predicted reliability and only mediocre safety ratings. I know a few owners of some of the lower tier trims that are mixed on it. THAT SAID, it's hard to tell if those reliability ratings will hold for the higher trims. I also grew up when American cars were just a total joke and have never fully been able to shake that view. FWIW I have the same worries with Ram (Hemi tick and all the doodads falling apart are common complaints). Ford Ranger also doesn't do great in predicted reliability either. To further confuse matters, JD and CR often give opposite scores (Gladiator gets high praise from CR and JD says avoid).

Additionally, I set up a simulated midsize long bed in my living room with a bunch of cardboard that I was going to dispose of anyway. I really don't see myself being comfortable in there, and if I want to fit a second person, forget it. So if I want to sleep in the back, it's full size all the way. That said, there seem to be a lot of great RTT options out now, and I'm not against that at all (would consider even on full size).

Edit: did a little more looking into CR vs JD and it seems like CR sends out surveys to owners as well as uses passed performance to assess the reliability. JD seems to use a mix of this plus having experts look over the cars built and materials as well as past performance of powertrain. Seems like the Colorado specifically had an issue with the fluid in their 8 speed that's resolved but CR still penializes them for (for example).
You are totally overthinking this.
Forget predicted reliability and all that crap someone talks about something.
Everything will fail, break or stop working, it's just a matter of maintenance, bad luck and time.
Every truck will be to small for something or to big for something or someone, try to figure that out and you will spin like tire until you are worn down.
 

RJCanyon

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

2,296
California, USA
First Name
Bobby
Last Name
Horne
Member #

19131

As someone who worked for Dodge, is a Toyota guy through and through but drives a 16 Canyon. Every manufacture has a service department for a reason. machines break. Test drive the vehicles you like and buy what YOU think is best for YOUR needs.

the GM twins
Tacoma
Gladiator
Frontier
full size models
etc...

every single one is great and every single one has drawbacks.

cant wait to see what you get!
 

Neuvik

Rank II
Member
OB1

Contributor III

327
Grass Valley, CA, USA
First Name
Trent
Last Name
W
Member #

27488

One would think a physicists/engineer would wr
So you're right. On paper, the Bison is the perfect for my needs, it would require almost no aftermarket (just a rack and eventually maybe another rear bumper), people love it, but honestly I'm a bit put out by the poor predicted reliability and only mediocre safety ratings. I know a few owners of some of the lower tier trims that are mixed on it. THAT SAID, it's hard to tell if those reliability ratings will hold for the higher trims. I also grew up when American cars were just a total joke and have never fully been able to shake that view. FWIW I have the same worries with Ram (Hemi tick and all the doodads falling apart are common complaints). Ford Ranger also doesn't do great in predicted reliability either. To further confuse matters, JD and CR often give opposite scores (Gladiator gets high praise from CR and JD says avoid).

Additionally, I set up a simulated midsize long bed in my living room with a bunch of cardboard that I was going to dispose of anyway. I really don't see myself being comfortable in there, and if I want to fit a second person, forget it. So if I want to sleep in the back, it's full size all the way. That said, there seem to be a lot of great RTT options out now, and I'm not against that at all (would consider even on full size).

Edit: did a little more looking into CR vs JD and it seems like CR sends out surveys to owners as well as uses passed performance to assess the reliability. JD seems to use a mix of this plus having experts look over the cars built and materials as well as past performance of powertrain. Seems like the Colorado specifically had an issue with the fluid in their 8 speed that's resolved but CR still penializes them for (for example).
I'm with @bgenlvtex, you're heading for analysis paralysis...

You want someone to talk some reason into you when it sounds like you have made your mind up for Toyota. If you are going to apply
amorphous concerns like "predicted reliability," you are just creating reasons to steer you back to Toyota. They days of 5.7L hemi's sucking valves is gone man, they are getting to the 230+miles, same with my 6.4L... you're going to find issues in any vehicle, including Toyotas that were catastrophic, but not the average.

You're a smart man, maybe open up excel, list out some of the vehicles, what features they have, apply a logical form of numerical need to you and take the average, whatever vehicle scores the highest you should go with.




Maybe my story will help: I wanted a Taco TiRD bad, and in TiRD Brown!!! They look cool, high resell value, small and nimble for trails. But here in California they are crazy expensive (anywhere right!), and for what? You get somewhat better shocks, a rear locker, and minor skid plating. The TRD Pros here in cali are as much as a fullsize. So I started to look around, I found the Power Wagon, and dang, Front and Rear Lockers, E Disconnecting sway bar, Front and Rear coil springs, skid plating, all for the same price as a TRD Pro... At the time the Colorado ZR2 wasnt out nor the Gladiator, but those trail features are worth their weight to me. I love getting aggressive on the trails and the size hasn't been an issue! Now you said you weren't at that point so maybe it doesn't matter. Point is the features (that you want) versus price of what you get needs to be taking into account.

Toyotas are fantastic, and so are a lot of rigs. Best of luck!

9004.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Northman555

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

263
Arlington, VA
First Name
Wade
Last Name
Duvall
Member #

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
You are totally overthinking this.
Forget predicted reliability and all that crap someone talks about something.
Everything will fail, break or stop working, it's just a matter of maintenance, bad luck and time.
Every truck will be to small for something or to big for something or someone, try to figure that out and you will spin like tire until you are worn down.
I address this a bit in a previous post here: Trying to select the correct vehicle for first overland build

I also think I'm entitled to overthink it a little bit, it will easily be the biggest purchase I've ever made by almost a factor of 10!
 

RyanD1966

Rank I
Member

Traveler I

233
Baltimore Metro MD
Member #

16310

Welcome nuclear. I've had my 2014 Frontier in some places I really had no business being ( super narrow and rough trail "roads" in the Maine backwoods. ) Now that I have A/Tx tires and a full underbody armour kit, I feel much less nervous about venturing into rougher areas. I've added a ton of upgrades and projects to mine and have a YouTube channel, Frontier Geek dedicated to just the mods and accessories. So far I got mine in March 2018 at 53k and have had no mechanical issues at all, now at 97k and change. The 4.0L is a solid well-proven powerplant, if a bit on the thirsty side, fuel-wise. I'd tend to shy away from Toyota given the smaller v6 and very "hunt-happy" transmissions they're fitting now. Older Land Rovers would be a great solid "build-base" to begin customizing as well, or maybe a Landcruiser, as they still have larger powerplants and have much more low-end torque.
 

MazeVX

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

2,484
Gießen Germany
First Name
Mathias
Last Name
Kreicker
Member #

8002

I address this a bit in a previous post here: Trying to select the correct vehicle for first overland build

I also think I'm entitled to overthink it a little bit, it will easily be the biggest purchase I've ever made by almost a factor of 10!
I get that but that doesn't change anything. The vehicle I would recommend isn't available in the US.
So basically every HD US pickup will do the trick or a Ford E350 4x4 conversion preferably from Ujoint Offroad.
I'm not a scientist but involved in the automotive industry since 18 years and enthusiast for 4 years more.
Haven't seen a perfect vehicle since then.

Edit: vehicle choice isn't precise science it's a mix of wants, needs and budget. If it doesn't touch my feelings I'd never buy it, no matter how perfect it might be.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: nuclear_runner

BensonSTW

Rank III

Enthusiast III

You just need to get your list built and go test drive them. Smaller trucks really aren’t much smaller anymore. New tacoma is 212 inches long and 75 wide. New ram 2500 short box 4 door is 232 x 80. Power and payload isn’t comparable. The Tacoma or Gladiator does ride good and have a bit more ground clearance. And jeep / Toyota definitely has aftermarket support but full size is gaining. One of the many reasons I wouldn’t buy a Tacoma is my blown out left knee does not like their seating position. All I am saying there is pick something you can comfortably drive for hours at a time. Then see what features are your most important. If you’re going rtt and a pile of gear make sure you have the carrying capacity for it. Good luck making your decision.
 

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

263
Arlington, VA
First Name
Wade
Last Name
Duvall
Member #

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
You just need to get your list built and go test drive them. Smaller trucks really aren’t much smaller anymore. New tacoma is 212 inches long and 75 wide. New ram 2500 short box 4 door is 232 x 80. Power and payload isn’t comparable. The Tacoma or Gladiator does ride good and have a bit more ground clearance. And jeep / Toyota definitely has aftermarket support but full size is gaining. One of the many reasons I wouldn’t buy a Tacoma is my blown out left knee does not like their seating position. All I am saying there is pick something you can comfortably drive for hours at a time. Then see what features are your most important. If you’re going rtt and a pile of gear make sure you have the carrying capacity for it. Good luck making your decision.
Here's my list to test drive
Tacoma TRD OR - I'm probably too tall to fit comfortably and frankly it's a not the best value
Colorado ZR2
Gladiator - Might not be ideal due to highway ride
Ranger FX4 - See above
Frontier Pro-4X when they 2022s drop
Ram 1500 Rebel
Trail Boss - Probably won't quite fit in my budget
F150 FX4 - Technically in my budget but it seems Ford nickle and dimes you so most of the inventory with FX4 is almost 60k
Might try also:
4runner, Yukon, Land Cruiser, Wrangler although I'm a bit partial to a truck

Anything that isn't comfortable can be remove with prejudice because spending 2 weeks with a back ache is not my idea of fun (big part of why I'm moving away from CR-V). Also, not in a huge rush to buy, but preferable by late summer.

One would think a physicists/engineer would wr


I'm with @bgenlvtex, you're heading for analysis paralysis...

You want someone to talk some reason into you when it sounds like you have made your mind up for Toyota. If you are going to apply
amorphous concerns like "predicted reliability," you are just creating reasons to steer you back to Toyota. They days of 5.7L hemi's sucking valves is gone man, they are getting to the 230+miles, same with my 6.4L... you're going to find issues in any vehicle, including Toyotas that were catastrophic, but not the average.

You're a smart man, maybe open up excel, list out some of the vehicles, what features they have, apply a logical form of numerical need to you and take the average, whatever vehicle scores the highest you should go with.




Maybe my story will help: I wanted a Taco TiRD bad, and in TiRD Brown!!! They look cool, high resell value, small and nimble for trails. But here in California they are crazy expensive (anywhere right!), and for what? You get somewhat better shocks, a rear locker, and minor skid plating. The TRD Pros here in cali are as much as a fullsize. So I started to look around, I found the Power Wagon, and dang, Front and Rear Lockers, E Disconnecting sway bar, Front and Rear coil springs, skid plating, all for the same price as a TRD Pro... At the time the Colorado ZR2 wasnt out nor the Gladiator, but those trail features are worth their weight to me. I love getting aggressive on the trails and the size hasn't been an issue! Now you said you weren't at that point so maybe it doesn't matter. Point is the features (that you want) versus price of what you get needs to be taking into account.

Toyotas are fantastic, and so are a lot of rigs. Best of luck!

View attachment 188890
That Ram is looking awesome! I think it's funny because I started this thread, frankly, the same as you, and I've come to similar conclusions about the Tacoma. I'm sure if I got it (assuming I'm not to tall) I'd be happy with it, but I'm also glad I asked and got more options from y'all. I know this is a difficult and slightly frustrating thread, but I really appreciate everybody's input! Also already got a spreadsheet going but I think I'm going to test drive and see what survives based on comfort.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neuvik

Mtnmn99

Rank II
Member
OB1

Traveler II

383
Murphys, California, USA
First Name
paul
Last Name
piazza
Member #

26596

I have owned several vehicles. Toyota trucks, Broncos, (80's Broncos and classic Broncos), Jeeps (CJ,YJ,JKU, Gladiator), Land Cruisers (FJ 60, and FJ40), Rovers (Discovery II and Range Rover) and full-Size Pick-Ups (2012 Dodge Power Wagon & Chevy). All have been set up for overland. This list is long and distinguished.

I am an outdoorsman. I do everything from Kayak, to cut wood. I haul stuff and tow a trailer. I enjoyed every vehicle I have owned. Some more than others. I highly recommend a mid-size truck. My current rig is a Gladiator Rubicon. I believe (for me) this is the best of both worlds. It is a great platform to build from. I did not have to add lockers, gears. I just put a small lift and tires a few other items that suit my hobbies and I was good to go. I can go top off like my top off like a jeep, but still the versatility of a truck. It works flawlessly for Overlanding. Pulls my overland trailer, my small toy hauler and my dump trailer. I can haul stuff for the wife, and use it as a nice rig when we go to dinner and still throw a kayak or two in it and go to the lake.

My specific answer to your question is think it through. Are you going to have multiple rigs for different uses? Is versatility important. What are you going to use it for. Do you want it built, or do you want to build it yourself?
 

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

263
Arlington, VA
First Name
Wade
Last Name
Duvall
Member #

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
Good budget to open the choices, obviously used but newer and low milage so plus, plus.

1/2 dirt bikes, sleep ready, says a trailer for the dirt bikes.
OR an SUV capalble of towing a toy hauler, tent trailer camper combo

View attachment 188848

But that will limit capability towing a trailer soo..... this is always about compromixe.....

Maybe short box with sleeper plus 2 bumper bike carriers ????

View attachment 188847

Who can tell me the date of ^^^^ that picture.......
Lol I guess I goofed, I meant a pedal bike! Not trying to load up a midsize with a RTT and a dirtbike. Edited my OP.
 

BensonSTW

Rank III

Enthusiast III

I love the Tahoe/ Yukon. I’ve used mine for several camping hunting and fishing trips. Bone stock it does everything I’ve ever wanted. It is probably the best rig I have ever owned for driving in the snow. It rides awesome and one of the most comfortable vehicles I have ever been in. The only thing I don’t like about it- if I put a hitch in it, don’t even have to hook up the trailer, I get like 10 miles to the gallon. Pulling my side by side I get about 100 miles for half a tank. Too high geared to run o/d on the freeway with an empty side by side trailer. Other than that it is an awesome rig.
 

DRAX

Rank II

Enthusiast II

366
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Ham Callsign
W9DRX
If the vehicle is going to be your daily driver and you live in an area that gets snow/ice during the winter, even just enough to cover part of the road, something that is really nice to have is full-time 4WD/4Auto. I know the Gladiator has this available with the V6 and 8-speed auto and the Colorado ZR2 also comes with it (as well as other Colorado trims and the sister truck the GMC Canyon), but not sure about the other mid-size trucks. I don't think they do, but I haven't checked. It should also be available with various full-size trucks.

I have 4Auto (full-time 4WD) with my Canyon and it makes winter driving a breeze, just set it and forget it. For long periods off-road you'd want to stick with 2WD or part-time 4WD (4H or 4L) simply because prolonged slippage between the front and rear axles can cause the clutch in the transfer case to overheat and the computer will disable 4WD until it cools down. This is something that would be most likely to happen in the sand, but really anywhere that you're on the throttle a lot and there's wheelspin you'd want to be in one of the non-automatic modes so the transfer case clutch doesn't get overworked.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nuclear_runner

SquishBang

Rank II

Enthusiast II

298
Washington, USA
First Name
JuicyJ
Last Name
Wiggler
You are totally overthinking this.
Forget predicted reliability and all that crap someone talks about something.
Everything will fail, break or stop working, it's just a matter of maintenance, bad luck and time.
Every truck will be to small for something or to big for something or someone, try to figure that out and you will spin like tire until you are worn down.
I have been a mostly Japanese car owner my entire life, had a few GMs that were a-ok for the most part.
I have NEVER had a serious issue with a Japanese vehicle in 29 years of driving (I understand some people have).
One day I decided to buy a 2016 GTI, brand new, because I thought a German car would be a nice change. In 3 years, it was in the shop 10 times, once for a new DSG transmission. It was such a great car I could almost forgive it! Despite being a great driving vehicle, it was very tedious experience, especially coming from my history of owning cars that never failed!

I wouldn't overstate that new vehicles are reliable enough. If someone wants a headache-free vehicle, I don't see any issue with them doting on reliability ratings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bgenlvtex