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

bgenlvtex

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

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

19382

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.
I was a dyed in the wool VW guy.

VW and Bosch broke me of that, never, ever, again.

Were I to accurately articulate the degree of unmitigated hate I have for Bosch electrical components and Volkswagen, I would surely be banned from this site for all of eternity. I hope each and every one of their designers and engineers fingers punch through the toilet paper every time they wipe their bung for the remainder of their lives and afterlife should that happen to apply.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SquishBang

The Roach ...

Rank III
Member
OB1

Traveler I

646
Frisco, TX, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
V
Member #

25749

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

what kind of fuel economy are you getting in the PW??? I've heard all different kinds of numbers.
 

bgenlvtex

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

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

19382

Oh it's abysmal.

12 smiles per gallon.
You will pass the initial survey for entrance to heaven for not lying about fuel mileage.

Most of the mid-size trucks with gas engines will be in the mid teens off the showroom floor, and half tons the same or a little better.

When you put those mid size or SUVs like a Wrangler or 4R in full momma opposum mode for "overlanding" they are also going to be in the 10-12's.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neuvik

Neuvik

Rank II
Member
OB1

Contributor III

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

27488

You will pass the initial survey for entrance to heaven for not lying about fuel mileage.

Most of the mid-size trucks with gas engines will be in the mid teens off the showroom floor, and half tons the same or a little better.

When you put those mid size or SUVs like a Wrangler or 4R in full momma opposum mode for "overlanding" they are also going to be in the 10-12's.
I shall ride to Valhalla shiny and chrome!

The Power Wagon is a hog on fuel but a warthog on the trail. Its ugly, big, and I often get told on the trail I won't make it, and it crawls right over the doubters. Not much will stop her, and that's what I bought it for. It's solely used to getting to trails and up them. I regeared 5.13s, nothing but M/Ts, and I'm about to cut the front rocker panel for 40s.

Honestly may even twin stick for front digs...but the Rubicon wasn't an issue. Swamp lake me get me in the pinch turn, won't know until I try.

7630.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: DevilDodge

bgenlvtex

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

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

19382

I shall ride to Valhalla shiny and chrome!

The Power Wagon is a hog on fuel but a warthog on the trail. Its ugly, big, and I often get told on the trail I won't make it, and it crawls right over the doubters. Not much will stop her, and that's what I bought it for. It's solely used to getting to trails and up them. I regeared 5.13s, nothing but M/Ts, and I'm about to cut the front rocker panel for 40s.

Honestly may even twin stick for front digs...but the Rubicon wasn't an issue. Swamp lake me get me in the pinch turn, won't know until I try.

View attachment 189176
LOL, press on regardless!

I daily drive a Ram 2500 6.4l 4x4 with 3.73's and the factory (32") tires. Stays in the 13's in mixed urban/rural and 16-17 on the highway under 75mph.

I ordered a Tradesman PW in December that is supposed to ship on 3/8 . I'll see how it does on 35's with 4.10's before I do anything, I'm expecting fuel consumption to be similar to my existing truck. I also have a Gladiator that stays in the 15's around town but has no real significant weight additions while doing that (35's and 4.10's)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neuvik

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 will pass the initial survey for entrance to heaven for not lying about fuel mileage.

Most of the mid-size trucks with gas engines will be in the mid teens off the showroom floor, and half tons the same or a little better.

When you put those mid size or SUVs like a Wrangler or 4R in full momma opposum mode for "overlanding" they are also going to be in the 10-12's.
Still baffles me how midsized do worse than full size in some cases. I guess the F-150 (for example) has that 10spd trans which helps quite a bit...
 
  • Like
Reactions: bgenlvtex

bgenlvtex

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

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

19382

Still baffles me how midsized do worse than full size in some cases. I guess the F-150 (for example) has that 10spd trans which helps quite a bit...
Horsepower to weight ratio I would guess.

It doesn't really matter how many gears they have it is entirely a matter of engine management.

And mid size really aren't much smaller or lighter than a full size half ton. When you step into the HD trucks they pack on quite a bit more weight in the components
 

SquishBang

Rank II

Enthusiast II

298
Washington, USA
First Name
JuicyJ
Last Name
Wiggler
Many mid size trucks don't receive as much development as the more lucrative full size trucks.
The Ranger was nearly a decade old before being sold here.
The Tacoma really hasn't been "new" since the early 2000's, despite getting a Camry motor, and even then it shows that Toyota may be resting on it's laurels with that truck....
The Frontier is ancient. Even the new Frontier is not much more than a re-skinned old Frontier.

Meanwhile, FS trucks get aluminum bodies, 10 speed autos, smaller displacement turbo engines, cylinder deactivation, much more development.
 

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

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

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
Horsepower to weight ratio I would guess.

It doesn't really matter how many gears they have it is entirely a matter of engine management.

And mid size really aren't much smaller or lighter than a full size half ton. When you step into the HD trucks they pack on quite a bit more weight in the components
I also think the cross section of the midsize is almost the same as the half ton so you don't lose much that way when bumping up one. Plus by the time you add a 1-2" lift is generally bad for aerodynamics.
 

DRAX

Rank II

Enthusiast II

366
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Ham Callsign
W9DRX
You will pass the initial survey for entrance to heaven for not lying about fuel mileage.

Most of the mid-size trucks with gas engines will be in the mid teens off the showroom floor, and half tons the same or a little better.

When you put those mid size or SUVs like a Wrangler or 4R in full momma opposum mode for "overlanding" they are also going to be in the 10-12's.
Depends on the mid-size truck, some are much thirstier than others. If you want to get some "real world" data then check out the fuel economy logged on fuelly.com.

Colorado V6 ~20MPG average - Chevrolet Colorado MPG - Actual MPG from 182 Chevrolet Colorado owners
Colorado diesel ~24MPG average - Chevrolet Colorado MPG - Actual MPG from 146 Chevrolet Colorado owners
Ford Ranger ~20MPG average - Ford Ranger MPG - Actual MPG from 677 Ford Ranger owners
Jeep Gladiator gas V6 ~16MPG average - Jeep Gladiator MPG - Actual MPG from 107 Jeep Gladiator owners
Jeep GLadiator diesel ~20MPG average - Jeep Gladiator MPG - Actual MPG from 4 Jeep Gladiator owners
Nissan Frontier 4.0L ~17MPG - Nissan Frontier MPG - Actual MPG from 1,116 Nissan Frontier owners
Nissan Frontier 3.8L ~17MPG - Nissan Frontier MPG - Actual MPG from 11 Nissan Frontier owners
Toyota Tacoma 3.5L ~18MPG - Toyota Tacoma MPG - Actual MPG from 1,940 Toyota Tacoma owners

So while there are SOME mid-size trucks that are in the mid-teens on average not all of them are, and to say that once they're loaded for overlanding (no trailer) you'll be getting 10-12MPG that may be true for SOME of them, that is not the case for all of them. Can't lump them all together.

My Canyon with the Duramax averages 20MPG with the RTT on the shell, the bed loaded with gear, and 3-4 people in the cab. No RTT and a combination of freeway, city, and country driving I average 24-25MPG. Freeway-only I get 27-28MPG. For long road trips I can get 600 miles per tank if I push it (which I don't). Truck has a 21 gallon tank. A 600-mile range works out to 28MPG or just over.

The only time my fuel economy ever got anywhere near 15mpg or lower was when towing a 5,000LB, 10ft tall, 8.5ft wide travel trailer with a nearly vertical nose. Towing that at 62MPH I'd get 12-14MPG.

But, diesel isn't for everyone. I'd just be careful when lumping mid-size truck fuel economy in with full-size trucks, often times they really aren't that close. Even when comparing gas versions.

20191228_035155293_iOS.jpg
 

SquishBang

Rank II

Enthusiast II

298
Washington, USA
First Name
JuicyJ
Last Name
Wiggler
So while there are SOME mid-size trucks that are in the mid-teens on average not all of them are, and to say that once they're loaded for overlanding (no trailer) you'll be getting 10-12MPG that may be true for SOME of them, that is not the case for all of them. Can't lump them all together.
Most nearly all gas-powered trucks share one thing in common: their MPGs when loaded and/or towing actually do all begin to be about the same.

Modern gas trucks have fairly wide differences in unladen MPGs, but the moment you put a load on them, they all begin to be about the same.
If I compare my 14/17 MPG Titan when towing to a brand-new F-150 Powerboost Hybrid which is rated 24/24, when both trucks are saddled with a 6K pound boxy trailer they suddenly both get about 12MPG. Get them to 9K pounds and they both get about 9MPG. (This is where diesels are obviously better for MPG considerations).
Of course the 2021 F-150 would be a better MPG choice if you frequently drive unladen, but if someone were to kit it out with all kinds of gear like a RTT, bed management system, doo-dads, lift kit, different bumpers and leave all of that stuff on all the time, they'd hardly be any better off than driving a similarly equipped king of all gas-guzzlers....Tundra.
If the truck to be considered will be spending most of it's time in a modified and/or laden condition, MPGs are far less important as they'll all be pretty much the same.
And then if it matters that much, it may be time to consider the diesel options, which unfortunately, may not make much economic sense depending on the vehicle and it's additional diesel option costs.
 

DRAX

Rank II

Enthusiast II

366
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Ham Callsign
W9DRX
Most nearly all gas-powered trucks share one thing in common: their MPGs when loaded and/or towing actually do all begin to be about the same.

Modern gas trucks have fairly wide differences in unladen MPGs, but the moment you put a load on them, they all begin to be about the same.
If I compare my 14/17 MPG Titan when towing to a brand-new F-150 Powerboost Hybrid which is rated 24/24, when both trucks are saddled with a 6K pound boxy trailer they suddenly both get about 12MPG. Get them to 9K pounds and they both get about 9MPG. (This is where diesels are obviously better for MPG considerations).
Of course the 2021 F-150 would be a better MPG choice if you frequently drive unladen, but if someone were to kit it out with all kinds of gear like a RTT, bed management system, doo-dads, lift kit, different bumpers and leave all of that stuff on all the time, they'd hardly be any better off than driving a similarly equipped king of all gas-guzzlers....Tundra.
If the truck to be considered will be spending most of it's time in a modified and/or laden condition, MPGs are far less important as they'll all be pretty much the same.
And then if it matters that much, it may be time to consider the diesel options, which unfortunately, may not make much economic sense depending on the vehicle and it's additional diesel option costs.
Something you may not be understanding is that it's not the weight that kills fuel economy but the wind resistance when towing or with gear on the roof. Towing a parachute of a trailer is nothing like having the bed of the truck loaded up with gear, not even close. I've had gas and diesel trucks and SUVs, I've hauled and towed with them, from utility trailers, to car haulers, to horse trailers, PWCs, boats, and travel trailers. I've had them loaded to near GVWR while not towing anything.

You cannot compare towing fuel economy to fuel economy with a loaded vehicle that has little to no increased wind resistance. The weight will make a difference in fuel economy when accelerating and can have an impact when going up grades, but it is nothing like towing a trailer, especially a boxy trailer. Not even close. It's apples and elephants.

If you think a truck loaded with people, gear, and an RTT is going to get the same fuel economy as the same truck towing a 6,000LB box or travel trailer you're sorely mistaken. Doesn't matter if it's gas or diesel. If my truck loaded to GVWR with an RTT on top got the same fuel economy as when towing the 5,000LB travel trailer then it would be getting 10-12MPG because I'd be cruising at 70-75MPH, something I wouldn't do with the trailer. Alas, that's not what it gets. I get 20MPG on the freeway loaded to GVWR with the RTT on top of my shell and the cruise set to 75MPH. Without, as I mentioned, I get 27-28MPG. And when towing the travel trailer at 62-65 MPH I would get 12-14MPG.

You're making assumptions that don't match reality. Similarly, you're comparing a kitted out Powerboost F-150 to a stock Tundra that averages 13-14MPG *stock*? Again, that's not a valid comparison. Outfit both trucks the same, the F-150 will get better fuel economy than the Tundra (again not towing 6,000+LB) because it's a more efficient powertrain to begin with.

Physics is a bitch and so is wind resistance compared to weight. It's easy to prove, too. Tow a 6,000LB travel trailer and then tow a 6,000LB open utility trailer. The fuel economy will be very different even though the weight is the same. This is also why truck and trailer manufacturers are so focused on making them more aerodynamic. When up to speed, wind resistance, not weight, is what accounts for the majority of energy losses (fuel consumption). This is why improving aerodynamics is the primary focus rather than weight reduction. An RTT does not create the same amount of wind resistance as a trailer with a 10x8.5 nose plowing through the wind.
 

SquishBang

Rank II

Enthusiast II

298
Washington, USA
First Name
JuicyJ
Last Name
Wiggler
Something you may not be understanding

You cannot compare towing fuel economy to fuel economy with a loaded vehicle that has little to no increased wind resistance.

If you think a truck loaded with people, gear, and an RTT is going to get the same fuel economy as the same truck towing a 6,000LB box or travel trailer you're sorely mistaken.

You're making assumptions that don't match reality.

Physics is a bitch and so is wind resistance compared to weight. It's easy to prove, too. Tow a 6,000LB travel trailer and then tow a 6,000LB open utility trailer. The fuel economy will be very different even though the weight is the same. This is also why truck and trailer manufacturers are so focused on making them more aerodynamic. When up to speed, wind resistance, not weight, is what accounts for the majority of energy losses (fuel consumption). This is why improving aerodynamics is the primary focus rather than weight reduction. An RTT does not create the same amount of wind resistance as a trailer with a 10x8.5 nose plowing through the wind.
Wow, a bristling response! I don't "understand"? I "think"? I am making "assumptions"?? I am "sorely mistaken"??

We've been towing a 4K boat for years with my gas-guzzling Titan. The Titan will do 17MPG unladen on a road trip (it has a heavy LEER cap, KO2's not good for MPGs) and with the boat behind it 16MPG (almost all hwy). I know the difference between a boat and a box trailer. That is why I made the distinction. I have always felt that when my truck is unladen, it is a gas hog. When we are towing, it begins to become competitive. The F-150 Powerboost gets knocked right down to the mid-teens when towing a boat also. Because the tricks it uses to get MPGs are not enough. I have even towed the boat AND had a DRZ400 and Yamaha Quad in the bed (prior to the LEER cap) and was able to get 14MPG (almost all hwy).
 

DRAX

Rank II

Enthusiast II

366
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Ham Callsign
W9DRX
Wow, a bristling response! I don't "understand"? I "think"? I am making "assumptions"?? I am "sorely mistaken"??

We've been towing a 4K boat for years with my gas-guzzling Titan. The Titan will do 17MPG unladen on a road trip (it has a heavy LEER cap, KO2's not good for MPGs) and with the boat behind it 16MPG (almost all hwy). I know the difference between a boat and a box trailer. That is why I made the distinction. I have always felt that when my truck is unladen, it is a gas hog. When we are towing, it begins to become competitive. The F-150 Powerboost gets knocked right down to the mid-teens when towing a boat also. Because the tricks it uses to get MPGs are not enough. I have even towed the boat AND had a DRZ400 and Yamaha Quad in the bed (prior to the LEER cap) and was able to get 14MPG (almost all hwy).
The problem is you were trying to compare trucks towing trailers with trucks loaded with gear but NOT towing. Invalid comparison. I also owned a Titan (2005 Crew Cab SE 4WD). With a SnugTop shell. Towed both a 21' offshore boat and a travel trailer. I'd average 15-17mpg empty, towing the boat I'd get around 12-13, and towing the travel trailer I'd get 8-9. I'd be stopping every 150-160 miles to fill the tank while towing the travel trailer, it was awful.

If you want to compare trucks that are towing things that's fine, but your statement that a truck loaded with gear for overlanding will have the same or similar fuel economy as towing a trailer is simply false. Comparing trucks that are towing something isn't so cut and dried either. Yes, the margin of difference shrinks and in some cases there is no margin but there are a number of factors that affect that and not all vehicles end up the same when towing the same load. TFL (yeah, yeah) compiled towing fuel economy results across a lot of full-size and some mid-size trucks. For the half-tons the trailer/weight was the same. The Tundra got less than 8mpg on their loop while the Ford with the 5.0 V8 got a full 2MPG better. That may not sound like much, but that's over 25% better fuel economy with the Ford V8 vs the Tundra V8 when towing the same load.

A Silverado with the 6.2L (not the smaller 5.3!) towing the same trailer and load got 2.8MPG better than the Tundra or nearly 36% better fuel economy.

If 25-36% better doesn't matter to you...well, ok. But you can't ignore it and say all the trucks are the same. They're not.

Take care.
 

The Roach ...

Rank III
Member
OB1

Traveler I

646
Frisco, TX, USA
First Name
Steve
Last Name
V
Member #

25749

if you are towing.. you should be towing with a diesel. torque is what is required. even then.. a box trailer is a brick. a wedge nose 28 car hauler... aluminum... vs. a flat nose 28 car hauler... aluminum. same truck... same car inside. trailers weighed 250 lbs different with the wedge being the heavier. Truck got 12-16 with the wedge ... 8-10 with the flat nose. same truck... unladened ... 18-20 on highway. with rtt (below cab height)/ and fully loaded with gear. 16-17 mpg. i get the point.. there is a break even... aka break over. but load is load in most areas. drag is a bitch. but so is rolling resistance... wind... tire pressure... etc.

functionally, the taco's running gears get horrible fuel economy.. and my f250 crew diesel got better... carried more gear... but was harder on the trail.. and people were shocked to see the pig coming up a mountain over boulders. there will NEVER be a 30 mpg overlander.. unless its diesel electric. based upon just drag and rolling resistance alone.
 

Billiebob

Rank V
Member

Traveler II

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

18893

Depends on the mid-size truck, some are much thirstier than others. If you want to get some "real world" data then check out the fuel economy logged on fuelly.com.

Colorado V6 ~20MPG average - Chevrolet Colorado MPG - Actual MPG from 182 Chevrolet Colorado owners
Colorado diesel ~24MPG average - Chevrolet Colorado MPG - Actual MPG from 146 Chevrolet Colorado owners
Ford Ranger ~20MPG average - Ford Ranger MPG - Actual MPG from 677 Ford Ranger owners
Jeep Gladiator gas V6 ~16MPG average - Jeep Gladiator MPG - Actual MPG from 107 Jeep Gladiator owners
Jeep GLadiator diesel ~20MPG average - Jeep Gladiator MPG - Actual MPG from 4 Jeep Gladiator owners
Nissan Frontier 4.0L ~17MPG - Nissan Frontier MPG - Actual MPG from 1,116 Nissan Frontier owners
Nissan Frontier 3.8L ~17MPG - Nissan Frontier MPG - Actual MPG from 11 Nissan Frontier owners
Toyota Tacoma 3.5L ~18MPG - Toyota Tacoma MPG - Actual MPG from 1,940 Toyota Tacoma owners

So while there are SOME mid-size trucks that are in the mid-teens on average not all of them are, and to say that once they're loaded for overlanding (no trailer) you'll be getting 10-12MPG that may be true for SOME of them, that is not the case for all of them. Can't lump them all together.

My Canyon with the Duramax averages 20MPG with the RTT on the shell, the bed loaded with gear, and 3-4 people in the cab. No RTT and a combination of freeway, city, and country driving I average 24-25MPG. Freeway-only I get 27-28MPG. For long road trips I can get 600 miles per tank if I push it (which I don't). Truck has a 21 gallon tank. A 600-mile range works out to 28MPG or just over.

The only time my fuel economy ever got anywhere near 15mpg or lower was when towing a 5,000LB, 10ft tall, 8.5ft wide travel trailer with a nearly vertical nose. Towing that at 62MPH I'd get 12-14MPG.

But, diesel isn't for everyone. I'd just be careful when lumping mid-size truck fuel economy in with full-size trucks, often times they really aren't that close. Even when comparing gas versions.

View attachment 189218
What I want to know is of those surveyed how many were running stock tires and suspension cuz in my experience lifts and 33s, 35s, 37s are the worst things you can do to range, fuel economy. STOCK most 4x4s are pretty reasonable today.
 

nuclear_runner

Rank I
Member
OB1

Off-Road Ranger I

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

26746

Ham Callsign
KK4DZZ
It's all moot anyway because I'm not going to tow! I think the ZR2 Bison gas is 18/16 which is probably pretty normal for 33s, lifted, with armor. Or a stock Tacoma TRD OR :sweatsmile:
 
  • Like
Reactions: DRAX and Neuvik