Trying to select the correct vehicle for first overland build

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The Roach ...

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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.

On the f250 I did the carli leveling suspension system and put on 35's. i lost about 1mpg on the highway and about 2mpg in town (due to rotational mass... and the fact I tuned the truck and the launch was fun)... I wouldn't take a stock f250 any place I took mine after the carli system and tires.
 

DRAX

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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.
Yeah, not sure. Might be able to look at some of the profiles for each vehicle and see if they provide more detailed vehicle info. My stock tires were 31s, I'm currently running 32s. Stock MPG was mentioned above (on the freeway was 27-28), after putting the larger tires on and removing the airdam I lost about 3MPG on the freeway. I just installed a tune (emissions-intact) but haven't run through a tank or two yet to get hand-calculated fuel economy numbers with it, but so far it seems like I've returned to at least my stock fuel economy, maybe better than stock but I'm not going to make any claims until I have been able to hand calculate a couple of tanks.

Pre-tune I recently did a day trip to a local-ish off-road park with a friend/co-worker, he has a JKU running 33s and a 1.5" lift and I'm stock suspension with 32s. I have a 21 gallon fuel tank, he has a 22.5 gallon tank. We both filled up before heading out, drove 125 miles to the park, spent about 4 hours on the trails, and then I drove 146 miles home (vs about 130 for my friend). By the time we each got home he was near empty and would need to get gas soon and I still had half a tank of fuel left.

During our most recent Colorado trip we spent a lot of time on various trails (Alpine Loop and surrounding trails/areas) as well as running on pavement a bit and had no problem going for days between fillups. That trip the truck had the bed loaded and RTT on the shell and the same 32" tires I have now.

Needless to say, I love my truck for what I do with it. It's not going to be the perfect truck for others since we all have different needs and wants, I'm just trying to relay my experience with it for anyone that may be thinking about buying a similar truck. After owning multiple Jeeps and rock crawling with most of them to varying degrees I actually wasn't expecting much in terms of off-road capability with this truck in comparison, however it continues to surprise and impress me across the board.
 

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Test driving the ZR2 (no Bisons available but the dealer says they can get one from another, distant store), maybe Canyon AT4, Jeep Gladiator Overland/Mojave and Ram 1500 Rebel tomorrow. Planning a second test drive day for the TRD OR (given its got over 1" less headroom than my CR-V and that's already close, it's probably a no, but I should still try), 4Runner OR, F-150 and Ranger FX4 (weirdly they only seem to have HD trucks with FX4/Tremor or maybe their online inventory is just wrong). Obviously sealed roads only, but since I'm gonna be hauling her cross country and daily driving (at least for a few years) it's going to be the most important aspect.
 

The Roach ...

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Test driving the ZR2 (no Bisons available but the dealer says they can get one from another, distant store), maybe Canyon AT4, Jeep Gladiator Overland/Mojave and Ram 1500 Rebel tomorrow. Planning a second test drive day for the TRD OR (given its got over 1" less headroom than my CR-V and that's already close, it's probably a no, but I should still try), 4Runner OR, F-150 and Ranger FX4 (weirdly they only seem to have HD trucks with FX4/Tremor or maybe their online inventory is just wrong). Obviously sealed roads only, but since I'm gonna be hauling her cross country and daily driving (at least for a few years) it's going to be the most important aspect.

If you can swing a F250 crew diesel with a tremor package... go for it.. then buy a tune from Calibrated power. 600HP.... 1200 Ft lbs torque. all emissions still on the truck. I miss the power of mine.. but I was ready for a change after daily driving a 3/4 ton truck for 10 years.... Ford, Ram, Ford....
 

DRAX

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Test driving the ZR2 (no Bisons available but the dealer says they can get one from another, distant store), maybe Canyon AT4, Jeep Gladiator Overland/Mojave and Ram 1500 Rebel tomorrow.
Well?! It's been a couple of days, how did the first round go? :)
 

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Well?! It's been a couple of days, how did the first round go? :)
Sorry did my test drives Monday after work and was pretty beat after. Here's my summary:

First I drove the ZR2. I was pretty impressed impressed with how it drove on the highway, honestly better than my '04 CR-V. Obviously it wasn't a sports car but overall very please. I was comfortable enough, no headroom issues with a hat, and the view out the front was good despite my height. Interior was fine, not stunning but I also don't really care. Only real interior miss is no push-button ignition. Definitely not a dealbreaker. It seems to have adaptive cruise but not lane assist or blindspot alert. Looking back at my list it checks all my boxes with potential debate around reliability and maint cost. With the exception of CR (which, I realize, isn't a great source) it seems pretty well liked outside of the 2014/15 years (I understand these issues and they've now mostly been resolved). So yeah it's a contender.

Next I drove the Gladiator Mojave. The Overland had already been bought so I couldn't drive her (probably not what I'm looking for anyway). Definitely didn't drive as nice as the ZR2, handled a bit more like a fullsize, but honestly not terrible. I did notice the solid axle wandering a little bit but the lady at the Jeep dealership let me hop on the highway for a few miles and I didn't have any issues. Seat was fine, since I'm tall visibility out the front wasn't ideal. Interior is fine, a bit more modern features than the ZR2. Roof is my biggest concern, and the fact that the FCA fleets are extremely loaded. They had one soft top that was 47k but the next cheapest Mojave was almost 60k. Yikes.

Next I drove the Ram 1500 Rebel. Handles pretty well, definitely a boat. Interior is honestly a bit much for my taste, not a deal breaker. But I have some pretty big concerns about having a full size while living in the city. Similar problem to the jeep where the MSRP is reasonable but they're all 70k with all the options.

Finally, I decided to swing by the Toyota dealership. Test drove the mythical TRD OR DCLB just because they had one. Was loaded up with a ton of aftermarket extras to the tune of 56k OTD but what the hell. I did fit at 6'3" but it wasn't great, had to lower the seat a bit which kind of put my legs up in my lap. Handling was a little bit better than the Jeep but the acceleration was really pretty lame, worse than any other truck I drove including the FS. Also nose dived noticeable when breaking. For the bone stock DCSB TRD OR, they were asking above MSPR, plus it would need at least the factory lift and some AT tires at a minimum to get me going. So the value really isn't there. Plus they seem to be having almost as many issues as the other midsized trucks.

So I guess right now the contenders are the ZR2 and the Mojave Gladiator. I still am considering waiting for the 2022 Frontier and I guess still need to drive the Ford offerings.
 
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DRAX

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Thanks for the update! I know a lot of folks like to claim "mid-size trucks are barely smaller than full-size these days" and while that may be true on paper, those differences are noticeable in the real world. Driving my wife's cousins F-150 SuperCrew with the 6.5' bed was nothing like maneuvering my GMC Canyon crew cab long bed. Not as nimble on the trails, not as easy to park, etc. It was noticeable enough that it quickly reminded me why I didn't buy another full-size back in 2017 and wouldn't buy a full-size today if given the option. Wide open desert? Not a problem. Colorado trails, daily driving, city parking/parking lots? That gets old fast. My Canyon is my first mid-size truck, before that I'd owned an F-250 standard cab, Ram 2500 Club Cab, Nissan Titan, Silverado 2500 Crew Cab, and Ram 3500 MegaCab. I've run the gamut of full-size trucks and none of them were as pleasant to live with as my Canyon.

The full-size that was closest in size to my Canyon was the Titan. The Titan was actually half an inch shorter overall with a wheelbase 0.7 inches shorter but it was 5 inches wider. That 5 inches makes a difference. The turning radius of my Canyon is 20 feet, the Titan is 22.5-23 feet. That's an extra 5-6 feet of room that is needed to make a u-turn.

Not trying to say full-size are bad and nobody should buy them, I just roll my eyes a bit when I see people asking for input on mid-size trucks and folks chime in saying to go full-size because they're "nearly the same size." Those comments make me think they haven't actually driven a mid-size truck to know how different they really are. :)

Anyway, have fun with your test drives! I'm sure you'll find the right truck for you, just hope you don't end up mashing them together and forgetting which had or did what. I've had that problem when looking at a bunch of vehicles in a short period of time.
 
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nuclear_runner

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Anyway, have fun with your test drives! I'm sure you'll find the right truck for you, just hope you don't end up mashing them together and forgetting which had or did what. I've had that problem when looking at a bunch of vehicles in a short period of time.
I've been taking notes in my notebook :grinning:

Dealerships in the city are out of their minds so I'm starting inquiries slightly out of town.
 
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bgenlvtex

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If you have time, you can order exactly the truck you want and it will be cheaper than buying one off of the lot.

I downsized from a crew cab dually to a 2500 crew cab with a 6.4' bed. The difference in driving the 2500 and the Gladiator are negligible, I don't however live in the midst of the hive.

ETA : as a point of reference before I bought the Gladiator I drove a ZR2 Bison and was going to drive a Tacoma. I didn't drive the Tacoma because when I got in it it was apparent that it wasn't going to work (I'm 6'6). I liked the Bison but found visibility over the hood generally poor, and same out of the rear quarters, the window line is very high in those trucks. I dq'ed the Bison purely on that concern.
 
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wlson1970

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Hey there - sounds like you‘ve been bitten - welcome to the club! I strongly recommend you read this post I made recently about how to document requirements, then edit your original post with a little more information. As it stands, this raises more questions than anything; better quality information on what you need your vehicle to do, how much you’re willing to spend, whether or not it’s going to be a daily driver, how long you want to spend in it at any point in time, where you intend to drive it etc etc all ensure that the community can best support you. We all have a lot of informed opinions, but whether or not they‘re relevant to you is hard to know without some more information.
"bitten" is the mild word, head deep into madness. but well pointed out into how it will go
 

wlson1970

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what ever you chose get a good mechanic to look it over. nothing worse than something mechanical popping up right off the bat. good luck on whatever you choose. you wont regret any choice after you look out of tent facing a sunset coming up over your camp site.
 

nuclear_runner

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what ever you chose get a good mechanic to look it over. nothing worse than something mechanical popping up right off the bat. good luck on whatever you choose. you wont regret any choice after you look out of tent facing a sunset coming up over your camp site.
You're goddamn right! Also, who's excited for the follow up thread: 'Trying to select the correct RTT for first overland build' :sweatsmile:
 

DRAX

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what ever you chose get a good mechanic to look it over. nothing worse than something mechanical popping up right off the bat. good luck on whatever you choose. you wont regret any choice after you look out of tent facing a sunset coming up over your camp site.
You're goddamn right! Also, who's excited for the follow up thread: 'Trying to select the correct RTT for first overland build' :sweatsmile:
Well, except that "new" was one of your requirements so there's nothing to look over and you have a warranty for anything that does pop-up down the road. Used, sure, definitely have it checked over. New, there's not much to do except make sure there's no cosmetic issues or damage before you drive it off the lot as once that is done it can be hard to get such things repaired under warranty since they could easily say you caused it.
 

wlson1970

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what ever you chose get a good mechanic to look it over. nothing worse than something mechanical popping up right off the bat. good luck on whatever you choose. you wont regret any choice after you look out of tent facing a sunset coming up over your camp site.
You're goddamn right! Also, who's excited for the follow up thread: 'Trying to select the correct RTT for first overland build' :sweatsmile:
Well, except that "new" was one of your requirements so there's nothing to look over and you have a warranty for anything that does pop-up down the road. Used, sure, definitely have it checked over. New, there's not much to do except make sure there's no cosmetic issues or damage before you drive it off the lot as once that is done it can be hard to get such things repaired under warranty since they could easily say you caused it.
there is if they put after market stufd on. do you trust the dealership to make sure all the nolts are tight or even there? always the little things that get looked over. news nice.
 

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Well, except that "new" was one of your requirements so there's nothing to look over and you have a warranty for anything that does pop-up down the road. Used, sure, definitely have it checked over. New, there's not much to do except make sure there's no cosmetic issues or damage before you drive it off the lot as once that is done it can be hard to get such things repaired under warranty since they could easily say you caused it.
I've seen people with the ZR2s have a tiny bit of paint damage from when the bed accidentally hits the cab during install. Obviously I'll check on that during the test drive.

Getting pretty close to pulling the ZR2 Bison trigger. The road ride is just so sweet given how capable it is off road (honestly more truck than I need off the bat but at least I won't drop a fortune on aftermarking trying to take it to Canyonlands in the semi-distant future). The only downside is the lack of adaptive cruise and to a lesser extent blindspot. I'll also consider the limited visibility when I test drive again, but I'm a bit shorter than bgenlvtex and didn't particularly notice (except over the hood ofc). Also slightly sad to give up my super convenient sleep platform but the RTT seems to be a decent compromise.
 
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there is if they put after market stufd on. do you trust the dealership to make sure all the nolts are tight or even there? always the little things that get looked over. news nice.
Two of the dealers, Jeep and Toyota, 'partnered' with local 4x4 specialist to trick out some of the vehicles and that I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw it. Seemed like +$20k for a bumper, winch, and rims.
 

DRAX

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there is if they put after market stufd on. do you trust the dealership to make sure all the nolts are tight or even there? always the little things that get looked over. news nice.
If the dealer had them installed then the dealer is responsible for the install. There is no need to pay someone to look over a brand new vehicle for mechanical issues. I also would never buy a modified vehicle, new or used, because the majority of time the install wasn't done correctly (Not loose stuff, just bad install, bad adjustments, crap parts, etc) or the stuff is crap or the vehicle was likely abused (depending on the mods). Buyer beware. If you think you have to double-check someone's work before buying a new vehicle then you shouldn't be buying that vehicle since out of the gate you're expecting there to be problems. Just avoid those problems altogether and save yourself some money at the same time by not buying a non-factory vehicle. ;)
 

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If you don't trust that aev knows how to tighten bolts then you've got much bigger issues. The factory isn't who makes the bison, they make a zr2 then send it to aev where they do nothing but put armor and a optional snorkel on. There isn't any internal engine modifications going on so really nothing would be any less reliable than a brand new off the lot zr2.
 

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Sorry did my test drives Monday after work and was pretty beat after. Here's my summary:

First I drove the ZR2. I was pretty impressed impressed with how it drove on the highway, honestly better than my '04 CR-V. Obviously it wasn't a sports car but overall very please. I was comfortable enough, no headroom issues with a hat, and the view out the front was good despite my height. Interior was fine, not stunning but I also don't really care. Only real interior miss is no push-button ignition. Definitely not a dealbreaker. It seems to have adaptive cruise but not lane assist or blindspot alert. Looking back at my list it checks all my boxes with potential debate around reliability and maint cost. With the exception of CR (which, I realize, isn't a great source) it seems pretty well liked outside of the 2014/15 years (I understand these issues and they've now mostly been resolved). So yeah it's a contender.

Next I drove the Gladiator Mojave. The Overland had already been bought so I couldn't drive her (probably not what I'm looking for anyway). Definitely didn't drive as nice as the ZR2, handled a bit more like a fullsize, but honestly not terrible. I did notice the solid axle wandering a little bit but the lady at the Jeep dealership let me hop on the highway for a few miles and I didn't have any issues. Seat was fine, since I'm tall visibility out the front wasn't ideal. Interior is fine, a bit more modern features than the ZR2. Roof is my biggest concern, and the fact that the FCA fleets are extremely loaded. They had one soft top that was 47k but the next cheapest Mojave was almost 60k. Yikes.

Next I drove the Ram 1500 Rebel. Handles pretty well, definitely a boat. Interior is honestly a bit much for my taste, not a deal breaker. But I have some pretty big concerns about having a full size while living in the city. Similar problem to the jeep where the MSRP is reasonable but they're all 70k with all the options.

Finally, I decided to swing by the Toyota dealership. Test drove the mythical TRD OR DCLB just because they had one. Was loaded up with a ton of aftermarket extras to the tune of 56k OTD but what the hell. I did fit at 6'3" but it wasn't great, had to lower the seat a bit which kind of put my legs up in my lap. Handling was a little bit better than the Jeep but the acceleration was really pretty lame, worse than any other truck I drove including the FS. Also nose dived noticeable when breaking. For the bone stock DCSB TRD OR, they were asking above MSPR, plus it would need at least the factory lift and some AT tires at a minimum to get me going. So the value really isn't there. Plus they seem to be having almost as many issues as the other midsized trucks.

So I guess right now the contenders are the ZR2 and the Mojave Gladiator. I still am considering waiting for the 2022 Frontier and I guess still need to drive the Ford offerings.

Sheesh. Now I don't feel so bad about spending $38,000 on my F250 fx4, ccsb.
 

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If you don't trust that aev knows how to tighten bolts then you've got much bigger issues. The factory isn't who makes the bison, they make a zr2 then send it to aev where they do nothing but put armor and a optional snorkel on. There isn't any internal engine modifications going on so really nothing would be any less reliable than a brand new off the lot zr2.
I absolutely trust GM/AEV. Just not local builders (without a lot more research).
 
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