Vehicle / Platform choices???

Darryl

Adventurist
#1
I am having a hard time with trying to decide on a platform??? I thought I would send this out and get some differing feedback as I am stuck in a repeating cycle of which option is right for my family. Believe me I say all the time, doesn't matter just get out more! Except, I just want the "right" set up. Yes OCD!!!! And, I can't have multiple platforms.

I live in Colorado and tend to stay within the state for most of my camping trips, annually to Moab. I have a young son (6) and my wife who enjoys going camping a few times per year. My use would be to do weekend trips, exploring, fishing, hunting, mild wheeling.

I currently have a mildly built 200 series Land Cruiser, lift, roof rack, wheels & tires, sliders, AA decals, just no aftermarket bumpers. Here are the options I am kicking around.

1- Build out the Cruiser add Alu-cab tent.
2- Leave the Cruiser as is, add XVenture XV trailer and custom build a different rack / topper and an Alu-cab tent.
3- Buy the fully restored 1993 70 series Troop Carrier that will be coming into the US in a few weeks, and add the Alu-cab Hercules top to it and build out the interior.
4- Ram 2500 with a Hallmark pop up camper. Would probably want a side by side with this set up?

If I could afford both I would keep the 200 and add the Troopy. The troopy is going to be priced high enough that it's not possible.

Thought it would be interesting to hear back from the group. Thanks and go easy on me!!!
 
#3
Heh, yeah that repeating cycle seems a common thread. The idea that there is one perfect vehicle that will do everything - rugged enough for your roughest trail, with enough capacity for the most people and gear you're likely to carry, narrow enough for trails, with enough clearance for obstacles, economical enough that it can be driven every day, etc... it's an appealing mental exercise.

After an embarrassing number of trucks and Jeeps (and campers and motorcycles) in the last 10 years, the only things I've learned is that they're all fun as Hell and that I'm a moron.

The answer might really be as simple as it just doesn't matter.
 
#5
Is there a reason to ditch what you have? That is a desirable vehicle overall but not for everyone. You already have it though, which is a huge part of the equation.

#1 What's to build? Do you need the things that you are thinking and what are they (armor, recovery, light, storage, etc)? You already stated that it has AA decals, so you are ahead of the curve, but a snorkel is still missing.

#2 If you need anything from above, they will still need to happen here regardless of a trailer.

#3 I want! Is this also your DD though? Not sure I would give up a 200 for a 70 Troopy for regular use. Pay attention to speed limit signs and know that they will become speed goals if you do this.

#4 Welcome to a whole new genre. What you define as mild wheeling from option 1 will be very different here.

Analysis paralysis tie breaker: Run what ya brung, change what you need, have fun with it.

My 2 cents because you asked, and keep the change. Where's that popcorn?
 
#6
You didn't say what your current mileage is, nor how many miles you tend to drive a year. Has it been rock-solid reliable? These are all factors I would want to know before offering you an absolutely money-back-guaranteed bit of free advice.
 

Dave

Adventurist
Founder
Senior Staff
Editor
#7
You didn't say what your current mileage is, nor how many miles you tend to drive a year. Has it been rock-solid reliable? These are all factors I would want to know before offering you an absolutely money-back-guaranteed bit of free advice.
Very important consideration!
 

Al Swope

Adventurist
Founding Member
#8
I vote #4. A comfortable, ultra road worthy truck and a popup will be good for the wife and kids. The SXS give you off road fun with worry of "how will I get home" when i bust this truck. Instead of trying cram all activity into one platform and not doing any of it well, you spread the work among 3 platforms. Truck, popup, and SXS. Roll into Moab in style. You can pick the colors

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Code Red

Adventurist
#9
The Ram will be the most comfortable and practical. You won't hesitate to go on long trips. The ability to painlessly cover road miles will open up a lot more options for destinations. You will go further and get out more often.


The Troopy is far and away the coolest and least practical (amazing how often those two show up together). At 25 years of unknown maintenance, I think you also have to assume it will be both the least reliable and the hardest to get parts for. That legendary Toyota reliability is a fact, but so are time, wear, and neglect. You'll also spend a lot of weekends working on it instead of camping. Accept the fact that you will find yourself on the side of the road. Old cars break down, but they are smile machines when they are running.


The 200 is somewhere in the middle. i.e. not the most comfortable and not the coolest. i.e. practical and boring.


I used to wrack my brain trying to decide what was most practical, and then trying to rationalize why the one I really wanted was practical even when it wasn't. Recently, I have come to accept the fact that getting out there and enjoying myself has more to do with my heart than my head. Now I'm guilt free and laugh at myself a little more often.


My uneducated opinion, there are lots of better ones, is that the best all-around balance of comfort, offroad capability, and capacity for an overland vehicle is a midsize 4-door pickup. Tacos, Colorados, Hi-Lux, Ranger, etc... are all great. Having accepted that, I have never let that admission persuade me to buy one. Practicality just isn't my priority any more.


I can't say what will work for you, but I daily drive a 1990 FJ62, and my wife just bought an '82 CJ7 as a daily driver. We both smile a lot.

Good luck with your choice. It's fun thinking about, and you can always keep trying 'till your happy or until you find out that trying is what makes you happy!
 

bob91yj

Adventurist
Founding Member
#11
We have really enjoyed our truck/pop up camper over the years. It's easy to just "head out" on a weekend. For where we live, ours is 4 seasons ready (roof air, hindsight being 20/20, I should have put a window rattler in the back window instead). Not so much this last year, but in the previous 6-7 years we've averaged 30+ nights per year in the camper.

My camper is almost 20 years old, the newer campers can be optioned with insulated "tent" material to make it more winter capable in the OP's area. Having said that, I wouldn't hesitate to take my camper to the snow for a weekend. The furnace will run you out of there, the downside is it sounds like a jet preparing for take off when the furnace fan kicks on!:rolleyes:
 

Darryl

Adventurist
#15
Do you need armor? If yes, option 1. If no, option #2.
Not really, but Moab can be hard on stock rear bumpers.

The vehicle will not be my daily driver so that helps. The 200 wheels hard enough and it goes down the road well and aftermarket support is very good, plus having Slee Off Road 50 miles away helps.

I am thinking the 70 is probably going to get dropped, it's where my heart is, but not my gut. The restoration of it is really nice, but getting parts and repairs will be costly and time consuming. Plus I would be throwing another 20k at it to have it set up to my liking.

The Ram is cool, big! and I think they are awesome sitting on 37's, the campers from Hallmark are great and they are good guys too, not to mention that they too are close to where I live. Probably not yet ready for this option, plus the camper is almost as much as the Ram, add the SXS and that's 125k worth of iron sitting in the garage.

I really like the 200, been great no real reason to get rid of it. We don't like camping light, we like to prepare a good meal and be comfortable. I spent a lot of years just doing the bedroll on the dirt and those days are over, although if you would have seen me in Flagstaff last May you would have said, Dude with the 200 is sleeping in the dirt! The Jarhead has not fully left me yet with age!!! With the three of us in it with gear it has limitations for space, having an option to put the tent on it, or the trailer is kind of a win, win.

At this point I am leaning towards option #2

Is there a reason to ditch what you have? That is a desirable vehicle overall but not for everyone. You already have it though, which is a huge part of the equation.

#1 What's to build? Do you need the things that you are thinking and what are they (armor, recovery, light, storage, etc)? You already stated that it has AA decals, so you are ahead of the curve, but a snorkel is still missing.

#2 If you need anything from above, they will still need to happen here regardless of a trailer.

#3 I want! Is this also your DD though? Not sure I would give up a 200 for a 70 Troopy for regular use. Pay attention to speed limit signs and know that they will become speed goals if you do this.

#4 Welcome to a whole new genre. What you define as mild wheeling from option 1 will be very different here.

Analysis paralysis tie breaker: Run what ya brung, change what you need, have fun with it.

My 2 cents because you asked, and keep the change. Where's that popcorn?
Great input!!!
 
#16
Not really, but Moab can be hard on stock rear bumpers.

The vehicle will not be my daily driver so that helps. The 200 wheels hard enough and it goes down the road well and aftermarket support is very good, plus having Slee Off Road 50 miles away helps.

I am thinking the 70 is probably going to get dropped, it's where my heart is, but not my gut. The restoration of it is really nice, but getting parts and repairs will be costly and time consuming. Plus I would be throwing another 20k at it to have it set up to my liking.

The Ram is cool, big! and I think they are awesome sitting on 37's, the campers from Hallmark are great and they are good guys too, not to mention that they too are close to where I live. Probably not yet ready for this option, plus the camper is almost as much as the Ram, add the SXS and that's 125k worth of iron sitting in the garage.

I really like the 200, been great no real reason to get rid of it. We don't like camping light, we like to prepare a good meal and be comfortable. I spent a lot of years just doing the bedroll on the dirt and those days are over, although if you would have seen me in Flagstaff last May you would have said, Dude with the 200 is sleeping in the dirt! The Jarhead has not fully left me yet with age!!! With the three of us in it with gear it has limitations for space, having an option to put the tent on it, or the trailer is kind of a win, win.

At this point I am leaning towards option #2



Great input!!!
Have you looked at different trailers? I don't have the coin, but I really like the Turtle Back trailers. They seem to have all the amenities that you need to enjoy glamping to the fullest.
 

Darryl

Adventurist
#17
I have had 2 Kimberley Kampers and a custom built 416 with a roof top tent long before the RTT & trailer craze hit. I am currently awaiting pricing on a Schutt XVenture now. I might check with TB and see? Thanks!
 

Haggis

Adventurist
Senior Staff
Founding Member
#19
That is about the purest form of transport needed for most overlanding types. Enough room to transport the obligatory Skottle, MaxTrax, Crazy Beaver Shovel, and whatever the current trend is to the next field, fairground, hipster brewery or other overlanding must do event.

The Truckster should be mandated for all those seeking the overlander lifestyle so we all can see them coming a mile away! It's even hipster retro so it's a win win for those guys. ;)
 
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