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Hiking vehicles

Posted: Mar 06 2008 7:26 pm
by rally_toad
What kind of vehicles do you guys all drive when your going hiking? Im thinking about investing in a 4wd high clearance Jeep or something of the sort so I could get to some places where I definitely couldnt get to with what Im driving now (73 mustang):) I saw a Jeep Grand Cherokee today for $2600 and I was thinking about checking it out. What "hiking vehicle" is easiest to drive and which gets the best gas mileage (even though I know most wouldnt be too fuel efficient.)

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 25 2018 12:05 pm
by rwstorm
Whatever you buy, just make sure it has 4WD or AWD (in the case of SUV types). If you opt for rear wheel drive or front wheel drive only, you will regret that decision in tougher road situations (this does not apply if your driving will be only on easy maintained roads). Just get the right tool for the job and be done with it.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 25 2018 1:10 pm
by LindaAnn
@Jim_H If you google “Tacoma vs Frontier”, Tacomas are generally the preferred vehicle in just about every category. I’ve found Nissan interiors to feel a little plasticky/rattly over time, but it really depends on what your preferences are in a vehicle though. A Frontier will certainly be a good vehicle. If cost isn’t an issue, you’re better off with a Tacoma, in my opinion. And if you want an SUV, then look at the 4Runners. F150’s suck now with the V6 and all that aluminum—Ford cheapened them too much.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 25 2018 1:44 pm
by Pivo
@CannondaleKid
Great list of things to consider. Another thing to consider is two vehicles, my daily driver is a VW Jetta Hybrid (trying to be a better Earthling) hiking, camping, Home Depot vehicle; 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser with factory front and rear lockers.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 25 2018 4:37 pm
by CannondaleKid
lindaagm wrote:F150’s suck now with the V6 and all that aluminum—Ford cheapened them too much.
Agreed... even skipping the ones pointing out simple 'annoyances' there are plenty of YouTube videos detailing very common drive-train issues.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 27 2018 2:11 pm
by hikerdw
Jim_H wrote:Anyone have experience with a Nissan Frontier
I have a 2000 Nissan Frontier. Great truck, only lacking 4WD. So good a vehicle that in my search for a 4WD I haven't found anything "used" better than it so I keep what I have.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 27 2018 3:33 pm
by markthurman53
I currently use a jeep wrangler if I have to go off road that is not "Priusable" (many would be surprised by what's Priusable.) Many trail heads do not require anything special. Gas Mileage is better with the Prius but the jeep is more fun. Very seldom do I use four wheel drive on the hikes I go on. Exception maybe for bad weather. I have also used rental vehicles that were limited slip and they work fine even in the muck on the Mogollon (this could be iffy though, Heck could be iffy even with 4WD). The down side to rental cars is cleaning the mud off before returning. My experience is that what ever vehicle you have will get you to many of the trail heads, with a little caution many more and for those areas that require extra clearance or 4WD they probable just need to be walked anyway.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 27 2018 6:56 pm
by MtnBart01
I have and have been really happy with my 2001 NIssan Frontier crew cab. 4 wheel drive and goes just about anywhere. It has been pretty dependable. Not as familiar with the newer Nissans. It cost me about 10 grand less than a similarly equipped Tacoma at the time.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 27 2018 7:11 pm
by big_load
Jim_H wrote:I got T-Boned today
Yikes! I hope nothing got hurt but your car.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 27 2018 7:49 pm
by Jim_H
Just minor damage; brain roughed up from the curtain airbag, and a skin tear on the bridge of my nose from my sunglasses hitting me as a result of the airbag. Blood everywhere. Nothing major.


I am still waiting to hear from the insurance about the car. I traded the rented Cadillac for a Nissan Frontier. I really liked it at first, but as time is going by, I miss my car. In ever thought I would say that. It is fairly comfortable, and it gets better mileage. Handles well, or has a tighter turning radius. Plus, the title is basically coming my way. When I look at all these vehicles, sticker shock comes to mind, and that doesn't include gas. I just bought a house 11 days ago, so I'm not in a position to start throwing more money around.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 27 2018 8:01 pm
by big_load
Ouch!

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 28 2018 1:06 pm
by Hansenaz
@Jim_H
I'm disappointed you're abandoning Subaru! For my money it's the best compromise between good driving around town, on the highway, and getting you to trailheads....

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 28 2018 1:19 pm
by chumley
Hansenaz wrote:For my money
Are you offering to buy me a Subaru!? :y:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 28 2018 2:37 pm
by Pivo
@Hansenaz If I had to go to owning only one vehicle, it would be a Subaru. With some armor and all terrain tires for it, their capabilities can be quite impressive.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 28 2018 2:47 pm
by Hansenaz
@chumley
Nuh-uh...I'm at 95k miles and have to buy another one for me purty soon.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 28 2018 3:13 pm
by chumley
Hansenaz wrote:I'm at 95k miles and have to buy another one for me purty soon.
And that's why you probably shouldn't buy a Subaru!! That's about half of what I would expect a more reliable vehicle to deliver before you start contemplating a possible replacement! :M2C:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 28 2018 3:53 pm
by Hansenaz
@chumley
Well that's complicated decision based on how many $$ you allocate for your car indulgence. Until recently I had company lease cars that never went over ~50K. I was surprised that blue book for an Outback with 120K is not bad and would make a pretty good dent in the price of a newer replacement. That's my thinking at the moment....

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 29 2018 7:14 pm
by PLC92084
I finally had to retire (temporarily, I hope), my 1998 Geo Tracker (which was (will be, again?), very reliable...). I've replaced it with a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser (manual trans). Really love the FJ (but... sadly... don't love the gas mileage...). It's taken me anywhere, on/offroad, I've wanted to go so far. as long as I don't think about the cost/mile, I'm good...

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 29 2018 7:27 pm
by RowdyandMe
@PLC92084
I bought a used Kia Sportage for hiking and I love It. It is awd and gets great gas mileage.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 29 2018 8:14 pm
by MtnBart01
@PLC92084 Where the heck have you been?

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 29 2018 8:43 pm
by garyc57
At the risk of hijacking the topic... May I ask for a bit of advice from all you auto gurus?

In a couple of weeks, my wife and I are planning on hiking the last 10 miles of AZT #34 - San Francisco Peaks. Well, actually, I'll do the hiking, and she'll be following along behind me in the Suburban. You see, it's a road walk. Mostly downhill.

The Suburban is a 1996 C1500 (K?) 4x4. I was thinking she could put it in 4-Hi, and in 1st gear, and just let the engine idle, and that would be enough to pull it down the dirt road, with very little accelerator pedal being needed. Or, maybe 4-Lo, and 1st or 2nd gear?

My question? Would that 3-5 hours of running in idle strain the engine and/or transmission? Anything else mechanical-wise I should worry about?

Thanks for your time, and advice,
Gary