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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: Jul 02 2019 6:06 am
by Jim_H
@MtnBart01
So, where might this still fresh bounty of meat be, again?

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Jul 02 2019 11:21 am
by MtnBart01
@Jim_H between Haxtun and Fleming Colorado. The state trooper who took my statement said I was the third deer collision on his shift that night and was going to verify the animal was off the road so it’s probably in his freezer. :)

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Jul 02 2019 11:23 am
by Jim_H
Hopefully someone eats it!

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Jul 02 2019 11:23 am
by Jim_H
The deer, I must add.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Jul 02 2019 11:47 am
by SuperstitionGuy
That State Troopers family must get awfully tired of Deer steak for dinner. Just sayin...

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Jul 11 2019 11:33 am
by MtnBart01
@chumley
Easier after a couple weeks.I had to go visit to get my garage door opener. With the plastic bumper cover it doesn’t look too bad, but everything behind it is smashed pretty good ie radiator frame etc.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Jul 12 2019 11:44 am
by RedRoxx44
My Jeep is going into shop next week for lift, suspension mods and 37 inch Cooper STT pro tires ( 10 ply). I've got some really bad mining roads in my near future and I plan to drive the majority before I put on the pack.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 4:54 pm
by DixieFlyer
Is there anyone here who is happy with the offroad performance of an AWD SUV like a Forester or RAV4?

I am likely going to buy something that will take me to more hiking trails than my 2WD F-150. Something like a Tacoma or 4Runner looks good, but I like the gas mileage of an AWD vehicle, especially since I drive on the highway the vast majority of the time.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 5:11 pm
by rwstorm
@DixieFlyer
I have an older model RAV (2001 manual transmission) and I have beaten the holy living hell out of it over the years. I still use it, along with my 1998 4WD Tacoma for the tougher chores. Those earlier models (SUV) were under powered for many road situations (mostly due to the gearing), but the clearance is adequate. I am sure the newer models of these AWD SUV's are much better.

That said, regardless of what you get, I would recommend upgrading the tires (if the ones it comes with are too wimpy) to handle the tougher road situations you will inevitably lured into. :D

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 5:12 pm
by LindaAnn
@DixieFlyer What kind of mpg are you hoping for? I’ve owned a lot of vehicles, and without a doubt, my 4Runner is the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. The next vehicle I buy will be another 4Runner.

If most of my driving is in town, I get about 20mpg. If most of my driving is highway, I get about 23mpg. Which is also the best mpg of any vehicle I’ve ever owned. But fuel economy is probably the lowest priority of anything I’ve ever cared about in a vehicle

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 5:30 pm
by Jim_H
What kind of roads? I have a similar Outback, which has been great for a lot of roads and off-road-esque drives, but I have found myself cautiously turning around at a number of different things that something like a Tacoma or 4Runner could easily negotiate. The ground clearance is probably good for a lot at 8.7 in, however I agree with Randy in that more aggressive truck tires are needed in this state for a lot of the more challenging stuff. The Forester is more suv-like than the outback so you perhaps will not find yourself as concerned with the low sticking out front end in the same way that I am. Be advised my general feeling of the new RAV4 and similar Honda CRV is that they have steadily made it more passenger car like and less capable off-road.

I feel the same as you about fuel economy and desire to be able to do the off-road, while driving 99% of the time on pavement. I don't know what your vehicle lineup would look like but it might be worth having a real four-wheel drive vehicle for part time that you have for 20 plus years and then a regular vehicle for your routine driving.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 5:39 pm
by RedRoxx44
Get a 4wd vehicle that will be a beater but is reliable. Then you also won't worry about leaving it at a TH. Toyota's are generally good for that, and will last for many years with just routine maintenance. Unless you are really rich-----spoke to a Jeep owner today who estimates there is a 150K in his vehicle. He bought it with some upgrades then had 20K of hardcore axles etc put on it. He does a lot of the more extreme trails like in Moab, Cali etc but wow--- I thought my Jeep has been obscenely expensive, now I don't feel so bad.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 5:52 pm
by Jim_H
Just an FYI:. I turned back well short of the trailhead for Thumb Butte or Peak on the KofA (cancelled), as well as added walking miles for Woolsey, Signal near Woolsey, Eagle 3186, and probably a few other things I have forgotten since I got the car. Almost all of those were due to washes being eroded or gullies in the road causing me to have to turn back. Higher clearance or shorter front end as well as better tires on a real truck or SUV would have never had to turn back or stop short.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 6:00 pm
by rwstorm
As a follow up on tires, I had a set of Michelin LTX M/S on the RAV for years. They had nearly 80,000 miles on them with good tread left when I replaced them a couple years back (they just got too old). That is a tire designed for light trucks and SUV's and I can honestly say they were awesome. Now I have a set of Cooper Discoverer HTP tires on the vehicle, and so far so good on the rough roads. I wanted a less expensive tire (but still tough enough) as the RAV (like me) is in the twilight phase. :lol:

For awhile back in the early 2000's I had a set of the heavy duty BFG All Terrain T/A KO2 tires on the RAV (true truck tires that I special ordered to fit on the SUV). They were actually a bit of overkill for the vehicle and its suspension. But, I felt pretty invincible when I got into gnarlyville. Trouble is, the mileage goes down, the handling is rigid, and the road noise with them was pretty bad. The Michelin and Cooper tires give better handling and a much quieter ride. Just an FYI for you. :)

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 6:20 pm
by LindaAnn
@rwstorm I have the BFG all terrain KO2 on my 4Runner. Love them. I didn’t notice any real difference in handling from the stock tires. Mileage decreased by about 1 mpg from stock, so about 5%. The numbers I have above are the mileages with the BFGs.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 6:22 pm
by rwstorm
@LindaAnn
That's what I have had on my Tacoma for years...and I love them too. :D The handling issue was relating to having them on the SUV, not the truck.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 7:38 pm
by CannondaleKid
Jim_H wrote:the new RAV4 and similar Honda CRV is that they have steadily made it more passenger car like and less capable off-road.
I haven't paid much attention to what's changed on RAV4's but each successive generation of CR-V has gotten lower.
I'm not sure about any changes to how the CR-V does it's AWD chores, but my 1999 sucked wind big-time... for 99% of most driving it was front-wheel drive only, with the RWD part only activating when the front tires LOST traction, but after it kicked in to full AWD, the moment it regained traction, it reverted to FWD-only. So when climbing a steep loose-gravel roads (like FR650 to Rogers Trough) it would buck like crazy, FWD-only, AWD, FWD-only, AWD.
And on the flip-side, going down the same steep roads, the ABS would kick in-and-out (mostly-out) in a similar manner so the point I had no brakes, having to use the e-brake to slide to a stop.
Which is why I sold the CR-V when I wanted to hit the more remote places to hike.

Tires... most of the new SUV's (particularly the smaller ones) come with passenger-rated tires, which do not like rough roads... so one is more to likely to get a flat from hitting a pointed rock and breaking a belt than due to a puncture. I'd recommend upgrading to a tougher tire right away.
:M2C:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 23 2019 8:49 pm
by kelly14
@DixieFlyer My wife has a Forester and we love it. Mpg is really good and it Has been great for us with forest roads and even driving in snow. Has respectable clearance as well. We prefer to take it on 90% of our hikes and if the occasional road requires serious high clearance or 4wd we take my 4wd truck.

Only complaint we might make is the stock tires they give you are not very off-road worthy, but most vehicles stock tires are not very impressive.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 24 2019 5:41 am
by Hansenaz
I'll get my 3rd Outback soon. For recent daytrips I've been doing (400+ miles and "substantial" off road challenges) I really think it's a good choice. I had about 6-7 yrs of tire griping (available tires couldn't stand up to rocks) until I got a tip from ssk44. Continental TerrainContacts solved the problem. It's not a Jeep but it's not bad and it's much better on the highway.

Re: Hiking vehicles

Posted: Aug 25 2019 5:16 pm
by DixieFlyer
LindaAnn wrote:
Aug 23 2019 5:12 pm
@DixieFlyer What kind of mpg are you hoping for? I’ve owned a lot of vehicles, and without a doubt, my 4Runner is the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. The next vehicle I buy will be another 4Runner.

If most of my driving is in town, I get about 20mpg. If most of my driving is highway, I get about 23mpg. Which is also the best mpg of any vehicle I’ve ever owned. But fuel economy is probably the lowest priority of anything I’ve ever cared about in a vehicle
You get better gas mileage than I get on my F-150, so fuel economy is obviously not my top priority either!

A 4Runner or Tacoma is probably what I will get -- I ran the numbers and a Forester would save me about $475 per year in gas vs. a Tacoma/4Runner, or roughly $40 per month...it's not enough of a difference to change my lifestyle one way or the other, but it's still something to think about