Hiking vehicles

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
User avatar
rally_toad
Posts: 586
Joined: May 17 2007 8:06 pm
City, State: CA

Hiking vehicles

Post 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.)
"Who are you guys??!!" -Farnsworth
User avatar
LosDosSloFolks
Posts: 360
Joined: Feb 10 2019 3:42 pm
City, State: Cave Creek, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by LosDosSloFolks »

@Pivo
That guy Matt has a good (and down to earth) YouTube Channel. He knows his business inside and out.
It was me...I let the dogs out.
User avatar
Pivo
Posts: 290
Joined: Mar 01 2009 8:18 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by Pivo »

I wonder what that cost?
User avatar
chumley
Posts: 8069
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by chumley »

@Pivo
Probably about the same as renting a skycrane for the 10 minute flight to a paved road.
Bonus: no dent on the hood!
33s over 45s
User avatar
PaleoRob
Posts: 2345
Joined: Apr 03 2006 12:21 pm
City, State: Pocatello, ID
Contact:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by PaleoRob »

As a BRAT owner, I wouldn't mind upgrading to something like that Hyundai.
"The only thing we did was wrong was staying in the wilderness to long...the only thing we did was right was the day we started to fight..."
-Old Spiritual
My book, The Marauders on Lulu and Amazon
User avatar
Hansenaz
Posts: 150
Joined: Apr 06 2005 7:22 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by Hansenaz »

@Pivo @cw50must @LosDosSloFolks
I've gotten addicted to that channel. That particular recovery was pretty unbelievable. I fear someone's gonna get hurt one of these days.
User avatar
friendofThundergod
Posts: 1165
Joined: Jan 21 2013 10:47 am
City, State: AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by friendofThundergod »

I once had to get an “off road” recovery. Waited all night in the woods until driver finally showed up, he was drunk and high and there was a baby in the cab with him. The driver started falling asleep as he was driving and we were getting pretty uncomfortable and worried about our safety. Eventually, I was able to convince him to let me drive and I drove the tow truck from Camp Verde back to Phoenix with my Xterra in tow. :? I wish that was somehow and overstatement of the nights events, there’s much more, ](*,) .
User avatar
Jim_H
Posts: 5251
Joined: Sep 08 2006 8:14 pm
City, State: Marana, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by Jim_H »

@friendofThundergod
You have a 4runner now, don't you?
Let's go Brandon!!!!! Let's go Brandon!!!!
User avatar
friendofThundergod
Posts: 1165
Joined: Jan 21 2013 10:47 am
City, State: AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by friendofThundergod »

@Jim_H Yup. That was one of the final factors in getting the new vehicle. I think I paid for one more repair on the Xterra and then bought the 4Runner. It’s no fun having an unreliable vehicle with my hobbies. I learned that night that if you break down in the woods, even on a moderate dirt road, you might as well hand the tow company a blank check. They have a tremendous amount of negotiating leverage in those situations, lol.
User avatar
Jim_H
Posts: 5251
Joined: Sep 08 2006 8:14 pm
City, State: Marana, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by Jim_H »

@friendofThundergod
If money was irrelevant I would buy a 4Runner. I can't see a need for a Tacoma, and most of the ones I see are the 4 door kind. I would want the 2 door extended cab Tacoma and I am not sure how easy those are to buy. I guess if I bought an RV trailer I would need the tow capacity. I'm still hoping to make my car last 2 more years, though.
Let's go Brandon!!!!! Let's go Brandon!!!!
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 2020
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by Alston_Neal »

Sooooo what about the new Broncos? I owned an 82 and have always loved the original models, but I've seen more Lambo SUVs than Broncos.
It looks like a cross between a Jeep Renegade and a Range Rover Defender.
Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
User avatar
chumley
Posts: 8069
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by chumley »

@Alston_Neal
So far I've only seen the Sport, which is just a rebadged Escape. The true Bronco looks like a fine vehicle to me. Can't wait to see one in person running a desert trail here.
33s over 45s
User avatar
The_Eagle
Posts: 1152
Joined: Jan 20 2009 2:46 pm
City, State: Far NE Phoenix, Az
Contact:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by The_Eagle »

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
User avatar
Alston_Neal
Posts: 2020
Joined: Apr 19 2008 5:53 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by Alston_Neal »

I'm starting a Go Fund Me for this one and so far I've raised......sympathy.
https://www.autoevolution.com/news/2021 ... ews_static
Semifunctional adult


Our humble abode..
http://www.oldterritorialshop.com
User avatar
LosDosSloFolks
Posts: 360
Joined: Feb 10 2019 3:42 pm
City, State: Cave Creek, AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by LosDosSloFolks »

@Alston_Neal
The side view looks like a modern Pinzgauer Hearse with nice paint. :-)
It was me...I let the dogs out.
User avatar
The_Eagle
Posts: 1152
Joined: Jan 20 2009 2:46 pm
City, State: Far NE Phoenix, Az
Contact:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by The_Eagle »

Alston_Neal wrote:so far I've raised......sympathy.
From who?... Unlikely from Deb or your kids/GK's
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
Dave Barry
User avatar
RedRoxx44
Posts: 1063
Joined: Feb 15 2003 8:07 am
City, State: outside, anywhere

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by RedRoxx44 »

Best thing one can do is in an area you frequent that is remote; get to know any local 4x4 club. You get stuck give those guys a call. Most of them love any kind of rescue type adventure and some have some pretty good mechanical knowledge too. I remember out in Parashant a local club out of Las Vegas helped us with a tire repair kit. One of their members Jeep had blown a transmission and they were going to tow him for 60 miles to St. George. I exchanged emails with the club pres for several years after that and always gave them a shout out when in the area.
User avatar
sneakySASQUATCH
Posts: 540
Joined: Aug 23 2005 9:26 am
City, State: Pike National Forest, Co

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by sneakySASQUATCH »

@friendofThundergod
I had a similar issue off road by Glenwood springs last year after rodents built a nest in my engine compartment and committed suicide during start up. Fortunately, being thrown by the belt loosened fuel lines Instead of them being chewed through. Took all day to find someone willing to tow who would come the next day. Fortunately, a final attempt and go through found the hoses and the truck started and we got out. My wife is definitely a little more hesitant to allow us to go off the beaten track as far as usual Or capable. The amount quoted and 10 places turning us down contributed to the motivation to get truck started. Also a lot more hesitant to camp anywhere with evidence of rodents until we can figure out a good deterrent.
:o
User avatar
cactuscat
Posts: 817
Joined: Oct 15 2002 12:08 pm

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by cactuscat »

@sneakySASQUATCH
Prop your hood up while you're parked, and put a light of some sort under there. You can buy a "rid-a-rat" at ACE hardware - it's a constant blinking light under your hood ... we have them on all our vehicles in the park.
Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with pigeons.
User avatar
kyleGChiker
Posts: 6
Joined: May 28 2019 7:46 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by kyleGChiker »

Apologies in advance for the long post! :lol:
Skimmed through this thread, but obviously didn't read all 13+ years/40 pages of posts. Wow! Seems like a wealth of info. At this point, I'm still using my parents vehicles to get to/from trailheads. Most of the time I'm going hiking/backpacking with them, so they don't mind. :) 1999 Ford Explorer Sport (2WD) with 145,000 miles and 2001 Chevy Suburban (4WD) with 254,000 miles. We also had a 2WD minivan that we took on many a forest road and camping trip, including to the South Bass TH during spring snowmelt. Unfortunately, it's life ended prematurely at 190,000 miles due to a crash (we were all OK!). All these, but especially the Suburban and Explorer have always gotten us everywhere we wanted to go, we never got stuck, and we never opted not to do a hike because of a bad road to get to the TH. The only exceptions are the Tortilla Trailhead in the Superstitions and the Elephant Hill road in Canyonlands. And I've only had to engage 4WD once in some serious mud in Mexico. Otherwise, even the Suburban we drive exclusively in 2WD without issues. Also, I should add that we use regular "street tires" rated for long life and quiet ride, never all terrains. Like others have noted, it seems like the driver can play as much of a role as the specifics of the vehicle. Credit to my dad for teaching me well! Obviously, both vehicles get poor MPGs, around 15 on the highway. I'm starting to think about buying my own car now that I've graduated from school and have a job, but it seems the market is flooded with all these crossovers that market themselves as adventure vehicles, but are really no better off road than a sedan. My brother takes his Prius all over the place off road, and same with our other sedans. They can all handle roads even beyond just your nice graded gravel road. The thing I find annoying is the lack of vehicles that have a full size spare tire, as if weoutdoor adventurers don't need on in our hiking care. Sure, people who never leave the city don't need a full-size spare, but going to remote trailheads and remote forest roads all the time...we've actually used spare tires out in the boonies where we were on our own!

My criteria are simple: Full size spare, 8+ inches clearance, and (ideally) 25+ MPG on the highway. Used, ideally < $10k. I don't care if it's 2WD or 4WD. My commute is short (7 miles), so the higher MPG is for cheaper road trips and keeping the cost down when driving to far away hiking destinations If I didn't make it clear, this isn't an off v.
So farehicle I'm looking for, just a normal vehicle that can be driven off road to get places. I consider Hewitt Canyon road to Rogers Trough the classic use case for me, where the road is just a means to an end, not the end in itself., the only ones I've come up with are the small pickups like Tacoma, Ranger, B2300, etc. if they have the 4 cyl. manual transmission combo, the CR-V through 2006, the RAV4 through 2012, the Grand Vitara, and the Jeep Cherokee and Renegade (but only the Trailhawk trim has a full size spare; and Trailhawk = $$$ ](*,) ) Possibly also the 2008-2012 Escape/Hybrid, though I haven't been able to verify if it has a full size spare or not. All the body on frame SUV's (which admittedly make better hiking vehicles than car-platform SUVs) seem to top out at around 20 MPG on the highway. Things like 4Runner, X-Terra, Jeeps (Wrangler, Liberty, etc.), older Explorers and Expeditions, Tahoe, etc. etc.

Any vehicles I'm missing that meet the 4 criteria? I'm willing to budge a litt and price, not so much on clearance and full size spare.
Do you agree with my analysis on the state of the market, or am I way off base?

I appreciate your responses and l, wisdom, and insight!
User avatar
hikerdw
Posts: 128
Joined: Aug 16 2009 4:06 pm
City, State: Mesa,AZ

Re: Hiking vehicles

Post by hikerdw »

@kyleGChiker A couple hundred dollars will get you a full spare on any vehicle.
Post Reply

Return to “Auto, Bike, Boat, Kayak, etc...”