Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Suggestions for 4x4

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
User avatar
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:28 pm
Location: Monument & Breck

Suggestions for 4x4

Postby powhound » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:01 pm

I would appreciate it if some of you could suggest a 4x4 that would...1) have enough room for an average size guy (5'10") to stretch out and sleep in the back...2) be on the narrow side to minimize branches scratching the paint and allow others to pass in tight spots...3) have enough clearance to handle the trailheads listed as moderate 4wd on this website.

I have owned three 4x4s through the years and have some opinions. 1) 85 Four Runner - Great for off road but not long enough to sleep in. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think any Four Runners are long enough for sleeping. 2) 98 Ford Expedition - Plenty of room to sleep in but way too large for off road. A big clumsy beast. Also, the 4wd wasn't as good as I expected. 3) I currently have an 07 Ford Explorer - I can sleep in the back but it is lacking clearance. I don't dare take it on anything harder than the trailheads listed as easy 4wd.

I prefer an enclosed suv if possible. In my Explorer I have a carpeted piece of plywood I put down in the back that covers the gaps between folded down seats and makes for a smooth platform. It is a comfortable set up.

Another question...is what I am looking for even feasable... as under the moderate 4wd trailhead listing it says "not recommended for long wheel base vehicles" ? That seems to imply these are jeep roads and not for suvs.

Thanks in advance for your input!

User avatar
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby Jay521 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:10 pm

Cross an FJ Cruiser off your list. I have one - and I love it - except it is NOT comfortable to sleep in. I'm 5'8" and I have to lie diagonally to fit, plus it isn't a totally flat surface when the back seats are folded down.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

User avatar
Posts: 72
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:35 am
Location: Highlands Ranch

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby sheller » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:15 pm

I'm considering an Xterra. Maybe also a high clearance compact truck if you don't mind sleeping in the bed.

User avatar
Posts: 686
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 9:44 am
Location: Castle Rock, Co

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby dsunwall » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:17 pm

2nd and 3rd generation 4 runners are ideal, plenty long to sleep in and the seats fold flat. 1991 and up. Not sure about the latest though. I have many friends who bought 4runners specifically for what you are looking for and are happy with them.

User avatar
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:44 pm

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby snowypeaks » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:25 pm

After decades in Colorado and the west, I'm happiest with a 3/4-T regular-cab (hard to find these days), long-bed, 4x4 pick-up truck with a nice topper. The 3/4-T gets you high clearance and a bomb-proof drive system. The turn-radius is plenty short enough to not be a problem. The long bed allows plenty of cargo and sleeping room, stretched out. I've spent many a night back there and enjoyed them all!
Have fun!

User avatar
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Aurora, CO

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby Jay521 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:28 pm

snowypeaks wrote:After decades in Colorado and the west, I'm happiest with a 3/4-T regular-cab (hard to find these days), long-bed, 4x4 pick-up truck with a nice topper. The 3/4-T gets you high clearance and a bomb-proof drive system. The turn-radius is plenty short enough to not be a problem. The long bed allows plenty of cargo and sleeping room, stretched out. I've spent many a night back there and enjoyed them all!
Have fun!

I had a 3/4 ton long bed (Chevy) prior to my FJ and it was great. Except for some of the roads that were advertised "short wheel base". Couldn't negotiate some of those. The FJ does much better in that department.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

User avatar
Posts: 277
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:32 pm
Location: Peyton, CO

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby Waggs » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:28 pm

powhound wrote:...

1) 85 Four Runner - Great for off road but not long enough to sleep in. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think any Four Runners are long enough for sleeping.

Thanks in advance for your input!


You stand corrected. With the back seat removed, I (and my 80 lb lab) sleep in the back of my '88 4Runner quite a bit, and I'm 6'0.

Waggs
Gloves are optional. Mittens mandatory - S. Gladbach

User avatar
Posts: 1837
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Golden

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby Carl » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:37 pm

I was looking for an suv this summer to replace my 2000 Land Cruiser. Wanted it to be reliable, off road capable, fairly luxurious, and fit within my price range. These criteria quickly narrowed the search to the 4Runner.

The new 4Runner is big enough to sleep in the back but if you want to sleep 2 people and either of them is taller than maybe 5 foot 9 inches or so you'll need to get creative. This is because when you fold the rear seat down it takes up maybe 8 inches of sleeping space. To solve this problem I built a drawer system and a platform that connects to the drawers when you want to sleep in the back. Here are a few pics...

Image
Image
Image

The vehicle is plenty big enough and the 6 cylinder provides ample power when fully loaded down.
Image

User avatar
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:10 pm

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby yedi » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:21 pm

Carl, is that a Trail Edition 4R? Your set-up looks really good.

OP, I've got an Access Cab Toyota Tacoma, which I really like (though if I were to get an SUV, I'd get one of the new 4Runners). The bed of the 2nd generation Tacoma comes with a couple of notches at about 10inches above the bed floor. Those notches are perfect for installing a sleeping platform. It's a little claustrophobic in there with a regular height shell like I have, but it's totally doable for a night or two. I don't have any pics of that set-up, but if you google "tacoma sleeping platform" you'll see a bunch of examples. You can go as fancy or as spartan as you like.

If you're looking for a longer term mobile base camp, I can recommend the Maggiolina Air Top tent. When closed, it looks like a big Yakima box. When opened, it's an incredibly comfortable tent. Spent three months living in the tent last summer and never regretted the purchase.

Closed:
Closed.jpg
Closed.jpg (41.95 KiB) Viewed 1516 times


Open:
Open.jpg
Open.jpg (80.35 KiB) Viewed 1516 times

User avatar
Posts: 1837
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Golden

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby Carl » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:12 pm

yedi wrote:Carl, is that a Trail Edition 4R? Your set-up looks really good.


Thanks. It's a limited. I switched the tires out the day I bought it for the Nitto Terra Grapplers. Only trail I've taken it up is Express Creek to Richmond in the Aspen area. I'm sure it could make it to 10,500ft on Lake Como as my Land Cruiser did but it might be a few years before I'd be willing to try.

Sweet Taco with the tent.

User avatar
Posts: 2417
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Littleton, CO

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby MountainHiker » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:21 pm

Carl, is that seat back easily removable without tools?
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

User avatar
Posts: 320
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:06 pm
Location: Back in Ohio...West Soon?

Re: Suggestions for 4x4

Postby JTOlson26 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:32 pm

I have a 2000 Toyota 4Runner and it fits what you are looking for nearly perfectly, in my opinion. I'm 5'10" and it is long enough for me to sleep in. The off-road capabilities are quite good and it isn't an incredibly wide vehicle.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], rdp32 and 7 guests