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Stock GX470?

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Offline sdparks

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Stock GX470?
« on: November 07, 2016, 09:23:41 PM »
I've been to Big Bend several times, but have never had a vehicle that could get me very far off the paved roads.  I'm planning to make another trip this Thanksgiving week, and I was thinking of renting a Jeep, but maybe I'll buy a used Lexus GX470.  I've been wanting to get one of these for a while to have an adventure vehicle.  It is pretty much just a fancy 4Runner.  I wouldn't have time to make any suspension mods before Big Bend, but from what I've read around here it should still be sufficient to get me to several places I haven't been yet, such as Mariscal Mine and Cattail Falls trailhead (?), barring any unusual road conditions.

Sound reasonable?

(A Mazdaspeed3 is NOT the proper car for Big Bend, although I've taken it to the pine canyon trailhead and scraped the bumper several times coming back from the hot springs.  And I've slept in it...)

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Offline strawhouse

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2016, 09:46:22 PM »
For Cattail Falls, I've made it to the trailhead in regular cars (Civic, Passat, Sonata) so unless you catch the roads in particularly bad condition you should be good there.  I personally would want higher clearance than a car to try Mariscal, but the stock BX470, listed at 8.3" ground clearance would go many places I would think.

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Offline jake.the.snake

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2016, 12:38:23 AM »
Drove a Ford Focus to Cattail falls. Scraped a few times and made me nervous, but wasn't too bad!


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Offline elhombre

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2016, 08:37:56 AM »
It is a fine vehicle.  With the 4 wheel drive and rear locker, you can go most anywhere.  If you take off the plastic side rails at home, it will keep you from having them ripped off later.  There should be a easy modification that you can do to add a push button to lock up the center differential in "high" (It comes on automatically in "Low").  This is a great improvement for dirt road driving. 

The Independent Front Suspension makes for a fast and fun ride in the dirt and pavement.  If you don't mind scraping the bumpers, that car can do Elephant Hill in the Canyonlands NP.  Better yet, get midieval on the thing and take off 3-4 inches of plastic from the front and rear bumpers for better approach and departure angles.

It will eat up Big Bend no problem.
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline BlindWilly

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2016, 08:54:52 AM »
The GX470 is a great vehicle to take to Big Bend. You can pretty much take it anywhere out there as long as you drive smart.
Just make sure you have a spare tire, a tire repair kit (and know how to use it).  A portable compressor would be a great idea too.

I've said this in other posts, but beefier tires is the way to go.  D or E rated are my suggestion out on the trail, but not necessary.
"No matter where you go, there you are"
-Buckaroo Bonzai

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Offline sdparks

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2016, 01:50:20 PM »
Thanks to all for the replies and PMs.  Now it is just a matter of finding a decent specimen thus weekend and convincing myself to buy a toy.  Too many of these vehicles have been surprisingly poorly maintained. 

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Offline sdparks

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2016, 03:43:03 PM »
The search is going poorly.   How about renting a vehicle?  Small SUVs don't seem to have much ground clearance... I could rent a pickup like a Nissan Frontier or similar and would have about 7.5 to 8 inches of ground clearance, but it would be two wheel drive.  Could I still get to some interesting places like Mariscal? 

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2016, 06:42:55 PM »
The search is going poorly.   How about renting a vehicle?  Small SUVs don't seem to have much ground clearance... I could rent a pickup like a Nissan Frontier or similar and would have about 7.5 to 8 inches of ground clearance, but it would be two wheel drive.  Could I still get to some interesting places like Mariscal?

High clearance and patience are probably more important than 4x4.  I've heard it said that 4x4 doesn't guarantee you won't get stuck, you'll just get stuck worse  :icon_lol:

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Offline sdparks

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2016, 06:48:44 PM »
I watched at a video of someone going down the east river road, and none of that looked too bad. 

But now that I think more about it, I would like to have a SUV to keep my gear under cover on the long drive from Houston, as well as to keep it cleaner down the back roads.  Passing a RAV4 on the way home from work this evening, it sure looks like it has more than the listed 6.3" of clearance, along with a rather short wheelbase. 

Patience I have plenty of. 

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2016, 06:51:31 PM »
It's a rental.... Hell ya it can make it!!

It's all about the tires actually.  If you have street tires, your asking for trouble because they just don't build them strong enough.  Take a can of fix a flat for insurance.  You really need to make sure the car comes with a REAL size spare.  You can understand why.  Mariscal mine would be a fine goal with a car with a real spare.  A Frontier will make it no problem.

A less pricey rig could be a 4 door Tacoma with a camper shell on top.  A 4-runner will get you there.  You probably already know that the Lexus and Land Cruiser are the same car.  Lexus is more expensive for the fancy emblem.
For 2 years the Fake News Media, Obama's FBI, CIA & DOJ, and Swamp dwelling Politicians COLLUDED, Illegally Spied,and LIED to America about POTUS in order to overturn an election

All the while demanding censorship and removal of opposition Conservative "hate speech" voices.  Globalists Hate Freedom

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Offline sdparks

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2016, 07:22:24 PM »
That's a great point about the spare.  I see that the RAV4 no longer has a full size spare.  I would have to rent-a-rim or something.  And you never know which model of car you are actually going to get when you rent, now that Toyota Rent-A-Car no longer has locations nearby.  And yeah, street tires anyway.  Hmmmm.

I can go into great depth on the reasons I'm looking to buy a GX and not one of the other fine vehicles you mentioned, but I'll keep that for another thread.  😊


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Offline Jalco

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2016, 08:13:45 AM »
I'm a big fan of Troopers.  They're nearly indestructible (I say "nearly" because my eldest son proved otherwise) and you can usually find an inexpensive one on Craigslist.  You can cram a lot of gear in them and they are 4x4.  Montero Sport is another "box on wheels" that I like.

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Offline sdparks

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2016, 11:50:18 AM »
Reserved a Tahoe (or similar) for next week's trip, so should be OK, and can sleep in it if needed.  I'll resume the search for a vehicle to buy later. 

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Offline sdparks

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 08:59:34 PM »
Just a follow up:  they ended up giving me a Suburban.  Jeez that thing is huge. My friend and I slept in it several nights.  It got down the back roads ok (River Road East out to Mariscal Mine, Glenn Spring to Pine Canyon, etc.)  No need to use the spare, tire plugs or fix-a-flat, though I had them all.  The suspension on that thing was a springy mess, though, and the 55-series tires didn't help either.  Had to do a lot of cleaning and some buffing this morning before returning it to the rental place ;)

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Offline Jalco

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Re: Stock GX470?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2016, 09:05:23 PM »
Just a follow up:  they ended up giving me a Suburban.  Jeez that thing is huge. My friend and I slept in it several nights.  It got down the back roads ok (River Road East out to Mariscal Mine, Glenn Spring to Pine Canyon, etc.)

Burbs are beasts!  Mine has been to Big Bend (and BBRSP) a couple of times.  You can load a lot of gear and still have room to sleep in it at night (though my kids preferred outside on a cot under the stars - as do I).
It's probably the most comfortable vehicle I've ever driven though. 

 


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