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Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?

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Offline Arlon

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Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« on: September 15, 2011, 08:45:16 AM »
I'm still trying to find it...
Had a minivan that worked pretty well as long as it was on pavement.
Have an Xterra that works fine off road but is a bit thirsty and has too little range.
Have diesel quad cab that is my prefered vehicle. Limited to pavement, good visibility
and 1600 miles range with my auxillary tank.

Still looking for that perfect vehicle. Offroad ability, good range and mileage, simple for reliability,
room to sleep in for a night would be a huge bonus, big windows for photography, comfortable at 75mph.... etc.. I think I'd have to build my own.

I need 4 cyl (cummins 4bt), diesel powered, 1966 econoline window van with a Jeep 4x4 drivetrain, custom camper interior.. Maybe a VW syncro would get me close..  (-:}   
Stop, click, stop, click, click, stop, click.....

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Offline Flash

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 11:59:46 AM »
There used to be a vehicle I would see parked at work that I nicknamed in my head the "Big Bend Mobile". It was a 4-wheel drive van conversion. It may have been a Dodge. I wish I had taken a photo because it looked the ideal vehicle for driving and camping the backroads of BB!  :icon_mrgreen:
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 03:55:12 PM by Flash »

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SHANEA

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 03:39:38 PM »
A couple of us have stimulated the economy recently and purchased Fords and Dodges.  They seem to be very happy with their choices and I know I'm pleased with mine - F150 FX4 4x4 big V8 - it does like stopping at the gas station, but that's ok. 

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Offline Flash

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 04:14:12 PM »
Take a look at one of these:

http://sportsmobile.com/4_4x4sports.html

 :icon_biggrin:

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 07:26:03 PM »
Stingrey on the board here rented a Ford Escape to get from San Antonio to the Bend earlier this year and he said it did pretty good on the gas mileage, had a comfy ride and did ok on a few of the back roads. it had about the same clearance as my trailblazer (maybe a little higher than mine). it was just the standard 2wd like my trailblazer, nothing special. not sure about sleeping inside it, but im sure it can be done with a little creativity.

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline homerboy2u

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 12:26:05 PM »
So you  seem to be getting the knack for a Built Not Bought rig, huh?....well i think i found it for you, It is in Beaumont,Tx BTW and has a Cummins 4BT on it.

  Ofcourse, it will be a cold day in hell, before i start bidding on it at the price range. But?...it will give you an idea of how it is perfectly made for your BB interests.

 Visit Ebay,check out the features, if you live in that  area go and check it out. See if you can sweet talk the dealer  in lowering the asking price, take him/her to a dinner and a movie. I don't  know, be creative. If all else fails, just see how it was rigged up and I, can help with the rest. I PROMISE YOU THAT.

  Just don't be too stingy with the wallet........ :evil:
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2011, 01:49:54 PM »
I say get a jeep and tow it behind your big diesel!  Well, I prefer my FJ Cruiser over a jeep, but I don't think it will tow as well.
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2011, 01:58:55 PM »
I know I'm probably going against the grain with the Escape, but James is right... When I could, I tried to break it. Being a rental, it was hard not to test the capabilities. Aside from getting stuck in the sand ('till turning traction control off and rocking briefly), the car was amazingly agile (think car platform) and highly efficient taking the roads at about 27mpg+ for the entire trip, park speeds and "Stingrey" speeds on 75mph highways. I've been reviewing 'em for a while though, and the 4 doesn't get good reviews. You have to get the optional engine, but if you look at Edmunds(.com) and check out the hybrid, you'll see that the hybrid gets the best reviews of 'em all. While the mileage is not very different in relation to the price difference, the reliability aspect may be worth noting. I've driven the Xterra out at the park, loved it. I've driven quite a few other rentals out at the park, didn't do as well offroad. But the Escape... THAT car does great AS a car and daily driver and *just* squeaks by in terms of room, though not likely enough to sleep in for me. On the flip side, it can handily get down the unpaved roads that James' Trailblazer got down, and that more than anything is what I want out of my "all around" Big Bend driver.

On a completely related note though, I just got a 2002 Trans Am not long ago. WS6. Efficient enough if I keep from doing burnouts at each green light, but definitely not an off road vehicle. Despite this, I think it will be MY perfect Big Bend car come October and it will remain the go to car for some time to go once I experience driving up into The Basin with the tops off. 'Till the next ride comes along (looked at the Raptor, but 17mpg = not cool, but who knows since I work from home) I am STILL thinking that an Escape is one of the better all around platforms out there which CAN handle some moderate off road situations whereas most SUV's of today's set are built to ONLY go on paved roads. The Escape is worth checking out if you get a chance. Test drive a new one for grins. There are a ton of nicer looking rides in the price category, but again, for the performance/fuel efficiency/daily driver aspect of it, I can't think of a better Big Bend car for someone in San Antonio looking to hit the road to the park any chance I can while saving on gas and STILL being able to get off road fairly frequently.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2011, 04:22:35 PM »
Escape sounds pretty good.

We rented a Ford Flex last weekend, and it was pretty dang good, especiall for sleeping in; not high clearance though, but we did easily go all the way to Kite Lake in it.

The Beast (our Ford conversion van) has been all the way up South Colony Lakes road, and to Sauceda.  But I don't like taking there.  It's also been as far as LA this year.  Good for sleeping in.

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rauburg

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2011, 06:11:13 PM »
My last company vehicle was darn near perfect - A Ford F150 Crew cab with unlimited personal usage. Can't beat free  ;)

Honestly, I have driven all kinds of oilfield lease roads and short cuts in everything from a Ford Granada, Ford Tempo, up through Impala's, LTD's, and pick ups. I have been in snow, sand, and mud and have rarely been stuck, probably less than a 3 or 4 times.  And I was able to dig myself out with a GI tri-fold entrenching tool more than once. The most important thing in West Texas, by far, is ground clearance, not traction or pulling power. I did drag bottom and knock a hole in a gas tank in an LTD once and I am sure that I wouldn't have had that problem with a pick up.

Me, I would love to have a new F150 crew cab with an Eco Boost engine, and maybe a camper shell. I always thought that camper shells were for old men and, now that I am 60, I guess I qualify.

Oh yeah almost forgot, 10 ply tires, the ride is rough but you never get flats.

Randy
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 10:08:49 PM by rauburg »

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2011, 06:55:12 PM »
Quick, I'm with you on the FJ, that was my former pick for a dream car, but again the mpg comes up short for a daily driver. I guess when I do dump the current daily driver, I could put the T/A to use as the daily driver and get something less efficient... Like the Raptor or the FJ :)

Between the two, I think the Raptor has a bit more off road oomph, and the impressive amount of room dwarfs the FJ... But then again, the FJ is tried and true. When the time comes for all of us, I'm sure ALL vehicles that can make it to the bend and back reliably will put a smile on our faces!

Not sure what my T/A's lights are like in the park, but the Escape's headlights were great! That is the only other aspect I had on my list of things to compare when I get my Big Bend worthy ride... Just a side note in case anyone else is considering the Escape. Again, I've taken a good deal of vehicles out there, and in the dark you REALLY get to see which rides shine... Pun intended. Some come up way short.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2011, 07:03:26 PM »
I've been really tied up lately... But not in a bad way! I've been clearing out the clutter and getting things in order... Working almost as hard at home as I do at work, so it's been some long days and nights. Upgrading, so to speak. Now if I can just bring the yard back from the brink, I think I'll be doing pretty well here in 2011!
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline Doc Savage

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2011, 09:10:06 PM »
Well I think I have the perfect road trip vehicle. My Gulfstream Endura motorhome which I use to flat tow my Jeep Wrangler for those fun little side trips.

Robert
Enjoying the Texas life!

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Offline Casa Grande

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Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2011, 10:59:53 PM »
Miss my CJ and my Wrangler.  Nothing like going topless in the most agile trail climber ever made.  I've driven the xterra, land rover, hyndai sonata, Honda civic, mountaineer, blazer, and Cherokee on the backroads of bibe and there is nothing like the CJ (except a motorcycle). 

I wanted a new LJ until my brother-in-law bought one.  It's like driving a cave.


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« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 07:57:48 AM by Casa Grande »

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Offline MilesOfTexas

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Re: Anyone find the "perfect" roadtrip vehicle?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2011, 10:26:58 AM »
Quick, I'm with you on the FJ, that was my former pick for a dream car, but again the mpg comes up short for a daily driver. I guess when I do dump the current daily driver, I could put the T/A to use as the daily driver and get something less efficient... Like the Raptor or the FJ :)

Between the two, I think the Raptor has a bit more off road oomph, and the impressive amount of room dwarfs the FJ... But then again, the FJ is tried and true. When the time comes for all of us, I'm sure ALL vehicles that can make it to the bend and back reliably will put a smile on our faces!

Not sure what my T/A's lights are like in the park, but the Escape's headlights were great! That is the only other aspect I had on my list of things to compare when I get my Big Bend worthy ride... Just a side note in case anyone else is considering the Escape. Again, I've taken a good deal of vehicles out there, and in the dark you REALLY get to see which rides shine... Pun intended. Some come up way short.

Well sir, how much off road oomph are you looking for?  I am a member of the FJ Cruiser forums and the members do amazing things with FJ's.  I am not saying one or the other is more capable than the other, but I do know more about the FJ than the Raptor, and the FJ is an extremely capable off road vehicle.  A couple of oomph images :) (yes, I know it isn't 100% stock, just from a 'potential' viewpoint)



« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 10:39:19 AM by MilesOfTexas »
"I have an excellent profession, but I don't enjoy it near as much as I do when I am in the heart of the wilderness, surrounded by marvelous creations, and efforting to capture what I see and feel so I may share it with others."

-Me 09/12/2011

 


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