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  1. #1
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    Throw me some vehicle ideas

    I'm shopping. I only have a couple of big wants, and those really limit my options. I'll call them needs in this case:
    -Adaptive cruise
    -4x4/AWD for getting to camping spots mostly.
    -Ability to keep a bike inside, preferably with wheels on.
    -Sleeping space

    Small want is for it to be as American built as possible (I know, that's complicated) and have the potential for it to be my "last" vehicle. Maybe not my actual last, but a LONG time.

    New isn't a requirement. BUT, cruise control kinda restricts how old it can be. I have found some older "luxury" SUV's with ACC like a 2008 Infinity (I use Carmax to browse) but as mileage goes up, it starts to defeat the purpose of replacing my current car for reliability.

    Currently driving a 2012 Ford Fiesta with 150,000 miles. No problems yet. But it is hard to carry all my gear inside and I definitely can't sleep inside.

    Options I'm considering (but not limited to):
    -Slightly used F150.
    -Even less used Outback.
    -New generation Ridgeline.
    -New Ranger

    I'm very mechanically inclined, but, I prefer to do planned repairs vs on the side of the road. Not much in the van arena for AWD and ACC, or a minivan might be perfect. SUV's limit some interior space, but maybe a three row is big enough. I don't know how I feel about Jeep quality for SUV's, so a Grand Cherokee makes me nervous. Ford Flex looks pretty capable, even if low to the ground.

    I don't really have a lower limit to the budget. Upper end is around the 35k budget. I figured I should be able to talk a dealer down pretty well if I wait until the end of the year based on the declining car sales. I can get a VERY well equipped, used F150 for that and I know I will be able to keep it running indefinitely. Ranger is new, but using common tech from other Ford's so parts should be easy there too. Jeep's would be easy to find parts for. Not sure if an older Infinity/Acura etc would cost a fortune to maintain, or be cheap and reliable because of their background. You can see why I might want to avoid an German vehicle...

    Anyway, toss out ideas if you have them! I really want that ACC and AWD or else I would buy a 20 year old F150 and be done with it

  2. #2
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    as American built as possible ?

    get a Toyota Tundra. look it up

    F150 is made from....a lot more foreign parts
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  3. #3
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    If you want to keep the wheels on inside, you're looking at a van or pick-up. I recently bought an F-150 with a 6.5 ft bed, that's great. But I felt a topper was necessary, so I got it too. The topper was a big expense (with the extras I got).

    I've been a Toyota guy in the past, but I couldn't pass on the F-150 price (I got a really good deal). If it wasn't for the bargain, I don't know if I would have bought it. They are expensive and the gas mileage is not good (which is something you might want to think about). Don't laugh, but check out a Toyota Sienna XLE/AWD. Lots of room, lots of extras, good mileage and reliable. Although, you really can't take it off road, but you can gravel road it.

  4. #4
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    ^^^oh yeah the Sienna AWD has ROOM

    can crate two MTB tandems with ease


    and you can get them lifted, parts exist

    https://www.journeysoffroad.com/toyo...-lift-kit.html
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  5. #5
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    AWD Sienna. You can find the 2005-2010 iteration for 5-7k with around 120k on the clock. They run forever and are SMOOTH. There's a legit 3.5" all inclusive lift for all years now. It's only $750 and easy to install or cheap to have installed. Some dealers around me now offer off the lot Sienna's with the lift installed which speaks to it's engineering. It allows for larger tires and much more ground clearance making it much more capable.

    AWD Astro or Safari. These are harder to find in good shape and getting a little dated.

    AWD full size Chevy van. They hold their value extremely well on the left coast. People want ridiculous money for them even with higher miles.

    Any for Ford with a quigly. Expect to pay big money and get seriously shitty mpg's.

    Also, don't discount any van with a limited slip diff and good tires. For your described needs it'd be just fine. As a guy that does a lot of boondock camping and riding nothing beats the space and utility of a van.
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  6. #6
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    A Sienna is a good idea. I'll look more into that.

    I'm a former rock crawler guy. AWD is to avoid chains in snow too. Still have to run chains around here if it snows. FWD and decent tires was all I needed in Alaska

    Part of the reason I like the Ridgeline, part, is it is more American than most everything on the road. Other great reasons too.

    I'm trying to convince myself I don't need a truck. Which as a guy who still technically has a horse, that's hard to do. But I'm trying.

    MPG is virtually no concern. Gas is cheap and I drive slow.

    I'm short enough that I can sleep in the back seat of an F150. That frees up the bed for being a functional area.

    I've mostly written off Toyota trucks due to cost. I can buy way more F150 than I can tundra. And at least with my ex's F150, it still feels like an old tractor to work on. I don't have any experience working on Toyotas.

  7. #7
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    At a quick glance, I think I'll have to toss out the Sienna as an option. I can't find any AWD models in any dealer lots around me. Nothing on Carmax either unless I want to fly across the country.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    At a quick glance, I think I'll have to toss out the Sienna as an option. I can't find any AWD models in any dealer lots around me. Nothing on Carmax either unless I want to fly across the country.
    I thought CarMax had a class action suit due to selling lemons.

    Might wanted to dig into that.
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  9. #9
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    CarMax car prices in Portland are literally sticker price for a car with 100k. I don't understand their business model yet there are huge CarMax's everywhere here.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    I thought CarMax had a class action suit due to selling lemons.

    Might wanted to dig into that.
    I'm not planning to buy from them. It is just a market indicator. I can get a rough idea of what is out there and comparable pricing to different vehicles. Craigslist is a total disaster because anyone can post anything.

    I don't know if I will buy from a dealer lot or private party. But for research I am using CM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm not planning to buy from them. It is just a market indicator. I can get a rough idea of what is out there and comparable pricing to different vehicles. Craigslist is a total disaster because anyone can post anything.

    I don't know if I will buy from a dealer lot or private party, but for research, I am using CM.
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  12. #12
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    My bike fits in my 4 door wrangler with the front tire off and the seat dropped. I believe the JL's have adaptive cruise. I don't believe you can get into one for 35k though. Jeep GC/Dodge durango have adaptive cruise and might be an option.

  13. #13
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    Half ton pickup with a topper is the way to go.

  14. #14
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    I'll hopefully be in the market within a year, and I've got a similar set of criteria. The major differences on my list include that the vehicle be the primary tow vehicle for my teardrop camper (1400lb loaded, so not exactly a really high demand towing situation) and the ability to grab supplies for yard work. I also prefer the ability to keep the bike somewhere enclosed, but also separate from the cabin/seating area to help keep things cleaner.

    I was looking hard at the new Ridgeline at the Honda lot when I had my 12yr old Fit in for some routine service recently. The only thing I really wish about it (on paper, anyway) is that the fuel economy was a touch better. Otherwise, it basically has everything I need (minus the camper shell), and oddly enough, it's mostly cheaper than other midsize trucks on the market.

    Still, midsize trucks seem to be stupid expensive for the most part these days. I'm not enthused to spend $30k+ on one (I've never spent more than $25k for a new vehicle in the past), so I've thought about buying something older, used, and dropping a new crate engine into it. But that honestly doesn't appeal to me any more than just buying one new. What I do know, though, is that the resale market for most vehicles that interest me is even more stupid from a buyer's standpoint. I just can't see spending $25k for something with over 100k on the clock.

    No way in hell would I go anywhere near a Jeep if I wanted something long term and reliable. My wife bought one a long time ago (was caught up in the "image" of Jeep) against my advice and we had more problems with that thing than we've had with anything else we've owned.

  15. #15
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    Sleeping space? Get a Sprinter or get a cargo/transit van.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoDakSooner View Post
    My bike fits in my 4 door wrangler with the front tire off and the seat dropped. I believe the JL's have adaptive cruise. I don't believe you can get into one for 35k though. Jeep GC/Dodge durango have adaptive cruise and might be an option.
    I virtually never travel with less than one bike, often with three if I bring someone else. A Wrangler would have less space than my Fiesta.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Half ton pickup with a topper is the way to go.
    Hard to argue. But I am trying. I loved the F150.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I'll hopefully be in the market within a year, and I've got a similar set of criteria. The major differences on my list include that the vehicle be the primary tow vehicle for my teardrop camper (1400lb loaded, so not exactly a really high demand towing situation) and the ability to grab supplies for yard work. I also prefer the ability to keep the bike somewhere enclosed, but also separate from the cabin/seating area to help keep things cleaner.

    I was looking hard at the new Ridgeline at the Honda lot when I had my 12yr old Fit in for some routine service recently. The only thing I really wish about it (on paper, anyway) is that the fuel economy was a touch better. Otherwise, it basically has everything I need (minus the camper shell), and oddly enough, it's mostly cheaper than other midsize trucks on the market.

    Still, midsize trucks seem to be stupid expensive for the most part these days. I'm not enthused to spend $30k+ on one (I've never spent more than $25k for a new vehicle in the past), so I've thought about buying something older, used, and dropping a new crate engine into it. But that honestly doesn't appeal to me any more than just buying one new. What I do know, though, is that the resale market for most vehicles that interest me is even more stupid from a buyer's standpoint. I just can't see spending $25k for something with over 100k on the clock.

    No way in hell would I go anywhere near a Jeep if I wanted something long term and reliable. My wife bought one a long time ago (was caught up in the "image" of Jeep) against my advice and we had more problems with that thing than we've had with anything else we've owned.
    Very similar thinking here. My most expensive vehicle is this Fiesta, which my ex insisted on buying new.

  17. #17
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    Toyota 4Runner. But youíll have to get a 2020 to get the adaptive cruise control. Mine will take 2 bikes with the front wheels off mounted to Kuat Dirtbag mounts in the back (with the rear seats folded down). With the rear seat bottoms removed itís van-like in there.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm shopping. I only have a couple of big wants, and those really limit my options. I'll call them needs in this case:
    -Adaptive cruise
    -4x4/AWD for getting to camping spots mostly.
    -Ability to keep a bike inside, preferably with wheels on.
    -Sleeping space

    Small want is for it to be as American built as possible (I know, that's complicated) and have the potential for it to be my "last" vehicle. Maybe not my actual last, but a LONG time.

    I'm very mechanically inclined, but, I prefer to do planned repairs vs on the side of the road.
    Long list of qualifiers...

    Just based on a few of them, those that I bolded, I'd suggest looking for a Chevy Tahoe. I currently own two. One with 180,000 miles on it, the other with 300,00 miles. I bought both new. I can count on less than two hands the repairs I've had to do on both of them. I drive them relentlessly... both are Z71 4WD, and they're used like 4WD's. They're happy and capable wherever I take them. They have decent ground clearance in stock form, but both of ours have minor lifts and slightly over sized tires on them. They have all the creature comforts... dual AC, video in the rear, NAV, Bose sound, leather, captain seats all around, etc., etc. Yeah, new a Z71 Tahoe can be over $90k out the door, but you can find used ones in your price range. But focus on Z71's, not LT, LTZ, etc.

    Simple to work on. Recommended tunes ups are at 100k miles... I do mine at 150k. No issues, plugs still clean. Oil change indicator usually comes on between 8 to 10k miles, depending how how I've been driving. Brakes seem to last forever. Over 100k miles between brake jobs, and I'me heavy on the breaks. Easy to do brake jobs, too. I have never had to to roadside repairs on either of the Tahoe's.

    Can't fit a bike in them with both wheels on unless you lay it down. With rear seats out (3rd row) and second row seats folded, I can easily get two bikes upright with front wheels off. Obviously, with one bike upright, there's room for one to sleep in the rear. Room for three with no bikes inside, although you'll be "cozy" Two comfortably.

    They're great for long travel. Comfortable and roomy. Mine have been all over the U.S. I once pulled a 6,000 pound trailer non stop for over 30 hours (plus a few power naps), and the 200k mile (at the time) Tahoe never complained.

    Tahoe's are build on GM's truck frames and have the same drive train, but have the creature comforts of a large SUV. Great combo. And, if you need to, you can fit 4x8 sheets of plywood, 8' 2x4's, etc. inside 'em.

    However... if you're concerned about gas mileage, look elsewhere. Both of mine get around 16 in town, over 20 something on the highway (not pulling a trailer). I don't really pay that close attention to mileage. But I do notice I get 450-470+ miles a tank on the road. I do pay attention to tank distance because we sometimes travel to pretty remote areas.

    I'm pretty sure a Tahoe will be my last vehicle (besides my bike! ), maybe even the ones I currently have they way they're lasting. At least as long as I don't shrink too much in my old age and can't see over the steering wheel any more...

    I'm sure someone will voice other experiences, as they would for any vehicle, but my experience has been great with Tahoe's.
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  19. #19
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    I have a 2015 outback and it's a super vehicle for sketchy road conditions and moderate four wheeling. Gets me anywhere I need to go for camping and it's super stable in the snow. However putting a bike in there with the wheel on is impossible. I use a hitch rack.

    If space is a priority I guess I'd be looking at a half ton pickup with a camper. so much easier to throw the bike in and go, and you could make a pretty comfortable sleeping situation out of it.... quickly.

  20. #20
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    I've been a full sized 4WD/4 door pickup guy since 2005 and that's only been 2 vehicles...both Ram 1500's with 5.7L hemi. The 2005 I bought new and traded in after 8 years with 185K miles. Great truck and it never gave me a problem. Current 2014 now has over 150K also with great reliability. I do all mntc and they are pretty easy to work on and find parts for.

    I average 18+mpg with the 2014 and it puts out 395hp...that's pretty good for such a huge vehicle. The 6.5' bed allows me to put my big XL framed Kona in wheels on (kitty corner but it fits). Very comfy ride (20" rims), nice interior, upgraded stereo, full power, etc. This truck was about $30K new in 2014. Tons of low mileage 'certified' models with extended warranty out there less than $30K.

    If you want big, roomy, comfy, and versatility it's tough to beat a full sized p/u. I'm sure it's a similar story for F150, Silverado, GMC, Tundra if that's your preference.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    Toyota 4Runner. But youíll have to get a 2020 to get the adaptive cruise control. Mine will take 2 bikes with the front wheels off mounted to Kuat Dirtbag mounts in the back (with the rear seats folded down). With the rear seat bottoms removed itís van-like in there.
    Unfortunately, 2020 ANYTHING pretty much break my budget

    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    But focus on Z71's, not LT, LTZ, etc.

    Simple to work on. Recommended tunes ups are at 100k miles... I do mine at 150k.
    Your feedback sounds pretty close to what I am looking for. I'll look more into those. Looks like they got ACC in 2017 or so, which means I could probably pick one up used for a deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    I have a 2015 outback and it's a super vehicle for sketchy road conditions and moderate four wheeling. Gets me anywhere I need to go for camping and it's super stable in the snow. However putting a bike in there with the wheel on is impossible. I use a hitch rack.
    I have heard a lot of mixed reports about their long term reliability. And I have kind of considered picking one up used to hold me over for 5 or so years while I save up for something even better.

    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    I've been a full sized 4WD/4 door pickup guy since 2005 and that's only been 2 vehicles...both Ram 1500's with 5.7L hemi. The 2005 I bought new and traded in after 8 years with 185K miles. Great truck and it never gave me a problem. Current 2014 now has over 150K also with great reliability. I do all mntc and they are pretty easy to work on and find parts for.

    I average 18+mpg with the 2014 and it puts out 395hp...that's pretty good for such a huge vehicle. The 6.5' bed allows me to put my big XL framed Kona in wheels on (kitty corner but it fits). Very comfy ride (20" rims), nice interior, upgraded stereo, full power, etc. This truck was about $30K new in 2014. Tons of low mileage 'certified' models with extended warranty out there less than $30K.

    If you want big, roomy, comfy, and versatility it's tough to beat a full sized p/u. I'm sure it's a similar story for F150, Silverado, GMC, Tundra if that's your preference.
    I don't know why, but always been concerned about Dodge reliability. But I think the lower demand compared to the F Series means I can probably get a better deal on a Ram too. I imagine they are still as easy to work on as the other American trucks. I just know to avoid the diesels with emissions controls (which is a bummer).

  22. #22
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    A Subaru with a slight lift and bigger than stock tires will put you at 11-12" of ground clearance, which is more than the ACTUAL ground clearance of the vast majority of pickup trucks, most of which have a lot of shit dangling below the axle. Short of rock crawling, it will be more than enough for getting to remote camping spots.

    It will also outlive any American made pickup truck. Sorry, but that's the truth. Even "bad" Subaru model years are going to crush any Ford, Dodge or Chevy in that department.
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    your original post put your budget $35K tops. the 4Runner SR5 is at $36K MSRP. its not American made, but is super reliable.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    your original post put your budget $35K tops. the 4Runner SR5 is at $36K MSRP. its not American made, but is super reliable.
    can confirm
    my 4runner made in Japan 20 years old... 250,000 miles and change, has been super reliable. only things it needed have been the usual things (a sensor wears out or sway bar links rusts, small parts rusting (New England salt))

    it has never, ever left me stranded, or failed to start and run and drive even once.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I'm sure someone will voice other experiences, as they would for any vehicle, but my experience has been great with Tahoe's.
    Downside to Tahoe is a lack of space IMO; if you're gonna spend the dough and deal with the mileage, might as well go Suburban. Basically same vehicle but you can actually fit a ton more shit inside; you've gotta drop the seats in a Tahoe to fit much more than groceries in the back.

    Of course prices for anything new enough to have ACC are astronomical, so probably not really a useful suggestion here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    A Subaru with a slight lift and bigger than stock tires will put you at 11-12" of ground clearance, which is more than the ACTUAL ground clearance of the vast majority of pickup trucks, most of which have a lot of shit dangling below the axle. Short of rock crawling, it will be more than enough for getting to remote camping spots.

    It will also outlive any American made pickup truck. Sorry, but that's the truth. Even "bad" Subaru model years are going to crush any Ford, Dodge or Chevy in that department.
    Every time I see a Crosstrek, which is about every 5 minutes, I can't help but think about that

    I'm not terribly concerned with height. As someone else mentioned, a locker would be plenty. I just don't want to deal with chains around here, since they require chains to get up the mountain where I live when it snows. Where I like to go camp isn't crazy backwoods, but my little Fiesta is near its limits when things get a little slick and I don't want to use the "when in doubt, gas it out" method on a commuter car Stock height Outback will certainly get me where I want to go. And hopefully not tempt me to get stupid and go places I shouldn't (like a Wrangler would tempt me).

    Decisions decisions

    Luckily I have a ton of time to decide

  27. #27
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    The ground clearance on the current generation of Outbacks I believe is 9 1/2 in. That's more than enough for general camping needs. It's actually more than a stock Jeep Grand Cherokee. I threw some all-terrain geolandar tires on it and it gets me every where I want to go. The all-wheel-drive is fantastic as well and at that price range nothing comes close to its performance. Audi might but at a much higher price tag.

    The biggest issue with their engines came in the 2000s I believe. I'm not going to pretend it to remember which model engine but it was the 4-cylinder model that had a lot of head gasket problems on the Outback and Forester. It was an expensive fix for many. Haven't heard of that problem since that particular engine.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    The ground clearance on the current generation of Outbacks I believe is 9 1/2 in. That's more than enough for general camping needs. It's actually more than a stock Jeep Grand Cherokee. I threw some all-terrain geolandar tires on it and it gets me every where I want to go. The all-wheel-drive is fantastic as well and at that price range nothing comes close to its performance. Audi might but at a much higher price tag.

    The biggest issue with their engines came in the 2000s I believe. I'm not going to pretend it to remember which model engine but it was the 4-cylinder model that had a lot of head gasket problems on the Outback and Forester. It was an expensive fix for many. Haven't heard of that problem since that particular engine.
    I see quite a few crosstreks with all terrains on them. And from asking the folks who drive them, most aren't even putting on any extra lift. They just put those tires on because they spend so much time driving the gravel forest roads around here. Most aren't bad, but a couple do warrant the extra traction. It's just that those roads are really hard on your typical street tires. It's sure tempting to put some on the wife's crosstrek. but we got a lifetime tires deal from the dealership where we bought it. it's already paid for itself, so saving a little extra money here and there is helpful.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    It will also outlive any American made pickup truck. Sorry, but that's the truth. Even "bad" Subaru model years are going to crush any Ford, Dodge or Chevy in that department.
    That may be a bit optimistic. New England is full of Subaru's...they are very popular but if you do a search on head gasket you will find countless issues. I have a buddy that is a mechanic and he has always had a Subaru or two in his shop for headwork. Not saying they are better or worse than anything else but they have their shortfalls. I've had 2 American made pickups since 2005 totaling almost 350,000 miles and the current one is still going strong with 155K. Not one issue with either truck and that's dealing with tough New England winters. Have many friends with full size trucks and similar reliability.
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    This thread forgot about the OPs initial post and his requirements: keep a bike inside preferably with the wheels on, and being able to sleep inside. Kinda rules out the Subaru.

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    Given the requirement for a bike inside with wheels on. I'm thinking maybe skip the ACC part and just get an Express/Savanna AWD and call it good. Or up the budget a little bit and wait for the AWD Ford Transit coming next year which will have all the technology goodies. I've got a GX470 myself and am thinking of going the Express/Savanna or possibly even the Promaster with crewcab conversion setup next year.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    That may be a bit optimistic. New England is full of Subaru's...they are very popular but if you do a search on head gasket you will find countless issues. I have a buddy that is a mechanic and he has always had a Subaru or two in his shop for headwork. Not saying they are better or worse than anything else but they have their shortfalls. I've had 2 American made pickups since 2005 totaling almost 350,000 miles and the current one is still going strong with 155K. Not one issue with either truck and that's dealing with tough New England winters. Have many friends with full size trucks and similar reliability.
    My Subaru, with head gasket we fixed at home, for about $50, has 320,000+ miles on it.








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    Well, I fixed my Subaru for $49 and it has 321,000 miles on it😂. Still wonít hold a bike with wheels on it though

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    Yes, space is limited in an Outback compared to a pickup. Forget a Crosstrek. That's why I still suggest a half ton pickup with a camper for the op's listed needs. And I am an Outback owner.

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    Throw me some vehicle ideas

    Iíve owned several of your options including the 2017 Outback, 2010 Flex, 1997 F150, 2011 Ram 1500, and lately a first gen 2006 Tundra.

    Hard to argue the space and utility of a half ton 4x4 pickup with a shell for meeting all your requirements. The Outback is more off-road capable than all but the F150 and Tundra (includingthe Ram) and more sure footed on snowy roads than all of them.

    I use a 1up hitch rack and can sleep in the back. And the adaptive cruise control totally rocks.

    ďOnlyĒ 60k miles on it so far ( yes, in two years) but it has been perfectly reliable. Oil changes and tires is all it has required. Oh, and a fully loaded 3.6R was under $40k brand new.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    That may be a bit optimistic. New England is full of Subaru's...they are very popular but if you do a search on head gasket you will find countless issues. I have a buddy that is a mechanic and he has always had a Subaru or two in his shop for headwork. Not saying they are better or worse than anything else but they have their shortfalls. I've had 2 American made pickups since 2005 totaling almost 350,000 miles and the current one is still going strong with 155K. Not one issue with either truck and that's dealing with tough New England winters. Have many friends with full size trucks and similar reliability.
    Head gasket issues pretty much went away around Ď11 or Ď12 for the Foresters and Outbacks with the FB25 engine

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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    The ground clearance on the current generation of Outbacks I believe is 9 1/2 in. .

    .
    Clearance seems to stay at 8.7Ē thru the Ď20 model year. Still, a lot for a ďcarĒ

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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    I have a 2015 outback and it's a super vehicle for sketchy road conditions and moderate four wheeling. Gets me anywhere I need to go for camping and it's super stable in the snow. However putting a bike in there with the wheel on is impossible. I use a hitch rack.

    If space is a priority I guess I'd be looking at a half ton pickup with a camper. so much easier to throw the bike in and go, and you could make a pretty comfortable sleeping situation out of it.... quickly.
    I can barely fit my medium sized Specialized Chisel HT, 29íer with 2.4 tires, in my Ď17 OB. But it does fit with the front wheel on as long as itís aligned to the back of the passenger seat.

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    Strongly leaning towards Outback now, too many positive reports from people I know. I'll see if I can get a deal on a leftover '19 at the end of the year. If not, I'll start looking for used units. I'm leaning towards a 2.5 since I might as well get the better gas mileage if I am going with a car anyway. The wheel on inside isn't a requirement, just preferred. For my local riding I am sure I can just slide the bike laying flat. When I travel, I will pull the wheel off and/or use a rack. I'd rather have ACC than wheel on capability.

    I'm not dead set on that, but that's my leaning.

    As for American truck reliability, I have worked for a couple of contractors who had fleet vans and trucks for commercial HVACR work. Those Econolines with the little 4.6 was just dead reliable. In the three years I worked for the one company with I think 12 employees in that office, I only remember ONE transmission going out. Bare in mind, the vans are loaded with thousands of pounds of tools, cabinets, and spare parts. Also driven like rentals. And the company owned them, not leased, so they were driven into the ground for a good 20 years before they would get replaced. I think the spare van had 300,000 miles on it. The platform just works, and works, and works. So I also have the temptation to go back to what I know.

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    don't know if you have considered the kia telluride, they look halfway decent, half way decent gas mileage and not overpriced. Been wanting to look at one myself as the outback and 4runner are the two other choices I've narrowed it down to for myself.

  41. #41
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    I have a 2014 Outback purchased new in 2013 and with the back seats down I used to fit my size small 29er with the wheels on all the time. I have a hitch rack now, but still...it was never a problem. Also, the car has been flawless and has almost 120,000 miles on it.

    Oh yeah, it was made in Indiana, USA.
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    Not sure a Subaru fits your stated needs, but I'm a fan of the brand. Sorta wish we'd gone for an OB a couple years back when we bought a Crosstrek, but my wife loves it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Strongly leaning towards Outback now, too many positive reports from people I know. I'll see if I can get a deal on a leftover '19 at the end of the year.
    As you probably know, the Outback has been redesigned for 2020. I think the '19s are clearing out pretty quickly so if you wait until the end of the year, they may be all gone.

    I'm probably about to buy a Crosstrek. Kinda waiting for them to announce the 2020s but they still haven't for some reason.
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    Toyota Highlander. Has everything youíre looking for. We love ours.
    "You can become a very fast donkey, but you'll never be a thoroughbred..."

  45. #45
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    Not to dismiss what everyone here is saying because it all sounds dead on, I have an 09 Suburban. LOVE it. It has all the room in the world, it is EASY to take care of and runs great with 180,000 miles on it.
    The only thing I'm not sure of is it's off road capabilities. It's kinda long and low to do any real offroading but I guess that could be remedied somewhat with taller tires.
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    I just don't like driving large vehicles. I currently have a '06 Forester but I don't really like driving my wife's '15 Forester, it just feels big and clunky compared to mine. My legs are short enough that I'm able to fit my bike in the back with the front wheel on inside of mine. I'm holding out a tiny hope that I can do the same with a Crosstrek but I doubt it; maybe my CX as it seems to have a lot of spare room but probably not my mountain bikes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I'm sure someone will voice other experiences, as they would for any vehicle, but my experience has been great with Tahoe's.
    Downside to Tahoe is a lack of space IMO; if you're gonna spend the dough and deal with the mileage, might as well go Suburban. Basically same vehicle but you can actually fit a ton more shit inside; you've gotta drop the seats in a Tahoe to fit much more than groceries in the back.
    Agree that a Suburban has a significant amount of more room in the tail than the Tahoe. I shy away from them though due to overall length. We tend to get into pretty tight spaces off-roading. I had a long bed extended cab Silverado Z71, and it got me into trouble. Got wedged between trees and high centered that thing more than once. If it wen't for length, we'd probably have Suburbans. They're better for towing longer trailers too.
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    Not to get off the topic (but I will anyway)... but one of the OP's wishes was ACC. Do most really like ACC? I don't mainly because I keep getting pushed back as other drivers fill in the space in front of me, which constantly leads to ACC slowing the car down more and more. Sure, it's maintaining what is considered a text book safe distance. But text book isn't reality. That, and I prefer to drive the car rather than the car driving me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by natas1321 View Post
    don't know if you have considered the kia telluride, they look halfway decent, half way decent gas mileage and not overpriced. Been wanting to look at one myself as the outback and 4runner are the two other choices I've narrowed it down to for myself.
    I haven't, but I will.

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    As you probably know, the Outback has been redesigned for 2020. I think the '19s are clearing out pretty quickly so if you wait until the end of the year, they may be all gone.
    No FOMO here, if they are gone, I'll go used. I really should wait until after February in case my union decides to strike. But I also know the best deals are after Christmas, so that's why I'm shopping. If I miss out, then I'll just save more, wait until after the new contract, then have even more down. And if we go on strike, I'll just take a long vacation in my Fiesta

    Quote Originally Posted by homey View Post
    Toyota Highlander. Has everything youíre looking for. We love ours.
    I'll look into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    It's kinda long and low to do any real offroading but I guess that could be remedied somewhat with taller tires.
    I'm not too worried about off road. I'm not looking to go crazy, out of the way places. Just get through some loose stuff, and not need chains in the snow. Maybe get me or someone else out of a jam, but, not too worried.

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I just don't like driving large vehicles.
    I grew up with a truck driver father, and my last unit had me towing boats for deployments. Large vehicles are just normal. And I also tend to slow down more and relax in large vehicles. Small ones, while convenient, get me tempted to see how fast I can go through that corner...

    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    Not to get off the topic (but I will anyway)... but one of the OP's wishes was ACC. Do most really like ACC? I don't mainly because I keep getting pushed back as other drivers fill in the space in front of me, which constantly leads to ACC slowing the car down more and more. Sure, it's maintaining what is considered a text book safe distance. But text book isn't reality. That, and I prefer to drive the car rather than the car driving me.
    I think it depends on your driving style. I prefer to be more laid back. I would rather just let someone in and not stress over it than get all worked up. But right now, I get all worked up! Part of why I want the ACC, to just relax more. I already hate driving enough as it is.

    To me, the only pure driving is off highway/race track. Anything else isn't ACTUALLY driving, just being a passenger on the road. Why stress over it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by natas1321 View Post
    don't know if you have considered the kia telluride, they look halfway decent, half way decent gas mileage and not overpriced. Been wanting to look at one myself as the outback and 4runner are the two other choices I've narrowed it down to for myself.
    Quick review online really has me interested!

  51. #51
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    Once the wife's mini is ready to go, we are likely looking at a Honda passport. Decent room inside with seats folded down, bigger than a crv but smaller than a pilot. New ones supposed to have good AWD system too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    Not to get off the topic (but I will anyway)... but one of the OP's wishes was ACC. Do most really like ACC? I don't mainly because I keep getting pushed back as other drivers fill in the space in front of me, which constantly leads to ACC slowing the car down more and more. Sure, it's maintaining what is considered a text book safe distance. But text book isn't reality. That, and I prefer to drive the car rather than the car driving me.
    I didnít get it on my Ď17 Outback (Eyesight) as it was bundled with stuff I really didnít want. My wifeís new Mazda 3 hatch has it and I used it extensively on a 3 day weekend last week. It is NOT good at stop-and-go city commuting, though they have a version that can do that, supposedly. It does work for highway, but I wasnít a fan.

    Maybe itís the way Mazda executes it but it seemed that if I had cruise engaged, was creeping up on a car in the lane, the car would just slow down to whatever speed the vehicle in front of me was doing and whatís the point of that ?. I learned to set to minimal distance and to anticipate and change lanes but I do that anyway with no Adaptive system. I do like features like lane drift, blind spot, rear backup warning, etc.... but ACC not so much.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    Not to get off the topic (but I will anyway)... but one of the OP's wishes was ACC. Do most really like ACC?
    Me personally? No use for it.

    Specifically bought the Outback without Eyesight as well. I've read stories of folks getting handed $1300 windshield repair bills (no insurance) due to combo of glass and eyesight re-calibration. I just would turn it off if I had it anyhow. Today's tech is still too glitchy/unreliable for me. By the time it's perfected we won't even be allowed to personally operate a car anyhow: SAD: lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Strongly leaning towards Outback now, too many positive reports from people I know. I'll see if I can get a deal on a leftover '19 at the end of the year. If not, I'll start looking for used units. I'm leaning towards a 2.5 since I might as well get the better gas mileage if I am going with a car anyway.
    My wife has a '16 OB with the H6 3.6L. When she bought it, I was initially pushing the 2.5, but after the fact, I'm glad we got the H6. I really like that engine. It produces 'easy' power and the car just effortlessly cruises. I believe the real world fuel efficiency between the two are actually very similar as well. I think the 2.5 MPG is a bit over-estimated on paper.

    I'll admit, I kind of like that lifted Sienna. That is definitely unique.

  55. #55
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    I didn't get it on my Durango. Glad I didn't as I wouldn't use it. My father in law's BMW X3 has it and it is really hard to get used to. You can program the follow distance, but it took me forever to figure out why the darn thing was slowing down and the closest vehicle was 100 yards ahead.

    I don't use cruise in traffic anyway, and I like being able to regulate manually on the interstate.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    That may be a bit optimistic. New England is full of Subaru's...they are very popular but if you do a search on head gasket you will find countless issues. I have a buddy that is a mechanic and he has always had a Subaru or two in his shop for headwork. Not saying they are better or worse than anything else but they have their shortfalls. I've had 2 American made pickups since 2005 totaling almost 350,000 miles and the current one is still going strong with 155K. Not one issue with either truck and that's dealing with tough New England winters. Have many friends with full size trucks and similar reliability.
    Head gasket issue are old news and been resolved a long time ago.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Strongly leaning towards Outback now, too many positive reports from people I know. I'll see if I can get a deal on a leftover '19 at the end of the year. If not, I'll start looking for used units. I'm leaning towards a 2.5 since I might as well get the better gas mileage if I am going with a car anyway. The wheel on inside isn't a requirement, just preferred. For my local riding I am sure I can just slide the bike laying flat. When I travel, I will pull the wheel off and/or use a rack. I'd rather have ACC than wheel on capability.

    I'm not dead set on that, but that's my leaning.

    As for American truck reliability, I have worked for a couple of contractors who had fleet vans and trucks for commercial HVACR work. Those Econolines with the little 4.6 was just dead reliable. In the three years I worked for the one company with I think 12 employees in that office, I only remember ONE transmission going out. Bare in mind, the vans are loaded with thousands of pounds of tools, cabinets, and spare parts. Also driven like rentals. And the company owned them, not leased, so they were driven into the ground for a good 20 years before they would get replaced. I think the spare van had 300,000 miles on it. The platform just works, and works, and works. So I also have the temptation to go back to what I know.
    Why not look at the Subaru Ascent?
    Base is 32k they all have adaptive cruise.
    Premium is 34K.

    A lot more space than an Outback. We just got the wife an 2019 3.6 OB and love it, but for what you want I wouldn't choose it. Getting a bike in with wheels and sleeping into- go Ascent.

    Quote Originally Posted by aski View Post
    My wife has a '16 OB with the H6 3.6L. When she bought it, I was initially pushing the 2.5, but after the fact, I'm glad we got the H6. I really like that engine. It produces 'easy' power and the car just effortlessly cruises. I believe the real world fuel efficiency between the two are actually very similar as well. I think the 2.5 MPG is a bit over-estimated on paper.
    This- had a 2019 2.5 loaner- definitely confirmed 3.6 is the only way to go on the OB- much smoother.
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    A used Promaster 1500 136 high roof van, diesel, FWD, buy one used with 80-100k miles, out the door for 20k or less, huge options for build out, sleep crossways if you're 6' or shorter, hwy mpg up to 28 if you keep your foot off the floor.

    I have a 118 low roof, it's been a stellar van, though a high roof would be better for walking around inside, it allows for a large bed, and the window conversion options are better.

    The Promaster with mud tires is a snowmobile, I'd pit it against a stock AWD Subaru any day, used mine in the snow country with hardly a worry. Mine has been out and back to Gooseberry when the road was raw, never touched the underbody.

    Tow capacity to 6500#, Brembo brakes on all corners, 6sp auto manual tranny; I shift mine manually cuz I like it

    Trucks suck, vans rule!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    A used Promaster 1500 136 high roof van, diesel, FWD, buy one used with 80-100k miles, out the door for 20k or less, huge options for build out, sleep crossways if you're 6' or shorter, hwy mpg up to 28 if you keep your foot off the floor.
    Kinda skips over the top two things on my list.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Kinda skips over the top two things on my list.
    I'm pretty sure your list and price limitations are at odds, so a little flexibility on one thing might make the other things more reasonable.

    If you can afford a new vehicle, the Ford Transit AWD for 2020 should be a winner, but it'll be 50k.

    There's no car out there that'll allow you to store a vehicle inside while you sleep unless you completely disassemble the bike or you sleep on the bike.

    A big SUV or a van is where it's at unless you go to a truck with a topper.

    Ain't no such thing as American made unless you're talking about where a car/truck is assembled; parts are sourced from all over.

    Having been down this road many times, I have found a small van to be the best of all worlds, esp if it's your daily driver. Unless you are going on serious off road adventures, AWD and 4WD are rarely if ever necessary.

    You could also consider a late model AWD van like the Chevy Express or an Econoline.

    So yeah.

    EDIT: Not to poke the bear, but why is adaptive cruise a need? I get that cruise control is nice on long trips, but all adaptive does is slow you down when you get close to another vehicle. I usually manage that by braking or reducing my speed. I'd be hesitant to trust a vehicle system in that case cuz if it fails I'm in doodoo land
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    Not to get off the topic (but I will anyway)... but one of the OP's wishes was ACC. Do most really like ACC? I don't mainly because I keep getting pushed back as other drivers fill in the space in front of me, which constantly leads to ACC slowing the car down more and more. Sure, it's maintaining what is considered a text book safe distance. But text book isn't reality. That, and I prefer to drive the car rather than the car driving me.
    I have ACC on my Toyota Tacoma. It is the first vehicle I've driven with it. I don't like it in heavy freeway traffic for the reason you stated. I do really like it when following another vehicle on winding 2-lane roads. You can set the ACC higher than the vehicle in front of you, and it just follows.

    To the OP, I'd consider a Toyota Tacoma. I picked up my 2018 4x4 Double Cab for less than your budget, putting a canopy on it might blow up your budget though.
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    "4x4/AWD for getting to camping spots mostly"

    Do you need/want true 4x4 or just AWD? I thought I could get by without a true 4x4 until the lack of low range caused me to overheat the transmission.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenenine View Post
    Do you need/want true 4x4 or just AWD? I thought I could get by without a true 4x4 until the lack of low range caused me to overheat the transmission.
    Good question. Most consumers don't really know what the difference is. And don't find out until it's too late (off road situations).
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    The Ram truck with ecodiesel and 4wd is a good choice, probably the best MPG and bang for your buck, but not common used and still not cheap.

    Still gotta figure out the topper situation, find something that's not too bulky for a daily driver, but will work for sleeping an storing a bike.

    Coming from an econobox, pretty much anything is gonna feel big.

    The Sienna is not a bad choice, AWD can be had for not much used, ACC in current models surely, yank the back seat, replace run flats with normal tires and get a spare, add a roof rack and build it out.

    Personallly, the idea of sleeping in an SUV/car is abhorent, been there, and it's just too tight. Perhaps in a pinch, maybe when I was young, but as an adult I want to at least be able to get into a stooped position when changing clothes. Add a bike and most vehicles become very small. In my short bus, I have a double bed, two bikes, bulkhead storeage, under bed storage, lights, and it's all nice and cozy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugenenine View Post
    "4x4/AWD for getting to camping spots mostly"

    Do you need/want true 4x4 or just AWD? I thought I could get by without a true 4x4 until the lack of low range caused me to overheat the transmission.
    I mean, I prefer a 4x4 with f/r lockers...but I don't think I'm getting that remote. a 2wd with locker should be more than fine, except for the desire not to have to deal with chains in the local mountains. If I am getting that remote I can pack a Highlift, I already carry a tow strap and come-a-long.

    My holy grail doesn't exist (I don't think), so I am going to compromise somewhere. I'm just looking at the options to pick my compromises.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    The Ram truck with ecodiesel and 4wd is a good choice, probably the best MPG and bang for your buck, but not common used and still not cheap.

    Still gotta figure out the topper situation, find something that's not too bulky for a daily driver, but will work for sleeping an storing a bike.

    Coming from an econobox, pretty much anything is gonna feel big.

    The Sienna is not a bad choice, AWD can be had for not much used, ACC in current models surely, yank the back seat, replace run flats with normal tires and get a spare, add a roof rack and build it out.
    I looked at the Ram, just a lot of concerns around the engine. The emissions controls are causing a lot of reliability problems. And I don't want to have to deal with that in California. Not stressed about MPG though, better mileage is a plus of course.

    I can modify later, I don't need it to be a turn key adventure vehicle. Just something reliable for now. So I can get a topper later if I go with a truck. If I go with a van, I can build it slowly as I go.

    I'm giving passive thoughts to perhaps a larger van like a Promaster or Transit. I lose the AWD I want, but I am thinking about moving in to it full time and ditching an apartment. Just one more compromise I have to make, but I can pay it off fast...

    Still going to be a few months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Personallly, the idea of sleeping in an SUV/car is abhorent, been there, and it's just too tight. Perhaps in a pinch, maybe when I was young, but as an adult I want to at least be able to get into a stooped position when changing clothes. Add a bike and most vehicles become very small. In my short bus, I have a double bed, two bikes, bulkhead storeage, under bed storage, lights, and it's all nice and cozy.
    Well, the idea was that it was on some occasions. Right now I normally camp on a cot under the stars, or in a tent. A car that I can sleep in is a nice option. I don't even have that as an option in the Fiesta, but I have done it in my F150 before. I have limited vacation time, I'm not planning on being on the road 6 months a year. Most of my trips will be 5 days MAX, mostly just overnight, with the occasional 3-4 day weekend.

  67. #67
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    Really, an XL Suburban or Escalade or Expedition or Navigator. I have a Navigator L and I can fit a bike in the back upright with the front wheel off and still use the back seats. I could probably put two bikes in the back if I wanted to. For a daily driver that can also accommodate weekend riding and camping trips I'd look at one of the larger SUVs with a Tepui tent on the roof. Otherwise, well, there is a reason so many people are picking up vans. . .
    . . . . . . . .

  68. #68
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    You can totally sleep in the back of an Outback. Even with a bunch of stuff in it if you can shove that stuff to one side.

    You can put a bike in the back of an Outback... but modern long bikes take up almost all of the space. No way you could sleep with a full size mountain bike in the back. But that's what racks are for.

    The Eyesight system for ACC and other features works really well. Not perfect... but it's most useful in stop and go driving. Even though they say not to use it in that scenario. For good reason--you still have to be vigilant in case it fails. (The car will just coast... but that could mean coast into someone.)

    But yeah a minivan = put in bike upright and sleep next do it.

  69. #69
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    [QUOTE=mbmtb;

    But yeah a minivan = put in bike upright and sleep next do it.[/QUOTE]

    Darren Alff, who calls himself the "Bicycle Touring Pro", YouTube and all, has a good write up/video on how he uses his Dodge Caravan to sleep in and carry his bikes. I think you can get these vehicles with AWD, which outside of a pickup or SUV with 8" clearance, can be taken down a lot of dirt roads, which Darren has done in many area's.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIXiFliNA-0

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I mean, I prefer a 4x4 with f/r lockers...but I don't think I'm getting that remote. a 2wd with locker should be more than fine, except for the desire not to have to deal with chains in the local mountains. If I am getting that remote I can pack a Highlift, I already carry a tow strap and come-a-long.
    I live in OH so I've never really needed 4x4 so my 2wd with a locker was fine (lockright in an s10). It was in the WV mountains in the snow between trees that low range was needed. I overheated the transmission so I changed the fluid and filter but still lost reverse the next trip.

    How cold/warm will it be where you travel, warm enough to do a roof top tent?

  71. #71
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    I make a gross amount of money calibrating and replacing ACC systems.

    I would avoid it at all costs. I would actually pay more to buy a model without it. Turns a $250 windshield crack into a $1600 ordeal. Or a bumper ding into a few grand. All for a system you didn't need to begin with.

    Honestly, cars are becoming more disposable every year. A blown motor is less of an issue than your radio going out on some models. ACC is a nightmare when it goes out.

    A minimally equipped 4runner is great. Subarus are amazing cars, but they most definitely still have the gasket issues. I have (and love!) an outback and feel it's worth repairing. I'll gladly do a headgasket.

  72. #72
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    Suburban is the answer.
    /thread
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I make a gross amount of money calibrating and replacing ACC systems.

    I would avoid it at all costs. I would actually pay more to buy a model without it. Turns a $250 windshield crack into a $1600 ordeal. Or a bumper ding into a few grand. All for a system you didn't need to begin with.

    Honestly, cars are becoming more disposable every year. A blown motor is less of an issue than your radio going out on some models. ACC is a nightmare when it goes out.

    A minimally equipped 4runner is great. Subarus are amazing cars, but they most definitely still have the gasket issues. I have (and love!) an outback and feel it's worth repairing. I'll gladly do a headgasket.
    What's your opinion of Subaru's EyeSight system?
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  74. #74
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    4RUNNER, 4th gen or newer. 4.0 L v6 with on the fly 4wd.

    Bombproof, lots of space, easy to work on and great reliability.

    Donít worry about the lack of electronics in the older models Get a new stereo head unit that can accommodate all the newer features ( Android, apple car play, etc) and call it a day

  75. #75
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    .

    A minimally equipped 4runner is great. Subarus are amazing cars, but they most definitely still have the gasket issues. I have (and love!) an outback and feel it's worth repairing. I'll gladly do a headgasket.[/QUOTE]

    Really ?, Iíve had 5 different Subaruís. I am active on the Outback forum, was on the Forester forum for many many years. One thing I DONíT read is about head gaskets failing after the introduction of the FB25 engine about 7-8 years ago in the Forester and Outback (the vehicle under discussion). That problem seemed to go away with that engine, though there were oil consumption issues with 2 model years on the OB. Subaru lost a class action suit of this issue, which was seemingly corrected by Ď14 or so. Note this is in comparison to notorious models of Subaruís in the Ď90ís and into 2011 or so, where it was fairly common. I had both a Forester (Ď01) and OB (Ď03) that blew HGís. If I were recommending a Subaru today, OB anything after Ď13 will be pretty good.

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