Moving from a Tacoma to an SUV, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

COJoe

New member
Generally, I'm not a fan of torsion bar suspension, but the 100 series ride really nice. A lot of my experience with torsion bars comes from the GMT400 chassis, and that's not really a fair comparison. I personally like to have the option of an off the shelf, re-build able, re-valve able, replacement coil over. They are more complex in nature, but offer more tuning ability, so that plays into the performance side of the house. Setup with proper spring rates, and proper shocks, the average person probably wouldn't know the difference.
Gotcha, that's all along the same lines of my thinking, too. I'm very used to having replacement coilovers at this point in my life, so I think that might be a pretty big driving factor in my decision as well. Thanks for sharing your experience with this stuff, it's been extremely helpful!
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
We are both 5'8"

Was that with the seats removed or folded in the back of the 80? I've seen one 80 in person with a sleeping setup in the back of it for a single person that was similar sized, but never for two people plus gear. We've also been considering a RTT, but are still leaning more towards an internal sleeping situation due to the prevalence of grizzly bears where we are.
The 80 with flip up seats pulled only nets you 5-6 inches of usable flat space before your impacting front seat adjustment. Front seats in the 80 aren’t modern comfortable so having full adjustability is something you won’t want to impact. The 80’s are old now all of them will need costly rebuilding to be a solid live aboard daily driver. Parts are getting a little challenging to find also.

The 100 would be far better plus you get a far better engine and brakes to carry the live aboard weight.

The slight jump in length and wheel base on the Sequoia makes it a better choice yet regarding weight hauling ability etc. The Sequoia is no slouch off pavement and is a good long distance on pavement rig. I had both. Took both off road etc. I liked the Sequoia best, better fuel range, better long haul comfort, better space and nearly identical size parked side by side.
 

COJoe

New member
The 80 with flip up seats pulled only nets you 5-6 inches of usable flat space before your impacting front seat adjustment. Front seats in the 80 aren’t modern comfortable so having full adjustability is something you won’t want to impact. The 80’s are old now all of them will need costly rebuilding to be a solid live aboard daily driver. Parts are getting a little challenging to find also.

The 100 would be far better plus you get a far better engine and brakes to carry the live aboard weight.

The slight jump in length and wheel base on the Sequoia makes it a better choice yet regarding weight hauling ability etc. The Sequoia is no slouch off pavement and is a good long distance on pavement rig. I had both. Took both off road etc. I liked the Sequoia best, better fuel range, better long haul comfort, better space and nearly identical size parked side by side.
Great info, thanks for sharing! It definitely seems like the more affordable Sequoia is quickly becoming the front-runner in this comparison. Having had both LC's and Sequoia's, what would you say are some downsides to choosing the Sequoia over the LC's?
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Great info, thanks for sharing! It definitely seems like the more affordable Sequoia is quickly becoming the front-runner in this comparison. Having had both LC's and Sequoia's, what would you say are some downsides to choosing the Sequoia over the LC's?
Your not part of the LC “brother hood”. I really liked my LC but after doing one long trip with it “Lousy” mileage and range really got old fast!!! I stuck to local trips after that. They are super cool rigs but huge fuel pigs to the point that it being your only vehicle and living in it would get old pretty quickly. Being cool only goes so far when you get tired of feeding the fuel pig.

The LC was also expensive to service again its a unique rig and you had to pay up to have the right help and parts. Its just the nature of the beast.

Having had all of them for many years and knowing what your plan is and budget? Go full sized SUV. They do dirt roads and occasional technical stuff all the time. And you’ll want the space, range and power etc.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Great info, thanks for sharing! It definitely seems like the more affordable Sequoia is quickly becoming the front-runner in this comparison. Having had both LC's and Sequoia's, what would you say are some downsides to choosing the Sequoia over the LC's?
Your not part of the LC “brother hood”. I really liked my LC but after doing one long trip with it “Lousy” mileage and range really got old fast!!! I stuck to local trips after that. They are super cool rigs but huge fuel pigs to the point that it being your only vehicle and living in it would get old pretty quickly. Being cool only goes so far when you get tired of feeding the fuel pig.

The LC was also expensive to service again its a unique rig and you had to pay up to have the right help and parts. Its just the nature of the beast.

Having had all of them for many years and knowing what your plan is and budget? Go full sized SUV. They do dirt roads and occasional technical stuff all the time. And you’ll want the space, range and power etc.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
With your use, the things you expect to do, I'd say stick with 31s, 33s just add stress and hurt fuel economy and ride. Stick with the smaller, lighter, easier to turn 31s. And save money too.
The stock Sequoia can do quite a bit even with soccer mom running boards on it. It can easily do far more than graded dirt roads even fairly technical stuff its quite capable on stock sized tires.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
Having owned an few XJ's, 3rd and 4th gen 4runners, and an 80 series, I don't think I agree. This may be an unpopular opinion, but as much as I adore XJ's it would be the last on my list of recommendations for what you're talking about.

Using a 4th gen 4runner as an example, the rear hip room is 55 inches, and an XJ is 44. 11 inches more interior width is pretty noticeable, especially when sleeping in the back with the seats folded. I also owned an 80 series and spent a lot of time sleeping the back of that( (I'm 5'7") and found it pretty comfortable, and the floor was flat which is a huge advantage

My 4th gen floor was not flat, but i built a cargo platform that replaced part of the rear seat and it worked well for sleeping inside. A friend of mine who is about 6'3" slept back there and reported it be comfortable and roomy.

I think any of what you listed is going to be tight with two people and gear (depending on how much gear you carry), if you build a platform to sleep on stash the gear below that would help tremendously. I've slept in 3rd runner, 4th gen runner, and 80 series with myself and a smaller female (5'4") and we had to move all the gear to the front seats, and some of it to the roof rack on longer trips where we had more stuff, again, a platform that elevates you and allows gear below would be the ticket for trying to keep everything inside. If you have a medium sized cooler or fridge, that will be challenging. I've spent some time in the back of a first gen sequoia that would probably be my choice as the most spacious for sleeping, but as you pointed out, it has the least aftermarket support.

How big a vehicle feels on the trail is entirely subjective to the driver and the trail, what feels huge to some, may be fine for others. The same with ride quality, but for long jaunts on pavement, and dirt roads IFS wins, and the XJ loses. After spending a lot of time in my cruisers, runners, tacoma's I test drove an XJ for old time sake and it wouldn't be my choice for any sort of "comfort".

For running 33's reliably: again, the XJ loses here. You're looking at 3 plus inches of lift, crappy control arm angles (or long arms), gears (most likely), upgraded steering and brakes etc. The 80 series has a drive train that's rather large and overbuilt, and can easily handle 33's, but the mpg was never good to begin with, and won't get any better with larger tires, the 80 is also rather slow by modern standards. A 05/06 sequoia with the slightly higher HP and a750F trans (5 speed auto) will turn 33's easily, even on stock gears. The 4.7 is a fantastic motor, and the same rule applies to the 100 series LC. Again, having driven both I would take the later 100 series with the 5 speed, and it could easily handle 33's. The 100, 80, and sequoia all have a larger drivetrain, including brakes, that would facilitate "reliably" running 33's. Park an XJ next to an 80 series and compare the size of the axles, brakes, bearings etc. A 33 isn't huge, and if you're not running harder trails, but if you want reliable, a part that's less stressed running a given tire size has the advantage.

It sounds like your biggest factor is what you have access to in your region; choose your compromise wisely.
Some get queasy about swapping but for the XJ the 31 spline 8.8 out of a solid rear is kind of a common swap. Same basic axle that is in a lighter F-150 with the right width and same wheel bolt pattern as a Jeep. 95-01 have disk brakes. 4.10’s are a factory option to help turn tires. It’s the 9” of today.

I have one in my ranger and has served me well. Well worth the $100.

For full-size personally I would be shopping for a 97-02 Expedition.
 

COJoe

New member
Your not part of the LC “brother hood”. I really liked my LC but after doing one long trip with it “Lousy” mileage and range really got old fast!!! I stuck to local trips after that. They are super cool rigs but huge fuel pigs to the point that it being your only vehicle and living in it would get old pretty quickly. Being cool only goes so far when you get tired of feeding the fuel pig.

The LC was also expensive to service again its a unique rig and you had to pay up to have the right help and parts. Its just the nature of the beast.

Having had all of them for many years and knowing what your plan is and budget? Go full sized SUV. They do dirt roads and occasional technical stuff all the time. And you’ll want the space, range and power etc.
Awesome, thanks for the insight! It's definitely looking like the Sequoia has the upper-hand currently.

Really, not an issue, yes the buy in is higher but they HOLD value and eventually you will capitalize on that buy in.

The XJ, much much smaller but if it'll work, like you say aftermarket and community support is massive. Series 80/100 vs XJ..... Either one has huge possibility. As a DD tho, the 80/100 will be like Cadillacs, the XJ will not.

I don't know if I would consider a Sequoia, Personal opinion, it excels at only urban transport. It is/was the modern Lincoln Mark V.

I consider the Land Cruiser the standard for a capable, reliable off road SUV..... since the 1970s even it has been a leader.

With your use, the things you expect to do, I'd say stick with 31s. 33s just add stress and hurt fuel economy and ride. Stick with the smaller, lighter, easier to turn 31s. And save money too.
The LC definitely has been and always will be the standard, for sure, there's no arguing that. Realistically though, the Sequoia uses the same base 4wd system as an LC, can use LC80 rear shocks, and LC100 rear springs, has the same engine and transmission as a LC100, has the same width as a LC100, and has a better front suspension design than a LC100 (in my personal opinion). I can't say that its better or even as good as a LC, because thats all subjective, but based on that info, I doubt that it performs badly off-pavement.

The XJ seems like it would be such a fun and capable platform, but enough people have said that the driveability of one would be nowhere near as good as the Toyota's, unfortunately. Maybe one day when I have room for another toy I'll consider getting one again.

As for tire size, 33" is what I have now, and is what I am used to. More than likely I would be taking the tires (and wheels, fitment permitting) off the Tacoma, and putting them on the new vehicle.

Some get queasy about swapping but for the XJ the 31 spline 8.8 out of a solid rear is kind of a common swap. Same basic axle that is in a lighter F-150 with the right width and same wheel bolt pattern as a Jeep. 95-01 have disk brakes. 4.10’s are a factory option to help turn tires. It’s the 9” of today.

I have one in my ranger and has served me well. Well worth the $100.

For full-size personally I would be shopping for a 97-02 Expedition.
I was thinking along those lines as well for the XJ. Especially since I would be saving so much on the vehicle itself, I could afford to do a lot more in terms of making it a reliable, high performing rig. The thing thats really holding me back from one now is the daily driveability, as stated above. Maybe I'll have one as a toy someday.

I've looked at full-size domestic rigs a little bit, but havent done too much research into them, really. I'll take a bit deeper of a look at the Expeditions, I know theyre pretty similar sized to the Sequoia, and probably have a better aftermarket, too. Did they happen to do that generation of Expedition with a 7.3, or was that just Excursions, vans, and trucks?
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.79
Overlanding the Americas: La Lucha
by Mr Graeme Robert Bell
From $20
Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey from the American Dream to t...
by Brad Van Orden, Sheena Van Orden
From $15.95

alanymarce

Active member
With your use, the things you expect to do, I'd say stick with 31s. 33s just add stress and hurt fuel economy and ride. Stick with the smaller, lighter, easier to turn 31s. And save money too.
I agree: also, if you plan to leave North America, and need to replace a tyre, you'll find the 33 in tyres more difficult to source.

Similarly, the LC is a lot easier in terms of finding spares.
 

shmabs

Explorer
Some get queasy about swapping but for the XJ the 31 spline 8.8 out of a solid rear is kind of a common swap. Same basic axle that is in a lighter F-150 with the right width and same wheel bolt pattern as a Jeep. 95-01 have disk brakes. 4.10’s are a factory option to help turn tires. It’s the 9” of today.

I have one in my ranger and has served me well. Well worth the $100.

For full-size personally I would be shopping for a 97-02 Expedition.

The 8.8. is a great swap I agree. i played axle swapping games with my various XJs (29 spline 8.25, Factory Dana 44 etc) but it seems more like the OP is asking about a better platform to start with.
 

Jacobm

Member
Have you considered something like a 2000-2006 Tahoe or Suburban? Plenty reliable, seats lots of people, cheap to buy and parts are cheap and plentiful, and for someone 5'8", sleeping in the back with the second row of seats in place is doable in the Suburban. The second row folds flat in either, giving tons of room too. I'm 5'8" and though I fit in the back of my Yukon XL with the second row up, I prefer to fold them down for the extra couple inches. You may find it's perfectly fine. It's plenty wide enough for two people, and gear. Problem areas are transmissions on the Tahoes and Half-ton Suburbans can be weak if not maintained properly or if the engine is modified to send more power, and the steering tends to wear out and get sloppy over time. Aftermarket steering parts are available to resolve that issue, though stock parts with tie rod sleeves are also generally fine. Fuel economy isn't great but not much worse than a Sequoia or Land Cruiser. My truck has a 40 gallon tank giving me about 400 miles of range, though I haven't gone on any trips that long yet. Supposedly the G80 factory locker is a potential weak point but it's a topic of debate. The 3/4 tons are harder to lift but much stouter in factory form. 33s will fit with minor work (torsion bar level, or a smidge of trimming) but the 235/85/r16 or 265/75/r16s are both common and fit on stock wheels just fine. They're very comfortable trucks to drive long distances and have plenty of amenities. Aftermarket is going to be less for overland specific stuff, but that hasn't stopped any of us yet. Drop by the domestic full-size forum and find out why we love these trucks.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
If you are intent on sleeping two people inside, I think you need to consider something full sized. CAN you sleep two people inside a mid sized SUV? Yes, but then where is all your "stuff" going to go?

FWIW I had a couple of 4runners fitted out for camping (a '99 and an '07). The first thing that bugged me was that for some stupid reason, Toyota didn't think it was important to give the vehicle a flat load deck when the back seat was folded down. Instead, even when folded, the back seat angled up about 15 degrees. I ended up making a sleep platform that took this angle into account but of course that ate into my head room when sleeping.

It actually worked fine for solo camping, but I would not have even considered it for camping with two people. As a solo camper I could sleep on one side of the platform while my stuff (cooking box, fridge/cooler etc) sat on the other side of the platform. But with two people, all that stuff would have to sit outside or on the roof.

By contrast my '04 Suburban was awesome on the inside. With the 3rd row seat removed and the 2nd row folded down it has a completely flat load deck 8' long and just over 4' wide. Plenty of room for two people + stuff. And all of this in a platform that was only about 2 1/2' longer than my 4runner.

You didn't say what your budget is either so it's hard to make a recommendation. More money would get you something newer and probably nicer to drive with less chance of something failing.
 

COJoe

New member
Have you considered something like a 2000-2006 Tahoe or Suburban? Plenty reliable, seats lots of people, cheap to buy and parts are cheap and plentiful, and for someone 5'8", sleeping in the back with the second row of seats in place is doable in the Suburban. The second row folds flat in either, giving tons of room too. I'm 5'8" and though I fit in the back of my Yukon XL with the second row up, I prefer to fold them down for the extra couple inches. You may find it's perfectly fine. It's plenty wide enough for two people, and gear. Problem areas are transmissions on the Tahoes and Half-ton Suburbans can be weak if not maintained properly or if the engine is modified to send more power, and the steering tends to wear out and get sloppy over time. Aftermarket steering parts are available to resolve that issue, though stock parts with tie rod sleeves are also generally fine. Fuel economy isn't great but not much worse than a Sequoia or Land Cruiser. My truck has a 40 gallon tank giving me about 400 miles of range, though I haven't gone on any trips that long yet. Supposedly the G80 factory locker is a potential weak point but it's a topic of debate. The 3/4 tons are harder to lift but much stouter in factory form. 33s will fit with minor work (torsion bar level, or a smidge of trimming) but the 235/85/r16 or 265/75/r16s are both common and fit on stock wheels just fine. They're very comfortable trucks to drive long distances and have plenty of amenities. Aftermarket is going to be less for overland specific stuff, but that hasn't stopped any of us yet. Drop by the domestic full-size forum and find out why we love these trucks.
I've looked into then a little bit, but haven't gone too in depth with my research yet. They definitely seem like an affordable and viable option with a huge aftermarket. I used to be a tech for a chevy dealer and saw quite a few common issues, but would consistently see vehicles with 400k+ miles as well. I'll do some research and stop by the forum to see what you guys are talking about!

If you are intent on sleeping two people inside, I think you need to consider something full sized. CAN you sleep two people inside a mid sized SUV? Yes, but then where is all your "stuff" going to go?



FWIW I had a couple of 4runners fitted out for camping (a '99 and an '07). The first thing that bugged me was that for some stupid reason, Toyota didn't think it was important to give the vehicle a flat load deck when the back seat was folded down. Instead, even when folded, the back seat angled up about 15 degrees. I ended up making a sleep platform that took this angle into account but of course that ate into my head room when sleeping.



It actually worked fine for solo camping, but I would not have even considered it for camping with two people. As a solo camper I could sleep on one side of the platform while my stuff (cooking box, fridge/cooler etc) sat on the other side of the platform. But with two people, all that stuff would have to sit outside or on the roof.



By contrast my '04 Suburban was awesome on the inside. With the 3rd row seat removed and the 2nd row folded down it has a completely flat load deck 8' long and just over 4' wide. Plenty of room for two people + stuff. And all of this in a platform that was only about 2 1/2' longer than my 4runner.



You didn't say what your budget is either so it's hard to make a recommendation. More money would get you something newer and probably nicer to drive with less chance of something failing.
I definitely agree with you about the 4runners, they don't seem like the best option for us at all. The only reason the similarly sized XJ is on my list is the fact that I can get one for half the price with half the miles of a 4runner of the same age and condition.

As for my budget, it's pretty subjective based on the vehicle. I'm willing to spend more for a vehicle that suits my needs the best, but would ideally prefer to stay under $15k. The landcruiser is hands down the most expensive, but also comes with many features that the others don't. The Sequoia is cheaper than the LC but is more expensive than the XJ, it also has a smaller aftermarket than both of them, but is more daily drivable than the Jeep. The Cherokee is the cheapest and has a huge aftermarket, but seems like it would be pretty tough to live with and is also short on space compared to the other options.
 

neliconcept

GTScountry
I know the 4runner was mentioned and It's cargo space was talked about. I am 6 feet tall and used my 3rd gen rear cargo area as a sleeping area. I built a storage unit that flattened the platform over the rear seats. It was fine for me and I never had length issues. the 4th and 5th Gens I believe have more space. ESP the 5th gen as it looks like the size of an old LC almost.

Just my 2 cents!
 
Top