need to buy a family camping vehicle - Sequoia? F150? Land Cruiser?


New member
MDX is all wheel drive too...... What if you offered to buy good quality foot matts?

Haha great minds think alike! I already suggested weather tech mats to her last night, even played up the high 2-3 inch lip all around on the mats. Part of the issue is that one of our dogs is a big hound dog with a skin condition, so she kind of sheds rather stinky fur/skin all the time. My wife would understandably not want to put the dog into her new-to-us MDX, since no amount of mats, cargo area covers, etc, would keep her car from getting that stuff all over.


Party on Wayne
+1 for 100 series LC/Lexus. I drive a 2000 LC with 185k miles, drives tight, no leaks. I wouldn't bat an eye at driving cross country with kids and gear.

I looked for a 2000-02 because it has the stronger front axle and NO horrible touch screen navigation. Simpler=better for longevity.

Look for one with service records just like any other vehicle.

The rear A/C keeps my wife and 2 kids comfortable on long trips.

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The sequoia is a good bit bigger than the 100. We have both. The sequoia 3rd row seats are actually very useful whereas the 100 not so much.

If you don't plan on doing any serious off roading the Sequoia is a much better bet.


Expedition Leader
A van is the way to go!

A regular length is good and give you seating for 5 and 8' of cargo, or seating for 8 and 5' of cargo. Extended length will give you room for seating 5 with 10' of cargo, or seating for 8 and 7' of cargo.

You can sleep in them, they drive well, get decent mileage, have dual AC, and even 2 wheel drive with decent tires will take you many great places. Your stuff is secure and dry inside, and with roof bars, canoes and other big objects fit on top. They will pull trailers, of hang bike racks off the trailer hitch.

I have DD drove Ford E350 extended vans for nearly 20 years, so I may be biased, but they are a good vehicle.


Pretty satisfied with my tundra. Wife, 3 kids and a 70lbs lab all fit nicely. My truck came from Texas got to have good ac there. If I were in a warmer climate I'd install a 12v roof mounted fan in the cap for the dog but as it sits with the rtt it doesn't get too warm back there. It is nice having a full 6' bed to fill with camping gear.

Before being better organized:

I had a 3rd gen 4Runner before the tundra. When I put the kids and dog in , there just wasn't enough space for gear. I thought long and hard about a shorted taco or 100 series. My conclusion, still not enough room for dogs and gear. It is a larger vehicle but uses the same power plant as the sequoia. If your not planning on tight trails, it works great for camping duty.

Lastly, keep in mind f150's with the triton 5.4 have issues blowing spark pugs out of the head manifold leaks and cam sensors knocking. Both my neighbors have all 3 of thoes issues(02,04). I don't recommend that power plant.
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I would work on convincing you wife to take the MDX and getting a trailer. Whether you go with a cargo trailer or a camper trailer it allows you to keep most of your camping gear packed.

If I want to go camping after work I come home, back up to the camper, the wife has the food and other odds and ends all packed, the kids have the camper off the stands and raised, I back up, hook up, run into the house, get a drink of water, take a pee, and we are on our way in about 20 minutes or less. This makes getting ready easier and you have dedicated storage space for you camping gear.

I have a 4Runner and tow a hybrid camper. It weighs 2500lbs empty and comfortably sleeps four with room for dogs. Inside my camper I can store all the crap we need plus bikes and a couple kayaks. I did buy mine new and it was more than 10K. You might be able to find a used one for less.

In a period of 5 years I bought three different campers before I got the Hybrid. I have been very happy with it. Closed up my camper is 16 foot long, opened up it is 24 feet long. Easy to tow, plenty of room when you get there.


Expedition Leader
Just got back from 7day trip up the North CA coast. Two parents, 4yr old, 7yr old, 3yr old doberman + trailer in the 2.5 Subaru OB. We set up our main camp 5hr drive. Then did day trips. We didnt pack bikes left em home. 21.5mpg average towing 65-70mph rarely over 3000rpm.
All in with day trips we logged 1000 miles. Subaru did great. The tent trailer worked great. Bed comfort is priority #1 you dont have that forget another camping trip knock on wood I got that sorted and my wife was happy.

I added two Costco $23 hamacks which were great chill at camp options. My Doberman even spent about 3hrs napping in one. Ha! Tottal wuss of a dog.


New member
post mortem:

The trailer idea seemed like the best solution to me, but the wife was not going to budge on the MDX, which meant that I needed to get a new vehicle.

This past weekend I ended up pulling the trigger on a 100 series LX470. After looking at F150's, Sequoias, Suburbans, vans, etc the last couple of weeks, I kept just asking myself: 90-99% of the time I'm going to be driving this new vehicle to work, and 1-10% of the time we're going to be camping. What vehicle do I want to be driving that 90-99% of the time, and can it be made to work for the 1-10% of the time we're camping? About a week ago I found a great deal on a yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge Yakima Skybox 21 ($60 at goodwill!), I figured that the huge skybox plus the cargo space of the 100 series would be more cargo space as a sequoia (though not as much as the Suburban, which I was very strongly considering). If the vehicle was going to only be for camping, I very likely would have gone with a Suburban, those things seem like great values. But I guess I sort of ended up going with vanity, or at least as much vanity as can attach to a 15 year old SUV. Hopefully we will have time this weekend to go camping, I'll update with some pics.

Thanks everyone!


Expedition Leader
The 470 is a great truck. I made an offer on one total cream puff one two days before we bought the Sequoia. Call your local toyota dealer have them email or fax you their history on it. Make sure the timing belt / water pump service is done. Outside of that great ride and really plush interior.

For daily use the shorter length makes the 470 easier to live with. You'll enjoy it. Just dont pass up any fuel pumps in the boonies when your getting past 1/2 tank. 12-14 mpg doesnt go far. I've sweated the empty light a few times in the LC.


New member
Yeah the truck was really well-maintained. Timing belt was done recently, etc. It was a one-owner LX with full maintenance history, which seems pretty rare. Most of the ones I had seen were 3-4 owners at this point, and lots of the "one owner" cars were actually being sold by guys who bought them from auction, so they had no maintenance records. Earlier today, the local toyota service dept said that he hadn't seen one as well-maintained as this in a long time, that I struck gold. So glad this is all over, can't wait to get outside!


Just spit balling here, but a Yukon/Tahoe would suit your needs perfectly. When my family was just starting out, our first new vehicle was a full size 03 4x4 Yukon. Raised my young family in that thing for 12 trouble free years. You can find great deals on used ones since there are tons of them. One of the best decisions I ever made and was sad to let it go when the time to down size came.. Good luck..😀

Oh, as far as the 470, I also had one of them, but as far as room and mpg, I gotta give the nod to the Yukon for what your needing. Though as thirsty as our 470 was, it also was a great truck, just not enough room for those longer trips..

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Expedition Leader
Congrats on the purchase! Make sure you flush the AHC fluid if it hasn't been done in the last 60k miles. Follow the link I posted above and look for the "definitive AHC maintenance" thread.


Kids + dogs + camping/road trips = Van.

Lots of room for people, cargo and dogs. Any of the E150/250/350 platforms will be super reliable.


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