Packing a family a 4 into a jeep or 4runner

nwoods

Expedition Leader
As my family grew I struggled with this problem as well. I started out by myself in a 2 door XJ rock crawler with room for days. Now I have three boys from 6-14, a wife and a dog. The JT has been our latest solution to the make-it-fit problem. ... That's how we do and it works for us.
Just curious, how well does it work to have all 6 of you in the RTT?
 

Mashurst

Adventurer
Just curious, how well does it work to have all 6 of you in the RTT?
I kind of don't love RTTs in general but the 5 of us fit just fine in this one. The dog stays in the bed of the truck. It is the biggest one I could find and we are all kind of friendly and like to snuggle. For trips where we are on the move every day, it gets the pick but the big bell tent is way nicer if we are going to be spending time in camp at all.20210729_082047 (Medium).jpg20211020_084449 (Medium).jpg
 
While not cheap, you might seriously consider a hitch mounted swing out, such as those from Dirtcom or Rig'd
- https://dirtcomusa.com/products/hitch-mounted-high-clearance-tire-carrier-swing-out
- https://www.rigdsupply.com/products/rigd-ultraswing-multi-fit-spare-tire-hitch-carrier

Also, you might consider the Land Rover dog barrier accessory unit to divide up the rear cargo space from the backseat occupants. I really liked mine:




I do have a tire swingout and I mount a five gallon water jug on it also. I don't really want to mount anymore on it though.

Yes, I should have mentioned I did a similar idea to the dog barrier. I used a stretchy cargo net behind the rear seats and up to the ceiling. Its imperative to keep the upper shelf items from crashing down on the boys in the backseat.
 
As my family grew I struggled with this problem as well. I started out by myself in a 2 door XJ rock crawler with room for days. Now I have three boys from 6-14, a wife and a dog. The JT has been our latest solution to the make-it-fit problem. We have done a lot of great trips in it but it's only built for moderate trails. I think it would take 37 or so to do the Sierra trails in one because of the long break-over and big butt. The bed cap is fantastic though. The side doors make getting to things really workable. Our fridge is at the front on one side with no need for a slide. Most times we can just open the side door and get to it. When we are packed heavy there may be some bags on top to push off or pull out but for most trips, there is a bit of extra room.
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Anyway, That's how we do and it works for us.
Wow! Thats a lot of stuff and people! Good to see your taking advantage of what the vehicle has to offer!

While I like the idea of camper shells in general, they don't tend to fair to well on the sierra trails. I've seen a number of tops, roofs, and rear side windows destroyed by vehicles leaning into trees. I have to pay special attention to the side windows in my 4runner as they wrap up and over the top. I'm sure there days are numbered!

I do think a soft topper camper shell might work. It could at least bend out of the way if needed.

I think once you've exhausted the SUV potential candidates, your next move is towards 4dr pickups. I keep eyeing 4dr tacomas and gladiators. The tacomas have a shorter wheelbase, but IFS to deal with. Seems like people are making them work though and I'm good with a torch.

Kevin
 

Mashurst

Adventurer
Wow! Thats a lot of stuff and people! Good to see your taking advantage of what the vehicle has to offer!

While I like the idea of camper shells in general, they don't tend to fair to well on the sierra trails. I've seen a number of tops, roofs, and rear side windows destroyed by vehicles leaning into trees. I have to pay special attention to the side windows in my 4runner as they wrap up and over the top. I'm sure there days are numbered!
I have one palm size dent in mine that says you are correct about it being an issue. It is a stainless top, so it mostly just pounded back out. Also, I didn't have the rack and RTT on at the time of the incident. The top is very strong with a roof load of something like 700lbs. I think if I were worried about leaning it on a tree wheeling, a halo like the one I built for the tent would do the trick just fine to keep it out of the trees and transfer the load from the thin sheet to the strong points.
I've seen a few fiberglass jeep/runner stops take a beating on the con and like trails so nothing is perfect I guess.
 
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