Researching Expedition Rigs


New member
I'm currently researching vehicles to use as a daily driver/expedition rig/camping and hiking rig. I'm looking to purchase this summer/fall. This is why I'm starting research now.
If there are any tips you guys can provide on these or other vehicles that may be out there that would be greatly appreciated.
My search engine for used is local classifieds and Kijiji and my radius is the province of Alberta.
I know there's a lot of threads about this, and I've read most of them. I live in Northen Alberta now so keep that in mind.
My requirements are minimal:
<$10,000 (preferably)
Low mileage

The ones I am currently researching are:
Toyota Land Cruisers (I don't know enough about these to differentiate the model numbers)
1999-2004 Nissan Xterra
2001 and older Jeep Cherokee (my number one choice right now because of parts availability and the engine)
Mitsubishi Pajero (I know nothing about these)
1996 and older Ford Bronco (I really like the way they look and the availability of parts)


New member
I should also mention that I currently drive an 08 Dakota, but I put 3000km a month on for work alone without daily driving. This is why I'm looking. Maintenance on two vehicles is cheaper than replacing a brand new one every three years. In my view


I think the '91-'01 Ford Explorer (Mazda Navajo) can be added to that list... Like the Bronco, parts are everywhere. Also like the Bronco, they have very nice interiors and a comfortable ride, And like the Cherokee, the 4.0L motors (OHV, not SOHC) last forever & ever. Their only weak point is transmission cooling, which it's easy enough to plumb an external cooler into the line for it (or just get a stickshift).
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your just going to have to figure it out for yourself,as its such a personal choice.
so many rigs will work and you will get so many different opinions.
good luck


x3 - you can get a nice Xterra Off-Road or even a Pro-4x (same vehicle they just changed the name of the package) in that price range. Just go with 2008+ or make sure it's had the transmission/radiator issue remedied (Strawberry Milkshake of Death). Great vehicles - I just got rid of my 2006 Xterra (fixed the SMOD problem about 25k miles ago).


Crew Chief
If you go with a bronco, try to get a 4.9L I6 engine. They're indestructible and get the best mileage of the three engines the bronco came with.
The auto transmission's biggest weakness is overheating, but as mentioned, that can be fixed with a larger oil cooler from the junkyard. You should also consider adding a temp guage so you can track how hot its getting. The manual transmissions are pretty tough and reliable too. And don't be afraid of the TTB front suspension. So long as you leave it stock, its going to be just as tough and smooth as anything out there today, though you may want to put new shocks and springs on it. I've taken my mostly stock 91' bronco on some pretty decent trails and climbed a 35 deg dirt slope with no problem. The auto hubs that many came with are junk though, and most were swapped out for manuals.

If at all possible, try to find one with little to no rust on the rear body panels and tailgate. Those are actually the toughest and most expensive repairs a bronco can have these days. You can expect to find rust on the core support mount just under the battery, but that's almost inevitable with these rigs. Other common problem include failed/failing window motors, worn out seats, busted interior door panels, broken vacuum lines, and sticky gear shift indicator on automatics. All easy enough to fix/replace.

You can usually buy a good Bronco for between $3K and $5K US depending on condition.


New member
Don't overlook the 3rd gen (1996-2002) Toyota 4runner. My intended build is exactly the same as what you're talking about and I think it fits that role perfectly. The 3.4l engine is extremely durable, it's very capable off road, parts are readily available and it's simply a pleasure to drive.

Also, in my opinion it's one hell of a good looking truck, too.



New member
Thanks for all the info!
I appreciate it. I had a nice power wagon before but foolishly thought that it was too much truck for my needs. I'm just reluctant to get into a car payment again.
I do know there are a lot out there and that is why I'm starting research for a rig now as opposed to July when I'm looking to buy in Augist/September.
I'm shying away from the full size because my hauling needs don't go over my mountain bike, road bike, kayak and some friends. I wouldn't be opposed to half tons, but I don't want to spend the extra money on a camper haha.


New member
I have a 2002 xterra, love it. Been a great camping/expedition vehicle. Either the limited slip rear it's pretty capable, and believe it or not there are a ton of after market foodies available.

I threw on an RLC winch bumper, winch, lift, roof rack, and a bunch of other stuff. Really enjoyed it, had it 9 years now, put on 315,000 km and with proper maintenance hasn't given me grief

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
Put down a list of priorities:

What you will carry - bikes, kayaks, etc
Will you camp in it or next to it?
Fuel Economy?
Comfort on the road?
Technical ability on the trail?
Cheap parts?

That will help narrow your options, and if you find a nice second hand truck, it will help you decide if it will meet your criteria.

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