Retirement truck

phsycle

Adventurer
My retirement is years and years and years away. But I was daydreaming today about what I would get.

I've debated about truck vs suv vs van many times in my head. Pros and Cons for each.

The terrain I would tackle: Think Canyonlands/Maze district, Four corners, venture into some remote areas of Canada, but mostly forest roads. And always wanted to drive up to Alaska/Dalton Hwy/etc. But staying in North America.

The places I want to go, takes the van out of contention. Even 4WD models. Just not capable enough off-road.

SUV. Not enough capable full-size SUV's available. I also don't want to mess with an RTT, especially at retirement age. And absolutely do NOT want to be pulling a trailer. No thanks.

My ideal rig would be a truck. A 3/4 or 1 ton Gas engine. Most likely a Ram, shod with a FWC. Slight lift, winch, sliders and call that good. Should come from factory with a rear locker as well. A Ford Tremor would work as well (with the 7.3). Both plenty capable off-road, long enough for on-road comfort, nice little step up to the camper, which should be aero enough to get decent MPG. Winch to get us out of troble.
Wife is on-board with a full-size truck. She was not comfortable in a mid-size (ie motion sickness). She could ride for hours in a fullsize and be just fine.

I think this set up would be very ideal for me. Truck would be useful at home with the camper off for regular truck duties. I hear housework and honey-do projects don't stop after retirement.

Something like this, but not as kitted up.

1568305981826.png
 

Rippin'AV

Adventurer
With that rig right there, you can do pretty much anything your heart desires...as well as all the "honey do's" under the sun
 

knoxswift

Active member
A retirement truck for anyone would have to be a classic because everything now-a-days is computerized. The support for the computer controls aren't going to be as long as retirement. Therefore the best retirement truck would be all mechanical...LOL
 

phsycle

Adventurer
As of 2019 vehicles are:
  • Mechanically robust (true low range gearboxes, stout running gear that can handle contact with the ground, active torque distribution means like locking differentials) but far too obese to take seriously on narrow "jeep trails" .
  • Compact enough to offer high mobility but far too dainty for heavy use, with embarrassingly bad approach and breakover angles, reactive torque management that's good for getting you out of a snowy parking spot but overheats or fails entirely in a half mile of mud.. etc
  • Both compact and robust but positively ancient, suffering the effects of entropy with a diminishing pool of replacement parts and becoming increasingly prone to mechanical failure which becomes less "inconvenience" and more "unwanted safety risk" the farther you stray from pavement.
  • Economically out of reach to nearly everybody and therefore nothing more than a novelty.
I guess outside of that you have a couple outliers but even the Wrangler is pretty fat these days.
I'll take #1. I won't be taking the truck to any "jeep trails." Crazy wheeling trails aren't my jam anyway. Although I wouldn't mind doing those beautiful shelf roads in Colorado, which I've done in a mid-size truck, and others have done in fullsize trucks. But my plan would be to just rent a RZR in those areas and do the trails in 1/2 the time.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
When I was a kid hanging out in the garage all the old timers were constantly complaining about how everything's getting computerized... the cars they were complaining about had such terrors as solid state ignition (instead of a points-and-condenser) and solid state voltage regulators on alternators.
The computer controlled carburetors that followed probably still give some nightmares... and that is justified. Combines all the downsides of fuel injection and carburation with neither of their advantages.
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
Sound like they would both be good options to me. I'm hoping by the time I retire you can still buy vehicles that don't drive themselves... My fear is by then no one will own vehicles. Autonomous phone booths will pick you up and drop you off everywhere.... Man, I hope that isn't the case...

From my cold dead hands......
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
My dad is looking at selling the house renting a room and doing 6mo outa the yr on the road. I’ve gone around and around on this with him. The elder folks who do long stints on the road have a few top tips. #1 a bed you don’t assemble each time you use it.

Ease of getting around in said wagon is a big +

Any rig that falls in that area is heavy as hell. Which means 4x4 is only about as good for paved streets covered in snow. I’ve gone through so many ideas and come back to the wide body B+ with a small 4x4 toad that probably gets hauled a few times but not every trip. It serves as the transport during longer stays base camped somewhere with services.
The B+ options can be had with a fixed bed, roomy head/toilet. Easy to get around when old. Small enough to drive anywhere etc.

Realistically thats what I’ve come up with for my dad. His separate research oddly ended up the same place.
 

phsycle

Adventurer
I doubt I'd ever be out on the road for months at a time. Yes, I've had dreams of going on 6 month expeditions to far reaches of the world. But I'm a realist. My kids will have kids. We have friends we'll take "normal" trips with. I'd bet our longest excursions would be 2 weeks. Maybe 3. And most likely, we'd supplement the outings with hotel stays couple times a week, if available. Again, realist. This makes setting up the FWC those other nights not that big of a deal.

Screw RV's and big honkin trailers. Both the wife and I feel like we can manage with a truck + FWC. I used to hike quite a bit. Brought a 60L+ pack usually, and had everything known to man on the campouts. I think the pack weighed 40lbs before water. Maybe more on some outings. Those were some long days on the trail, huffing up and down the mountain. Then I wised up and went light/ultralight. Got the pack down to 15lbs. Hiking range improved, muscles were less sore, back was happier, and found I was just as comfortable with the stuff I brought.
Stuffing a 20' RV or a trailer with all my earthly possessions seem to be a backward step for me.
 

Trikebubble

Adventurer
This is our "pre-retirement" setup. I wanted a gas powered reliable full size truck that would last and give me no problems for the next 10-15 years. We've been a few places (you could say) over the past few years and she has done nothing but excel at her job. We've spent 3 weeks touring Northern BC and the Yukon/NWT with no problems or anything. I just returned from a 2 week trip exploring Northern Vancouver Island and have nothing bad at all to say about living in a FWC for that time frame at all. Our plan at this point is to wear this set-up out and then retire around 60, sell everything, but a slightly larger set-up and hit the road full time.

20181014_130601.jpg
 

phsycle

Adventurer
Pretty much my ideal set up @Trikebubble except a 3/4 or 1 ton truck (for payload).

When you say a slightly larger set up, what are you thinking? Lance/Alaskan?
 

AbleGuy

Founder, Too Much Fun Club
longest excursions would be 2 weeks. Maybe 3. And most likely, we'd supplement the outings with hotel stays couple times a week, if available. Again, realist. This makes setting up the FWC those other nights not that big of a deal.
Screw RV's and big honkin trailers....
Ok, I will say this....you’re still young and seem to understand your needs right now, so yeah, the FWC/truck combo clearly is a great place for you to start.

But you did mention “retirement planning” above, and so I think that you’re going to have to eventually consider the fact that by then, you’ll probably have gone thru several different iterations of camper combos, each one changing a bit as you both age and your needs/desires changes.

As a retired OF who started out almost 50 years ago basically with a small truck and shell, and who went up the ladder continually, I will share with you that it’s a completely natural progression to move up to more livable campers over the years. But those days still seem to be way down the road for you, so I’d say, get what’s going to be the best fit for your desires and needs today...you’ll easily and happily figure out later any changes in rigs to come as those retirement days appear closer on the horizon.
 
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calicamper

Expedition Leader
I doubt I'd ever be out on the road for months at a time. Yes, I've had dreams of going on 6 month expeditions to far reaches of the world. But I'm a realist. My kids will have kids. We have friends we'll take "normal" trips with. I'd bet our longest excursions would be 2 weeks. Maybe 3. And most likely, we'd supplement the outings with hotel stays couple times a week, if available. Again, realist. This makes setting up the FWC those other nights not that big of a deal.

Screw RV's and big honkin trailers. Both the wife and I feel like we can manage with a truck + FWC. I used to hike quite a bit. Brought a 60L+ pack usually, and had everything known to man on the campouts. I think the pack weighed 40lbs before water. Maybe more on some outings. Those were some long days on the trail, huffing up and down the mountain. Then I wised up and went light/ultralight. Got the pack down to 15lbs. Hiking range improved, muscles were less sore, back was happier, and found I was just as comfortable with the stuff I brought.
Stuffing a 20' RV or a trailer with all my earthly possessions seem to be a backward step for me.
My dad is a former backpacker his last trip was last yr. 18lb backpack 3 day trip. He was 74yrs old. Had a blast. But said hes done with it. Can’t carry enough to pack into his favorite spots. Horse packing he’s done and his old legs can’t do long hours on horse back anymore.

All he needs is a bed, storage spot for his golf clubs and bike. And a comfy spot to crash after a day out on the links. He’s paired down his keeper stuff to fit in a rented room likely from a friend with a empty house.

No wife. So yeah different situation.
 

Frogprince

Observer
I have been trying to convince my parents that when my father retires it is time to travel. They have a truck, and a nice trailer. Told them they should by some land somewhere, and put up a nice pad for that RV. Gives them a winter spot or base camp to come back to.

The rest of the time just go out and explore. Go somewhere and live for a few months. They had dreams of that has kids and out of college got tied up with life. I can't complain because I am here. For the truck I would suggest step back a few years.

Reason is you don't pay the off the lot new tax, and could get a nicer truck for the money. Most trucks you are looking for are going to be mall cruisers and had the duty of kids. I would be a 2-3 year old model and keep the savings for the camper and mods.
 

NevadaLover

Great job, brandon....
The computer controlled carburetors that followed probably still give some nightmares... and that is justified. Combines all the downsides of fuel injection and carburation with neither of their advantages.
They were a total pain, we replaced a lot of our CCC's with holleys because even tho' the holleys were crappy they were the lesser of the 2 evils, did the same with our '92 variable venturi crown vics, variable venturis were a total failure and holleys just worked better.
 

jmnielsen

Tinkerer
I really like the idea of a F250 Tremor with the 7.3L and an FWC on the back. If I had the cash, I would love to set one up with a flatbed Hawk to leave as a dedicated camping setup and then have a separate truck for doing the rest of the truck stuff.
 

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