The $15,000 Expedition Vehicle: How would you build it?

nick325i

Adventurer
I would stick with a 90's (92 - 99) Suburban or maybe a Cherokee. You can find well taken care of, ex family examples all day long for about $4000. Parts and mods are cheap and easy to source as well.

With $11k left over you could do plenty of modification to suit your needs.

I have a buddy that bought a clean 99' 4WD Suburban for $3500. He sleeps in the back on trips and uses the factory roof rack to haul his kayak, folding chairs and etc.
 

swcruiser

Observer
I think there are loads of options and alternatives. Let your imagination run wild and build something that works for you. Im particular and hate buying stuff that doesn't suit my needs.. I decided to build something instead. Over the years Ive seen all sorts of builds including some I wouldn't want to be in but also others that are damn resourceful and amazing. I think a lot of people on the forum, myself included forget that a lot of people do this out of necessity and actually live in there vehicles. For 15K you could do ALOT. My lx450 chinook build will be end up being half of that! Im all for people building something. Ive seen old military ambulances at the local surplus which would make a great platform. They have been sitting for years and am sure you could get a great deal.

my build so far:

lx450 2K after selling parts
chinook $140
Tires 1k
freezer $300
Fiberglass work 1K
metal $200
heater $80.00
sink $60
stove $220
fabric $220
Cushions $160
Wood $250
propane tank $100
20 gal. water tank $80
water heater $120
 

Bolles

Observer
I'm doing the 1971 VW Bus route. Capable off road (like a big baja bug) a set of Maxtrax sand boards. Rebuilt motor, trans and renewed stock suspension brakes axles dual batteries and a complete spare parts supply on board. Sleeps 2 and runs all day at 65 mph on low quality fuel..1971 vw westfalia first photo.jpg
 
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WyoCherokee

Adventurer
2nd Gen Ford Ranger. 4.0 V6, 5 speed, xtra cab. can be had for $3,500
or 2nd Gen Jeep Comanche 4.0 I6, 5 speed, Short Bed, can be had for 3,500
265/75/16's with Rims 1700
Homemade safari cover ~400
That leaves you ~10k for drivetrain rebuild if needed, accessories, lift, gear, lockers/lim slip, accessories of your choice.
 

Bolles

Observer
I'm doing the 1971 VW Bus route. Capable off road (like a big baja bug) a set of Maxtrax sand boards. Rebuilt motor, trans and renewed stock suspension brakes axles dual batteries and a complete spare parts supply on board. Sleeps 2 and runs all day at 65 mph on low quality fuel..View attachment 335199
Bus cost $4000
Rebuilt motor $1500
Rebuilt trans $800
New CV's axles and clutch $700
New fuel tank and hard lines $300
New brakes, steer box $700
Dual batteries and misc $500
No electronics.
$8500
Should last another 20 years.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Subaru Outback - toss on some good tires and camping gear and call it a day.
 

maxingout

Adventurer
F-150

I would consider an old F150 pickup with a cover on the bed. Throw the gear in the back of the truck and take off. It would be a disposable truck, cheap to repair and would get the job done. No modifications. No four wheel drive.

I have seen properly driven two wheel drive pick ups navigate massive sand dunes in Arabia. Zero modifications. Minimal camping gear.
 

The_Dude

Adventurer
I would buy my 80 series all over again. Paid 8k locked with 114k on it. Put front bumper and sliders on it and a 12k winch. I would add some drawers and possibly a fridge and maybe a nicer roof rack. I like to try to keep as much wiring as stock as possible to try to eliminate any potential problems. Less is more sometimes.
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1458691657.621925.jpg


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3/4 or 1 ton long bed of your choice. An aluminum commercial high top canopy. Sleeping arrangements in the canopy, or a roof top tent, or a ground tent. Refrigerator, food storage, prep, and cooking area. Sanitation arrangements. Some basic repair and recovery gear. A deep cycle battery for power and lights. You don't "need" a lot of things.
 
5th Wheel Blazer

Hi Scott,

I have spent all my life (50ish) in the Az deserts.

I like a Chevy Blazer frame with a full size, S10 or J10 truck cab on it
Small Block, stick shift, gear drive x-fer, dual steer 1 tons
Mount a small 5th wheel plate or gooseneck ball
Pull 2 trailers with roughly the same length as the blazer. Looks kinda like a catepillar...

Its great to be able to park the RV trailer and supply/dirtbike trailer in the campground at Lees Ferry and not have to worry about getting hung up, destroying something expensive or NOT going somewhere cuz my rig is to big or heavy

Ive even kicked around the idea of mounting a small pop up camper or flip pac behind the truck cab

Hey,
Thanks for starting this awesome site.

Robert
 
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