Vehicle for Family of 6 Camping Trips

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Yep! With the 3rd rows up in the Sequoia or Expedition, I'm guessing there would be more cargo space in your Sienna behind the 3rd row.
Yes you would need the long. Or put the oldest kid 3rd row with 1/2 the bench down for gear which was a common way I did trips with a grandparent as the 3rd or 4th seat behind the front row.

Roof box and 1/2 the rear stowage might be perfectly fine till you add a trailer👍. The standard length full sized SUVs don’t drive big especially the new ones with their tight turning ability and 360 cameras. The Expedition has been great it replaced my daily Subaru Outback and my kid hauler Sequoia it was a 2 for one move on my part. The Expedition crushes the Sequoia on mileage and even beats the subaru on loaded trailer camping trips. Its been a great decision so far.
 

ssalvat

New member
With 4 kids all still in at least booster seats I don't see how we fit 3 in a row, so I don't think the 1/2 - 3rd row option is going to work.

Also, if anyone is interested, I looked around a bit and (in very rough numbers) the Sienna has around 39 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk with all seats occupied. Mid 2000s Armada and Expedition are around 20 cubic feet. Sequoia is around 27. Suburban/Tahoe XL/Yukon XL is around 46 and Excursion is around 48. So, to not lose space would require the biggest vehicles. Otherwise I'm probably looking at a roof box and some kind of storage mounted to the trailer hitch, at least until I get a trailer...or screw it and just buy a school bus :)
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
With 4 kids all still in at least booster seats I don't see how we fit 3 in a row, so I don't think the 1/2 - 3rd row option is going to work.

Also, if anyone is interested, I looked around a bit and (in very rough numbers) the Sienna has around 39 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk with all seats occupied. Mid 2000s Armada and Expedition are around 20 cubic feet. Sequoia is around 27. Suburban/Tahoe XL/Yukon XL is around 46 and Excursion is around 48. So, to not lose space would require the biggest vehicles. Otherwise I'm probably looking at a roof box and some kind of storage mounted to the trailer hitch, at least until I get a trailer...or screw it and just buy a school bus :)
I ran 3 up kids seats 2nd row a bunch in the Sequoia the newer full sized are slightly wider oldest in center seat given they can crawl in and buckle up vs break your back being hoisted over a seat. For a long time my oldest rode passenger side 3rd row the Sequoia door is cut deep I could stand at the door and easily check seat belts. Grandpas Suburban had super narrow 2nd row doors they were terrible for 3rd row access.

Oh big major tip!!!
Use the seat belts to anchor the kids seats but flip the buckle so the button/release faces the car seat button in vs out. No surprises regarding released seat belts by kids, grandparents or my case the dog. Nothing worse that realizing the kids seat wasn’t belted down due to the button being stepped on or fumbled.
 

al_burpe

Observer
There is the Expedition EL which is closer to the size of a Suburban. You might be able to get into one for $10K. I wouldn't do it though as all the ones in your budget come with the problematic 5.4 motor. I had a 2005 and the build quality on that was poor as well. With the 5.4 you are not going to get near the mileage that Calicamper talks about getting either. I think you are right in that your options are pretty much Suburban or Excursion if you want 4wd. One thought might be an AWD Astro van. It would be better off road than the Sienna but I am not sure it has more storage space. It is probably closer to a Tahoe than a Suburban.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Depending on your budget there are plenty of Suburbans out there that would work. Even an older GMT-400 Suburban could work if you're handy. They're not powerful and they suck gas like there's no tomorrow but for hauling lots of people they just flat out work.
 

ssalvat

New member
Yeah, at this point I think it's going to end up being either a Suburban/Yukon XL or Excursion/Expedition EL. We might be able to make do with the reduced cargo space in a Sequoia or Expedition, but this feels like a classic go big or go home scenario, if I'm going to buy something big I might as well buy the biggest thing. While the van idea is intriguing, we already have a van, and we're not much interested in being a 2 van family. Finally, my wife and I agreed that we like having a little car around, so looks like whatever I buy will end up being a 3rd car and not replace my daily driver.

So, to be realistic, I'm looking at something in the "beater" price range. I'm handy enough to keep an older vehicle running, although I don't want to spend a ton of time and money constantly fixing something. With that in mind, any final suggestions based on reliability? I know Suburbans and Expeditions can run a long time, at least the engine and transmission, wondering if there are any especially good years to look for (or bad years to avoid). Thanks as always for the help!
 

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eatSleepWoof

Explorer
With 4 kids all still in at least booster seats I don't see how we fit 3 in a row, so I don't think the 1/2 - 3rd row option is going to work.
I've no idea whether there's a difference between "booster seats" and regular "child seats," but in this thread on 'Mud is a fella that has 4 child seats in a '15 LX570 with ease. And I'm pretty sure 5 would also work.


 

ssalvat

New member
By booster seat I meant a backless child seat, smaller but still takes up more space than just a kid by him/herself.

Anyway, I ended up finding a 2006 Yukon XL 1500 SLT with 179,000 miles for $3800. It has been regularly maintained, it does need a little bit of work that wasn't immediately obvious, but not a big deal at all. If I can get the work done in time we may take it for its maiden camping voyage the first week of October.
 

mnwanders

Member
By booster seat I meant a backless child seat, smaller but still takes up more space than just a kid by him/herself.

Anyway, I ended up finding a 2006 Yukon XL 1500 SLT with 179,000 miles for $3800. It has been regularly maintained, it does need a little bit of work that wasn't immediately obvious, but not a big deal at all. If I can get the work done in time we may take it for its maiden camping voyage the first week of October.
I was watching this thread and was tempted to jump in late and tell you, as a Sequoia owner, to go the suburban/Yukon xl route. Glad to see you did. I love our Sequoia, but that extra foot of space you get in a Yukon XL would sure make a huge difference.


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nitro_rat

On a Suburban Excursion
I was watching this thread and was tempted to jump in late and tell you, as a Sequoia owner, to go the suburban/Yukon xl route. Glad to see you did. I love our Sequoia, but that extra foot of space you get in a Yukon XL would sure make a huge difference.


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IDK, I'm a long time Suburban owner, my family and I have had probably 30 of them in my life time of every 4 door generation except the current one. I've only ridden in a few Sequoias when I was in the Middle East and they seemed huge inside to me. Granted the cargo room behind the last row seat is less but the back seat passenger area (I always had a driver) always seemed cavernous to me!
 

Frdmskr

Adventurer
Wild idea, what about a Toyota 4runner SR5 5th gen with 3rd row. Under $20K for the vehicle. Then spend the rest of the money on a trailer which can carry your stuff and give at least 1 RTT.
 
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