Vehicle recommendation

mitchkman

New member
I hope I'm in the right section. We (couple) will be buying our first "expedition" vehicle, but we are a bit overwhelmed with the options. However, we think we have a pretty clear idea of what we need.

Some facts:
- We live in Northern California, country
- We are pretty much settled on a truck (but open to other options), since we occasionally need it for work on our property and hauling stuff away. Not planning on towing heavy things, such as boats
- We plan to (eventually) take trips to snowy/icy areas (Canada), so 4x4/4WD is sort of a must.
- In terms of sleeping, we want to start out simple first. We were thinking of starting out with a camper shell and sleeping on the truck bed.
- I'm 5'10", my wife is 5'3"
- We want to buy used
- Cruise Control & AC. No fancy extras such as lane assist, etc.
- We don't care much for style, more for functionality and maintainability
- We slowly want to upgrade the vehicle
- Mechanically skilled for medium repairs and upgrades
- Our soft budget is around $20k

Some trucks we were thinking about:
- Toyota Tacoma with 100k-150k miles (I never owned a truck before, is that much for a Tacoma?)
- Nissan Frontier (perhaps around 50k miles), preferably a smaller cabin but longer King Bed.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
How about a full size truck? You'll run out of payload capacity and room really quick in a midsized truck. A midsized truck with over sized off road tires and loaded down with camping gear will get the same mpg as a 3/4 ton with out any of the benifits (payload capacity, larger brakes, stronger axles, more powerful motor, muuuch stronger frame and suspension).

Also, used Tacomas are obnoxiously over priced. You can get a gasser 3/4 ton for the same price and its a far better truck for what you are doing.
 

Peter_n_Margaret

Adventurer
Forward control will give a much better usable length to overall length ratio and a better view.
Most 4WD "trucks" have poor suspension from an "off road" perspective and may need to be converted to parabolic springs.
"Super singles" are an essential requirement.
Load capacity is important. How far you can go and how long you can stay is often determined by fuel and especially water capacity. You will want some comfort and to bring along some toys.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
 

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calicamper

Expedition Leader
I hope I'm in the right section. We (couple) will be buying our first "expedition" vehicle, but we are a bit overwhelmed with the options. However, we think we have a pretty clear idea of what we need.

Some facts:
- We live in Northern California, country
- We are pretty much settled on a truck (but open to other options), since we occasionally need it for work on our property and hauling stuff away. Not planning on towing heavy things, such as boats
- We plan to (eventually) take trips to snowy/icy areas (Canada), so 4x4/4WD is sort of a must.
- In terms of sleeping, we want to start out simple first. We were thinking of starting out with a camper shell and sleeping on the truck bed.
- I'm 5'10", my wife is 5'3"
- We want to buy used
- Cruise Control & AC. No fancy extras such as lane assist, etc.
- We don't care much for style, more for functionality and maintainability
- We slowly want to upgrade the vehicle
- Mechanically skilled for medium repairs and upgrades
- Our soft budget is around $20k

Some trucks we were thinking about:
- Toyota Tacoma with 100k-150k miles (I never owned a truck before, is that much for a Tacoma?)
- Nissan Frontier (perhaps around 50k miles), preferably a smaller cabin but longer King Bed.
Skip the taco if you actually have property and will be doing truck like stuff. Northern CA why not full sized? You get more for your $.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Forward control will give a much better usable length to overall length ratio and a better view.
Most 4WD "trucks" have poor suspension from an "off road" perspective and may need to be converted to parabolic springs.
"Super singles" are an essential requirement.
Load capacity is important. How far you can go and how long you can stay is often determined by fuel and especially water capacity. You will want some comfort and to bring along some toys.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome

The problem with forward control trucks in the U.S. is its hard to find them with 4wd and even harder to find one used that's not beat all to hell.

They also have horriable survivability in an accident, ride like a brick with wheels stuck on it, and they can't keep up with traffic on the interstate, or up a hill.
 

mitchkman

New member
Thanks for all the replies! Since I've gotten the recommendation for going for a full-size truck, any more specific recommendations?
How about a 2012 Nissan Titan 4WD?
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Thanks for all the replies! Since I've gotten the recommendation for going for a full-size truck, any more specific recommendations?
How about a 2012 Nissan Titan 4WD?
The Titans are good trucks, but there is a lack of aftermarket support. They also get the same gas mileage as a 3/4 ton.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Today, unless you know how to minimize and pack like a mountaineer, buy a 3/4 ton.

My truck has something like 1740 lbs of payload.... I've never come close to maxing it out hauling camping gear...lol.
 

Toyaddict

Active member
I've been keeping an eye out for F250s with the 6.2 for awhile. Much better value than a Tacoma. I like my 1st gen Tundra but I often wish I had bit the bullet and bought an F250. They can take abuse as a work truck for 200k+ miles and keep on going.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
I've been keeping an eye out for F250s with the 6.2 for awhile. Much better value than a Tacoma. I like my 1st gen Tundra but I often wish I had bit the bullet and bought an F250. They can take abuse as a work truck for 200k+ miles and keep on going.

True story...I had a 2002 Tundra 2wd... It got the same gas mileage as the 2017 GMC 2500 4x4 I drive at work and the new 2020 F250s 2wd that we have...lol.

Also, the 6.2 is a bullet proof motor. They can be abused for hundreds of thousands of miles and not flinch.
 

shirk

Member
Look at payload.... most of the foreign trucks are not really full size.... most of our half tons aren't either.
"Foreign" trucks sold in North America AND the North American 1/2 tons are a joke.

You can buy a Ford Ranger crew cab in Australia with a 1000kg (2200 lbs) payload.

It's like they only exist to force people into 3/4 and 1 ton sized larger trucks.
 

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calicamper

Expedition Leader
"Foreign" trucks sold in North America AND the North American 1/2 tons are a joke.

You can buy a Ford Ranger crew cab in Australia with a 1000kg (2200 lbs) payload.

It's like they only exist to force people into 3/4 and 1 ton sized larger trucks.
Two part yes push sales to higher priced vehicles and ride quality Americans want the big Buick cush ride loaded or not. Pretty sure modern US crash standards have impacted frame strength regarding load carrying ability also. Lots of bent trucks these days especially the small ones.
 

shirk

Member
Two part yes push sales to higher priced vehicles and ride quality Americans want the big Buick cush ride loaded or not. Pretty sure modern US crash standards have impacted frame strength regarding load carrying ability also. Lots of bent trucks these days especially the small ones.
I don't buy it on crash ratings.

Jeep Wranglers meet the US crash standards but get pretty low ratings internationally. Is Jeep making a completely different frame for international markets vs the US?
 
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