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Thread: Which car would you recommend for remote bushwhacking?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Oncoman's Avatar
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    Which car would you recommend for remote bushwhacking?

    After 5 years of bwk all over the northeast, with an average of 120 pks per year and 30,000 miles of driving per year I can say that my present car, a minivan Honda Odyssey, has performed outstandingly well despite very rough workhorse beatings. But with 250,000 miles under the hood time has come to seriously consider getting a new car.

    So which car, preferably a 4x4, would you suggest that would be robust enough to last 250,000 miles and suffer the punishments of remote logging roads. Also I must be able to sleep in the car in a supine position, otherwise my back will not stand it especially for a 3-4 day raid.
    "Getting to the top is optional; getting back down is mandatory". Maxim of Ed Viesturs, the first American to have climbed all 14 of the world's 8,000 meter peaks.

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    Senior Member cushetunk's Avatar
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    Based on everything you have said, I think the vehicle you are looking for is the Honda Odyssey.

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    There are lots of choices and considerations (subura outback?), and by 4x4, it is hard to tell what you mean by that. You have a mini van, and if you need that kind of size, then there are lots of SUVs that are large enough to sleep in and should be able to handle logging roads.

    If you want something smaller than a SUV or van, and sleeping is a major consideration, then the Honda Element is a small car that can hold a full size bed in the back, with lots of headroom. I haven't slept in it yet, but other than being just a bit short (so 6' long, and you have to pull the seats up), it looks like a great car for sleeping.

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    Senior Member Oncoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cushetunk View Post
    Based on everything you have said, I think the vehicle you are looking for is the Honda Odyssey.
    For engine reliability and space: yes. For logging road travel capability: no (front wheel drive only - cannot pull out of 1 foot mud holes, had 2 such incidents - if one front wheel sinks in ditch in winter expect a 10 miles walk out, twice had to be towed and once scrapped a tire by excessive spinning on rock to pull out - cannot negociate deep drops in road or large rocks due to low clearance)
    "Getting to the top is optional; getting back down is mandatory". Maxim of Ed Viesturs, the first American to have climbed all 14 of the world's 8,000 meter peaks.

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    Your fundamental problem is you need two vehicles, one to off road and one to get from where you live to the end of the dirt road. I expect that 99% of your driving is in the later category and unfortunately you have to compromise the 99% for the 1% of the time you go off road. No matter what you buy, its a compromise as something with four wheel drive and good ground clearance is not going to have very good fuel economy and unfortunately market forces are driving vehicles to getting good fuel economy. Many folks love Subarus as they are somewhat all purpose, but recent models are heavy and not that great off road. The cheapest option is a used toyota truck with a cab.

    One off the wall option is one of these with a rack on your vehicle to carry it http://www.rokon.com/products/index.htm although it would fit right in an a honda element and possibly some other vehicles. Their reputation is that you would have to work very hard to break them. Anything that will float across a stream would really expand the concept of what is drivable!

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    Senior Member IndianChris's Avatar
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    My Jeep Cherokee has been great. Might be a little tight to sleep in depending on your height though. But the 4-wheel drive is great and the 4.0 liter engine is strong.
    Have 130,000 miles on it and hope to double that! I keep up on the maintenance as best I can.
    Unfortunately Jeep doesn't make the basic Cherokee anymore but the Grand Cherokee is definitely sweet too.
    HEY!!!
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  7. #7
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    I seem to recall a similar thread recently. In any case, I think many of the replies will be from people telling you to buy whatever vehicle they own!

    If you observe the vehicles people drive in northern NE, it seems about every 3rd one is either a Subaru or Toyota Tacoma. There's a reason for that.

    I'd second peakbagger's suggestion re: the used Tacoma with a cap. If you really need a more "car-like" vehicle, consider a used RAV4 with AWD. Honda's an excellent vehicle, but I think Toyota is just a whisker better.
    Last edited by Kevin Rooney; 11-11-2010 at 10:03 AM.

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    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney View Post
    I'd second peakbagger's suggestion re: the used Tacoma with a cap. If you really need a more "car-like" vehicle, consider a used RAV4 with AWD.
    I agree too. I don't have one but this was the route I was about to go because I just went through the same thing with my car. I came across a great deal on a Chevy S-10 though and went with that for the time being.
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

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    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney View Post
    I seem to recall a similar thread recently. In any case, I think many of the replies will be from people telling you to buy whatever vehicle they own!
    Here is the thread, I was shocked it was from 07 because I think of it as recent too.

    I think the "people telling you to buy whatever vehicle they own" thing also represents the fact that there is a lot of ways to go that will all "work".
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

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    Senior Member Quietman's Avatar
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    Here is the more recent thread.

  11. #11
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quietman View Post
    Here is the more recent thread.
    Ohh yeah, I think I just focused on the older one because the connection of Canadian bushwhackers Both have good info.
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  12. #12
    Senior Member SAR-EMT40's Avatar
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    My contribution from the other post. The seats recline but I don't know if you would be able to use them for sleeping based upon your needs. And in the interest of full disclosure I removed my rear seat. I need the space for all my stuff. For most people the rear seat does fold down and that might be enough space.

    For just plain fun, utility and ruggedness and ease of repair. A Wrangler. I have so much fun with my Jeep now not having to truck the kids around. Much smaller than the F-150 and Dodge 1500 crew cab. I bought this used with low mileage for a good price to replace the Dodge after the kids no longer needed me to truck them around. I use to get 8 mpg running around to fire calls in town. And it never got more than 17 mpg on the highway. This get me much better gas mileage, great handling in mud, snow, etc. I use to drive one fairly often in the Army also. My first exposure. When you absolutely, positively must get there, or get back - Jeep.

    It doesn't get any better than racing around with the top down on a gorgeous day, wind rustling through your hair, or scalp. Whatever the case may be.




    Keith
    "The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."- Ed Abbey

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    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    All I want for Xmas...

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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Isn't there an AWD version of the Mercedes/Dodge Sprinter?

  15. #15
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    I know there are people (Marc!) who have taken little Hondas all the way up the logging roads in western Maine, but I confess that when I had my 2003 Outback up there, I still wished for better ground clearance on several occasions, as it's still not quite up to par for crossing a washout gully. The AWD was more than adequate, I never needed 4WD but having it instead would never have been a negative.

    My recommendation would be a high-clearance pickup with a full-length bed with a cap on it. You can set up quite a comfortable sleeping arrangement back there, as well as having room for a locking gear box & cooler, plus easy access. The hatch of the cap even provides a covered entry in bed weather. And modern truck cabs are pretty comfy themselves.

    I think ground clearance is the #1 feature to look for, followed by AWD or 4WD.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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