Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 56

Thread: Canyoneering Vehicle Thoughts

  1. #1

    Canyoneering Vehicle Thoughts

    Hola Everyone,

    I'm interested in hearing about what vehicle gets you to the trailhead and if it does a good job or not. Also, I'm curious to hear people's thoughts on what makes an ideal canyoneering vehicle.

    I don't know all that much about cars/trucks/suvs and I've always driven a low-clearance 2wd sedan. Though I've driven my car on some questionable dirt roads, typically someone with a more competent vehicle ends up driving.

    I live on the Front Range in CO so for me the ideal vehicle would need to be able to do a long round trip over mountains and back with 4 people and their gear safely(in bad weather), economically and comfortably.

    It also needs to be a sturdy home-base for the weekend, capable and reliable on gnarly desert dirt roads.

    Thoughts?

  2. # ADS
    Circuit advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    Posts
    Many
     

  3. #2
    Hola Sam,

    My 2007 FJ Cruiser is the ideal canyoneering vehicle. My buddy Tony @AbsoluteGravity drives a nearly identical vehicle. So his FJ ties for first I guess. We get some funny looks when both of us pull into Sandthrax.

    I built my FJ to dominate deep snow years before venturing into the remote corners of the desert. It never breaks down. It never gets stuck. I'm not a car nut, but it is awesome.

    I only added a couple of things:

    3 inch lift, ARB suspension, medium firmness

    BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO 285/70/17 tires

    Side steps from RealWheels.

    Toyota skid plate

    15 MPG, somewhat harsh for long road trips, but worth it. Unstoppable in the desert due to short wheelbase and stubby bumpers. Lots of room for gear. Highly recommended.

    edit: HUGE PLUS, the entire interior is washable, everything is made out of smooth plastic. Super easy to clean the sand and mud out. You can hose down the seats and floor and... pretty much everything but the radio.
    THE MOST TALKED ABOUT CANYONEERING TRIP OF 2017 - WEST CANYON VIA HELICOPTER.
    TRIP REPORTS: TIGER | BOBCAT | OCELOT | LYNX | SABERTOOTH | CHEETAH | PORCUPINE | LEOPARD

    DON'T BE A STRANGER, LEAVE A COMMENT AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
    WWW.AMAZINGSLOTS.BLOGSPOT.COM



  4. Likes SRG liked this post
  5. #3
    Toyota 4Runner:
    Cushy on the highway
    Great off-road
    Decent mileage (for an suv)
    5 comfortable with gear (cram 6 for a shuttle)
    great car for dogs!

  6. Likes SRG liked this post
  7. #4
    Ask Hikster11. I followed him back on the very rough road from the TH of SGR (Moab) a few weeks ago; he was in a little 2WD car that spent most of the time on three wheels. He managed just fine.

    I should have taken some photos! And I should teach myself to save some money on expensive car rental next time!

  8. Likes hikster11 liked this post
  9. #5
    probably more important is to go with a buddy vehicle, or if solo-vehicle in very remote areas take a satellite phone

    wife and I are always solo vehicle and in a Jeep (88, 92 then 97 Cherokee, now in a 2008 Liberty). Plus - drive with your brain. mud is not your friend. Sand can not be your friend under some circumstances. Rocky bits go "boing" and may break parts. So drive appropriately and you can do well in a totally stock 4WD Jeep (or similar). Only been towed out once, AAA paid it 100%.

    BTW - the FJCruiser is nice, but was too $$$ and too big for our garage.

    Also, the traction control features on late model vehicles also help off road.

  10. Likes SRG liked this post
  11. #6
    Get a full sized truck...period. If you buy some small pickup or even a mid sized SUV of some type, when you have it loaded with people and gear the engine is going to suck gas with all the weight. It'll be at least 8 years before you have choices with vehicles that will haul a thousand pounds of meat and swag getting anywhere close to 30 MPG.

    Take a look at the newest F-150 with either the Ecoboost or 5.0 V8. Dodge makes a good truck, too. Their diesel engine gets around 24, real world...but there's a price premium for that engine. The Chevy just had a redesign, but all the experts agree that their trucks will need new engines...something that they'll be doing in about 2 years.

    My '04 gets 17 mpg driving all the way out there and back, loaded with gear. A girlfriend of mine has an '08 Tacoma and she, a friend and all their gear make the trip, she gets 16.

    Name:  2015 f-150 001.jpg
Views: 905
Size:  74.3 KB
    "Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past"

    Orwell...1984

  12. Likes SRG, Taylor liked this post
  13. #7
    I disagree on the full size truck. I've always had full size trucks and switched to a Toyota Tacoma in 2012 because it can go so many more places. A full size truck just doesn't fit through the tight spots on many of the back roads I travel. A full size truck just doesn't cut it if you need to do some serious wheeling.

    Not saying a Tacoma is the best fit for the original poster as its backseat is to small. I'd probably suggest a 4 Runner. Good mileage, bullet proof, comfortable for four, good resale, cost effective, yada, yada

    Fwiw- I am a gear head and I'm usually elbows deep in a car of some type when I'm not in the backcountry.

  14. Likes SRG, Slot Machine liked this post
  15. #8
    '97 Toyota 4Runner. Modest lift and knobby tires. Goes everywhere and starts every time

  16. #9
    '05 Toyota Tundra - stock version. It has always found the trailhead for every canyon without fail that I have ever wanted to hike and packs a ton of stuff in the back.
    Life is Good

  17. Likes SRG, Byron liked this post
  18. #10
    Moderator jman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Above you and looking down
    Posts
    3,717
    Blog Entries
    1

    Canyoneering Vehicle Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Byron View Post
    Get a full sized truck...period. If you buy some small pickup or even a mid sized SUV of some type, when you have it loaded with people and gear the engine is going to suck gas with all the weight. It'll be at least 8 years before you have choices with vehicles that will haul a thousand pounds of meat and swag getting anywhere close to 30 MPG.

    Take a look at the newest F-150 with either the Ecoboost or 5.0 V8. Dodge makes a good truck, too. Their diesel engine gets around 24, real world...but there's a price premium for that engine. The Chevy just had a redesign, but all the experts agree that their trucks will need new engines...something that they'll be doing in about 2 years.

    My '04 gets 17 mpg driving all the way out there and back, loaded with gear. A girlfriend of mine has an '08 Tacoma and she, a friend and all their gear make the trip, she gets 16.

    Name:  2015 f-150 001.jpg
Views: 905
Size:  74.3 KB
    X2. Oh yeah! I love my 2004 f-150.

    17.5mpg on 33" tires, carrying 5 people and 6 huge duffel bags (the north face - base camp), canyoneering gear and ropes, car camping gear, sleeping bags and pads, tons of food, etc. with plenty of leg room!

    By yourself, a truck wouldn't make sense but if most of your canyoneering trips are with people than a truck is awesome!

    Especially with gear in the back. No one is cramped and the added benefit is that the driver (and whoever his preference) can sleep in the bed of the truck (which keeps the rodents away and gives you a flat place to rest too.
    ●Canyoneering 'Canyon Conditions' @ www.candition.com
    ●Hiking Treks (my younger brother's website): hiking guides @ www.thetrekplanner.com
    "He who walks on the edge...will eventually fall."
    "There are two ways to die in the desert - dehydration and drowning." -overhearing a Park Ranger at Capitol Reef N.P.
    "...the first law of gear-dynamics: gear is like a gas - it will expand to fit the available space." -Wortman, Outside magazine.
    "SEND IT, BRO!!"

  19. Likes SRG liked this post
  20. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jman View Post
    X2. Oh yeah! I love 2004 f-150.

    17.5mpg on 33" tires carrying 5 people and 6 plus huge duffel bags (the north face - base camp), canyoneering gear and ropes, car camping gear, food, etc. with plenty of leg room!

    By yourself, a truck wouldn't make sense but if most of your canyoneering trips are with people than a truck is awesome! Especially with gear in the back. No one is cramped and the added benefit is that the driver (and whoever his preference) can sleep in the bed of the truck (which keeps the rodents away and gives you a flat place to rest too.
    x3!!

    I've got a 2013 F-150 and I love it. Fits 6 full-size guys comfortably and you never have to worry about what to bring. It all fits in the back. 18 MPG on trips and about 16 around town. With the aluminium body and Ecoboost V6 in the 2015s, you'll be getting great mileage.
    You May All Go To Hell And I Will Go To Texas

  21. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob L View Post
    Ask Hikster11. I followed him back on the very rough road from the TH of SGR (Moab) a few weeks ago; he was in a little 2WD car that spent most of the time on three wheels. He managed just fine.

    I should have taken some photos! And I should teach myself to save some money on expensive car rental next time!

    Any rental car is just has good as a rock crawler. 2WD just needs a little more speed.

  22. Likes jman liked this post
  23. #13
    Sam,

    Which vehicles are in your top 5? What is you price range?

    Do not say Xterra.

    Owning an FJ is like dating a great looking girl then finding out later that she is a yoga instructor.

    Owning an Xterra is like dating a stripper then later realizing what it means to be dating a stripper.
    THE MOST TALKED ABOUT CANYONEERING TRIP OF 2017 - WEST CANYON VIA HELICOPTER.
    TRIP REPORTS: TIGER | BOBCAT | OCELOT | LYNX | SABERTOOTH | CHEETAH | PORCUPINE | LEOPARD

    DON'T BE A STRANGER, LEAVE A COMMENT AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
    WWW.AMAZINGSLOTS.BLOGSPOT.COM



  24. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Slot Machine View Post
    Sam,

    Owning an FJ is like dating a great looking girl then finding out later that she is a yoga instructor.
    Owning an Xterra is like dating a stripper then later realizing what it means to be dating a stripper.

  25. Likes Slot Machine liked this post
  26. #15
    Thanks everyone for the replies, lots of good stuff to consider.

    Bob,
    I've always had a thing for strippers ... but seriously, funny you should ask 'cause FJ and Xterra top my short list. I need to stay under 20k out-the-door and I want something with low miles.

    Xterra has the edge right now 'cause I found a deal on one and in general it seems like I can get a newer one in better condition for the pice relative to an FJ.

    Wrangler doesn't have enough room. 4 Runners and newer, reliable pickup trucks are out of my price range.

    Other than 'cause you've already got one... why so much love for the FJ? And why disdain for the Xterra?

  27. #16
    Xterra can take a lot of abuse (e.g. high speed runs on Hole n the Rock Road) , and then break its rear axle. Twice in one instance. Not mine, owned by a resident in the Escalante region. Xterra was on my short list, but the value of my Jeep KK was too good to pass up. $14,000 got me a 2008 6-speed with 45,700 miles on it.

  28. Likes Slot Machine liked this post
  29. #17
    I've got a jeep patriot, and with a thule box on top I can fit four and their gear, and to top it off I get around 26 mpg. It can handle rough roads just fine, although if you plan on doing anything too extreme you will want to lift it a little.

  30. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Slot Machine View Post
    Do not say Xterra.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRG View Post
    Xterra top my short list...

    Xterra has the edge...

    ..why disdain for the Xterra?

    I knew it!

    Just so you know, I don't hate one because I love the other. One is just a better product, dollar for dollar, than the other.

    You will ALWAYS find deals on Nissans because the quality of their products is not as competitive as Toyota's (my personal theory). Simple stuff breaks. Everything squeaks. My buddy has had his Nissan in the shop a dozen times for retarded stuff over the past 3 years. And he bought it brand new (but he got a SMOKIN deal)!

    My FJ? It has not been 'in the shop' even once. I've gone airborne in that thing at least a dozen times and nothing ever breaks. It has 75,000 miles and I haven't even replaced the brake pads. The quality is crazy good!

    Also, what it can do is amazing. A few years ago I went to Jeep Safari in Moab (picked the wrong week, not knowing), saw 5,000 Jeeps out in the desert, and NONE of them passed me. This was a big surprise. They would all pull aside and let me play through. The gap in my mind between the FJ and the Jeep grew. And IMO, Jeeps are better than Xterras.
    __

    I did a quick Autotrader FJ search in Denver and I found a 2007 with 59,000 miles for $18,500. That seems like a winner to me. There were 3 others that were in contention with that one. I wouldn't even care that it is a 2007 because Toyotas are like Asian folks, they age very slowly.
    THE MOST TALKED ABOUT CANYONEERING TRIP OF 2017 - WEST CANYON VIA HELICOPTER.
    TRIP REPORTS: TIGER | BOBCAT | OCELOT | LYNX | SABERTOOTH | CHEETAH | PORCUPINE | LEOPARD

    DON'T BE A STRANGER, LEAVE A COMMENT AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
    WWW.AMAZINGSLOTS.BLOGSPOT.COM



  31. Likes SRG liked this post
  32. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by TommyBoy View Post
    I've got a jeep patriot, and with a thule box on top I can fit four and their gear, and to top it off I get around 26 mpg. It can handle rough roads just fine, although if you plan on doing anything too extreme you will want to lift it a little.
    Does driving across the White Canyon "River" with a running start count as extreme?
    THE MOST TALKED ABOUT CANYONEERING TRIP OF 2017 - WEST CANYON VIA HELICOPTER.
    TRIP REPORTS: TIGER | BOBCAT | OCELOT | LYNX | SABERTOOTH | CHEETAH | PORCUPINE | LEOPARD

    DON'T BE A STRANGER, LEAVE A COMMENT AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
    WWW.AMAZINGSLOTS.BLOGSPOT.COM



  33. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    I disagree on the full size truck. I've always had full size trucks and switched to a Toyota Tacoma in 2012 because it can go so many more places. A full size truck just doesn't fit through the tight spots on many of the back roads I travel. A full size truck just doesn't cut it if you need to do some serious wheeling.
    I'm with Shane on this one. Over the past couple of years I can think of about 5 places where I probably would have stranded myself in a full size truck. And a couple of other places where I would have damaged a bumper or ripped off the front air dam.

    Here is my FJ. Look closely at the exit/approach angles (from the bottom of the tire to the outer edge of the bumpers). This subtle difference in design has proven to be an advantage several times. Jeeps and Xterras have similar angles.

    Name:  photo.JPG
Views: 781
Size:  102.8 KB

    That being said, with jman's setup those things don't matter very much. 33 inch tires + lift can conquer almost anything.

    With my next truck I'll probably go with a lifted Tundra on 33's. Sleeping in the back + extra cargo and leg room are big pluses.
    THE MOST TALKED ABOUT CANYONEERING TRIP OF 2017 - WEST CANYON VIA HELICOPTER.
    TRIP REPORTS: TIGER | BOBCAT | OCELOT | LYNX | SABERTOOTH | CHEETAH | PORCUPINE | LEOPARD

    DON'T BE A STRANGER, LEAVE A COMMENT AND/OR SUBSCRIBE.
    WWW.AMAZINGSLOTS.BLOGSPOT.COM



  34. Likes SRG, Byron liked this post

Similar Threads

  1. [Help] Thoughts?
    By mattandersao in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 07-13-2010, 01:00 PM
  2. Bogley 4.0 Thoughts?
    By accadacca in forum About Bogley & Support
    Replies: 141
    Last Post: 06-23-2010, 09:36 AM
  3. Sleeklogos; thoughts?
    By bbennett in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-29-2010, 01:56 PM
  4. Thoughts on Unga
    By uintahiker in forum The Sports Junkie
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-22-2010, 12:42 PM
  5. Thoughts on a GT ID-XC
    By KillEmAll in forum Mountain Biking & Cycling
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 07-11-2005, 11:17 AM

Visitors found this page by searching for:

Outdoor Forum

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •