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Old 06-29-2010   #11
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
You guys must have the magic suby's or drive different than me cause I never got what I would call good gas mileage out of them. Had two and you had to be unloaded with the a/c off and on the highway with a tailwind to get over 30mpg.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 06-29-2010   #12
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
If you can find a deal on an older VW TDI (turbo-diesel) wagon, that might fit the bill - if you can accept shitty clearance and no 4WD. The positives are that the wagons will hold a lot of gear, the diesel engine has great torque and acceleration and does fine loaded down. I get 42+mpg with a roof rack and a rocket box. No rack and go light on the accelerator, and I can get 50+ and go over 550 miles on a 12 gallon tank. If you have a short commute, you'll be filling that tank once a month.

Might be tough to find one at $6K, but diesels will handle high mileage or you might find a dinged one. But it's a great car if you want to lighten your fuel bills; the high-mpg gas cars are generally dogs when you load them down or put boats on them.

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Old 06-29-2010   #13
possumturd's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451
Originally Posted by El Flaco View Post
If you can find a deal on an older VW TDI (turbo-diesel) wagon, .....................
I was just looking on craiglist at those. Good suggestion. My friend Marc has a TDI sedan and he has had it for a few years and it's still going. It's always jammed full of boating and mnt bike gear.
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Old 06-29-2010   #14
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Yeah- mine's a sedan. I should have held out for a wagon, but we have a 4 door Nissan pickup and I figured the VW would be strictly a commuter for my heinous commute. But I've been using it for playtime too - I almost made the full round trip from Front Range - Fruita - Front Range on one friggin tank. I will probably upgrade to the new VW SportWagen eventually. Quite a few of the hyper-milers on their site are averaging 70mpg, with some freaks getting close to 100mpg. Amazing.
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Old 06-29-2010   #15
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On the Highway, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 166
My Durango has been getting maybe 12 mpg, so basically anything will be a step up. But with the traveling I may be looking at next summer (making the rounds in CO, NM, AZ, UT, WY, MT, and ID) I need something bullet proof, with good-great gas mileage, and I need storage. A box on top will not suffice.

I def have been interested in the 4runners as I've barely heard a bad thing about em. But Nissan trucks, or maybe some newer Chevy 6bangers could possibly work as well. I'd just have to throw a camper shell on the back and outfit it that way.

I've also thought about getting one of the Dodge Cummins Diesel trucks and converting it to veggie oil, just need to pick my friend's brain more about it.

Thanks for all the input, and if someone else has any good suggestions feel free to chime in!
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Old 06-29-2010   #16
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
My 1994 Subaru Legacy Wagon has done a great job getting me and lots of gear around for the last 12 years. I bought it just when it was getting broken in at 72K miles and have put another 200K miles on it since. I haul an aluminum raft trailer and fully loaded have carried 4 people, 2 kayaks, inflated raft, & tons of gear with it on long trips. It'll cruise at about 80 mph on the open road, then climb Vail Pass and to the tunnel at 55 mph in 3rd gear just fine (best power is just above 4K rpm).

There's talk about wanting to stomp the passes but consider this - if you're patient enough to take an extra minute or two getting up the major passes, you can probably get an extra 6 - 8 mpg everywhere else you go. Or you can tach it out in 3rd, do 70mph up the hills, and get the same mileage as an Escalade up the passes. My Suby gets about 26 mpg normally (with a Thule box on top). This drops to about 20 mpg hauling the raft and gear. About the only time the Suby has had a problem was when I had a relatively light load but was trying to carry two inflated and rigged rafts - the extra wind drag was worse than any load I've ever hauled.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 06-29-2010   #17
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
Here is a Russian friend's website and he is just about the only guy I would get a suby from.. SUMMIT AUTO

They build some sweet suby's even I would drive. They call this one the yurchalka - it has a duramax engine in there - that puts 600hp to the ground and if tuned up could throw 800hp!!

They aslo can put a tranny that will last in just about any suby that you have. One of these days I would like to have him build me a full on rally suby but that is still a few years out ...
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 06-29-2010   #18
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185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
Paddling Since: 1864
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Posts: 917
I have to agree with the 4runner. Had a civic and it was great for gas mileage but no off-roading. Didn't get to test my tacoma before totaling it but those seem to be a few grand more than their 4runner counterparts. I have a 1998 4runner with bout 130k on it no problems and get about 20mpg with it. I can load up the rack with bikes and boats and store tons of stuff in the back, carry five people and sleep in the back if need be. I live over in G wood but drive to the Fort all the time and have no problems with the passes. Biggest plus is that it is a toyota.
970-217-21 six six
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Old 06-29-2010   #19
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Rifle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 111
Can't believe nobody has put this one out there because it seems this SUV is the state vehicle of CO but you should look at a Nissan Xterra. I've never had a problem with mine, gets decent gas mileage (19-21 mpg) and if you put some good tires on it, it literally goes through anything. Plus, the backseats can be detached and are buoyant so when you drive off a cliff Indiana Jones style you will not drown if you land in a river because you have a built in PFD! My favorite vehicle i've ever owned....
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Old 06-29-2010   #20
Join Date: Jul 2006
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I'll second the Nissan. I've got a '98 Pathfinder that runs like a champ; very few problems, 18mpg loaded with 4 boats and 4 people with camping gear. I would have gone with the 4 Runner, but they hold their value really well. The Pathfinder cost me about $2000 less than a comparable (year, mileage, ect..) 4 Runner.

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