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Old 06-30-2010   #31
lmaciag's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 670
My '01 4Runner has done me well. Great as a kayak vehicle (took 4 people and 6 kayaks down to Mexico for 10 days). Not as great as a raft/towing vehicle. Had to incorporate a hitch rack to transport the drybox, cooler and ammo cans. Looks like she is ready to do a wheelie when loaded down. Power lacks when loaded down or towing. I had to replace the transmission in May @ 140k. She has served me well, but will be looking for a new home for her as the raft joins trips frequently. I'm now in the market for a Tundra with a topper. Will have about the same gas mileage, but a V8 and much more cargo room. There was a great thread a while back about Tacoma vs Tundra: Tacoma vs Tundra


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 06-30-2010   #32
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 18
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OK I have to put a pitch in for the trusty VW Camper Van. I have an 86 Camper I put a Suby 2.2L engine because the VW engine is a P.O.S. (plenty of info on the web for this conversion). I can live in my van and carry a sh*tload on top / inside or by pulling a small trailer. With the Suby engine, I get 24-26mpg (not bad for something you can live in and it can actually haul-a** up the mountains. A VW Camper van can be had for $2k a really nice one for about $4k and I paid $600 for a 1993 busted-up Suby Legacy for the engine donor. Another approx. $1k for the conversion parts and there you go! Sure, a Tacoma is great but my 2006 Tacoma 4x4, V6 gets 18mpg at best (not driving like a dick) - it's a gas hog!

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Old 06-30-2010   #33
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Given the amount you're looking to spend $5-6k, I'd recommend reserving $1k-$2k for repairs. My recommendation: If gas mileage is primary concern: Mid 90's Subaru wagon. Just returned from trip to Idaho in a friend's suby with 275k miles and I was impressed with it's hauling capabilities.

If 4x4 is important: Late 80's or early 90's Toy P/U (pre-Taco). Those rigs are well built and will crawl up anything. Mileage will be in low 20's. You should be able to pick up either for about $4k and save the rest of your money for emergency repairs.
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Old 06-30-2010   #34
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 10
My only concerns with a suby or another wagon vehicle is storage room. I'm going to have at least 1 kayak and a bunch of iSUP boards. Most will prob be in boxes and maybe 1 composite board. Not to mention my stuff and a 60 lb black lab/tasmanian devil dog. Possibly a trailer, not sure on that though.

A VW camper with a suby engine could be a possibility (thanks for the idea al, I'll look into that), but I keep leaning towards the Dodge Cummins. With a camper on there I would have ample storage, especially with a built up bed & cabinets underneath. I can do oil changes myself so I'm sure that will cut down a bit of the costs.

Either way, this is all great beta.
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Old 06-30-2010   #35
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steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 418
International CXT
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Old 06-30-2010   #36
BV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 131
1995 toyota 4runner with a 4cyl and a 5 speed. Goes anywhere and gets between 20 and 25 mpg. Mine only costed $3500. They are a little underpowered on the hills and highways but oh well
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Old 06-30-2010   #37
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
A good old wagon.
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Old 06-30-2010   #38
possumturd's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451

How about and older Toyota van dressed out.

Or a Westfallia. May be hard to find but these have a v6 and get around 20MPG or mine did anyway.

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Old 06-30-2010   #39
nmalozzi's Avatar
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 330
Originally Posted by al_ferguson01 View Post
Sure, a Tacoma is great but my 2006 Tacoma 4x4, V6 gets 18mpg at best (not driving like a dick) - it's a gas hog!
Man, I've heard this from so many people with the newer Tacos. My 97 averages around 22mpg with the big V6 in it. I don't know what Toyota changed in the newer models, but at that MPG you may as well get a Tundra. Bring back the mid 90s mid sizes!
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Old 06-30-2010   #40
Arvada, 80003
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 253

"Ain't a single rock in this river that can stop us!" Slug
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