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Discussion Starter #1
I want input on people's thoughts on what the best vehicle is to use for kayaking/rafting & commuting. Also used for 2 kids and 2 adults. I'm sure people have opinions so please share them.

Thanks!
 

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Be a good American and go buy the largest truck you can finance from a good ole American truck maker. Seems to be what everyone else doing.
 

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The Russian
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I just bought 2009 Honda Pilot for that purpose.

My reasons are:
- haul 8 people comfortably
- be able to pull my trailer (Pilot pulls 5,000 lbs)
- have higher clearance than a normal car
- decent gas milage 15mpg pulling a trailer with 8 people in the car, 19 mpg running around town and 24 mpg on the freeway with one passenger
- folding flat seats to make room for cargo inside
- offroading, don't need a rock crawler, but need some dirt road access
- low enough for kids/wife to get in without a ladder
- all the bells and whistles (gps, entertainment tv, modern looking dash, heated seats, backup camera, etc)

So far I have been very very happy with this vehicle.



 

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I have a 2003 Extended Cab Chevrolet S-10 2wd 4.3L. Cap w/o rise in the back and custom 66" bars on the cap. Gets 26-29 MPG on highway and 23-24 on local roads. I can carry 5 creek boats on the roof. I put a frame splitting the bed so I can store a playboat in the bottom and sleep up top. I used to have a subaru outback and this truck beats the pants off the subaru.
 

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The best kayak/raft rig is a full-size truck with extended cab or 4-door, camper shell optional. So what if you spend a couple hundred extra dollars a year driving it around.
 

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Those hybrids are real expensive also, I looked at the escape vs jeep patriot vs the honda crv and ended up going with the patriot they are about the same size. There is no way I could really pull anything with mine but I have the small 4 cylinder engine 4X4 and get in the high 20's w/o boats and I got around 25 with boats going 75 mph out to California. I can fit 6 boats easily and it sits 5, I have taken it to BC and it handled to off roading pretty well. Sounds like the best idea for you would be to get a big suv or a truck to pull stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like the 4 door Tacoma a lot, but could probably get a 4 door F-150 a lot cheaper. Man too many options out there. Even considering something like a Jetta TDI sportwagon.
 

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Depends on your priorities...large extended cap pickup's with camper shells and roof racks are by far the best way to go for overall access and transportation of numerous paddlers and their cargo...however, this is not by any means the most economical option. I have chose to go with a Subaru Impreza with full roof rack system. 30-35 miles per gallon, able to transport 5 people and their gear + I got it fully loaded in and out of the Chukar trailhead without and damage...since I commute back and forth to Salida, that is good enough for me.
 

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4runner with a V8.....all the pulling power you'll need, room, good gas mileage (16 pulling a fully loaded trailer, 20 hwy).

DON'T buy anything new.......ever. I appreciate all the people that do, trust me, I get a one or two year old vehicle and someone else paid the bulk of the depreciation....

just sayin'
 

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Mazda b-4000 extended cab 4x4. great truck, got all the power you want, decent gas mileage 17-22mpg and can stack all the boats you want on it.
 

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Mazda b-4000 extended cab 4x4. great truck, got all the power you want, decent gas mileage 17-22mpg and can stack all the boats you want on it.
The escape is Michelle's and I have the same mazda B4000 (ford ranger) with a ladder rack. Mine is getting a bit old with over 110k now, maybe that is the reason it seems to lack power and doesn't get the stated mpg Dapper is getting. I'm not a huge fan of the 6ft bed, it is just big enough to WANT to do something with it but it would really be kinda short to sleep in with a shell, really only 3-4 boats in the bed without having to be creative (and no ladder rack). Overall I like the B4000 but would still go with the escape. But then again you can get the b4000 for a lot cheaper and I'm not payin the bill.
 

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Jetta

Jettas are sweet, if you rarely leave pavement. I had one for afew years. you know the pros, but the cons are:

Driving a loaded little car on relativly minor dirt roads gets costly. Or you walk a lot longer than you planned to.

A raft and gear, no way unless your solo.

maybe you save some money driving across the country, but if you can't make it the last few miles, cost savings is milk w/o cookies.

E
 

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dodge 2500 diesel - it'll do anything you need it to do work/hauling wise. it can easily haul 5. boats are not a problem. if you don't rod it around, it should get mid-20's for mileage on a trip.
 

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I would get this one!!!

You can even sleep in the back....

 

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If you live in a house and can park multiple cars why don't you buy a cheap but efficient commuter and pick up a used van for cheap? We bought an 88 chevy van that runs and had to have some transmission work done but now we can load all of our boats and our friends boats without having to strap anything down.

Our record in the van so far is 3 creekboats, 4 playboats and 6 passengers and we still weren't crowded. Also it was a work van so it is open from the seats back, about 10-12 feet - we've loaded way more in the van than we could ever fit into a pickup, this is handy for yardwork too.
 
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