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best vans for dirtbagging (or trucks)
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By Tom R
From Denver, CO
Mar 7, 2009
self portrait

JLP wrote:
Meanwhile, that rig is looking pretty new money white trash, IMO.

If I were to win the lottery, that would kinda make me new money white trash. So this would be a perfect fit for me :)
I would be the envy of everyone else in the WalMart parking lot!


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By aluke
From SLC, UT
Mar 7, 2009

Kevin Stricker wrote:
I70 Westbound I can keep it over 70 on both passes, going eastbound I usually am going 60-65.


Damn, I was only going 45 with the semis in my wrangler. I felt like a snail.

I say go with a small truck and a camper shell, they are cheap, can get them in 4x4, and you can use them to haul stuff when not on the road (friends buy you beer to help them move)! You don't need perfect convenience or comfort.


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By Bennett
From Lafayette CO
Mar 7, 2009
me belaying Dana my wife while sizing up the chossy offwidth pitches on Corner of Madness in Greece...

Subaru Outback... drop the back seat, sleep pretty comfortably, 4 cyl gets 28 MPG, runs indefinitely if you dont get a leaky head gasket, sick handling and if clearance isnt an issue you can make it almost anywhere...


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By Garrett Robinson
From Leadville, CO
Mar 7, 2009

I've been very happy with my Chevy Astro. Picked it up cheap, enough room with a roof box for all of my possessions (think multi ski quiver, climbing gear and kayak gear) and myself, decent mileage, etc. Although, if you get an Astro, check to see if it has had its fuel pump replaced, otherwise you will probably have to make an expensive repair eventually.


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By reedwoodford
Mar 7, 2009
I eat this many beans every day

I've lived in my 98 Dodge Grand Caravan on and off for the last several years. I took all the seats out of the back and built a frame for a futon. It gets about 22 mpg and has over 200k miles on it. It has tinted windows in the back and nobody suspects the mini van when you're sleeping in a parking lot. Last but not least, the van sleeps two!


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By Patrick Pharo
From Boulder, CO
Mar 11, 2009
pretty hate machine

earthroamer.com


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By mtnkid85
Mar 13, 2009

Garrett Robinson wrote:
I've been very happy with my Chevy Astro. Picked it up cheap, enough room with a roof box for all of my possessions (think multi ski quiver, climbing gear and kayak gear) and myself, decent mileage, etc. Although, if you get an Astro, check to see if it has had its fuel pump replaced, otherwise you will probably have to make an expensive repair eventually.


With your roof box what are you getting for MPG Garrett? It looks like they get 19-20 stock. Is yours AWD? Im thinking the Astro would be a pretty perfect outfit to live out of, just hate the idea of less than 20mpg on the road...


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By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Mar 13, 2009
Slick Rock put in

Break from a rain J tree
Break from a rain J tree


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By Crisco Jackass
From Grand Junction, CO
Mar 13, 2009

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I salute Tecate in a can as well! Good on'ya!


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 14, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

Garrett Robinson wrote:
check to see if it has had its fuel pump replaced, otherwise you will probably have to make an expensive repair eventually.


ditto. and if it does go, make sure you are not in Rawlins WY. what a sh!thole.

my GMC safari got maybe 18mpg tops. but typically around 15. still, about 420 miles to a tank, and the AWD kicked butt in the snow. as a minivan, a bit cramped for longer term 'living'. btw, whoever said that a subaru would work has to be shorter than 5'10"!?

the following are a few shots of the set-up i had. functional. using scrap wood makes it pretty cheap.

dreamtime2
dreamtime2

single bed with dreamtime thermarest. slept as well as its name. pull the board out and fit a second one for double bed, supported by pull out clothes drawer, storage underneath. food cabinet accessed by drawbridge/writing table. tools under compartment underfoot of bed. curtains and tint are a must. stick-on pushbutton led lights ($4 for three) are great anywhere, saves van battery. 8" dual subwoofers?! just hope no one else hears JT. stove can be used either from inside or out. plenty of other hideyhole compartments/shelves not pictured.

basic third world living arrangement
basic third world living arrangement

huge pull out gear drawer. "kitchen" area under stove. nice to have the option of cooking inside or out. dutch doors are nice to set beers on, and hatchback nice under the rain. was going to make a spice rack, never got around to it. area under food cupboard fits a cooler perfectly. lid on gear drawer makes good table.



so after enough expensive repairs on the van, (RIP) i finally gave up the nostalgic dirtbagging mode of travel, and now i drive this:
four rings
four rings


OOOO ;)


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By philistein
Mar 17, 2009

Hey- I saw your van...

no, really, I did, yesterday at Lost Horse(?) in J-tree a little while before the accident... :(

A subi motor, snowboard bumper AND a mural?! Hell yeah! I have a newly orphaned solar panel I'll give you a good deal on:)


I used to own/inhabit a Vanagon until last month when this happened just a few miles down the road from there....



That big, ugly black spot on the road a couple miles before (north of) Trashcan on Park Blvd is all that's left of her

I bought a toyota van and am trying to convert it to a proper dirtbag motel but it lacks the soul (not to mention class, comfort, engineering genius, and love!) that my VW had in abundance!

in spite of what the pictures say, i still vote german and X2 if it has a subaru transplant!


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By Chris Owen
Administrator
From La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Mar 21, 2009
There's more than one use for an Ice Hammer. Lake District (UK) late '70s

If you're looking for a roomy SUV one 4x4 I can recommend is the Land Rover LR3. It'll go anywhere and is a very comfy ride on-road and off-road, packed with every amenity. It's engine is a derivative of the Jag/Aston Martin V8, and is beautifully engineered.

It's a very practical, yet stylish truck.


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By Eastvillage
From New York, NY
Mar 22, 2009
Me on the summit of Devil's Tower

IMHO, Dirt bagging and the words "Land Rover LR3." are an oxymoron. (Unless you used to work for Lehman and the thing is paid off.)

In 1971, I remember 3 guys dirt bagging in Teton Park in 1959 Chrysler Imperial, an immense car. The thing was six feet wide inside.
They slept across.
One on each seat and one on the back floor. The trunk could hold a smart car.


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By Chris Owen
Administrator
From La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Mar 22, 2009
There's more than one use for an Ice Hammer. Lake District (UK) late '70s

I hear ya Eastvillage, however I wrote out a check for my LR3 - pretty impressive huh? Until you find out that it was pre-owned and on sale for 22K. A lease return, had under 20K miles on it too so it's got 30K left on its factory warranty which includes roadside assistance, and free maintenance. All in all then cheaper than a new Toyota 4Runner.

Already had it out at Joshua Tree a few times this year, the actual trip part of the road trip is pretty nice, quiet, comfortable, good sound system, nav etc. I know it's kinda pathetic, but hey I've paid my dues and with a couple of kids in tow and increasing grey hair this seems like a good choice.

I would venture to say that, when all is considered, Land Rovers get mud and dirt from more countries on them than any other brand being manufactured. They're just over-inflated here in the US, and usually bought by people who will never use more than 25% of their capabilities. Bit of a pity really.


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By Eastvillage
From New York, NY
Mar 22, 2009
Me on the summit of Devil's Tower

Chris,
Good to hear you are rolling in your LR3, I'm sure it's a great ride, I never doubted that.
And yeah, with so many people overextended these days, I'm sure they are available for a great price and only a few years old.
Also agree totally that most LR drivers in the US NEVER takes them off of pavement - so a used one would be a good bet for maximum 4wd drive life in them.
Happy trails.


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By Chase Gee
From Wyoming/ Logan Utah
Mar 22, 2009
My Top Secret Yet to be named crag.

I met some guys in Moab that were from Canada and they had a newer Ford F-150 with a large camper on it they seemed pretty happy with the set up.


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By Adam Leedy
From Austin, TX
Mar 23, 2009

how 'bout this

tinyurl.com/cj8oab


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By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Mar 23, 2009
Slick Rock put in

unicat for 800,000 euros? That's just over a million dollars! That would be some fine dirtbagging.


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By Chris Owen
Administrator
From La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Mar 26, 2009
There's more than one use for an Ice Hammer. Lake District (UK) late '70s

"how 'bout this

tinyurl.com/cj8oab"

Ha ha ha - talk about farting thru silk. Needs a club logo on the side though.


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By Tom R
From Denver, CO
Mar 26, 2009
self portrait

KYclimberAdam wrote:
how 'bout this tinyurl.com/cj8oab

Now THAT'S what I call roughing it!


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By lucasbarth
From tacoma, toyota
Mar 26, 2009
My first big wall was S. Face of Washington Column and I didn't know how to haul properly. No gloves! Tore my hands up!

check it out, mine is for sale!!

sfbay.craigslist.org/scz/cto/1085672402.html

Its a converted ambulance!


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By Wade Frank
From Littleton, CO
Mar 27, 2009
Rhys at Lake McConaughy.

KYclimberAdam wrote:
how 'bout this tinyurl.com/cj8oab



I almoast bought one of those but apparantly they are worth more than one of my kidneys...


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By Owen Darrow
From Garmisch,
Nov 30, 2010
Nice view

Not mine but it's a pretty sick car!

Pretty nice color ass well. Sleep in the back with bins on the side, perfect!
Pretty nice color ass well. Sleep in the back with bins on the side, perfect!


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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Nov 30, 2010
Indian Creek Climbing

I met a guy in Rifle that had a sweet custom built Sprinter diesel.


Eastvillage wrote:
The Sprinters have the Mercedes truck diesel and that engine will significantly outlast any gas engine of any make, hands down. Stand up height etc, Reliability should be fantastic. Expensive though, new is around 40K.


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By Adam Kimmerly
Nov 30, 2010

I've found the best combo to be a Toyota Tacoma + Four Wheel Camper. New models are ~ $14k for the camper, but I found a used '92 for just $2k. Plop that on the back of a Tacoma and you've got a stove, fridge, couch, and queen-sized bed that will drive just about anywhere. MPGs aren't great, but if you drive conservatively you can get them up to about 18mpg with a V6 4x4 truck, or cruise with the rest of traffic and get 15mpg.


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