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Climber's best vehicle?
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By Leo Gokovski
From SLC, UT
Feb 28, 2010

Hello all!

I recently flipped my truck driving out of Cochise Stronghold... ( Everybody is fine, including the dog who refused to wear a seatbelt...) The search for the ultimate climber's vehicle begins...
The truck I destroyed was a full size 4x4 ford with a flip-pack camper, so I'm quite used to the extra space...
My thoughts are:
1. A smaller truck with camper (tacoma and the likes)
2. Full size diesel truck (to improve mpg and still have lots of space) with a pop up camper
3. A westfalia eurovan (full camper)

Well reasoned opinions are appreciated!!!

Thx,

Leo

My work here is done!
My work here is done!


Hmmmm....
Hmmmm....


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By whittlesticks
From Nederland
Feb 28, 2010
hanging at the bridger jacks campground

livin in a van will change your life! get a redone vanagon syncro though. awd in this thing beats any truck out there


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By Evan1984
Feb 28, 2010

Does this have to serve double duty as a daily driver?

If so, I'd get something like a subaru. MY GF has an element, which gets about 25MPG and you can sleep in it.

If not, I'd get an older work van. They are cheap and easy to fix.

Evan


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By Umph!
Feb 28, 2010

Dude, quit crying! A little elbow grease, and some various patchwork will keep your rig going for another 10 years!!

If I desired to spend the money (sounds like you do), I'd buy a new Chevy Express AWD (van). Power, comfort, space, awd. . . .
Buy a stripped down version (utility van), build the inside how you want, and put the money saved into a good tire package, tinted windows, roof rack, and a 2-4" lift (google: Overland Vans,Express). Nothing beats a 4wd van for enjoying the motorized travels of life.


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By Leo Gokovski
From SLC, UT
Feb 28, 2010

Definitely leaning towards the synchro...- heard a lot about it... How's the driving/mpg/etc?


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 28, 2010
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

climbers best vehicle is the one he/she is in. provided it runs and can get you to where you want to climb.

for example, my current rig is not practical for some stuff, but it gets me where i need to go. hardly a "climber's vehicle", unless its parked in Rifle.

four rings
four rings


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By Umph!
Feb 28, 2010

leo wrote:
Definitely leaning towards the synchro...- heard a lot about it... How's the driving/mpg/etc?


You'll probably be spending as much on a used Synchro than a new Express - and the MPG will probably be better in the Express. Don't forget, they stopped making the Synchro in the early 90's I believe - good luck finding one in acceptable condition. And, they're stupid slow and gutless - the Westfalia camper is sweet though!

Hell, you could pull the 'Horse's Audi behind the Express.


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By tenpins
Feb 28, 2010

seriously, I like the small fuel efficient car. always have money for gas and can bivvy whereever.


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By Leo Gokovski
From SLC, UT
Feb 28, 2010

Thx, guys... Appreciate your two cents...
I do want a vehicle that I can bivy IN... but appreciate all input..


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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Feb 28, 2010
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)

Hey Leo, it was great meeting you both the other day but regretful to have to do so given the circumstances. We were, and still are, so happy all three of you walked away with just a minor finger abrasion.

For what it's worth, i'm in the market for either a Grand Cherokee (2000-2005) or a 4dr Tacoma for my next climbing vehicle.

Again, it was great to see you both intact, and in good spirits.

Best wishes!
Daryl


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By Leo Gokovski
From SLC, UT
Feb 28, 2010

Brother Daryl!

Good hearing from you.... Thx for the support, brother, I truly appreciate it... I was thinking about a Eurovan westy or something of the like... any thoughts?
Hope to see you again at the stronghold...
How was your day?

Leo


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Feb 28, 2010
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Ford Ranger. With a cap. Black.

Ford Ranger. Black. At Rumney. Before a great day of rock climbing.
Ford Ranger. Black. At Rumney. Before a great day of rock climbing.


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By nick serrano
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 28, 2010
Chest Full of Kind (IC 5.10)

i've been pretty happy with my 4x4 1994 toyota pickup (this was pre-taco). got a basic camper shell on it and gets arouncd 24 mpg if i drive at 70 mph or below (drops to 20 mpg at 75 mph, but hey, i got nowhere to go real fast).


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By anthony weidner
From ashland, wi
Mar 1, 2010
Dacks ice climbing

i just bought a 92 toyota pickup. it hasn't seen much action since i at school, but so long as i have money to put gas in it, ill be living in the back of it(under the topper) this summer. The only problem i have with it is a little bit of frame rust to take care of.


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By Timmamok
From Durango, CO
Mar 1, 2010
crack at undisclosed location - my little proj

If you decide on a small truck I am considering selling my pop top camper. Send a message if you are interested.


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By Bob Dobalina
Mar 1, 2010

IC baby!
IC baby!


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By Tyson Anderson
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 2, 2010
Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat

If you want to get technical, most eurovans in the US are Winnebago not Westfalia. One thing to think about with a eurovan is that they have a lot less ground clearance than the 80's era Vanagons. I just bought an 85 Vanagon earlier this year and have loved it so far. It's not a reliable car though so you should be comfortable with basic mechanics if you don't want to spend a fortune on repairs. They are generally easy to work on though.

You can more info about both eurovans and vanagons at thesamba.com

try here: www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewforum.php?f=20

GoWesty is also a good place for info. They also sell fully restored vanagons if you have the money.

gowesty.com/library.php


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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Mar 2, 2010
Colonel Mustard

The autobahn of dirt roads claims another victim?

I'm with the opinion that whatever car gets you to the crag is best. Although, Toyotas run forever (as long as you don't crash them).


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By Chris D
From the couch
Mar 2, 2010
Sign near the Third Flatiron

Get a ford ranger 4X4 or Mazda b-series 4X4. Go anywhere with no fear. Put a camper shell, topper, cap, (whatever you call it) on it. Sleep in the bed.

DO NOT waste your time on under-powered, weak-ass, junk, broken down VWs of any era.

I've had a number of VWs. They are a lot of fun if you want to work on your car all the time, and they make merging onto modern Eisenhower-era interstates an exciting epic.

If you want to save some coin, climb, and sleep in a reliable vehicle that will get to crag to crag (and can be repaired anywhere with the cheap-ass parts that come with owning a vehicle of which 95-zillion were made) buy a ford ranger (or Mazda clone, or toyota, etc.) with a cap (or get the cap on craig's list) for cheap.

If you are looking to pick up hippie chicks in Hidden Valley campground, by all means - buy the VW.

Enjoy.


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By kirra
Mar 2, 2010

My taco-shell set-up is GREAT but lately been a bit bored, your loss (sorry btw) inspired me to look around and here are some things I found. Some might be a bit xtreme ~but it's fun to dream no?

Element with a pop-top sleeper

1978 TOYOTA HI ACE Pop-Top Camper

Don't forget the CHINOOK Poptop


I'm thinkin' about adding one of these ~


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By kirra
Mar 2, 2010

Just dreamin...
great on Fuel ~


EarthRoamer XV-LT

4WD VW Westfalia Syncro camper


Bet you can't flip this -Unimog Diesel


Have fun --hope to see you on the road again soon ~k


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By Jaaron Mankins
From Bayfield, CO
Mar 2, 2010
San Juans.

Just bought a 91 VW Vanagon Westfalia Syncro in the fall. It is an awesome camping vehicle, and is quite reliable. It has a 2.5L Subaru Outback motor instead of the leaky wasserboxer 2.1. VW Vanagons hold their value extremely well, especially a Syncro. They only released about 5500 Syncros in the U.S. from 81-91, and of those about only 1500 were Westfalias. My van will pull in third gear up most all passes, and holds a ton of stuff for the small footprint. Fukngruvn. Will post some photos later. Good luck Leo. If your budget is unlimited, go for the Unimog!!


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By Red
From Arizona
Mar 2, 2010
Cobra Kai

Taco w/ topper. Goes almost anywhere. Dependable, long lasting. Fuel efficient and plenty of space IMO.

You left out one key bit of info! The play by play of how you rolled your truck! Too much speed on a sharp turn?


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By DarrenG
Mar 2, 2010

Sorry for your loss. Glad nobody was hurt.

Right now I have a 93 Toyota Previa AWD. Pros: roomy inside, balanced in the snow, cheap to buy, very reliable and chicks dig it. Cons: Not great MPG (~18 on highway), and it's not a true 4wd. Overall, I think it's a good cheap, reliable poor person's rv.

Not to hijack, but I have a question about the "tent topper" truck toppers. Are they a good setup? Those look cool, but you're still sleeping in a tent. So no stealth camping I guess? And is setting up a hassle?

I'd also like to hear about diesel trucks. Mainly operating costs.


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By Paul Hunnicutt
From Boulder, CO
Mar 2, 2010
Half Dome

really is it that hard to put up a tent?

get a Subaru Outback, sleep under the stars, don't carry so much sh*t with you.

reduction is better than consumption.


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By kirra
Mar 2, 2010

DarrenG wrote:
Not to hijack, but I have a question about the "tent topper" truck toppers. Are they a good setup? Those look cool, but you're still sleeping in a tent. So no stealth camping I guess? And is setting up a hassle?

I have a Tacoma w/shell, stealth =great. When I'm on long road trips and have a lot of gear ie. firewood, climbing - kayaking etc. I no longer become so stealth as I have to unload 1/2 of the truck to find a place to sleep (with 2 people you have to unload all) I haven't spoken personally yet to anyone who has one of these, but they seem easier (and more stealth) than setting up a tent or having my gear laying about. I also have to reload in the truck, and if the rain happens to come, packing a tent in the rain is a pain. Here are 2 videos I found, the 2nd on a Toyota:

www.youtube.com/v/a1tGmVzDf8w&hl=en_US&fs=1&

www.youtube.com/v/ydQ8S-1X64s&hl=en_US&fs=1&

Here is a forum-link with some inside photos of a sample set up. Adds room and I can still keep my Toyota, just add pillows (:

Toyota Tundra pop-up photos (scroll-down)


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