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Climber's best vehicle?
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By ccross
From San Diego, CA
Mar 2, 2010
This topic has come up before. There are some more ideas over there.
mountainproject.com/v/general_...

Kirra, don't pull out all your gear to sleep back there, make it a double decker.
mountainproject.com/v/climbing...

Go to bajataco.com and check out the bajataco and featured vehicles for all sorts of ideas on different ways people build them.

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By Rob Kepley
From Westminster,CO
Mar 2, 2010
Yosemite Valley..
John, do you think you could handle that petty-cab with the camper shell?

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By Jonathan Petsch
From Chattanooga, TN
Mar 2, 2010
Jay Knower wrote:
Ford Ranger. With a cap. Black.


I don't know if it was just my vehicle, but i had many, many problems with my Ranger. Seemed as if it was in the shop almost every month with some large issue (head gaskets, Transmision, Alternator, starter, etc), and it didn't even have 100,000 miles on it. I'm wasn't unduly hard on it, took good care, etc. I think that it was the previous owner, or Ford itself. I'm much, much happier with my current Tacoma. No problems so far, and much better gas mileage. And therefore I must add my vote for the Tacoma as the perfect climber vehicle. Add a loft in the shell, and it is perfect.

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By J.J
Mar 2, 2010
Jonathan Petsch wrote:
I don't know if it was just my vehicle, but i had many, many problems with my Ranger. Seemed as if it was in the shop almost every month with some large issue (head gaskets, Transmision, Alternator, starter, etc), and it didn't even have 100,000 miles on it. I'm wasn't unduly hard on it, took good care, etc. I think that it was the previous owner, or Ford itself. I'm much, much happier with my current Tacoma. No problems so far, and much better gas mileage. And therefore I must add my vote for the Tacoma as the perfect climber vehicle. Add a loft in the shell, and it is perfect.

I've had a 98 ranger for a year or so now and its been great. I had to replace the heater valve($10), the brakes master cylinder($60) and the clutch (~$200). Its got 130,000 miles on it now. And it's American! (Redneck voice intended). Do wish I got an extended cab though. And I had a shell on it but decided I liked it better without a shell and took it off.

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By J.J
Mar 2, 2010
But maybe I'm just lucky

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By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Mar 2, 2010
Slick Rock put in
This German guy in Baja has a nice rig.
This German guy in Baja has a nice rig.


 Mine can go down the same roads as his though.
Mine can go down the same roads as his though.


And best of all he doesn't have one of these.
And best of all he doesn't have one of these.

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By Chris Owen
Administrator
From La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Mar 2, 2010
There's more than one use for an Ice Hammer. Lake ...
I drive a Land Rover LR3 (aka Discovery 3) - lots of room, lots of utility (seats 7 if necessary, or all seats fold down flat for sleeping or large loads), go anywhere 4x4 and very refined and comfortable for those long road trips, rubber floor mats easy to clean, superb Jag engine.

And if you're staying at the campsite at Red Rock, you and 6 of your mates can drive into Vegas and pull up to any of those fancy Vegas restaurants in style....

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By Colby429
From boulder city, NV
Mar 3, 2010
03 f150
03 f150



r

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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Mar 3, 2010
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Jonathan Petsch wrote:
I don't know if it was just my vehicle, but i had many, many problems with my Ranger. Seemed as if it was in the shop almost every month with some large issue (head gaskets, Transmision, Alternator, starter, etc), and it didn't even have 100,000 miles on it. I'm wasn't unduly hard on it, took good care, etc. I think that it was the previous owner, or Ford itself. I'm much, much happier with my current Tacoma. No problems so far, and much better gas mileage. And therefore I must add my vote for the Tacoma as the perfect climber vehicle. Add a loft in the shell, and it is perfect.


That's a bummer. I am on my second Ranger and I like them a lot. My first drove successfully from Wisconsin to the Northwest Territories and back. It also ran with no oil pressure for about 2000 miles. I fixed the gasket (I think that's what it was) and it kept running like a champ.

Do you really think Toyota is a better bet these days?

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By kirra
Mar 3, 2010
ccross wrote:
Kirra, don't pull out all your gear to sleep back there, make it a double decker. mountainproject.com/v/climbing... Go to bajataco.com and check out the bajataco and featured vehicles for all sorts of ideas on different ways people build them.

I did consider this some time ago. I already crawl inside plus my gear does pretty well in t-bins. It seems more fun (and less work) to maybe upgrade this way to a "walk-in"

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By Red
From Arizona
Mar 3, 2010
Cobra Kai
Jay Knower wrote:
Do you really think Toyota is a better bet these days?


Yes.

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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Mar 3, 2010
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
JJ Brunner wrote:
I've had a 98 ranger for a year or so now and its been great. I had to replace the heater valve($10), the brakes master cylinder($60) and the clutch (~$200).


JJ Brunner wrote:
But maybe I'm just lucky.


You had to make three repairs in one year and you think you're lucky? I guess attitude IS everything.

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By Jonathan Petsch
From Chattanooga, TN
Mar 3, 2010
JLP wrote:
Jonathan - did you end up with Jay's first truck by chance?


Probably.

As for Toyota, I still think that they make better cars. Granted, they are not quite what they used to be, but I would still by a Toyota over most any other cars out there these days.

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By Alyson Sewell
From Plymouth, NH
Mar 3, 2010
Trying to top out on Black Widow Action
I am actually in the market for a new car too and was looking for something good for climbing. After asking around and spending a ton of time at Rumney, I know my next vehicle is going to be a Subaru Outback. you can sleep in it and it's pretty good on gas for those long treks!

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By Rob Kepley
From Westminster,CO
Mar 3, 2010
Yosemite Valley..
Alyson Sewell wrote:
I know my next vehicle is going to be a Subaru Outback.
I'm on my 4th Subaru wagon. I currently have a 2010 Outback. Yes, they are great for the climbing lifestyle, but I think I would want something bigger if I spent weeks on the road. I can usually get about 30mpg going out to Indian Creek from Denver. I think something like a Tacoma would be nice.

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By Chris Owen
Administrator
From La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Mar 3, 2010
There's more than one use for an Ice Hammer. Lake ...
I had three Soobs in a row, but my Outback was a bit of a disappointment, granted I probably should've realized it wasn't a true 4x4, I ended up twisting the front unibody sub-frame on a rocky road, noticed it when I was driving home because I thought I had left the hood open - but it was closed and down 1/4" on the right and up 1/4" on the left, what a bummer.

It was a first year 2.5L flat four and would consistently overheat at altitude, Soob of America wouldn't help even though it was in warranty so they lost my business.

Toyota make good trucks, but the US models are a tad generic and bland. A friend of mine in Australia had a fantastic diesel Land Cruiser 70 with a canvas back.

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By Jonas
From Woodland Park, CO
Mar 3, 2010
I have a 2007 Dodge 2500 with a 5.9L Cummins, used to have a Tacoma just seemed like I was loading it to the hilt and the gas mileage suffered. With my camper on I get 16mpg/21mpg unloaded. I spend 50+ days out and just got tired of staying in a tent. I would vote for the Earth Roamer! They start in the low $100,000's
Dodge 2500 with Lance Camper
Dodge 2500 with Lance Camper

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By 1up
From Wetumpka, Alabama
Mar 4, 2010
They are still making it just under a new name, they are called toyota caldina's now. I have one here in Japan and they are the best climbing vehicle you can get IMO.

johnL wrote:
I have seen some Outbacks get 29-30mpg highway. I see a lot more of them get 24. But hey, all wheel drive and station wagon are nice. It's a crying shame Toyota doesn't make the All-Trac Corolla anymore. My 89 had ample power, same room as a Subaru, AWD + lockout for a 50/50 power split for the gnar, toyota reliability, and I got 32-34 mpg regularly. I got 37 once from Denver to Moab. In town it was 29-30. BTW, it's still running perfect and has not had a repair done on it since I sold it. And I bought it wrecked from a junk yard.

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By Jeremy H
Mar 4, 2010
I have tried a few different things. First I had the Wesy, then I moved to the Truck with a carpet kit in the topper. After that I bought a slide in camper for the truck bed. Moved from there to a pull behind camper behind a big diesel truck, and currently I have a full sized converted van. After all of them I am super psyched on my full sized van. You can buy a used westy for a small fortune and wonder if you are going to break down in the middle of nowhere (it happened to me a couple a times so I am a little jaded) or you can buy a really low millage chevy express pretty cheap. I went all-out and had sportsmobile add a penthouse top to mine, then I added a stove sink heater, etc.

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By DaveB
Mar 4, 2010
Vitruvian Man (da Vinci)
'06 Outback has served me well. I looked for alternatives with better fuel economy, but none seem to have the right combination of features and utility. Granted, it's not very exciting to drive. But, with good clearance, AWD, racking & cargo options, and 20-25 mpg, it fills most demands of my various outdoor activities.




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By Mike Howard
Administrator
Mar 4, 2010
RGG silhouette
These are sweet: sportsmobile.com/ultimate.html

They created the Pop-up camper conversion for VW buses in the 50's. As the guys at Sportsmobile say, "Those Westy's are awesome as long as you don't want to go anywhere in them." Get a high end 4WD diesel E350 for the same price as a 25 year old GoWesty, that will get you where you want to go and with 18-20 mpg to boot.

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By Reed Fee
From White Salmon WA
Mar 4, 2010
Part of an anchor on Pingora.
All those big fancy rigs are nice but no matter what you have your still probably gonna go climbing. Theres been so many times I have been jealous of the old folks in their RVs or camper vans when Im cramming myself into my 2wd Nissan with large canopy. Something about hearing the hydralic levelers work, lights come on and ice cubes clinking into glasses makes me want to retire right now. Those pop up tent canopies look cool but the tent looks worthless in any real weather. Westfalisa are cool to hang out in when the weather is shit but everytime I get behind one on a hill I dont want one. I saw that crazy german guy down in Baja in 99 in his homemade earthroamer thing. What a vehicle!! We were in a 89 Landcruiser with a 14' kayak and surfboard strapped to the top. Only got stuck once briefly.
A fun thread makes me want to drive somewhere and go climbing!

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By Pine Sap
Mar 4, 2010
Jaws RMNP - 3/3/12
I work in Rocky as a campground ranger and get to see a lot of setups. Everyone I have ever spoken to loves their VW 4wd synchro vanagon. However, there kind of a cult vehicle and in high demand. Expect to pay about $20,000.00 for a good one. Also with any of the vanagons most owners report the high costs of keeping there beloved vehicles on the road and working the bugs out of them. Plus, never heard of one yet that the heads didn't need to be replaced at 70 or 80 thousand miles. Any one have an update on that or something that was improved in after market parts?

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By Umph!
Mar 4, 2010
Now that's a BC camping rig.
Now that's a BC camping rig.


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By Jasonn
Mar 4, 2010
P 3 Summit wall
Great topic.. What do you guys think is best in the long run.

A Subaru Outback or a Toyota Rav?
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