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Old 06-20-2012, 10:48 AM
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
6,292 posts, read 10,348,869 times
Reputation: 3324


I'd like to find out what people consider to be the best all around vehicle for the backcountry. Maybe the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Land Cruiser, or something else?

Please include year, make, model, and any vehicle modifications you consider essential.

Please do not include non-vehicle accessories (tools, first aid, survival gear, etc.)
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:14 PM
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,580 posts, read 12,021,252 times
Reputation: 4534
Pretty sure that the choice for what you are looking for is valid anywhere in the USA, so moving this to the Automotive section might be more appropriate ?
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:36 PM
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 20,433,272 times
Reputation: 14042
Our family is big on exploring the backcountry of the state, especially in and around the West Desert.

I've been though several 4X4 vehicles; currently I'm in a 11' Jeep Wrangler unlimited. Before that I had an '07 Toyota FJ Cruiser, before that a '02 Wranger.

They all had things I like and dislike; The FJ was great on long dirt roads with full-time 4wd and IFS, but sucked in tight spots or anywhere you had to back up (poor rear visibility), had poor gas mileage and a gas tank that was too small for long trips.

The JKU gets better mileage and range, feels "beefier" and more able to stand up to the rough stuff, but the Jeep just isn't quite up to the same "quality of build" level as the FJ was (even though it's WAY better than my old '02 wranger was). Plus the manual tranmission feels wonky and the stick whips around like a stick in a blender on a rough road and design of the grill/air intake seems to suck in a lot more dust than it should, clogging up the air filer faster and causing poor performance/gas mileage.

If you want a real backcountry vehicle, there isn't much in the way of choices anymore, besides the JK, FJ and a couple of Pickup models.

Anyway, I don't generally go crazy with mods... I usually stick with no or mild lifts for economy and reliability, since I don't go hard-core rockcrawling, and apart from the basic survival/recovery gear (highlift jack, towstrap and hooks, basick tool set, fire extinguisher). I believe in the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) concept and try to keep my off road vehicles that way too.

We always bring plenty of water, a way to start a fire, complete 72 hour kit and a tent/sleeping bags even if we are only doing a day trip just in case too.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:13 PM
Location: UT
243 posts, read 560,714 times
Reputation: 244
I don't have a lot of experience because I haven't owned many back country capable cars, but I did have a 90 Ford Bronco, and it was a beast on some super small ATV roads when we used to take it hunting. What I liked about it is you can take the top off in the summer (it's not too hard) and you can leave the top on for winter, spring and fall. Also you can take out the back seat and there is plenty of room for a couple people to sleep. I absolutely loved that truck. I would buy another one in a heartbeat if I could afford the cost of gas.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:13 AM
Location: West Jordan, UT
973 posts, read 1,960,214 times
Reputation: 589
We recently sold, sadly, our jeep wrangler. Hubby plans for our off road in his brand new 2012, Toyota tundra TRD edition, crew cab. I drive an AWD Subaru Impreza hatchback. LOVE IT!!!!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:42 PM
Location: Perry, UT
601 posts, read 1,743,211 times
Reputation: 374
If you don't need lots of seats and space: Jeep Wrangler
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