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Old 06-07-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
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Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

Ideally something with plenty of room for my gear + sleeping bag.

I don't care if it's a van/sedan/suv/extended pickup. as long as it's decent on gas (24mpg+) and it's known to be reliable.

Budget: under 3k.

Thanks so much guys!
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

I think your best bet would be either a Ford Ranger or compact Toyota pickup with a camper shell and a 5 speed manual transmission.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:53 AM   #3
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

89-95 toyota 2wd 4 cyl 5 speed. I've got a 91 and other than the rust, love it.

I've had a 96 ranger 2wd 4 cyl 5 speed and it was SLOOOOOOW, several hundred lbs heavier, and certainly no better mileage. Much more of a pain to work on too. You can get a lot newer a lot cheaper tho. There's a reason for that...

Also had a 87 S10 2wd 4 cyl 4 speed. Got better mileage than the ranger. even loaded past capacity WOT for 80 miles on the interstate got 23 mpg. 25 less hp on paper and just as fast as the ranger.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:30 AM   #4
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

Much appreciated for the recommendations guys!

Ok, so the S10 what year should I be looking for? And with both the S10 and the Ford, what problems should I be wary of? Aside from rust. and how high can they go in mileage? The ones I see on craigslist seem to me like work vehicular, I'm afraid they might be run to the ground.

Last question: will a loaded pickup truck have the same MPG as a loaded sedan? Or will the pickup truck actually outshine the sedan in this respect?

Because I might have a motorcycle hitched on the back of the pickup if I go that route.

Thank again for your awesome input guys.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

If you will be towing, then definitely get a truck over a sedan. What kind of motorcycle? Any of the compact trucks if maintained properly will last at least 200,000 miles. The manual transmissions are also a bit more reliable than the automatics when you get high mileage.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

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Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
If you will be towing, then definitely get a truck over a sedan. What kind of motorcycle? Any of the compact trucks if maintained properly will last at least 200,000 miles. The manual transmissions are also a bit more reliable than the automatics when you get high mileage.
it's a small dual sport bike (Honda nx250). street legal. so if i'm camping and i need to go into town, i can just take the moto.

Aside from needing a daily car, my other main goal is to get from NY to Las Vegas and do so safely.

What do you guys think of the 90s 4runner? does it get good gas mileage?
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

Quote:
There's a reason for that...
Because Ford made a $h!t load of them.

I've had the dpfe sensor go bad on on a 2000 Ranger and 1996 Taurus. Seems to be a problem for all Fords in those years. While hidden on the Sable, it was right out in front on top of the engine on the Ranger. It's a little widget, about 1" by 2", connected by two hoses to the exhaust. Should be by the EGR. The original was metal an got deposit build up. The replacement is a black plastic. Real easy to replace. Dealer price is above $100, but I believe it can found for around $60.

Once I had the ABS light go on the truck wouldn't shift above second. Turns out to be the speed sensor on top of the differential. Except for removing a wheel, just as easy as the dfpe to replace. Might not need replacing. It's magnetic, and picking up an iron filing can cause it to misread.

How heavy is the bike, and anything else going on the trailer?
You might be able to use one of these.
motorcycle hitch carrier
Might need helper springs to level the load with it.
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

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Originally Posted by trollbait View Post

How heavy is the bike, and anything else going on the trailer?
You might be able to use one of these.
motorcycle hitch carrier
Might need helper springs to level the load with it.
Yes, that's what I will be using! do you think it will fit on a Subaru impreza? If I dont get a pickup (no sleeping room) I will get a capable AWD car.. what is recommended in that class? (from 00s, and 90s)
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: Please recommend a vehicle for cross country trip!

Most owner manuals can be found online. Your best bet is to check the one for the year you are looking at. I did find a class I hitch that was rated 200# tongue and 2000# towed, but that might have nothing to do with the car.
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