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Trucks vs. Suv's


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I hunted out of a Jeep cherokee for a couple seasons and now drive a fullsize Chevy truck.

Truck wins hands down, more room, better ride, quieter in the cab, same gas mileage.

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If all I did was hunt and fish by myself or with one other person, or if I had a kennel full of dogs rather than one, I'd prefer to have a truck. That isn't the case and I've been driving SUVs since I bought my first Blazer back in '86. SUVs have served me well.

I will admit that about 7 years ago I decided to build one last house (I've built one last house at least half a dozen times but this time is reallly the last, maybe). Before the first stake was driven in the ground I tossed a roll of duct tape in the back. I had forgotten that some kerosene had spilled on the duct tape but remembered when that sticky residue became a permanant part of the carpeting. That weekend I bought a cheap used pickup that I kept until the house was finished. One of the best investments I ever made. Still, for day to day use, I'll keep my SUV.

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With today's "crew cab/4 door" type trucks and SUV/truck hybrids, unless you have a slew of kids they are basically SUV's with a truck bed. Best of both worlds. I like the ability to have tools and crap and dirty dogs under the cap in bed of pickup. Most of the time Jake rides in the back seat in the cab though--its a deal I made with him after his surgery last summer.

Oh, if slew of kids-get a minivan.

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Greg Hartman

I MUCH prefer a truck for many reasons – as everyday basic transportation, as a hunting rig and to handle the chores of country living.  I must qualify that a bit, because my trucks are always a bit SUV-like.  I have a full crew cab, so can carry 5 adults comfortably plus have all of that interior space, sorta like an SUV.  Also have a low cap over the bed, so I can keep my hunting stuff dry, including a crate for a skunked/quilled/injured dog.  All I need is a basic ½ ton – don’t need/want a big HD truck.  I get 15-20 mpg – good enough.

2-6-10-SnowDay-BuriedTruck.jpg

The problem is – I have too many *&^% vehicles and am looking to reduce fixed expenses in order to at least partially retire one of these days.  One way I could cut down on the number of vehicles is to use one vehicle both as my everyday “truck” and as a “toad” for the MH (the “toad” is currently a Jeep dedicated for just that purpose).  If I do that, I will probably have to go with a small towable truck or a small to mid-sized SUV.  Sigh.  Or, I can just keep driving what I have on the theory that everything is paid for and the annual insurance, inspection and maintenance cost on an “extra” special purpose vehicle is way less than even the sales tax on a new one.  Yeah – that’s the ticket….

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I've tried trucks suburbans explorers ect none of them have the utility of a van.

My vans a one ton extended 15 passenger with a rear locker and has excellent clearance can easily haul 4 guys 6 dogs and their gear.

If you wanted to set one up for just one or two guys you could  make two bunks, 5 kennels ( two rows on top of each other in the rear) and have a lot of room left over.

The hippies in the 60's were not so stupid after all.

I bought mine used from a day car center for $3500.00 built a 6 dog box and have used it for the last 15 years and still do.

If I buy another one it will be a ford because they are easily converted to 4x4 ( about 10 grand) which is something I wish I had occasionally and you guys in the snowy north would want.

The locker cost me under 500 bucks installed and it works great in mud but you have to be carefull on ice, not a problem once you understand what to do with it.

If I were starting from scratch I would buy a used extended ford work van have it converted to 4x4.

Next have a van customizer install screened windows and roof vents.

Next I would wire the walls for lights then insulated them with glued on fiberglass and panel them.

Then I would build 5 dog boxes Two on the bottom three across the top along the rear each compartment would have doors on both ends so I could load dogs from the rear but also feed and load them from the inside of the van.

That will leave you with about 11 feet of space behind the drivers seat would be a 7 foot comfy bunk with space under it for a cooler and potable water tanks.

Across on the short side ( side doors take about 4 feet of the passenger side),  the passenger side, I would build some cabinets that hold a range for cooking, sink that drained into a removeable and dumpable grey water container underneath the cabinet it was mounted on  and a safe spot for a buddy heater.

 

Clean used vans are plentiful and cheap a guy with only a couple dogs could get by with a 1/2 ton standard length van, my previous half tons got about 16-19 MPG if geared correctly and driven under 65 mph.

You could build one of these for under 7-9 grand down here, without too much problem if you didn't want to covert it to

4wd. I've got by without 4 wheel drive pheasant hunting out west in vans for 30 years although I've got stuck a couple times ( I know better now). I've taken mine some places that amazed my 4x4 owning friends, the locker works great.

Van also give and excellent view of the area because you sit even higher than a full sized pickup. You sit right above the front end so its easy to manuever and do three point turns.

So if you want a cheap dedicated hunting rig look at vans also.

Vans have big roofs and I forgot to mention above I would install a couple AGM batteries and a solar panel on the roof to run my lights and water pump.

I've been thinking about all this for a while.....

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My old man had trucks for as long as I've been alive  and he got a trailblazer recently and that's the last SUV he'll buy.  I'm used to having trucks around and was used to using them.  The next vehicle will be a truck for me.  I'd prefer to haul around dead deer in the back of a truck than in the back of my CRV.  Except it will have to be a crew cab cause Jagr's spoiled and rides inside only.
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thornvalley
I've hunted out of everything from a CJ-5 to a Crew Cab long bed Dodge Diesel. Have had 1/2 ton trucks, 3/4 ton trucks, and mini-trucks. Jeep Cherokees, Liberties, Wranglers, and several CJs. For MY money...I'll take a 3/4 ton Diesel CHEVEROLET SUBURBAN every day. LOVE them. The only thing I'd prefer over it is a Quigly Diesel 4x4 van.
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fethrduster

Thanks for all the replies.  I think the only thing I don't like about full size trucks is the sheer size of them.  I live in town and drive downtown a lot, and I go off road on smaller trails a fair amount when hunting and scouting, and full size trucks just seem so huge.  On the other hand, I would love the room and cargo capacity.  I suppose a smaller to mid size crew cab truck might be a good compromise for me, although I do lust after a 4 door lifted Wrangler.  Drool.  

In the meantime, my older cherokee is serving me well, and I don't have to worry about it costing me 30 grand as I drive it through sandpapery sagebrush.  I do have a utility trailer also, which helps a lot.  Maybe what I already have isn't so bad after all.

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Greg Hartman

I think the only thing I don't like about full size trucks is the sheer size of them.  I live in town and drive downtown a lot, and I go off road on smaller trails a fair amount when hunting and scouting, and full size trucks just seem so huge.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I like the older Tundras (NOT the huge new ones).  The size is just right - for me anyway – not too much, not too little.

Of course, no truck is as good for really serious off-road use as a small Jeep with its tight turning radius, short wheel base, etc.  Nonetheless, I suspect that a 4x4 truck will cover the off-road bases for most bird hunters.

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Like many, I've run the gamut.  I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee for about 7 years, then a Tahoe for 4-5, then 2 crew-cab half ton pickups for three years each.  Can't beat the larger SUVs for family vacations and hunting in really cold weather, but you can't beat the pickup for hauling dead deer, smelly dogs, and smelly duck decoys.  My V is a little offended when I put her kennel in the bed rather than the back seat, and if it's much below about 15 degrees, I worry a bit.  It's got a zip-up cover and she wears a neoprene vest when it's that cold, but those Vs just don't have much hair.  That, and the fact that my kids are growing fast and destined to be big has me considering a suburban or Yukon XL for my next vehicle.  On top of that, it feels slightly Clampitt-ish or Joad-ish to pack for a family vacation in plastic tubs in case of rain enroute.  Perhaps a cap is the answer.

Back when I had the Tahoe, I decided to buy a "Hitch-Haul".  Used it twice: once to bring home some wood dog houses from the local lumber yard, and a second time to haul a dead deer to the locker.  Unfortunately, the locker was closed, so the Tahoe had to spend the night in my driveway with a dead deer on the hitch-haul.  In defference to my non-hunting neighboors, I backed up as close as I could to the garage door and covered the deer with an old sheet for the night.

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Truck, and the bed needs to bef enough to hold a full sheet of plywood.

SUV's are for girls and guys that zip them on the side  :<img src=:'>

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M V McDonald

I drove trucks for years.  Recently, due to the logistics of vehicle problems, trade-in value and leans, I was forced to take over the family SUV and trade in my truck.....and boy do I miss it.  Nuff said.

Mike

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nickwilliams

Starting this spring, Mahindra will start selling their 30 mpg, 2.2L common rail diesel 4wd pickups in the US.

Mahindra_Pickup_Truck_3-500x332.jpg

mahindra-scorpio-s14.jpg

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