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hutchman

Adventure Touring Vehicles - What Do You Drive?

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I thought it might be kind of interesting to know what others use for "adventure touring." I define the term as, any trip taken by me for other than necessary travel. It might be a day trip in the Northwest, a trip up into the hills, or a cross country discovery trip/vacation.

 

My current adventure vehicle is a 2007 Sierra Crew Cab 1500 with 4wd. For me it seems to have the almost perfect combination of ground clearance, comfort, and room that works. I originally was going to build a LWB TJ Jeep, but health issues forced a change to a more comfortable vehicle, hence the truck. It looks like GM is going to have some really good incentives starting tomorrow, so I may trade up to a newer truck, but I think it will be the same configuration as the current one.

 

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However, eventually I plan to do a 2" leveling lift - front only, 33 inch tires for a little more clearance, and a canopy for the bed. With these mods the truck should be perfect.......at least until I come up with a different idea! :rolleyes:

 

So............what do all of you drive?

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I just have the one car, for business and pleasure - my '03 Matrix. It isn't particularly stylish, but it gets 35 mpg and has never let me down. Also, it is small enough to go down a one-lane former alignment, turn around, and go back -- and carry my two large dogs along for the ride too.

 

03matrix.jpg

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If you're going to the poor house these days, might as well go in style. My "adventure ride" is a 1997 Cadillac Sedan deVille d'Elegance.

Gets around 24, 25 mpg around town, was getting up to 27 mpg on the interstate running 70-75. Right now it does need a good tune-up and may have a head gasket problem - but once she warms up she does go.

I'm not afraid to take it down some old highway alighnment - as long as there is a reasonable chance to get out safely.

It does have AC, almost a must down here, a nice AM-FM radio and a 12 disc CD player in the trunk. On a long trip I can load the CD player and listen to tunes all day long, if I wish.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis TN

(I'm spending my kids inheritance on gas and groceries!!)

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Most of my travel on trips ends up being in a rental car as I normally end up flying to an area for the vacation, then rent a car for the road trip before flying home. Most day trips are taken using my 2004 Acura TSX, a comfortable cruising sedan that is not a great performer, but is not a barge either.

TSXRtFront.jpg

When just driving local back roads without any real destination, or going to work at America on Wheels, I like to take Fagin.

Headlites%20(Large).jpg

 

 

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Come on, Dave. I want to see you travel coast to coast in the Triumph..... :D

 

 

 

 

Most of my travel on trips ends up being in a rental car as I normally end up flying to an area for the vacation, then rent a car for the road trip before flying home. Most day trips are taken using my 2004 Acura TSX, a comfortable cruising sedan that is not a great performer, but is not a barge either.

TSXRtFront.jpg

When just driving local back roads without any real destination, or going to work at America on Wheels, I like to take Fagin.

Headlites%20(Large).jpg

 

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2006 Toyota Tundra Limited 4x4.

 

So far it has taken me everywhere I have wanted to go with ease, almost all of which have been shared on this forum. Since my road travels tend to take me off the beaten path, and very often those paths are unpaved, the added security of four wheel drive is comforting. The back seat is big enough to sit my 5'11'' son comfortably and the bed is big enough to hold the camping gear or sleep in when necessary. Gas mileage is decent for a 4x4 with 18 MPG acheivalbe on the highway.

 

There are some of us that like to give their vehicles names and I confess to being one of those. Years ago when I read John Steinbecks "Travels With Charlie" I dreamt of getting a truck that I could explore the roads with. Steinbeck named the truck that he traveled in Rocinante and even before I bought the truck I had decided that when the time came I would search and find my Rocinante. Rocinante was of Don Quixote's horse but the Class of '81 grads out there might recognize it as the name of the traveler's space ship in Rush's 'Cygnus X-1' on the Farewell to Kings album.

 

Rocinante in one of her finer moments after driving the transcontinental railbed near Promontory, Utah. It really does not have a two tone paintjob.

 

dirty_tundra.jpg

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My '03 Matrix just took me 3,656 miles to Saskatchewan and back (write-up coming later this week). Even with the car-top carrier, I averaged 29 mpg (I got 34 on our last trip without the cargo carrier). This is a photo in front of the Plaza Motor Motel in Sault Ste. Marie, which I highly recommend!

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Update on the GM Incentives and the new truck. Good sense got the best of me and I realized a new truck at this time would really be pointless. So that means some mods to this one over the next year in addition to some miles on the Oregon Trail.

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I still have my truck, but I decided to buy a 2002 WJ tonight. It is a one owner adult, who has never taken it off road. It has had all maintenance performed by Mid Valley Jeep including the transmission fluid changes. Crap, I have never bought a used car that has had the transmission fluid changed by the book!

 

With a small lift and some 31 inch tires, it should give me something to do some mild wheeling in comfort. I think it will be fun!

 

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It even has the original window sticker all owners manuals. I think it is a good find, although time will tell.

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I still have my truck, but I decided to buy a 2002 WJ tonight. It is a one owner adult, who has never taken it off road. It has had all maintenance performed by Mid Valley Jeep including the transmission fluid changes. Crap, I have never bought a used car that has had the transmission fluid changed by the book!

 

With a small lift and some 31 inch tires, it should give me something to do some mild wheeling in comfort. I think it will be fun!

 

0115030103080104012008080856e21fa9dc2d2f

 

It even has the original window sticker all owners manuals. I think it is a good find, although time will tell.

 

Hutchman,

 

I think the current term for that vehicle is a "Sweet Ride" but maybe that just dates me!

 

Enjoy it!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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I bought this Jeep a couple of weeks ago to fill the hole left when I traded my last Wrangler in on my truck. This trade was due to health issues, and had to be done, but I wanted a Jeep. I looked at older FSJs, but decided a project was just not in th cards, so I started looking at newer Grand Cherokees for comfort, room, and decent off road performance.

 

Due to the fact that I am a large person, I needed all the interior room I could get, and I wanted a straight axle, so it seemed like a WJ might fill the bill. We were lucky enough to find a local, one owner 02 with 79,000 miles. It was a somewhat rare Sport Model that came with a 4 liter and a 242 transfer case - a real plus for me. In addition, the sport has leather and other options that come on a Limited, but not the V8 and the auto transfer case. For me it seemed almost perfect.

 

These pictures show the Jeep mostly as we received it. We have only run it through the car wash. It was a very clean used Jeep!

 

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I bought this WJ knowing nothing about this series of GC. What I found out after the purchase was that the WJ is harder to put big tires on than a ZJ - the fender openings are just not as big...... That was not a huge issue with me, but it does complicate the selection of tires and wheels.

 

The other issue with a WJ is aftermarket wheels, or lack thereof. The WJ was the first of the newer Jeeps to have a 5 on 5 bolt pattern with a 16 or 17 inch wheel, depending on year and option package. They also have 6 inch backspacing. This really limits the choices you have for wheels to "newer" type designs.....dubz.....

 

There are some steel wheels and cast aluminum available, but most of the aluminum wheels have 4" backspacing. This was going to result in the tire sidewall sticking out about 3 inches from the stock location. This was really more than I wanted and it would add to the clearance issues when turning.

 

I set some criteria for the lift and tires as follows:

 

Minimize the amount of money needed for the lift.

Choose a tire size that did not require a huge lift or a lot of cutting.

Choose a wheel that looked good, but did not stick out a long way and met the cost criteria.

Buy an all terrain type tire.

 

By paying attention to the last three, the first would follow.

 

I am partial to a narrow tire, so my first choice was a 235/85-16. This tire is almost 32 inches tall and would require about 3 inches of lift with some cutting for clearance....not exactly what I was looking for.

 

My next thought was a 265/70-16 which was shorter but wider. Like I said, I wanted a narrow tire, so this was less than desirable.

 

So I settled on a 245/75-16 which is shorter than the 235/85 and more narrow than the 265/70.

 

The other concern was wheel width and backspacing. Most of the aftermarket wheels were either 7 or 8 inches wide with 4 or 5 inches of backspacing. As I stated earlier, I did not want the tires to stick out much and did not want to cut much. Less backspacing would require more cutting. I decided to stick with the stock wheels due to these issues. They don't look as good, but they sure do cost less, which was the first requirement of the project.

 

And for the lift, I chose a RE 2" BB. This is an inexpensive lift that included spacers, shocks, bumpstops, and the shock thingies required when installing aftermarket shocks on a WJ. Very complete, good quality, and not a lot of money. I ordered it from AllJeep and the service was great with a great price.

 

So how did it come out........?

 

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The lift resulted in a change in the distance from the hub to the fender lip of 1 3/4 inches....that is what most 2" BBs provide from what I have read.

 

Including the tire, the fender lip is now 3" taller than stock.

 

I have not severely tested this setup yet, but I did do some "suburban wheeling" behind Quizno's.......I exited the parking lot in the back into the next business parking lot. There was a curb on top of a 18" rise, which I kind quartered over to see if I got any rubs when stuffed...kind of.......LOL! No issues at all. I also tried some steep driveways with the wheels turned hard and no issues. I think it will work pretty good for a DD that is does some mild off roading.

 

 

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My wife and I run the roads on weekends in our 2008 Pontiac G6. So far it's been a really good car - no complaints here at all!

 

G6Bridge.jpg

 

 

When it's just me, I'll sometimes take the Eagle...

 

Eagle.jpg

 

 

Wes

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When it's just me, I'll sometimes take the Eagle...

 

Eagle.jpg

 

 

I always liked the AMC Eagle. It was such a trendsetter, like many AMC vehicles. But like other AMC's it was unappreciated by the public. AMC did so much with so little funding. Yours looks great.

Edited by Dave Reese

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I always liked the AMC Eagle. It was such a trendsetter, like many AMC vehicles. But like other AMC's it was unappreciated by the public. AMC did so much with so little funding. Yours looks great.

 

I had an '83 Eagle for a while back when. My take is those things were frustrated road race cars on steroids. I've never had a production family car that would stick to curves at speed like that '83. It stuck to the road like velcro in heat. :D

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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It stuck to the road like velcro in heat.

 

Alex,

That sounds like something out of a Tom McCahill review in Popular Science. I loved his car articles. No one uses such wonderful prose anymore.

 

I am in awe of your phraseology. :D

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As much as I like AMCs, when they jacked up the 12-year-old Hornet Sportabout and stuck a Jeep-derived driveline under it, it fairly screamed, "We're in deep dookie here and are scrambling to stay alive!!"

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As much as I like AMCs, when they jacked up the 12-year-old Hornet Sportabout and stuck a Jeep-derived driveline under it, it fairly screamed, "We're in deep dookie here and are scrambling to stay alive!!"

 

Which is the truth. They were desperate, and they invented the Subaru Outback, just too soon.

I don't own an Outback, but we have a Legacy wagon with AWD and love it.

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Wow - I never thought my Eagle would get so much press here... Thanks for the kind words! I've always liked it. It needs some work (some gaskets leak, and it needs waxing, and a few other mechanical things) but it has no rust whatsoever.

 

It does handle well - believe it or not, you can even make it do a fishtail 90 degree turn with the back tire(s) spinning. That only happened once, to get out of a sticky situation, but I was impressed... The little straight 6 4.2L has a lot of torque.

 

Oh - for bonus points.. Can anyone identify the body of water in the background of the Eagle pic?

 

Wes

Edited by thermactor

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Oh - for bonus points.. Can anyone identify the body of water in the background of the Eagle pic?

 

Wes

 

I'm going to say one of the VERY wide portions of the Mississippi River.

 

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After reading through here, I realized I hadn't made a reply to this thread. So here goes! We've got three to choose from, depending on the length of the trip. First is my '98 Honda Civic. Just turned over 180K miles and it still runs like a champ. I'd not hesitate to drive it to the west coast....except I would hesitate to drive to the west coast only because it doesn't have cruise control.

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Our second choice is Jennifer's '04 Corolla. It's "Choice A" when making a long roadtrip, simply because it does have cruise control!

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And lastly is the old '65 Corvair. Mainly used for day trips within a couple hundred miles from home. The older both the car & I get, the fewer miles we want to be stranded from home. :rolleyes:

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I just have the one car, for business and pleasure - my '03 Matrix. It isn't particularly stylish, but it gets 35 mpg and has never let me down. Also, it is small enough to go down a one-lane former alignment, turn around, and go back -- and carry my two large dogs along for the ride too.

 

03matrix.jpg

 

From a "neighbor" one forum down "RV'ing on the American Road" , Jack Burke:

 

I noticed two postings for the Matrix. Do you happen to know...does it come as a manual transmission, how much does it weigh, and have you seen them towed four-wheels-down during your travels?

 

Thank You,

Jack Burke

DeKalb, Illinois

 

On the Lincoln Highway

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Mine has a manual transmission, and depending on trim level and options they weigh between 2,600 and 2,900 pounds. I've never seen one towed. jim

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