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Trailhead Parking

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    • Trailhead Parking

      Looking to buy a new vehicle later this year (probably a 2021 after the 2022 models come out), and trying to decide what type. When parking at trailheads I always feel "a little safer" or "less advertising" with a trunk than an exposed back like an SUV or van. On the other hand I see two definite advantages of an SUV. First is higher clearance and probably more appropriate for some FS and county roads to access some trailheads. Second is if I ever wanted to I could always lay down the back seats and (relatively) comfortably sleep in the back of an SUV. Thinking of traveling out west someday (although could in the east too) and that also being an option to always finding a campsite. Will have to talk to my brother-in-law who is a long distance truck driver about how safe that is where truckers pull off the interstates.

      I usually buy Toyota Camry's and drive them to around 100,000 and pass them on to my children. Thinking about another Camry or Nissan Altima this time or a Nissan Rouge or Murano.

      Any thoughts from your experience appreciated. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • I have had a Prius for quite a while. While it is not and SUV, it handles quite well and of course get amazing mileage. I get around through MI winters with no problem while I pass lots of SUVs in the ditch (SUVidiots never figure out that 4-wheel drive is great for making you go, but doesn't help so much with turning or stopping). I feel the Prius it sits up a bit higher than most sedans which I like. It is a hatchback style, but has a cover in the back so things in the "trunk" can be completely hidden. We always put stuff in the back and pull the cover over when we leave it at a TH for a day hike. The back seat also lays down flat so a solo traveler would have the option of installing a bed in the back. It actually spits 60/40 so you can have several options. I am amazed how much stuff it can hold, really. It is not as small as most people think.

      Our other vehicle is a new Highlander, Toyota's mid-size SUV. That of course is much better for towing, ground clearance, 4-wheel drive, marginal roads, etc..., but with twice the gas consumption. However it is the first new car we have purchased in quite a while and I was amazed at how far driving tech has progressed. This car is wonderful to drive and we now are more likely to take it on a road trip, despite the gas cost. I don't know if the newer Prius has benefited from these same advancements or not. Mine is getting long in the tooth.

      When shopping for the Highlander, my favorite options were actually with Subaru (we got the Toyota as it was my wife's first choice, mainly because it is one of the last cars to have a CD player built in and my wife refuses to learn how to download and play music from her phone). Anyway, Subarus have a variety of options (Crosstrek=subcompact SUV, Forester=small SUV, Ascent=mid-size SUV, Outback=wagon/class of its own?, Impreza=smaller sedan, Legacy=bigger sedan). All are 4-wheel drive (even the sedans) and would probably be great for most conditions.

      Although I've never owned a Subaru, if it were just me buying for a solo road trip, I'd look at the Outback first. They seem to all have excellent reliability records and reviews.
    • You mentioned trucks. I have a full size truck. For FS and other back roads a full size truck has its down sides. Passing on a narrow dirt road can be tough sometimes. Especially if it’s another full size coming towards you. A full size truck is also tougher to park and get out at some trail heads.
      My wife has a Subaru cross trek ‘14. Were a little over 150k miles and are starting to think about trading it in. We love the gas mileage that it gets. The ground clearance is great too. Better than my old Cherokee.
      If she trades it I’ve been trying to talk her into a Toyota Tacoma. It looks like a great little truck. I just need to see how much it can tow. If it pulls a popup it might be just the way we go.
      I wish I still had my bronco II Eddie bower edition. Loved that suv.
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Tough to beat a Subaru. Unless you want a full size truck, then get a RAM or GMC.
      My 2002 Subaru Forester is still going just fine with 424000+ miles. Sure I spend for regular maintenance but that's cheaper than payments for a new car. Nothing unreasonable has gone wrong or been replaced. Kathy thinks she'd like a mini-van but if we go that route I'd hope to find one with all wheel drive and seats that stow into the floor so we could have a flat floor behind the front seats.
    • LIhikers wrote:

      jimmyjam wrote:

      Tough to beat a Subaru. Unless you want a full size truck, then get a RAM or GMC.
      My 2002 Subaru Forester is still going just fine with 424000+ miles. Sure I spend for regular maintenance but that's cheaper than payments for a new car. Nothing unreasonable has gone wrong or been replaced. Kathy thinks she'd like a mini-van but if we go that route I'd hope to find one with all wheel drive and seats that stow into the floor so we could have a flat floor behind the front seats.
      Subaru used to make a van, not sure if they still do as I have not seen one advertised in a while. It had their classic opposing cylinder motor in a six cylinder, AWD.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Subaru used to make a van, not sure if they still do as I have not seen one advertised in a while. It had their classic opposing cylinder motor in a six cylinder, AWD.
      The Advent is a mid sized SUV that came out a couple of years ago. That would be the closest thing to a mini van they have now. We did a test drive.

      Our1990's era Grand Caravan was maybe my all-time favorite vehicle. But that was when we had 3 young children. After that model, people decided min vans weren't cool so auto makers tried to make the sexy and ruined the concept.

      On a European family vacation we rented a small minivan (a microvan?). It was really nice. I think it was a Toyota model not sold by n the US. the only domestic equivalent I recall seeing was the Mazda 5.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by odd man out ().

    • odd man out wrote:

      On a European family vacation we rented a small minivan (a microvan?). It was really nice. I think it was a Toyota model not sold by n the US. the only domestic equivalent I recall seeing was the Mazda 5.
      When I bought my last car I thought the Mazda 5 minivan might be perfect for my needs. I was disppointed -- and surprized -- to learn that it had been discontinued due to poor sales. My Element does everything I need to do, but it's 10 years old and has 100K on it. Not sure what I'm going to look at when the time comes. I sleep fine in the E, so that is going to be the primary criteria -- enough room to live in during long trips and of course overrnight at trailheads.
      2,000 miler
    • Subaru replaced the Tribeca with the Ascent a turbocharged 4 cylinder boxer motor SUV. I also like the Crosstrek a lot- TJ has one and could probably give a good review of it. I had a Baja and loved it- sold it at around 200,000 miles.
      "Dazed and Confused"
      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose
      Plant a tree
      Take a kid hiking
      Make a difference
    • Actually I'm toying with the idea of having the wife's 1978 VW bus converted to have a Subaru engine installed. Just like the VW engine the Subaru engine is a 4 cylinder, horizontally opposed, engine and it has a lot more horsepower than the VW engine. I doubt it'll happen though as I think the money would be better spent on a new vehicle.
    • We drive a 2011 outback. Great reliable cars. They come with a window shade type device to keep whatever it is you have in the back from prying eyes.

      The problem with the Crosstrek for us has been in interior window fogging/ moisture fro passengers (and their tracked in snow) in the winter. We much prefer the roomier Outback whose volume seems to prevent the problem.

      Rented a Toyota Carmry this weekend and mmostly enjoyed the experience except for one major problem... the 'Driver's Assist Technology.' Good grief, I get nagged enough at home, I certainly do not want a car that starts beeping at me if I cross a line. Since all the car companies are doing this it looks like I will never buy a new car again.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • New

      IMScotty wrote:

      Rented a Toyota Carmry this weekend and mmostly enjoyed the experience except for one major problem... the 'Driver's Assist Technology.' Good grief, I get nagged enough at home, I certainly do not want a car that starts beeping at me if I cross a line. Since all the car companies are doing this it looks like I will never buy a new car again.
      I can relate to what Scotty wrote and feel very much the same way.
    • New

      LIhikers wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:

      Rented a Toyota Carmry this weekend and mmostly enjoyed the experience except for one major problem... the 'Driver's Assist Technology.' Good grief, I get nagged enough at home, I certainly do not want a car that starts beeping at me if I cross a line. Since all the car companies are doing this it looks like I will never buy a new car again.
      I can relate to what Scotty wrote and feel very much the same way.
      We have the warning on our Honda(2015), my husband found the switch to turn it off real quick!
    • New

      LIhikers wrote:

      IMScotty wrote:

      Rented a Toyota Carmry this weekend and mmostly enjoyed the experience except for one major problem... the 'Driver's Assist Technology.' Good grief, I get nagged enough at home, I certainly do not want a car that starts beeping at me if I cross a line. Since all the car companies are doing this it looks like I will never buy a new car again.
      I can relate to what Scotty wrote and feel very much the same way.
      I have lane assist turned off. But I do like adaptive cruise control.