Best 4x4 for a very long trip in remote wilderness?

I'm considering taking a very long road trip to northern Quebec and Labrador. That's the real North, very remote and wild, with very poorly maintained
gravel roads (huge potholes, etc) and very few gas stations. Later, I'd like to drive to Yukon territory and Alaska.
Obviously, I'd need a 4x4 vehicle-probably a SUV. It must be very tough, reliable, (breaking down in the middle of Labrador would suck), with good ground clearance and lots of cargo space for supplies and spares and extra fuel.
We're two adults. Having room for sleeping in the vehicle would be great.
I understand Chevy trucks are very common in Quebec and Labrador.
What vehicle do you guys recommend?
Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hi - I have contemplated a huge road trip as well (Drive from New England to Argentina)
First - Just for fun see if you can find and watch the show "Long Way Around" Its about a couple of guys driving motor cycles around the world. very fun. Some if the show chronicles their prep. They did complete disassembles of their bikes IIRC before they left so they would know how to fix them. See http://www.longwayround.com/intro.htm
I thought if I were to do this I would want to do it in a Suburban. Lots of room but not too good on gas. I have done 5K mile trips in a suburban many times. I have also done long trips in a Tahoe. The Tahoe will be better on gas (A bit). An Excursion would cost just too much in gas IMO. If Chevy is prevalent I would go that way. Have it equipped with lockers, skid plates, good tires, etc.
I did do an almost 6000 mile round trip in an '87, 2.5L 4cyl, 4 speed, 2 door chevy blazer w/o air-conditioning but I also had good access to gas. No mechanical problems, changed the oil half way through.
For your trip you would probably want an extra spare tire, gas, water, tools and spare parts. What tools and what spare parts? Not sure. It would depend on your skills, how far from civilization, etc. Maybe a sat phone, cold weather camping gear and a wad of cash would be better. You can get a tow truck to the north pole if you are willing to pay. Also, bring a 357 magnum or better pistol and a rifle 30-06 or better.
have fun
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
FYI - Long way round is available from Amazon (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Anyone who is into road trips will love this.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is a little extreme here. My burb does not have lockers and it has been in some really nasty places. (one winter I drove it 10 miles in and 10 miles out a snowmobile trail to access a resort with 3 small kids and wife before spring melt it was one rough trail there were no winter roads to it. It never comp-lained once or worried wife or kids) Old burbs are kinda tanks even in 2wd and even better in 4x4 so no need to get crazy with lockers and lifts and lifts and wild tires will kill MPG too. On the gun thing, if you feel you need one, a shotgun is far more versital and deadly at close range than most guns (even big magnums and a 357 would likely just tic a bear off and make matter worse) when using double "00" buckshot or a slug if you ever have a bear problem and they are VERY intimidating to humans too. Some bear grade pepper spray will very effectly repel a bear and even better than a gun if used properly and it will not injure the animal. It will stop the meanest person in their tracks fast too. Also I would not worry about extra spares that take up space, just take a few cans a fix a flat with "slime" in them and it will get you going again if you are concerned about that. As long as your tire is not slashed, it will work fine and keep you from walking and having to change the tire which always seem to go flat at the wrong time and place too if and when it does happen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Lets leave the gun debate over at rec.guns
I have gotten by suburban, with 4x4 and limited slip differential stuck. Once was in only 6 or 8 inches of mud that was covering a flat level hard surface (May have been asphalt, concrete or hard packed dirt). The mud was kicked up by Katrina. I eventually got unstuck by rocking forward and back, using low gear, going slow and trying to keep off the gas so I wouldn't spin. My tires are Michelin "Cross Terrain". I never bottomed out. http://www.michelinman.com/catalog/tires/MichelinCrossTerrainSUV.html?source=TCHP Not highest rating for mud traction BTW.
Anyway - I am not saying to jack that thing up in a big way. Just get decent tires that wont let you down in mud or snow. maybe Michelin ATs or BFgoodrich. Get AT LEAST limited slip dif with your 4wd. I suggest carrying a spare spare. I would be VERY nervous if I blew a tire and was hours or many miles away from a repair/replacement with no spare.
The OP did mention being big enough for spares (plural) as well as for fuel and sleeping. The Suburban fits that bill for sure. Its tough, reliable and sturdy enough for what the OP may have in mind. Only down side to sub, in this situation, may be gas mileage.
BTW, to the OP. You have 8' of flat storage w/o the 3rd seat. Plenty of room to make a bed back there.
One additional note - If you ARE sleeping in the back of the sub. Do NOT do what I did once. I wanted to be able to adjust the windows (Electric) from the back in the middle of the night. I turned the ignition key backwards (The position so supposedly only the radio and windows are operable). I then verified that nothing was on. Nothing, I even opened the hood to make sure no fan was on just in case. I made sure no lights were on, no license light, no running lights, no radio, nothing. I went to sleep confident I would still have a battery. Well, something DID drain the battery while I slept. I have no idea what to this day. Took me an hour before I found someone to give me a jump. So - I would also say to have a dual battery setup or a spare you can keep charged somehow just in case.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
No wrote:

Some sort of short?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Dunno - The battery was never quite the same again. It never seemed to have a full charge. After this incident just leaving the tailgate open (dome light on) for a while would cause a hard start/low battery condition. I replaced the battery and all was good again. batteries do not like to be deep cycled.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Being in that I live up here...
Uh yeah - they get REALLY pissy at the border if you're packin' heat. Especially post 911.
I don't think you can bring ANY form of firearms across.... but check with the border guys to be sure.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Elbert wrote:

Nope.
Yes, as long as you declare them
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 02 Mar 2006 22:06:27 +0100, No wrote:

If you ever decide to do it, be sure to stop by and say hi. It would be cool to meet someone from the NG in real life.
--
Warren Post
Santa Rosa de Copn, Honduras
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
my suggestions:
armor: rugged front and rear bumpers, at least suitable to guard against errant wildlife strikes [what the Aussies call "Roo bars". Good idea to have a winch mounted in the front, too. You'll also want underbody protection in accord with the kind of terrain you plan to encounter, if you've got good intel on that. If not-- you'll want to make sure you have the vitals [tank, transmission, transfer case, oilpan] pretty much covered.
vehicle: I would suggest something with solid axles-- which is pretty much going to put you in something a bit older. Solid axles are much better at taking the pounding of extended periods on unimproved surfaces.
spares: two tires. Also, take along a couple iner tubes sized to fit inside your tires. Worse come to it, you can borrow some wisdom from bike guys-- put some heavy fabric like a tarpaulin part across the inside of the slash, and put the inner tube inside the tire. Inflate, and find the next tire store to replace the tire.
patch kit-- yes, KIT. the slime in a can stuff is ok, but old-fashioned rubber patch kits consisting of flat rubber sidewall patches and rubber strand patches will even patch a slash in a sidewall [without removing the tire- just patch it with a lot of the rubber rope patches-- I've done it] in a pinch. You wouldn't want to drive on a patched sidewall if you had a choice-- but it beats hell out of freezing to death due to not having a good tire and finding that slime is useless for the repair.
tire tools: 1 pair of tire spoons, and a tool called a "Tyrepliers". Google for it. This will enable you to reapir any severe tire damage properly at camp. I suggest your SOP for tire damage be to put one of the spares on while you're stll in the field, to get to your next camp. Then when camp is made, break down the tire, repair it properly from the inside if needed, and reassemble. Tyrepliers are kinda pricey at $120, but you'll save that money in short order by mounting your own tires [I don't have stores mount my tires anymore-- I mount ALL my cars [87 Fiero, 90 Jeep XJ, 89 S-Blazer, 94 Jeep ZJ] tires by hand using this tool.
tire balancing: I also balance them myself-- a 33X12.50X15 gets 12 ounces of airsoft pellets thrown inside it-- BBs work also. Not a problem, and MUCH better balance than any tire store could possibly ever perform-- as my tires constantly balance themselves. If interested, check the chart on www.innovativebalancing.com . I add 50% to their weights, as the extra finds a neutral place in the tire till it's needed. This also makes tires run cooler and last longer, folks.
trail air: a MUST. I suggest a 20 pound CO2 container. Nevermind the overpriced, blinged-out Powertanks. Check out http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/co2systems.htm . You do NOT need gauges on this tank-- CO2 will show the same pressure right till the tank is dead. I fill about 40 33s out of a 15 pound cannister, as I recall. Look around beverage supply stores, or restaurants that are remodeling or closing down. Free CO2 canisters are easy to find, and once you've got the cylinder, a CO2 trail air system is CHEAP. Why do you need air? Why-- to refill your tires [12V compressors SUCK, or are horridly expensive] after you repair them, to run air tools, inflators, and the like, and for the next item:
freebie: become acquainted with the virtues of airing down. Letting your tires down to 20PSI or so will give you much better traction, without risking blowing the bead [common sense still must apply of course-- don't go full-tilt across sand and then make sudden steering inputs as you brake]. Make sure you air up when it's time to get to speed or drive on hardball, though.
weaponry: I'd seriously look into the local's rules and regs about weapons. You don't want to find yourself running afoul of the law.. and aas for bears-- well, maybe a little forethought about where you stop for the night, and common camping rules should apply [bag the garbage, hang food high in a tree out of reach, etc]. Should you go packing, though, I would advise a rifle [I wouldn't want to get within shotgun range of a pissed off bear, but then I am only going from what I have seen in movies, as I've never seen a pissed-off bear. I don't imagine they'd be very interested in eating me after I'd messed myself ;)] for longdistance stuff, and an alternating loadout of slug and [insert favorite shot cartridge here] in the scattergun for when things get close and hairy.
fuel/storage: would suggest a diesel, whatever way you go. This will allow you to carry multiple jerrycans of fuel [I suggest the british/German style like these: http://www.roof-rack-supplies.co.uk/accessories/jerry-can.htm as opposed to ANY other jerry can, as these will absolutely NOT leak. Note the cam-lock cap]. and to carry that fuel SAFELY. Yes, you can carry gasoline in jerry cans, but it's not as safe owing to the flashpoint of gas [-43degF] as opposd to that of diesel [+173degF, IIRC], and gasoline is much more prone to exploding in a sudden compression event [if you were to be rearended/rolled and the jerrycan rack was crushed, for example]. Plus, diesel fuel is much more stable for long-term storage- throw in a little fungicide and you're good. Maybe some antigel if it's really cold. Plus, with diesel, you'll have better torque characteristics, which should be a boon to your travels. Probably get MUCH better fuel economy, too. And the real kicker is-- if you use your head a bit, you can make your own fuel [depending, of course, on how often you'll be in a civilized area and how many jerry cans you take]. Biodiesel is a really smart way to go on a trip like this. I'd suggest looking into it-- it's not as hard as people make it out to be- hell, if you're not talking about Artic conditions, you cna pour filtered/dewatered waste cooking oil directly in your tank, cut it with about 10-20% gas or petrodiesel, and drive on.
locker: rear, selectable, is pretty much a no-brainer here. If you will be encountering sidehills in icy conditions an automatic locker like a lockright can cause problems-- like sliding down hill sideways. It's awful nice to have the ability to have open-diff road manners and the performance of a spool at the touch of a button, anyway. If you want to splurge, throw in a front selectable as well. If you're going to run a front locker, it pretty much MUST be selectable. Might be able to do without if you have lockout hubs, though-- but most manufacturers of automatic lockers warn against running one hub locked, one unlocked, though. Might be better idea to save the money for a front locker and put it into a winch, remote-mount tray, and front and rear Class III hitch receivers, though.
batteries: Optima or equivalent. MUCH stouter than parallel-plate lead-acid batteries
Sorry this got so long-- I've been wanting to do this sort of trip for quite a while and have done my homework :D
Basically it all comes down to: check out what the Land Rover guys do, and the Aussies do. They tend to go places with their vehicles [10, 20, 30, even 40 year old vehicles!] where, if you're not prepared, noone ever hears from you again and you die. One could do MUCH worse than to listen to the Aussies when it comes to 4X4'ing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
additionally-- you should take some sort of land anchor along as well. a Pull Pal works great if you're not close to a tree to tie the winch line off to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.