Woods Vehicle

JDK

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If you were going to buy a vehicle solely for use in the woods, hauling a sled during ice fishing, beat up and not care about it what would it be?

My criteria:

Under $5,000
Known for reliability
Able to seat 4

I was thinking a 4 Runner, older Jeep Cherokee, or maybe a Nissan XTerra. Looked at a few 4 runners with 175Kish miles on them for less than that and actually almost bought one that was in really good condition. I can get Jeep CJs for that price pretty easily.

I have to get this past the wife.
 

lester2

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For me it would have to be a 4WD, four seat pickup. But here in northern VT you’d be hard pressed to find one for that price which is, or has the potential to be inspectable and registered. The brine and salt use up here really takes a toll on frames, rockers, rear quarter panels, brake and transmission lines, etc. By the time a rig’s value is down in the $5k range they’re usually ready for the scrapyard.
 

groundtender

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I had a ‘97 4runner. All stock. Very reliable V-6. Easy to turn around a on one of those narrow grassy roads. Good on unplowed roads. Our daughter ended up with it her last couple years of college. Only problem was occasionally an O2 sensor would get out of whack and touch off the Check Engine light. Never a big problem though, never prevented driving. Most times the mechanic I use just welded it back. It had well over 200,000 miles on it when it left the family. Only thing I didn’t like about it, or my Suburban, was carrying spare gas or a chain saw inside didn’t appeal to my sense of smell! But I guess the battery saws now are good enough for cutting most blowdowns out of the way. Good luck, the Wranglers look good too.
 

longbow

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I would rule out a JeepCJ or any two door. Real tight fit for 4 people. Out of what you listed the Jeep Cherokee with the inline 6 would be good.(1987-2005). We have an 05 Dodge Durango with 204,000 miles, original trans/motor that is still running strong. Has the 5.7 engine. A friend has one with 280,000.
 

RememberBaker

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I had an XTerra that my daughters drove through high school, it was very reliable but I didn’t like driving it because I felt squished. I’m 6’ 2”, 230 though. My daughters loved it. I had to replace some front hub parts in it and had to get the parts from a scrap yard because Nissan didn’t make them anymore, I could have gotten aftermarket manual hubs instead but I didn’t think the girls would like that. That said, the scrap yard hub cost like $50 with all the parts I needed.
 

JDK

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My wife is really not on board with this.
 

SportsmanNH

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That’s why I don’t talk to my wife about this kind of thing, communication in a marriage is way overrated.
My wife is really not on board with this.
I use RB's approach . I never ask " Can I get that ? " I just tell her I bought it because I needed it .
And if its a gun " I Had To Have It Regardless Of if I needed it or not " LOL The worst it can cost me is a few nights out .

Its easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. LOL
 

Mountain Hunter

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4runner, Xterra, or Pathfinder. Japanese rigs tend to cost more though.

My wife's uncle bought a chevy Tahoe a couple years ago for $1,200. He fixed the rust on it, lifted it, and put bigger tires on it. The rig is an absolute beast offroad.
 

NoDeerHere

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I have the solution. You know the beater F150 you sold for $1500 . Find the person and buy it back for $1600. You tell the wife you got the woods vehicle for $100. Worth a try?
 

802-603hunter

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My brother had a few regular cab Toyotas (pre-Tacoma). We put those things in some miserable places. Short wheel base, plenty of clearance, and light enough that one small comealong can pull them out of most anything. Years ago while moose scouting we went in the Bill Sladyk WMA in Norton and came out next to Holland Pond. Can’t navigate that on any map I’ve seen.
 




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