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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:23 pm 
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Only just skimmed, but on the used market, I'm a big fan of the Nissan Frontier for a truck, and the Kia Sorento for SUV.

Last Gen Sorento
http://kia-buzz.com/ahead-of-the-%E2%80 ... adventure/

First Gen Sorento
http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-vehi ... orento-ex/

For Frontiers, check the radiator/tranny issue. Easy fix on a great car, just make sure it was done.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:44 am 
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BTW Jeep Grand Cherokee has plenty of nooks and crannies for prep supplies/tools.
Here's an example of mine that I started a while back.


easily blends into spare tire cavity
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipN-XV1d_CCUUgqStOSYrR6Btwgpc5WG5RKnrol_89IU35sboHpta3tS86rIvomKjQ?key=MExiTncxcnpBN3JOTEdFcG1UWjltY0xWak1PSEhR

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:57 am 
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JackBauer wrote:
BTW Jeep Grand Cherokee has plenty of nooks and crannies for prep supplies/tools.
Here's an example of mine that I started a while back.


easily blends into spare tire cavity
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipN-XV1d_CCUUgqStOSYrR6Btwgpc5WG5RKnrol_89IU35sboHpta3tS86rIvomKjQ?key=MExiTncxcnpBN3JOTEdFcG1UWjltY0xWak1PSEhR

Nice. I assume that's a full sized spare?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:18 pm 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
Nice. I assume that's a full sized spare?


I believe it's better than a donut but not a full size spare. The only time I had a flat I repaired the tire at the spot. Glad I had a quality air compressor,tire plug kit and rubber cement in tool bag. It also provided the opportunity to read the OEM manual and locate the appropriate jack points on the chassis

I need to update the spare tire area /cargo space pictures. I've equipped and optimized the car BOB and preps quite a bit.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:50 pm 
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JackBauer wrote:
KJ4VOV wrote:
Nice. I assume that's a full sized spare?


I believe it's better than a donut but not a full size spare.

That's something you might want to take a closer look at so you'll know exactly what your options are in the event of a damaged tire. A full sized spare would be ideal, as there would then be no worries about possible damage to the diff or transfer case caused by greatly different circumferences. the smaller the difference, the better, and the further you can go before major damage is likely.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:56 pm 
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Just my 2 cents. I would stay away from Jeep. I had a 2003 Grand Cherokee that was nothing but problems. The wrangler is cool I will give you that but even the 4 door version is tight on space. I fit in one but just barely ( I am 6'4 ) if you get four people in a wrangler plus cat crates you won't have any space left. You might look at a Toyota FJ (has rear swinging door for back passengers)or what about the Ford transit or Nissan Pathfiner?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:52 pm 
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The Twizzler wrote:
Just my 2 cents. I would stay away from Jeep. I had a 2003 Grand Cherokee that was nothing but problems. The wrangler is cool I will give you that but even the 4 door version is tight on space. I fit in one but just barely ( I am 6'4 ) if you get four people in a wrangler plus cat crates you won't have any space left. You might look at a Toyota FJ (has rear swinging door for back passengers)or what about the Ford transit or Nissan Pathfiner?

The FJ is no longer in production, difficult to find at reasonable prices, and about as cramped as the Wrangler, and only has two doors. The Ford Transit is, of course, a possibility but I'm not impressed by their inline 5 cylinder diesel. If I'm going to go with an inline diesel I'd rather have a Cummins.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:36 am 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
The Twizzler wrote:
Just my 2 cents. I would stay away from Jeep. I had a 2003 Grand Cherokee that was nothing but problems. The wrangler is cool I will give you that but even the 4 door version is tight on space. I fit in one but just barely ( I am 6'4 ) if you get four people in a wrangler plus cat crates you won't have any space left. You might look at a Toyota FJ (has rear swinging door for back passengers)or what about the Ford transit or Nissan Pathfiner?

The FJ is no longer in production, difficult to find at reasonable prices, and about as cramped as the Wrangler, and only has two doors. The Ford Transit is, of course, a possibility but I'm not impressed by their inline 5 cylinder diesel. If I'm going to go with an inline diesel I'd rather have a Cummins.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:13 am 
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MPMalloy wrote:
E-A-R-T-H-R-O-A-M-E-R

I agree with you 150%. Unfortunately, my bank account just laughs hysterically at the idea. And I do mean hysterically.

Definitely a bit of hysteria in that laugh.


Kinda creepy actually. :shock:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Beowolf wrote:
Now, I'm biased here.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited will get you your must haves. Every last one of them.

But, again, I'm biased. I know there are better vehicles out there. But it's a viable alternative.

Took a second look at this and, while it would tow our trailer it would be very marginal. They only offer up to a class II / flat four pin hitch and I really need the class III / 7 pin connection.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:18 pm 
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Well, ya didn't mention that as a requirement. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:51 pm 
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Updates in the first post.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:07 pm 
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After much thought and debate (and investigating discounts and pricing) I think we'll be going with the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum edition, in blue. I think it gives us the best bang for the buck, especially with the Federal employee discount (wife is a federal officer) and military vet discount (which can be combined). While I would have loved the Trailhawk, and taking it on trips up into the "Jeep Only" areas of the Shenandoah mountains, I need to be realistic and admit that the extra $10K it would have cost, combined with the uncomfortable seats, made it a "no-go" for us.





At least for now. :mrgreen:

I'll leave the thread open and post pictures in a few months when we actually make the purchase, but please, feel free to still make suggestions on alternatives. It ain't over until it's over, as Yogi would say.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:02 pm 
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The pathfinder's all use CVT transmissions. This is not a good choice for towing as the trans will not tolerate heat. They get better mileage but if there are hills where you live you will have problems. If they start to overheat the trans will limit your speed to around 45 mph to save the transmission. This is extremely annoying. They are also costly to replace (lets be real you don't fix these transmissions you just replace them)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:27 pm 
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The Twizzler wrote:
The pathfinder's all use CVT transmissions. This is not a good choice for towing as the trans will not tolerate heat. They get better mileage but if there are hills where you live you will have problems. If they start to overheat the trans will limit your speed to around 45 mph to save the transmission. This is extremely annoying. They are also costly to replace (lets be real you don't fix these transmissions you just replace them)

I understand this, and while there are a few hills around here that I'd be towing up, and a lot more getting from here (VA) to the family home in Idaho (some little things called the Rockies), our regular trailer is only 3,500 lbs loaded, while the tow rating given is 6,000, so I'm banking that the reduced load will make a difference. Plus, we don't tow very often. With that being said, yeah, the tranny is a real weak point, and a major strike against the Pathfinder, but I'm looking at this from the POV that any replacement for the next 5 years will be under warranty, and that hopefully if they have a shit ton of problems with them they'll come up with a redesign during that 5 years that will cover us. I'm also planning on installing a better transmission fluid cooler than stock, provided I can get assurance, in writing, from the dealer that it will not void the warranty.

(edit: typo)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:45 pm 
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Well, after more thought about it, a few more reviews of the Pathfinder (and the CVT tranny in it), and some financial calculating, I think we're going to scratch the Pathfinder off the list altogether. Every review I've read dislikes the tranny, plus I've found that the "4x4" on it isn't really very capable, nothing like the previous Pathfinders. I even found out it has a donut spare, which is something I hate. The number crunching also made me realize that, at the trim levels and option levels I was looking at, only $4k separates the Pathfinder from the Trailhawk, and that without the diesel the Trailhawk is actually $500 cheaper. I'd be stupid to get the Pathfinder. Even with the cost of the diesel ($4,500), the Jeep is going to come out cheaper in the long run because it gets better mileage (about 6 MPG) than the gas version and has less maintenance. The Jeep also has a 7,200 lb. tow rating standard vs 6,000, and is a true off-road capable 4x4, which I like very much.

Looks like there might be a bright red Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk in my future. :awesome:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:47 pm 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
Well, after more thought about it, a few more reviews of the Pathfinder (and the CVT tranny in it), and some financial calculating, I think we're going to scratch the Pathfinder off the list altogether. Every review I've read dislikes the tranny, plus I've found that the "4x4" on it isn't really very capable, nothing like the previous Pathfinders. I even found out it has a donut spare, which is something I hate. The number crunching also made me realize that, at the trim levels and option levels I was looking at, only $4k separates the Pathfinder from the Trailhawk, and that without the diesel the Trailhawk is actually $500 cheaper. I'd be stupid to get the Pathfinder. Even with the cost of the diesel ($4,500), the Jeep is going to come out cheaper in the long run because it gets better mileage (about 6 MPG) than the gas version and has less maintenance. The Jeep also has a 7,200 lb. tow rating standard vs 6,000, and is a true off-road capable 4x4, which I like very much.

Looks like there might be a bright red Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk in my future. :awesome:

Oh man that's just supersweet!
I know some mentioned poor reliability in the 2002-2004 era but all I can share from my experience. I've owned 2 jeep product for the past 5 years and never had an issue or breakdown.

Some have been picking at the first edition of the diesel version so you may want to delve deeper

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:55 pm 
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JackBauer wrote:
KJ4VOV wrote:
Well, after more thought about it, a few more reviews of the Pathfinder (and the CVT tranny in it), and some financial calculating, I think we're going to scratch the Pathfinder off the list altogether. Every review I've read dislikes the tranny, plus I've found that the "4x4" on it isn't really very capable, nothing like the previous Pathfinders. I even found out it has a donut spare, which is something I hate. The number crunching also made me realize that, at the trim levels and option levels I was looking at, only $4k separates the Pathfinder from the Trailhawk, and that without the diesel the Trailhawk is actually $500 cheaper. I'd be stupid to get the Pathfinder. Even with the cost of the diesel ($4,500), the Jeep is going to come out cheaper in the long run because it gets better mileage (about 6 MPG) than the gas version and has less maintenance. The Jeep also has a 7,200 lb. tow rating standard vs 6,000, and is a true off-road capable 4x4, which I like very much.

Looks like there might be a bright red Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk in my future. :awesome:

Oh man that's just supersweet!
I know some mentioned poor reliability in the 2002-2004 era but all I can share from my experience. I've owned 2 jeep product for the past 5 years and never had an issue or breakdown.

Some have been picking at the first edition of the diesel version so you may want to delve deeper

Everything I'm reading on the diesel is positive so far, and this is not the first year they've offered it. I did find out the Grand Cherokee also has a "compact" spare, so I'm going to have to figure out a way to address that and carry a full size, if it's even possible. I hate those compact spares.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:57 pm 
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We love our Grand Cherokee diesel.

30+ mpg cruising on the highway and real (if not extensive) off road capabilities, while coddling us in heated and cooled seats, etc. the entire time is muy bueno.

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Full size spare in ours btw... Dark here, don't know if you can make it out in this pic:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:49 pm 
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:clap: I just resurrected my van. $1.800.00 worth of resurrecting. Still don't have AC. That will be between $1,000.00 to $1,500.00.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:17 am 
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91Eunozs wrote:
We love our Grand Cherokee diesel.

30+ mpg cruising on the highway and real (if not extensive) off road capabilities, while coddling us in heated and cooled seats, etc. the entire time is muy bueno.


Full size spare in ours btw... Dark here, don't know if you can make it out in this pic:


Yeah, the wife and I are pretty much sold on it, just working on the finances now to pay for it. We have a good credit score (680ish) but we'd like to get it over 700 first, pay off some debts and build a little more of a buffer before taking on the payments. And we both agree that the diesel is a "must have" that will pay for itself over time.

Oh, and the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has some pretty serious off-road capabilities, almost rivaling the Wrangler Ultimate. With the options we've picked it's going to list around $58k, so a lot will depend on what kind of pricing we can get from the dealer and how we finance it. (probably finance it through a federal credit union)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:42 pm 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
91Eunozs wrote:
We love our Grand Cherokee diesel.

30+ mpg cruising on the highway and real (if not extensive) off road capabilities, while coddling us in heated and cooled seats, etc. the entire time is muy bueno.


Full size spare in ours btw... Dark here, don't know if you can make it out in this pic:


Yeah, the wife and I are pretty much sold on it, just working on the finances now to pay for it. We have a good credit score (680ish) but we'd like to get it over 700 first, pay off some debts and build a little more of a buffer before taking on the payments. And we both agree that the diesel is a "must have" that will pay for itself over time.

Oh, and the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk has some pretty serious off-road capabilities, almost rivaling the Wrangler Ultimate. With the options we've picked it's going to list around $58k, so a lot will depend on what kind of pricing we can get from the dealer and how we finance it. (probably finance it through a federal credit union)



Yeah, they're not cheap, but hold their value pretty well. If you get your score above 720 or so, Jeep offers 0% financing. Varies by region and time of year, but ask your dealer.

Big time premium on diesels around here...apparently all the manufacturors are running scared from the VW debacle and the diesel Jeeps are very hard to find, at least in my AO. We get asked if we'll sell ours a couple times/week, and the sales manager at our local dealership is constantly trying to get us to trade/sell it outright back to them.

Make sure you get the skid plates and front tow hooks...cheap as an option when ordering, but pricey after the sale via the parts department. May be standard on the Trailhawk.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:45 am 
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Yeah, the plates and hooks are standard on the Trailhawk, and one of the reasons I like that model. Just wish it had different seats, but I need to lose weight anyway. Hmmm... wonder if I could trade with another Grand Cherokee owner?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 3:12 pm 
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Im more of a pickup guy. Had an 08 Dakota. Traded up to an 11 F350. Way more than youd need, but with crew cab theres a lot of room.

For SUVs Id go with a Jeep. More expensive than others, but thatd be my choice.

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