Versatile Hunting Vehicle

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mathisep
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Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by mathisep » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:10 pm

I would appreciate your collective experience on hunting vehicles. I will have one vehicle that serves as my everyday driver (for work, toting kids, family vacations, etc. . .). Most days I only drive about 10 miles to and from office. I take 2-3 long distance pheasant & grouse hunting trips per year and several local (1-3 hour) preserve trips throughout the year. I currently have a luxury crossover/midsize SUV. I am leaning towards going to a crew cab pick up or larger SUV. I need a nice interior as I occasionally have to drive clients and like the idea of having all the dog stuff and mess in the pickup bed but a large SUV is probably easier than figuring our topper vs box, etc. I have 2 springers and carry a my friend's dog on our longer trips. Any wisdom and pros & cons would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by cjhills » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:58 pm

Ford Expedition XL or suburban. I like having the dogs where I can control the temp. especially in winter. Not great if they get into a skunk or something....Cj

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by shags » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:41 pm

^^^What he said. Back of the truck seems like it’s always too hot, too cold, too something. Also a pain in the neck to access.

Although there are some pretty sweet camping set ups in truck beds these days.

Steve007
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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Steve007 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:37 pm

cjhills wrote:Ford Expedition XL or suburban. I like having the dogs where I can control the temp. especially in winter. Not great if they get into a skunk or something....Cj
Correct, but consider a non-XL Expedition (or similar )with Truckvault (or similar). Look them up if you're not familiar with them. It is astounding how they expand usable space. And a regular Expy is a pretty good-- though large--every day car as well. And quite luxurious in the snazzier models. Here's one with a Truckvault. All hunting gear including guns,ammo, etc. fits --and locks-- in the vault out of sight. Bad angle on the dog, who is actually exceedingly attractive without snow in her beard.

Image

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gonehuntin'
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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by gonehuntin' » Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:44 pm

I've always used pick up's with a cap but truthfully, I think the Suburban is the ideal rig. I originally like the pick up because if a dog got skunked he could go in the back and not stink up the truck. It's still a good rig but make sure you get the pick up with true double doors, not the half cab. I've had my Tundra for 13 years now and it still runs like a top.

My friend had a Suburban and I loved that. You could control the temp. for the dog's and they were always in there with you. Two kennels fit in the back and you could fold down the seats and get two more kennels in it. His got around 23 mpg. I would get one with a tailgate and not the barn door backs. Only disadvantage to it is, it always smells like dog's. So if you were taking clients out they'd have to like the smell of dog. If a dog get's skunked, you're screwed.

I'm probably too old to get another dog now but if I did, it would be a suburban.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Dakotazeb » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:24 am

I've driven a Ford Expedition for 13 years and it's worked great for everything you have indicated you need. I like the Ford's fold away third row seat better than GM's. If you go with an Expedition get a 2015 or newer as they have a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 and get better gas mileage and still plenty of power. They beat GM's V8's in 0-60 tests.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Steve007 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:07 am

Dakotazeb wrote:I've driven a Ford Expedition for 13 years and it's worked great for everything you have indicated you need. I like the Ford's fold away third row seat better than GM's. If you go with an Expedition get a 2015 or newer as they have a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 and get better gas mileage and still plenty of power. They beat GM's V8's in 0-60 tests.

This is correct, but new Expeditions run from 53K for bare bones to 80k+ for supergroovy Platinum Model;--plus sales tax. Mileage is 17/23. A good used model (there are lots around) is worth considering. imo. You can buy a lot of gas for the difference, and the big bulletproof V8 in the pre-2015 models will do anything an engine can do.

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deke
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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by deke » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:26 am

Go for Tahoe or suburban,depending on how many kids you have. I got my wife a Tahoe about a year ago, picked it up used, and got weather tec mats throughout. We pulled out the back two seats and let the dogs hang out back there. I love the thing, and would not think twice about driving one myself if i didnt need a vehicle that can haul heavy dump trailers on a regular basis.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Dakotazeb » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:46 am

deke wrote:Go for Tahoe or suburban,depending on how many kids you have. I got my wife a Tahoe about a year ago, picked it up used, and got weather tec mats throughout. We pulled out the back two seats and let the dogs hang out back there. I love the thing, and would not think twice about driving one myself if i didnt need a vehicle that can haul heavy dump trailers on a regular basis.
Tahoe's and Sub's are great. BUT, if you will need to use the 3rd row seats from time to time the Expedition is a much, much better choice. They fold down flat (power fold in most) and you'll never know they are there until you need to use them.

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gunguy
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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by gunguy » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:46 pm

My vote is for a Toyota Sequoia. This vehicle is often overlooked because of the other domestic offerings, but really would suite your needs well. All the luxury you need plus reliability and resale value. The Sequoia is also a lot cheaper than the new expeditions too. Like gonehuntin' I drive a Tundra and feel it is perfect for my needs, but if I were in need on an SUV the Sequoia would be my choice.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Dakotazeb » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:34 pm

gunguy wrote:My vote is for a Toyota Sequoia. This vehicle is often overlooked because of the other domestic offerings, but really would suite your needs well. All the luxury you need plus reliability and resale value. The Sequoia is also a lot cheaper than the new expeditions too. Like gonehuntin' I drive a Tundra and feel it is perfect for my needs, but if I were in need on an SUV the Sequoia would be my choice.
I would agree that the Sequoia's are a nice vehicle. But saying they are a lot cheaper than the new Expeditions is not true. Book out either a new or used Sequoia and a similarly equipped Expedition and I think you will find that they are quite equally priced.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by duckn66 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:18 pm

If it's my daily driver it's a no brainer. Pickup with a topper shell. Problem with an SUV is that they will always smell like a dog. And, if your dog rolls in something dead and rotten as most will do, or gets sprayed by a skunk you will have to smell that for the day or longer.

Dog crates in back, strapped down and a pull out drawer system under the crates. The shell would have windows on the side that flip up to allow access to items behind the crates.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by gonehuntin' » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:14 pm

gunguy wrote:My vote is for a Toyota Sequoia. This vehicle is often overlooked because of the other domestic offerings, but really would suite your needs well. All the luxury you need plus reliability and resale value. The Sequoia is also a lot cheaper than the new expeditions too. Like gonehuntin' I drive a Tundra and feel it is perfect for my needs, but if I were in need on an SUV the Sequoia would be my choice.
Just saw one in Green Bay. $80,000.00. Not cheap.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by KCKLH » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:07 am

If you want something with a nice interior and 4WD for hunting its gonna be a little pricey.
Honestly you may just wanna stick with the crossover or a nice car for work and just spend a couple thousand on a beat up old Cherokee or Explorer. Total and monthly cost of the two would probably be cheaper.

Personally Ill sing the praises of a Cummins diesel until Im blue in the face but that isnt realistic for everyone.

If you can ONLY have one Suburban isnt a bad way to go.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Steve007 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:58 am

duckn66 wrote:If it's my daily driver it's a no brainer. Pickup with a topper shell. Problem with an SUV is that they will always smell like a dog. And, if your dog rolls in something dead and rotten as most will do, or gets sprayed by a skunk you will have to smell that for the day or longer.

Dog crates in back, strapped down and a pull out drawer system under the crates. The shell would have windows on the side that flip up to allow access to items behind the crates.
You must have missed the part where the OP stated he took clients around occasionally. And we presume a wife to nice places. There are nice-looking pickups, but limited in cabin space (how's that third row doing? Or second?) but if you care to visit an upscale big SUV, you''ll see a dramatic difference. And they do NOT "always smell like a dog", no matter how much you hunt. Unless, perhaps, the owner does.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by shags » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:55 pm

Washing the bedding in the dogs’ crates, and wiping down the the interiors of the crates keeps my vehicles from stinking of dog. We use cheap fleece throws for the dogs, so they wash up well and dry in minutes.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Dakotazeb » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:26 pm

duckn66 wrote: Problem with an SUV is that they will always smell like a dog.
Over 40 years of hunting dogs and over 40 years of SUV's going back to a '73 International Scout. Never had a problem with my vehicles smelling like a dog. Keep your vehicle clean and your dog fairly clean and it's no problem. Except for those times the dog has a run in with a skunk. Then it does suck. 80 mph and the windows all down doesn't help! :D

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by mathisep » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:12 pm

Thanks for all the input. Ended up getting a Ram Laramie crew cab. Need to add a topper, etc. . . Like it so far.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by duckn66 » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:28 pm

Steve007 wrote:
duckn66 wrote:If it's my daily driver it's a no brainer. Pickup with a topper shell. Problem with an SUV is that they will always smell like a dog. And, if your dog rolls in something dead and rotten as most will do, or gets sprayed by a skunk you will have to smell that for the day or longer.

Dog crates in back, strapped down and a pull out drawer system under the crates. The shell would have windows on the side that flip up to allow access to items behind the crates.
You must have missed the part where the OP stated he took clients around occasionally. And we presume a wife to nice places. There are nice-looking pickups, but limited in cabin space (how's that third row doing? Or second?) but if you care to visit an upscale big SUV, you''ll see a dramatic difference. And they do NOT "always smell like a dog", no matter how much you hunt. Unless, perhaps, the owner does.
You must have missed the part where he mentioned a crew cab pickup. You need to go look at the new crew cabs. There is every bit as much room in the back seat as any SUV has. I looked at the suburban and crew cab 2 weeks ago side by side.

I would not have mentioned a pickup if he didn't say he was considering one.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by JONOV » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:09 am

shags wrote:Washing the bedding in the dogs’ crates, and wiping down the the interiors of the crates keeps my vehicles from stinking of dog. We use cheap fleece throws for the dogs, so they wash up well and dry in minutes.
Simply pulling the crates out works well too.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by oldbeek » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:09 pm

duckn66 wrote:If it's my daily driver it's a no brainer. Pickup with a topper shell. Problem with an SUV is that they will always smell like a dog. And, if your dog rolls in something dead and rotten as most will do, or gets sprayed by a skunk you will have to smell that for the day or longer.

Dog crates in back, strapped down and a pull out drawer system under the crates. The shell would have windows on the side that flip up to allow access to items behind the crates.
Friend has that kind of rig but puts crates sideways. Can access the different crates/dogs and have them walk out to the tailgate . Great for more than 2 dogs.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by marysburg » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:12 pm

We drive a 2011 Expedition and hunt with 3 or sometimes 4 dogs. The back is set up with a homebuilt platform on legs, under which we fit 2 plastic "under the bed" type drawers. On top of the platform, we use two large wire dog crates which hold 2 Britts (snuggled up in one crate) and a GSP. When we take the Springer along, she rides behind the drivers seat in a smaller wire crate. It is crowded with four dogs and all the stuff we haul along, but it is still very feasible. In late season, when the clothing we need gets bulkier, we sometimes get a little crowded. The expedition never stinks, we wash the dog bedding as Shags described. About the skunk issue, we carry a de-skunking kit with us in every vehicle and have a spare at home; not perfect, but it can be done. We can use the second row of seats without unloading the platform and crates, and can't remember the last time we had the third row of seats in use. When hunting season ends, we unload the platform, drawers and crates, then the rear area is good for whatever we haul around.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Steve007 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:16 pm

Mighty marysburg,

Have you ever seen a Truckvault as is pictured above (or similar, which a cabinet maker can build)? Nothing wrong with what you're using, but you may see benefits to one. On the other hand, if you've got real drawers under your platform, you may already have one (sort of) and I'm just visualizing your setup incorrectly.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by cjhills » Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:20 am

My daughter just bought a 2017 Exp with 22,000 miles for $42,000. a little more than 1/2 the new price..........Cj

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Featherfinder » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:06 am

I just returned from a quail hunt - just over 16 hours driving each way. I have a 2017 RAM Outdoorsman crew cab with a Leer topper. The front of the topper has a sliding window as do both sides. In warmer weather I open all three windows of the topper to allow the air to blow through. Keep in mind that you don't want to have your dogs in a frigid air conditioned SUV then subsequently drop them out into scorching heat to hunt!
I had one friend along on this recent trip. We had 4 dogs in the truck box. All our gear was organized in the huge back seat area available in the modern crew cabs. One evening, we took a friend with us for dinner, so I took out some of my stuff, and dropped down one section of the 60/40 back seat allowing all three of us to travel VERY comfortably. With no gear in the back seats, there is tons of space for 4-5 adults.
Consider that, my dogs get worked in a wide range of weather - some hot, some wet, some muddy, some snowy, some are a combo of the aforementioned. You would NOT want to take a client or family out in this same SUV....unless you had the interior thoroughly detailed!
With my truck box, even if it gets really messed up, I pull up to a car wash and spray out the box - good as new. Also, the actual truck interior is maintained in reasonably clean condition should I need to take folk out for entertainment/business.
Lastly, along with the Leer topper, I purchased a "Cargo Ease". It is absolutely fantastic for accessing the entire spectrum of a truck box! I purchased the all aluminum model - light weight and yet strong. Check it out below.

http://cargo-ease.com/

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by MSU Aggie » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:20 pm

Go with a pickup. SUVs are great but it will always have that dog smell. For what your asking id look into a Ford F150 in one of there upper level packages. Ford's have the best back seat for hauling adults, unless you go Dodge Megacab, and they have a shorter box that makes hauling dogs easier. A topper is a nice addition but I don't care for the looks.

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Re: Versatile Hunting Vehicle

Post by Garrison » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:54 pm

This is my set up, I need a diesel to tow my fishing boat. No pics of the interior on my phone, but I fold down the seats and have a gunvault that I put a sheet of plywood on top of, on solo trips I fit my bed roll and pad, dog crate, yeti and a camping kitchen box. Extended trips I drag my trailer or bring my Kodiak tent.
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I use my uncles designated hunting rig when I stay at his house, the old Bronco and a dog box can get in and out of just about anywhere but when the snow is real deep I take the quad.
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