I will be hauling loads up a steep 4 wheel drive road with tight switchbacks… I think I need a beater 4x4 pickup, but how beat? How much $ should I be spending? OK I’m ready to duck… which make model etc.?
A full sized 4x4 pick-up from Ford, Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota will work fine. You should be more concerned about how it was maintained than what brand. You might look into a surplus US or state government truck. They have surplus depots that dispose of older goods, including trucks. It won’t have much more than seats, A/C, and an auto transmission, but it will have been maintained by a motor pool. They put a huge number of miles on their trucks, but they do take care of them along the way. Her’s the Department of Defense version: