Long Term Hauling

I’m looking at living out of my truck for some time, and I’m trying to figure out the best option to save money/gas. Right now I’m driving a Tacoma with a 4 cylinder and manual transmission. What I’m wondering is if I had a six or even eight cylinder engine, if I would get better miliage. I would probably be hauling at least a hundred pounds of gear. I also wonder about the engine strain. Keep in mind I’m not talking about flat roads either this is for mountain roads.

One hundred pounds of gear is nothing to worry about with any size engine. You will not get better mileage with larger engine. What you have now is just about right. The Tacoma is a sturdy vehicle, with a long life expectancy. Be sure to gear down when going up steep mountain roads. Maintain it well and it will serve you for years.

I live in a moutain area, and most of my friends drive 4 cylinder vehicles.

In the sixties and seventies an entire California couterculture lived in 48 horsepower, 4 cylinder Volkwagen microbuses.

Good luck & happy camping!

Do you mean paved mountain roads, or unpaved access roads, too? Your truck is fine for paved roads, bur might not be OK for unpaved roads. I assume that your truck is 2WD. If the roads are unpaved, you might need 4WD for clearance and traction.

If you don’t exceed your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) listed in the owner’s manual, there is no reason to upgrade. The best thing you can do to save money and gas is keep driving what you have and don’t overload it.

How can 100lbs of gear possibly be anything to worry about??? That’s less then MOST people weigh.

Guess he left something out. I’d be carrying a hundred pounds of potato chips and salsa. 50 pounds of tortilla chips and no road map.

A couple years ago I drove from Ontario to British Columbia and back, across the Rockies, with about 600lbs of stuff, in a Hyundai Accent. It got there and back just fine (okay, it was burning a bit of tranny fluid.) If the Accent can do it with a miniscule 4 cylinder and several hundred more pounds of stuff (and still return an acceptable 36mpg) then there’s no reason why your Tacoma can’t.

If you want better mileage and have only 100 lbs of stuff to carry, then trade the pickup for a stick shift compact car with a folding rear seat. Cars have less wind resistance than pickups. With a folding rear seat, you can haul quite a lot of stuff.

Did you mean living out of the truck or living in the back of the truck? If you are going to live in the truck then forget the car.

If you’re actually sleeping in the vehicle, I’d pick the car over a compact truck any day. Sleeping in the bed of a truck in all but the warmest climates is miserably cold-- much colder than sleeping on the ground. If you get a small slide-in camper or a canopy and then some custom upholstery in the back, it can be a little better, but then it reduced the functionality of the truck. A van would be ideal, but a station wagon or even a hatchback with folding seats would work much better.

100 lbs is probably on the light side of what I’ll be carrying to be honest (Climbing gear, backpacking gear, ski gear, clothing, food, and water). Most of the driving will probably actually be on interstate, but a lot will be on back roads, and rough roads (my truck is a 4x4).

As for sleeping: While I haven’t slept in it over the winter yet, I do have a topper (ARE MX), and I suspect it will be at least as warm is a tent or bivy sack. That said a van is something I’ve considered a lot - I think mostly it’s just the appeal of the truck that made me go that route.

Oh and in case someone asks, yes that’s a lot of crap to sleep with. However, I have ideas for a raised lided plateform to store it all, and I have a roof rack with cargo box. I’ve actually attached an image file of this if any wants to give me their thoughts.

Sounds like you’re on top of it-- a lot of people seem to get romantic notions about sleeping in the back of a pickup, not thinking that you’re in metal surrounded by cold air. With modifications, it can be made better, though.

Of course, the vehicle you need is the four-wheel drive Toyota Van, which is essentially the exact same vehicle as you have, but a van. The trouble is that they haven’t sold them here since 1990, which might make even the newest ones too old for your tastes. Plus the 4wd versions are somewhat hard to find.

Yeh, you don’t want to be sleeping in the open truck bed with a big ‘ol bear likkin’ yer face at 3 in da mornin’.