Overlanding with a family of 6 | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Overlanding with a family of 6

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Traveler I

60
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
Reynolds
We have been camping with our kids for a few years and love it. But we would like to get a bit more off road and our minivan just can't do it.
We are interested in buying a SUV for both light overlanding and daily use. The problem seems to be storage. A 4 runner would be great, but doesnt offer a lot of space in the 3rd row and has no spots for cargo.
We have debated in getting a camper trailer to help with storage, but I wanted ask here what would be a good SUV for us to look at as a base. What does everyone recommend?
 

M Rose

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Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
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Michael
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Rose
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We have been camping with our kids for a few years and love it. But we would like to get a bit more off road and our minivan just can't do it.
We are interested in buying a SUV for both light overlanding and daily use. The problem seems to be storage. A 4 runner would be great, but doesnt offer a lot of space in the 3rd row and has no spots for cargo.
We have debated in getting a camper trailer to help with storage, but I wanted ask here what would be a good SUV for us to look at as a base. What does everyone recommend?
I would recommend a suburban, Yukon, Excursion, or a 4wd van for a family so large. As for trailer, lots of options available from a diy trailer to a commercially built trailer.
 

Zaroch

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Traveler I

60
Canton, OH, USA
First Name
Justin
Last Name
Smith
I have a 2005 Chevy Tahoe I haven't done much to it besides all terrain tires the that kind of vehicle has lots of space and if great off-road. If you need something with a lot more space I would suggest a suburban or a Yukon kl the only issue these vehicles have from my experience is The long wheelbase
 
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Asuarez_673

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Contributor II

484
Virginia Beach, VA
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Alexis
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Suarez
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if you're looking into Full size, the Z71 package on the GMT 800 was great and it came with 4.10 gearing where the non Z71 came with 3.73. personally I'm building a suburban, and the amount of room is incredible and honestly I've never been on a trail that it couldn't handle. The length definitely hinders you, but honestly its what you make of it. Theres people out there who are off roading in a Earth Roamer lol so a full size should be no big deal
 

Billiebob

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Family of 6 really limits the choices, for starters you need seating for 6.
And then what are you thinking for sleeping, all inside the trailer or 3 "pup tents".
Far too many questions. Summers only ? or ?
 

IH8CALI

Rank 0

Traveler I

60
Utah
First Name
Joe
Last Name
C
Agree with it really comes down to your intentions; if just forest roads with a quick pull off to camp, I wouldn't be too concerned with wheelbase. If you're wanting to get way back into remote area, technical trails etc. I would look at a bit shorter wheelbase. We have 5 and decided on the Sequoia. Also make sure the aftermarket supports whatever vehicle you're going to go with, things like additional storage, suspension etc. quickly become considerations and you want to make sure they're available. Bottom line though, it's awesome that you're wanting to do more and keep the family outdoors. You can't go wrong with that!
 

MMc

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Everything is a trade off in overlanding. I camp large, started small and got tired of it. I fly solo most of the time, I have 2 sizes of cook boxes, little is for 2, big is for 6, tents are all 4 person, I have a couple to add or subtract for guest. I would consider a trailer and a 3 row suv. Rent a trailer tear drop or a adventure, see what works for you.
 

Traveler I

60
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
Reynolds
Family of 6 really limits the choices, for starters you need seating for 6.
And then what are you thinking for sleeping, all inside the trailer or 3 "pup tents".
Far too many questions. Summers only ? or ?
We have 2 tents that we would set up. With the kids and their ages, we would be going out from Spring to Mid Fall here in IN (So mid to late October).
 

GlobalRoamer

Rank 0

Contributor I

We have been camping with our kids for a few years and love it. But we would like to get a bit more off road and our minivan just can't do it.
We are interested in buying a SUV for both light overlanding and daily use. The problem seems to be storage. A 4 runner would be great, but doesnt offer a lot of space in the 3rd row and has no spots for cargo.
We have debated in getting a camper trailer to help with storage, but I wanted ask here what would be a good SUV for us to look at as a base. What does everyone recommend?
So same thing here. We are a family of 6 with 4 kids still in car seats. I went back and forth between a Suburban, an Expedition EL, or Excursion. The Tahoes and Sequoias didn't even have space for our stroller in the rear storage once everyone was in.

We went with a 2013 Suburban 1500 (Z71 4x4) and have overall been happy. The interiors feel cheap (plastic panels) but the leather seats are holding up well. The 3rd row isn't comfortable for adults, but doable.

As far as off roading goes, skill will have a lot to do. I regularly take mine (zero lift) on a trail that I've known a 76 Land cruiser to get stuck on - because the driver picked an impossible route). The long wheelbase and poor approach angles are something to consider, but a couple major roadtrips, pulling a trailer, or light off road trips / forest roads are easy to manage. I end up needing the storage much more than I anticipated. I went camping at the beach recently and used my interior space and a little of the roof rack. In fact I had to carry some stuff for my friend who has a 4 Runner and quickly ran out of space.

Mine is a 2013 so NNBS, but I'd also look at the earlier model. They are much cheaper, slightly smaller, and probably a little better off road (approach angles) and easier to lift.
 

NMBruce

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Enthusiast I

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SW Colorado
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Bruce
Last Name
Cooper
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27527

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I would first find the vehicle you like to drive that carries the family and that will get you places you want to go.
Next I would buy or build a small trailer to haul the gear. ArmyRN started a thread here about Harbor Freight trailers and building them up for off road, it will give you ideas of what can be done (warning long thread). Mini Harbor Freight (type) Trailer Ultimate Build-Up Thread - JeepForum.com

I got lucky and some friends built me a frame and I made a box. I did two trips to Alaska and northern Canada with the trailer. Each trip I had 2-3 other people with me and there was no way I could of done the trip without the trailer, it carried all the gear. Jeep the trailer had one box on it and the GX had the new, stronger box on it, but the same trailer frame. The trailer is based off an M416, so it’s not very wide and easier to get around switchbacks. So far it has followed the tow vehicles wherever I have gone.
 

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smcmurdo

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Calgary
First Name
Steve
Last Name
McMurdo
Hi,
We are a family of 6 (kids 7, 5, 3, newborn). We use a 5th generation 4 Runner and CVT trailer with the Denali mounted on top. I sleep up top with three kids and my wife sleeps in the annex with our newborn. I have a roof box on the roof of our 4 runner to carry our light gear and then the CVT trailer can hold everything we need for a 5 - 6 night stay. We got in 28 nights over July and August, and the setup worked perfectly!