Overlanding with a large family

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Traveler I

60
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
Reynolds
We opted for the TRD Pro. Now, many of the folks on this forum would probably disagree with that purchase but for us, it made sense. If we bought a base model, I would immediately want to upgrade the suspension, add running boards, black out the grill and emblems, etc and with a few young kids and other priorities I just didn't have the time. I am very happy with what we got, and I think it looks a lot better than the regular Sequoia.

Also, I really liked it still offers a rear locker and true 4WD unlike some of the other full size SUVs on the market today.

View attachment 189111
I was looking into used for more around our price range and I have a few questions for you.

1. With the 3rd row seats set up...what all can you fit behind them? Do you have any pictures of your gear loaded in? Is it s 60/40 split?

2. If I don't get a TRD Pro...what sort of off-roading capabilities do I lose? The comment you made on suspension I suppose is why I ask.

Thanks
 

Enthusiast III

1,212
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Adams
We opted for the TRD Pro. Now, many of the folks on this forum would probably disagree with that purchase but for us, it made sense. If we bought a base model, I would immediately want to upgrade the suspension, add running boards, black out the grill and emblems, etc and with a few young kids and other priorities I just didn't have the time. I am very happy with what we got, and I think it looks a lot better than the regular Sequoia.

Also, I really liked it still offers a rear locker and true 4WD unlike some of the other full size SUVs on the market today.

View attachment 189111
I was looking into used for more around our price range and I have a few questions for you.

1. With the 3rd row seats set up...what all can you fit behind them? Do you have any pictures of your gear loaded in? Is it s 60/40 split?

2. If I don't get a TRD Pro...what sort of off-roading capabilities do I lose? The comment you made on suspension I suppose is why I ask.

Thanks
None really. The pro has better shocks and tires, but that's easily remedied with aftermzrket stuff.
 
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glNH333

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Contributor I

233
Exeter, NH
Member #

3179

I was looking into used for more around our price range and I have a few questions for you.

1. With the 3rd row seats set up...what all can you fit behind them? Do you have any pictures of your gear loaded in? Is it s 60/40 split?

2. If I don't get a TRD Pro...what sort of off-roading capabilities do I lose? The comment you made on suspension I suppose is why I ask.

Thanks
I think you'd do well with a used Sequoia.

Here's what the back looks like day to day. We are a family of 5, so my 7 year old sits in the 3rd row left. We keep the right seat down for cargo, groceries, etc and we are getting a dog this year to so he'll likely sit back there.

Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 5.32.10 PM.png

There's ~51" from the back of the second row seat.

Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 5.32.22 PM.png

In it's current configuration there's ~18" from the back of the third row.
Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 5.32.27 PM.png

And ~34" of useable height in the rear.

Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 5.32.33 PM.png

I hopped in the 3rd row where my son sits a few minutes ago and took this picture. I'm 6'1" and have tons of leg room left over and plenty of head room. It's really nice back there. Note, we have 2 newborns (twins) that sit in the second row in their rear-facing car seats.

Screen Shot 2021-03-01 at 5.32.40 PM.png

I can't stress enough on how impressed I am with this truck. It's not the fanciest family hauler out there, nor the newest, but it's reliable and proven. We hope to have this as our main trip platform for 8-10 years.

The previous answer is correct, by *not* getting the TRD Pro you really won't lose tons for off-road capability with the Sequoia. It's really not meant to tackle anything too crazy. For us, we stick to dirt roads, camp grounds, state parks, a few class 6 roads and our families both have off-grid properties that we visit.
 

Traveler I

60
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
Reynolds
Thanks for taking the time to show me that. I am impressed with the space behind the 3rd row...more than I thought. We have 4...so if we need the extra storage we could split the seats down and travel like you do. For under 40K I can get a nice one that has low miles...so maybe I will start there. Thanks again for the help.

Good luck with those twins!
 
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GXExplorer

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OB1

Traveler I

233
Bay Area, CA, USA
First Name
Robert
Last Name
Bergstrom
Member #

27270

Great post. After a decade of upsizing vehicles for our three kids (12,9,7) we decided to change philosophy last year and go a bit smaller on our off-road vehicle (formerly F-250 and Sequoia) to improve our off-road capability And get out farther. We have a Lexus GX460 (pretty much a 4Runner with a third row) and use a XL Thule roof box on our platform rack for much of our lighter bulky items when going long distances with the whole family. Fishing rods (key for us) go in a simple PVC rod tube on the roof. We ditched the rooftop tent for an ARB 2500 awning plus the associated awning room plus a Gazelle T4 Tent (rides on roof). We actually all fit in the T4 tent for now but the awning room gives us a ton of flexibility and options to split up sleeping and hang out in inclement weather/bugs. Space is tight but we pack smart, saving space with items like down sleeping bags, backpacking sleeping pads for the kids, compact aluminum stools, etc. Kitchen table is attached to the swing out rear door, camp table attaches to the bottom of the roof rack, and a drawer system and fridge on slides on one side of the third row keeps us relatively organized and keeps drinks and cold snacks handy (beer). I tend to keep cars for 10-15 years or longer (Thank You Ford and Toyota) so we purchase and built with the philosophy that the car was just big enough and plenty capable now and will be plenty big in 5 years and ripe for upgrades as the kids trickle off out into the wide world. We do sometimes miss the Sequoia and its incredible space when we head out on long road trips.
 

DLaFleur

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Ponchatoula, LA, USA
First Name
Daniel
Last Name
LaFleur
This is exactly what I needed to see! Like Johnreynolds10 and glNH333 have discussed space is my driving factor here. Thanks guys, being 6'2" and having 3 kids in car sears with more in our future space is key! I really like the idea of something like a land cruiser or gx460 (like GXExplorer mentioned), but it is those stinkin' car seats that really lead me to needing something a little more spacious. I just don't want to have to buy anything again as our family continues to grow.

@GXExplorer What would you say the biggest trade-offs were between your sequoia and gx460?
 

Erik C

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OB1

Contributor I

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St. Paul, Minnesota
First Name
Erik
Last Name
Carlson
Member #

26663

I have tried to search on here to see if there any posts dealing with this topic and couldn't find anything.

We are a family of 6 who recently purchased a 2021 AW Atlas. We didn't really buy it for the purpose of kitting it out with lots of new add ons as it my wife's daily driver. We are going to head out on a 3 week trip to MT, WY, and CO this summer and I am interested in how the Atlas does.

Yet, as we dabble more and more into overlanding, I can tell I am catching the bug. In the future I would like to purchase a trailer (ie Hiker Trailer) to help with sleeping and storage. But I was curious if there are others out there with families as large as ours and what they drive? I love 4Runners, but the storage behind the 3rd row and the space in the 3rd row is pretty limited. What are some vehicles I could look at that offer a good base level value for off-road adventures? Are new tires the first add on when you start your builds?

Thanks for the suggestions/advice.
Look for a used Land Cruiser with third row to see what's out there. I have a family of 6. Pretend like you are backpacking when you pack otherwise you will start to look at trailers. Use collapsible fuel and water containers, limit foods that require refrigeration. Grocery shop daily to keep food storage down. Get travel boxes you can sit on so you don't being chairs. Ground tents. White gas and camping stove. Satellite phone. Hit the laundromat instead of bringing heaps of clothes or just wash them at camp.
 
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