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Vehicles you use for photo trips
  
 
Eric Larsen
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


One of the pieces of equipment that I most rely on for photography is the vehicle that gets me to where I want to shoot. While I'm thinking mostly of those who shoot landscape and wildlife, I'm interested in knowing what vehicle(s) you've chosen with photography in mind and why? How are you traveling on shoots locally and how are getting to and living during extended shoots? What do you like/dislike about your choices?

I use two vehicles: an old 4x4 Trooper for getting into the mountains and deserts of the PNW. I took the back seats out and I can sleep in the back quite comfortably. Will go anywhere and I don't have to worry about bushwacking when needed. Doesn't provide camping amenities but is great for a couple of days to a week in the field roughing it. Not so good on fuel, no shower/cooking amenities and isn't that comfy to drive long distances. Oh...and no heat for a winter trip to Yellowstone! I outfitted it with a steel lock box such that I can store gear when out of the vehicle without worry of theft.

My other rig is a '04 Golf TDI that I lifted a bit so that it can get off road at least a little. Being a diesel, it gets about 45 MPG and I use it for day trip photo shoots to the Olympics, the ocean, or as far as Rainier and St. Helens. The fuel efficiency is really helpful but if I get stuck overnight, it requires a tent or a motel room!

On trips to Mexico, Costa Rica, India, etc., I pre-plan for lodging and car/diver/or rental as needed and just make it happen.

When I retire in a couple of years, I ponder what to get in order to roam the west on extended shoots. Truck with camper? Old VW camper bus? Trailer?

How about you?




Feb 01, 2017 at 03:42 AM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Good thread starter. For me, I have been using an Xterra 4x4 the past few years. Like your Trooper, got me where I needed to go. I'm short enough that with the rear seats folded down, could just sleep in it diagonally. Not the most comfortable, but doable.

The Xterra is no longer available, so for now have replaced it with a Nissan Rogue. A little smaller, but still can shoehorn myself in for a night's sleep if I have to. The big plus is fuel economy - over 30MPG on the open road versus no more than 20 with the Xterra.



Feb 01, 2017 at 07:08 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Our new "camera wagon" Will still use the '12 Xterra Pro-4X for daytrippin'
but this sucker has been in the plans for some time...







Feb 01, 2017 at 11:18 AM
WestTexas Sky
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Honda Element. Perfect for one.

Roomy. Rear seats can be removed or configured into a bed. I usually take out one and make a bed with the other. At 6'4" it is long enough to sleep me.

Has 4WD , OK really all wheel drive but it does a great job on snowy and muddy roads.

25+mpg on highway.

Honda reliable.

Nothing else like it. Too bad they quit making them.



Feb 01, 2017 at 02:27 PM
prh5551
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee...has been to crystal mill twice, parts of Moab and 22inches of snow in Chicago. Mpg sucks. Waiting for a diesel f150 next year. That will be my vehicle to take to Alaska.

Phil



Feb 01, 2017 at 03:30 PM
rstoddard11
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Whatever rental car is the cheapest. Rented a Subaru outback once and climbed it way up into the mountains. Some people that came down on horseback were astonished that I got up the road as far as I did.


Feb 01, 2017 at 03:47 PM
JimLittle
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


+1 on the Outback...plus it's so much more reasonably priced....it's my main ride.


Feb 01, 2017 at 03:54 PM
Flowernut
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


f-350 ford 4wd pickup with pop up camper on bed of truck. It has been great for the rocky mountains in North America. Probably overkill for the east. I'm a little too old for tent camping. For non-camping I like either a jeep JK unlimited for mountain west or an old chevy trailblazer for everywhere else. Rental cars that are true 4wd are hard to come by anymore without going to a full size vehicle (suburban etc) and I find I need at least some decent clearance where ever I am.


Feb 01, 2017 at 04:19 PM
sjms
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


If it can get me and my equipment to where I need to be to work I'll use anything that does the job in the appropriate amount of time


Feb 01, 2017 at 05:25 PM
kwilliam8
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


I have and use two vehicles. For day trips on good roads around the Puget Sound, I use my Toyota Prius. For everything else, I use my Sportsmobile:





The image above was taken north of Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range, along the Dalton Highway. The vehicle is a Ford E-350 cargo van converted into a camper van, with four wheel drive added. I can go most places, and camp pretty much where ever it is legal to do so. I have been able to camp at, or very near, many locations where I wanted to do sunset, sunrise, or even night photography. I use this van for landscape photography, wildlife photography, and just getting way. Our van sleeps two people (and two dogs), and has heated water, a microwave, a refrigerator, a propane stove, and a propane furnace. Most Sportsmobile campers have a pop-up top (vs. the raised hard top that I have), and now they base their Ford offering on the Ford Transit vehicle. We decided on the hard top due to the often inclement weather of the Pacific North West (which is where most of our trips are). For family health reasons, I wasn’t able to use the van much last year, but we should be able to use it this year. And next year, I hope to again drive to the Arctic Ocean – but this time via the (soon to be extended) Dempster Highway through the Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Keith W.



Feb 01, 2017 at 06:41 PM
 

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chez
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Any plane that will get me close...then a cheap rental vehicle that gets me to the trail head...then it's just 2 legged drive from there.


Feb 01, 2017 at 07:12 PM
rw11
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


I use a Subaru Forester, VW Vanagon camper or Porsche 911, depending on various factors.

In ye olden days...

https://tourdeyosemite.com/yosemite-history.php



Feb 01, 2017 at 07:49 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


2010 Suburban with full 4 wheel capability. Works great for up to 4 photographers in the nice bucket seats, and then the useless rear seats are out to allow a full load of gear. Perfect for around the Pacific Northwest where I am, and also great for reaching out to Yellowstone or Arizona or the rest of the West. And the 4 cylinder mode of the v8 engine can get easily highway mileage up in the 20's. I like to bring a lot of "stuff", photographic and otherwise, on trips, and this rig allows it. My friends also like riding along, and a big part of my enjoyment of photography is sharing time and experiences with others.


Feb 01, 2017 at 07:52 PM
bjbsav
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


I traded in my Mustang for a Ford Escape. I was tired of being limited by the size of my vehicle. I don't regret it one bit. I love having a SUV.


Feb 01, 2017 at 07:53 PM
Eric Larsen
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Wow! Great responses and just the kind of information I was hoping to hear.

I really like the 4x4 camper van!

I had a VW camper in college and really miss it. I know in 5 years when I start thinking seriously about something similar, it might not be so easily obtained.

Hope to hear more folks chime-in!



Feb 02, 2017 at 03:31 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


My Outback + mountain bike works great in southern Utah


Feb 02, 2017 at 06:08 AM
rw11
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


VW 4x4 camper van is called a Syncro Westy - about $60,000+ and they are a maintenance hog




Feb 02, 2017 at 06:52 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Jayco Seneca with a twenty foot trailer containing a smart car and a Polaris ranger


Feb 02, 2017 at 11:03 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


I like to use a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara in southern Utah. Rugged Rentals in SLC is an excellent place to rent stuff like this. Although I used a Fiat 500 a couple of years ago; cramped my off-road style, but it's a peach otherwise. I used a rental Cherokee in and around Rocky Mountain NP a couple of years ago. I plan to either borrow a 4x4 half-ton or rent another Saraha for my next off-road trip in Capital Reef NP.

Around here, I generally use my own vehicle; was a Toyota Yaris, now is a Prius C. They hold up pretty good. I took the Yaris to Labrador & back a couple of years ago. Once we left the pavement behind, it was about the only thing smaller than a half-ton truck.



Feb 02, 2017 at 02:46 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


I have a 2000 Toyota Tundra TRD which came with some off road stuff. I added good tires and a bed in the back. I can stay out for several days, do places like the white rim trail and sleep comfortably.





At Toraweap









Feb 02, 2017 at 05:42 PM
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