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Vehicles you use for photo trips
  
 
Eric Larsen
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p.5 #1 · p.5 #1 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


drobertfranz wrote:
Here's my current rig in the wild.. Used to tow a 26' trailer. This gets me into more backcountry locations and I can often stay right where I want to be photographing and is a bit more economical than towing.


What model camper top is that? And the truck model?

Thanks! Love the pop-tops...



Mar 31, 2017 at 02:04 AM
Eric Larsen
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p.5 #2 · p.5 #2 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


rsk7 wrote:
My 1994 Toyota SR-5 XtraCab. Still chugging along but the engine is starting to have some issues. Not sure if it is worth fixing as the estimated costs exceed Kelly Blue book. It is still running so my current plan is to run it with just basic service until I get stuck on some back road somewhere and wish I had shelled out the cash to fix it properly.


That rig looks like to be in good enough shape to warrant another engine...no?

You can save a LOT of coin (more lenses!) keeping the old trusty trucks going...



Mar 31, 2017 at 02:07 AM
drobertfranz
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p.5 #3 · p.5 #3 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Eric Larsen wrote:
What model camper top is that? And the truck model?

Thanks! Love the pop-tops...


Truck is Ford F150 supercrew with 3.5L ecoboost. Beast of an engine! Pop is Palomino Backpack edition SS550. Fits in 6 1/.2 box perfectly. Full queen bed going front to back not sideways like most. Leaving Tuesday with this rig for 2 weeks in Utah! Another picture from the driveway of it...








Mar 31, 2017 at 03:09 PM
Eric Larsen
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p.5 #4 · p.5 #4 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


drobertfranz wrote:
Truck is Ford F150 supercrew with 3.5L ecoboost. Beast of an engine! Pop is Palomino Backpack edition SS550. Fits in 6 1/.2 box perfectly. Full queen bed going front to back not sideways like most. Leaving Tuesday with this rig for 2 weeks in Utah! Another picture from the driveway of it...


That's really nice, Dro. I find a truck to be a good off road vehicle and I really like those collapsing camper tops. I'll have to look into that as I approach retirement in a couple of years.

Thanks for sharing those images and more (of it in action) would be great!




Apr 01, 2017 at 01:37 AM
2062.5
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p.5 #5 · p.5 #5 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Toyota Tundra with a Four Wheel Camper Grandby. The Tundra came first and the Grandby was up for sale locally some time later. Eventually Maybe I'll switch to a 3/4 ton extended cab with an 8 foot bed but so far this combo has taken me everyplace I've wanted to go and more importantly brought me home again :-)



Along the White Rim Trail, Murphy's Hogback CG.



Apr 20, 2017 at 11:16 PM
wonderer
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p.5 #6 · p.5 #6 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Well, I bought my MINI in 2008 and my first DSLR in 2012. Not sure I'd necessarily choose the same vehicle for photo soirees today, only because it's getting a little tight for my camera gear. Travel-wise though, I love the MINI. Backroads are a joy, the twistier the better. Off-road, not so much. It took me a long time to venture onto the dirt roads, but with my current inclination toward photographing waterfowl, they certainly go with the territory. Motor on!








Apr 21, 2017 at 11:13 AM
Crashton
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p.5 #7 · p.5 #7 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


This is my photo car. In a year or two I plan to move to a Subaru for a bit more room & gravel road ground clearance.






May 04, 2017 at 08:02 PM
Flowernut
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p.5 #8 · p.5 #8 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


2062.5 wrote:

Toyota Tundra with a Four Wheel Camper Grandby. The Tundra came first and the Grandby was up for sale locally some time later. Eventually Maybe I'll switch to a 3/4 ton extended cab with an 8 foot bed but so far this combo has taken me everyplace I've wanted to go and more importantly brought me home again :-)

https://photos.smugmug.com/Phone/i-q4qHR8Z/0/M/20170403_171413-L.jpg


Along the White Rim Trail, Murphy's Hogback CG.


I've a f-350 8ft bed extended cab with a hallmark camper. Love it for out west. Overkill in the east.




May 06, 2017 at 12:20 AM
Eric Larsen
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p.5 #9 · p.5 #9 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Crashton wrote:
This is my photo car. In a year or two I plan to move to a Subaru for a bit more room & gravel road ground clearance.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Cars/Shultz-the-GTI/i-6jF4f5f/0/65fdb18a/M/eDSC_4247-M.jpg



Man, that's a sweet GTI. I'm a TDI guy but gush over these when I see them. Yeah, Subie would do it...

I lifted my Golf TDI, put a steel skid plate under it. It now is a pretty good reach vehicle. Won't go into the really rough stuff (I have a Trooper for that) but when going up the Olympic Peninsula, the fuel mileage is great.



May 08, 2017 at 03:46 AM
Eric Larsen
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p.5 #10 · p.5 #10 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Flowernut wrote:
I've a f-350 8ft bed extended cab with a hallmark camper. Love it for out west. Overkill in the east.



Do you ever have clearance issues off road... or issues with sway on uneven primitive roads?



May 08, 2017 at 03:47 AM
 

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Crashton
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p.5 #11 · p.5 #11 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Eric Larsen wrote:
Man, that's a sweet GTI. I'm a TDI guy but gush over these when I see them. Yeah, Subie would do it...

I lifted my Golf TDI, put a steel skid plate under it. It now is a pretty good reach vehicle. Won't go into the really rough stuff (I have a Trooper for that) but when going up the Olympic Peninsula, the fuel mileage is great.


I really love my GTI. I hadn't thought about raising it, but I did go from an 18" wheel to a 17" one to gain some sidewall & hopefully not bend rims. I like Subaru's, but they are so slow. The GTI has really spoiled me, it's fast & corners like it is on rails.

Lately I've been looking at VW Golf Alltracks. They have the 1.8 turbo, more ground clearance & a very nice interior. Lots of test drives in my future.




May 08, 2017 at 01:39 PM
Flowernut
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p.5 #12 · p.5 #12 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


Eric Larsen wrote:
Do you ever have clearance issues off road... or issues with sway on uneven primitive roads?


Not sure what you mean by uneven primitive roads. One ton trucks are work vehicles for farmers and construction not the mall crawlers for suburban cowboys that most 1/2 tons are. The f-350 stock sits high enough (a lot more clearance than a 1/2 ton) that I installed amf electric running boards that go up and down automatically when you open the door. It is difficult to get in and out of without running boards (get retractable as fixed reduce your clearance). Clearance has not been a problem (probably can get over anything you can get over with a stock wrangler non-rubicon unlimited jeep) so far and if clearance was a problem I would think it will be with departure and break over. Wind dam removed. Stock it is on 33" tires. I believe you could put the metric equivalent of 35" with same load rating on it without lifting but I'd be cautious as I'm not sure from what I've read. Lift kits are available which I would not ever put in. I had a 4wheel camper hawk on a 1/2 ton chevy (great for back east. needs helper springs or air bags) and the sway was bad on 4wd roads out west. the 1 ton is much more solid as far as sway - no helper springs required. I've not had it on what I consider true 4wd jeep roads (ie dirt roads that require high clearance and 4wd not just gravel roads passable with 2wd) much as I typically use it to flat tow a AEV modified Jeep. The truck should have no problem on something like the White rim trail from the parts of it i've been over and from the trail rating. It is something I plan to do. I'm using BFG KO tires with 4wd, rear lockers and arb front locker (front is probably overkill). Rarely need lockers (mainly mud).

I do a good bit of jeeping in the san juans. Length is going to be the biggest issue getting around switch backs not getting over things. Width will also be a problem on trails like bullion king. Saw a guy up there with the smallest 4 wheel camper on a tacoma who lives in ouray. For short overnight trips in that area it may be the ideal combination. Down side is that when making a month long trip to the Canadian rockies, that Toyota combination would be cramped. Hence that is why I have what I have now. If I'm going to some place like bullion king, take the jeep and tent camp. American Basin, take the truck. Going to Moab for the week, take both. Make sure things are tied down well inside the camper as things will get shook up even without sway. Hope that helps.





Edited on May 23, 2017 at 03:12 PM · View previous versions



May 08, 2017 at 03:45 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.5 #13 · p.5 #13 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


When the pavement ends, I prefer my "fatty" and a backpack.




  NIKON D3    35mm    f/3.5    1/3200s    200 ISO    -0.7 EV  




May 21, 2017 at 11:26 AM
Trek_of_Joy
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p.5 #14 · p.5 #14 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


My two last photo vehicles were a Honda Element and my favorite - a 05 Mitsubishi Montero Limited. The Monty had three rows and the rear two were easy to remove or just fold flat, tons of space, a huge sunroof, a large greenhouse so you could see everything around, and it was nothing short of amazing offload with a few easy mods. Its all independent suspension - but it had a rear locker and locking central diff along with some pretty amazing traction control systems that turned a lot of heads in the backcountry.

Its incredibly quiet/comfy on pavement and super smooth in the dirt. I'm 6'2" and the back easily sleeps me and my wife comfortably along with hauling all our gear including kayaks and mountain bikes. You can put a platform on top stand on the roof rack with your tripod or use a rooftop tent if so inclined. It makes a great overland vehicle that's also a nice daily driver. The back cargo area can swallow all my photo gear with tons of room to spare no matter what I'm doing.

Mitsubishi went the luxe-SUV route with the Gen 3 (01-06) Montero - targeting Range Rover and the Land Cruiser - before the current wave of car jewelry luxury SUV's, so it was way ahead of its time. But much like Hyundai's luxury cars - people just didn't buy them because they weren't a premium brand, so Mitsubishi pulled the plug in the U.S. after the 2006 model year. The platform still exists in the rest of the world as the Pajero/Shogun - wish they'd bring it back to the U.S. My Monty was built similar to this one which served as a template for me:

http://corneringconsciousness.blogspot.in/p/the-montero-build.html

I'm planning on getting another when I return from a year of traveling around the world. I think I'm going to modernize it a bit this time by removing the stock stereo, relocating the HVAC controls and fabbing an iPad mount so I can have a killer trail map/navigation/entertainment system. If I wanted something smaller, I'd probably get a Subaru, great cars that are surprisingly good in the dirt - again with a few light mods.

Edited on May 21, 2017 at 02:18 PM · View previous versions



May 21, 2017 at 12:16 PM
Daniel Bliss
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p.5 #15 · p.5 #15 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


rsk7 wrote:
My 1994 Toyota SR-5 XtraCab. Still chugging along but the engine is starting to have some issues. Not sure if it is worth fixing as the estimated costs exceed Kelly Blue book. It is still running so my current plan is to run it with just basic service until I get stuck on some back road somewhere and wish I had shelled out the cash to fix it properly.


I don't see any rust, so that should surely change the equation a little. Seriously, if there aren't any other major looming issues and there's still time to save the engine, you ought to get it done now. A Toyota truck of that era without serious rust is a heck of an asset.



May 21, 2017 at 12:32 PM
Daniel Smith
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p.5 #16 · p.5 #16 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


VW diesel pickup with camper shell. Long enough for me to sleep in. 48-52mpg and long ago paid for. Insurance is not high. Have taken these and diesel Rabbits into and out of Death Valley for a long time now, including to the Racetrack over Hunter Mountain and the back way from Big Pine. Always carry two spare tires. A 15 gallon fuel tank makes for a few miles before having to fill again. Would love a newer one with the TDI diesel but VW won't bring them into the US. Front wheel drive is nice to have and taller tires work well for a bit more ground clearance. Studded snows in winter. A winch to mount front or rear helps if I get stuck.

Works well for most things and if I need more I'll use the Ford F150 SuperCrew 4x4. That is mainly for emergencies and when friends visit.




May 21, 2017 at 01:41 PM
Trek_of_Joy
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p.5 #17 · p.5 #17 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


rsk7 wrote:
My 1994 Toyota SR-5 XtraCab. Still chugging along but the engine is starting to have some issues. Not sure if it is worth fixing as the estimated costs exceed Kelly Blue book. It is still running so my current plan is to run it with just basic service until I get stuck on some back road somewhere and wish I had shelled out the cash to fix it properly.


I helped a friend swap one of those a few years back, bought a full motor off craigslist for $600 from someone parting a wrecked truck. Rent an engine hoist from your local tool supply rental house, take a couple extra days off over a long holiday weekend and swap that thing out! Seriously though, if you take it slow its not that difficult, just lots of meticulous labeling/organization of everything that comes off and putting everything back in the right steps. Plus you can do big maintenance items beforehand like fuel pump, alternator, timing chain, cleaning heads, gasket replacement and so on without digging into the engine bay and have a mechanically new truck on the back end. Take a video of it running before yanking it, and sell the old engine to recoup costs after the swap. I bet you could get a good chunk of what you spend back.

Major repairs to any mass market vehicle more than 20 years old will likely exceed KBB, but you still see people that have done a lot of maintenance asking $5k+ for rust-free Toy's like yours. I was looking at early 90's Nissan's and Toy's not too long ago thinking I'd do one as a fun project - good ones were $4-5k. I was surprised. Never could find one in my price range that wasn't completely trashed so that idea got shelved. Your truck looks nicer than a lot I looked at. I had a 91 4x4 I drove for years that was later replaced by a 96 Tacoma, both were great trucks, but life outgrew regular cab compacts.

Good Luck

Chris



May 21, 2017 at 02:43 PM
elkhornsun
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p.5 #18 · p.5 #18 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


EB-1 wrote:
5 gears is a bit ridiculous, especially on roads with 80 MPH limits.
I got better mileage with an Escalade and it's Gen V LS engine.

EBH


So Mercedes and Ram and GM and Ford going to 8-speed transmissions to improve fuel economy is really stupid and you are the smart one? The more gears the lower the horsepower and torque needed to move a vehicle down the road.

I had a Toyota 4WD truck with the 4-speed gearbox and at 65 MPH it was pushing 5,000 RPM/s and when my next Toyota had a 5-speed transmission the 5th gear was an overdrive gear that reduced the RPM's by 20%. My Chevy Tahoe had a 4 speed and 4th was an overdrive gear and my current truck with 6 speeds has two overdrive gears.

By your logic the car companies should have stayed with the 2-speed automatics and not complicated things for drivers. Works for drag racers so why not for everyone else?



May 23, 2017 at 11:16 PM
EB-1
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p.5 #19 · p.5 #19 · Vehicles you use for photo trips


EB-1 wrote:
5 gears is a bit ridiculous, especially on roads with 80 MPH limits.
I got better mileage with an Escalade and it's Gen V LS engine.

EBH

elkhornsun wrote:
So Mercedes and Ram and GM and Ford going to 8-speed transmissions to improve fuel economy is really stupid and you are the smart one? The more gears the lower the horsepower and torque needed to move a vehicle down the road.

I had a Toyota 4WD truck with the 4-speed gearbox and at 65 MPH it was pushing 5,000 RPM/s and when my next Toyota had a 5-speed transmission the 5th gear was an overdrive gear that reduced the RPM's by 20%. My Chevy Tahoe had a 4 speed and 4th was an overdrive gear and my current truck
...Show more

Not at all. I was complaining that 5 speeds is not enough at higher speeds. The Escalade has 8 speeds, which is better.

EBH



May 24, 2017 at 02:09 AM
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