Hello roadtrippers! I'm a first time poster to this forum and hoping you'll give a newbie your best advice. My fiancee and I are planning a 6 month trip from Vancouver Canada all the way down to Patagonia starting in January 2013. Along the way we're planning to do some interesting things in out of the way places helping off the grid communities power up schools and clinics with renewables.
On our journey we plan to live in a camper towed behind a small diesel pickup. I'm doing my research on what gear we'll want for this trip and hoping that this community with it's experience and millions of miles under the tires can steer us in the right direction.
While looking at potential used pickups my criteria are: fuel economy, reliability, capacity to tow a camper, and get where it needs to go in inclement conditions.
My first thoughts on this subject are guided by my time in Afghanistan with the US Army where I encountered my three first-look pickup trucks.
The first of these trucks is the Diesel Ford ranger sports with the extended cab. We supply the Afghan National Army with the trucks and I was shocked to learn that unlike most of the Ford pickups I'd seen in the states, these guys are damn near bullet proof and get ridiculously good mileage! I even planned to buy one when I got back... until I learned that Ford won't sell them in the states. As it turns out however you can get them in Canada which happens to be where we're planning to start our trip!
The second truck that I'm considering is the Toyota HiLux. This truck is the one most often used by actual Afghans in the mountains and as far as I could tell it takes a licking and keeps on going no questions asked. Another of the really appealing things about this truck is that it looks as though parts are easily found globally and it's not too difficult to wrench on even by non-mechanic types like my self.
The third and last truck I'm considering is the Nissan Hardbody. I've seen these little trucks in Afghanistan and a lot of other places around the world. It seems reliable and I know that it was manufactured in South America for a long time so I assume it wouldn't be too much trouble to get parts for and fix if necessary.
Please share your thoughts on the trucks I'm considering or any others you think I should take a look at as we plan our trip. Hope you're having a great year and wish you all happy trails in the new year!