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Curious to hear opinions about constraints and limitations of overlanding with an FJ. Thinking of doing this mostly with my wife, but may bring my 2 girls on some trips.
 

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We did a trip with a guy, wife and two daughters. He had a heavily modified Ford Excursion to haul all of the stuff. I remember a 50-gallon drum for water, a propane water heater, a shower enclosure, a portable toilet with enclosure, multiple coolers, a cooking station...

When my wife and dogs go on a three-day trip, the tent, sleeping bags, pads, cooler, chairs are all on top. Some friends are experimenting with small trailers for overlanding.

As far as the capabilities of the FJ, the relatively short wheelbase, high clearance, etc. makes it a great vehicle.
 

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A LOT depends on your ability to pack, because the FJ fills up fast. The roof rack can handle more than any other vehicle I have had, so load it up. If you intend to go with wife and daughters, I think you will require a trailer, even if you are camping in a standard tent. I have trouble loading out for two with all my recovery gear and toolkit/spares. Freezer/coolers eat up a lot of the limited interior space.

I only ever met a few females who could truly pack light. Makeup alone can get out of hand...LOL

If you have to pack water for where you are going, definitely need a trailer.

Maybe you and the bride can do it once you decide how to handle the rear, because that hump in the middle makes FJ's "unsleepable" for most people. But with 4, you surely will want a trailer rig.

And an RTT on trailer and FJ might make it pretty decent camping for 4.
 

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Great vehicle. You and the dog hop in and go. Put the wife and kids up in a hotel and call it money ahead.
I don't see any way for 4 people plus gear to make the trip unless you have a trailer like zero.
You and your wife. Yes. If she enjoys it and understands the limitations.
OR
Just get 2 FJ's, RTT'S with awnings, enclosed showers, etc. and a trailer behind each. You won't have to worry about it. You will be so broke they will just sit in the driveway. I kid, but things do add up fast.
Good luck. FJ's are fun. They just have limitations with size/storage for some applications and addressing them can get pricey.
 

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There's too little room for more than 2 people and gear. It has poor range because of the 19 gallon tank and ~17 mpg. The suicide doors complicate access to anything in the middle of the vehicle. The horizontally-opening rear door exposes everything in the rear to the elements. Visibility from the interior is exceedingly limited. Even the newest one is 6 years old.

That said, I love mine. :cool:
 

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There's too little room for more than 2 people and gear. It has poor range because of the 19 gallon tank and ~17 mpg. The suicide doors complicate access to anything in the middle of the vehicle. The horizontally-opening rear door exposes everything in the rear to the elements. Visibility from the interior is exceedingly limited. Even the newest one is 6 years old.

That said, I love mine. :cool:
Kevin, my FJ has a 26 gallon capacity with the roof rack gas tank I popped on. As I drive my F250 with a gooseneck, the visibility is not a thing with a couple of fisheye mirrors stuck on, or cameras for those who canot use mirrors well.
You're right about the rear door, but having owned a Cherokee with the hatch, when you open that it pours water all over you in the rain if your feet and into the back if are standing under it. I think there's just no good way to open the backend of anything and not get wetness.

Agree completely with too little room for more than 2 humans, unless they are kidlings...

Like you, it didn't stop me from buying and keeping mine since Jan '07!
 

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I often drive with 3 of us in the FJ. It's fairly comfortable and should be fine if you're two daughters are younger. If they're older/taller, it'll get cramped quick. I often find my compact duffle and everyone else's things in the unoccupied rear seat. It was mostly my friend's things because they decided to bring a 60L bag (grossly overpacked).

Once you go more often, you'll realize you over pack 90% of the time and gear will eventually reduce.

A good rule if it's hot out. 1 Gal of water per person each day. You may not even use it all but better safe than sorry. In Canyonlands, UT, it reached highs of 105+° and Death Valley gets to 115+°. Still figuring out my own setup but I've completed several week long expeditions fairly easy.

Limitless on where you can make your FJ go but how far is different factor. If overlanding eventually becomes your thing, an auxiliary tank in the rear is a good addition for the amount of gas and convenience it provides to your trip. And if budget is a concern, an external can carrier is a good idea. Remember you don't really need much to camp and enjoy the outdoors.
 

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Is the FJ "Ideal"? No way!

But is it do-able? Definitely!

I have 2 girls (1yo and 3yo) and we've done multiple 3-4 days camping/overlanding/desert trips. Packing can be difficult but as mentioned, a roof rack (i have a Front Runner) helps a LOT! On one trip we loaded up 3 plano boxes on the roof and barely had anything inside of the truck. On another trip we kept the roof mostly naked but used a hitch cargo carrier and filled up the trunk. We've done enough trip now that I'm pretty sure we can probably keep one small box on the roof and just fill up the trunk only now. After you do a few trip, you'll realized how much stuff you bring that you don't actually need. With small kids we really didn't need camp chairs since the kids were constantly out running around and we barely had a change to sit our butts down. And although the FJ doesn't have a tailgate, you can still sit and camp out in the back of the FJ. Also was a two burner stove necessary? Not at all, we now bring a single burner stove (or even a jetboil) unless we're camping with other people. I also use to always carry 2-3 little one lb propane tank just in case and never had to use more than one so now I only carry one (or a 5lb tank if we're running the heater). We also use to pack WAY too much clothes and now we pack just enough, we always thought we would change and "shower" everyday but honestly, you're going to be too lazy/tired/or just dont give a damn. I wear the same pants all trip long now and just change my shirts. Most of the times before we would come back with a full duffel full of clothes, now we dont. There's so much that does NOT need to be packed and at least for us, we're never really THAT far away from civilization. If we desperately needed anything, there's probably a walmart an hour away at most. And if things are really that bad (hasn't happened to us yet), you could just find some crappy hotel for the night somewhere.

Long story short, we've done a ton of trips with my wife and two little kids with the FJ just fine and we've always over packed. We've gotten to the point now where we can go on a 3-4 day trip and not really pack that much. Also remember, you dont need a cooler/fridge with 3-4 days worth of food, if you're on the move, just bring enough food for a day or two and then hit up a market to replenish, we use to have the mindset where we HAD to have all our foods/meals planned out and packed with us on day one, you really dont. And we use to feel the need to have "real" meals all the time that required cutting/prepping/cookinig/cleaning/etc. Honestly, backpacking/freeze dried meals are pretty damn good now! Stuff from mountain house, tasty bites, and good go-to are actually pretty damn good and all you need to do is heat water (dont need a double burner stove, a sink basin, pots/pans, sponges, soap, plates, bowls, etc.) Keep it simple, get out there, have fun. Dont think you need all the fancy, nice, bulky stuff you seen in all those IG posts.
 
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