Originally Posted by daveb
That might be true but a large vehicle can be difficult to extract in the case of a breakdown. That always haunts me. A Jeep or a Toyota would be easier to haul out. I've also ran into height/width issues on some trails with my van. So far I've felt my van is a good match of off road capability & comfortable livable space but its not the perfect solution. With all the variables it just matters where you want to go and the size of living quarters you're willing to put up with. IIRC the UJoint XP was on a E-350 cutaway. The foot print was as large as a SMB.
I would Posit that a vehicle that is working within its weight class will be far more reliable than a smaller vehicle that is far exceeding its capacity.
When packed to support two people for a month long trip, The difference between my heavily modified land rover and my E350 4x4 diesel is about 2000lbs.
My rover had a max payload of about 1000 lbs, which we more than doubled. the truck weighed 4300lbs stock, weighed 6500lbs loaded.
My van has a payload of 4400lbs, which we are under by 1000lbs.
Fully loaded and 4x4, It weighs Just under 9000lbs.
We ran the piss out of the rover for many many miles, I know the van will do the same stuff, just more reliably.
Recovery difficulty depends a lot on the damage sustained. Its my opinion that a catastrophic drivetrain failure will happen much sooner on a smaller truck that is overloaded. Axleshaft breakage, wheel bearing failure, etc. moving a truck that doesnt roll really sucks. If youve opened up a ford sterling axle, youll agree breakage is an unlikely prospect.