Not quite true...
Posted by hank jr on November 29, 2002 at 20:30:36:
In Reply to: Re: Best 4X4 for DV type areas? posted by chahwalla on November 28, 2002 at 22:16:31:
... Chawala, "that any 4x4 can go anywhere." The trails you mentioned you took your rigs through aren't technically challenging at all, compared to other roads in Death Valley, not to mention the rest of the western U.S.
I have been over Echo Canyon all the way through to Nevada many times, and would guarantee that a stock suburban would technically make it over the "waterfall" obstacle, but with stock ground clearance and LT265 tires, you would sustain body damage by catching your diver side rocker panel. I have always taken a long wheelbase vehicle over that trail, one of the roughest in the park, without damage, but I have a lift, larger tires, and agressive articulation.
I think a suburban would be great for any serious off roader, but you can't take a stock suburban the same places you could take say, a stock Jeep Wrangler. If a suburban has larger tires, a lift, locking differential, etc, it could go just about anywhere. But on truly rough roads, in Death Valley and beyond, those of us with wider vehicles come dangerously close to rocker panels, doors, and such at places a skinny jeep could squeeze by with inches on each side to play with. On most of my four wheeling excursions, a stock suburban would've beat the heck out of the rear bumper, because they don't have good departure angles without a lift. I have never had any problems fitting through very narrow places in my full size pickup, but sometimes "fitting" means driving over things, which means my rocker panels would have suffered with stock ground clearance. Hummers, with similar suburban widths and wheelbases, have 37 inch tires and 16 inches of ground clearance, for example.
I agree, when buying a 4x4 get something you really do want. But, know that you may need to make some modifications to fully "enjoy" the 4x4 without having to schedule appointments at the body shop, if your going to do serious off roading.