SUV or truck: which vehicle to purchase for a daily commute and weekend warrior fishing & camping adventures with the family? We recently received this question from Rick J. in Texas.
Rick J. writes:
“During the work week, I commute 40 miles round trip in city traffic to work. I have 3 teen & preteen age kids and we like to camp, hunt and fish on the weekends. My wife hates me borrowing ‘her’ minivan to haul wet and muddy outdoor gear.
I’m trying to avoid the ‘family hauler’ crossover route. I realize it might make sense for me, I just haven’t found one that feels “rugged” enough for my inner weekend adventurer. I want something that is capable of driving in soft sand and mud to get to coastal fishing spots, can carry at least 4 passengers and a lot of outdoor gear including 6’-7’ long fishing rods, but is also comfortable to drive on the daily commute and occasional road trip. I don’t have a heavy trailer to tow, but would like to be able to haul bikes and a fishing kayak or two. I like pickup trucks, but I’m also concerned about protecting expensive gear (rods & guns) from the elements and theft.
I’m looking to spend around $40k, and I’m open to buying a used vehicle.”
Considering that you have wet and/or dirty camping gear, I would recommend a pickup truck with a tonneau cover or a truck topper in the back. Separate the people from the gear, but keep the gear protected. Since you are using the vehicle for a 40 mile commute, it also must be as efficient as possible. Since you have three grown kids, then a midsize truck may be out of the question. Currently, the most efficient full-size trucks are the Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost V6 or a Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3L V8. This is based on our testing at TFLtruck.
What do you guys think? What vehicle should Rick get for a solid fishing/camping rig on the Texas coast?
If you want to see some accessories for a pickup truck that is setup as a fishing rig, then this Nissan Titan XD is it. Check out all of the additional equipment.
Also, here is our recent SUV vs truck off-road comparison review from Moab, Utah.