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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 8:51 pm 
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Joined: April 11th, 2009, 9:43 am
Posts: 433
Location: Central Maine--Sheepscot Watershed
I drove a Subaru Forester (3 of them, actually) for many years, and never wished for more offroad capability. I do hundreds and hundreds of miles per year on Maine logging roads.

The Forester has almost as much ground clearance as a real 4WD truck, and the AWD was always plenty of traction.

I've recently upgraded to a Nissan 4WD truck. The one thing the truck has that the Subaru didn't is a low range 4WD gear, which gives you some place to go if you get stuck. I never needed it on the Subaru, but I'd have been screwed if I did.

For summer use, the Subaru was fine. The truck will give me more confidence for spring and fall trips, and I won't worry so much about getting snowed in during hunting season.


That said, I'd still be driving the Subaru and not looking back if it hadn't blown a head gasket.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 10:02 pm 
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Joined: August 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Sunny Wasaga Beach
Depends on where you want to canoe I guess. Here in S. Ont there are lots of routes accessible with a normal 2 wheel drive car. I've used a Honda Accord and a Corolla as well as others. If your old beater can make it up the highways, it'll make it to the put-in.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 7:01 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 7305
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
I don't think I would get a vehicle mainly for negotiating logging roads on a once or twice a year basis.

But mine is every day. Two Foresters one with 100,000 km one with 270,000 km and the Tundra with 450,000 km. The newer Forester gets 30 mpg and still does not get stuck.

I live on a dirt road. Right now it is a logging road. The Tundra is our usual canoe vehicle. Though 2wd its been a godsend on long drives..good ride..not so great mileage, comfortable and we don't have to live amongst our gear.

Day to day driving is where the expense builds so we use the more economical cars for running around and the truck is on vacation then.

Also the winter day to day possibility of negotiating snow filled roads makes good ground clearance a must. We are too cheap to call the snowplow unless really necessary..over a 20 cm or s. That is a service that we have to pay for..no municipal services here.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 7:48 am 
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Joined: December 15th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 400
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Ghost wrote:
scoops wrote:
If I could get a pic from I Photo it would show a 2008 Matrix with 2 canoes on the roof, 2x2's extending the Yak rack. Tight space wise but it can be done by putting gear up inside the boats probably exceeding the load rating of the racks and roof creating dents where the feet of the rack rest on the roof. Gas mileage gets real lousy with two boats on board( have had as low as 375 km vs normal of 525 km per tank). Huge advantage of this wagon is that the hatch window opens separately from the hatch, really handy with boats on the roof. Love it but next one will be a Tacoma.


It was climbing out of a gully with my mom's 4x4 Pontiac Vibe (GM's matrix) that made me mention the 4x4 advantage for steep climbs. It's like having an "easy" button. Not a bad car for the money.


I have a front wheel drive 05 Vibe and I quite like it. The back was designed for carrying cargo and that was the main selling point for me (plus fuel economy) but the factory installed roof rack sucks. Drove up Red Squirrel Road with no difficulty earlier this year, but the drive into the parking lot at Ferguson Bay was rough. Some more ground clearance would have been nice. I hit bottom once or twice and I think I damaged my exhaust as I had to get it fixed when I got home. But your right about the effect of a canoe on top. A kayak is not bad as it's more streamlined, but a canoe is like driving with a drag chute out the back. Really sluggish.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 8:23 am 
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Joined: July 16th, 2006, 8:59 pm
Posts: 696
Location: Now in Sudbury
I could tell you where I've driven my overloaded Pontiac Wave, but it's still under warranty, so I won't.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 10:03 am 
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Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 5263
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
The worst time to get bogged down in this area is about mid-April (aka mud April) when the rivers open up and the ice is going off. In some places the top layer of dirt thaws out with the ground still frozen underneath and since the water can't drain down through the frozen layer, it creates loose, wheel-spinning glop. Very messy to get out of.

4WD also helps driving through snow... and in a truck on icy roads 4WD is more secure since the front wheels have power and more traction to keep going straight on the road. In 2WD, a truck tends to fishtail with the rear wheels spinning out more. It's those days when there's black ice and cars skidding off into the ditch that makes the added grip with all four wheels working worth it.

My Ranger also has a cap with canoe racks although I've not fixed it up like Mike described... there is a rubber mat on the floor (pebbled rubber on the underside) which is soft to begin with and adding a thermarest and a pillow makes it comfortable enough to sleep in.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 10:06 am 
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Joined: June 26th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 771
Location: scarborugh, Ontario canada
I've had a few "beater" daily drivers, my last one was the faithful 93 plymouth sundance, and now an 03 toyota echo. In both cases the first thing I did was get a set of good quality lockable roof racks, and changed the suspension with heavy duty cargo coils and shocks. Gave me great clearance and I could load up without bottoming out!
jim
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my brother in law is still driving the sundance on his dairy farm :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 10:58 am 
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Joined: August 26th, 2003, 2:07 pm
Posts: 940
I've tried just about everything for a canoe tripping vehicle: 4x4 pick ups, SUVs, small cars...
For years, my Toyota Corolla was my trusty canoe vehicle.
Then, as my trips increased in frequency and difficulty, I found some of the roads I was traveling on were a little more than a Corolla was made for... and I definitely didn't want to go back to a big 4x4 truck...

My compromise was a Toyota Rav4 - it's got all the benefits of the Corolla, with the extra ground clearance and AWD capabilities that I need.

Best of both worlds.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 28th, 2011, 8:44 pm 
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Joined: February 21st, 2006, 6:20 pm
Posts: 249
Minivans work extremely well on most dirt roads. That said I spent a lot of time on loggonigb roads with a ford escort. it worked very well. Look for good place to put your tie downs. I woukld think A tercel is a bit short and also find hatchbacks work better. But any car will do fine with a canoe. It's the interior that can be a problem

Ken


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 29th, 2011, 6:38 am 
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Joined: January 27th, 2009, 7:44 am
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Location: Ontario
Tercels work just fine for canoeing trips most places. I've taken mine all over the place, although not seriously nasty bush-roads, cos it doesn't have the ground clearance. It's a great workhorse of a car. Great mileage too, even with the canoe on top. :)

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 29th, 2011, 8:06 am 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 490
Location: South Frontenac Twsp., ON
I've only ever owned one car, a Saturn SL1 - great car, but only ever used for commuting to work.

Cars, 'in general', just aren't utilitarian enough for my interests and lifestyle.

I've had a continuous stream of trucks and SUV's over the years and all have been substantially better at providing me with the storage volume, power & strength, versatility and capability than I imagine any car would have been in any conditions that I have used them under.

Thinking about it now and remembering the trips I've been on and the expectations that I demand of a vehicle I honestly can't think of any car that is on the market now that would allow me to replace what a truck does for me.

The only, non truck vehicle, other than the Saturn that I owned that was capable, was a full sized 3/4 ton GMC van. It had great interior storage and good hauling characteristics.

....... all just opinions, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 29th, 2011, 10:45 am 
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Joined: October 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1152
Location: seattle, Washington USA
For years, my canoe vehicle was an Astro Cargo Van. It had decent ground clearance and shelves for gear. Several years ago I got tired of spending money on gas and having to hoist the canoes on the top of the Astro, so I bought a used Corolla wagon. Still enough room for gear, though it gets tight, and will haul two canoes side by side, or three stacked. As far as ground clearance, it isn't as good as the Astro, but there is an aspect that others have not posted. For years, A friend and I would take his family's '62 Sprite on climbing trips. We have a lot of rough, steep roads here in Washington. The Sprite did fine, even though it had minimal ground clearance, and was often faster on those roads than a truck. The reason is that with a small car(short and narrow) you can negotiate large potholes and bumps by avoiding them. As well, because in the case of the Sprite, or my Toyota, effective ground clearance is better than the measurements would indicate because the wheels are closer together.


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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 29th, 2011, 2:42 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2005, 2:27 pm
Posts: 1359
Location: Saskatoon
Oh, we do love our canoe vehicles, and we love to talk about them!

A search here will bring up several extensive discussions on the same subject.

Here's a 16 page discussion: http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=11527&hilit=canoe+vehicle :wink:

This one was my favourite canoe tripping car:
Image

Don't try this at home:
Image

Bryan

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 29th, 2011, 5:48 pm 
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Joined: January 20th, 2003, 7:00 pm
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Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
pawistik wrote:
Don't try this at home:
Image

Bryan


Do a little road sailing with that setup? :o

You wouldn't believe the roads that an '86 Cutlass travelled and survived. Don't know what we were thinking. :doh:

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of vehicle to get for canoeing
PostPosted: August 29th, 2011, 6:27 pm 
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Joined: June 9th, 2005, 2:27 pm
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Location: Saskatoon
Barbara wrote:
Do a little road sailing with that setup? :o


That was strictly from point A to point B within the same city, not open prairie highway. And it's why I now have a trailer (see here).
B.

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