Which design is better for the non-rock climber as an Overlanding Vehicle, the 4x4 or 6x6? An expert weighed in

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Reworked LMTV

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FYI According to the owner of Unicat, based in Germany, the 6x6 is generally the preferred design. He went so far as to say that many 4x4 vehicles when fully loaded with the camper and supplies are over the weight design of the truck. If you have not seen these live videos, it is worth a look. Lots of good info. This guy's depth of knowledge is amazing.
 

Ambot

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This discussion caused me to switch to a 6x6 for my overland truck from Acela. Thomas has been very generous with his time and talent, it’s impossible to ignore it, mmm hmmm yes (as germans do).
 

coachgeo

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can understand the thinking 6x6 is better for a professional builder; who is building for non professional adventurers..... He knows all to well their desires will grow quick enough to get too close to the weight limit.

Now if he was building for a person who knows you got to watch weight in the build..... he might feel different.
 

Reworked LMTV

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FYI According to the owner of Unicat, based in Germany, the 6x6 is generally the preferred design

This does not mean 'all". Did you watch the video?
 

Reworked LMTV

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Can I assume that you are a professional adventurer? I did a Google search for the definition of "professional adventurer". Not much came up, but this did come up:

 

coachgeo

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Can I assume that you are a professional adventurer? I did a Google search for the definition of "professional adventurer". Not much came up, but this did come up:

good point... "professional" is wrong word. "experienced" would be better word. No not talking about myself...... only point is ..... there is plenty of very experienced adventurers who built very amazing rigs without 6x6.......but that experience lends to wiser choices about weight in a build compared to someone not expereinced. Likely a professional builder/seller in today's climate ... esp. if their clientele desires high end cla$$ trucks... has to deal with a good margin of folk whom do not have the experience to make wise choices thusly often do not..... so in that scenario it makes perfect since to have a mindset of. 6x6 is better... cause it covers the margin of error better.
 

Reworked LMTV

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good point... "professional" is wrong word. "experienced" would be better word. No not talking about myself...... only point is ..... there is plenty of very experienced adventurers who built very amazing rigs without 6x6.......but that experience lends to wiser choices about weight in a build compared to someone not expereinced. Likely a professional builder/seller in today's climate ... esp. if their clientele desires high end cla$$ trucks... has to deal with a good margin of folk whom do not have the experience to make wise choices thusly often do not..... so in that scenario it makes perfect since to have a mindset of. 6x6 is better... cause it covers the margin of error better.
A lot of people spend a lot of time and money to live "Down by the River" ROFL
 

Reworked LMTV

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wouldn't call the "experienced" Unimoger's been lucky enough to be exposed too for nearly two decades "down by the river" kinda folk
wouldn't call the "experienced" Unimoger's been lucky enough to be exposed too for nearly two decades "down by the river" kinda folk
It was not directed at you, but it is an interesting irony. It would appear that there is more than one way to end up "down by the river" lol
 

rockDAWG

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Aside from better payload and 6 wheels contact points on the ground, a 6 x 6 is better. However, in real-life situations, it is the driver and the line he or she takes makes a BIG difference. After rock crawling all over the country in the last 20 years, I have seen good driver skills outperformed those who have a better-equipped rig. A 6x6 is nice to have but does not end-all by no means. Every choice comes with compromises.

In some situations, a 6x6 will not perform better any better than a 4x4. The articulation of the rear 4 wheels in a 6x6 is very limited. The rear 4 wheels can easily become a one-wheel drive. If possible, I would take a locker particular ARB which gives you that 100% control on demand.

Having said that. why would anyone buy an expedition vehicle to do hard rock crawling unless the intention is to produce a jaw-dropping video for youtube viewers? There are other rigs that will do a far better job. Expedition vehicles are all bout preparedness for the unexpected emergency. In other words, he or she should have plenty of time to know their shortcoming and understand their calculation risks to avoid those emergencies.

So a 4x4 , 6x6 or 8x8, which is better. No one knows but you.
 

Awesomeness

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If you haven't driven these offroad yet/much, they are a big change from conventional consumer vehicles (e.g. Jeep, K5 Blazer, etc.). It's a lot of pro's and con's, not just better or worse. For positives, you have 47" tires and 26" of ground clearance, so you can drive over mini-fridge sized boulders with easy, and power through terrain while the Jeep guys look on in awe. On the downside, you're big, wide, top heavy, and have a big turning radius, so you spend a lot of time cutting down "low" branches, having to figure out how to negotiate tight turns/terrain, and feeling uncomfortable tipped at just 15°.

One other factor that I found unexpected when I first started offroading mine is that these trucks are heavy enough that the ground is not a solid surface. This has a number of interesting impacts, that I wasn't used to, even after many years of offroading in consumer vehicles...
  1. As you get on an angle, either tipped to the side or climbing/descending steep grades, you start to shift most of the weight to your downhill tires and it is enough weight to crush and displace the ground below you. This can make it hard to stop, and dangerous on a sideslope.
  2. Ground that you just saw a fullsize pickup traverse as "hardpack", you turn into loose, slippery rubble.
  3. If there is a dirt embankment keeping you from making a turn, you can just plow through it and make your own clearance. (Watch the European heavy truck offroad competitions, and you'll see this to its full extent. The ground is not an immovable object for trucks this size. They will back up, and bash their way out of a hole or tight turn.)
  4. You can dislodge big mini-fridge size rocks, which can become challenging obstacles and trail hazards. They may even roll downhill, and there is nowhere for that Jeep to backup or go quickly, while he was waiting patiently for you to finish the climb.
  5. Trying to use a jack to change a tire, it will just push the jack into the ground instead of lifting the truck, even on dry, fairly solid dirt. You need to carry plywood and cribbing to spread the load and reach the height of the axle.
 
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rockDAWG

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I
  1. You can dislodge big mini-fridge size rocks, which can become challenging obstacles and trail hazards. They may even roll downhill, and there is nowhere for that Jeep to backup or go quickly, while he was waiting patiently for you to finish the climb.
remember TREAD LIGHTLY. Finesse not brute force, don't permanently alter the trail. :p

it is unlikely that the expedition vehicle will wheel with a bunch of Jeepers. They don't share the same objective.
 

Awesomeness

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it is unlikely that the expedition vehicle will wheel with a bunch of Jeepers. They don't share the same objective.
Around here in the western states, almost anywhere you take an expedition rig will be "wheeling with Jeepers", if only because the Jeepers are everywhere. If it's any kind of a trail (more than just a dirt road), there is nearly constant traffic from offoaders, UTVs, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, etc.
 

rockDAWG

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Around here in the western states, almost anywhere you take an expedition rig will be "wheeling with Jeepers", if only because the Jeepers are everywhere. If it's any kind of a trail (more than just a dirt road), there is nearly constant traffic from offoaders, UTVs, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, etc.
Hmmm... it is interesting to know. I am new to expedition vehicles, but a die-hard rock crawler. I want to build an EV to travel the continents and live off the grid. Jeep Wrangler is just too small even towing with a 1/4 ton army-like trailer. It is just big enough for short term use. My wife won't be happy to stay with me for months in Alaska. However, I may consider towing my TJ Wrangler to Colorado, Moab, and Arizona to do some rock crawling. And just leave the Jeep somewhere before heading out to the Great White North.
 

Awesomeness

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Hmmm... it is interesting to know. I am new to expedition vehicles, but a die-hard rock crawler. I want to build an EV to travel the continents and live off the grid. Jeep Wrangler is just too small even towing with a 1/4 ton army-like trailer. It is just big enough for short term use. My wife won't be happy to stay with me for months in Alaska. However, I may consider towing my TJ Wrangler to Colorado, Moab, and Arizona to do some rock crawling. And just leave the Jeep somewhere before heading out to the Great White North.
As an example, here's one of the few videos I've posted online. In 15 minutes of video, I pass 6 vehicles (one of which was some kind of HMMWV offroad tourist trip!), and some bikers. My truck is just an M1078 cargo truck, not an M1079 or expedition box, but you'll see I have some issues with "low" tree limbs. This was a fairly quiet day on the trails... at their peak, it can be so busy that you are basically never out of sight of at least someone (e.g. Jeep, UTV, dirtbike, mountain bikers). Also, this trail is probably a good example of about the most I would do with an M1079/expedition box, in terms of the ruggedness of terrain and off-angle tilt.

 

rockDAWG

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WOW, This one went someplace.
I enjoy .........................
Which design is better for the non-rock climber as an Overlanding Vehicle, the 4x4 or 6x6? An expert weighed in

If you need the room and payload, a 6x6 will be the choice. But it comes with a lot more expensive to maintain and operate. And of course the limited manipulability on the trail.
Well, I don't call myself an expert. but I live outside the house a lot in the mountains and in the ocean.
 

rockDAWG

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Damn, I missed the Black Bear trail. Start at 19:00 min. :) Not much rock crawling, but highly technical and the line you take will determine your fate.
 

Reworked LMTV

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Most people with Overlanding vehicles I think just want the ability to get to more off road places than the sidewalk at Macy's. They want pristine land access and more creature comforts. Rock climbers want to climb rocks. Tow vehicle can be a rock climber.

Some people who start with an FMTV, downsize to a smaller trucker. Some would never dream of downsizing. All good.

One of the things that we do a poor job of as SS members is we fail to ask the owner what their goals are for their rig. People blurt all sorts of opinions only to realize that they were basing their opinion on their own goals.
 
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