Change of plans. New small SUV instead of off-road beast?

My 2006 Ram truck is my chosen off-road/camping platform. I have a need to pull trailers, haul yard debris, and get off the beaten path to enjoy the PNW outdoors. My truck is getting up there in years, is on it’s second engine, had the front end bushings replaced, and had the rear-diff rebuilt twice. I’m now at 260k miles and really feeling like it’s time to get something new…. but I have been watching prices climb up over the last few years to where I’m easily going to pay a $20k premium to get a basic replacement.

My second vehicle is my 2003 Subaru forester. My wife and I are long-time Subaru lovers. We’ve had a 92′ Loyale, a 2000 forester, a 2003 forester, and bought a new Impreza in 2018. The Impreza is her car and it’s a pretty nice ride. Comfortable and nice looking. Great in the rain and snow but not quite enough ground clearance to get too far off the path.

Now! add gas prices…. what do I do? I decided to park the truck for a bit and not drive it daily. I’m wearing it out and gas prices are taking a definite chunk out of my wallet. My truck is set-up! I have 100watts of solar, a nice comfy bed in the canopy, and plenty of room to everyday-carry everything I need and don’t need but want.

I decided to trade the forester to get myself a new Subaru Crosstrek and re-discover (or go backwards to) a bit more campy experience. I’ll gain a car payment (negative), but will save the truck for when I need it (positive), Save a ton of fuel (positive), be a bit more nimble (positive), and hopefully be just as comfortable… Thinking I’ll use my Gaselle tent that is easy to set-up and get a good cot or some sort of sleeping pad that will compliment my 50yo broken self.

Saying goodbye…..

The 2003 forester is gone. I’ll miss it. It was a great body style year for the forester but was getting up there in miles at 260k, needed it’s third head-gasket job, and just not that comfortable anymore.

Welcoming the new micro ‘overland’ rig. A 2021 Crosstrek Limited with the mighty 2.5 engine

I was able to pull of a no-drill radio install with the Yaesu FTM-400.

OK… one small hole in the plastic trim piece….

More to come…. still figuring out if this will be my main off-roading rig or not.

3 Comments on “Change of plans. New small SUV instead of off-road beast?

  1. Congrats!
    nice ride, but I would have tried to get that antenna and mount over on the passenger side
    itll be nice to see this build progress

    • Thanks James. Fanciest car I’ve ever personally owned.

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