Truck or SUV [Archive] - RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF

: Truck or SUV

07-20-2011, 05:16 PM
Just wondering what most of you drive a truck or an SUV? WE have a beautiful Toyota 4 door 4 wheel drive truck just a few years old it has a 7 foot long bed with a leer camper seems like the entire bed area is a waste its so hot most of the year that I can't put the dogs back there so they end up on the back seat which I hate its very unsafe. I'm considering trading it in but my husband doesnt like the idea of an SUV he hunts so it has to hold his gear two dogs and three wingers what do you drive?


John Lash
07-20-2011, 05:44 PM
I don't know what would really work in Arizona.

Truck with an A.R.E. cap. It has "windoors" on the sides that open like the back door on the cap. The windoors are ventilated in that they have a sliding door with a screen in it in the middle. They are actually a little too small but better than nothing. I've seen people open the windoor a little by picking it up and putting a bumper in it so it can't close the whole way then driving with it open a little.

The cap is silver so I like to think it reflects the sun better than some colors, no proof of that though..

I have a boat rack on top and have thought of securely attaching plywood or metal across the racks. Making shade 4 inches above the whole cap. Like sitting under an umbrella while throwing birds.

I looked at Leer and they had a windoor but no sliding window in it and the windoor was 9 inches shorter than the indentation molded into the cap. Looked odd. This was 2-3 years ago so that might have changed by now.

Mike Smith
07-20-2011, 06:02 PM
I was going the cap route A.R.E. with the windoors with the sliding window. But as John said thay can get a little warm. So I am getting a 2hole Deerskin insulated box w/fan used. They do work as well as anything especially with a frozen liter bottle in their crate. It would fit under a camper shell but the shell needs ventilation. Might consider putting a vent fan on top of the cap.

Keith Stroyan
07-22-2011, 02:57 PM
2001 Seqouia back seats removed at 30 miles, 135,000 currently.

Holds 4 plastic dog crates - 2 out the back, 2 out the side - on a platform with room for gear underneath.

It's been good EXCEPT for the liftgate needing many repairs.

I don't know what I'd replace it with. I don't like the new larger Sequoia as much. (A Tacoma would be on my short list, but the space in back isn't as usable for 4 dogs.)

If you're not off road much, an AWD minivan might be worth a look. I really liked the Dodge I had in the 90's - except for clearance - and it didn't hold up past 115,000 mi.

07-22-2011, 03:21 PM
I drive a Suburban but my next vehicle will be a truck with hopefully an A.R.E. the suburban ride but miss the payload of a truck..if you get a truck with a crew cab you can always put the dogs in the cab with you...hard to put a dead deer or elk in an SUV

07-22-2011, 05:08 PM
Leer's windoors have sliders but they are in the recessed part of the camper where in production they would cut out the fiberglass for the regular windows. They are small a little goofy looking but they work.

Thomas D
07-22-2011, 06:43 PM
At what point would you think it is too hot for the dogs to travel in a topper or in a three hole box in open pick up?

07-22-2011, 06:57 PM
I drive a GMC Yukon 04, 190K miles, it will hold 2 400 kennels in the back. It has room behind the kennels for training equipment with the seats folded down. We drive it because of the cold in the winter, couldn't imagine retrievers in the back of a truck with a cap at -40. We trained and trialed out of it since new but bought a trailer later that can be pulled by a smaller vehicle with better gas mileage. We will still use the bigger vehicle in the winter on trips. We use auto starts that can be programmed to crank the vehicle based on low temp, they may be able to be programmed for cooling in hot climates based on cab temp.

Thomas D
07-22-2011, 08:46 PM
With this summer's heat, I am really looking at other options. I have been driving my wifes Expedition and like it, but it will only hold two dogs plus gear. F-150 with 3 hole MTCK slide in and drawers is nice to haul stuff, but too hot in 90 degree weather. No perfect vehicle.

Hugh Cronin
08-24-2011, 12:49 PM
Looking at getting a Nissan Extera. Like to keep my dog warm traveling back and forth across the mountains every weekend.

08-25-2011, 05:57 AM
Ive driven Suburbans for 20 years. New one is actually being dlvd at noon today. The third row seat always comes out immediately. I have two XL crates out back. I always customize them with fans, drawers etc. You can still put a 4x8 sheet of plywood in it too. I think Im the only person left that still uses a Suburban as a truck. Always get the Z71 pkg and put LT A/T tires on it. Would an Avalanche be an option for you?

Jim Danis
08-25-2011, 07:44 AM
I used to drive a Subruban but one day 2 buddies and I were going on a duck hunt to Louisiana. We had all of our gear and my dog stuffed into the vehicle. The only space available was the driver, passenger and 1 seat behind the passenger seat. It was then that I figured out I could put all of that in the bed of a truck with a topper and have the cabin space completely clear for passengers.

I bought a GMC 2500HD Diesel Crewcab 4yrs ago and put a ARE Topper on the bed and haven't looked back. I get better mileage with the diesel than I did with the Subruban. Even though diesel is more expensive than premium gas my mileage makes the cost equivalent to using regular gas when comparing it to the Suburban. I'll drive my truck until either the wheels fall of or it becomes too expensive to fix any problems.

08-25-2011, 02:36 PM
You must have an 8ft bed then? I dont think theres much difference in the back of a Suburban and a 6ft bed. You can get diesel in a 3/4 ton Suburban

08-25-2011, 02:45 PM
I had a Nissan Extera before my Honda Ridgeline. I was sick of having sloppy wet dogs full of dirt in my vehicle.

What I LOVE about the ridgeline. I have a cap on it and the window between the two is always open with a fan in it to blow the AC Back there. The windows on cap dont open wide but I have it AC'd with the fan. I can only fit 3 dogs in the back on a platform so I can still get into the TRUNK that is TOTALLY awesome! Can fit LOTSA crap in it. Has 4 doors and lots of room for people and stuff.

Jim Danis
08-26-2011, 01:35 PM
You must have an 8ft bed then? I dont think theres much difference in the back of a Suburban and a 6ft bed. You can get diesel in a 3/4 ton Suburban

6ft bed. But with the Topper shell on and can put my dog crate, all ofour hunting gear, bags and any dog supplies and be fine. Leaves the cab itself completely open.

08-29-2011, 10:27 AM
I used a Suburban for a couple of years. I liked it, but it really started to smell like dog, so I went back to a pickup with a dog box.


08-30-2011, 08:47 PM
I have a Toyota Rav 4. It's great, you can put a kennel in the back with the seats up, and you could fit 2 kennels with the seats down. And I can see over the top of the kennel(s).