sethmeister4 SuperDork
Nov. 4, 2016 11:52 a.m.

Some co-workers and I have been planning this for a few years, and now that we all have a vehicle we're going to do it. The plan was to buy a $1500 or less vehicle from the wholesale lot at work-had to be 4wd or AWD-and have our own Cheap Truck Challenge. We're calling ours Hoopties From Wholesale.

It took a while for everyone to get something, as it seems like once you want a certain vehicle nobody trades them in. Here's what we ended up with, though: 2003 Land Rover Discovery with some engine noise, 200? Nissan Pathfinder, 200? Suzuki SX4 hatchback, and a 2003 Kia Sorento for me. We ended up being a bit less strict on the price, although all were purchased for under $2000.

Next weekend we head out to the GWNF near Harrisonburg, VA for camping, off roading antics, and probably plenty of stupidity. Should be a great time. Pics and event coverage to come, so stay tuned!

sethmeister4 SuperDork
Nov. 4, 2016 11:55 a.m.

Forgot to mention some of the categories we will be competing in. So far we've got: best road trip MPG, dirtiest/muddiest at the end, dirt road drag race, you must sleep in it (no tents allowed), tug-of-war, and getting it reappraised at our work once we're done to see if you gained or lost value.

Feel free to give us more ideas!

Dave Reader
Nov. 4, 2016 12:37 p.m.

I recently did a beater rally through the mountains (not 4x4 though) and it was great fun. We had a scavenger hunt along the way - do a certain task, take a photo of a certain view/roadside attraction, etc which made it great fun.

We also had points for creative roadside repairs, most spectacular failure, etc.

I won the slowest full throttle speed up the steepest hill in my K-car.

I wrote the whole thing up at Curbside Classic if anyone is interested in reading. Part 1 is - http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/road-trip/cc-road-trip-the-great-beater-challenge-part-1-vehicle-selection/

Vigo PowerDork
Nov. 9, 2016 11:24 a.m.

Hope this thread gets more attention.. sounds like a pretty great idea.

java230 Dork
Nov. 9, 2016 11:32 a.m.

Following along!

java230 Dork
Nov. 9, 2016 11:57 a.m.
Dave wrote: I recently did a beater rally through the mountains (not 4x4 though) and it was great fun. We had a scavenger hunt along the way - do a certain task, take a photo of a certain view/roadside attraction, etc which made it great fun. We also had points for creative roadside repairs, most spectacular failure, etc. I won the slowest full throttle speed up the steepest hill in my K-car. I wrote the whole thing up at Curbside Classic if anyone is interested in reading. Part 1 is - http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/road-trip/cc-road-trip-the-great-beater-challenge-part-1-vehicle-selection/

That was a great read, thanks! Now why would anyone willing drive to Castlegar?! That is a weird town.

gearheadE30 HalfDork
Nov. 9, 2016 2:35 p.m.

I'll be watching this one - I'm quite curious how an SX4 will do off road.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2016 10:20 p.m.

Heading out tomorrow evening! Once I get my computer up and running, and the trip is done, I'll post pics.

The SX4 should be lifted with some all terrains on it. Possibly a Harbor Freight winch on the front. We'll see how much he gets done tomorrow when he calls out from work.

Land Rover has a few things done to it, not exactly sure what since my buddy has kept it hush hush.

Pathfinder and my Sorento will be bone stock. I was going to mount some LED pods on the front, but I waited until the last minute and I wasn't having much success, so I gave up in order to pack and get to bed.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
Nov. 30, 2016 7:03 p.m.

Alright, I'm finally getting around to posting some pics from our trip. We'll see how long my patience lasts with Photobucket on my phone.

We had an awesome time, and no failures until the drive home, when we had to stop and put an alternator on my buddy's Pathfinder. Thank you Harrisonburg AutoZone for the use of your parking lot. We started off on Long Run Rd, West of Harrisonburg, and this is where we camped both nights. Our first night was very late by the time we got where we wanted to be, so we just set up shop wherever--it was 3 am and we were beat. The next night we enjoyed an awesome site right by where we had been, and the 2 guys who were there let us set up our tent since they were leaving in the afternoon. We went and ran the Dictum Ridge Trail almost to the end, but alas it was gated closed. Apparently the last mile and a half is impassible, or at least the gov't thinks so. By the time we got back to our site, the other guys had left, and they left us a nearly full bottle of Jameson and a "have fun!" note. Cool guys! The rest of the time was spent eating good food, enjoying a rip roaring fire, and just hanging out. It was pretty chilly, but we all survived. We're already planning a trip back for the spring, and the mod lists for our vehicles are growing!

Ok, I'll let the pics do the rest of the talking.

The view from our campsite.

Toyman01 MegaDork
Nov. 30, 2016 7:33 p.m.

Sounds like great fun! We camped up there on the way to Canada last summer. Going back for a long weekend will happen someday.

Grtechguy MegaDork
Dec. 28, 2016 9:33 a.m.

there's something wrong with this thread. The rover is actually running?

crankwalk Dork
Jan. 22, 2017 1:16 a.m.

Bravo for that Suzuki out there!

Looks like fun.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
April 8, 2017 10:08 p.m.

We're heading back out here in a few weeks! The same group is going, plus another friend with an H3 (he came last time but just rode along), another with a sweet '88 Landcruiser, and possibly one more with a Trooper. We're stoked, and hopefully I'll get some more good pics up.

As for me, I was going to sell the Sorento, but I might keep it for a bit at this point. Do some maintenance, and possibly Daystar lift spacers and A/T's. We'll see.

failboat UberDork
April 10, 2017 2:01 p.m.

Shoot. We just bought my wife an Outback wagon and I have been eyeballing GWNF. Its still too "new" to her to allow me to really thrash it yet. I am looking into a day trip through Taskers Gap/Peters Mill Run area for our maiden voyage to ease into things and figure out capabilities.

I am only an hour or two away from the mountains depending on where you are headed.....I also have a buddy with a stock rubicon that wanted to go play. hmmmm.

David S. Wallens Editorial Director
April 10, 2017 2:39 p.m.

Totally awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Toyman01 MegaDork
April 10, 2017 4:14 p.m.

We will be needing some pictures and words after you get back. Lots of pictures and few words is perfectly acceptable.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
April 10, 2017 8:25 p.m.

In reply to failboat:

We'll be at the same campsite as above for our first night (off Long Run Rd), then do the Second Mountain Trail and head over to Skidmore Fork Rd and toward Flagpole Knob for night #2. Hopefully we'll hit the Union Springs Trail on our way home.

In reply to Toyman01:

Lots of pics it is, then!

failboat UberDork
April 11, 2017 7:19 a.m.

cool, I was going to ask what trails you guys were running. Ill keep an eye on the thread, interested to see how technical they are.

Might be interested to tag along later in the year if you guys happen to come back up, even if only for a day trip on the trails. I think right now I'll have to keep things simple, to learn the car (with continental road tires) and also I have SWMBO (she likes to remind me its her car) and a 2 year old daughter who should absolutely be exposed to all the fun stuff Dads like to do.

sethmeister4 SuperDork
April 11, 2017 12:14 p.m.

In reply to failboat:

If you want to know where the campsite we were at is, let me know and I'll send you the specifics. It is easy to get to and has an awesome view. Would be a blast with your wife and daughter, and the road isn't technical at all.

failboat UberDork
April 11, 2017 7:04 p.m.

Sent pm

sethmeister4 SuperDork
April 15, 2017 2:58 p.m.

I've got some new all terrains on order for the Sorento, should be here Wednesday. Ridiculously low price on Amazon, hopefully I can get them mounted up ASAP. 2 weeks until the trip!

thedanimal Reader
April 21, 2017 7:19 a.m.

This looks like a load of fun. I always wanted to buy a cheap car from wholesale when I worked at CarMax and do something ridiculous with it.

Recon1342 New Reader
April 22, 2017 5:52 a.m.

Awesome! Cheap 4wheeling is one of my favorite adventures!

sethmeister4 SuperDork
April 22, 2017 7:12 a.m.

In reply to Recon1342:

Me too! I love beating up on this Sorento, and the new tires will help for sure! Other than needing more ground clearance, it's pretty capable off-road.

Recon1342 New Reader
April 22, 2017 1:47 p.m.

In reply to sethmeister4:

This winter, I fell into the best cheap 4x4 I've ever owned- I found a 1989 Suburban, lifted 4" with 33s, with 90k verified miles on it. I paid $1900, and I'm the third owner...

It's now my DD!

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