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311Hemi

Truck, family, and traveling.....any thoughts?

27 posts in this topic

So we are having our first child early next year and a debate on vehicles has come up (wife wants a new car). In this discussion it has come up as to what needs we have to fulfill for the new car (SUV). We currently have decided on a 2008 Highlander, just looking for the right one now.

One aspect we are discussing is the role of my truck. I have an 03' Dodge 2500 quad cab. My wife thinks there is no way young kids are going to sit and be comfortable in the rear seating and that we will not be able to use the truck for trips (2-4 hours north). I don't see any way around not using it as if we take a mid-sized SUV (two kennels should fit in an 08 Highlander) and put both dog kennels in the back it leaves no space for any cargo. So, any trip we go on with the dogs will leave no space inside the SUV.

For those of you with pickups...do you use them much for family trips with younger kids?

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Just had our first child 5 weeks ago and have taken a couple 4 hour trecks already. One thing is for sure, you'll fill that Highlander up without the dog kennels fast. We have a new Saturn VUE and it is jam packed (pack n play, swing, bouncy seat, your own luggage, diaper bags) and those were only for overnight trips. I had the ability to keep my '02 F150 which is nice because and would be nice especially for you with the kennels. I'm not sure if the Highlander has third row seating or not but I would think at some point you're going to need the trucks space especially with the dog kennels or if you're going for extended periods of time.

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i have a 4 year old and one that will come into the world in november, just last weekend we went 4 hours north to the lake in my 97 chev silverado extended cab. put most everything in the back end, including dog and luggage. Kid does just fine back there, but we got her a little portable dvd player with headphones and she's set. Your pickup has a way bigger back seat than mine, i would think you'll be fine with the truck.

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We've got a Sequoia. No children, one Great Dane. We fill it up pretty good when we hit the road for a weekend. Can't imagine what's gonna happen when we start having kids...and my wife wants another Dane! Gonna need to look at roof carriers or hitch-mounted carriers.

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My boys (twins of course grin) have had no problems riding in the four door Tundra ("crew max") or the extended cab Tundra ("double cab"). We also make many trips to the great northland including the Cook and Bemidji areas. They have been riding back there since they where a little older than one and will be seven pretty quick. They also have no problem riding in either of there grandpas chevy extended cabs.

You just can't beat a truck for hauling gear! You'll always be able to get more in the truck than the SUV.

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we have 2 german shorthairs and I hate having to board our dogs at a kennel and prefer that they travel with us.

One space saver we use now is instead of the plastic portable kennels we got one of those collapsable metal ones that fold up flat. we opted for the larger version so both dogs fit comfortable. since it folds up flat it works great.

I have come to the relization its almost more work to travel with the dogs than kids. Atleast the kids are welcome everywhere, the dogs not always are. smile

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We head North almost every weekend - nearly a 4 hour drive. For many years we relied on the Silverado (extended cab) and before that a Dakota (extended cab). 2 adults, 2 kids, one dog, and all of our toys and luggage - no problem. We had no issues strapping child seats into the back of the trucks, and the kids did just fine.

The oldest is now off to college - my son has social and sporting obligations - and I find myself heading North by myself a bit more often. I'll probably be looking at downsizing my rig in the near future.

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I have been carting grandkids in the back seat of my 98 chev ext cab for years. We can fit three back there and it was no prob until the oldest got about 11, then it got tight. 2.5 hour ride.

Also have two large dogs. They ride in back seat unless kids are with, then they go in back of truck. We also have a 05 Trailblazer (inherited) and we drive this more now. I will tell you this, you can hardly fit anything into that darned little SUV if you even have one kid and two dogs. After having both SUVs and trucks, I will never be without a real truck in favor of even a big SUV. My vote would be stick with ext/crew truck, especially with dogs/kennels and small kids. Small kids fit fiine anywhere smile

Good luck!

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Wife, Two daughters (12 & 9) and two 75 lb. labs here. I bought a 2007 GMC Sierra SLT Denali Crew Cab. This truck has a 5.5 ft long bed. I put on a topper with sliding and "up-opening" hinged side windows. The truck has been great. Plenty of room in the back seat for adults or kids. The short box provides just enough space to carry two dog kennels, 3-4 rubbermaid boxes of stuff, a cooler etc. The topper windows make it easier to load and unload.

The truck has every option known to man and the flip down DVD's screens, seperate radio tuners etc. has been a great feature. This definitely helps keep the peace on long trips. there are time where I have the Twins game on the radio, the kids are watching a DVD and the wife is listening to satelitte radio or an FM station.

I've had an extended cab truck and a Tahoe and would not go back to them after having this truck. As my situation changes I may reconsider an extended cab pick-up again.

A Tahoe or Suburban or Expedition have a good deal of space in them. However I like having my dirty and something wet and smelly hunting dogs in a compartment that I am not riding in.

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A 2500 quad cab? I don't see the problem. I'm got an F350 crew cab and our family of 4 plus dog took a trip to montana this year.

Those trucks are made to haul 4-6 adults so I'm not sure why your wife thinks it won't carry a family. My current truck has bucket seats in front so we can only seat 5, but my last F250 had dual benches and we took 6 adults to the boundary waters (6+hr drive) up the gunflint trail. It worked fantastically.

The vehicle I had in between these 2 trucks was a Nissan Xterra. We thought we were being gas conscious and smaller vehicle blah blah blah....needless to say with a family of 4 plus a dog in kennel (he's only 45lbs) we barely had room for a duffle bag.

If you're wife wants an suv to haul the family around fine, but don't plan to use it for your long hauls. It won't be big enough and by the time you add a rooftop carrier and a hitch mount carrier, you're gonna be getting 12 mpg so you might as well take the truck and get 15mpg and you want have the dogs in the cab with you.

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always have had a truck, son wife dogs all travel well. it to me gives you the freedom to throw the other stuff in the back. my son is now 13 and over 6ft tall so we are going to have to do something about the leg room in the backseat. he will either loose a couple inches on his legs, ride where he is now, or sit in the box with the luggage. Other than a bit cramped for him we have never had an issue 04 dodge ram 2500

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A 2500 quad cab? I don't see the problem.

and by the time you add a rooftop carrier and a hitch mount carrier, you're gonna be getting 12 mpg so you might as well take the truck and get 15mpg and you want have the dogs in the cab with you.

She is concerned first about the comfort of the seat and the kids not putting up with it, and second there not being enough room with two kids. The kids are in car seats anyways until they are 5-6...so I really don't see either as an issue. And even after that I don't think the comfort will be an issue where it uncomfortable on a long drive.

And the diesel doesn't even get 15mpg on a bad day....so your probably right on the mileage after adding those extras to an SUV.

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Cripes how big are these kids ? wink We used to haul the kids around in my old 79 dodge power wagon club cab and they did fine even as teenagers.

Sounds like your wife is pushing to get you into a mini van grin

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We have 2 kids 8 and 4 and ditched the durango for an expedition. Durango was WAY too small. Considering they aren't alot cheaper than a used fullsize. We have 2 "beaters" for going to work and the truck is used almost exclusivly for family trips and weekend journeys. Like someone else mentioned, once you pack 3 suitcases and a pack-n-play your almost full!!

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I've had pickups then Tahoes for years, most recently now an Avalanche. I was originally looking at going back to a pickup when my wife suggested the Avalanche. I checked them out and liked the concept, but still was unsure. I was lucky enough to know two people that own them and asked their opinions. Both said they liked everything about them especially the versatility, and said they would recommend it without hesitation. I ended up finding a very clean used one and bought it last February.

Now, everytime I use it I like it better. For traveling, you have the best of both worlds, a roomy cab with plenty of space and a hauling area that is almost as big as a shortbed pickup but watertight when covered. I have had occasion to use it with four adult males, all of our gear, generator and a 4-place trailer with wheelers on it behind. So far, no complaints from me and the wife likes driving it too.

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I have had pickups and suvs. Expeditions, rams, chevys, kia suvs and now I own a 05 Nissan Titan and 05 Nissan Frontier and a 94 Toyota Camry. I have two boys 12 and 8 no dog but they are comfortable in the trucks no matter what one we take. The suvs dont get much better gas mileage and dont have the room as a truck. We also had the mini vans when we first had the kids but went backt the truck very quickly.

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Cripes how big are these kids ? wink We used to haul the kids around in my old 79 dodge power wagon club cab and they did fine even as teenagers.

Sounds like your wife is pushing to get you into a mini van grin

Don't even have them yet....and she is getting an SUV in the near future. She does/did not believe that the truck would work out well for kids....because of comfort and space. But I feel it would be great. We were debating what would be more used on family vacations, and trying to determine what we need in a SUV with that info in mind. This info helps!!

The truck is not going anywhere....and I vowed to never own a mini van! crazygrin

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Make that 8 years. Unless they are really big.

"Minnesota's new child passenger safety law requires a child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches to be fastened in a child safety seat or booster. Under this law, a child cannot use a seat belt alone until they are age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall — whichever comes first. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height, rather than their age."

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I looked at Avalanches before buying my Sierra. I like Avalanches but dog kennels don't fit in the back unless you leave them exposed and open or buy one of the semi-funky toppers they make for an Av. The Av's versatility is great but the volume of the box area is half of what an enclosed pick-up truck.

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Make that 8 years. Unless they are really big.

"Minnesota's new child passenger safety law requires a child who is both under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches to be fastened in a child safety seat or booster. Under this law, a child cannot use a seat belt alone until they are age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall — whichever comes first. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height, rather than their age."

Absolutely correct. Your kids won't even sit on the truck's rear seats until you are ready for a new ride. Of course if you have a 2500 Cummins, this may not be the case!

I see no reason at all to change your ride. In fact I would think a quad cab Cummins PU is about the best thing you could have. We have a Quad Cab 4.7 Dakota with two kids (2 and 6) and a dog. We go up to our property every other weekend and have no real issues with the ride. A pick up is much more useful than an SUV IMO because you can still carry odd loads in the bed. We're in the process of finishing our bunkhouse cabin up north and usually find creative ways of stowing everything for the family plus sheets of plywood, insulation, pine studs, etc.

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Quote:
My wife thinks there is no way young kids are going to sit and be comfortable in the rear seating and that we will not be able to use the truck for trips (2-4 hours north).

Why do they have a choice? With today's laws, kids are lucky because each must be provided a seat belt. You think it might be uncomfortable for them in an extended cab pickup, imagine taking 5 kids between the ages of 2 and 6 on vacation from MN to CA in a 1967 Ford Granada. Trust me, none of us sat in the front seat either.

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Quote:
My wife thinks there is no way young kids are going to sit and be comfortable in the rear seating and that we will not be able to use the truck for trips (2-4 hours north).

Why do they have a choice? With today's laws, kids are lucky because each must be provided a seat belt. You think it might be uncomfortable for them in an extended cab pickup, imagine taking 5 kids between the ages of 2 and 6 on vacation from MN to CA in a 1967 Ford Granada. Trust me, none of us sat in the front seat either.

That's just it, they don't have a choice so it's somewhat of a non-issue at this point I guess. I just wanted to confirm my original thoughts that the pickup would work out well for travel. I think I have gotten some good info here that I can pass along to my wife so she has a better understanding of things.

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F150 extended cab and two kids.

Car seats fit in there with plenty of room.

Jr is now 13 and Chiara is 12. They haven't complained about not having enough room yet.

How about seven kids in an old Buick. Biggest complaint was Dad shutting the door on our fingers. Oh and Moms long arm.

Hemi your wife is just preparing and planning for the new addition. Congrats BTW.

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Hemi I think you've got it figured out. When I talked about the MPG I didn't realize you had the cummins. Now you're really talking about gains from the truck to the SUV. My wife knew there would be a difference when we bought the PSD F350, but when she saw we were getting 12-14mpg towing our camper through the rockie mountains she knew we made the right choice.

And yes I do say WE because she wanted the truck back as much as I did, she just didn't think it would be that much of a difference.

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Hemi you're on the right path. No reason to switch, as mentioned above, they won't be actually sitting in the seats for a looooong time. Plus you will need the space of the cargo bed with the dogs and everything. I have one 1.5 year old daughter and one black lab and we can barely fit everything in my Durango for any kind of trip, especially with whichever seasonal gear you may be carrying along with. (My wife looks at me funny every time I put four fishing poles in the truck, plus the big tackle box, etc...)

Ahhhhh marital bliss. Good luck!

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