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I'm wondering if I should keep Ridgeline or move to full 4x4 Toyota. If you with more experience could help...

I live in the Kootenays of BC and while I'm not interested in off-roading (climbing rocks, mud bogging, etc)... I am often "rough-roading" up forestry service roads to do hikes through the spring, summer, fall. Lots of washboard, rocks and ruts in the roads. Some climbs and descents but nothing too bad. I have an 06 Ridgeline LX and it can go everywhere I want to go. But I'm wondering if I'm shaking the heck out of it and if a true 4x4 would be better. This would be for the 15-20 days per year when I'm out there.

My question... would a 4Runner for example handle these kinds of roads over time better than the Ridgeline does? Does it soak up this stuff better? Last longer? Or is the difference only noticeable if I'm getting into extreme climbs and obstacles?

I guess the other question is, maybe I'd actually go further off the beaten path if I had more capacity. Love the Ridgeline in every way. Just don't want to be pushing it beyond its limits. So far mine has lasted well (200,000km/ 160mi) but it's getting rattly!

(BTW I'm no mechanic. I take it in for everything. So far it's treated me very well. Maybe I'm answering my own question...)
 

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I think a 4Runner would have more ground clearance and better options in terms of wheels & off-road tires. Body-on-frame means that the on-road handling will not be anywhere near that of the Ridgeline, but of course will be stronger off-road.

One thing to watch out for on the 4Runner is the transfer case - they tend to leak, and they're very expensive to seal back up. Typically around a $2,000 repair at the dealer.

The 4Runner has a locking center differential (located inside the transfer case) and the usual brake-activated traction control, so it'll be more capable off-road than the Ridgeline.

The Ridgeline is absolutely the winner so far as storage. Not only the in-bed trunk, but interior pockets too.

I haven't checked prices recently, but I would guess the 4Runner is more expensive than a LX Ridgeline. Like a lot more.

Tough decision.

Chip H.
 

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You will love the toyota for the 15-20 days, but the other 345-350 will be a another story.
 

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I went through a similar experience. I live in NW Oregon and hunt, camp, hike all way up forest and logging roads to get away from people as much as possible. Never got stuck but hit the front skid plate twice on my 2011 Ridgeline. Midlife crisis hits and the wife and I decide to go get a new Nissan Xterra Pro 4X. I had buyers remorse in the first week! For the 20-25 days a year I'm up in the woods it was okay. For a factory, bone stock rig it would go almost anywhere. But on road it was terrible. Bouncy jarring ride, horrible seats, tiny cabin. We saved up for a couple years and traded it for a 2014 Ridgeline. Night and day better ride, utility, and comfort. My experience is get what's best where you are the most. The Ridgeline is superb on road where you spend the vast majority of your time and not great but capable off-road where you only spend a small fraction of time. My 2 cents having been there done that......
 

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I live in the "city" and use the truck to get to the end of abandoned logging roads, hunting, fishing, hiking - getting away from people.
The first year I found it a little low, so I added the 2" Truxx lift. A few years after that I changed to Toyo Open Country AT2 tire in 245/70-17 so gained another 1/2 inch clearance. I poke the VTM-4 on occasion. If it quit tomorrow I'd get another one.
 

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I've had mine for 5 years & used it for hunting, fishing, camping, ect. Most of the time it gets me where I want to go but there are occasions it doesn't. I avoid situations that are questionable. You have to be careful about dragging the bottom going through ruts, ditches, rocks, ect. I drag all the time & I mean all the time. There are 3 places on the land I hunt now that I drag the bottom on every time I go there. The 1st spot is leaving the road into our property. The other 2 are on the way to our parking spot. There are more places I would drag on our property if I drive there. I ride with my friends to those spots.

I'm not sure what I will buy for my next vehicle. Probably want be Gen 2, not because I don't like the Ridgeline. I like to try different vehicles out. How long my RL last will determine what I buy next, has 227K miles now.
 

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The Tac will have more after-market 'stuff' for serious off-roaders. About the only advantage for those 10 to 15 days of fun in the dirt.
 

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The RL is the best 'washboard' rider I've ever experienced. But I haven't ridden in a 4Runner either. My guess is the RL will definitely be more comfortable, but I wouldn't guess as to whether it would tolerate a constant serving of this kind or punishment on a day-to-day basis. Maybe others can comment on that. I only put it to her on infrequent occasions while off on vacation somewhere. The rest of the time we're on much tamer terms.

Other than the ride comfort thing, (& the storage issue of course) you can't really go wrong with a Toyota either. 4Runner or Tundra ???
 

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The RL is a more comfortable ride but the dedicated 4x4 Toyotas are far superior off-road. Sold my RL and bought a used Land Cruiser - the difference in off-road capability is astonishing. I like the ride of the LC, though it's not as scummy as the RL. Just depends on what's important to you.
 

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I'm wondering if I should keep Ridgeline or move to full 4x4 Toyota. If you with more experience could help...

I live in the Kootenays of BC and while I'm not interested in off-roading (climbing rocks, mud bogging, etc)... I am often "rough-roading" up forestry service roads to do hikes through the spring, summer, fall. Lots of washboard, rocks and ruts in the roads. Some climbs and descents but nothing too bad. I have an 06 Ridgeline LX and it can go everywhere I want to go. But I'm wondering if I'm shaking the heck out of it and if a true 4x4 would be better. This would be for the 15-20 days per year when I'm out there.

My question... would a 4Runner for example handle these kinds of roads over time better than the Ridgeline does? Does it soak up this stuff better? Last longer? Or is the difference only noticeable if I'm getting into extreme climbs and obstacles?

I guess the other question is, maybe I'd actually go further off the beaten path if I had more capacity. Love the Ridgeline in every way. Just don't want to be pushing it beyond its limits. So far mine has lasted well (200,000km/ 160mi) but it's getting rattly!

(BTW I'm no mechanic. I take it in for everything. So far it's treated me very well. Maybe I'm answering my own question...)
I actually came from a 4Runner to the Ridge. Mine was a 2010 Limited. My take on it is that the 4Runner is awesome. Very capable in all terrains and very comfortable to drive. It's not a truck in the sense you don't have a bed, but it's a truck in the sense that it's tough as hell. If you don't need a bed, go 4Runner, more comfortable and capable off road.

Only word of caution is to stay away from the Limited trim, go with the SR5 or Trail. The limited trim has much less options on tires because they come with 20" but 245's on it. Tough to find tires in that size. The SR5 and Trails are much more common to find tires.
 

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The Ridgeline should do fine.....but lower the pressure on your tires (ie 20lbs) and it won't beat you (or itself) to death so much. You'll need to invest in a good air compressor to carry with you.

You'll still need to carefully pick your lines, so you don't scrape the undercarriage. If you are going to do any rougher roads.....upgrade to a 4Runner, Tacoma, FJ (I have a FJ, plus a Ridgeline).
 
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