Do I need a 4x4, fo...
 
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Do I need a 4x4, for STX?

 
wcpalmer
(@wcpalmer)
Advanced Member

Hello,

I will be moving to STX in September of 2014. I have a small 1994 Chevy Cheyenne, 2 wheel drive, V6 that I would like to bring to the island with me. Before I pay the $2,300 that was I was quoted to ship my truck there, I want to be sure that I will be able to make it up all of the hills that cover the island. Does anyone have any advice that they could give me on this subject?

I live in south Georgia, where there are absolutely NO HILLS (seriously, we have a sign on the biggest hill in my town warning drivers that the "Hill blocks view", just in case some of the town folk don't know how a hill works), so finding a "big hill" to conquer would not quite give me an accurate gauge of what my little truck can handle.

Essentially what I am asking is :

1) is it necessary to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle access the entire island?
2) If 4 wheel drive is not a necessity, do you think my 1994 V6 engine can handle it?
3) Ultimately, is it worth paying shipping for my truck, or should I sell it state side, and look for one in STX?

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Topic starter Posted : November 25, 2013 9:35 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

1) is it necessary to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle access the entire island? The "entire" island - yes. Most of it - no. I don't think a 4WD is necessary - if you want to really explore then you might want one.
2) If 4 wheel drive is not a necessity, do you think my 1994 V6 engine can handle it? I would say it would handle a large portion of it - I have never "needed" 4wd.
3) Ultimately, is it worth paying shipping for my truck, or should I sell it state side, and look for one in STX? That is a personal choice and people come down on both sides of that issue. I say if you like the vehicle and it's reliable then bring it.

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Posted : November 25, 2013 10:53 pm
COLDER
(@COLDER)
Advanced Member

I have a 2010 Dodge Dakota two wheel drive and the only time I ever need 4 wheel is when is I got stupid and went some where that I should not have been
Tow bill was $75.
Moral of the story .....stay on the road and 4 wheel is not needed

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Posted : November 25, 2013 11:09 pm
DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
Trusted Member

Have lived here 25 years and I have had both.
Driving a small car now but wish I had something
Heavier. 4 wheel not necessary just something
Substantial. The roads beat cars badly.
Would not recommend light car,SUV or truck.

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Posted : November 25, 2013 11:46 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

Its not that you need 4WD, what you need is a truck or SUV that you can replace OEM "mainland" wussy suspension for heavy duty off road suspension, ie: shocks and springs. You'll rarely need 4WD unless you're into adventure, but heavy duty suspension you'll use everyday.

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Posted : November 26, 2013 11:58 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i came down with a ford escort and never had a problem, so it is not needed

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Posted : November 26, 2013 12:01 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

I use 4wd frequently - depends on where you live.

I would not consider shipping a '94 chevy truck here unless you absolutely in love the vehicle.

Buy an island beater with the shipping money until you get settled and then upgrade to whichever vehicle suits your lifestyle depending on where you end up living and what your rabbit tracks are. I can only echo the need for solid frame/suspension. Even if the road you drive a lot is perfect, just wait 6 months - someone will come along and dig it up. Potholes breed well here. 😎

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Posted : November 26, 2013 12:09 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I have a older Toyota Tacoma pick up (1997) which I purchased n 2000.
It's a great truck, in great shape thanks to recent paint job and a little body work and still gong strong.
Rarely do I ever need to use the 4 WD on our much steeper, mountainous roads in STT.
4WD is useful when going off the beaten track to remote locations.

If your veheicle is in good shape, it'll worth it to ship because I doubt you're going to find another vehicle for the cost of the shipping.
Plus you are already familar with it and its mechanical condition.

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Posted : November 26, 2013 12:32 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

I would think it's more about ground clearance. You need a vehicle that has a decent ground clearance because of the poor road conditions especially once you get off the main roads. Most of my wife's family who live on St. Thomas drive Toyota cars and such and the only time they have problems are on some of the off roads where the roads have not been maintained so they have to drive slowly to keep the car from bottoming out on portions of the road.

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Posted : November 26, 2013 12:52 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

We had a 2005 Ford 4WD on STX (just moved) and used it quite a bit, especially during the rainy season when dirt roads were muddy. STX has quite a few more dirt roads/rough roads than STT that are in residential or farming areas. When we sold the truck, it had 50,000 miles on it and we had replaced the front end twice. The rough roads are tough on vehicles.

That said, I have many friends with vehicles like Ford Escorts and they don't have any issues driving where they drive. If they want to go into the rainforest they just get a ride with a friend who has a higher-profile truck.

I second the "beater" idea until you get settled. Talk with Jamison on this board, he's always got one he's putting together! If you want to ship your truck though that is entirely up to you, just be prepared for it to get beat up pretty quickly. 🙂

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Posted : November 26, 2013 12:53 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I would think it's more about ground clearance. You need a vehicle that has a decent ground clearance because of the poor road conditions especially once you get off the main roads. Most of my wife's family who live on St. Thomas drive Toyota cars and such and the only time they have problems are on some of the off roads where the roads have not been maintained so they have to drive slowly to keep the car from bottoming out on portions of the road.

True. Ground clearance is important due to speed bumps, potholes, etc. plus ya never know when some moron is gong to drive you off the road and up on the side of a hill due to their extreme idiocy and inattention.

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Posted : November 26, 2013 1:28 pm
wcpalmer
(@wcpalmer)
Advanced Member

Thank you friends for the great advice!

After reading everyone's comments, I am now thinking it would be in my best interest to sell the truck state side and try to find a descent ride upon my arrival to STX.

I am glad to hear that 4x4 is not a necessity, but I feel that my light little truck would get bounced around and beaten to death in a hurry on the island.

For the cost of shipping, island worthy suspension, possible repairs, and a low resale value on my truck I think I would be better off just buying one on the island.

With that being said, I know September is a long way off, but if anyone is looking to sell a RELIABLE truck or SUV around that time please keep me in mind.

Again thank you all for taking your time to drop a little knowledge on me.

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Topic starter Posted : November 26, 2013 1:32 pm
COLDER
(@COLDER)
Advanced Member

My Dodge Dakota came from Budget on STX
Good price and the truck was in very good condition
I'd buy thru them again

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Posted : November 26, 2013 2:29 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Be prepared to pay considerably more for a pick-up or and SUV, in good shape, with less than 150K PLUS miles on it.
When I considered upgrading to a newer truck or refurbishing my older one that ran great, prices were high so my old pickup remains tried and true......and looking new. If you need more weight in the back of the bed and have no 4WD, a couple of 60lb. bags of concrete (solidified) sitting in the rear of truck will work wonders. Helps to keep tires properly inflated as well on slick steep roads and corners.

I was looking at 2005/07/08 models here in STT and they all had over twice the mileage my truck has and were running about $15 - $18K.
Obviously, I did not want just a "beater" and deal wth the mechanical issues that often come with them. Good Luck.

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Posted : November 26, 2013 2:55 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

It all depends upon what you want. You can buy a truck in perfectly good running condition, albeit a "beater" on STX for a grand or two or three. I've seen newer models lately (2005+) in the $5k to $8k range, good condition, especially buying from an individual not a dealership - just look through the listings on the classifieds on this board to get an idea. STX is different from STT. Jamison (and other guys I know) puts them together all the time, and one thing is you can just fix as you go whatever you need. It's just your tolerance level for maintenance - are you handy to fix things yourself? If not there are friends to make here that will help you fix your vehicle without taking it into the repair shops. It's all about how you like to live and where you want to live and who you have as friends. That's the cool thing about STX.

A thing to consider is you rarely drive that fast (generally 45 mph max, unless you're on the one highway) and the island is small, so if you break down it's not that hard to deal with, especially once you have the friends I mention above. 🙂

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Posted : November 26, 2013 3:29 pm
wcpalmer
(@wcpalmer)
Advanced Member

Hi Alana,

Yeah, I have looked into adding concrete blocks to the bed for added weight. A guy I work with did the same to his little truck (about the same size and weight as mine) and it drives like a freaking Go-Cart!
I am sure my truck could benefit from the added weight.

$15-$18 K is WAAAY outta my price range...

I am not dead set in my decision yet, I still have many things to consider and plenty of time to weight my options.

Again, thank you for your comments! Knowledge is power... keep um coming!

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Topic starter Posted : November 26, 2013 3:36 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

if your truck is paid off, ship it down. seriously. why sell a vehicle you know that will only cost you 2000-2500 to ship down here to buy a beater once you get here for twice that?

makes more sense fiscally to ship your truck down.

and in your truck you can go just about anywhere, i did with my escort. if you go over a lot of ruts, bumps etc. you just drive slower. i never had a problem the whole time i had that escort, i actually just saw it the other day.

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Posted : November 26, 2013 7:02 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I'd bring your truck too. Once the suspension is shot, I'd order the offroad stuff and keep it going. It may not look pretty but will ride nice!!!

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Posted : November 26, 2013 11:11 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

I brought a 1985 Bronco II down in 2006. Am not here year round but have never used 4wd.
Have your mechanic check out the tie rod ends and the ball joints and the brakes as well.
IMHO it is very hard to find a good car for under $4k being a new comer. Once you meet people and have a circle of friends it is easier to find good deals.

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Posted : November 27, 2013 11:16 am
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

We shipped two down.

A 2003 Ford Excursion (diesel) with 185,000 miles and a 2004 Ford Sports Trac with 75,000 miles.

I personally serviced these vehicles and continue to do so.

Both are doing well here on STX after more than a year.

We go everywhere without 4wd including my steep driveway without trouble(common sense rules here).

If your vehicle has good suspension, is mechanically sound and is what you like, bring it!

I've seen some of the beaters they speak of and they aint pretty or well maintained.

Good Luck
CD

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Posted : November 27, 2013 12:32 pm
wcpalmer
(@wcpalmer)
Advanced Member

4 more votes for shipping the truck!
After viewing some craigslist adds, some vehicles listed on this site, and hearing more people say that 4 wheel is not needed and that I would be fine in my current ride I am now leaning more towards shipping it again (I know, I know, make up your mind kid!).

"Ca. Dreamers", you are right... those "beaters" have been beaten pretty badly!

"Spee1dy", Yes, my truck is paid off. And the peace of mind of having a vehicle upon my arrival is very appealing. Plus I know it is mechanically sound and would hate to waste money on a beater that has already been beaten to death.

I also feel that I could get more money out of selling my truck on the island when I decide leave STX in a few years then I could selling it state side before I go.
And what kinda truck wouldn't want to retire in the VI, right?!

I am somewhat mechanically minded ( I can handle all the no brainer stuff, ie: oil changes, oil filter, rotating tires, easy maintenance things of that nature) And it seems that everyone is very eager to help their neighbor on STX so I am sure I could find a pro to aid me in the serious upkeep and repairs.

It sounds like replacing the suspension is inevitable... "Vicanuck" I like your idea of running on my current suspension until it is shot and ordering the heavy duty stuff to replace it.

Again, I can not stress how much I appreciate every ones comments and taking the time out of their day to help me deliberate my dilemma. Every comment has been helpful in one way or another.

-Wes

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Topic starter Posted : November 27, 2013 1:58 pm
rmb2830
(@rmb2830)
Advanced Member

Another vote for bringing what you know. We've always referred to stx as the retirement home for our vehicles...and ours are old. We do have to do maintenance, front end work, etc, but any vehicle is going to need that on stx, new or old. I've never liked the idea of buying someone else's problem..but at the same time, know that some of the ones for sale on stx now are just for sale because someone is leaving or left island, so it is possible to get a good one.

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Posted : November 27, 2013 3:20 pm
terry
(@terry)
Expert

We shipped ours with Barry at Flemming. We had him bring it down instead of us sending it down. Had one item end up on STT and since Flemming was expecting it they knew something was wrong. Had I been looking for it I'm sure it would have taken a lot longer to find.
I also pId a few bucks more and had Barry do all of the MVD paperwork. ThT way it is ready to go! Once you are here and learn the "ropes" the MVD is not a big deal but to a newcomer it can be daunting.

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Posted : November 29, 2013 12:08 am
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