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I moved to the Vancouver area around 1.5 years ago and quickly transformed from a city boi into a guy who spends most of his free time in the mountains. The next logical step is getting a proper vehicle to get me to the places I cannot reach with my current car. Help me figure out what to get.

My budget is 10K, and I want a truck that can be used both for daily commuting and going on forest service roads and mild off-road. I was thinking about keeping a current car for driving to work and getting a cheaper truck just for off-roading but this will be problematic due to limited parking space and insurance costs.
I am thinking about getting a stock 3rd gen 4Runner. In my mind, this will be a perfect option both for city driving and accidental light off-roading. As I imagine, I won't need AT tires, a suspension lift, a winch, etc. unless I decide to get into rock crawling or serious off-roading. Let me know if I'm dead wrong.

Also, what are the essential things to consider when getting a truck? I know that 4Runners should be thoroughly checked for frame rust. What else could be crucial? Is an e-locker a must-have?
 

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The better equipped the vehicle is the more places you can explore without fear of getting stuck- I know that sounds obvious, but it's something to think about, especially if you wander around the wilds alone (only 1 vehicle). A 4Runner would be a great truck to bomb around in- a little lift, some 33's, an e-locker (if you can find 1 in a truck in your price range it will be ssoooo worth it!) and you could go almost anywhere. I'm on my 3rd 4wheel drive- ('86 Toy pickup, '94 4Runner and now an '08 FJ Cruiser), have watched the evolution of equipment, tires and trucks over the years and it's just gotten so much better with time. The FJ (with 3" lift, 33" AT TA's and factory e-locker) can easily go places I had to really work the '86 to get to, and the older truck had a bit of lift, 31's and a Gleason Torsen rear differential. A little height and taller tires (with more tread on the ground) are definitely your friend!

That said- start with what you can afford. As you explore deeper into the wilderness it will become apparent when you've reached the vehicle's limitations. I haven't looked at the 4Runner market lately- what year are you hoping for (or have already bought)? Al
 
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