Suggestions for a cross-country road trip vehicle

I thought up an idea so crazy it just might work, or just might explode in my face. I need Oppo’s help to make sure the latter doesn’t happen.

This idea involves driving a car continuously for a long distance. Last time I did something like this was when I explored Eastern Canada in a rental Elantra for a total one-way mileage of about 2,600 km.

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This time I want to head west and north to the Arctic Circle. And I’d also like to make it back home. There are over 15,000 kms to cover in this journey and although it’s at least a year out I want to gather some preliminary information to understand the feasibility of this endeavour.

The Route

From Toronto I’ll head to the northern part of the province, around Lake Superior, and continue west through the prairies. At some point I’ll turn north once again and go through Edmonton before cutting through interior BC and ending up in Dawson City, Yukon. There lies the start of the Dempster Highway which is a scenic, unpaved road to small communities in the Northwest Territories.

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In total there is nearly 6,000 km of highway between me and Dawson City, and 900 km of gravel road to Tuktoyaktuk.

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Ha there’s a place called Chicken in Alaska

And a similar distance to cover back home.

The Trip

It’ll be me and my soon wife-to-be. We like travelling together, and we love hiking. She enjoys camping, which means I’ll be forced to camp. Realistically I think this trip takes ~3 weeks (there won’t be as many stops on the way back).

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The Vehicle

This is where you come in, Oppo. I’m currently leaning towards purchasing a car here in Ontario, spending some time and money making it road-trip ready, and going on this adventure. Rentals are possible but I think the costs will be absolutely staggering, plus I want something well-equipped for that last stretch into the Northwest Territories. Once the trip is over I might try to sell the car, or perhaps keep it so that it becomes the household vehicle.

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85% of the route is on paved roads. I do not need a bro-truck or even a Jeep. I do, however, want something that sits higher off the ground than a sedan to have some more clearance and minimize rock chips. I would also order some uprated wheels and tires to a destination near Dawson City and get them put on there - no need hauling them from Toronto or putting all those highway miles onto an aggressive tread.

At this point I can’t really tell you my budget because this could end up being an older car used just for this trip (keep costs low), or a newer vehicle that ends up being something that stays with us (keep costs reasonably moderate). Neither of us drive much right now, but eventually we’ll need something more family-friendly than my G35x (which is reliable when it’s sitting in my parking spot, but tends to have problems when it’s driven).

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For this reason I’m open to pretty much all suggestions. ‘97 CR-V? Sure. New Subaru Forester? Yea maybe. CX-5? Could do the trick.

Whatever it is, I will value fuel economy and it needs some after-market support for light-duty offroading mods: bull bar, skid plate, etc. Might end up spending a night in the car if things go south.

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Any other feedback, like overall timeline or past experiences are also appreciated!

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