I have two dogs—a 100 lbs. Anatolian Shepherd and a 60 lbs. Golden Chow. They both have way too much energy and, like me, need frequent adventures to keep from destroying everything. Luckily, I’m a Jeep guy. I drive a 1998 Jeep Cherokee (XJ) which gives me plenty of room for gear and the dogs as we head out on the road.
My old XJ may be the perfect vehicle for adventures with dogs but there are a few others that will do the trick as well.
Toyota FJ Cruiser
I hate to say anything good about these since I’m a Jeep guy but they are spacious inside and the rubber floor liner makes dog hair, treat crumbs, and any dirt or leaves collected along the way super easy to clean up. They have plenty of windows but the downside is, most of the glass doesn’t roll down so your dog’s stuck drooling inside.
Find one of these little toaster cars. They’re only two wheel drive but they have way more room than you’d expect, especially head room, and they open up completely for easy loading and unloading of even the biggest dogs. The rear seat folds flat (completely flat) so your dog’s able to sit nearby but still move around at will.
1950 Chevy 3100 Pickup
Any pickup will do for functionality purposes but the 1950 Chevy 3100 has something the others don’t—style. Your dog will look incredibly good strapped into the front seat or roaming around the back of this vintage classic.
1998 Jeep XJ
This is the ultimate dog adventure mobile. It’s 4wd so you and your dog can go anywhere. There’s plenty of room. It’s easy to clean, comfortable, and one of the most dependable vehicles on the road. There are windows all around offering plenty of spots for your dog to poke his head outside, bark at motorcycles, or just watch traffic and smile. It’s also incredibly easy to fit your XJ with a vehicle-mounted shower to help with cleanup after a long hike or a swim in the lake. Just don’t get tricked into buying on of the new “Cherokees”—that would be a mistake.
1939 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon
This is the classic woody and, if nothing else, you and your dog really need to experience a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway in one of these. Your dog, especially one with a “bushy bushy blonde hairdo,” will love poking his head out the window to taste and smell that salty sea air. Bonus points if you let him chew on one of your huaraches.
The best of the vintage options also happens to be a Jeep. The Wagoneer, along with the other Full-Size Jeeps, are awesome for dogs because, along with all the other perks of riding in an SUV, you get the vintage style, off-road capabilities, and a rear hatch window that rolls down. Your dog will really love that last one because he can hang his head outside and enjoy the fresh air regardless of the speed because it won’t be hitting him directly in the face—that’s a big win for your dog and a great reason to find one of these old classics.