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Thread: Thinking of getting a side by side - advice?

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    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    Default Thinking of getting a side by side - advice?

    I have owned several ATVs over the years and have ridden OPAs (Other People's ATVs), so i'm not a total newb to the sport.

    I am considering a side by side for my next rig. I'd really like to be able to transport it in the bed of my full size Chevy truck. Just looking at the specs on the various websites, the smaller Polaris Ranger and the Yamaha Rhino appear to physically fit - width and length. It looks like i will have to "climb" over the wheel wells in the bed of the truck with the front tires, otherwise they should fit.

    Is this just a dumb idea? I really don't want to go to the expense and hassle of a trailer to move it around.

    Any other comments on what i should look for in a SxS are very welcome! Thanks!
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    If it fits in your truck, go with the RZR. It will be a lot more fun than the Rhino. Keep in mind that the RZR S, although more fun, has different dimensions and likely won't fit in your truck.

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    Well I have looked at the new 400/500 rangers while a neat idea, they lack somethings. 1. storage space, the bigger rangers have a ton storage area the little ones don't. 2. The 400/500 only seat two while the bigger rangers can seat 3. the bigger rangers have bigger boxes as well. I think they are well worth the extra hassle of gettign a trailer.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    The Ranger XP will fit in a full size Ford. Its tight, but it will fit. I would have never believed it either. I also didn't believe a Ranger XP with a top would fit in a standard 6 foot door on an enclosed trailer with a beaver tail, but I did it this winter. You gotta have someone sit on the tailgate of the ranger passing thru the door. The RZRS will not fit in a standard full bed Ford. Not sure on the normal Ranger. The payload of the Ranger vs any other UTV is apples to oranges. The bench seat gets warm on a Ranger, which is nice in the winter especially with a full windshield and hard top. My wife has a Ranger XP and since she got it, my Rubicon is a plow vehicle, and my son rides it on tough trails with us. Sitting side by side, having a conversation with your partner, out of the weather, sipping a hot cup of coffie on a cold fall morning is hard to beat. Hope you enoy what ever you decide.

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    I have a Rhino with 27" tires that fits in my reg bed GMC. Tail gate down of course, but it fits and rides fine. No room for anything else though. I dont think I would go across the state with it like that, but I have taken it to Kenai from Anch and back without problems.
    The trailer is much easier to load and unload without worry.

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    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    My rhino with 26" mudlites fits fine in a full size bed. Like its already been stated not really any room left but it works fine. If you are looking for used one Im selling mine. Hillbilly

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    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments, guys - really appreciate it! It sounds like one will fit, but a trailer is still the best solution. Hmmmmmmm... I may go ahead and get one, try hauling it in the truck and then decide if a trailer is in my future.

    I will use the SxS primarily for hunting and may pull a meat trailer behind. At that point a trailer to move it all behind the pickup becomes a requirement... and so it goes... more toys...
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    [QUOTE.. and so it goes... more toys...[/QUOTE]

    Just remember he who dies with the most toys and guns, WINS!!!

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    Honest question, not picking....I was discussing this with a buddy the other day...what is the reason for a side by side? I mean, it seems that its basically as wide as a small jeep, yet too big and heavy to go where a good 4 or 6 wheeler will go.

    Besides alongside the highways or on gravel roads, where do you guys find to ride them? Does it limit where you can/will go to ride/hunt?

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    Really I drive our current one everywhere from Eureka to petersvilles to swede lake trail! Hands down the sxs are the way to go. Do they get stuck yes but a good winch will take care of that. I will probably never own another 4 wheeler while up here in Alaska!

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Thanks 323, they just seem so heavy and low centered that marshy stuff would be out....

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    Member tjm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    Thanks 323, they just seem so heavy and low centered that marshy stuff would be out....
    Sounds like someone needs to take you for a ride There are very few situations where I prefer a 4 wheeler...but there are more situations where a 4 wheeler doesn't even come close to a SxS...of course, there's always that little detail of cost...a new SxS decked out is stupid expensive....
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Maybe I can twist Chico's arm a little....

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    I have ATV'S and UTV's (SxS) both serve thier own purpose. Even among the same group each machine has its' own plus and minus'! My recommendation is to first decide what the purpose of this machine is. If you are using it alone any ATv will do that. If your looking for a machine to take 2 or maore then a UTV is likely the answer? If you want a work horse, that can pack a load and go anywhere, then either the Yamaha Rhino or the Polaris Mule. The mule is considerably heavier and thus has more difficulty in muskeg! If you want to go like a "bat out of hell" then the RZR or Warrior is likley your answer? Also you can put a cab on a UTV -maybe a consideration for winter?
    As for it fitting into your truck all but the mule will. However the UTV's will have to be driven over the wheel wells and will require the tailgate to be down -even if you have a long box. My suggestion here is that you put a sled deck on your box which will allow you to carry 2 machines.
    Good luck - ride safe!

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    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    ...Sitting side by side, having a conversation with your partner, out of the weather, sipping a hot cup of coffie on a cold fall morning is hard to beat. Hope you enjoy what ever you decide.

    Chico, i think this is exactly why i want a SxS. That and they are just more comfortable to operate in the woods. And, yes, i'm getting old enough where comfort is becoming more and more important!
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    Honest question, not picking....I was discussing this with a buddy the other day...what is the reason for a side by side? I mean, it seems that its basically as wide as a small jeep, yet too big and heavy to go where a good 4 or 6 wheeler will go.

    Besides alongside the highways or on gravel roads, where do you guys find to ride them? Does it limit where you can/will go to ride/hunt?
    My wifes ranger will go everywhere my rubicon will go, and then pass the rubicon in a mud hole and keep going. Its only a shade wider than most large atvs anyways. I was a little relunctant at first, but am a believer now. We put it to the test this past fall on the trail directly behind the Eureka lodge that connects to the trail to the main trail going to Monument. We did it the reverse way not fully aware of where the trail would come out by the lodge or not. The bog we went thru may still reveal fingernail marks from my wifes hand in my thigh as I told her to hang on. We got to the lodge at dusk and I remember the wife thanking the Good Lord as she didn't want to spend the night with no cover. When your going through a trail with low alders hanging over the trail on a wheeler, ducking branches and manuevering like a paranoid ninja to prevent from being hit in the face or taking a branch in the chest, I have one hand on the wheel and one hand holding my coffee still. The windshield, roof and frame holding it all up blocks everything. When I'm sitting on a ridge top and all of a sudden it starts to rain to my back and I am watching a bull in the distance, I pull out a tarp, drap it over my roof top, secure it with a bungie, drap the rest over my bed to keep my load dry and prevent any rain or wind to crawl up my back. If you keep a healthy dose of rain-x on your windshield, it will not fog up. I highly recommend a real windshield as lexan or plexiglass will scratch, and a real hard top to deflect those alter branches. I also love to cook on the tail gate when my tummy starts to rumble instead of cooking on the ground. And since momma always never leaves home without the kitchen sink in tow, we can without hauling a trailer. I really like the two gun rack that hugs tight under the roof and over my head. Keeps my guns dry with easy access. I could go on and on with extra comforts a side by side provides that a wheeler will not. Did I mention a stock ranger xp has 12 inches of ground clearance. I plan to put some mud lites on it before fall only knowing it will be that much more of a beast. As I get older, comfort is more important than being maucho! dkwarthog, I see you live in the valley. When the snow clears and I have a day not on the water planned, I don't mind taking your for a little demo ride.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I completely agree with Chico.

    I recently bought a ranger 6x6 after having tested out a couple of friends machines. One was a ranger 4x4, the other a 6x6. They didn't have the same tires but the weight of the 6x6 wasn't really an issue with so many tires. Its not as fast or nimble as the smaller machines but it doesn't stop in the mud as fast either. There is something to be said for 6 wheels pushing and pulling through crap. Like previously stated, there are differences in machines and what you choose should be based on what you intend to use it for.

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    I have a few wheelers. I prefer riding to driving. The side-by-side thing is fine for smooth and slow driving but sitting in that driving position in bumps kills my back. Wifey likes it in the rain but hates the smell of the exhaust backdraft. Me? I'll take my 6 wheeler over the Ranger any day for utility work. For sport riding I'll keep the 4 wheeler.

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    That is a good point Mr. Pid. In a UTV you're stuck. If the mud gets bad, there's no standing on the pegs. But sore? Tough, keep going. Water get deep? Have a great swim! But, I do like SxSs for conversing, carrying stuff etc.

    If someone is in the market for a SxS, no one here mentioned the Can-Am Commander. Darned nice fit and finish. More power. Great storage. Not as quick handling or flying machine as a Razr S, not the heavy hauler as the Ranger, but in all other regards, it's pretty awesome AND does fit in the back of a full sized truck.

  20. #20
    Member jay51's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Both have their uses

    I own an 06' Honda Rancher and an Polaris RZR EPS with 26" swamplites and the podium longtravel kit, it is basically a RZR S with power steering and mud tires.

    The Rancher is bullet-proof, it starts and goes every time, braely sips gas, and it will go through the super-tight holes that the RZR won't fit through. It has pulled bigger Yamaha and Polaris 4x4s out of the river when their belts got wet, and short of flipping it over in 4' of water you can't swamp the thing. The bad side is that it beats you up and the ground clearance isn't that high.

    The RZR will go anywhere a wheeler will go, and farther. I am AMAZED at how it does in the mud, snow, and swamps. With the full-length plastic skid on the bottom it doesn't hang-up on anything, it just keeps inching forward through the snot. I run my machines up Baldy a lot, and no kidding, it takes HALF the time it does on a wheeler to get to the top in my RZR, and I'm not sore at all when I get there. I bought the RZR primarily so my wife didn't have to navigate the nastier sections of trail on her own wheeler, but now I am selling my Rancher because the RZR gets ALL the use around my house.

    I gave-up dealing with loading and unloading out of my truck a couple years ago, for me a 2-place tilt-trailer is the way to go. I use my RZR for hunting too, but primarily for recreational riding. When used for hunting it is primarily hauling gear/meat, and transportation to/from camp.

    Best of luck with your purchase, can't go wrong with any of the Polaris Rangers....

    -J

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