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Hello all … brand new to this site & am interested in starting a painting business on the side. I want to get a crew cab pick-up with a locking bed cover or a Toyota 4Runner. Does anyone recommend one over the other for my business? For now I am only looking to paint interiors. Thank you all!

PaintGuy42
 

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Hello all … brand new to this site & am interested in starting a painting business on the side. I want to get a crew cab pick-up with a locking bed cover or a Toyota 4Runner. Does anyone recommend one over the other for my business? For now I am only looking to paint interiors. Thank you all!

PaintGuy42
Crew Cab and 4Runner are different.

I have a 4Runner and love it, probably buy another when this one’s done. Highly functional mid-size SUV. Good for a small outfit, but it is not a BIG vehicle. It handles well in the snow, and perfect for unplowed driveways.

There are aftermarket mods for almost any aspect you want to customize. The Runner’s FLAT roof with a Baja Rack (or similar) works well for extension ladders. I like the security of locking everything inside overnight. True 4WD SUV on steel frame with 5000 tow capacity. Power rear window. 16mpg. Decent cargo space, and there is a kit available to remove seats and make sliding drawers and flooring if you want to maximize utility, Rago makes steel Molle plates to hang pouches. The driving area is not for larger drivers.
 

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Heres a picture of my runner this morning. Just about to switch it out for the next job. Doing this helps me to focus and prepare for every job, but there is a risk of forgetting things.


I have a whole series of those bins depending on what job I’m doing (one for sanding, one for taping, one with tools, etc…). I empty and re-organize EVERY job, otherwise it’s not going to work, too small- get a van if you can’t/won’t do this.

I can fit a 21’ little giant ladder in the back, in addition to enough tools for a week ot two long job, but it is full to bursting.

As you can see it can get messy.

The tray slides out about a foot, which is great when working out of the back.

This is at the end of a recent job:
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood



Pouches for things like: disposable gloves, mini roller covers, tape, screwdrivers, strainers, gallon grids, chip brushes, etc...
Motor vehicle Car Hood Vehicle Automotive design


Car Vehicle Seat belt Motor vehicle Window


Utility Rack, has carried multiple ladders at one time, up to a 32' extension ladder.
Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Wheel Tire Vehicle



Getting ready for the next job, thee day after. I can sort and load the bins in a few minutes:
Car Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive lighting


Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Land vehicle
 

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Heres a picture of my runner this morning. Just about to switch it out for the next job. Doing this helps me to focus and prepare for every job, but there is a risk of forgetting things.


I have a whole series of those bins depending on what job I’m doing (one for sanding, one for taping, one with tools, etc…). I empty and re-organize EVERY job, otherwise it’s not going to work, too small- get a van if you can’t/won’t do this.

I can fit a 21’ little giant ladder in the back, in addition to enough tools for a week ot two long job, but it is full to bursting.

As you can see it can get messy.

The tray slides out about a foot, which is great when working out of the back.

View attachment 114445

View attachment 114446

View attachment 114447

View attachment 114449

Utility Rack:
View attachment 114452
Hopefully you don't ever have to slam on the brakes!:censored::LOL:
 

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If it'a only a part time interior repaint gig, you could run that out of a toyota hatch back. Couple drop sheets and a roller pan.
When I started painting, I had a 2-door Civic. As I started to collect more gear, I ripped out the back seat. I could even get my 6 footer in there! It was certainly not ideal, but it was paid for. I finally caved and bought a '94 Blazer last year. I love that thing!

My dream work vehicle is a hearse. Not only would it be cool as hell to drive around, but the utility of the design is great!
 

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When I started painting, I had a 2-door Civic. As I started to collect more gear, I ripped out the back seat. I could even get my 6 footer in there! It was certainly not ideal, but it was paid for. I finally caved and bought a '94 Blazer last year. I love that thing!

My dream work vehicle is a hearse. Not only would it be cool as hell to drive around, but the utility of the design is great!
Hey! When I started out I was driving a '93 Civic Hatchback too! Standard! Loved that car. After I got a van my wife drove it up until a few years ago. When she took it to the scrap yard it looked like it had been put through the crusher then taken out half way through. lol.
Now I drive a dodge grand caravan and it's awesome. Can fit everything in there including a 20' extension ladder with ease. I've heard they're called dodge diaper vipers. Ugh.
 

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Hey! When I started out I was driving a '93 Civic Hatchback too! Standard! Loved that car. After I got a van my wife drove it up until a few years ago. When she took it to the scrap yard it looked like it had been put through the crusher then taken out half way through. lol.
Now I drive a dodge grand caravan and it's awesome. Can fit everything in there including a 20' extension ladder with ease. I've heard they're called dodge diaper vipers. Ugh.
Mine was standard too, but a coupe. I would organize it over the weekend and it would be trashed by Tuesday!

I can't find my pics, but the driver's seat looked like an extra from a slasher film.

Caravans are tough due to the stereotype, but so damn practical.
 

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I started my business with a Saturn. With the passenger seat folded back, I could fit a 6ft and a 4ft ladder there, tool bag and paint in back seat and whole trunk for drop cloths and plastic drops. It was actually very functional and efficient.

In regards to the 2vehicles mentioned, I would go with the 4runner. They are nice and would be a good work wagon.
 

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I started my business with a Saturn. With the passenger seat folded back, I could fit a 6ft and a 4ft ladder there, tool bag and paint in back seat and whole trunk for drop cloths and plastic drops. It was actually very functional and efficient.

In regards to the 2vehicles mentioned, I would go with the 4runner. They are nice and would be a good work wagon.
Agreed. You don't want to go digging under a tanneau cover in the rain or snow.
 

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Hopefully you don't ever have to slam on the brakes!:censored::LOL:
empty Runner w/ bins for scale.

Raingler makes a Barrier Net for behind the front seat. I have never felt it was necessary, but if it’s something you worry about there is a solution.


Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive lighting


Lot of options...

Raingler (behind) Front Seat Barrier- (available with hybrid webbing/mesh divider)
Motor vehicle Gas Automotive exterior Metal Vehicle


Rago used to make a metal dividers for the rear cargo hold.
Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive exterior Automotive design Vehicle door
 

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If it'a only a part time interior repaint gig, you could run that out of a toyota hatch back. Couple drop sheets and a roller pan.
@PaintGuy42

I have painted full time with the 4Runner for several years (summer crew up to four, year round crew - interior- up to three).

It is big enough for full-time interior painting if you are organized ( I pull a trailer for exterior work). I prefer everything about the 4Runner to a pick-up, which I have had in the past, and wife won't allow a van in the driveway (so that settled that question). Love the ability to customize it- so many options for this vehicle!. I come from a backpacking background, so it suits my style.
 

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I ran my business out of a Ford Ranger for years. 3 different ones each getting 200,000 miles before I replaced them. When my last one was ready to go, I bought a Ford Transit. I wish I did that probably 2 Rangers ago. I have spent countless hours swapping equipment out for the next job, managing the space to try to fit everything I need, and digging through everything to find the item I needed. The van is much more organized, accessible, and fits way more stuff. As others have mentioned, if you're just starting out, you can make anything work. If you are investing in something that your business will be able to grow with, a van is the way to go. That being said, I still have a truck too (not a Ranger, a full size RAM :)).
 

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I ran my business out of a Ford Ranger for years. 3 different ones each getting 200,000 miles before I replaced them. When my last one was ready to go, I bought a Ford Transit. I wish I did that probably 2 Rangers ago. I have spent countless hours swapping equipment out for the next job, managing the space to try to fit everything I need, and digging through everything to find the item I needed. The van is much more organized, accessible, and fits way more stuff. As others have mentioned, if you're just starting out, you can make anything work. If you are investing in something that your business will be able to grow with, a van is the way to go. That being said, I still have a truck too (not a Ranger, a full size RAM :)).
Vans are bad for winter driving- this is important as winters can be harsh here, and I often work in seasonal homes over the winter.

Not everyone likes vans, and I don't see that they offer a significant advantage. For interior jobs, most/all of the materials are brought inside, so what's the difference?

The bins are made to be carried, and they create an organized work-area. Vehicle stays clean, and allows me to prepare for each job ahead of time.
 

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Vans are bad for winter driving- this is important as winters can be harsh here, and I often work in seasonal homes over the winter.

Not everyone likes vans, and I don't see that they offer a significant advantage. For interior jobs, most/all of the materials are brought inside, so what's the difference?

The bins are made to be carried, and they create an organized work-area. Vehicle stays clean, and allows me to prepare for each job ahead of time.
I never wanted a van until I owned one, then I saw the light. Part of the reason I didn't want one was because they are terrible in winter conditions as you mention, and that part is true. If we expect snow, I use the truck instead. My garage has a slight incline to get into it and I will spin out if there is a half inch on the ground. Luckily for me, that is only a couple days a year, so I deal with it. Overall, it has made my life a lot easier.
 

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When I first start I worked out of a Suburban then a full size pickup. After the pickup I went to a Chevy van and now I have a ram promaster. 90% interior work the entire time and I can't ever imagine going back to anything other than the van, it's so easy and convenient.

I had the Chevy van working in the Poconos for years and snow driving wasnt that great in it but it wasn't bad enough to make me want to trade the ease of a van for a 4x4. I'm in the south now with the Promaster which is front wheel drive. Never drove it on the snow but I have to imagine it would be way better than the Chevy.
 

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In regards to the OP's original question: 4Runner is a versatile vehicle.

Ladders are easy to put on and take off roof. Rear seats can be removed to make a larger cargo hold. Storage can be modified to suit your personal approach to painting. I think the advantage over a truck is that the contents are "inside". It is a cross between a van and a PickUp in that sense.

Goose Gear makes modular drawer systems. I have been considering doing a deep dive and installing them - $. If I do, I'll update this thread.
 
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