Maybe you guys can help me out here? My husband reeeeeeeeeeeeally wants something "fun" for him and our four year old son to drive around in. For a while he wanted to fix up an old muscle car for fun drives (gas-guzzleing and useless in my opinion). But, recently, he's been thinking of something small, like a go-kart to drive around our property with. That seems a bit more useful, though I really hate using/wasting gas. But, marriage is about compromise, right? Something small that can drive down our trails is better than a muscle car from the 60s/70s, right?
Anyway, I know very little about this subject. We already have a john deer riding lawn mower/tractor, and I don't want him joyriding in that. What are the options for little vehicles to drive around the property, preferably with two seats (quads, go karts...???)? What are the pros and cons?
If he really wants to waste some money on transport for that small an area, go with a quad, it can at least be fitted with a trailer, sprayers, rakes, small harrows etc to earn it's keep. They can also be road legal so could be used for other things.
I'll second the golf cart idea. That or an older (read that as less expensive) UTV. I currently have a gas powered golf cart and find it indispensable. Before moving to Alaska we had a John Deere Gator. That thing was an awesome piece of equipment to have around the homestead.
I will also have to go with the electric golf cart. That way, no spewing of hydrocarbons on your acreage.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
If you are going with a motorized piece of equipment, I would opt for a side-by-side instead of a quad. Much safer and most are equipped with a small dump bed. Less noisy than a quad and often have cabs. I see them as much more utilitarian than a quad. They are easy to find on classified ads websites. Right now I can find a used Toro product for about $2,600 on the low end, a used Polaris product for around $6,000 in the medium range, and used Deere Gators will command more than $10,000 in our area.
We have a gasoline golf cart that my DH says "it has more than paid for itself." Fun to ride around it, your guests will love it too. Get it with /or add a bed for hauling all kinds of stuff from tools to tree limbs.
We also use ours to drive over seeds after planting to give good soil contact.
The electric kind that the others are recommending are well worth it too . You could add a small solar panel to make it a solar golf cart
An old four wheel drive Subaru station wagon would make a good choice. The old three wheeled ATV's can be gotten cheap, I've skidded a lot of firewood out of the woods behind one of those. If you can find a pickup that's been wrecked but still runs, that might be good, one guy I know has one with the body taken off and an extra transmission added to gear it WAY low. A bi-pod and a winch makes it a monster for pulling stumps.
I've got no option but to sell you all for scientific experiments. Or a tiny ad:
Mike Oehler's Low-Cost Underground House Workshop & Survival Shelter Seminar - 3 DVD+2 Books Deal