I had good results with my VX7R using an external antenna and the external mic/speaker dealyo. The bonus was I was able to reuse my antenna setup (Diamond NMO mount etc) with the mobile rig when I "upgraded"
As for the HT...It worked fine for trail use but not so great for on the road use where I needed more power than the little HT could pump out to reach others. Aside from the power issue my biggest complaint was finding a good location for the HT to sit and not interfere with stuff while still being accessible. The other negative, at least with the VX7R, was that you can't transmit when you have it plugged in to a DC source while charging. You can still listen, just no transmitting.
Is JT insistent on a HT vs a mobile rig setup? HTs can be as much, and more, than a good mobile rig.
Jeff Z. (the "not quite as skinny" one)
'97 FZJ80 Antique Sage AE #267, stock
12/74 FJ40, 2F, SM420, 4" Lift, ARBs, 33" MTRs
"...anything else i can do for you guys, how about i wash your car or mow your lawn while you figure out your firewall system? I am now boarderline insane/unibomber." Kipper
"That assumes I'm even capable of pulling and stabbing..." Jacket
"I really like having a detachable unit." Beater