I wouldn't say that it is completely un reasonable to want to convert a touring car type vehicle into a sort of truck... I did the same to my HPI RS4 rally... only the rally has longer shocks as stock.
It is belt driven, but it stands up to off roading fine so far, while having that good touring car handling on road. just clean it after you drive it. also, putting a stadium truck body on it helped to keep alot of the dirt that the (bigger) HPI super nitro rally tires kicked up from just blowing around under the body. looks cool too.
Shaft drive would be easier to maintain, and you may be better off simply getting a purpose built truck, (I may soon too) but this works for me. see it here: