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More truck/trailer questions re: older trucks

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  • More truck/trailer questions re: older trucks

    UPDATE: You guys were right! I am happy to eat my words...I'm now the proud owner of a Chevy Silverado.

    HOLY COW!
    Last edited by jn4jenny; Nov. 11, 2008, 04:36 AM.
    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

  • #2
    I have a 1999 F250 SD PSD (with tow pkg) that I absolutely love. It has just over 100k miles on it - that is just getting broken in for a diesel. I fully expect to get more than another 100k out of it. I did put new brakes and a new tranny in it when I purchased it, as part of the purchase price.

    I like knowing that the tranny is new and therefore not likely to be problematic (it is also under warranty now) and I am extremely satisfied that I bought exactly what I needed. It runs and pulls great; I haul a 2+1 GN trailer, usually with one or two horses in it plus gear.

    You can get trucks like that very reasonably now as people who don't actually NEED to haul stuff are downsizing & getting rid of them due to the cost of fuel. In my area, diesel got very pricey for a while (over $5/gal) but is now just over $3, not much more than the gas I put in my car - and the diesel is pretty efficient, even when hauling.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

    Comment


    • #3
      Does it have to be a truck?

      We have a '96 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.2L V8 4x4 that we only use to tow our horse trailer with. It comes standard with a towing package, oversized transmission cooler for towing and I believe it can tow 6000lbs. It hauls our 2H trailer with dressing room and 2 large horses etc. without problems. As a matter of fact, it feels like it's towing nothing at all.

      It also gives me plenty space where we can stow our tack in the car and lock it up rather than leaving it in the trailer tack/dressing room with questionable locks.

      Towing fully loaded, it get approx 15mpg average hwy.

      If you can find an older diesel truck, that's what I would get. The Ford diesels have a better reputation than the Dodge diesels. Depending on where in MI you live, you might have to get an engine block warmer for it in the cold winter months.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Would love to have a diesel, but it's not realistic in this price range. Michigan/Ohio is about the most depressed vehicle economy you'll find in the country, and even here, $4000 won't buy me a diesel 4x4 with less than 250K miles!

        As for smaller SUV's, I'm *very* reluctant to go that way. I go back and forth about whether it's prudent--so many people say "more truck is better, it's not what you can haul it's what you can stop, etc." I am looking at some Chevy Suburbans but have been nervous to look at the Durango's and Jeeps.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          1. You would have to LOOK for a 3/4 ton without the tow package, they're somewhat rare. Though you mention F250's w/o tow package, what are the specifics on that truck/s?

          2. Some replacement parts may cost more for a 3/4 ton, but not really enough to concern yourself about.

          3. Really too broad of a question. That would come down to a case to case basis; wear and tear, price, maint records etc.

          4. I would suggest once you find a truck you're interested in, then go to a make/model specific forum and ask what to be on the lookout for.

          5. Higher mileage is not that great a concern IF the truck has been maintained. The biggest cost would likely be the tranny.
          Disclaimer;
          Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
          Not in the 42% or the 96%

          Comment


          • #6
            I just bought a 1993 chevy 3500 4x4 turbo diesel from Michigan with 225000miles for under $4000.00 So if can be done!

            I love it and there is nothing wrong with it. Drives like a new truck!
            www.simplicityweimaraners.ca

            Comment


            • #7
              Have you tried autotrader.com? They have a very useful and specific search system.

              Dont know exactly where youre at, but this truck doesnt look bad, click.
              Disclaimer;
              Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
              Not in the 42% or the 96%

              Comment


              • #8
                I recently ended a long truck search with the purchase of a 1999 GMC Sierra. It has about 100,000 miles on it and is in fantastic condition.

                I also solicited the assistance of a good mechanic who offered to be my "advisor" for any truck I was looking at. He would let me know if I should even go look at a truck which saved me a lot of time. I would highly recommend you have your truck inspected by a mechanic before you purchase it. If you don't want to spend the money on that, you should at the very least purchase a Carfax report on it. You can even buy a one time Carfax report from people selling them on Craigslist for a couple of bucks.

                My two primary search methods were Autotrader and Craigslist. The truck I bought was advertised on Craigslist. My truck search lasted about six months, but was well worth it. I paid under blue book by $1500 for this truck.

                I also found the forum on Mrtruck.com to be quite helpful.

                Good luck on your search!
                Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
                http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg

                Comment


                • #9
                  MrTruck.com is indeed a great forum on towing vehicles and trailers. Had forgotten all about that.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for the advice so far. I do have an excellent mechanic who specializes in domestic brands, I've been to mrtruck.com, and I've been accessing Autotrader through the fabulous resource www.hankshelper.com (compiles car site results in one place) and www.craigshelper.com (complies many Craigslist result sites in one place).

                    Unfortunately, jenm, I don't have six months--if this is going to happen, it needs to happen before Thanksgiving. My original intent was to buy a truck for April 2009, which would have given me many months to shop, but for reasons that don't need to be gotten into here, I may have to speed it up.

                    Carrera, you are correct that you can buy a 350 diesel with high mileage for under $4000--but they are all THREE fifties, not TWO fifties, and I have ZERO interest in parking, driving, or maintaining a vehicle of that size to pull 4500 lbs. And of course, so irritatingly, there ARE 3/4 ton diesels out there for just $1000 or $2000 above my budget. And when would I have 2000 more dollars? Oh that's right, in April 2009 when I was planning to buy a truck.
                    Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a 96 Dodge 3/4 ton 4WD that I bought last year with around 88k on it. I LOVE this truck. It's the V10 and while the mileage isn't great, I pretty much just use it to haul with. And it has power to spare. I doubt there would be any difference in pricing for maintenance on this trucks vs even an S10. The only difference would be the 4WD and that would be the same on any truck.

                      Good luck in your search! It took me about four months to find this truck. Finding a 3/4 ton Dodge that wasn't a diesel was dang near impossible.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                        Carrera, you are correct that you can buy a 350 diesel with high mileage for under $4000--but they are all THREE fifties, not TWO fifties, and I have ZERO interest in parking, driving, or maintaining a vehicle of that size to pull 4500 lbs.
                        To tow one horse on that budget I would prefer a late 90s half ton to an early 90s three quarter ton, or at least I'd look at both.

                        You really want good past maintenance (and luck) in that price range. Ongoing costs are not very predictable in an older vehicle. Sure tires, brakes, bearings or whatever might cost 20% more on a bigger truck, but that really won't matter much compared to picking one with life left in major components.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by tangledweb View Post
                          To tow one horse on that budget I would prefer a late 90s half ton to an early 90s three quarter ton, or at least I'd look at both.

                          You really want good past maintenance (and luck) in that price range. Ongoing costs are not very predictable in an older vehicle. Sure tires, brakes, bearings or whatever might cost 20% more on a bigger truck, but that really won't matter much compared to picking one with life left in major components.
                          So let's say our choices are between a cosmetically attractive Chevy Suburban 1500 with tow package and rebuilt trans and motor (35K on those, 163K on the body) that's had darn near everything replaced (alternator, battery, exhaust all new),

                          and a faded-paint but minimal-rust F250 with only 77K original miles with a perfect mechanical resume and almost-new tires. Year of manufacture is the same, purchase price is the same, both have been well maintained under the hood. Who wins?
                          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Between 2 vehicles the same age, where one has been driven till all sorts of things wore out enough to need replacing and other things will soon need replacing, and one that has done remarkably low miles for its age?

                            Low miles every time.

                            But have the low mileage one looked at. 5K per year is very low which can create problems of its own.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I own a 1995 Dodge Ram 2500 (regular cab) with the Dodge Cummins engine. (The old engine with the great gas mileage, not the new one causing so many problems). This truck was my commuting vehicle to the city and back for work for over 10 years in addition to barn/towing duties on the weekend. Now it is strictly a towing vehicle.

                              We have almost 600,000 km on that truck and except for a paint job 2 years ago (no rust just wanted it to more closely match my new living quarters trailer) it has given me NO grief whatsoever.

                              I am planning to start hauling my big trailer and horses to Florida this coming January and have no plans whatsoever to find a replacement for hopefully another 10 years or so. By then it will be 23 years old. My mechanic says the truck will rust away and that engine will still be worth $5,000.00 by itself. Not a bad investment at all.

                              If I were looking for another tow vehicle I would buy another one of these in a heartbeat!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                J4J - an F-350 doesn't have to be a dually. A single-axle F-350 looks and parks just like a 250. I looked at both before I bought my F-350.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by 2bee View Post
                                  4. I would suggest once you find a truck you're interested in, then go to a make/model specific forum and ask what to be on the lookout for.
                                  I spent alot of time on fordtrucks.com before buying my early 1990's F-250.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                                    So let's say our choices are between a cosmetically attractive Chevy Suburban 1500 with tow package and rebuilt trans and motor (35K on those, 163K on the body) that's had darn near everything replaced (alternator, battery, exhaust all new),

                                    and a faded-paint but minimal-rust F250 with only 77K original miles with a perfect mechanical resume and almost-new tires. Year of manufacture is the same, purchase price is the same, both have been well maintained under the hood. Who wins?
                                    The Suburban, unless you need to haul round bales, as you can put more of your stuff in the back out of the weather, and not have to worry about purchasing a trailer with a dressing room (which means it's smaller and cheaper).

                                    Full disclosure: my daily driver is a 1999 4x4 Suburban 2500 w/ 454 V8. Hey, it's paid for...

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      While I'm not advocating you BUY a twenty year old truck, but we have not had a spit of trouble with our l989 Ford super cab, 250F, 4x4 diesel which now has over 300,000k.
                                      Meaning, if you bought one ten years younger, you could look forward to a long happy life togeher. We do, however, do good maintenance on it and it always has good tires on it.
                                      It's a good ole workhorse.
                                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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