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Old 03-31-2017, 06:33 AM   #1
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Best Tow Vehicle choice UNDER $20,000

There are many of us who cannot spend 40-60,000 on a truck. Or will not.
I have had three very good vehicles in the past 16 years of towing an Airstream, and hope to get another one in the next couple of years.
F250 Diesel extended cab 1996 model. Hated the noisy smelly, harsh ride. But it ran like a champ.
Excursion Ltd 2000 model V10. This was the awesome tow machine I never should have sold but miles were getting close to 200K and no longer taking kids along meant no need for three row seating. Only issue was the park plug breakage that Fords had suffered with.Miss this one.
Expedition 5.4 V8 2006 model. My present ride. Now has 154,000 on it and runs well. Had the spark plug issue which set us back a lot of cash to repair, and recently a fuel pump replacement. But overall has been very dependable and decent on fuel if you call 11-12 towing decent. Might get 200 out of it or more.
Regular mass air sensor cleaning is helpful. And a spark plug change every 50,000.

So what to consider next? I am open, though I prefer a Ford, Dodge or Toyota to Chevrolet. Just haven't had good GM experiences.
Would like a diesel but not sure if the price justifies it.
Thanks for sharing ideas and please no arguing!
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:09 AM   #2
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My suggestion: Toyota Tundra, 2007-2008, with 5.7 liter V8. Under $20k. Reliable, powerful, and will last a very very long time (and good resale value).
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:45 AM   #3
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2008 28' International
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For me this is an easy one. A big 8 cyl truck, Tundra would be my first choice and F-150 would be my second.
Here is why. Any deisel is out of warranty at this price point, and that scares me. The F-150 ecoboost is also out of warranty at this price point and the twin turbo's also scare me when the warranty is done. Both carry potentially very expensive fixes.
Also, be prepared to buy a vehicle with 100,000 or more for that price range. This is where the one owner, private sale can pay off. You get to meet the owner and find out how he/she treats their vehicles. I am one of those guys and have people standing in line when I sell used.

Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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If you're looking for experience rather than just another opinion, our 2012 Ram 5.7 Hemi was smooth and powerful, inexpensive, trouble-free and very fuel efficient (20+ mpg hwy, 16 mpg mixed driving). Our 2006 Tundra was none of those.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:30 AM   #5
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I'm shopping now and I scour the ads every day. (I'm going a bit newer because I'll have a trade.
My first choice is a Toyota Tundra, 5.7, double cab (not crew cab) SR-5, gas (not flex fuel), no four wheel drive, under 40,000 mi., Certified used car if possible.
Why the Toyota with it's poor gas mileage? Because I've had a Ram, and a friend had a diesel Ford, and I'm convinced the Toyota will save me money in the long run.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
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I tend to like that, the Tundra is rough on gas though, no?
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:06 AM   #7
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I've been very pleased with my 2012 F150 5.0 V8. An XLT with around 40-60,000 miles should be hovering around $20k. Something like that or the 5.7 Ram would be on my short list.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
I tend to like that, the Tundra is rough on gas though, no?
Yes, but my Ram averaged 11 mpg, without a trailer, and the minor stuff all fell apart. I'll take my chances with a Toyota lasting 100K miles.
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Old 03-31-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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Yes, but my Ram averaged 11 mpg, without a trailer, and the minor stuff all fell apart. I'll take my chances with a Toyota lasting 100K miles.
I would bet that it would last many more miles

http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/heres-...-mi-1776141464
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Old 03-31-2017, 12:13 PM   #10
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I spent a long time looking before I found what I was looking for . It's a fully loaded including power moonroof ,2007 Silverado duramax very low mileage
My advice is decide what you want and don't get in a hurry to buy it , look for a private seller lots of great trucks on Craigslist
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
I tend to like that, the Tundra is rough on gas though, no?
2008 Tundra CrewMax, 4x4, 5.7L with 135,000 trouble free miles....13-17mpg overall and 10 mpg towing my 28' AS. That is not just another opinion, that is experience. IMO getting 0-60,000 trouble free miles from a 1-3 year old vehicle should be expected. It does NOT scream reliability to me. What a vehicle can do after the 100,000 mark defines reliability in my book.
Take this test as you search for your used vehicle under $20,000. Look at same year trucks with 8 cyl engines and similar body configurations, mileage etc. Then look at the price disparity between them. You will then find the Tundra will demand the highest $ of the bunch. There is a reason for that. Better yet, look in your classifieds for used trucks, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford etc...Very few, if any Tundra's. There is a reason for that. Most of them get passed down to family or friends.
Would I like more payload & better gas mileage? Absolutely, but reliability/longevity trumps all in my book.
Ok, I'm done. Do I like my Tundra? Yes I do, and there is a reason for that..I work hard for my $ and demand the best value for my hard earned dollars.
Good luck in your search and let us know how you make out!
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:34 PM   #12
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I just bought an '09 Chevy Express 3500 Extended Van w/6.0L gas engine - love it and tows nicely. The added bonus is we can literally fill it with bicycles, adult beverage coolers, dirt bike, etc. - literally if it fits it ships. I have even put my EzGo golfcart in it once. It has ~107k miles and I bought it for $9k.

I get ~13.4 mpg towing.
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Old 03-31-2017, 02:29 PM   #13
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If you have never experienced a GM Duramax with the Alison tranny. You are missing some real torque, great mpg, and reliability. Mine 2007 has 120,000 miles pulling a 34' slide with no problems. Just do all the schedule maintenance. I added full air ride before a trip to Alaska what a difference that makes to any 3/4 HD. My wife says it's time for s new one, I hate to give up my tricked out old reliable work horse.
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Old 03-31-2017, 04:18 PM   #14
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Best tow vehicle under 20,000

I agree with the Tundra folks. Best truck made!
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