Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-01-2016, 10:00 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
venymae's Avatar
Alma , Kansas
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 7
Post Looking for a TV under $15k that hauls 8k+

Looking for recommendations!

We are in need of a Tow Vehicle. We will be full timing and are looking for something Under $15k that can haul 8,000lbs+. We have two kids, both in car seats, so ample back seat space is a must! Help us out!

venymae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 11:03 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
1991 25' Excella
Stanfield , Oregon
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 266
An older used crew cab diesel like a ford 6.0. Is probably the best thing in that price range.

SpletKay06 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 11:04 PM   #3
3 Rivet Member
Thiss's Avatar
1971 27' Overlander
Monmouth , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 175
Getting into the 8k weight realm sounds like a need for a turbo diesel.

Car seats are tight, but a second get Dodge Cummins would be in the budget and have plenty of power and durability.

You may be able to find a good third gen Dodge Quad cab. starting in 2003; this would be my choice even if I had to stretch the budget a bit.

A bigger cab option would be a 6 Pack Ford with a Power Stroke. I would look for pre Super Duty model and my favorites being 1995-1998.

If you didn't have car seats, I would suggest a first generation Dodge Cummins. You could always build a crew conversion though
1971 Overlander Twin bed, rear bath.

2016 Ram 3500 Cummins 4x4 Crew Longbed
Thiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 05:05 PM   #4
Rivet Master
andreasduess's Avatar
1984 34' International
Toronto , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,432
Images: 5
Blog Entries: 1
20 year old trucks offer little, if any, protection in a rollover accident. I would not trust them with my kids.
andreasduess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 06:45 PM   #5
planning for full time...
SCOTTinNJ's Avatar
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Somerset County , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 726
At $15k you should be able to find a 2011/12 F150 crew cab with the 5.0 V8. basically the same truck I have. if you get one with the 3.73 gears it should pull well. mine is 3.55 and is pretty good.

It's the same engine still used in the new F150s and the body style is only one generation old.

Downside is at that price it will have over 100k miles, so I'd look for at clean one.
living.somewhere.yonder | Early stages of Instagram
SCOTTinNJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 06:49 PM   #6
Rivet Master
dbj216's Avatar

1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,508
We had real good luck with our 2001 Ford E-350 van. It had the V-10 engine, and we kept E load rated truck tires on it. It was rated to pull 10,000 pound trailer if I recall correctly. It made a great family vehicle for our family trips with or without the Airstream. And talk about interior room, we had it in spades. We ran it about 8 years and about 150,000 miles and sold it for $5000 in 2012. Someone got a great deal. Ours was in good shape.

I always liked the van as a tow vehicle as the hitch to rear axle distance was shorter than on a pickup truck. By the way, the full size van is built on a truck chassis. I liked the power of the V-10 and didn't like the V-8 as well.

The down side of our vans (we had a 98 for a while) was the open differential on the rear axle. I called it the one wheel drive wonder. The van was not all that great in the snow. A limited slip differential would be better. And it is a high profile vehicle which gets pushed around a bit in strong cross winds.

There, I recommend the Ford E-350 as a lower cost alternative to keep the kids safe and pull your trailer. And I will be the only one with this recommendation!

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Front Left.jpg
Views:	49
Size:	348.0 KB
ID:	270625   Click image for larger version

Name:	Rear Captans Chairs.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	226.2 KB
ID:	270626  

dbj216 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 06:55 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
2005 30' Safari
Taylors , South Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 35
My wife and I recently purchased a 2005 Ford Excursion with the V10 in it for less then 11k when it was all said and done. We are towing a 30ft Airstream Safari. We have two little girls, ages 2 and 3 weeks. PLENTY of carseat space along with storage area for all that comes with having 2 children. If you're looking for advice from a 2 year-old, my daughter LOVES it. She always asks to "a ride inna big truck daddy." We've lovingly named it "Exxon" as it loves the taste of good ol' unleaded 87. It's tough finding them with low mileage but they go forever and their diesel counterparts are too pricy IMHO. If someone could direct me on how to post a picture I'd upload one for you showing the carseats. I put a link to my instagram where there is a picture of it but I don't know if that will work.

What are y'all pulling?
Mortland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 07:19 PM   #8
Rivet Master
c_lewis77's Avatar
1982 34' Limited
Brunswick , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,084
Images: 22
I second the Excursion! I have a 2000 excursion with the V10 motor. I am about to roll over 300k miles. I have 2 little girls and we all have plenty of room!
1982 34' Limited
2000 Excursion V10 4x4
WBCCI #3321
TAC #GA-24
c_lewis77 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 11:01 PM   #9
3 Rivet Member
Thiss's Avatar
1971 27' Overlander
Monmouth , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 175
Rollover wrecks are only a fraction of all accident and even less for vehicles towing travel trailers. Yes, an older pickup if rolled is not the best vehicle to be in. However, there are plenty of other ways to have accidents and also being in any rollover is not cool. I have been in one as a passenger

Being broke down on the side of the road and getting tagged by a driver who doesn't see you in the dark, trailer sway that causes the loss of control of a short wheelbased vehicle, limited engine breaking while traveling downgrade with a smaller displacement engine, losing gears from an overheated transmission while traveling down a grade, smoked brakes from smaller and thinner brake calibers, are all a few ways one could get into an accident while towing.

Personnally, I would be more conserned with a front collision in my suggested vehicles. The second gen Dodge's front impact rating it horrible, but hey it is a good reminder not to tailgate and leave space. Like most things automotive, more safety costs more money. I drove a 1985 crew cab for years with my family, but I am certainly happy to have my new rig with better accident protection.

The number one factor in motor vehicle accidents is driver error. Drive the best you can and no matter what vehicle you are driving you will be better off. As one State Trooper put it, "most wrecks are caused by "impatience and disregard."

The Excursion also had a Power Stroke.

I have a friend who pulls a pop up with a Honda Oddessey. He readily admits he wouldn't trust it with his kid pulling anything bigger.

Lastly, don't buy a non turbo diesel like the pre Duramax GMs.
1971 Overlander Twin bed, rear bath.

2016 Ram 3500 Cummins 4x4 Crew Longbed
Thiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 05:38 AM   #10
Well Preserved

1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,573
Our current tow vehicle is a 2006 F160 crew cab with a 5.4 and 4wd. Tow capacity is 9500 pounds.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 05:53 AM   #11
Rivet Master
Vintage Kin Owner
N/A , N/A
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 783
Images: 1
I guess for an 8000# plus camper, a Diesel HD truck will perform the best. However, the newer the vehicle, usually, the safer they are. So, if safety is a higher priority than towing ease, the 2011/12 F150 that SCOTTinNJ suggested would be a good choice, specially if you do not do much mountain towing.

As Thiss mentioned roll over accidents are rare (< 3% of all accidents), and usually are the result of driver error. Most roll over fatalities involve alcohol and seat belt not being fastened. So, if you drive attentively, do not drink, and fasten your seat belt, the roll over risk is minimal (though its hugely exaggerated in this forum) .

We could also worry endlessly about other type of crashes. Please see the video below. Some might argue we should NEVER ride a sedan and should get a raised pickup instead

rostam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 06:48 AM   #12
planning for full time...
SCOTTinNJ's Avatar
2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Somerset County , New Jersey
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 726
Dbj216 mentioned "one wheel wonder." I would never buy a tow vehicle without 4 wheel drive or a true locker in the rear. just last week I backed into a downhill spot at a state park. the weather was dry. when I tried to leave I broke traction pulling the trailer up the hill. had I no 4 wheel drive to engage I would have had to work harder to get out.

Same is true on wet grass.
living.somewhere.yonder | Early stages of Instagram
SCOTTinNJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 07:43 AM   #13
Rivet Master
dkottum's Avatar
2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 6,838
Need more info. Are you talking 8,000 lb (loaded) Airstream, or box trailer?What gear (weight) do you plan to carry in the tow vehicle? Are you familiar with towing trailers, and the operation of trailering equipment such as weight distribution/sway control hitches and brake controllers? Can you do repairs on a tow vehicle yourself? Do you plan to travel most of the time or now and then? And for braking and climbing ability, do you plan to travel in high altitudes?

$15,000 is a pretty tight budget for a reliable, highly capable tow vehicle that will be comfortable to ride in and drive every day.

Your best chance is probably a base model, late model V8 half-ton pickup and a very good hitch and hitch setup. There will be limits in weight carrying ability in the truck, and braking and climbing steep grades ought to be slow for economy and safety. Look at axle (and tire) ratings and the weight of the truck to help determine if it can carry your trailer tongue weight, passengers and gear. Plan to use a capable weight distribution hitch to distribute the load evenly on the truck's axles, and some to the trailer axles.

When you choose a travel trailer, check the load carrying capacity so you can carry most of your gear in the trailer rather than in your tow vehicle. Know that Airstreams have towing advantages. Independent suspension allows better handling and low center of gravity, this low profile and it's streamlined design has less wind resistance going ahead, and less movement from strong, gusting side winds and passing semi trucks. Good travel trailer and hitch performance improves the towing performance of your tow vehicle greatly.
Doug and Cheryl
2012 FC RB, Michelin 16, ProPride 1400
2016 Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4X4 Ecodiesel 3.92 axles

The Truth is More Important Than the Facts
dkottum is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2016, 08:13 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
2012 19' International
Southeastern MI , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 68
Last time I was looking for a good truck I bought a '96 Suburban diesel and had it delivered from Texas. Cost me less than $4k and I put $2k in it to make it rock solid dependable. Might be a little old for some people but I have some mechanic skills and from Texas there was no rust so bolts were easy to wrench on! The 6.5 is a Detroit Diesel product and pulled very well. I even replaced the glow plugs myself and they came out easily. It was on a 1 ton chassis and would pull anything.

You could go a bit newer and still be under $15k. Unless you are really handy I would go with a big block gas motor though. I recently saw a '95 Dodge Cummins, brought up from Texas, for $20k. It had 300k miles and I'm guessing could go another 200k. (Inwould consider that before a gasser!)

I would not buy a budget truck in the rust belt at any price. The mid-2000s trucks command a really high price, especially 4x4s, and can hide some serious rust issues. I've even seen frame failures on some of the trucks I've looked at.

As far as the safety question, weight is your friend. Just remember there's always something bigger on the road!

2012 Serenity 19
Countryboy59 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
15K BTU Brisk Air vs. 15K BTU Penguin adwriter73 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 9 05-23-2011 10:32 AM
Got my Carrier 15K BTU installed chuman70 Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 2 06-22-2007 06:07 AM
15K BTU Dometic A/C tripping breaker silverback Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 48 07-11-2006 09:14 AM
Who Got What - Holiday Hauls? Janet H Off Topic Forum 35 01-07-2005 12:02 PM
15k BTU A/C unit info Silvertwinkie Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 0 09-21-2003 02:17 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.