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Old 05-21-2012, 04:56 PM   #15
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lawrence , Kansas
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thank you all SOOO much for your quick & informative responses!!! i really appreciate it!!!
the reason i'm looking for a tow vehicle first, before purchasing a trailer, is because our current car is kind of on its last legs & it's about time to start looking for a different one-- we'd like to just buy the vehicle we're going to tow with instead of buying a different car & then swapping that out for a tow vehicle in just a few months. (definitely can't afford two cars at once, plus a trailer!)
i'm trying to get a general price range of what we should expect to spend on this new vehicle so that if our car does unfortunately go to car heaven soon i'll be a little more prepared. (i work out of town a lot, so it's important that i have reliable transportation.)
we're not so sold on the veggie oil idea at this point, although it's still a possibility.. ideally it would be awesome, but neither of us are very handy so it might not be the best idea, haha.

it definitely does seem smarter to get the trailer first, so hopefully my current car will last an extra couple of months.

i do plan to live in the airstream indefinitely, but DEFINITELY not in a kansas winter, you're right about that, dkottum! for the winter i will either go south or southwest.
my general plan is to leave kansas & go northeast next summer, then travel along the coast (or wherever the road leads), ending up in a very warm region for the winter months.

i'm going to be traveling through all kinds of terrain so i really want to make sure i get something big/strong enough to pull whatever trailer i end up with! (to be safe, i want to make sure whatever i get can tow 7000lbs & ideally i would like to get a 27' trailer.)

does anyone tow with/have a dodge dakota?
i'm looking at extended cabs around 1998-2004ish.
i also have a giant dog that would be riding along in the backseat.

thank you SO much for your help!!!
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:06 PM   #16
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My father has a 2004 Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 with the 4.7L V8. His is a loaded sport with leather etc. and is quite comfortable to drive. Decent truck for what it is. The only thing he doesn't care for is that it gets absolutely lousy fuel economy for its size. It definately doesn't give you an advantage over say a 1/2 ton in that department.
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #17
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1981 31' Excella II
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Finding a good cheap old Airstream is a challenge. If you get a 30-40 yr old Airstream chances are you will spend the next year or so and your tow vehicle budget fixing the Airstream. Airstreams are well built compared to some other brand (SOB) but nothing lasts forever. Many look nice on the outside but when you start looking under the skins you find all manner of problems.

Like the others have said, old diesel trucks are money pits. Make sure that whatever trailer you buy is inspected by some who knows Airstreams. I would take the advice of the other folks on here and spend your time finding that elusive Airstream that is ready to camp in.

Perry
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:35 PM   #18
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1974 25' Tradewind
Ann Arbor , Michigan
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You can tow fairly big trailers with the Dakota/Durango, but the engine choices are marginal, as is cooling and brakes. My 2001 5.9L Durango is ok for a 25ft 4750lb (dry) trailer in flat states with lots of gas stations. I wish I had a bigger, better TV, but can't afford one right now.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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+1 on the diesel excursion - but they are nearly impossible to find around here. However, there are lots of Rams/Dodge diesels albeit with fairly high mileage.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:04 AM   #20
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Another point here...sometimes a PO (previous owner) will sell both their airstream AND the tow vehicle to go with it. There are also inspectors on here that will go look at your potential purchase before you buy. Lots of support in these forums.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:28 AM   #21
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Cactus Hug , Arizona
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The rigs I see most are the Ford 150 and 250, most with the factory towing package. Ford seems to make a good diesel these days, and a lot of people run them. The Chev Duramax, which some people swear by, and others swear at, seems to have a injector problem, and we've heard some horror stories about dealers who refused to honor the warranty.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:14 PM   #22
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Cedaredge , Colorado
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Gas went up and Diesel didn't as much, but gas is going down again. I get about 11 mpg with my 5.8 litter sequoia. Sometimes gas is better, and cheaper to fix if it is used. Problem is Toyota's hold there value, and I could sell my 08 for a few thousand less than I bought it for. I got a great deal on it. Sometimes you can find older trucks with low millage but then you have to consider what else is going to go wrong with it.
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