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Old 06-01-2010, 07:27 AM   #1
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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best 10-20 year old truck for towing 21' globetrotter?

I'm new to the AS world but love the information I get from this forum! I need some serious advice here.

Getting married in less than a month to a sweet woman and we bought a 21 foot 72' globetrotter for the month-long honeymoon in the Northeast in July (we'll see how sweet we find each other after a month in our little home away from home!). Will be driving from Texas to RI in the summer heat.

After study, I am convinced our current TV is inadequate and will be worn out after this trip (as will I if I have to drive the 1900 miles in it each way).

Our current TV is a 97' 4runner. Had one white knuckle experience already (west texas trip) with rutted roads, heavy rain, hydroplaning, poor power up hills, and close calls with running out of fuel. I installed a brake controller prior to the trip but still felt that the trailer drove me sometimes rather than the other way around.

I don't have the financial resources to afford a new truck. In fact I don't really have the financial resources to buy any truck (weddings cost a boatload nowadays) but we need one, and we need one quick. Lucky we live in Texas.

A quick look at the local craigslist shows a variety of early 1990's to early 2000's F-150's, F-250's, and assorted other 1/2 to 3/4 ton trucks with the capacity I need to tow. ( I am looking for a V8 with at least a 5.0l engine, tow package if possible, and a towing capacity at or above 7000 lbs - does this sound reasonable?)

I like and trust Ford trucks. And the prices seems right for a used one from private sellers. $3500-4500 bucks is about all we have to spend for a TV right now.

Are there generations of these trucks that are better than others? Years or models to avoid? Are there any motors to avoid or get excited about? any that last longer than others and are more dependable with high miles?

Thanks in advance! We'll post some pics of the wedding (we are using the airstream as part of the ceremony)...

Steve
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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Steve,

I think you are definately looking at the right size/catagory of tow vehicle. You really don't need a 3/4 ton truck to pull a vintage 21' Airstream.

That being said, my advice would be to shop the truck, and the owner. That means when looking for a used vehicle, it's all about condition, and the service it has received over it's life time. I've seen trucks with 300,000 miles on them that looked and drove like new, and I've seen trucks with 75,000 miles that looked like they'd been driven 500,000 miles.

So, I'd look for a truck that meets your requirements, that has been taken care of, serviced regularly, and treated well over it's life time.

Good luck with your search, and congradulations on your upcoming wedding.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:03 AM   #3
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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thanks for the advice Steve, I am looking at a 93 F-150 this morning, we'll see how it looks in person. Dry weight of my little trailer is 3380- so I think if I can find a truck that will pull 5000# easily, i'll be ok.
But as you say, maintenance and care of vehicle are crucial.
Cheers,
Steve
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:11 AM   #4
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Some of the late 90's and early 2000's Fords with the 5.4 litre engine had a habit of blowing out sparkplugs, leading to stripped threads in the head. It's well documented in many automotive websites and technical bulletins. If you go this route, just have the truck well checked out by a reputable business before you buy it.

We pull a 25' Tradewind with a F150 (4.6 litre) and are OK with everything except mountains. Your 21' is even lighter and might tow well behind a 4.6 if you are not Rocky Mountain tourists.

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Old 06-01-2010, 08:14 AM   #5
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Yikes. Thanks for the heads up. I'll make sure to have a mechanic look over the truck before deciding.
Cheers
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:40 AM   #6
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best 10-20 year old truck for towing 21' globetrotter?

Greetings Steve!

I don't know if you have considered another alternative for your tow vehicle. Your Globetrotter is what I would consider a near perfect size to be towed by one of the 1990s full-size GM cars (Buick Roadmaster -- sedan or station wagon -- or -- Cadillac Brougham DeElegance) with the 5.7 liter LT1 power team. When equipped with the trailer towing equipment (as many of the Roadmaster wagons were) the trailer tow capacity was at least 5,000 pounds. These cars would have been produced between 1991 and 1996.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:07 AM   #7
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Is a comfortable ride a consideration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
I don't know if you have considered another alternative for your tow vehicle.
A 1500 Suburban is a very comfortable rode trip care and great tow vehicle for your size trailer. Many were produced & sold in the 90's and most were not used like a "work" truck.
In mid '95, the 5.7 L engine was replaced by the Vortec 5.4L, which did have more power. We have friend that pulled their 22' Safari all over the place & their Suburban has 250K miles on it. Only problem that they have had is with the AC going out and the paint peeling (this was a problem in the mid 90's with a lot of vehicles as the EPA forced manufacturers to reformulate their paints)
We have owned both GM & Ford trucks & have found the ride smoother with the GM's as they have an independent front suspension.
You are definitely in the "right" location to buy a new truck! When we drove thru Texas a couple of years ago, it was a rarity to see a passenger car on the interstate!
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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You don't need a whole lot of truck to pull the 21' 'trotter. Our Titan does fine with a 26' Overlander and it's a fairly ordinary half-ton truck. The thing about the 4runner is the short wheelbase (105"). The wheelbase on the Titan crewcab is about 140". While you might not suspect it based on the numerical difference, the additional length makes towing much easier.

While I'm sure someone will insist that you need a 3/4 ton diesel, I think a well-made half-ton truck would do fine. Many manufacturers have a little and big V8 option in the half-ton trucks. It doesn't hurt to go with the bigger motor. Getting one with a towing package isn't a bad idea... though it also isn't bad to get one without. I won't buy a truck that's been used for pushing snow. I've just seen the way plowing eats up our fleet vehicles. What you want is a truck that's been well maintained. Some trucks used for towing are just fine... but every so often, you'll find a truck that's more abused than used. It's easy for a guy to overload a half-ton truck with a big boat or trailer... and then dump the truck when it starts showing signs of age.

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:57 AM   #9
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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Great tips and advice. Most of the vehicles I am looking at have 175-250K. Some claim to be used primarily by an elderly relative for trips to the doctor...a claim I am somewhat dubious of (my fiancee says I have trust issues ) but I don't have the gearhead knowledge to know what to look for in a gently used and well maintained older truck. I will inspect the oil, poke around and look for rust or other damage, but I think any serious contender will have to take a trip to a mechanic for an inspection. Does anyone have a source for a good checklist of obvious red flags when buying a TV? That sort of thing might help uncover issues that the seller may "forget to mention"...
Cheers,
Steve
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:59 AM   #10
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Steve!

I don't know if you have considered another alternative for your tow vehicle. Your Globetrotter is what I would consider a near perfect size to be towed by one of the 1990s full-size GM cars (Buick Roadmaster -- sedan or station wagon -- or -- Cadillac Brougham DeElegance) with the 5.7 liter LT1 power team. When equipped with the trailer towing equipment (as many of the Roadmaster wagons were) the trailer tow capacity was at least 5,000 pounds. These cars would have been produced between 1991 and 1996.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
Kevin, I am also a hack carpenter so I'll need a work truck bigger than my current little Ford Ranger...thanks for the tips though. I'd be driving in style with the Roadmaster!
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:00 AM   #11
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1972 21' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitelight View Post
A 1500 Suburban is a very comfortable rode trip care and great tow vehicle for your size trailer. Many were produced & sold in the 90's and most were not used like a "work" truck.
In mid '95, the 5.7 L engine was replaced by the Vortec 5.4L, which did have more power. We have friend that pulled their 22' Safari all over the place & their Suburban has 250K miles on it. Only problem that they have had is with the AC going out and the paint peeling (this was a problem in the mid 90's with a lot of vehicles as the EPA forced manufacturers to reformulate their paints)
We have owned both GM & Ford trucks & have found the ride smoother with the GM's as they have an independent front suspension.
You are definitely in the "right" location to buy a new truck! When we drove thru Texas a couple of years ago, it was a rarity to see a passenger car on the interstate!
Thanks for the input. I don't give a hoot about paint, but do like a nice ride. I'll check out your suggestions...
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssfletch View Post
Getting married in less than a month to a sweet woman and we bought a 21 foot 72' globetrotter for the month-long honeymoon in the Northeast in July

Our current TV is a 97' 4runner. Had one white knuckle experience already
Steve
Good day Steve.. We went down the same road last year. Got Married to a sweet woman and honeymooned in the bullet. We had a blast.

From reading reviews the 4 runners seem to be challenged when used as TV's. Anyway good luck with you upcoming adventure.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:45 PM   #13
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I had a 2001 DODGE Ram 1/2T Quadcab/shortbed prior to current truck. Recommended. 5.9L (360) over 5.2L (318) as gas mileage is same, but edge on power to former. Fuel mileage might not be as good as competition, but better drivetrain as to durability. Single "issue" was well-known intake manifold gasket leak (factory & aftermarket kits). Stay with upscale interior (power & leather) as it made a great ride. As I recall, the truck weighed 5,218 with 200-lb driver and full fuel (otherwise empty) the day I bought it.

Cars for Sale: 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Truck 2WD Quad Cab in San Antonio, TX 78251: Truck Details - 280396172 - AutoTrader.com

Search posts and pose questions of "fasstdak" on dodgetrucks.org. He is a Dodge tech AND lives local to you.

Set up the hitch rigging on these pages, though.

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:10 PM   #14
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Iíve used Ford trucks for nearly 40 years and they have never let me down. My GT spent most of its time behind an E-150 conversion van.
IMHO an F-150 with a 3.73 rear will be a good all round truck for you. Add a cap with a ladder rack for work and all your bases are covered.
The 'Trotter is a great little trailer. You and the new bride will love it.

Good luck. See you on the road,
Tom
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