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Old 08-17-2011, 01:50 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone, great info and perspective (keep 'em coming if you want).

Don
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:43 PM   #16
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If someone wants to sell you a truck well below average cost for that vehicle it either can mean they want to get cash fast, or there's something wrong with it. There are places to check wholesale and retail prices for used vehicles—Edmonds and NADA for example. You will get different numbers for a specific vehicle and have to take that into consideration. Older vehicles are harder to find any numbers for. A big city newspaper can give you some clues from classified ads, but people always ask more than they will get and a lot of people overprice vehicles at first (they think their "baby" is worth more than it really is or may be testing the market). Websites with classifieds may be useful, but I have never used them. Dealers will ask the highest prices but you won't know whether they have fixed what is wrong unless they warranty it or have it "certified". Even that may not tell you the truth. Private sellers usually sell for something between retail and wholesale so you can save if the truck is in good condition. Have a mechanic check it out. If the owner won't let you have a mechanic look at it, walk. Very nice people may not be so nice when it comes to selling something.

Check Consumer Reports for reliability ratings of specific vehicles. They are in the Annual Buying Guide and the annual auto issue which comes out in the spring. They can be found at libraries and maybe online.

Toyotas sell at a premium because they have a reputation for reliability and that may be worth it. Chrysler products typically sell low because they don't have a good reputation for reliability. There are a lot of Ford 150's sold every year and with many of them being sold used all the time, that may get you a good deal. Early in the 00's, GM hitch receivers rusted and cracked on some vehicles and check them out for that—they can be replaced, but that is an expense. Other vehicles have reputations for problems and research is necessary to find out which ones to avoid. There were Fords with engine problems. Most manufacturers have made some bad trucks at some time.

And then ask the seller what it was used for. If they towed a very heavy trailer with a vehicle that wasn't designed for it, avoid that truck for the transmission may be ready to fail, the engine may be tired or other problems may come up soon. If there is an RV in the driveway, you will know they used the truck for towing. Best would be to find a vehicle that was bought for vanity, not work, was well maintained, and does what you want. Look at the tires—large truck tires suitable for towing are very expensive to replace. Recent 1/2 ton trucks often come with P (passenger) tires rather than LT (light truck) tires and many of us upgrade to LT tires as soon as the OEM tires start wearing.

I think you will have trouble finding a recent used truck that does the job, is well thought of, looks good, and costs $12,000. If you find one, you may have to fix things soon and have not saved any money.

If you go to a private seller, they will probably have another vehicle they bought to replace the one they are selling. If they bought the same brand, they probably thought their used one did a good job and they just wanted a newer one. If they replaced Brand X with Brand Z, ask why? Just about anyone can be bargained with; never take the advertised price.

Gene
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:55 PM   #17
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Take a look at the excursions on auto trader for reference. There are quite a few with around 100k miles or a little over that are at/ below your $12k budget.
As others have mentioned, condition is important but they are out there. My excursion is a 2000 4x4 v10 with 175k miles... No mechanical issues at all, tows my triple axle fantastic and is a very comfortable tv.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:32 PM   #18
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Turns out, I just couldn't do it for $12K. Just had an offer accepted on a '07 5.7 Tundra SR5, with 44K miles, excellent shape. $18,750. After I figured out the depreciation on a $12K TV, plus expected maintenance, the actual cost of the newer truck was about the same over 5 years, and a better, nicer truck.

We'll see. I'll post a follow up at the end of 5 yrs...

Thanks everyone for your advice.

Don
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Old 08-29-2011, 04:55 PM   #19
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Perceptions:

Chrysler products typically sell low because they don't have a good reputation for reliability

or, why it's easy to find a good one at a great price.


Toyotas sell at a premium because they have a reputation for reliability and that may be worth it.

or, why you'll pay more for no increase in value

.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:18 AM   #20
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Realities:
Had a Chrysler Product- most trouble with a car I ever had..
or, why I'd never buy one again...

Have put 250K miles on Toyota cars, rarely a problem...
or, why I'm pretty confident buying a Toyota...

We'll see how this truck works out- perception or reality...
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:49 AM   #21
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Just curious do you want to post up the gvwr and other #s from door pillar sticker? I was always worried about toyota because of their smallish payload (really most 1/2tons). Althogh rated at 8-10k towing most are more limited by payload than Tow rating. I.e only can tow 10k with exactly 10%hitch weight and empty truck...

Or do what most people do and not worry about it. I have a 3/4 ton and after all essentials, trailer hitched, and people/gas etc i only have 1000lbs left for whatever else i might bring and that is starting with a 2800lb payload capacity.

Starting with ~1500lbs put 700lbs hitch wieght, generator, truck topper, some supplies it will eat it up very fast!
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #22
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Our 2007 Tundra tows our 25' without a problem and could easily do the same with a 27' or 28'. The drivetrain is very good. Payload is like other 1/2 ton truck and can be managed if you are careful.

Unfortunately there are problems—paint scratches very easily, plastic parts on the front deteriorate quickly and other fit and finish problems. This is unlike any other Toyota we have had. They used to be invincible. But the engine is massive, fast and strong.

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Old 08-30-2011, 08:22 PM   #23
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Yes i dont think any recent 1/2 ton class truck/suv is short on power to tow a 7500lb trailer (with the largest available motor). But the payload is a different issue and imho more important than 0-60 times
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:32 PM   #24
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Ford F-250 7.3L Turbo Diesel pre 2003. Any year, with less 100k miles or less. They are pretty much bullet proof.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:07 PM   #25
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But he mentions not using the vehicle as a daily driver. Even the 7.3 and especially any newer diesels are not the best for sitting around the driveway
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 27fb2freedom View Post
Yes i dont think any recent 1/2 ton class truck/suv is short on power to tow a 7500lb trailer (with the largest available motor). But the payload is a different issue and imho more important than 0-60 times
Everybody has different payload needs and should buy according to all the possible issues one has. We bought the Tundra because of Toyota's reputation for quality and reliability and have been disappointed but the drivetrain is great for towing and that has been fine for reliability. Zero to 60 is something between 6 and 7 seconds and with a turbo option has been reported to be around 4.5. That is unreal. Not as fast with a trailer, of course, but tremendous mid range acceleration for getting onto interstates or passing a slow truck or RVóa good safety factor.

I am waiting for the kid who wants to drag from a stop light, but it never seems to happen.

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Old 08-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #27
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I have had quite a few diesels mostly Fords but one Chevy, and I would not own another diesel, period. Almost any gas rig, especially a 3/4 ton or 1 ton will pack any AS made. A lot of 1/2 tons properly equiped will also. The Ford 1/2 ton F-150 is the most popular vehicle in the USA and there is a reason for that. The F-150 is used in more business and construction firms than any other vehicle, because it is a tuff and reliable rig. I personally think that the F-250 with a gas engine is one of the most reliable tow rigs you could buy, be it the old 5.4 V-8, the 6.8 V-10(what I have), or the new 6.2 V-8 with almost 400 hp. The F-150 EcoBoost is almost unbeatable for towing, mileage and reliability. You can lease a new one for less money per month than buying a used one. Done this many times.

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