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Old 04-08-2013, 02:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
You asked for opinions, here is mine. Any truck has a limited life before it gets just too many things wrong to fix economically. Lets say you figure that is 212,000 miles, double what it has on it now, and probably not an unreasonable number.

Then the price of the truck should be half the cost of a new one (actual purchase price) of the same specs, as it is half used up. Was that truck $65,000 new? I doubt it.

At least that is the way I look at it.
I agree. My 2000 Excursion has 208,000 miles. I have replaced the brakes several times, the entire front end, every thing that is spun by the serpentine belt except the air conditioner, power locks windows ect, the list goes on and on. I live with the repairs because I can't replace the truck.
32k for a truck with over 100k miles, really? That is at least 10k too high.
Look on Ebay, I have seen a new, stripped 250 XLT 4x4 gasser for 37k.
You don't need that much truck for your trailer. Any of the basic half ton trucks will work fine and if you can live without the bells and whistles, the new price will be he same or less than the 100k miles "creampuff" you are considering.

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Old 04-08-2013, 03:00 PM   #16
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Portland , Oregon
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That 2011 truck will last 300k at least. High miles really aren't an issue with the motor, but the rest of the truck will still age.

I have to agree, 40k on a 2012 with 10 miles is a better buy. Even if you had to fly to Seattle to get it.

With the bigger wheels, the on board computer doesn't know they're bigger unless it's been calibrated. So you have to figure the tire size error into your MPG calculations. The onboard computers are also notoriously optimistic.

As much as I love the looks of a slight lift and larger tires, they're going to do nothing for you except look good. Smaller, narrower, highway tires and a lower ride height will improve the fuel efficiency. I'm assuming you don't go too far off-road with the trailer.

Most AS folks like 2WD, but an interesting thing about 4x4 is that it holds it's value. If it's $3,000 more for the 4x4 new, it's $3,000 more for 4x4 when it's 5yrs old. Maybe not exactly $3k, but pretty close.

As much as I love diesels, there is a long break-even point on the added expense. You have to drive it over 150,000 miles (roughly) to realize the savings of owning a diesel. Those numbers change all the time with the price differential of gas/diesel, and the different manufacturer's cost of gas vs. diesel.

You should check out the 2014 Dodge 1500 3.0 diesel. After 15 years of hearing rumors of a 1/2 ton diesel making it to the USA, Dodge has officially announced an Italian made V6 3.0 for this fall. We're all hoping that this truck will hit the 30mpg highway mark. The rest of the world has mid-sized diesel trucks. If Toyota brought the Diesel Tundra to the US, I'd own one. I would have owned one 15 years ago.

I have another reason to own a diesel. I make my own biodiesel for about 25 cents a gallon. So the payback on diesel is much quicker for me. My truck gets about 16 commuting and around town, and the best I've gotten is 23 (22.9) on homebrewed B100, strictly hwy, no trailer, hand calculated, 0.7% odo error, on 35" tires and a 3" lift.

Good luck with the search. Let us know how it ends.


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Old 04-08-2013, 07:01 PM   #17
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The general reason (a good one) for a truck is the anticipated payload of the tow vehicle without the trailer tongue weight.

An ECONOLINE (or GM van) would be my choice over a pickup as the short rear overhang (body past rear axle) is short. And vans can be configured in many ways. Easier to buy, easy to throw stuff into, and relatively (I'd think) theft-proof (as Texas pickups have a way of disappearing across the border).

If there is no garantuan payload, then all sorts of cars, minivans and high zoot Euro turbodiesel SUVs are applicable. Try to get an idea of "what else" is necessary to the business.

TV payload capacity is the general limiting factor for formulaic lash-ups.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
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Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:25 PM   #18
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Personally if you can get a 3/4 ton truck regardless of brand for a decent price, you will be better off in the long run towing wise. I know I will get alot of debate on this and no doubt a 1/2 ton can do the job, but a 3/4 tone will do it much better. As far as your 2011 deal, I would recommend you look at a 2013 hold over that will get you at least $10-12 less than sticker. Ask the dealer sales manager to give you an X-plan price less all incentives and see what he says. Then ask if they will get into the holdback money. On a $60k vehicle, the hold back money the dealer gets at invoice is substantial. Do a Google on hold back dealer money and go from there. No reason for you to pay $40k for a non-warranty vehicle when you can buy a new one for a few thousand more.

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Old 04-08-2013, 11:08 PM   #19
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The trouble with getting your 1st diesel truck as a tow truck is you will wonder why you didn't do it sooner. The back-up camera is priceless.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:27 PM   #20
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Yet the operating/ownership cost of a truck like this is in excess of $1/mile, all miles.

One needs to look at the largest picture in ownership costs. EDMUNDS has on their site a calc that looks at TRUE COST OF OWNERSHIP. AAA also has one. Financing, insurance, taxes, maintenance, repairs, depreciation, etc.

One specs the vehicle for the majority of it's miles. Not the occasional (several thousand miles) of "vacation" or what-have-you. If solo miles predominate then, as always: specify the vehicle that best meets solo miles that can also tow the TT. That's a wide range of vehicles for this TT . . . again, depending on the TV payload.

Finally, emissions diesels are going to be lucky to go 250k miles prior to rebuild. The older FORDS were built to this B50 life. Means that at 125k miles the engine is half-gone for purposes of planning. No amount of anecdote overcomes the design-life parameters. Injectors, pumps, etc are high-ticket items on diesel trucks.

So step back and look at overall potential costs, not just new vs. used.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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