Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-07-2020, 01:19 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2007 25' Safari SS SE
St. Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 42
Cool Typical Service Life of a TV??

Hello All,

Apologies if I have missed another thread where this question should go.

I'd like to get input from rv colleagues who tow travel trailers, regarding the typical service life of a half-ton pickup used for towing. I have a 2007 F150 5.4 liter with 170,000 miles on the odometer. A third of its mileage has been logged towing a 2007 Safari 25SS (GVW 5,500#) for ten years - so about 60,000 miles of actual towing.

I have kept a record of all maintenance and repair costs and they have predictably gone up as the truck has aged. Over the entire 13 years the total tab is $31,000 for all maintenance and repairs, averaging $2,300 per year. Not bad, but over the past 6 years alone, annualized costs have shot up to just over $3,100 and I know they will only increase.

I'm asking my truck service life question at this time because I had a brake failure while hooking up before our last trip. No damage to truck or Airstream but the failure resulted from a metal hydraulic brake tube at the truck's master cylinder that failed. My mechanic said it was due to age/fatigue. It's very unusual to see a hard part like that fail - doesn't appear to be something that is examined during regular vehicle safety inspections.

Needless to say confidence in our safety while towing is shaken. Should I keep and continue to fix it, or replace it? Thoughts, weigh-ins welcome and appreciated!
__________________
Hi Ho Silver
Jim Pona is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 01:29 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,187
Blog Entries: 1
I can not answer your question. I drive a 2007 Dodge diesel with 250000 miles on it and frequently ask myself whether to replace it or not. But for me the question is more complicated because I doubt I would spring for a diesel again and I really like the truck. Easier to deal with the repairs than to make a hard decision.

In your case I think the most compelling number is the fact that you have started thinking about it. I think you need to go ahead and spring for a new truck.

I still have confidence in my truck since I drive it everyday also and it has never stranded me. But...I do carry the title when on a trip.
Bill M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 01:35 PM   #3
Prairie Schooner II
 
Jim Flower's Avatar

 
2012 30' International
1997 25' Safari
1967 20' Globetrotter
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,490
I took my Jeep GC out of towing activity at about 220,000 miles. It is now a grocery getter for my son with 300,000 miles on it. It no longer provides the confidence for interstate travel given he has a family.
Jim
__________________
Jim
Jim Flower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
Rivet Master

 
2019 25' Flying Cloud
Hendersonville , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 824
When to bail out

You live in an area that the roads are salted in winter. You need to "CLOSELY" inspect all of you brake system hard lines for corrosion. Metal brake lines do not just fatigue and bust open. Corrosion is usually the case.

Well, 170k miles is a lot. Can you go further? Probably. How much $$$$$ do you want to sink into a vehicle that is 13 years old and has a low actual cash value. $31K sounds like a bunch of money for upkeep over the years. Have you had the major stuff replaced? Trans, Diff, A/C work, Engine work (5.4 Tritons are famous for spark plug problems and a few other things).

Based on the high maintenance costs you have encountered (IMHO) and the fact that your thinking about replacing just go for it. No better time to buy. Dealerships are giving away the store to get rid of inventory. Besides, you can't take it with you. Go buy a new truck and have no worry going down the road. Well, at least until the warranty runs out.

I'm a Ford Guy but based on what you have spent over the past 13 years for Maintenance/Repairs you may want to look at a Tundra. Folks that own them love them. Just sayin. Happy travels.
uraljohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 03:19 PM   #5
Rivet Master

 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 17,550
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Pona View Post
. . .
Should I keep and continue to fix it, or replace it?
Replace it IMO.

Your TV has done great.

Time for a newer one IMO, but not necessarily brand new. Thia is also a good time to reevaluate whether your trailer is a "good fit" for you now.

"The times they are a changin' . . . "

Peter
OTRA15 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 03:49 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
 
Ultraclassic's Avatar
 
2000 30' Excella
GTA , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Pona View Post
Hello All,

Apologies if I have missed another thread where this question should go.

I'd like to get input from rv colleagues who tow travel trailers, regarding the typical service life of a half-ton pickup used for towing. I have a 2007 F150 5.4 liter with 170,000 miles on the odometer. A third of its mileage has been logged towing a 2007 Safari 25SS (GVW 5,500#) for ten years - so about 60,000 miles of actual towing.

I have kept a record of all maintenance and repair costs and they have predictably gone up as the truck has aged. Over the entire 13 years the total tab is $31,000 for all maintenance and repairs, averaging $2,300 per year. Not bad, but over the past 6 years alone, annualized costs have shot up to just over $3,100 and I know they will only increase.

I'm asking my truck service life question at this time because I had a brake failure while hooking up before our last trip. No damage to truck or Airstream but the failure resulted from a metal hydraulic brake tube at the truck's master cylinder that failed. My mechanic said it was due to age/fatigue. It's very unusual to see a hard part like that fail - doesn't appear to be something that is examined during regular vehicle safety inspections.

Needless to say confidence in our safety while towing is shaken. Should I keep and continue to fix it, or replace it? Thoughts, weigh-ins welcome and appreciated!
Well my 2005 F150 5.4l has 365000kms/244000miles, I trust it on trips but would like to upgrade it in the next year or so, but I don't have to. Yet..
__________________
#4286 Stella the 2000 30ft Excella/Classic - Tow Vehicle - 2012 Mercedes Benz GL350d - CanAmRv.ca hitch Reinforcement EZ-Lift WD with 2 Anti Sway Bars. previous tow vehicle 2005 Ford F150 Lariat 367,000Kms 5.4L
Ultraclassic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 05:10 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,837
Blog Entries: 13
Well, I traded my first generation 2004 Nissan Titan pickup in on my 2016 Titan XD with 216,000 miles on it. Everything worked but the CD player. It was still quiet, solid and dependable BUT I knew I was on borrowed time before all the accessories started to go (alternator, starter, ac compressor...) and sooner or later something big would go bang or clunk.

Nice to have a 5 year, 100000 mile warranty (although I have never needed it — the XD has never been back to a Nissan dealership since we drove it off new).

If you are thinking about going new, I suspect now would be a great time. Dealers are hungry.
__________________
Sorta new (usually dirty) Nissan Titan XD (hardly paid for)
Middle-aged Safari SE
Young, lovely bride
Dismissive cat
n2916s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 05:48 PM   #8
jcl
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Pona View Post
Hello All,

Should I keep and continue to fix it, or replace it? Thoughts, weigh-ins welcome and appreciated!
Our primary vehicle until recently was a 2007 BMW sport utility, used to tow less than your pickup but also used for many longer trips, across the continent and down south.

It didn't use any oil between changes, it never had any significant repairs (batteries, brakes, a valve cover gasket); it never let us down in terms of stranding us, and everything still worked. Then we had an AC failure. Not important in terms of stranding us, but the cost of repair was very high due to having to dismantle the dash to get to the failed component. We put that repair on hold. Then we had an unrelated electronics issue with the AWD. It caused a warning light, and an intermittent loss of the electronic traction control system, but all the mechanical things worked fine. The third item (in three months) was similar, electronic in nature. We decided it was fine for local trips, but were less comfortable with longer trips. We replaced it recently.

Vehicles don't wear out these days, not like they used to. They become unreliable simply due to the complexity of the systems they use.

I would replace it.
jcl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2020, 06:36 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
kscherzi's Avatar
 
2013 27' FB International
El Dorado Hills , California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,645
Images: 24
While they don't look much different on the outside from your 13 year old F150, new trucks today are a lot different and better on the inside. I traded a 2003 that had about 150K miles for a new 2017 F150. Towing mileage went from 9 / 10 mpg with the old 5.4 liter V8 to 12 / 13 mpg with the new 3.5 liter Ecoboost, and with the same trailer. That's a 30% increase!

My mechanic also said I was looking at a new transmission as those of that vintage tended to fail after 150k. Having no interest in being stuck on the road during vacation I got a new and better truck, with an extended warranty. Recommend you do the same.
kscherzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 09:38 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1966 20' Globetrotter
2008 23' International
Currently Looking...
Cedar Falls , Iowa
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 57
Send a message via AIM to hahnstead
I have a 2000 Tundra with which I've towed three different AS trailers since 2002. 180,000 miles with regular scheduled maintenance. Still runs like a champ. I keep thinking about its replacement, but why do it until necessary? I've pulled a 1966 Globetrotter, 1984 27-ft. Sovereign, and 2008 23-ft. CCD. I doubt one can find a more reliable vehicle than a Toyota.
__________________
Hahnstead Airstream Park
hahnstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 09:57 AM   #11
Married with Airstream
 
drbrick's Avatar

 
2004 25' International CCD
Vancouver Island , British Columbia
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 839
Images: 5
I really don't think there is an answer to your specific question. It all boils down to maintenance. Every vehicle I have every owned (especially our tow vehicle) has oil/filters/fluids change every 5000KM - tires rotated, brakes checked etc... Our 2013 F-150HD has never had any major work done in 145,000KM. This basic maintenance averages a bit less than $230.00 every 5000KM ... cheap insurance. While I would love a new $75,000 TV every 5 years the realiity for me goes like this... "if it ain't broke why replace it?". At 75 year old I no longer NEED new.
__________________
La Dolce Vita Brick & Mona
We're Married With Airstream dot com
2004 International 25CCD Registered Name "Blue Streak"
2013 F-150HD FX4 SuperCrew Lariart (MaxTow) "Red Dragon"
drbrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 10:02 AM   #12
4 Rivet Member
 
1976 31' Excella 500
Chappell Hill , Texas
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 477
Images: 1
Lots of those Ford 5.4 engines will start having valve train issues around 200k. With that many towing miles, it's done it's job well. Time for a new one.
tbashin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 10:16 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,604
Can you afford it?
Can you pay cash or at least 1/2 in cash?
Can you go to a dealer and then squeeze a nickel until the buffalo poops in your hand?

If you answered yes to all three, why are you sitting around reading Airforums? GO!

I love big honkin' diesels, but gassers have gotten so good I don't think it's worth the extra cost for most people to consider them. If you own a farm or regularly haul cattle then diesel makes sense... otherwise an EcoBoost is all you will ever need.
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 11:13 AM   #14
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
Currently Looking...
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,944
A new vehicle is an investment of $20K to $70K. That is a monthly payment of $333 to over $1000 a month for a 60 month loan. $3100/mth is about that payment for a $20k vehicle. So, replacing does not appear to be justified on a financial basis.

Reliability, convenience, improved safety, comfort, appearance and alternate configuration may be justification to replace. Our approach is to have relatively new for long distance travel. When existing is no longer in a condition that provides confidence for a trip, we replace the primary vehicle. So, your tow vehicle would be assigned for secondary use. We would replace - just did. No longer of an age to build vehicles or make repairs on the side of the road.

To answer the original question - what is the service life of a TV - it is infinite. Repair and upgrade are possible for as long as you live. If you DIY, there is no question. If you pay for the work, your options limit a bit, but the premise is still valid. Additionally, at some point in time, you may replace ICE with a flux capacitor powered driveline due to regulatory requirements.

So, IMHO, you asked the wrong question. Should I replace? That is the correct question for your issue. However, only you can answer that question. With vehicle sales on the ropes, maybe now would be a good time to make a move if you desire a new TV.

Note - your existing vehicle may be a great platform on which to develop a dedicated tow specific configuration. Newer vehicles will be raised for off road clearance and the safer feeling of looking down on other traffic. Those are not compatible with safe towing. The wider stance is and new independent suspension designs may well prove to be excellent platforms. The multi-speed transmissions certainly are. Additionally, new electronic features are very helpful to an aging owner.

This is all about you and how you manage your RV lifestyle.

Good luck figuring out your plan. What works for you is the right plan. Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 11:17 AM   #15
Retired Navy Veteran
 
1964 26' Overlander
1989 34' Excella
Warner Robins , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 189
Get the Updated TV

On this post, URALJOHN AND HAHNSTEAD mentioned Tundra's as very reliable vehicles. I used that reliability reputation on three Camry's we purchased with about 100K miles for the kids when they were in HS and College! Combined with a great family friend master mechanic, we had a great experience = no one ever got stranded and all of them exceeded 150K miles before we traded!

Another option for reliable vehicles (consensus on this Forum seems to be based on who you talk to, could be a Chevy, Ram, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, BMW, VW, or Mercedes) is to buy one that is low mileage and only a few years old. That will save you thousands of $'s. You will be amazed if you purchase one with today's technology! Just a backup camera and Apple Carplay made our driving, towing, hooking up so much easier! My talented and beautiful wife hooked up our vintage trailer by herself, with little challenge by using that wonderful backup camera! We obtained that technology with our '19 F250.

Word of warning on Toyota TV's - payload capacities are very low compared to the other 1/2 tons out there. I just had the oil changed in my '11 Camry at the local Toyota dealer and looked in the showroom at a 4x4 Tundra - 1200 lbs payload, 4x4 Tacoma - 990 lbs payload. With those disappointing cargo capacities, we decided on the 4x2 F250 with 6.2 gas - 3500 lbs payload. Our previous TV was an F150 with 1400 lbs payload that served us for over 9 years without any problems! By The Way - after my car came out of the service bay I checked the payload. It is 900 lbs. Perhaps I should start towing an AS with my unibody Camry? I was impressed that the Tundra's pricing is less than what I found on similarly equipped F150/F250's!

Finally get that upgraded TV and hit the road!
superChop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 01:24 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
banderabob's Avatar
 
2008 19' Bambi
2012 23' Flying Cloud
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Bandera , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 664
I have a 2008 Expedition Limited with 261,000 miles. We towed a 19’ Bambi for 5 years, and now a 23D for 3+ years. Serviced religiously every 10,000 miles, and a new long block 80,000 miles ago. Stuff is wearing out due to age (power steering compressor, ball joints, struts, starter this winter) and while getting expensive, still much cheaper than a new TV. If concerned about mileage, have you considered a new long block, if the rest of the vehicle is in great shape (about $5,000 in my case)?
banderabob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 02:56 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
bibbs's Avatar
 
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
Vista , California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 589
I was very impressed with the difference between a 2002 and a2017. More power less gas better breaking, many convenient electronic features.
bibbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 03:14 PM   #18
jcl
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,924
I agree that a vehicle that is 13 years newer is worlds apart from a 2007. That may or may not be important to the OP. At the same time, a new vehicle with more complex systems (all those nice toys) can have higher repair costs and more issues over time simply due to the added complexity.

There are several posts above on maintenance practices, and the original question spoke about service life while implying that the vehicle may wear out.

Wearing out is about durability. Maintenance practices can extend the vehicle useful life indefinitely, as posted above, whether towing or solo. That may or may not be economical.

A separate issue from durability is reliability, the likelihood that the vehicle will function without unplanned events/interruptions over a period of time. I suggest that reliability is a better thing to think about here than durability and whether the vehicle is worn out.

Durability and reliability are two very different concepts.

The 2007 vehicle I changed out last year was standing up very well. It wasn't worn out. I had very detailed service records from new. It didn't use any oil between changes, all the mechanical parts functioned, it didn't make any worrisome noises. But it was becoming less reliable, and while that didn't impact the towing aspect at all, it did impact my level of comfort with being a long way from home when/if something happened. In other words, if my camping trips were local/provincial, then nothing caused me concern due to towing on those trips. But long trips, whether towing or solo, became a concern.

Side note, but the failure of a brake line at a master cylinder is very unlikely to be spotted in a visual inspection IMO. The good news is that you have dual braking circuits, so that if a line in one circuit breaks, you have the other. You may not realize it, because the pedal can drop much lower than usual and that can be alarming to drivers, but at that point you can still expect to be able to stop the vehicle safely.
jcl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 03:31 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
jeffmc306's Avatar
 
2019 27' Globetrotter
McHenry , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 1,298
Blog Entries: 4
Today’s safety features are worth replacing older TV

Jim,

Great advice by all the previous posters. With an older, higher mileage vehicle it comes down to your tolerance for something else to break.

If this was a vehicle you drove 2 miles a day and parked at the train station, keep it until it quits running. But, given you’re towing and expecting this vehicle to work all the time and be safe, consider replacing it.

The difference in safety features of new vehicles was enough to tip the scales for us. Our 2019 RAM 2500 has Adaptive Cruise, Autonomous Emergency Braking, blind-spot monitoring and 360 degree cameras along with airbags everywhere.

You’ll find these on most new trucks and make towing so much less stressful. No new vehicle can guarantee it won’t suffer a breakdown but you’re starting from zero miles with a warranty or fewer miles and possibly a warranty on a used truck.

Also, as Foiled Again mentioned, unless you’re towing something else besides an Airstream over 10K lbs., any new gas truck will do the job, have more payload and cost less. BONUS: Dealers right now are offering huge incentives on new vehicles. Now is a good time to buy new.

Good luck with your quest!
__________________
2019 27’ Globetrotter FBT Walnut/Dublin Slate
2018 FC23FB
2019 Ram 2500 6.4 Hemi Laramie Blue Ox 1000#
WBCCI# 10258
RETIRED!
jeffmc306 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2020, 05:52 PM   #20
2 Rivet Member
 
2007 25' International CCD
Prescott , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 90
I made the choice to trade at 180,000, no problems, just didn't worried about being stranded. However, I had a neighbor who sold his at GMC at 350,000 miles, no problems, similar to me, just worried. He has had several problems with his new GMC and per him, the gas mileage is terrible.

To echo Jeff's observation, the driving experience is really upgraded on new trucks, that alone was a reason enough to trade.

Mike
new2trailer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
Please help me understand proper venting and is there a typical toilet flange set bac Tony S Sinks, Showers & Toilets 11 03-10-2013 09:32 PM
1973 Argosy -typical recovery mission robandzoe All Argosy Trailers 5 02-15-2012 08:31 AM
Typical AS faults jsapp Repairing/Replacing Floor &/or Frame 15 04-28-2011 01:13 PM
Is it typical to replace axles at a certain time? boo_n_sue Axles 2 01-18-2011 12:53 PM
typical blonde here sparkleplenty Our Community 9 02-24-2004 11:59 AM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.