Pickup trucks - What's good?

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by Colby, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    Looking for truck advice.
    What do you guys think is a good pickup? I'm thinking a crewcab is good..but so is gas mileage. My thoughts are for a truck that can serve as a sometimes useful house rehab helper and a sometimes trailer hauler - like a boat or RV trailer thing.
    Use as a daily driver - not really - if the gas mileage is hateful.
    Used makes sense - keeps the cost. Used also makes sense due to the recent growth in size of pickups. I don't agree with the necessity of huge trucks for normal uses. Ten years ago sizes worked - why not continue with that?
    Power? I'm not a racer. Don't consider any truck a race car. And consider that most any truck - even a six cylinder can haul adequately.
    Some of the recent trucks had troubles - which would be good to avoid - like Dodge transmissions from approximately 8 years ago. What else is worth avoiding? A solid, reliable machine is a good thing.
    Help??
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    12,360
    31
    48
    I was looking at things other than the gas mileage when I purchased my Nissan Titan. I've had a couple of problems, but dealer corrected them in less than a day.

    15-16 mpg and the ride (seems to me) to be a little top-heavy.
     

  3. bamashooter68

    bamashooter68 Member

    623
    0
    16
    My 2006 Dodge Dakota is a 4 door with the smaller back doors and flip down back seats. Not suitable for anyone over 4th grade size. It has a 215hp V-6 with decent power and mileage. Reality it gets 17/22mpg if you drive right. Had since new, its paid for and only has 35,000 miles. Probably give to son and drive my 96 Toyota truck. Boy is about to turn 15.
     
  4. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    Lucky son!
     
  5. sputnik1988

    sputnik1988 Active Member

    2,883
    2
    38
    It's hard to beat a early 90s GM full size. They last forever, aren't overly large, no expensive EPA garbage to break on it and no matter what breaks, it can be fixed in a weekend for under $500.

    Thats exactly why I bought one, mine isn't a work truck, but all above applies.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

    7,510
    0
    0
    Heres my 2 cents for what thats worth. Unless your kicking it bigtime, today isnt a great day to invest bigtime in anything that wont bring a guaranteed return. A $30K truck wont return anything unless your getting paid to tow or carry things.

    Get an 80's truck with low miles, I like my 2002 Dakota but I liked my 87 and 82 also, its made for light towing not big trailers, love my 88 Mercedes 2wd Wagon also but its a money pit (IDK, Its my baby). If you dont need 4WD, dont get it, it adds 30%+ to the cost and the maintenance on an older one can get very expensive, they arent the best for towing either.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    Do you mean the Dakota is for light towing? Not the 80's trucks? And by light towing what do you mean?

    Thanks for this input.
     
  8. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

    7,510
    0
    0
    Sure, No Prob. Light towing like <1.5K Lbs is pretty safe and easy. A couple snowmobiles or 4 wheelers would be fine, a motor home of any largess would not. If your towing more than that, make sure you get the 8 cyl, the six isnt beefy enough on hills under load. Also, unless you get the 4dw in the Dakota, you wont get the heavier frame and suspension (its about the same as the standard RAM Frame).
     
  9. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    Thanks, again.
    Would that Dakota with the v8 handle the larger stuff you are talking about - small RV or 18 foot boat - something like that?
    And is the frame thing a limitation in handling this larger stuff?

    Or maybe - is the Dakota too small? Need more weight to the truck...?
     
  10. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

    7,510
    0
    0
    18' light/ med fishing boat yes, 2 story cruiser, no. Big boats want a heavy truck to Tow but need it even more to pull the boats out of the water when its time to go.

    Biggest consideration is how much are you really going to use the capabilities of it as a truck as compared to just driving it. Most often, you can rent a larger rig a few times a year much cheaper than owning and maintaining one.
     
  11. Donn

    Donn Active Member

    1,245
    11
    38
    Comes down to personal preference, Colby. Mine's an '04 GMC Sierra 4x2, short cab, long box. Once you've had a pickup, it's hard to do without one, so if I wound up with a Ford or Ram at some point, it wouldn't bother me one bit. I'd recommend full size, long box, and the most powerful engine you can afford to operate. Most, (not all), of us use our trucks as cars 80-90% of the time. But when you have to use your truck as a truck. the extra room and power will pay for itself. Long boxes don't look as good as short ones, but when you're hauling stuff, it can mean the difference between closing the tailgate and stuff hanging out the back with a red rag tied to it. MHO you understand.
     
  12. levelcross

    levelcross New Member

    984
    0
    0
    Colby, I have two trucks, both for different purposes. The one I drive the most is a 03 S-10, it's small, cheap to buy, good on gas, and will haul a 4 wheeler well or pull a small trailer. I use it as a parts truck for my shop (Automotive Repair). I have an 83 Chevy with a strong 350 engine that I use to pull a boat or small camper every now and then. I drive it about once a month just to keep everything moving and only put about 1K miles on in a year as it gets 17MPG on the highway empty.

    So with filling a need a bigger truck may be better if you have a daily driver also, I sold a 04 GMC Z71 because it didn't get any kind of mileage and it was too tall to haul a trailer well. It was a nice truck but useless for what I needed.
     
  13. Colby

    Colby New Member

    461
    0
    0
    Does anyone know when the trucks got so big? What years?
    Seems like some of them are so tall that it would be tough to throw something with even a little weight (like a piece of firewood)to it over the side into the bed - because the bed walls are so far off the ground. Why is that?

    Levelcross --- is this kinda what you meant - too tall to trailer well?
    Does this extreme height hinder normal trailering?
     
  14. levelcross

    levelcross New Member

    984
    0
    0
    Absolutely Colby, the higher it is off the ground the higher the roll center is and the easier it will be to flip it over, plus the nose will be sticking up in the air with a trailer on it. If you want a bad to the bone towing truck get one that has the ride height of a 70's era pick up, they are lower to the ground but still have room for the suspension to travel, coil springs will also handle a load better than leaf springs. Also a long wheel base will handle a trailer far better than a short wheel base, try to pull a heavy trailer with a CJ Jeep = suicide.

    Gear ratios in the rear end will make or brake a good towing truck also, too low it will pull like a monster but get crappy mileage, too high and it will burn the transmission up and not pull worth a flip. Also look for good brakes, preferably 4 wheel disc brakes, drum brakes fade with heat.

    I think it started in the mid 90's when everyone wanted a 4 wheel drive commuter truck. They raised the suspension then the bed sides started to get taller.
    Part of why they are so tall is the design to make them look bigger and badder, another part of it is the suspension is softer to make it ride better so you have to have more room for travel to keep from bottoming out. Plus they went to bigger tires to help the gas mileage, they just forgot to beef up the transmissions to handle the extra load of the taller tires to get it moving.
     
  15. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

    6,128
    117
    63
    Took my wifes Camry to the dealer today for an oil change. Sitting in the showroom was a spiffy supercharged 500 horsepower Tundra. Sticker price was $65,000.

    Think i'll keep my 1994 Toyota four banger:

    Lock Right Lockers
    Headers and Cat back system
    LineX bed liner
    Demountable 6,000 pound winch
    Tweaked engine control module

    http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll268/alsaqr/Truck001.jpg
     
  16. Hunterdan

    Hunterdan New Member

    114
    0
    0
    I've got a 2010 crew cab Silverado. Its my everyday driver and has done everything I needed. Before that I had a 2008 frontier. Great truck if your single or dont haul a family around. (I had an extended cab.) But the mileage was the same as my Silverado. Actually I get better with the Silverado. For what you want I would look at a Silverado or Sierra between 2003-2007. In 2007 they made both body styles. If your going to be towing with it at all look for 6.0. They came with the heavier transmissions, usually a towing package with better gears and the 1500 hd trucks could be had with a crew cab and 6' bed. They will likely have 4 wheel disc brakes though I'm not sure about that.
    Dan
     
  17. Muliemaster

    Muliemaster New Member

    2,193
    0
    0
    My run around is a 2012 ram 1500 an it gets 24 mpg, dont try to say it dosent I drive it every day nearly I know what it gets, an my heavy use is my 2011 ram 3500 mega cab dually, I pull a 39' montana 5 th wheel an a 35' livestock trailer with it, it gets 17 empty . Both are loaded with everything u could want. Cant go wrong with a ram.
     
  18. carbon15man

    carbon15man New Member

    194
    0
    0
    My 99 f350 with the 7.3 diesel does everything thing I could every want it to. But to commute I drive a 98 ford ranger with the 4.0 and it only gets about two more mpg
     
  19. Muliemaster

    Muliemaster New Member

    2,193
    0
    0
    The 4.0 v6 has been a good motor for ford but for such a small truck the milage sucks. But you do have the best stroker ferd has made the 7.3 was my fav but I had 369,900 miles on it so got the new dodge 3500, due to the crap 6.0 stroker
     
  20. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

    1,144
    1
    38
    ^^^^^ that.

    Bought a 1994 K1500 short bed extended cab Chevy in '99 with 51,000 on
    it. Currently has 237,000. Total repair costs (not maintenance costs)
    add up to less that 2 payments on a new truck.