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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Showing off new vintage retro TT! + Advice on tow vehicle?

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fintip

asheville

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Posted: 01/28/20 11:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My trailer is a '58 16ft 2640lb unit. What a beauty, no?!

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Big non-aerodynamic front, unfortunately. No trailer brakes yet, but installing them will be on the to-do list at some point... I think technically I'm required to have them in NC, but I don't plan to be driving it around often, and I doubt officers are going to know that particular nuance and look for that? Hopefully that's not a bad assumption. But I fully intend to have a vehicle that can handle the weight comfortably, instead.

Goal is to live in it while parked, mostly. But I want to be able to, if my life changes and I decide to, tow it comfortably longer distances and regularly, as well, without it being a problem.

Thing is, as I do plan to have it parked mostly, I also want the vehicle to get as good gas-mileage when not towing as possible.

Also, it being reliable is top-tier important. Dealing with car trouble sucks. I'm mechanically competent, but I have better things to do with my life.

On top of that, though, money is tight. So it needs to be cheap.

I know, asking for a lot.

So, did a ton of research. Had previously posted thinking I had decided on a ford ranger. The v6 4.0L is pretty reliable, but... thing is, it doesn't get any better mpg than the f150 with the little 4.2 v6 produced from '97 to '04 and '04 to '08. If you baby it, people pull off 20+ mpg in those f150's. More space, and better towing experience. That particular engine, if you avoid the 97/98 years, is also basically _the_ most reliable engine in a truck ever produced, according to consumer reports, by an american manufacturer---in particular, the 04-08, though there were some issues with '04/'05 (non-engine stuff, but still), so 06/07/08. So I set my sights on that one.

If I go with that, I'd really prefer some back seats--extra lockable storage space, and the ability to drive around some more people, would be _really_ nice. I also would prefer a short bed--easier for daily driving, parking, etc.

The earlier models, I can find ones worth considering. 99-03/04 (they made the old body style officially until '03, but '04 they had some lying around and called them 'heritage' models, relatively cheap, that have crew cabs, that are in my price range (4k or under, basically).

I see some 06/07/08 newer body styles in that range sometimes, but they're usually basic work models, single cab, long bed, usually with a lot of miles and at the top of my price range.

So that's a dilemma.

Then, now at the last minute, I've started considering 4runners. Normally they're just too expensive, cult following and all, but I found one that's an '01 that had a replaced engine, and the new engine has 132k on it supposedly. It's going for a reasonable price.

Those get at least as good mpg as the f150, probably at least a few mpg better. They won't tow quite as nice, but they do have a 5k tow limit. It is an SUV and nicer around town.

There's also an '08 xterra with some body damage (I don't care at all, whatever makes it cheaper and doesn't make it less reliable), but 129k miles, locally, going for just under 3k. That's tempting. Also can tow 5k, also gets about 20mpg hwy epa. newer though. But no tow package, I think, so I'd probably have to get a hitch installed and a transmission cooler...

Last thing about a truck, though--I could load a little street legal dirtbike or small motorcycle or scooter or something in there. That would mean I could drive that around and get super-optimal mpg when parked...

Any thoughts from the collective? I've been digesting all the variables for about a month now, feel like my head is going to explode.

Final variable: need to buy FAST, have to drive 700 miles to go pick up the trailer ASAP, and everyone starts getting their tax returns feb 1 and getting used vehicles becomes hard.

* This post was last edited 01/29/20 01:09pm by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

mleekamp

Washington, IL

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Posted: 01/29/20 05:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The trailer definitely has the vintage vibe! Love it!

I'd definitely go for the F150 over the ranger. More room, similar costs/mpg. You mention back seats, but I'm betting you could find a reg cab F150 for low purchase price...as everyone wants x-cab or bigger. Could put a used topper on the back bed for lock up storage. Many ways to do it but F150's are more plentiful than Rangers at this point. If you find a 100k F150, don't be afraid of it...might have to do simple fluid changes/maintenance but could help lower entry cost.

Lastly, you don't mention 4WD. If you can find it, usually 2WD trucks are cheaper...and have less things to go wrong drivetrain wise. Good luck.


2019 Jayco Redhawk 29XK Class C, Ford V10 E450 chassis
2000 Jeep Wrangler for a Dinghy w/ Invisibrake & Curt Tow Bar

gbopp

The Keystone State

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Posted: 01/29/20 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice TT. Thanks for the pictures.

I agree with getting an F-150 rather than a Ranger.
Unless you can find a cheap, mint condition 57 Chevy Nomad. [emoticon]

carringb

Corvallis, OR

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Posted: 01/29/20 06:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How about thinking outside the box? Or rather, in it...

Ford Flex EcoBboost. 1,500+ pounds payload, 4500 pounds towing capacity.

365 HP horsepower Twin Turbo will completely smoke any 4.0L Ranger or XTerra or 4Runner and will drink less fuel than any of those.

Even used with high miles, they tend to be very reliable.

[image]


Bryan

2000 Ford E450 V10 VAN! 450,000+ miles
2014 ORV really big trailer
2015 Ford Focus ST


K Charles

Connecticut

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Posted: 01/29/20 06:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would go with a '58 ford wagon.





naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 01/29/20 07:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congratulations on a lovely TT. May it suit your needs and serve you well for many years. Adding brakes is a good idea, IMHO.





BarabooBob

Baraboo, WI

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Posted: 01/29/20 07:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I could see a '64 Chevy C- in baby blue pulling that TT.


Bob & Dawn Married 32 years
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Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 01/29/20 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

please remember if you are living in it the tow vehicle needs enough room and payload to handle all your stuff as well as the camper. That camper (and a cheap old tow vehicle) will require constant attention. If cash is that tight id be looking for a cheap apartment since you will be paying for this that and the other thing constantly. Full time for the sake of it not for cost savings.

that said, park it and save for more tow vehicle IMO. if you can get into a 2011+ f150 with the 5L or the 3.5L eco boost you will be miles ahead in reliability, comfort and mileage.

* This post was edited 01/29/20 09:08am by an administrator/moderator *

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/29/20 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You’re still procrastinating on the truck.
Based on the last thread you started about this, put fuel mileage towards the bottom of your list and based on your budget, find the best cared for truck pretty much regardless of brand and realize if you’re towing with an old truck on a low budget, things break. But less things break when the truck is under less stress IE bigger than you technically “need” to do the job.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

fintip

asheville

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Posted: 01/29/20 09:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wasn't procrastinating. It's complex, but I was out of the country until this sunday. I hit the ground running, and had to get my money situation figured out. There was nothing I could do until I got here (trust me, I tried to get money to have friends buy a truck while I was out of the country, but it sold from under my feet before I could get it settled).

Getting a cheap apartment is also not a good option for me. I could explain, but I'm not going to justify my choice, and the travel trailer is already purchased. And I'd rather put some time and money into the trailer than lose the money into an apartment and be stuck in a lease. A used vehicle can be reliable and not need constant attention, they're all I've ever owned, everything from early 80's bikes, and other than one 2008 motorcycle, the newest car I've ever owned is my 2003 infiniti g35, which has been extremely reliable even as it is now at 185k.

I'm not seriously considering a ranger anymore, no real benefits over the f150 other than maneuverability, which isn't a priority for me. And the reliability of the 2011 f150 generation is much lower than the 2004-2008 era, while being much more expensive. I wouldn't be interested. There's a lot more to reliability than a few years and a few thousand miles.

I was planning on 2wd. Agreed on less things to break, cheaper, also better mpg.

The three tow options I'm considering right now are:

f150 4.2l V6, 1999 -> 2003/4, and 2006-2008.
Toyota 4runner, probably early 2000's, if I can find one with low enough miles.
there's also a Nissan Xterra, 2008.

The ecoboost has poor reliability ratings, otherwise it would be an interesting option. And while I like the idea of pulling it with a vintage truck in an aesthetic sense, I don't want a project vehicle. I have too many hobbies already! Maybe in a couple decades. [emoticon]

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