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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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winniman

muskoka Ontario

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Posted: 01/29/20 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the short term, just have it towed where you are going to live in it. Buy the truck when you can. Travelling is very expensive, so the truck might not even be needed right now. Good luck.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/29/20 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ It’s all good.
And you’re right, not all older vehicles are a pile of repairs waiting to happen, but a lot of them are. But generally the best condition and lowest miles combo wins, less specifically the brand and model.
Naturally newer = more expensive, but speaking for F150s, been around fleets of 1000s of them over the years and been personally assigned over 20 of them.
My experience differs a bit from your opinion, in that while the 04-10 trucks are generally good, the 2011 and up are actually a bit more reliable. (Maybe because I personally had an 05 and 08 that were problem prone. The 08 was a total lemon.
And the 11,12&15 I had, had no issues. Trucks got anywhere from 50-90k before I passed them down.


"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.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 01/29/20 12:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ same boat. the moden 5L is one of the most reliable motors out there with good numbers.

* This post was edited 01/29/20 12:50pm by an administrator/moderator *

jfkmk

NJ

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Posted: 01/29/20 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful old camper, congratulations! If you go the pickup route, I’d go for an F-150 or gm 1500. Avoid the Ranger. I know a lot of people like them, but personal experience (my dad had one with the 4.0) is it was a POC. Nota month went by where he didn’t dump money into it. He finally donated it with only 75k miles on it.

If you go the SUV route, the Envoy/Trailblazer would handle that trailer with ease. I towed a 3500# tt with an 06 Envoy with no problems. It had some minor issued, but never anything major. The straight 6 had a lot of torque. And they’re cheap.

Good luck with the vintage trailer!

JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 01/29/20 04:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMHO, you are not talking about any truck heavy enough to to that trailer. By the time you get living stuff in it you are looking at 3500-4000 lbs or more. To haul that much weight, you likely will need at least a class 3 truck.
Now before everybody gets their panties in a wad about a class 1 tow rating, check the manual. I bet every one limits the weight of a trailer without brakes to the payload of the truck or less.

OleManOleCan

Alabama

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Posted: 01/29/20 09:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fintip wrote:

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.



Good looking Vintage.

JIMNLIN

Oklahoma

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Posted: 01/30/20 06:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Reposting the OP long intro complete with pictures....and then says "Good looking vintage". Ya' coulda' just posted those three words. [emoticon]
Anywayz...My youngest grandson bought a '00s model 4wd Nissen truck for hunting/fishing truck and get him to and from work.
Its down now and he has found out how much higher priced front end/drive line parts are and some are in very short supply. He and I are trying to get it back on the road....then he is selling or trading it for a 1/2 or 3/4 ton Dodge/GM or Ford gas truck with all the major parts made in the usa.


"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

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Posted: 01/30/20 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice looking camper.
Congratulations.
Sounds like you are doing your research very well on the tow vehicle.
I’m sure you will find the right one for you.


Kip
2015 Skyline Dart 214RB
2018 Silverado Double Cab 4x4
Andersen Hitch

fintip

asheville

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Posted: 01/31/20 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did want to mention/ask:

Gritdog:
I tried to do my homework thoroughly on reliability, but trucks are new to me. I definitely see mixed reviews when I look at the 04-08 generation overall, but it seems to me the problem is when you zoom out to the generation itself. The big Triton seems to be full of little design problems, and the 4.6 isn't incredible, but it's better. When it comes to reliability, though, the 4.2 (which nobody buying a truck seems to want, because everyone buying a truck lives by bigger is better it seems) in that generation supposedly is the only truck from an American manufacturer to get the "green Dot". That said, I also know there were some other small issues with 04/05 (like the windows dropping, etc.–first year kinks), and so I target 06-08 from that gen.

Likewise, I skip 97/98, because the 4.2 was first released with a design flaw that they didn't correct until 99. After that, though, that engine really hit its stride. The 11th gen (04-08) got an even better version of that upgrade that was 'industrial application' approved.

The consumer reports view after 2008 dropped back to 'average', and supposedly has never come back since then. The complexity of those new fancy engines just seems to come at a cost; the 4.2L is just a regular simple pushrod engine, and it seems they'd mastered it by that year from what I can tell.

This is what I read online, I haven't paid to look at consumer reports myself, but I am tempted to confirm.

Does any of that track more with your experience?

JRscooby:
As for towing, the truck has a tow capacity of _at least_ 5000lbs--and with a WDH, it's 9900 lbs. If I do load enough to reach 4000 pounds, I'd still be at under 80% tow capacity. And while it doesn't currently have trailer brakes, that's definitely a project I hope to tackle. I'm just not optimistic about the axle having brackets and think I may have to get someone to weld mounting plates on (or perhaps hunt down an axle I suppose, more research needed once I get the trailer here). Still, I will only be doing the long trip back here with the trailer empty. I'll get a feel for what it handles and brakes like in that condition, and prioritize adding trailer brakes accordingly.

* This post was edited 01/31/20 11:50am by fintip *

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 02/01/20 04:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

please remember towing capacity means nothing in this application. Payload is your limiting factor. older half tons will have significantly less payload than modern ones nut should still be enough if you travel light.

payload - weight of all accessories on truck (including your 100 lbs of hitch) - weight of people in truck - tongue weight of the trailer. you still want a positive number (the more left the better especially with an older vehicle)

shoot for 13 percent tongue weight. as an example of my setup

my 2016 f150 has 1950 lbs payload (very good for a half ton)

1950
- 90 (hitch)
-500 (people)
-400 (gear in bed)
= 960 remaining

960/0.13 = 7385 trailer fully loaded.

my camper is only around 5500 fully loaded and my truck handles it nicely. wouldn't want much more than I have back there. My last tow vehicle with my old camper was also in the numbers but much closer to the limits. Not nearly as nice a drive.

* This post was edited 02/01/20 08:25am by an administrator/moderator *

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