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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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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/02/20 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's what I'd do in your situation, rather than being pressured into buying a mistake that depletes your budget.
If you can't beg borrow or steal a pickup truck for the trip, are you old enough to rent one?
The law abiding citizens of rvnet will lose it with this suggestion, as you're not supposed to tow with car rentals ( but you might be able to rent from an equipment rental place).
I'd find the cheapest rental, call it 3 days round trip to add an extra day for "stuff happens." Go rent ya a new truck from Budget, Avis, etc. Haul @ss in confidence to MI and back with the trailer. Park it and then consider the $500 you spent what you'll save by not buying a piece of junk on short notice from a greasy used car salesman.

Or ditch the trailer and buy one locally. Have you even seen it in person? Or are you a very trusting individual?
Get a cheap apartment, postpone the purchase, 2nd job, if necessary, whatever, but don't throw good money after bad just because you like a 60 year old blue trailer.

Just passing on lessons learned. This is meant to be constructive advice.


"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.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/02/20 11:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just a quick 2 min search of CL there I saw about 10 or more vehicles that could be solid contenders in the you could get it for $5k or less category with the keywords low miles and by owner.
Everything from loaded V8 explorer, to 4 banger S10 pickup to a 7.3 Powerstroke Superduty. And a really nice looking Acura MDX.
Also, since I been shopping recently, seems $5k is sort of a breakpoint between really good and possibly wth is that.

You WANT to buy an old car from a private owner, in his driveway where you can see what your getting, with some history and context behind it. Yes you can be fooled or lied to. But with a car lot, the chances of that are Much greater.
Good luck in your search.

JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 02/02/20 12:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fintip wrote:




JRscooby:
I'm still surprised that you find the F150 here to potentially not be enough to handle that trailer, especially empty. People tow heavier trailers with lighter vehicles without serious issue regularly. For me, this is probably the sweet spot, but I feel I'm being conservative. Sure, it's not so big that I won't feel the trailer, but that would be overkill. Again, first tow with it will be empty, and it'll be at half the capacity of the truck's base tow limit. Under half, actually--this particular F150, with the 3.73 final drive and tow package, looks to be rated for 5700 pounds. And with the single cab, the payload availability is maximized.


I do not know how to get this idea between your ears. You act like you want to run within limits. For that I say good on you.
The GVWR of that F150 is 6500 lbs, by the sticker, right? The brakes on the truck are designed to stop that weight, with a reserve for safety. Right?
Now that pickup is going to weigh 5000 at least. So the first trip, with only the experience you have now, you are going to be running IN THAT SAFETY RESERVE by at least 1300 lbs.


Grit dog wrote:



Totally, experience towing and an at least nominal understanding of vehicles and physics plays in big time. And dragging that trailer around with a 1/2 ton in good condition is way different than a compact truck or a truck that is mechanically questionable.


I agree with you. And when that trailer gets brakes on it, a 150 will work great. But to stay in the numbers without brakes, it will take a 350 at least.

fintip

asheville

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Posted: 02/02/20 03:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JR Scooby:
You only add the tongue weight to the GVWR, not the trailer weight, no? Sounds like you're mixing GCWR with GVWR to me, unless I'm misunderstanding something. The truck has a separate limit listed for requiring a WDH, and doesn't list requirements for trailer brakes. If you look at SUV's with a 3500 pound limit, they all say 'with trailer brakes'. The F150 doesn't. It can tow 9000+ lbs with a WDH. I'm sure a 2640lb trailer will be well within what it can handle.

btw, looking it up, truck should weigh 4878, supposedly.
GVWR is 6500.

Tongue weight should be about 260-300 lbs, assuming 10-15%.

I'm new to travel trailers, and to towing properly and by the book, and to owning the towing vehicle. But I've towed and driven over the years here and there. I know how to drive conservatively. I grew up on dirtbikes and ATV's. I rode motorcycles for years. I know how to make sure I leave room for braking safely. I'm confident I can manage this one trip that is still well within the ratings...

Grit dog:
All those vehicles I have written off for one reason or another. Explorers aren't reliable and don't have good enough fuel economy for daily driving. An S10 is a worse towing vehicle, lighter, not sure it can even handle the load, and probably not known for being especially reliable. I am not going to drive a 7.3 as a daily driver. And the acura is expensive for parts (think I looked at that one).

I make $600/mo right now. That will start going up, but for me, $500 on renting something would be hard. I looked into that, that's what my original plan was. Towing with a rental car, as you know, is not kosher, and would put me at big risk for liability if anything went wrong. It would also be tricky, as I'd have to probably go buy a hitch and other equipment, install it myself, may include the need for wiring, do the tow, and then remove it all. Not practical, unfortunately.

Trailer can't be ditched. Ebay has protections if the trailer is a lie. Buyer had sold previous trailers and had good reputation. I talked with him, got photos of his license and of the title.

It's a lot to ask to borrow a truck for 1400 miles, half towing. That's a lot of trust. That's a favor you can only ask of close friends or family. Sadly, I'm not from the area, and none of my friends has a truck that can do the job. One has a dad with an old tacoma, and it would be at the edge of what it could tow more or less... and would be a lot to ask of essentially a near-stranger.

---

All that aside, I dug in a lot more and realized I'd written off the xterra too soon. They have 60 more hp, and while they have a lower payload, they're built on a truck platform (frontier) that can tow more than the F150 (only reason it's 5k instead of 6k+ is because of the shorter wheelbase). Plenty of reports of people towing TT's as heavy or heavier than mine without issue, including on this forum.

I found a relatively newer model for a good price with a tow hitch already installed. In contact with seller now, hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have it.

Remember, this will mostly be a daily driver. Secondary purpose will be towing. First ride will be without trailer brakes but with a completely empty TV and TT--after that I'll look into installing trailer brakes.

And for a daily driver, the xterra makes more sense. I'm about to keep digging, I think a pathfinder makes even more sense, but I don't have some particular lead quite as good as that xterra and, if the test drive is solid, I think I'll jump on it.

JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 02/02/20 05:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fintip wrote:

JR Scooby:
You only add the tongue weight to the GVWR, not the trailer weight, no? Sounds like you're mixing GCWR with GVWR to me, unless I'm misunderstanding something. The truck has a separate limit listed for requiring a WDH, and doesn't list requirements for trailer brakes. If you look at SUV's with a 3500 pound limit, they all say 'with trailer brakes'. The F150 doesn't. It can tow 9000+ lbs with a WDH. I'm sure a 2640lb trailer will be well within what it can handle.



Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but I grew up in a time when facts matter.
And the fact is The brakes on that truck do not give a fling feathered firetruck if that weight is in the bed or on a third axle. When you need to stop, without brakes on the trailer,the brakes on the TV must stop the GCVW. If the weight of trailer plus the weight of pickup is over 6500 lbs your brakes are overloaded.
I have said it before, good you are doing the research. And with brakes on the trailer, the F150 numbers will be good. But without trailer brakes you are overloading a critical part.

NomadicTrio

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Posted: 02/02/20 06:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

https://youtu.be/XLpDloxPnu0

Starting the fulltime lifestyle, and we just posted our reveal of our 06 jayco Jayfeather remodel. MUST SEE it is unbelievable, make sure you subscribe!!!

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/03/20 12:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fintip, I respect the thought and effort you’re putting into this and also understand the “1 trip” requirements vs the perfect tow rig.
And if you can find an xterra or pathfinder that you like, it’ll Doo the trick, likely.
Also understand the magnitude of borrowing something of that magnitude. It’s a no go unless someone you’re close with for sure. Was just a suggestion.
One last suggestion? Borrow a few bucks, get a full time job unless that’s prohibitive for some reason. Pay off the extra couple grand in short order with very modest interest accrued and have the “right” vehicle for a long time.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 02/03/20 07:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

reliability ratings on a 15 year old vehicle don't mean much for what its worth. after a vehicle is a few years old what becomes way more important is how it was maintained.

also whats wrong with a 7.3 for a DD. That's one of the best engines they have ever made and holds its value.

also both the 4.6 and 5.4 ford V8s can be great. The biggest deal is the 2 piece spark plugs on the triton older than 2009 and they should already be gone. (if their not change them and the problem goes away) and distributor towers going bad. also cheap and easy fix.

* This post was edited 02/03/20 08:42am by an administrator/moderator *

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 02/03/20 10:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ Yes and the big superduty 7.3 will get similar mileage to a mid size gasser as well.
It was merely a suggestion and one with caution as well. As the overall cost of ownership appears to be paramount to fintips budget given his limited income and big truck parts and diesel parts aren’t cheap.
All considerations to be had.

I agree even more with you that the typical “issues “ with a particular model or motor should be lower on the list of priorities once the vehicle is old and high miles and that care , condition and maintenance are equally or more important.

Example, I’d buy a great condition lower miles Triton spark plug spitter or spark plug sticker over a high miles LS motor just because the LS didn’t have any inherent “issues.”
It’s too bad the OP doesn’t live out here. Nice older tow rigs for cheap are very plentiful.
Just saw the perfect truck for him if he could get off the gas mileage kick.
94 1/2 ton 2wd Silverado, 350, low miles great condition grandpa mobile. Running boards and all. Asking 4K obo.
Fwiw, I’d hone in on GMT 400 trucks all day long as the best value and reliability for the buck trucks.

* This post was edited 02/03/20 11:04am by Grit dog *

fintip

asheville

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Posted: 02/11/20 05:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welp.

Sorry I disappeared.

Found a 2010 xterra, got it for 3800. Thought I was set.

In the first week, the radiator blew, mixing coolant and trans fluid. Saved the trans, bypassed the radiator, got advice and had a test drive from some transmission guys who said I had pulled it off... and then the head gasket blew.

Currently sourcing a new engine and getting ready to pay to have that done.

It's been a rough week. Details here: https://www.thenewx.org/threads/smod-and-more-on-2010-x-starts-30-hours-after-i-bought-it-figured-yalld-want-to-know-want-to-hear-a-story.278120/

I had done my research. Supposedly 2010 was supposed to be a non-SMOD year that was safe, and lots of people report their engines going to 200-300k without any problem. I tried to push the engine while test driving it as much as I could with the dealer in the passenger seat. I also read of people towing heavier loads than I was towing for 20k + miles without problem.

Anyways. Guess **** happens. First time buying from a used car dealer, guess the experience lived up to their reputation.

Back in a couple weeks.

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