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Thread: Truck question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Truck question

    I know this is kinda like how long is a piece of string but I figure I will ask the question anyhow.

    1) Wish I had a Carol list to go by for buying a truck. (For those that don't know Carol shared a perfect spec for the best aspects to check for in buying a second hand motorhome. )

    2) Linda wants me to get a truck NOW she comes around to the idea when I wanted one in the first place instead of the Jeep. Thing is now I am happy with my 5.7l Hemi and have already towed the 29ft trailer and am comfortable with it all having put hours into weighing it all and getting it all set up. But she is uncomfortable with the sway we get despite us having a fancy anti sway hitch ( Centerline by Husky ). Got no power problems and have the break controller fitted but the wheelbase on the Jeep is around 109 inches and the wheelbase of a F150 is 144 to 156 depending on box type on a crew cab. I am not convinced that we would see huge difference that she is expecting but now she has psychologically got the B in her bonnet and you guys know by now aint no getting it out of a woman's head once its in there. lol Sorry ladies but that's just how I see it.

    3) So I had my heart set on the King Ranch ford series with a decent engine but this is typical of how I buy a car.

    Until meeting you all, I would buy it based on how I like it. King Ranch brown leather seats that's = to sold to me.

    But you guys all went and spoiled that logic and now I got to research the heck out of it.

    4) You guys have grown up car/truck people in the US more than I ever have been interested. I cannot tell one from another and only reason I can even explain some of my Jeep is cause I have learnt to.

    But I have never owned a truck so now the question is which truck ? What make what to look for whats a lemon etc

    I feel like I am heading for minefield with my eyes closed and half deaf.

    If I had owned one before at least I would no what not to look at .

    Can anyone throw some light on the subject that is a life long truck owner.

    I got hold of a Ford booklet/brochure and the options alone are enough to put one off.

    So what say you all?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    First off, there are the 'brand X' guys that will only own a certain brand and that is it. Ford, Chevy, Dodge.

    I'm not a die hard brand guy. I think pretty much all of the brands have pretty good models. But check the car rating folks to get the real deal on it.

    I've got a ford f-350 diesel dually. I got that big of a truck because of the camper we bought for it. Actually, ordered the truck first, went a bought the camper, then had to go back to the dealer to 'upgrade' from the f-250 SRW to the f-350 DRW.

    What is a truck? A truck is a tool.

    Go about buying it the same way you would evaluate buying an expensive power tool.

    To me, It is a piece of equipment that means not having to worry about getting 'stuff'. Will it fit? I'll make it fit, or pop it on a trailer. I like having a truck that is big enough that for most things I would ever do or tow I never have to ask the question, will my truck handled.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    rob that swaying she mentiones needs to be addressed ,, one your trailer may have been to light on the tongue or two something else was wrong.. but the jeep you have is a heavy vehicle and alot of trucks weigh less nowdays than they used to.. so i would look at the trailer and vehicle together but a bad hook up on any tow vehicle is bad news..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Brent is'll get a lot of "brand loyalty" guys, some of whom recommend the brand they own just to justify their own purchase. (Same as we see in tool discussions.)

    Personally, I grew up around Ford cars and trucks, and have generally favored Fords (I've owned several) over Chevys (I've owned two) and Dodges (never owned one but have driven them for work). That said, my current favorite pickup is the Toyoya Tundra based on my experience driving one all over LA while installing artwork a couple of years ago. But I'm not sure the Tundra would be the ideal towing vehicle. I think Ford, and to an even larger extent, Dodge, are covering the heavy towing market more thoroughly.

    The longer wheelbase will make a difference in the sway, but Larry is right...check that you're not loading the tongue too light. Still, a short wheelbase can get squirrely pretty quickly. I once nearly lost a relatively heavy 23' camp trailer while towing it with a full-sized Ford Bronco. (It tried to pass me going down a hill.) The short wheelbase didn't necessarily cause the problem, but it sure didn't help, either.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Yeah trucks owners can be ridiculous about brand loyalty. There are some generalizations that mostly work (fords loose engines, dodges loose transmissions, toyotas are expensive, chevy's are built like tin cans ) but it changes year to year so figuring out what is actually good for a given model year/type requires a whole lot of searching and pondering and luck.

    On the toyota, at the midrange they seem ok. A co-worker has an older (2003) Tundra he uses for towing his race car setup and I think that would be comparable, the bigger Tundra is ~close to an F150 capacity wise (depending on the f150 model/type).

    Generally the fords have a little more towing "capacity". I take most of those numbers with a grain of salt. Its not what you can get started moving that matters as much as what you can stop and control. A heavier rig will stop more weight without jumping around on the road and is less subject to sway issues from side winds, etc.. (wheel base in all directions helps there as well - I think? the trucks you're looking at should be a bit wider than the jeep as well).

    A 29' trailer is a pretty good sized beast, you didn't say how heavy it is?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    here's my 'take' on truck buying...
    1) figure out what you're going to use it for, in your case: towing your RV
    2) take the stated weight rating of your trailer, the 'wet' weight (ie, loaded up including water...) and take that number to the truck brochure(s) , you want to have room to spare on the GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating) when you add the trailer weight and the truck weight . Pick the truck that matches that GCWR.
    those two are the bare minimum... doesn't matter what brand you're buying, those Have to happen.

    the rest are what I then take into account:

    3) powertrain. You're most likely going to be up into a 3/4 ton (250/2500 series) truck weight range with your trailer. This gets you three options a) gas 'economy' engine... it might move the trailer, but you won't be happy with the performance.( Your 5.7L in a bigger truck would fit this category.) Small to mid range v8 b) gas 'power' option such as a V10 or big-block v8 and finally c) diesel. If I could afford a full sized pickup, I'd to straight to the Diesel option, pick your brand, they all have a version. You're familiar with Dodge engines (since mopar owned Jeep...) so your dealer would most likely have a Ram with a Cummins 5.9L. Ford would be the Powerstroke, GM would be the Duramax.

    4) Lastly I choose the 'creature comforts'... extended cab, crew cab, leather seats etc...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I'm going to say your sway is 90 percent to short a tow rig. If you have the right weight transferring hitch than the weight on the tong is not an issue unless your hooking it up wrong. That being said a tow vehicle for a 12 foot 2 horse trailer should have no less than 110 inch wheel base. So if your camper is heaver and longer than that your tow ride needs to be bigger.
    Now on to trucks. Read as many on line reviews on each truck as you can stand to read. Find out which truck is having what problems. Last I knew you could not keep a tranny in a Doge and the 2 I have had in the past where no exception to that rule. That's old info so they may have figured it out in the last 10 years. One can almost count on a Ford that is 10 years old in NH will not have any metal left on it from the doors down. Don't know why but every one that I have seen rusts out and I mean fast only on the 2000 and newer trucks. Chevy with an 8.1 you can count on the exhaust bolts braking. At least it's just the bolts unlike a Ford it will be the bolts and manifold. And a Chevy with the 5L wont have enough power to get out of it's own way. If your towing with a Chevy 8.1 you can count on putting brakes on it every year.
    I will add I buy trucks for work as stated it's just a big tool. Leather seats and fancy gadgets do not make a work truck. While they may make it more comfy to ride in. Comfy does nothing for me sitting on the side of the road because it just plan didn't have enough motor, tranny, what have you.
    And don't believe them when you hear a tundra is big enough to be a tow rig. It is the same size as my Sequoia while it did tow my camper fine well it towed it, My full size truck does it so much better. Just like night and day.
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 04-04-2013 at 10:54 PM.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    just south of the LA/MS border off of I-55

    some info that might help

    Just a note, anyone can request bids on a new vehicle. I usually spec out exactly what I want and once I know that I call every dealer within a hundred miles and just ask for the fleet manager's fax number. I usually pay from $250 above true dealer invoice to even hundreds below dealer invoice. You can do that, the dealer gets a kickback from the factory, the bigger the dealer the bigger the kickback, a so called floorplan discount to help cover the costs of financing vehicles on the floor plan. Thing is last I knew most vehicles don't hit the floor plan until it has been on the lot six months so on an ordered vehicle the floor plan money is just cash in the dealer's pocket. Let him keep it, he has to make something. The salesperson on a mini is only making forty or fifty bucks usually too but when you come in filling out paperwork on something that is already a done deal they are making that money for thirty or forty-five minutes work.

    One warning, once you get a bid don't change anything or the deal is gone. If you really must change something, ask for new bids. Don't let them add anything to the bid either. Destination charge, shipping, is legit. It was in the bid. Dealer prep is a place to make quick bucks as are add on warranties and service plans. You don't want either one but if you think you do make them put the price in the bid. The last truck I bought was a decked out three-quarter ton Dodge for a friend. We requested ten or twelve bids, all but one or two replied with bids. We bought that one well below invoice. We had it at one fifty above when a salesman asked if he dropped the price five hundred would we commit. Yepper we would! Toted the deposit down, they wanted to start dealing again. We told them the deal was made we were just there to give a deposit on the special order. The manager came out and inquired how long we had known the salesman. Seems we got a friends and family discount is where that last five hundred came from. We assured him we were good friends with the salesman, . . . now!

    Don't be shy about requesting bids or asking to see the real invoice. They will usually have a reason you can't see the invoice until you head towards the door. Their odds of selling you a vehicle are less than 20% if you walk off a lot without committing. I usually buy a new vehicle cheaper than I can buy one that is several years old.

    My mom was terrified of shopping for a new car. I told her she was looking at it all wrong, it could be fun. We went together and afterwards she said, "You are right, that was fun!"


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    If you have a heavy trailer tow it somewhere there is not much traffic where there is a hill stop part way up the hill & see if you can hold it there. Most electric trailer brakes don't hold real well in reverse on an incline (hill). If you feel the slightest doubt get a heavier rig to tow it with. Before committing yourself to purchase the rig test it out with your trailer with the trailer brakes disconnected on a hill again if it won't hold it there on the hill don't buy it. All you need is to get stuck in traffic on a hill & you'll wish your rig was heavy duty enough to hold the trailer there on the hill. I have heard of several close calls because of this problem.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    King Ranch...definitely!

    If you can get it in Chevy, Dodge, or Toyota, I guess you can choose one of those.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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