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Need advice on a tow vehicle

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Mike Sal View Post
    I'm kinda in the same situation....I'd like to upgrade from my '99 dodge 4x4, but almost all used (and new) trucks out there are 4 door.....I don't want a 4 door....if I wanted a 4 door, I'd drive a car. Doesn't anyone use a truck for work anymore where they need an 8ft bed???
    Mike Sal
    A couple of things...Obviously, you must be neater than me. When I left my "Suit & Tie" job for a career in Industrial Sales & Engineering, my vehicle became my "office." Early on, I spent a few days with an experienced salesman who was driving a mini-van. One day, we had demonstrated an airless paint unit, which involved carrying a pump that had to be cleaned with a flammable solvent. After leaving the customer, my co-worker lit a cigarette as we were driving away from the plant. I'm not a smoker, and I was horrified by Larry lighting up with the heavy aroma of solvent in the confines of that van. From that moment, I decided that for my business vehicle, there would be no Van. Since then, I have only used extended cab & four door trucks (room for my office), and a bed cover to separate me and my demo equipment from any solvent vapors.

    There were many times, after a meeting that required tweaking a quoted project, that I was able to go to my four door truck, use reference materials (catalogs) take my computer and printer, revise the proposal, and leave with a contract... while my competition was pondering their options and trying to decide which secretary they were going to task with typing the new quote.

    As they say, "different strokes for different folks"...when you consider the options that work best for your tasks, there are often compromises required for the best performance. I've pondered the idea of a pickup using "fifth-wheel" towing opposed to bumper hitch towing. There are pros & cons there too...
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

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    • #32
      If you are on the road for work, in the age of smaller 4 door cars, a 4 door short bed truck is invaluable, you can stow your gear in the room size back seat, and as jclary said use the bed for stuff that needs not to be inside, only downside of cause is the gas, and mall parking. But you can drive all day in comfort, for my 40,000 mile a year for work, I can't see ever going back to a car, our company uses Ford's and Ram's, the Ford's seem to ride better, but the aluminium body seems to get beat up faster and more often, and they are more difacult repairing the body's, I can see the company dropping Ford's, likely for GMC.

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      • #33
        My take on the crew cab trucks is that the added wheelbase just makes the truck that much better to tow with. The added length reduces the swaying motion from the trailer Anti sway can be reduced by using the correct equipment, hitch and anti sway unit. The other thing is to get the correct tongue weight to reduce sway. Too many people have no idea that by reducing tongue weight you increase sway. There's a reason 18 wheelers have the trailer axles way towards the rear instead of forward. You need to be towing, not balancing. The other thing, if it's applicable, is to tow with a fifth wheel hitch or gooseneck to get the weight over the truck axle instead of off the rear of the truck. Makes maneuvering much better too.
        sigpic1966 Daytona (The First One)
        1950 Champion Convertible
        1950 Champion 4Dr
        1955 President 2 Dr Hardtop
        1957 Thunderbird

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        • #34
          I much prefer the older 2nd generation dodge cummins with a 5 spd.

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          • #35
            I like the 2nd gen Dodges also. Have a 2000 V10, that is now my work truck, and a 2001 Diesel with the six speed. The six speed is truly bombproof, while I have heard that you can't tow in fifth gear with the five speed.

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            • #36
              Every 1/2T truck I buy gets a update to 1T springs in the rear. Problems solved.
              Looking at a new to me beater parts/towing rig.Something 2001-4.High miles and rust do not bother me
              Have a friend who sells cars and they have a eye out for me.
              My only parameters are that I am upgrading to a 3/4T Chevy 4x4 standard cab long box.
              Nothing yet.
              Mono mind in a stereo world

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              • #37
                Go down to your local Ford truck dealer and check out an F150 EcoBoost with the full-blown tow package.

                Mine is a five-year-old 4WD XLT Supercab with a deluxe tow package and is an awesome hauler. It's powered by a tiny little 213 ci V6 that produces an unbelievable amount of torgue through it's entire usable RPM range. It's got a 1500lb payload and is able to tow in excess of 11,000 lbs without even breathing hard.

                Last April I was on my way to South Bend with a full bed, an old all-steel trailer that weighs more than a ton behind, loaded up with a car and going up over the Cascades when I glanced down at the speedo - I was doing 65 and the engine was turning a measly 1,000 rpm !!!

                The truck is a rolling computer. Slippery roads? It decides what to do whether speeding up or slowing down and braking. Trailer tries to fishtail? It sends you a warning on the dash and says it's initiating corrective measures and a second later the trailer is following along like a placid puppy. Only thing I didn't like was that when the truck is in haul mode you can't use cruise control or all of the traction, handling and braking gizmos switch off.

                Going up through the rockies, I'd roll up next to some big Super Duty belching smoke and going just about all out with a lighter-newer hauler and lighter-smaller car, well above 65, and ease right on by turning maybe 1300 to 1500 uphill. One guy did his best to try and spank me. As I was going by he accelerated and pulled up flush. I glanced over at him and he had a big s***-eating grin on his face. He gave me a thumbs up and put his foot down hard and started pulling away. I put the pedal down a tad more and rolled up next to him and glanced over. He looked a little startled and put his foot down even more. I just chuckled, put the pedal down a tiny fraction more, went by him like he was going in reverse, got out 150 meters in front of him and kept him there, for about half an hour. He would speed up and try and close the gap; and I'd keep him right there at 150 meters, until we'd get up to speeds that I imagine were scaring the cr** out of him; and he'd ease off for a while before trying to sneak up to me again. No matter how hard he tried, I kept him at 150 meters behind for more than half an hour before I got tired of the game, put the pedal down a little more and he became a speck in the mirror really fast and eventually disappeared. All while using, according to the computer. 14.2 mpg with that load on; and, if I slowed down and drove more civilized and kept it at 55 to 60 getting nearly 20 mpg.

                The new one's make mine look like a nag. The new one is 700 lbs lighter, because it's got an aluminum body, which ups the payload, it makes 10 more bhp with the same displacement and same number of turbos (2), electronic fuel injection and variable valve timing, and an additional 50 pound feet of torque at 3500 rpm (470 vs. 420) than my truck does. It's got a 10-speed transmission versus my six speed. It's got all the doodads mine has plus more - lane assist, etc. - and it ride is really comfortable. Steering response is crisp with just the right amount of feedback. Took mine down to the local Ford Truck guy and feigned interest in trading in my truck on a new one, just so they'd let me try out all the various new configurations. Poor guy, I spent most of the afternoon taking out a bunch of their trucks, driving a mile to the interstate, getting up on the interstate and then going up two exits before I got off and made my way back again, but in the end I had to let him down by staying with my old steel-bodied nag.

                Unless you plan to be hauling industrial trailers with big industrial excavators and such on them, or a massive snowbird home that you're going to drag down to Arizona every winter, there's no need to buy something that's considered to be a heavyweight - that F150 ecoboost with the best tow package combination Ford has is way more than you'll need to drag a car hauler with your baby on it around the country.
                Mike O'Handley, Cat Herder Third Class
                Kenmore, Washington
                hausdok@msn.com

                '58 Packard Hawk
                '05 Subaru Baja Turbo
                '71 Toyota Crown Coupe
                '69 Pontiac Firebird
                (What is it with me and discontinued/orphan cars?)

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                • #38
                  Yeah, pulling a car on a trailer is fairly light duty. I can get 17 pulling one with my cummins at 65 mph.

                  One day I picked up a Miata from Fort Wayne with my old utility trailer and before heading back to Lafayette I discovered a problem with one of the trailer tire fill stems. So I ran 50 coming home and got over 22 mph for the trip with the trailer and the Miata on it.
                  Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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