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Tow Vehicle Help

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Megastink



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Posted January 31 2012 - 04:28 PM

I am currently shopping for a tow vehicle for a 18.5' Nitro bass boat. I just got the boat from family.The trailer has brakes. I want to buy a used truck, and I'm on a budget of about $10,000 asking price. I want to buy an F-150, but I'm not picky.

Anyway, I find several trucks with the options I'm looking for:
-Disc brakes
-Tow package

The majority of trucks in my price range have over 100k, and most of the time 140k+ miles on them, though I have found a few in the 80-90k range.

How many highway miles can a used truck have on it to be considered a reliable two vehicle?

Feel free to answer my question and give me feedback on what I am looking for.



#2 Jig Man

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Posted January 31 2012 - 05:07 PM

The mileage isn't as important for me as the service record. Today's engines can go a long ways if they have had regular oil changes and the rear end, transfer case and transmission serviced when needed.

#3 slonezp


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Posted January 31 2012 - 05:12 PM

Can you get maintenance records and/or a Carfax report? You can also check online if the particular year/ make of the truck has any inherent problems. (Google it) If it was maintained at regular intervals I don't see it as a big deal. Also if you can determine if the truck was used as a work/tow vehicle the majority of those 100k+ miles or a family truckster ocassionaly towing a trailer. The latter would be a better option. If it needs tires you're looking at another $800-$1000. If it's in the 5 year old range a battery is in order if it hasn't already been replaced. If a car is properly taken care of there is no reason the drivetrain shouldn't outlast the rest of the vehicle.
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#4 Fishing Rhino

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Posted January 31 2012 - 05:40 PM

Maintenance is key. Today's vehicles are good for 200,000 miles or more, provided they get serviced at the recommended intervals. Heck many get their first tune up with new spark plugs at 100,000 miles.
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#5 Daniel My Brother

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Posted January 31 2012 - 06:31 PM

The average lifespan of a vehicle is about 8 years or 150K. With that in mind, giving a stranger 10k for a truck with 140k miles is a risky bet.
It's hard to find the truck your looking for at the price you're wanting to spend. Not impossible, but hard.

Good luck in your search.
Fishing Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri

#6 scrutch


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Posted January 31 2012 - 10:15 PM

Do a Carfax AND an Autocheck report. Carfax is NOT always accurate. I learned this the hard way. I bought a GM Certified used Yukon Denali with a "spotless" Carfax report and then three weeks later found out it had been wrecked...TWICE! One accident report showing damage "all over". A dealer service guy ran an Autocheck report for me for free after looking at my truck and seeing some red flags that I missed. I've since bought another Denali, but not before running both reports! Good luck with the search.

#7 jdw174


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Posted February 01 2012 - 08:17 AM

If you forego the V8 option, might I suggest a Tacoma V6 with tow package? I tow a TR20 with mine and have never had a problem on the steepest ramps. Mileage while towing is also in the 15mpg range. Mine is an '05, bought when new, and I've never had the first problem with it.
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#8 ww2farmer


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Posted February 01 2012 - 08:52 AM

Around here $10,000 will get you a decent 5 to 6 year old 1/2 ton V-8 4wd regular cab/short extended cab with 60K-80K miles on it.....people asking $10K for trucks with 125k+ on them are in a dream world...keep looking.

How far and how often you will be towing would be a big factor in what kind of reliability you can expect out of a truck.

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#9 youngbassman


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Posted February 20 2012 - 11:33 PM

look for like a 1996 chevy or gmc pickup those 5.7 vortec motors are hard to kill and great for towing

#10 Way2slow


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Posted February 21 2012 - 08:00 PM

To bad you are that far away. I would sell you my 98 4WD Chevy extended cab pickup with 350 Vortec for $4,200.

#11 Delaware Valley Tackle

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Posted February 21 2012 - 08:39 PM

The type of miles is more important than the number. My commuter car has 225,000 miles ona V6 and doesn't miss a beat. The catch is that a majority of those miles are interstate cruise control miles. In the minds of some people a truck is a "work" vehicle and gets little TLC. Check for loose door hinges and worn foot pedals. These can be signs of wear that are overlooked when a vehicle is buttered up fot sale.
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#12 DgTerrell


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Posted February 22 2012 - 03:49 AM

Carfax are great if the vehicle is taken to a dealership for all it's maintence. If you take it to a locally owned garage to have work done it is completely up to them if they wish to add it to the Carfax. Atleast that's what my friend who operates a garage told me.

#13 jly



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Posted February 22 2012 - 07:46 AM

i know you mentioned you wanted a half ton, but just food for thought here. I own multiple 3/4 ton chevys with the 6.0 liter v-8, two of the 2003's have well over 200,000 miles on them. Also these trucks are in my service fleet so they tow trailers with about 4-8,000 lbs 5 days a week. They are in great shape, dont leak, dont burn oil, ect. I would take either one of them across country today. So the point of the story is dont freak out to much on mileage, more on the condition of the vehicle. Esp if you can find a used one from a guy that fixed things (or had them fixed) as soon as they poped up, vs the guy that only fixes problems when it causes complete failure.

the other thing to think about is depending on how far and how often you are going to be towing. half ton will be fine but the heavier drive train is benneficial if you are going to be towing often.

just my 2 cents

#14 barroncooper


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Posted February 22 2012 - 09:41 PM

my brother just sold his 01 z71 with 330000 miles. the only repairs it ever had was a waterpump and a tranny rebuild at 275000 miles. I'd say it held up well. miles do not scare me with today's cars and trucks. but like others have said a good maintenance schedule is key