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Fish Chris

Need a new tow truck... Advice ? Suggestions ?

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Okay, my poor old Toyota is just about flat worn out. It's only a 97'.... but it has 216,000 "extremely hard" miles on it. (I'd say it has the equivalent of 300 to 400K on it) It's never seen an easy mile. I used to deliver pizzas in it, and I was on the gas and brakes so hard all day long, that I had to replace the brakes every 2 to 3 months ! Then, on my days off (3 a week) I'd hook up the boat, and take in on 2 or 3 trips that involved flooring it through the mountains. Already replaced the tranny 2 years ago, and the rest of the truck isn't worth a new motor... which has to be coming soon. Geez, you should hear the motor.... Sounds like shaking marbles around in a steel can ! Burning some oil too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So anyway, here's my situation.....

I'd love to have a new Toyota, or Nissan, which has to be a 4 cyl, as mileage is VERY important to me. My 14ft alminum is pretty light, so I'm good there.

But dang these freaking 2008 Toyotas are outrageous expensive ! {oh, and they don't make any of them in a color I like.... or should I say, which would look good pulling my Camo boat}

Now here's the dilemma; I can get a full sized Dodge Ram with a V6, which is actually rated only a couple MPG's less than a Toyota.... Plus I'm thinking, it might not work quite as hard to pull the little boat, meaning the mileage might not drop quite as much, as it would with the Toyota.

But the kicker is, with the full sized Dodge Ram, they are offering a HUGE cash back incentive, of $5500 ! ....making the full sized Dodge "cheaper" than the little Toyota !

Plus, Dodge trucks now have the lifetime guarantee on the drivetrain..... and for a guy like myself, that can take a brand new vehicle, and flat wear it out in 10 years, that could be VERY important.

Oh.... and it's available in Desert Sand.... which would look great with a Mossy Oaks Shadow Grass kick panel, seat covers, and windshield visor tint ;-)

Still worried about the actual, real world mileage of the V6 Dodge though........

Your thoughts ?

Thank you,

Fish

PS, This truck will be rarely used for anything but pulling my boat, and in fact, will stay permanently attached to it.... Unless I need to go get the oil changed or something.

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I love to have the Toyota, buddy got the Dodge with a 6 in it and atuo, very happy with it. I'd go that way for money reasons, and he has took advantage of the warrantys too ;)

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If it were me, I'd spend a little time to locate a newer, lesser used version of what you have... and buy it outright.  (not finance it)  You might even find the color you want. ...lol

But that's me, I'm not going to buy anything on credit, except maybe a partial mortgage.  ...lol

good luck!

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Flechero must be a Dave Ramsey listener, right on!  

I would go with the full size dodge for the money reasons if you are dead set on buying new. And if your not overworking the v6 it will last longer than running another weaker engine full out all the time.

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There are soooo many advantages to a full size truck,

it's a no-brainer for the same or a better price.

8-)

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I recall listening to the radio show "car talk" with those "click and clack" fellas about a year or so ago. They were commenting that as far as pick ups go American made trucks are well made and just as good as the Japanese counterparts. They said this didn't apply so much to cars but pick up trucks are a different story.

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I am buying it brand new... cash. I just happen to have a nice chunk of change to play with. But generally speaking, and in the long run, mileage is still very important too.

Hey FishingBuds, if you don't mind, and if your buddy has ever figured it, can you try to find out what his actual, real-world mileage is, with his V6 Dodge Ram, pulling his boat ? {I'm assuming his boat is bigger and heavier than mine though... maybe a lot}

I could probably live with 17mpg. I don't think my worn out old Toyota gets much better than that.....

Also, I have a friend / mechanic that can put on an aftermarket exhaust, which he tells me will not only give me a few more HP's, but will also give me a couple more MPG's.... and sounds tougher too ;-) ....if that wouldn't void my warranty.

And also, I am getting the optional cruise control, and will tow at like 59 MPH, religiously. That should add 1 or 2 MPG's as well.

The bottom line is, the closer I can get to 20mpg, when towing my light aluminum, the better.

Would like to hear more from as many people as possible though....

Fish

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What kind of toyota do you have? I was reading on another forum that Toyota is doing a buyback program on 95-00 model year Tacomas due to frame rot. The guy that ended up having the problem on the other forum got 1.5 times the Kelly blue book value for his truck plus a $1000 voucher towards a new truck. Toyota ended up cutting him a check for $16,000!

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I'm certainly leaning towards the full size wagon......

At this point, it really comes down to the mileage question.

With the V6, and cruise control set at 59mph, and better, aftermarket exhaust (if it doesn't void the warranty).... and heck, I'd even go for an aftermarket PC chip (which could always be swapped back, in case it has to go back to the dealer....

Is 20mpg possible ? Or a hopeless dream.....

I think Dodge tells you 19mpg on the freeway.... but I know those numbers are always over inflated + that's not when pulling a light boat......

Hmmmm,

Fish

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I'm shopping for a new truck also.  My four cylinder Mazda just has to work too hard to pull my Bass Tracker.  It's a 1999 and has 127,000 miles on it.  

I have hardly spent any money on this truck the whole time I have had it so I will be buying an extended cab Ranger or Mazda with a six cylinder.  I was at the Toyota dealer the other day looking at their Tacoma.  My goodness, Mr. Toyota is mighty proud of his trucks.  They are fine trucks but I don't need anything that fine.

I really don't want a full sized truck and don't need anything bigger than a six to pull the boat.  My biggest problem has been that the local Ford and Mazda dealers have no inventory!  

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My truck is a 97'..... but I don't think it has any frame rot. In fact, the frame and body have all held up very well. It's the mechanical stuff that has worn out.....

And it's not that I think the Toyota was not a good truck... I just have a way of driving the wheels off of vehicles.

Put it this way, by rough calculations, I'm coming up on 1 million miles of driving, in only 25 years. While a lot of people get tired of a car, after having it for 10 years, and sell it used, for something newer, I often end up getting $50 for them, from the wrecking yard ! :-)

Resale value means practically nothing to me.

Peace,

Fish

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I find it to be quite the opposite. Actual mileage is usually better than estimated mileage. Pulling a light boat should have a nominal impact on performance or gasoline consumption.

I have a Toyota Sequoia (V8) that gets 16.3 in town and up to 20 mpg on the road. I get exactly the same mileage when I am alone or packed with seven passangers and 500 lbs of gear! However, when towing a heavy boat (Ranger 2180) the milage drops to 12-14 mpg.

Pulling your rig with a full size Dodge will put exactly -0- stress on the vehicle.

8-)

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I don't want to divert Chris's thread, but I'm starting to check out buying a truck as well and am curious: can you fit a full sheet of plywood in the bed of a Tacoma? I need to haul a lot of plywood and lumber these days and wonder whether I need a full-size for this.

Norman

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Your mileage is all going to depend on how you drive it. I have a 1997 GMC Yukon 4X4 with a 350 and do mostly around town stuff and I get at least 15mpg. I drive the speed limit or 5 over, accelerate smoothly, brake or coast when I see a red light in the distance.

If you only pull at 59mph you should get at least 20mpg with V6. The other thing with the lifetime warranty is, i'm pretty sure you have to get the truck serviced at the dealer, this can be a big cost with the service intervals of like 15,000 30,000, 60,000 etc. etc. Some of those maintenances can run in the thousands of dollars. Just something else to think about.

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Thanks, RW. I guess I could have googled it myself--you're going to turn me into a lazy man . . .  

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Ok, I'm a dodge technician... The only stipulation to the lifetime warranty is that every 5 years you have to get it inspected by a dodge dealer, ya thats it.  Do your maintenance though b/c they could come back and ask for receipts for it, i don't know for sure yet if thats what they will do but i have a strong feelin thats what will happen.  Aftermarket exhaust is ok as long as its cat back, which is fine it doesn't really do much anymore on these cars performace wise.  Now a chip, if you are going to do it stick with mopar, won't void your warranty or anything.  If a technician sees that you have had a chip in your vehicle we can void the warranty and then your done.  The 3.7 is a really good motor, its a really strong a durable engine.  If it was me i would look into the 4.7l b/c it gets about the same on gas mileage, its only 30 horsepower less than the hemi's.

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I don't know if it's still the case or not but I used to work with a guy who drove a Dakota with a V-6 and his wife drove a Durango with a V-8. Probably 2002-2004 models not sure. Just normal everday driving the Durango with the V-8 actually got 2-3 miles more to the gallon.

Just something to think about.

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At this point, it really comes down to the mileage question.

Then consider all the gas you can buy with $5500...... even at $4/gallon and 19 mpg that equals 26,125 "free" miles  You would be hard pressed to ever recoup that much in the other trucks. But over the life of the truck, you'll probably be close enough in fuel costs (with that consideration) that I'd end up getting whichever one is most comfortable, since you keep vehicles a long time.

I am buying it brand new... cash. I just happen to have a nice chunk of change to play with.

Sweet!  Nothing like a paid for ride.  

Flechero must be a Dave Ramsey listener, right on!

also a FPU facilitator!   ;

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Can't advise you on what to get, but something a little different you might want to consider.  Does the new truck you're looking at come in diesel?  And if the price of fuel is a concern, have you investigated the Greasecar conversion (link below) that runs on vegetable oil?  Also, do you have restaurants (mostly Chinese) that use a lot of vegetable oil, in your area, that you can pick up for free rather than have them pay someone to take it away?  Also, I think buying vegetable oil in bulk is cheaper than gasoline.  Like I said, just something additional to think about.  I don't know much about the system, you would have to investigate it yourelf, unless any else here had utilized the conversion system that could give you advice.

http://www.greasecar.com/

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that is GREAT news ! I have my maintenance, and oil changes done religiously, by a "certfied mechanic" friend of mine, who gives me a reciept, and saves all of the servicing records in his own PC as well.

The aftermarket exhaust cat back is good news as well. I have another certified mechanic friend, of which that is his specialty :-) (great thing to have friends like these, huh ? :-)

I didn't realize that the 4.7 "wasn't a Hemi"..... The same mileage ??? Then why do they make a 3.7 V6 ? Hmmm. I could see it being close.... but the same ?

Anyway, I'm going to go look at the big Dodges today. I won't discuss $$$ with them though. I just want to see if they have a truck that suits my needs.

Then, I go on the internet, find out exactly what that vehicle, with my options, is going for "out the door".... take a few hundred off of that price, walk in and tell them, "I'll give you this much... Take it or leave it..... In fact, "I've already written the check. Do you want this check or what ? You have exactly 10 minutes to decide, at which point I will walk out of that door, and won't come back". There are just too many Dodge dealers out there to let any one of them jack me around.

Dealers hate me, because they make very little profit off of me. I just play total hard ball with them.

Peace,

Fish

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Okay. I'll consider this too. Of course I think that the most popular, and talked about Dodges by far, are the ones with the Hemi's, and I already knew those got terrible mileage.

Which is why I'm really going to heavily research real-world mileage of V6 and non-Hemi V8 Dodges, and full sized Chevy's (I do like Chevy's too) and I'm still not beyond a Toyota..... although, like I said, all of the paint options on those suck.

Thank you ***, for speaking up among the Dodge lovers :-)

Peace,

Fish

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the 5.7l gets crappy mileage, the 4.7 and 3.7l are pretty good on gas, good power.  I hate chevy... see im going to oklahoma state for chrysler, i drive a s-10... ya give me a dodge and i can do anything to it, u give me a chevy and i hate doing anything on it... its more of a knowledge and know how thing since i work on these day in day out.  Another option is the dakota, good trucks... personally i hate the way the new ones look but thats a matter of opinion

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I figured it was the Hemi's that gave Dodge the reputation for poor mileage.

I agree about the looks of the Dakotas.

Now.... I just have to break away from this darn PC ! :-)

Check back later.

Peace,

Fish

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