OT: trucks

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The ol' minivan needs service again. Me and the wife are seriously considering trading in one of our cars for something newer (the car is a '95 grand-am, the van a '96 windstar). The minivan is nice and all, but I've always been a truck guy. I need a truck to haul things, including wood (here's the WW tie-in). Hauling sheet or long goods in the van is a PITA.
The "rub" is that my wife wants to get a extended/crew cab, so the kids can ride along in the back with real leg room. They are 4 and 6 now.
a 6' bed is OK, since I can always haul with the tailgate down. But I also want automatic and cruise. And towing capability is a must. I'm more familiar with the Ford F-150 and GMC (chevy) S-10/S-15 series that I used to drive. I don't know which companies other than Ford series call their extended/crew cabs. Also, we're not looking to buy new.
Any opinions?
John
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TOYOTA!!!! Although at present I do own a Ford and don't get me wrong I love my Ford truck. But I think the longeveity of the Toyota stands out.
Just an opinion guys and we all have them.. Mine is I cannot stand Chevy rust and rattle buckets
Searcher1
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I've been really pleased with my 2000 Ranger (base model, short bed - no frills). 70k miles so far with nary a problem. Orignal brakes, tires and clutch. Sure, it has no air conditioning (don't need it in the Bay Area), no cruise control and no power anything, but at under $10k new, who's complaining?
Compared to the competition (S10/Toyota/Nissan), it had greater ground clearance and a higher cab which made it more comfortable for tall people.
Unfortunately, the base model price has increased 50% since december 1999.
scott
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Yeah, but they give it all back to you in discounts. They are giving Rangers away around here (Maine), even 4x4s.
Back on topic, if the OP is looking for rear legroom, the Ranger is out. I only got the XC because the front seats go back further. I would never subject a human to those jump seats - I don't even put my dog back there.
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Aw, you just like those Toyota truck commercials with Darrell Waltrip.
I'm like you, though, in my disdain for Chevy trucks. They are for girly men who really would rather have a car. (Now, if that doesn't start a fight, I don't know what will.)
Dick "duckin' for cover" Durbin
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Funny how it goes! The last three companies I have worked for bought nothing but GMC of Chevy. The one had a fleet of twenty vehicles, all GM. Where I am now we have ten or so trucks, one Ford in the bunch, one Dodge diesel dually. Once in a while they would forget and buy a Ford again, but after it spent more time in the shop than on the road it would suddenly disappear and a new GM would be in it's place. I drove a one ton Chevy van 175,000 miles with only brakes and tires. I got a new van and the gent that got my old one ran it to just over 300,000 miles with similar service. No major repairs, original engine and transmission! The company sold it for $500 as it was in need of engine work. It burned very little oil, but the crank bearings were so worn that it was spewing oil out both ends of the crank.
Personally I have owned two Fords and I will probably never buy another one! My dad has owned three Fords and he is done with them too! My next door neighbor bought one Ford, all GM in his driveway again!
The next guy will drive a Ford with disdain for GM, or drive Dodge and hate GM or Ford. I guess it makes the world go 'round! Greg
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I have a 1999 Mazda B2500 which is merely a rebadged Ford Ranger. Your wife is right. (Aren't they always?) I wish I had bought the extended cab version. It will make the vehicle a lot more useful and it will give you more space for your Twinkie wrappers. Since you need towing capacity, it sounds like you need an F-150 extended cab.
Do one thing for your neighbors: stay away from those nasty diesels. Why do diesel pick-up truck owners feel like they have to leave the noisy, smelly things running?
Dick Durbin
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Cuz they are so hard to start?
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Wow! Lots of responses...lots of them emotional too :) I'll try to shed some more light on my needs, or muddy up the waters some more:
My first trucks were F-150's, al early '70s models. My only new truck was a '87 F-150 (then the union went on strike, and I couldn't afford it anymore...). My last two trucks were GMC versions of the S-10 and S-15. In the Sonoma (S-10 copy if I remember right), for sheet goods, I rested them on the wheel wells and used a inverted U of 2x6's on the tailgate. The wieght of the goods held it in place.
I hate diesels. I hate bemoth SUV's (Hummer, expedition, etc).
I like my Windstar minivan, but it can't carry sheet goods with the rear door closed. I have to tie a rope to the plastic loop handle and the other end of the rope to a seat armrest.
It sounds like 4 door is a must, as I must haul the kids frequently (I hate driving my wifes grand-am...it hurts my back to sit in that thing for extended periods), espectially on family trips.
Towing capability is a must (Most trucks will easily haul our pop-up camper without a towing package). If I get another van, it must have a factory installed towing package.
Cruise and automatic tranny are required. AC is nice, but optional. Power steering pretty much comes standard on everything these days.
we cannot afford new, so we are looking used, '99 or later. Under 20K, preferrably 15K.
4WD is preferred but not necessary...this'll be my hunting rig too!
One of the smaller SUV's might fill the bill...I'm not familar with them, but I'll be looking!
John
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John, take a ride in the Chevy, Ford and Chrysler products (dunno about the Nissan) and then the toyota Tundra. The difference is very noticable, and the SWMBO will prefer the Tundra hands down. You will buy the Tundra. That's what happened to me. Might pay a little more for it, but resale and durability will win over the long haul. You can't beat the rice burners on those two issues. Just my opinion.
Mutt
John T wrote:

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John T wrote: snip

The base F-150s come in between $15-20K new, definitely in there if the dealers are trying to get rid of them. The come with AC and PS. AT, CC and 4WD are extra, they tow about 6K as designed. I like mine, it's got a non-standard rear end because I have a tendency to fill it with turning wood, $18K and change.
Dave in Fairfax
--
Dave Leader
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Want four doors? A crew cab 2-wheel drive XLT (base model) is more like $30 new, from what I can see.
Frank
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Buck Frobisher wrote:

Mine's got a supercab.
Dave in Fairfax
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Dave Leader
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my vote: Toyota Tundra crew cab. I don't think you'll find one in the price/age range you're looking for (~$26k new, they've been out since 2000), but if you're going to haul the family around, you will never regret it. For what it's worth, here's a bit of what CR says about it:
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Highs: Ride, quietness, braking, smooth engine, interior quality, reliability. Lows: Turning circle.
Currently our top-rated full-sized pickup, the Tundra's Lexus-derived V8 is smooth and quiet. 2005 brings a larger and more powerful V8 and a new 4.0-liter V6. The ride is civilized, the cabin is quiet and roomy in the crew cab, and fit and finish is top-notch. The power-retractable rear window is a nice touch. The crew cab has one of the longer beds in its class. Four-wheel-drive versions perform well off-road. The extended-cab model has a cramped rear seat. Good offset-crash results are a considerable plus. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and predicted depreciation are all rated "excellent". It will tow 6,700 pounds.
You're chasing what we all want, a great used vehicle with all the features, comfort and safety, but without one thing: the high price. I wish you good luck in your search.
--
"Stay calm. Be brave. Wait for the signs."

regards,
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To be honest my wife had absolutely no say in what truck I purchased...she does not drive it...OR USE IT..
But
I had no say in what she drives either...(A Mini Van).. I do not drive it. or use it. BUT I do ride in it alot..when she takes me out to dinner (she does not like 4 letter words..."cook" is one of those 4 letter words.....
I have no use for anything bigger then a standard cab... I can get by with a 6 ft bed with little or no trouble... I have to have A/C & a Radio
Thats it....
I have always had at least on truck around the house for the last 35-40 years...My neighbor was the GMC Factory Truck Rep before he retired years ago... so I was able to purchase OLD (like 6 month old program trucks direct from GM for years for about 1/2 the sticker price.. until GM stopped issuing program vehicels to their Factory Reps.. Oh well good things never last...
I now drive a little 2002 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6 ...It serves my needs BUT to be honest is very underpowered..and geared completely wrong for a truck.. I rarely need a lot of strong low end power...if I did I would be up the creek without the paddle or the canoe ..if you get my drift....should have got a V8...
I'm like an old dog...I just can not ever see myself owning a Toyota or Nissan Truck... not interested in resale value ..I never sell them untill they stop running...
Bob Griffiths
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Bob G wrote:

I figure by the time my Tonka Toy dies, somebody will have put on another 250,000 miles on top of my 400,000 or so and i'll be sailing somewhere in the South Pacific.
Lew
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John T notes:

also want automatic and cruise. And towing capability is a must. I'm more familiar with the Ford F-150 and GMC (chevy) S-10/S-15 series that
I used to drive. I don't know which companies other than Ford series call their extended/crew cabs. Also, we're not looking to buy new. <<
You think a six foot bed is OK. I've recently run up on some 14 to 16 foot long poplar boards about 10" to 15" wide. I have to wait for someone else to bring them by, because my six foot bed extends only to eight feet with tailgate down (or a bit less in an S10). I guess I could work out a piece of plywood stacked with cement blocks to counterbalance, but it's a PITA.
I will agree that a club cab, at least, is essential. My S10 does not have one. I am 6' 1" tall and somewhat porky. It is not comfortable on longer drives.
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Charlie Self wrote:

...
I'm w/ Charlie here...a short bed is essentially worthless, but the extended cab makes a long-be wheelbase a pita for town use. Personally, I'd buy the truck to be a truck and not try to make a family car out of it. (Bought short bed 3-door for an express purpose other than hauling thinking it would be "ok" and hate the decision. Only saving grace is have real work truck so it's just a "goin' to town" vehicle, now.)
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scribbled:

I agree on the eight-foot bed. It's hard to fit a quartered (actually sixthed) moose in one layer in a smaller bed. But you should consider having an operable rear window. For a small number of long sticks, it's great to be able to open the window and slide one end of the wood in the cab and the other end resting on the tailgate.
Also, I bought a pair of roof racks, tossed one and install the other on the cab roof when needed. To match it, (OBWW) I made a rack out of doug fir that fits in the stake holes (Izzat what they're called?). Planed some 2X3 down to the required size, screwed on a couple of gussets and a spacer to hold the cross beam (think open mortise or bridle joint), and a 2X4 bolted on as the cross beam. Once stuff is tied down, it's pretty rigid. Works great for larger numbers of long pieces of wood or a canoe.
1990 Chevy 2500 4X4 extended cab, manual tranny & no cruise control or A/C. Bought at a government auction in 1996 for $CDN7,500 ($12k book value at the time). Bench seats are not that comfortable, but the extended cab is OK for a couple of people if I remove the junk that's usually on it.
Luigi Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html www.yukonomics.ca/wooddorking/humour.html
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Can only add a couple of things:
1) The extended /crew is really nice; I now have a 93 Ranger with extended -- there's not a huge amount of room back there, but kids are ok (small adults for relatively short trips, too -- but wouldn't want to go cross country that way). We've also had a big ol' GMC crew cab -- that's kind of overkill unless you really need that much space.
2) If you are buying used (that's how I bought the 93 Ranger), be prepared to look a *lot*, and jump on something you like when you find it.
Here in the pnw, used trucks seem to command a premium, and are often beat to crap.
Regards, JT
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