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Old 04-20-2014, 06:49 AM   #46
WVhillbilly
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You mentioned a Grand Cherokee. Do you own one?
If so, use it.

Bigger trans cooler, maybe some Air-Lift bags and see how it does for a while.
Another option to consider is an Expedition. A buddy just bought one to tow his bread trailer (distributor) and loves it.

20mpg with anything that will tow that trailer easily isn't happening on your budget, and would be hard to find with a much larger budget.

My Tundra gets about 16.5 mpg empty, but it's rarely empty.
A trailer like yours, loaded and it's going to be around 10-11 mpg probably.

Any diesel you find at or under $6K I wouldn't want. Folks here treat them as if they are made of gold, prices are stupid.
I know a guy with one of the GM military trucks, and a Blazer (CUCV?) he swears by them, but he is an old fart and I doubt he's been more than 100 miles from home for 20 years.
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:42 AM   #47
RockyRaccoon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
EcoBoost would be wonderful....Nope, not in the budget. I'm strictly looking used. And around here the only diesels you will find under 6k are the non-turbo IDI's and the 6.5 Chev (I've worked on a ton of those, never again)

And no, I'm not even kidding myself that I'm going to get good fuel mileage when towing with a gas. My only MPG concern is when it's not hooked to a trailer. That way it can maintain some usefulness beyond just a tow rig. Get much below 20mpg and I start to avoid driving, and I need this rig to pull double duty. DD during the week, Tow Pig on the Weekend trips.

Currently the ones in the running are.
92-96 F150 (Leery of the 4.6 and 5.4 after that)
99+Silverado with the 5.3
2000+ Tahoe
Still doing research on the solid axle Dodges. I love solid front axles but I'm questioning their build quality a bit (maybe unjustly)

Thanks all for the input and letting me know that a half ton can indeed do the job.
A few years ago my daugher snagged a very nice '96 F250 short bed extra cab Powerstroke with about 115k miles on it for $7k. It's 2wd but has a nice limited slip differential. It's a towing monster that gets pretty good mileage when not towing. She uses it to tow a fairly heavy 16-foot gooseneck horse trailer. Too bad you can't find a truck like that.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:12 AM   #48
vtwin
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Get this and you'll need a bigger trailer.

1985 ford centurion cruiser E350 Diesel very rare - $5200 (brentwood / oakley)



1985 Ford E350 odometer: 75000 title : clean

Very rare 1985 ford centurion cruiser E350 International Diesel Engine 75k miles automatic transmission runs great tow package and 5th wheel Hitch Power windows power door locks air-conditioning Back seat folds into a bed currently registered clean title $5,200 call for more info (707) ••• ••••
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:13 AM   #49
Big Bird 928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyRaccoon View Post
A few years ago my daugher snagged a very nice '96 F250 short bed extra cab Powerstroke with about 115k miles on it for $7k. It's 2wd but has a nice limited slip differential. It's a towing monster that gets pretty good mileage when not towing. She uses it to tow a fairly heavy 16-foot gooseneck horse trailer. Too bad you can't find a truck like that.
I sold a 97 powerstroke for 5500 a few years ago with 199000 on it, it was a very good runner, got 20+ mpg unloaded but it was a standard cab 2 wd. I still miss that truck, it is hard to get 350 horsepower at the tires and that kind of fuel economy in a truck. Oh yeah and it did not even make any noise when I hauled a 30 foot gooseneck loaded to 32000 lbs... Ok maybe it groaned a little bit but I took it slow and easy for 600 miles.

sent from my phablet.
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:08 AM   #50
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My 96 'Stroke would get 14-17 around town and low 20s on road trips. ...as long as I drove gently and kept it to about 62mph on the freeway.

I had 4.11s in the rear and was planning on dropping that to 3.53s.

I'd tow the ex-'s Camaro on a u-haul trailer and get 10-14mpg depending on whether I was headed east (tailwind, downhill) or west (headwind, uphill)

I swear that truck was happiest when hooked up to something heavy. Certainly rode much nicer towing.

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Old 04-20-2014, 11:35 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVhillbilly View Post
You mentioned a Grand Cherokee. Do you own one?
If so, use it.

Bigger trans cooler, maybe some Air-Lift bags and see how it does for a while.
Another option to consider is an Expedition. A buddy just bought one to tow his bread trailer (distributor) and loves it.
Nope I don't have a Grand Cherokee, I don't have any tow rig right now to be honest. I have easy access to a couple of 3/4 tons mentioned in the original post but I don't want to rely on someone elses schedule.

The only reason I mentioned the GC was as a reference point for a smaller vehicle with a V8. I could have substituted an Explorer V8 or Durango V8 in there just as easy.
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:45 AM   #52
WVhillbilly
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From my experience I would stay far away from an Exploder or Durango.
Grand Cherokee would have the same drivetrain as a 1/2 ton Dodge and will get about the same mileage from what I've seen.

I'd look for something like this.
http://westmd.craigslist.org/cto/4431626947.html



$3800

About the same as an F150, but with a nicer inside and more room.
The 5.4L did have a habit of popping the plugs out if the coil pack or plug is bad, but it's not that hard of a fix.

I had a couple company trucks (F250) with that engine and both went over 200K miles with very few problems.
One popped a plug out at 170K miles, it was a $250 fix at the dealer.

Used to get 14-18 mpg with them, better than my current 6.0L Chevy.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:06 PM   #53
Jimmy the Heater OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVhillbilly View Post
From my experience I would stay far away from an Exploder or Durango.
Grand Cherokee would have the same drivetrain as a 1/2 ton Dodge and will get about the same mileage from what I've seen.

I'd look for something like this.
http://westmd.craigslist.org/cto/4431626947.html



$3800

About the same as an F150, but with a nicer inside and more room.
The 5.4L did have a habit of popping the plugs out if the coil pack or plug is bad, but it's not that hard of a fix.

I had a couple company trucks (F250) with that engine and both went over 200K miles with very few problems.
One popped a plug out at 170K miles, it was a $250 fix at the dealer.

Used to get 14-18 mpg with them, better than my current 6.0L Chevy.
There are a ton of these in the PNW and they are going for thousands less than the comparable Tahoe. While I'm not a fan of the 5.4, if the plug popping problem is that cheap a fix, that would certainly be an option. I was under the impression that it was much more expensive/serious a problem.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #54
WVhillbilly
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Mine lost one in 218K miles.
It's nothing I'd lose sleep over and the fix is a Heli-coil.

A co worker's popped 3 plugs in 260K miles.
The 5.4L is a little underpowered compared to a 2014 engine, but things have moved along quite a bit in the last few years in the HP department.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:14 PM   #55
Gummee!
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Little brother's Expedition is still going strong at 320k

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Old 04-20-2014, 03:18 PM   #56
WVhillbilly
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BTW 01-03 were the worst about the spark plugs coming out, with the 03 being the worst offender of those I think.
I've never seen an 04 or newer do it.
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