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Old 04-14-2014, 11:10 PM   #16
Big Bird 928
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Originally Posted by WARRIORPRINCEJJ View Post
I didn't know you could use "CUCV" and "80+ MPH", in the same paragraph.

That 6.2 couldn't get out of its own way.

it will, just takes a country mile to do it.
Originally Posted by Smithy View Post
Didn't take me long to sort out the derpapotomous tactic again.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:38 PM   #17
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Whoa! Had no idea the Dodge's got that poor a mileage. Yikes!

Ya, the Silverado/Tahoe is in the top spot currently. They are at the top of my price range for those years but seem like the best choice. The 92-96 Fords with either the 302 or 351 are getting a lil hard to find in decent condition.

CUCV does have the cool factor going on...Drop a 5.3 in there and go!
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WARRIORPRINCEJJ View Post
I don't know much about the F-150s. I know that some years of the 5.4 had some issues of grenading the plugs.

That GM 5.3 (in either the Silverado 1500, or the Tahoe) is a winner. Down here in my neck of the woods, folks drive their 5.3-equipped Z-71s until they just won't drive anymore.

I think Dodge was the last manufacturer to offer a solid-axle half-ton (maybe until about 2001). If you buy one of those, with either a 5.2 or 5.9 "Magnum" engine, I guarantee you'll be the Guest of Honor, at the Exxon-Mobil Christmas Party. Those fukkers can drink some fuel. We had a 1500 Dodge 4X4, with the 360 (5.9) and 3.55s. On a good day, it got about 9 MPG.

Even the new ones with the EcoBoost suck down a hell of a lot of fuel. Our fleet averages about 15mpg with just the truck, canopy, and tools. Towing an enclosed trailer (5-7k pounds) we average between 8 and 9 mpg.

My personal DD and tow '84 Chevy 1-ton with the 6.2 diesel. Slower than Christmas, but it gets 17mpg empty, 15 towing, and will pull twice the trailer that any F-150 will.
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:37 AM   #19
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A diesel would be the answer for the requirements listed (20mpg and easily do 65mph) but the budget kills that.

You need to think about how often you will tow. If it is only a few times a year, get a 1/2 ton vehicle with about a 350 cubic inch motor. It will tow just fine but you will not keep up with traffic that is not towing. Even with that combo, you will have a lot of trouble seeing 20mpg when unloaded.

I would be more concerned about keeping the tranny cool. There is a learning curve to towing with a smaller vehicle. You need to keep the transmission out of over drive or feather the throttle so it does not shift on every little hill. The more it shifts the more heat that is going to get built up.

A Grand Cherokee will tow that as long as you take it easy on it. If you are going to tow more often, I would lean toward a more heavy duty SUV like a Suburban or Expedition.

I used to tow 7000 pounds with an Excursion with a 7.3 diesel and it towed great but that would be overkill for your trailer (overkill is ok, it makes towing easier).
I used to tow the same weight with a Chevy K1500 with a 5.7L motor. It did the job but it was more work to drive. I had to be more careful about how I drove it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:22 AM   #20
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OP: look in Phx or anywhere else the snowbirds congregate. Lots of older, lightly used and highly maintained trucks down there. Most with little rust.


Spend the $ and get something newer.


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Old 04-15-2014, 05:30 AM   #21
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I had F150s with the 4.6L and with the 5.4L, both of them sucked at towing even my small (6x12) open utility trailer. I now have the 5.3L in a Silverado and it barely knows that trailer is there, even with the tall rear gears. That truck is turning 1700 rpm at 80mph but forget about 20 mpg on anything with a gas engine that can tow.

I hate to say it but the Chevy (my first GM vehicle ever) is doing better with reliability/durability than any of the four F150s that preceeded it.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:37 AM   #22
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I have a 1996 Chevy 1/2 ton with a fresh 5.0L in it, and can't do better than 14 mpg unloaded.

We had a 2000 or so Chevy 3/4 ton 6.0L at work that got around 12 mpg (unloaded), that would be perfect for towing.

Most of our fleet are F150s with 5.4L, and they all get about 15 mpg.

We have a 2007 Ford Ranger with the big V6, and it gets 17 mpg.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:50 AM   #23
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I'd stay away from ANY 6K diesel truck! Look at the cost to maintain one compared to a gasser. Fuel mileage from the bigger gas trucks isn't great, but they are a lot cheaper when they go "wrong"
I drive a 100K 05 cummins truck. LOVE IT, but dread the potential problems and associated costs.
Towing that light. I'd look at a later model chevy half ton truck/Tahoe/burb.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:37 AM   #24
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If he's willing to go 4 X 2 I'd say a 7.3 Stroke with a 100k or more left in it might be within budget. Esp if he's willing to do vans instead of PUs
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:20 AM   #25
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Suburban or Tahoe

I'd look at a used Tahoe or suburban before a Grand Cherokee. I believe they last longer and have fewer issues.

I see you are in the Palouse - Spokane has a bunch of them available.

I have a Duramax diesel pickup and it tows like crazy and gets pretty good mileage. But diesels are a pain for a daily driver and if you don't tow very often, the gas motors are more tractable for short trips, etc. The mileage while towing will suck, but you already know that.

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Old 04-15-2014, 08:48 AM   #26
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I think Dodge was the last manufacturer to offer a solid-axle half-ton (maybe until about 2001).


I am assuming you mean front axle 4x4?

Cause every full size "half" ton available in NA has solid rear axles.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:37 AM   #27
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About 5 years ago I had a 2000 Silverado 4x4 with the 4.8 and a 5 speed that would get 19-20 mpg when empty. It really was a good pickup, but with it being a standard cab and a manual, the GF couldn't drive it confidently and with a car seat in the front it was TIGHT for 3 people so it had to go.

I will be towing once every two to three weeks. So it's not just a few times a year. But it isn't every day either.

Again, thanks for all the suggestions and such....the craigslist search continues!
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:18 PM   #28
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My brother has a 2001 Chevy HD, 6.0L with 4:10(?) diff. We towed my Rover P4 on a Uhaul tandem trailer with all the extra car parts in the car and bed. We drove from the San Francisco bay area, picked up a friend from Grants Pass and dropped the car off in Portland. It pulled fine up the Cascades with probably 5-6K lbs. Kept it out of OD on the grades and cruised on the flats. Got between 11-13mpg, but it doesn't get much better without a load, a solid 13mpg. They are within your budget, but will have some miles, they are about 13 years old. Here's an example.
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:52 PM   #29
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The Chevy 5.3's are dogs. I have one in my wifes Tahoe and the older one we traded in with the 350 would walk all over the newer one. My brother had a GMC with a 5.3 and my 240hp Tundra would smoke it. Gearing? I dont know. I've driven a ton of GM trucks with the 5.3 and didn't like any of them.

Personally, if I had 6k and was looking for a gas truck to pull a trailer, I would try to snatch up an older GM truck or Suburban with the 7.4 or 8.1 engine.
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Old 04-15-2014, 08:15 PM   #30
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I just traded a 2006 4x4 Silverado with a 5.3. I referred to it as the "Gutless Wonder." Solid truck, but that 5.3 never did much for me. Maybe I just needed to rev it harder. Gas mileage unloaded was about 16-18 on the highway, 15 in mixed driving.

My old '96 two wheel drive Chevy with a 350 was a stronger truck for towing, but the brakes weren't as good. It would get close to 20 mpg on occasion though. I think it was probably a better truck overall.

I doubt you'll get close to 20 mpg with a 4wd truck in your price range. FWIW, a 1/2 ton should do just fine if you're not towing that trailer on a regular basis. I've towed a 23' Boston Whaler that weighs around 5500 lbs with full tanks with both of the above trucks. Would a 3/4 ton do it better? Yes! Does it make sense as infrequently as we tow? No!
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