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Old 11-17-2021, 07:30 AM   #1
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Need an education on older 3/4 ton trucks

Just got back from our second 3 week trip and while the current rig has been great we both agree that a slightly larger trailer would be an improvement. We really need something with a more comfortable seating area at night so we are looking at trailers less than 25 feet and 8000 pounds. So the old 1500 silverado with a 4.8 just won't cut the mustard. We carry about 700 pounds of toys in the back, plus us and the trailer tongue weight, etc.

Our drives are typically 200 miles or less per day, I prefer non interstate and 60 mph but in reality 65 on the interstates happens a lot.

So the ideal budget would be 20K or less, and dropping 5K into it to get it ready can be in the plan. I don't want 4WD but will not rule out a truck for it. So far 2001 to 2010 F250s are showing up in real nice condition with less than 150K miles, in gas and diesel. Haven't seen any GM stuff yet but I like LS motors and the GM ride. Dodge is not a favorite, but condition and price will rule.

This forum has been great on so many topics, and who knows better about towing with a pickup than this group. I have read the adventures of others about buying used trucks, but there is always something extra to learn.
Thanks in advance to all for your opinion/experiences. Time to go break the piggy bank and look for loose change in the couch!
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCCOHENS View Post
Just got back from our second 3 week trip and while the current rig has been great we both agree that a slightly larger trailer would be an improvement. We really need something with a more comfortable seating area at night so we are looking at trailers less than 25 feet and 8000 pounds. So the old 1500 silverado with a 4.8 just won't cut the mustard. We carry about 700 pounds of toys in the back, plus us and the trailer tongue weight, etc.

Our drives are typically 200 miles or less per day, I prefer non interstate and 60 mph but in reality 65 on the interstates happens a lot.

So the ideal budget would be 20K or less, and dropping 5K into it to get it ready can be in the plan. I don't want 4WD but will not rule out a truck for it. So far 2001 to 2010 F250s are showing up in real nice condition with less than 150K miles, in gas and diesel. Haven't seen any GM stuff yet but I like LS motors and the GM ride. Dodge is not a favorite, but condition and price will rule.

This forum has been great on so many topics, and who knows better about towing with a pickup than this group. I have read the adventures of others about buying used trucks, but there is always something extra to learn.
Thanks in advance to all for your opinion/experiences. Time to go break the piggy bank and look for loose change in the couch!
I just sold a near perfect 2002 2500 Duramax CC SWB 4x4 with LT trim with 118,000 trouble free miles and some nice extras for 15,600. The buyer took it so fast that I now feel I underpriced it. This might give you an idea of what might be out there and what the cost might be.
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Old 11-17-2021, 09:36 AM   #3
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Humm - if you can put $5,000 into a truck to get it ready is there anyway you could swing for a 2011 or newer truck. I would not want to buy a 2010 F-250 with the weak 5.4 triton engine when in 2011 Ford had a 6.2 Boss engine.

The 2011 GM 2500 series trucks with the 6.0 gas engine would be a truck I would focus on. In 2011 GM redesigned and greatly improved the frame.
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Old 11-17-2021, 11:02 AM   #4
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For the trailer size mentioned, almost any 2000 era 3/4 ton or 1 ton will do. 2wd and gas will get you more "bang for your buck". Pre 2005 diesels are pretty reliable without the later polution control crap but you will pay dearly for a lower mileage nice one.

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Old 11-17-2021, 03:22 PM   #5
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I know you said you're not a Dodge/ram fan, but those older 5.9 2nd or 3rd gen diesels are hard to beat if you can find a nice one that isn't rusty.
My son has a couple of them, and tows a lot and tows fast (one of them has twin turbos). If anyone could kill one it would be him, but they keep on going in spite of his "abuse".
They don't lack for usable power. I had a 91 D250 (tweaked) and I swear it could pull as strong as my 21. But alas, it rusted out.
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Old 11-17-2021, 04:32 PM   #6
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I know you said you're not a Dodge/ram fan, but those older 5.9 2nd or 3rd gen diesels are hard to beat if you can find a nice one that isn't rusty.
My son has a couple of them, and tows a lot and tows fast (one of them has twin turbos). If anyone could kill one it would be him, but they keep on going in spite of his "abuse".
They don't lack for usable power. I had a 91 D250 (tweaked) and I swear it could pull as strong as my 21. But alas, it rusted out.
Yep, if I was looking for the ultimate low budget tow vehicle, it would be a lower mileage 2001.5 - 2002 Cummins Ram HO, 6spd or a 2003 CTD HO 6sp......2wd would save money and maintenance and steer a bit better. Custom flat deck or utility body for maximum durability....now we're talking!

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Old 11-17-2021, 04:33 PM   #7
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I just sold a near perfect 2002 2500 Duramax CC SWB 4x4 with LT trim with 118,000 trouble free miles and some nice extras for 15,600. The buyer took it so fast that I now feel I underpriced it. This might give you an idea of what might be out there and what the cost might be.
That was a good deal.


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Old 11-17-2021, 05:06 PM   #8
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When did trucks stop rusting out? I am thinking 2009(ish). I had a friend with a 2005 Ram 1500 and it was rusting out. He now has a 2013 Ram 1500 with no rust
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Old 11-17-2021, 05:30 PM   #9
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When did trucks stop rusting out? I am thinking 2009(ish). I had a friend with a 2005 Ram 1500 and it was rusting out. He now has a 2013 Ram 1500 with no rust
They didn't......well except maybe the alloy Fords to some extent. It all depends on age, mileage, usage and conditions. Three of my 2004 - 2006 trucks are starting to show rust around the rear wheel wells and a few other spots. OTOH, my 2003 has none but it has less mileage on it and I tend to look after it a bit better than some of the shop trucks.

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Old 11-17-2021, 05:55 PM   #10
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Yep - the wheel wells were the 1st to go. Once rust starts I have never been able to stop it. I can slow it down but not stop it. My friends 2005 Ram rusted out at rear wheel wells. I have another friend with a 2011 F-150 with no rust. It is now a farm truck so it might be rusting as I write this. I think it is the law that a farm truck has to have rust on it.
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Old 11-17-2021, 06:19 PM   #11
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It can be stopped if you really want to......it just isn't worth it most of the time. I've restored several vehicles from the ground up to better than new condition.

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Old 11-17-2021, 07:02 PM   #12
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I never used a sand blaster. That was probably my problem with trying to stop rust. I would use sand paper and sanding disks. Also I lacked the patience needed to get every speck old rust off the metal. I used rust sealer a few times to slow rust down with good luck at extending the vehicles life a few more years. I grew up in east of Pittsburgh right in the middle of the rust belt.

I never rebuilt from the ground up. Judt trying to patch vehicles to pass inspection.

The point to the OP - I would not buy a truck with rust on it and figure I can fix the rusted area.
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Old 11-18-2021, 05:47 AM   #13
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The Ram bed rust can be avoided by rinsing off the inner lip above the rear wheels every time you wash the truck. Also clean out the debris trapped in the front fenders just in front of the doors.
You don't need diesel for 8K lbs. A V10 Ford or a 6.0 GM would be my pick for your needs. The early Hemis had oiling problems.
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Old 11-18-2021, 06:01 AM   #14
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Have you thought about a 3/4-ton Suburban?

We're using a 1999 Suburban 2500 to pull a 25-ft Airstream and think it's the perfect match. You should be able to find one in your budget if you look around.
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