tow vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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Name: Sally
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tow vehicle

This is a very general question to say the least. What vehicle can I get to tow a 13' hunter that weighs about 1000 to 1500 lbs.? It should cost around $3500 or so(more or less). Prefer rear wheel drive but not an absolute requirement. It should be something someone with somewhat outdated mechnical skills ( I've done a lot of work on '70's and older cars and think I could sharpen my modern skills) could work on.My newest current vehicle is an '81. It would probably be about 15 years old. Also fuel economy is a factor.I need something that isn't too exotic to find parts or service for in West Texas or rural Montana. Does such a vehicle exist? Thanks for your comments.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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In 1992 I bought a new Toyota small pickup. 4cyl (22RE), 5 speed manual, steering, brakes and air. It was a so called "king-cab" ( little jump seats behind the 60/40 bench ). THAT was a great little vehicle. Easy to work on, cheap on gas, pulled a lightweight cargo trailer easily and got about 18mpg doing so ) and was durable as all get out. In 2006 I bought a new truck, so I gave the old Toyota to my son, and he got several more years out of it. If you can find a decent example of one from that era, it would be a jewel for you.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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Ford Ranger, best small truck ever made, cheap to buy and operate, and great for the task at hand.
Jeep Cherokee 4.0L, 2WD, great motor...decent chassis, solid body.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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What vehicle can tow a 1,000 to 1,500 pound camper? Pretty much anything.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:00 PM   #5
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pretty much anything with 6 cylinders will tow it without a problem. Some larger 4 cylinders will as well. VW made a few year of the new bugs that could tow 2000lbs. Lots of options out there.

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #6
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My 1.8 liter Toyota (Scion xD) pulled my Scamp just fine. The VW New Beetle is built on the same platform as the Jetta/Golf, which was rated to tow up to 3,400 pounds, depending on the engine/trans combo, and which country it was sold in.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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How about a Ranger pickup truck? Millions of them made and it certainly would tow a 13 footer.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:16 AM   #8
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Considering your specs as to age and budget, I'd also opt for the Toyota pick-up. But a few words of warning. The 3.0 V6 (pre 1996) is a bit less reliable than the later 3.4 version and both are a bear to work on at home. The 4 cylinder 22R & 22RE (1985 on) are renound for reliability and long life, many hitting over 400,000 miles. Can't say that the Ranger has that same claim to fame.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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Of course the challenge when looking for a vehicle in this age and budget category, is finding a good one. Utilitarian vehicles tend to just get used up, so the majority of them truly are gone and forgotten. But....there ARE good examples out there, so it's just a matter of being persistent and patient, and perhaps being willing to travel a little ways to buy the one you want.
The good news is they made a lot of the Toyota's, Ranger's and some would say the S10 is also a contender. The V6 in the S10 was a solid little performer, although it burns a little more fuel than the 4 banger Ranger or Toyota. Shop carefully and find one of these little trucks that does not have any rot/rust going on.
Some might also mention the Nissan trucks of that era, but in my observation, there were some pretty serious body rust issues with many of those.
A budget of just $3500 is going to be tough to stick to if you want decent cosmetics, but who knows....keep pounding the ground and you might find a good one.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Considering your specs as to age and budget, I'd also opt for the Toyota pick-up. But a few words of warning. The 3.0 V6 (pre 1996) is a bit less reliable than the later 3.4 version and both are a bear to work on at home. The 4 cylinder 22R & 22RE (1985 on) are renound for reliability and long life, many hitting over 400,000 miles. Can't say that the Ranger has that same claim to fame.
How many timing chains and warped heads have you changed on those "venerable" 22Rs? Compare that record to the 3.0L all cast iron V6 in the Ranger or the all cast iron Lima 4Cyl.
Here's my 2001 Ranger which has been outside for most of it's 12 years in midwest winters and worked hard towing and "sport" driven the whole time. It only has 150,000 miles on it now. I may not live to see 400,000 miles at this rate, but I can tell you that it won't be replaced any time soon...
(photo is one year old)
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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You don't need a pickup to tow a trailer that light...You're pretty restricted by your price range, though.

A late '90's (possibly earlier)Subaru Outback would tow that trailer, possibly even if equipped with only four cylinders.

Also:
My own tug is a first generation ('97) Kia Sportage 4 cyl and I've towed about 2000 pounds over many miles with it.

It IS 4wd, though, an enhancement I find necessary to make up for the light weight of the vehicle when on loose gravel/steep Forest Service roads.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:41 AM   #12
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Considering your specs as to age and budget, I'd also opt for the Toyota pick-up. But a few words of warning. The 3.0 V6 (pre 1996) is a bit less reliable than the later 3.4 version and both are a bear to work on at home. The 4 cylinder 22R & 22RE (1985 on) are renound for reliability and long life, many hitting over 400,000 miles. Can't say that the Ranger has that same claim to fame.
It is good that you brought this up. In my experience, customer perception of quality tends to lag actual quality. Because American vehicle quality has improved greatly over a relatively short period, it lends an opportunity in the used vehicle arena. In short, used American vehicles tend to depreciate faster than their actual quality warrants.

An anecdotal example: My wife bought a one year old Taurus in 2005 for $10,000. In the intervening years and 90,000 miles, it has been flawlessly reliable only needing tires and brakes. Granted it is an old design, like the Ranger, but time tested with the glitches worked out.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:35 PM   #13
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I drive Toyoya PUs.
I've never HAD to get rid of one, I just got tired of it and wanted new featueres.
I have had several which had over 200,000 miles on them.
My youngest grandson is driving one of my old Toyotas and it has close to 500,000 miles on it. Several timing chains, two clutches, one since a teen has been driving it, and routine maintenance is all that's ever been done to it.
If you're buying older your best bet is a Toyota.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry J View Post
I drive Toyoya PUs.
I've never HAD to get rid of one, I just got tired of it and wanted new featueres.
I have had several which had over 200,000 miles on them.
My youngest grandson is driving one of my old Toyotas and it has close to 500,000 miles on it. Several timing chains, two clutches, one since a teen has been driving it, and routine maintenance is all that's ever been done to it.
If you're buying older your best bet is a Toyota.
Sounds great! Same experience with the four Rangers I've owned and the twelve I had in fleet service. (Except for all those clutches and timing chains).
Betting is gambling, buy the Ranger!
Or anything that you like, in good shape that fits the budget.
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