Author Topic: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?  (Read 6048 times)

Bourbon

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Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« on: July 24, 2014, 12:47:31 PM »
I bought my full size crew can F150 at the end of 2012.  I previously had a small truck and it was useful for a variety of projects around the house(kitchen remodel, landscaping, etc) and with a 4 cylinder I still got over 20mpg in the city which was on par with the cars I was driving before it.

Unfortunately I needed a back seat as Baby 2 was in the works.  The utility of the truck bed is still nice on occasion(has half a load of dirt for the garden in it ATM), but may not entirely be necessary.  We are also working on Baby 3 right now, and the beauty of the big truck is that the rear seat has 65" of hip room.  With "narrow" carseats coming in at 17" I shouldn't have a problem fitting 3 across.  However, I spoiled myself and got a "nice" truck, though none of the supercrew cabs are inexpensive.  I went from a ~5000 truck to a $26,000 F150 Lariat with an Ecoboost engine rated at 16/22.  Unfortunately I mostly do city driving and I have found that 16 to be closer to 13-14 mpg.

In looking for an alternative vehicle, I am reluctantly willing to give up my truck bed.  However I do still anticipate needing to fit in 3 car seats starting next year.  I was eyeing a wagon/crossover or sedan, but most are about 55" wide, which may theoretically allow for the third seat but in reality may be too tight.  We almost got my wife a Ford Taurus in lieu of the van she ended up with and at least with the seats we had at the time we struggled to get three in one row.  I got a great deal on the truck, buying it from an out of state dealer.  I paid $26k and it appears that I may be able to get the full 26 back out of it.  I think partly because of the good deal I got the first time and partly because of a low current supply as Ford retools for the new aluminum trucks coming out.

A minivan would solve the problem, but not going to have the best mpg, and we have one in the family already. 

I could save money and stay Truck-ey but getting an older truck with fewer options(leather)

I could find a compromise sedan/car, would be tight on space but we have the minivan for that.  I saw some VW Jetta TDI wagons for not too much, but I think they might be too small. We previously have owned a Pontiac Vibe/Toy Matrix, but they are based on the Corolla and I think too narrow.

neo von retorch

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 12:58:19 PM »
The Matrix had under 44" in rear hip room.  Many hatchbacks have much more. The Focus (since you seem fond of Ford) has 52.7" (or more than 3 x 17"). I would recommend checking with Consumer Reports and seeing how reliable 6-8 year old Focus hatchbacks are, and start looking around to see what you might pay for one.

gimp

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 01:32:31 PM »
Do you need another wide vehicle if you already have a minivan? Can you arrange things to only have the one van? That would allow you to downsize more efficiently.

Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 09:30:13 AM »
Do you need another wide vehicle if you already have a minivan? Can you arrange things to only have the one van? That would allow you to downsize more efficiently.

It would be difficult because we both take the kids to school on differing days.  I wouldn't want to be in a situation where I couldn't go and get all of the kids in my vehicle in case of an emergency. 

The oldest is in a separate preschool for most of the year and we have been taking them separately, so it wouldn't be as big of a deal if it was a tight fit in my car, as most days I wouldn't forsee having all 3 kids together.  Looking at this chart it looks like I may only have to do 3 real carseats for ~ a year until the oldest can move into a booster.  We had originally planned to be having baby #3 later this year, but the timeline has pushed back some. 

There is still the issue of loosing the truck powers/convenience, but that makes me feel better about moving into a hatchwagon.


Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 07:50:29 AM »
Perusing the MMM list of top 10 cars for smart people - http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

Has me looking for an 06-07 Ford Focus wagon.  They look to go for around 6-7k with under 100k miles.  Unfortunately they are all 300 miles away from me.  I may try to find one locally to check out.  Carmax has one in stock, but is asking $10k.  Might be a little tight in the back with just 49.4" of rear hip room.

Also considering the Prius option.  Going for $14k on Carmax for an 09, has 52.7" of rear hip room, which is approaching Taurus territory. But worried about cargo space,  and upgrading to the Prius V takes me into the 20k territory.

I mentioned that pre-kids we had a pontiac vibe and it was a nice little car, but only 43.7" of rear hip room rules it out. 

greaper007

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 08:20:20 AM »
Interesting, you haven't said what you primarily use the truck for.    Do you have a job that requires it like contractor or landscaper.    Hauling dirty material, camping, towing?     Since it's a half-ton I figure you're not using it for a lot of towing.    Most people go diesel or 3/4 ton for that, though a half ton can tow a fair amount.

If you're just occasionally putting some lumber or landscape material in the back, the pick up IMHO is a little superfluous.    A better bet would be to get a lightweight utility trailer and put a hitch on the van.    Way more versatile for most of us subarbanites.    Most vans can safely pull 3,500lbs, especially if it's just occasionally for short distances.

After that, you're right about 3 kids.    Now that you can't let kids ride in the front seat it's way more difficult to get a car that can accommodate 3 huge car seats.     What's the age range on the kids?     If you have 2 in booster seats you can probably fit 3 in the back of most cars.   I can do 2 boosters and a car seat in the back of my Golf, and it really doesn't get smaller than that.

Have you looked at the fit?    Honda reliability, a fair amount of cargo space and great MPG to boot.    You could buy one new and walk away with some cash from the truck.

Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 08:49:02 AM »
Interesting, you haven't said what you primarily use the truck for.    Do you have a job that requires it like contractor or landscaper.    Hauling dirty material, camping, towing?     Since it's a half-ton I figure you're not using it for a lot of towing.    Most people go diesel or 3/4 ton for that, though a half ton can tow a fair amount.

If you're just occasionally putting some lumber or landscape material in the back, the pick up IMHO is a little superfluous.    A better bet would be to get a lightweight utility trailer and put a hitch on the van.    Way more versatile for most of us subarbanites.    Most vans can safely pull 3,500lbs, especially if it's just occasionally for short distances.

After that, you're right about 3 kids.    Now that you can't let kids ride in the front seat it's way more difficult to get a car that can accommodate 3 huge car seats.     What's the age range on the kids?     If you have 2 in booster seats you can probably fit 3 in the back of most cars.   I can do 2 boosters and a car seat in the back of my Golf, and it really doesn't get smaller than that.

Have you looked at the fit?    Honda reliability, a fair amount of cargo space and great MPG to boot.    You could buy one new and walk away with some cash from the truck.

It's your age old story of an office worker who likes to have a truck.  I had a 4 banger Ranger before we had kids, it was the right price and got decent fuel economy.  I do like to DIY a lot of stuff around the house, so I have put a ton of gravel in that I shoveled under our rear deck at the last house.  I have previously used to bed to transport my old motorcycles when they have broken down.  It usually gets a load or two of mulch every year, occasional lumber, bicycles, etc.  Lots of little times where it has been convenient, but probably none where it is essential. 

Kids are currently 3.5, 1.5 and -8 months.  Next April I will be looking at two forward facing seats and an infant carrier, but by December of 2015 I should be able to move the oldest to a booster. 

horsepoor

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 09:31:34 AM »
Mazda 5?  I can fit 8' lumber in my Honda CR-Z; you could get plenty into a Mazda5. 

Agree on the utility trailer for the loads of dirt and such.

cynthia1848

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 09:50:10 AM »
Check out car-seat dot org.  They have a ton of forums about which vehicles will fit 3 across.

Also, unless your oldest is sufficiently tall and heavy, don't count on a booster at age 4 on the dot.  My oldest didn't fit into a booster until she was 6 (under 40 pounds!).  For a while we had 2 Radians (the narrowest I could find) and then the infant seat, in an Acura MDX, which I picked since it had 3 LATCH connectors in the back.  Now that we have 2 in boosters, they can fit 3 across in a 'regular' sedan (eg Maxima or similar) but it is TIGHT - it wouldn't fit the high back boosters.

Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 09:59:36 AM »
Check out car-seat dot org.  They have a ton of forums about which vehicles will fit 3 across.

Also, unless your oldest is sufficiently tall and heavy, don't count on a booster at age 4 on the dot.  My oldest didn't fit into a booster until she was 6 (under 40 pounds!).  For a while we had 2 Radians (the narrowest I could find) and then the infant seat, in an Acura MDX, which I picked since it had 3 LATCH connectors in the back.  Now that we have 2 in boosters, they can fit 3 across in a 'regular' sedan (eg Maxima or similar) but it is TIGHT - it wouldn't fit the high back boosters.

I've been reading there and am impressed at the number of people who do 3 across in cars.  It seemed so impossible when we tried before, and it was in a wide Ford Taurus. 

The oldest will be 4 this December, I wasn't banking on the booster seat until 5.  IIRC she is currently around 33-34 lbs. 

okashira

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 10:08:11 AM »
Interesting, you haven't said what you primarily use the truck for.    Do you have a job that requires it like contractor or landscaper.    Hauling dirty material, camping, towing?     Since it's a half-ton I figure you're not using it for a lot of towing.    Most people go diesel or 3/4 ton for that, though a half ton can tow a fair amount.

If you're just occasionally putting some lumber or landscape material in the back, the pick up IMHO is a little superfluous.    A better bet would be to get a lightweight utility trailer and put a hitch on the van.    Way more versatile for most of us subarbanites.    Most vans can safely pull 3,500lbs, especially if it's just occasionally for short distances.

After that, you're right about 3 kids.    Now that you can't let kids ride in the front seat it's way more difficult to get a car that can accommodate 3 huge car seats.     What's the age range on the kids?     If you have 2 in booster seats you can probably fit 3 in the back of most cars.   I can do 2 boosters and a car seat in the back of my Golf, and it really doesn't get smaller than that.

Have you looked at the fit?    Honda reliability, a fair amount of cargo space and great MPG to boot.    You could buy one new and walk away with some cash from the truck.

It's your age old story of an office worker who likes to have a truck.  I had a 4 banger Ranger before we had kids, it was the right price and got decent fuel economy.  I do like to DIY a lot of stuff around the house, so I have put a ton of gravel in that I shoveled under our rear deck at the last house.  I have previously used to bed to transport my old motorcycles when they have broken down.  It usually gets a load or two of mulch every year, occasional lumber, bicycles, etc.  Lots of little times where it has been convenient, but probably none where it is essential. 

Kids are currently 3.5, 1.5 and -8 months.  Next April I will be looking at two forward facing seats and an infant carrier, but by December of 2015 I should be able to move the oldest to a booster.

Let's get real here. You have a massive truck, and you take care of ONE SFR. There are handymen out there who take care of a 50 SFR's and don't drive a CT.
You didn't get a good deal on the truck. You were tricked into the low purchase price, which hides the true costs (~$120,000 for 10 years) of such a vehicle.
You last truck did not get decent fuel economy. 20mpg is quite terrible. A new Mercedes sprinter van, which can serve as a fucking RV, will get 20mpg around town.
Cheap Trailer. Car seats that will fit 3 across in a small hatchback. Hitch for said hatchback via Amazon. Git 'R Done.
Thanks for your contribution. (oil & gas industry employee)

DarinC

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2014, 11:02:58 PM »
I'd go with a Prius. Toyota just had a pretty good deal on their plug-in models. People were getting the base versions for ~$23k plus TTL with 0% financing, and you could take the $2500 federal tax credit on top of whatever local incentives are available.

Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 07:18:15 PM »
A prius is definitely still in the running. I need to put together my excel of mpg/rear seat hip room/cost for review. I've found a few surprises with large rear seats, but the better mpg is on the newer models.

I found a very poor choice but the wife isn't going for it. There is a '54 Buick station wagon in decent shape. 9k and it has a new floor, engine and brakes. For another 5k he had someone who will paint it and finish the interior. Wife says no airbags is a deal breaker.

gimp

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2014, 07:28:11 PM »
'54 and 9k? If that ain't a muscle car, I don't particularly see the point.

lizzzi

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2014, 07:42:32 PM »
Mazda 5?  I can fit 8' lumber in my Honda CR-Z; you could get plenty into a Mazda5. 

My son and d-i-l had two car seats and a booster in a Mazda 5. There wasn't a whole lot of room in the back for strollers, the weekly shopping grocery bags, etc. When it was totaled in an icy Pittsburgh car accident (nobody hurt), they got a Mazda 9, which is the 7-passenger clown car SUV. But they do like it; it has a lot more room, and the AWD is good in the winter and on the 'Burgh's hills.  Currently they're using two boosters and one car seat. They were getting three car seats into the back seat of a borrowed 2002 Toyota Camry, but they felt the seating was cramped. They were surprised at how much stuff they could fit in the trunk of that car.

lizzzi

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2014, 07:44:26 PM »
Sorry, I should have previewed. I'm still flunking how to do those quote boxes.

Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2015, 12:19:37 PM »
Another year and the truck is still here.  Youngest baby(another boy) is a month old and my wife was in a minor fender bender.  As a result I'm tooling around town in a '15 Nissan Altima.   I had to use the seat belts vs latch, but all three kids fit in the back and the trunk will hold strollers.

So I'm back to my delayed quest for a more reasonable car.    I have some large landscaping projects coming in our tiny yard, but I can borrow a truck if I want some bulk mulch and rock.  I'm up to 3 SFR's and hoping to make that 5 by the end of the year.

It has now turned into a research product to get the right mix of aged and depreciated, modern features, and cargo space.  I still lean towards a hatch or wagon for roof purposes. In the $16k price range I can get a fancy newer Prius V, Subaru or a Mazda 3 wagon.

I need to update with the numbers I'm pulling together but stay tuned for more hemming and hawing.

JLee

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2015, 12:22:40 PM »
Interesting, you haven't said what you primarily use the truck for.    Do you have a job that requires it like contractor or landscaper.    Hauling dirty material, camping, towing?     Since it's a half-ton I figure you're not using it for a lot of towing.    Most people go diesel or 3/4 ton for that, though a half ton can tow a fair amount.

If you're just occasionally putting some lumber or landscape material in the back, the pick up IMHO is a little superfluous.    A better bet would be to get a lightweight utility trailer and put a hitch on the van.    Way more versatile for most of us subarbanites.    Most vans can safely pull 3,500lbs, especially if it's just occasionally for short distances.

After that, you're right about 3 kids.    Now that you can't let kids ride in the front seat it's way more difficult to get a car that can accommodate 3 huge car seats.     What's the age range on the kids?     If you have 2 in booster seats you can probably fit 3 in the back of most cars.   I can do 2 boosters and a car seat in the back of my Golf, and it really doesn't get smaller than that.

Have you looked at the fit?    Honda reliability, a fair amount of cargo space and great MPG to boot.    You could buy one new and walk away with some cash from the truck.

It's your age old story of an office worker who likes to have a truck.  I had a 4 banger Ranger before we had kids, it was the right price and got decent fuel economy.  I do like to DIY a lot of stuff around the house, so I have put a ton of gravel in that I shoveled under our rear deck at the last house.  I have previously used to bed to transport my old motorcycles when they have broken down.  It usually gets a load or two of mulch every year, occasional lumber, bicycles, etc.  Lots of little times where it has been convenient, but probably none where it is essential. 

Kids are currently 3.5, 1.5 and -8 months.  Next April I will be looking at two forward facing seats and an infant carrier, but by December of 2015 I should be able to move the oldest to a booster.

Let's get real here. You have a massive truck, and you take care of ONE SFR. There are handymen out there who take care of a 50 SFR's and don't drive a CT.
You didn't get a good deal on the truck. You were tricked into the low purchase price, which hides the true costs (~$120,000 for 10 years) of such a vehicle.
You last truck did not get decent fuel economy. 20mpg is quite terrible. A new Mercedes sprinter van, which can serve as a fucking RV, will get 20mpg around town.
Cheap Trailer. Car seats that will fit 3 across in a small hatchback. Hitch for said hatchback via Amazon. Git 'R Done.
Thanks for your contribution. (oil & gas industry employee)
$1000 a month? Really?

Link/evidence?

Bourbon

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Re: Help me get rid of the Clown Truck. Replacement options?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2015, 08:26:59 PM »
Still adding to this list and need to capture more models, but primarily looking at the rear seat hip room to determine if a smaller car will be viable.  Altima in for reference.  Safety is important with the kids in the back, but I should probably consider going a generation older on some of these.  Overall looked for earliest  year of recent models for higher mpg, but might be room for older ford focus wagon on here.  I do get gadget happy with newer cars since having the truck.