Author Topic: Need help deciding next vehicle!!  (Read 828 times)

Wiegrefe11

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Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« on: June 11, 2018, 11:37:26 AM »
Husband and I are planning to replace husband's vehicle in about 3 years, or whenever we have kid #3. We currently have a 2-yr old and are trying for kid #2, so it's not in the immediate future. We can't agree on what to purchase when the time comes. He currently drives a 2006 Dodge Dakota (I know--he's less of a mustachian than I am) and I drive a 2013 Chevy Cruze. We each work about 2 miles from where we live, and the good news is, we do bike much of the time. His truck doesn't get driven a whole lot, but once we have more kids we will transition to using his more as the "family vehicle" for when all kids are along, since it'll be very tight to get 3 car seats into my Cruze.

Here are the main needs/uses of the vehicle we'd be buying.

        -3 car seats, plus occasional friends/grandparents/etc along for trips
   -haul pop-up camper (2700lbs-ish) average of 1,000 miles per season, over 10 days throughout summer
   -average of 8-10 trips to woods throughout year, 55 miles round trip each time—off-road part of the time, AWD actually does get used
   -haul dead deer 1-2 days per year, dead turkey 1 day per year on a good year, occasional coyotes, etc.
   -haul other misc – dirt, bushes, etc a few days per year depending on projects
        -must be American made (per husband)

There will likely be many times we'll need something to seat more than 5, and with 3 car seats, a third row seems logical to me. I'm thinking most of the needs we have could be met with a small-ish SUV like a Chevy Traverse, some kind of crossover, or even a mini-van. His objection is that we won't want bloody, dead animals in the back of any of those, or piles of dirt and brush like he sometimes hauls. For that reason, he likes the flat-bed of a truck which can easily be hosed out. He also doubts whether a mini-van could pull the camper up hills/mountains if we ever take it far on a vacation. I am adamantly opposed to another truck, especially a bigger one, but he thinks a full-sized truck is the answer. He'd love to go out to the woods more, not less, and something with low clearance and no AWD actually will get stuck if it's snowy or muddy. My question is, how do we meet all of these needs in a mustachian-sort of way, ideally in one vehicle? What's the best kind of compromise? MMM seems to advocate renting trucks for when it's actually necessary, but I think we'd spend several hundred a year renting if we did that. Still maybe worth it, but husband would complain about it and feel like he's being held back from freely doing the things he wants to do on a whim, like deciding the night before that he'll wake up early the next day to go out to the woods and coyote hunt.

Imput/ideas appreciated!!
 

FLBiker

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 12:02:43 PM »
Disclosure: I have no experience with this.

For the woods / brush / hauling bloody animals stuff, could you use something that isn't a "normal" car?  Is there some sort of ATV / Polaris that would do it?

Frankies Girl

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 12:05:23 PM »
Why are you worrying about a vehicle purchase that is conceivably (pun intended) at least 3 years away?

RWD

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 12:13:57 PM »
Some thoughts:
- Reconsider having a third kid. Kids are expensive.
- Don't buy new, depreciation is a killer
- A minivan or efficient three-row SUV/CUV is probably your best bet for this hypothetical scenario. Something like a Toyota Highlander (there's a hybrid version too)
- You should definitely be renting a truck when needed
- The Honda Ridgeline is more American than the Ford F-150 (so don't get hung up on American brands), but you still shouldn't buy a truck


MMM seems to advocate renting trucks for when it's actually necessary, but I think we'd spend several hundred a year renting if we did that.

Several hundred a year is way cheaper than driving a pickup all year relative to a more efficient vehicle. The Highlander Hybrid I mentioned above would save $1000 per 2,500 miles driven in fuel costs alone compared to a 2006 Dakota.

robartsd

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 12:27:29 PM »
Alternative to a truck would be a small SUV plus a open utility trailer for hauling things you'd rather not have in a passenger cabin - should be cheaper than renting a truck 3-5 times a year.

There will likely be many times we'll need something to seat more than 5, and with 3 car seats, a third row seems logical to me.
The real question is if you will actually need this often enough to justify purchasing and driving a 3 row vehicle all the time vs. purchasing a smaller vehicle and renting when you need a larger one.

calimom

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2018, 10:39:34 AM »
"American Made" can mean many different things. The Dodge Dakota, for example, is 84% made in the US; Tundra, Sequoia and Camry are made with 80% American parts.

It probably doesn't mean what it used to, but it can evoke different responses in different people.

acroy

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 10:51:37 AM »
Congratulations on the future kids and luckily, you have some time to figure it out.
I'd say make a minivan work. They are fully awesome. Can tow decent trailers etc no sweat. Small utility trailer for the dead animals. They are as powerful as full-size trucks were 10,15yrs ago. Off-road-ability is the only compromise, though with all the weight on the front (drive) tires, the limiting factor is ground clearance, not traction.
good luck

Platypuses

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2018, 11:49:34 AM »
IMO the best option is to fit 3 across in your Cruze, and buy car seats that can fit across. Keep the Dodge Dakota for all the hauling needs.
: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-installations-cruze/

I have 3 across in my Camry and prefer it over our SUV. I can give stuff to the kids easily, and the one in the middle can hand stuff to the baby. The Diono radian car seats are quite nice, compact, and have high safety ratings.

If you're convinced you still need a third row, go for a minivan.

robartsd

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 08:23:36 AM »
IMO the best option is to fit 3 across in your Cruze, and buy car seats that can fit across. Keep the Dodge Dakota for all the hauling needs.
: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-installations-cruze/
Some of the hauling needs includes all 5 passengers.

I agree with choosing a minivan unless ground clearance would be an issue.

BlueMR2

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 06:45:00 AM »
Wait at least 2 more years before expending the effort on the search.  Models come and go.  More data will be available on reliability of used.  Customer demands and used car relative values will change.  Whatever you use to calculate the correct vehicle now will almost certainly be wrong by then.

Dee18

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Re: Need help deciding next vehicle!!
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 07:32:00 AM »
Somewhere on MMM there is an article by MMM himself about having an inexpensive trailer for the rare times you need to haul something.  I think he was hauling building materials, but seems like it would work for a deer.  Base your purchase on what you will use the vehicle for 90% of the time.  You can use a trailer, rent a vehicle, or have friends/relatives drive another vehicle for the odd occasion. There are also articles around about sedans that will hold 3 car seats.  By the time you have the 3rd, the first one may be in a booster.