Author Topic: Consolidating Vehicles?  (Read 6407 times)

GoStumpy

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Consolidating Vehicles?
« on: July 11, 2013, 11:19:04 AM »
Currently we have a car for the wife to occasionally drive (we carpool), a work vehicle with gas paid for which we carpool in, and a 4x4 pickup to tow our travel trailer for camping.

We're considering replacing her car (it was totalled two weeks ago, not our fault, so we're getting a settlement) and the 4x4 with a 4x4 SUV, and seriously considering the Nissan X-Terra.

It seems like an obvious choice for us, save on insurance, we put less than 300miles per month on it, so gas isn't too bad of a concern, but still part of the equation...


Thoughts??

gooki

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2013, 07:53:09 PM »
Vehicle requirements for towing are often over stated. Scrap the 4x4 or 4x4 SUV, and just get a decent fuel efficient car with a tow bar.

When growing up my parents routinely towed their boat (full of sails + camping gear) + a full car (passengers and more camping gear) with a 1988 Toyota Camary Station Wagon (1.8 liter fuel injected technology, front wheel drive) along unpaved roads. You really shouldn't need anything bigger than a two liter vehicle unless you have a massive travel trailer.

This saves you $9,000 in up front costs, should cost less to insure, and uses nearly half the gas.
http://www.nissanusa.com/cars/sentra/

And hell I wouldn't even buy new sine you're putting so few Ks on the car. Should be able to pickup up a used mid 2000's Toyota, Honda, Nissan etc that does the job just fine for sub $5,000.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 07:57:39 PM by gooki »

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 11:17:13 PM »
LOL @ Towing with a car

I camp many times per year up some pretty rough forest-service roads, and my trailer weighs ~3000lbs plus gear, and doesn't have trailer brakes :)

I know I need a truck, right now I have a 1990 3/4 Ton Chevy with a 5.7L V8, and love it... but I would love to be able to not pay insurance on it, as well it gets ~12mpg.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 11:19:44 PM by GoStumpy »

worms

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2013, 11:52:53 PM »
I wouldn't want to tow with any vehicle that is lighter than the trailer - I don't want the tail wagging the dog!  And you just can't beat the purr of a decent V8!

Sadly,though, the days of affordably running a V8 are long gone (for me at least) so if I were you I'd make the shift to a diesel.  Only you can do the local maths on whether running a single SUV for all your needs is cheaper than running a small car for the commute and getting something bigger for the towing.

Rural

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 05:21:49 AM »
LOL @ Towing with a car

I camp many times per year up some pretty rough forest-service roads, and my trailer weighs ~3000lbs plus gear, and doesn't have trailer brakes :)

I don't know about towing that with an Xterra. Will you have enough stopping power on downhills?

Also, I don't know the 1990 trucks, but, especially if you're used to locking hubs, you'll find that push-button 4WD just isn't the same thing.

I don't know the Xterra. But think it through carefully.

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 07:20:51 AM »
The hubs don't lock in my Sierra, so I won't miss that...

There are a lot of upgrades available for the XTerra, I think it would be perfectly find to begin with, but aftermarket hubs or aftermarket brakes could easily be in the future... This could be a vehicle we own for 10+ years if we treat it well! 

So far every vehicle I've owned for the past 10 years, I have sold for more than I paid :)

The XTerra has a V6, but power usually isn't the problem, it's the transmission... and I've heard the XTerra Transmissions are actually very well built, which is good.  On that note, I better call up my transmission friend and ask him if he sees very many XTerra's in the shop, and what the reasons they're there!

CheckEngineLight

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 07:55:04 AM »
X-Terra is a great choice, for what they are they are very reasonably priced and offer a lot of bang for the buck like most Nissans.

A close friend of mine uses his 2006 to tow a full car trailer and a race car with it, total gross weight is over 4000lbs and it's not an issue.  Mileage however is pretty bad.

Have you considered a diesel option?  For the same money you can get a Cherokee Diesel of a similar year. 

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 10:55:00 AM »
There are only two Cherokee Diesels available, and a 2007 is listed at $22,000.... They're definitely out of my price range at this moment :)  We're looking to keep it under $10,000, and currenty going to test drive this after work today:

http://www.kelownaautomall.com/vehicle/34972



It's sold at a local trusted Diesel Mechanic Shop that's been around forever, so if there's an issue it's be nice to be able to get it looked at for free for the first year or so :)

CheckEngineLight

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2013, 10:58:44 AM »
Not bad, but I don't know about that yellow.

Trying to sell it later on will be an issue unless you plan to drive it into the ground.  You can also plasti dip it for a cheap colour change for $200

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2013, 11:01:11 AM »
I *love* yellow... and it's gonna be polished to a mirror shine in my hands :) 

I agree it's not the best color for resale, however a LOT of X-Terras were made in Yellow, so it's one vehicle that people almost accept as being yellow...

Jamesqf

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2013, 11:07:07 AM »
I wouldn't want to tow with any vehicle that is lighter than the trailer - I don't want the tail wagging the dog!

Don't you ever wonder how all those semis manage it?

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2013, 11:17:01 AM »
They are designed for a specific towing capacity.

Nobody should ever exceed their towing capacity unless they're just moving something down the street.  NEVER on a highway, and NEVER off-road.  That is just stupid.

Spudd

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2013, 11:23:43 AM »
Why not just sell the occasional-use car and have your wife drive the truck when she needs to go someplace? Is it that she doesn't feel comfortable driving the truck?

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 11:29:34 AM »
Exactly... and I don't want to force my little wife to drive a 3/4 Ton truck, and expect her to park it in the Mall parking lot :-) 


frugal_engineer

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2013, 02:24:08 PM »
Sadly,though, the days of affordably running a V8 are long gone (for me at least) so if I were you I'd make the shift to a diesel. 

Shenanigans! My fuelly account for my car with a v8 indicates I've averaged 23mpg.  This is because I have a "city" drive for my current commute.  Highway I can hit over 28 mpg.  v8s arent dead, large silly suvs and pickups to drive around 1 person are uneconomical.

m8547

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2013, 05:42:50 PM »
Engines have improved over the years, delivering more horsepower with fewer cylinders. A 1992 Chevy V8 5.7L engine puts out just 190hp. They even made a 6.2L diesel V8 that puts out 140 or 150hp, the same as the 4cyl 1.8L engine in my small economy car! Sure a V8 will have more torque, but a 5 speed automatic transmission will help compensate for that somewhat (compared to an old 4 speed).

You want the towing vehicle to weigh more than the trailer, even my "small" sedan weighs over 2800lbs. Of course it's only rated to tow 1000lbs, but there are mid size SUVs rated to tow more than their weight, like the Xterra which can tow 5000lbs or the Toyota 4runner which can tow 4700lbs.

Rural

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2013, 07:46:04 PM »
... but there are mid size SUVs rated to tow more than their weight, like the Xterra which can tow 5000lbs or the Toyota 4runner which can tow 4700lbs.

You're right about engines and maybe even about the transmission on the tow vehicle (I'd have to see the specs on that), but the OP said his trailer doesn't have its own brakes. In that situation, the tow vehicle has to outweigh the trailer for stopping power.

However, in this case, I think both the vehicles you listed do outweigh his trailer; it's just something everyone should be aware of.

GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2013, 08:45:56 AM »
OK, we are picking up our new vehicle after work today!! WOOO!

Is it antimustachian of me to be excited to get the Supercharged XTerra? LOL

  (Not my vehicle)

Fuel economy for non S/C model is 16/19 city/hwy, and the S/C model is 16/18... so not a big difference, especially with the amount of driving we'll do.

The biggest part that hurts me is that we need to fill with premium (91) fuel now, which is on average 12c/L more expensive.


BUT, we're able to tow the trailer properly, the non S/C engines are pretty gutless to tow 4000lbs...

And I finally am able to sell my old beast, Maurice (which did NOT get 15mpg even on the highway):


GoStumpy

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Re: Consolidating Vehicles?
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2013, 06:49:12 AM »
We brought home the new addition last night!




Definitely excited, looking forward to selling the pickup though!