Author Topic: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck  (Read 3521 times)

jmink

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Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« on: October 03, 2016, 06:16:47 PM »
The numbers:
Milage per year: ~12,500
Current milage: ~200k
Gas milage: ~19.5
Truck year: 2002

The reason I haven't already bought a cute little hatchback:
I do search and rescue so I have to drive across fields and down sketchy dirt roads about once a month and need to be able to hold a large dog crate (most hatchbacks will fit one, but those are hard to find old enough not to care about the suspension damage).

And before you ask I don't commute to work - I work from home.  That milage is all for Search and Rescue and visiting friends.  I live in the country so everything's pretty far away.

The truck in question is a lifted 2002 Toyota Tacoma (4 cylinder manual) which I've had since 2012.  The truck is in good condition and this particular engine is known to run forever.

I keep being tempted to buy a cheaper to maintain, more fuel efficient vehicle, but given the above restrictions I'm not sure how I'd pull that off without having two cars.  On the other hand if I stay on this path I'll eventually have a dead truck and be looking at a hefty price tag for a new used off road capable vehicle.

Thoughts?

BuildingFrugalHabits

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 09:57:46 PM »
I say keep it but 12,500 is a lot of miles to put on that Tacoma every year. If you only need need to drive off road about once a month, look into picking up a 2nd generation Prius to handle the bulk of your driving needs. I'm in a similar situation and it's nice to have a second vehicle that's significantly cheaper to operate and maintain. You'll save on gas, brakes, tires and 4wd maintenance. Priuses or similar can be had for pretty cheap and your truck will last a lot longer.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 11:20:37 PM »
Keep it

Radagast

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 12:39:18 AM »
It's probably good for now. When it isn't, Subarus have 9.5 inches of ground clearance, same as an F150, and all wheel drive. You can look into a used one of those. It will still need the right tires though. (I'm sure you would figure out on your own).

chasesfish

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 04:55:38 AM »
You can keep it.  I tell myself that on a 1 - 10 in frugality, I live in the world of an 8 or 9.  A 10 year old mid-size truck is one of the things keeping me from hitting 10.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 08:48:19 AM »
Yes, the gas mileage isn't great.  But it's also not a deal-killer.  Just run the numbers:

12.5k miles/year @ 19.5mpg = 641 gallons.  Gas near me is about $2.25, so that comes out to $1,442/year for gas.

Option 1) trade in the truck for a 35mpg car.  You now spend $803/year on gas, saving $639, or about $53/month.  But you don't have a truck any more.  And now you've spent a bunch of money on a car.
Option 2) buy a second, more fuel-efficient car.  Let's say you split the mileage 50/50, so now you're saving $26/mo on gas.  But you're also registering, insuring, and maintaining a second vehicle, and those costs will probably exceed the gas money saved.  Plus, you've just spent a bunch of money on a car.

Yeah, stick with what you've got.


jmink

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 10:45:55 AM »
I say keep it but 12,500 is a lot of miles to put on that Tacoma every year. If you only need need to drive off road about once a month, look into picking up a 2nd generation Prius to handle the bulk of your driving needs. I'm in a similar situation and it's nice to have a second vehicle that's significantly cheaper to operate and maintain. You'll save on gas, brakes, tires and 4wd maintenance. Priuses or similar can be had for pretty cheap and your truck will last a lot longer.

I've thought about a Prius, but since almost all my driving is highway a pure gas car probably makes more sense in terms of maintenance.  Brakes have been stupidly cheap on my truck (yay for having a manual), but the tires are ~$1k when I replace them.  Only had to do that twice so far though (when I bought it and just this past summer).  And yeah, keeping the truck running longer is a lot of my thought process.  It'd be an expensive beast to replace.

jmink

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2016, 10:46:42 AM »
It's probably good for now. When it isn't, Subarus have 9.5 inches of ground clearance, same as an F150, and all wheel drive. You can look into a used one of those. It will still need the right tires though. (I'm sure you would figure out on your own).

Yeah, I like the Subarus except that I've heard used ones can have reliability issues since they're so fun to redline.

jmink

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2016, 10:50:54 AM »
Option 2) buy a second, more fuel-efficient car.  Let's say you split the mileage 50/50, so now you're saving $26/mo on gas.  But you're also registering, insuring, and maintaining a second vehicle, and those costs will probably exceed the gas money saved.  Plus, you've just spent a bunch of money on a car.

It'd probably be 75% on the more efficient car, but it would be more of a pain especially with ensuring I had the right stuff in the right car.  I have a hard time thinking about having two cars for one person too.

Syonyk

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2016, 02:27:11 PM »
Don't think of "a cheap car" in terms of fuel savings only.  Think of it in terms of maintenance and vehicle replacement savings.

You clearly need a truck for what you do - or a comparable car.

Your truck is up there in miles, but likely has less than 10 years left if you keep putting tons of miles on it.

Get a little fuel efficient car as a second vehicle - you put your highway miles on that, keep miles off the truck, making the truck last longer so you don't have to replace it nearly as soon.  As long as rust isn't a big factor, vehicle lifespan is heavily related to miles.

I've got a good sized truck I use when I need to do truck things.  I plan to keep it about the rest of my life, because it only gets a few thousand miles a year.

And, eh, we won't discuss vehicle count here if you count everything that one can use as motorized transportation.

JLee

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 07:37:41 PM »
I say keep it but 12,500 is a lot of miles to put on that Tacoma every year. If you only need need to drive off road about once a month, look into picking up a 2nd generation Prius to handle the bulk of your driving needs. I'm in a similar situation and it's nice to have a second vehicle that's significantly cheaper to operate and maintain. You'll save on gas, brakes, tires and 4wd maintenance. Priuses or similar can be had for pretty cheap and your truck will last a lot longer.

I've thought about a Prius, but since almost all my driving is highway a pure gas car probably makes more sense in terms of maintenance.  Brakes have been stupidly cheap on my truck (yay for having a manual), but the tires are ~$1k when I replace them.  Only had to do that twice so far though (when I bought it and just this past summer).  And yeah, keeping the truck running longer is a lot of my thought process.  It'd be an expensive beast to replace.

What tires are you getting?  I paid a lot less than that for every set of truck tires I've ever bought (I've owned two Tacomas, a Tundra, an LX450, and a GX470).

jmink

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2016, 02:20:29 PM »
What tires are you getting?  I paid a lot less than that for every set of truck tires I've ever bought (I've owned two Tacomas, a Tundra, an LX450, and a GX470).

Apparently ones that are too nice. c.c  They're off roading tires with good on road gas milage.  I'll get cheaper ones next time.

JLee

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2016, 02:28:29 PM »
What tires are you getting?  I paid a lot less than that for every set of truck tires I've ever bought (I've owned two Tacomas, a Tundra, an LX450, and a GX470).

Apparently ones that are too nice. c.c  They're off roading tires with good on road gas milage.  I'll get cheaper ones next time.

Look for deals from Discount Tire Direct - my last set of Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs was $600/set (255/75R17).

Jack

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Re: Talk me out of my lifted pickup truck
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2016, 02:40:13 PM »
What tires are you getting?  I paid a lot less than that for every set of truck tires I've ever bought (I've owned two Tacomas, a Tundra, an LX450, and a GX470).

Apparently ones that are too nice. c.c  They're off roading tires with good on road gas milage.  I'll get cheaper ones next time.

I use Goodyear Wrangler Radials ($73 each) on my 4-cylinder manual 4x4 Ford Ranger (which I bought because I couldn't find a Tacoma like yours for a reasonable price).