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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know I've talked about my lousy luck with my SUV the past what...2 years, haha.

We're really looking for something now. We have a very small budget to work with, especially since we have so much going on with our house.
But my vehicle is not running very well right now, either distributor cap or plugs/wires <everything is still original factory stuff>.

We've put too much into it, and it all started when we started pulling the trailer last year.

We need something that can pull a trailer - planning on getting a trailer that is a bit lighter - either a utility trailer we can build pens on, or a lightweight 2 horse trailer type..

We've been looking at Ford F150 trucks but so far they've not been very nice, and the one we liked had way too many miles on it.

I really do like the idea of being able to have another SUV since I don't haul goats around much outside of the kids showing during the summer.
But I need something that can handle it.

I really like the Dodge Durango. I know they aren't great on gas, but what v8 is?

Budget is a big deal as I mentioned, so I'm not looking for anything with a big price tag. We've been looking at $5,000 or less. Not much I know lol, but we want to avoid a car payment right now if we can help it. When I 'one day' become employed regularly, then we'll think about an upgrade and car payments ;)
 

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Make sure anything you get has an official tow package on it. Makes a big difference in how much it can tow.

Just having a hitch on it is not enough. You want factory installed tow package.
 

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I agree with Karen about the tow package. We have 2 Silverado extended cabs. We went looking for SUVs last year only to find they were going to cost so much more for a decent one of those as opposed to a pick up. So we ended up with a second pick up. One of them is used for business so it has a cap on it. I haul my goats around in the back of the pick up. When I've needed to separate them, I have dog crates to put them in.

I don't think there is any right answer. When you have a limited budget, its all about what you can find...this is how I ended up with my grey pickup. If I had had a bigger budget, I certainly wouldn't have had that truck. It wasn't the worst vehicle I've had but it's been dead in the driveway more than I care to think about. Good luck in your search.
 

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We have had really good luck with our chevys. We have one that has over 230,000 miles on it and only recently started having problems with it the last couple years (mostly parts rusting off it, the tail pipe seems to keep wanting to fall off lol). My husband isn't crazy about fords, although our dump truck is a ford and haven't had many problems up until this summer a lot of issues with the computer in it. He wouldn't even touch a dodge lol.
 

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I highly recommend the Chevys , you cant kill them regardless what you do . I have a Ford Explorer and i cant say anything bad about it but it is a pig on gas. I would get a pick up verses another SUV. You can do more in a pickup and you can always add a cap to it down the road.
A SUV , your stuck with in regards to what you can do with it.
Being more powerful , a standard pickup is hands down more powerful then a SUV , Ok , not the newer models out there , but the used older ones. I think you will spend much more on gas with a SUV then you would a pickup anyway. JMHO.
If you find one with a larger cab , it would carry the groceries and everything else without having to use the outside bed. Also you can add other add ons to the bed like pull out frames so you dont have to climb in all the time. These things can be added on at your leisure , but with the SUV , what you see is what your stuck with , no changing anything.
Just my two cents ;)
Im dying to get a pickup !!

FYI:
Ford=found on road dead ( no hard feelings folks , I own one )

Cant remember the other ones ;)
 

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Hey you never know when dad was looking for a truck I found him that F-250 double cab. We paid $5000 for it. It is nice because that 250 can pull anything we need to pull without straining. When I pull our old style two horse bumper pull trailer it acts like it isn't even pulling anything. It is a hoss. But it has the plus of being a double cab, if you are friendly with the people you can fit 6 people in it. Three can sit front and back because it has bench seats and it is large. Ours had 100,000 when we bought it and it hasn't given us a bit of trouble. Bigger motors tend to last longer than smaller ones. To be fair though we don't drive it everyday, so if you need it for every day it might be different.
I think the dodge Durango could be nice too though. There are a lot of options out there now. Just look around. Do you have car auctions there that are open to the general public? That is another thing to consider. My friend got a buick rendezvous for $1400 because she bought it at an auction. all it needed was a bumper and some trim, not wrecked just had some things missing. Her hubby did a you pull it thing, put the bumper and trim on there for a couple hundred and she basically had a newish looking suv for about $1600. The one she went to you could look at the cars before bidding, and after winning one you could test drive it and if you didn't like it you could pass and then if the next highest bidder wanted it at your original bid they could have it. Just some thoughts.
 

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Isn't it funny how opinions go with truck brands. My dad is a dodge man and that is always his pick first. He won't touch a chevy he says they are junk. He will drive a ford if he gets a good deal. My experience has been with cars mostly but I have had two ford cars and they both stunk. Both gave me trouble from the word go. I just traded off one with only 24,000 miles because it never ran right from the minute I had it. Over the years though dad has had several ford trucks that were work horses and never gave us trouble. My experience with Chrysler products is they will drive over 200,000 miles pretty reliably. They do tend to have some transmission problems in the models between 94-2000. I have had good luck with Toyota cars and had one that when I traded it off it had over 250,000 and still ran like a top and had never had anything done to it but regular maintenance. It was a Toyota echo. And my aunt had a Nissan pickup you could NOT kill she drove that thing for like 20 years until she ran into a ditch and some guy tried to help her pull it out and he ended up turning it over in the ditch and crushing the cab.
 

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Brand loyalty is funny but also really rare in some purchasing areas. My Dad is a Ford man and hates to touch anything else. I always drove Fords until we had a 3 year old one blow up on us and Ford refused to honor a recall. Then the dealer we bought it from tried some less than friendly things. I got angry and bought a Chevy which has been just fine. I think a truck is a truck is a truck but the company behind it is something else.

I think if you have an excellent mechanic and/or a great dealer and/or a motor company that will stand behind their product then that's the one I'm going to go for. We now have an excellent Chevy mechanic, we're happy with our dealer and so far I haven't had to call the motor company for a blown engine. ;)
 

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I have a 2003 GMC Yukon......I LOVE it. The only issue I have had with it in the last 6 years is I just had to get a new sensor of some kind. But I am not kind to that thing at all and it keeps going. I have a 14 foot horse trailer a older model so not overly light and I haul anything from hay to cows in it and I'm very happy with its power. I like SUVs any ways because when I make it to town to go shopping I hit about 5 different stores so I don't have to go back any time soon and having it inclosed I don't have to worry about things going missing out of it. The only bad thing for someone shopping for a Yukon is it keeps its value well. Mine is 10 years old 170000 miles on it and is still worth $9000
 

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Is the GMC Yukon the sister vehicle to the Chevy suburban? I know suburbans tend to be work horses.
 

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I drive a 2001 dodge ram 1500 with 117k miles on it and 4x4. I love my truck! Its extended cab so you would likely want crew cab but it pulls trailers evem nicer than my dads 2012 sierra that us also extended cab. The only problem I have had with it is cruise control doesn't alwats set and stay set and the dash board has cracked from sunlight... common dodge truck issues. You can find fairly nice ones at a reasonable price. Gas mileage really sucks... I get 16mpg on a good day but the power and functionality is worth it.

My has a 2004 dodge durango and its great. We love the space but also the power behind it... again it pulls better than the sierra. It also has a hemi. But we like it a lot too. The Issue we have had from it is something with the rear end housing... don't remember exactly but since then it has been a great vehicle. We get 18-21 mpg
 

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Personally, I would go with a truck. If you aren't going to be pulling anyting too heavy, I'd go with an F150 or similar. I am a dodge girl. I also prefer a diesel to a gas because they are made to work. My dad had a 1997 Dodge diesel with Cummins box truck for years. That thing went through hell and it lasted forever it seemed like. He drove all over the states often with it because that was one of his part-time jobs---hauling/truck driving. I also like diesels because when you are going somewhere and you have to drive thru a crowd of people they all move out of your way because they can hear you behind them. Diesels don't get that bad of mileage about 22mpg. Ford diesels don't get that good of mileage. Especially the newer versions. I've heard of people getting 5mpg with a heavy load. I'd look for a pickup maybe between 1999 and 2008. I do agree with a car auction, you can get some pretty good deals on vehciles that'll last you a while.
 

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I own a 97 Chevy diesel I've really liked it and since its diesel it does great towing whatever you hook up. I would recommend you getting one of these I've had little problems with it and they sell pretty cheap and seat up to six people. Ill post a Craig's list post as an example

http://spokane.craigslist.org/cto/4056802929.html

And here's another

http://kalispell.craigslist.org/cto/4030339371.html

Again these are just examples I know you can't travel that far :) good luck getting a suitable truck
 

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Brand loyalty is funny but also really rare in some purchasing areas. My Dad is a Ford man and hates to touch anything else. I always drove Fords until we had a 3 year old one blow up on us and Ford refused to honor a recall. Then the dealer we bought it from tried some less than friendly things. I got angry and bought a Chevy which has been just fine. I think a truck is a truck is a truck but the company behind it is something else.

I think if you have an excellent mechanic and/or a great dealer and/or a motor company that will stand behind their product then that's the one I'm going to go for. We now have an excellent Chevy mechanic, we're happy with our dealer and so far I haven't had to call the motor company for a blown engine. ;)
I agree brand loyalty is silly. As a consumer you should do what is best for you not them. Anyways I love Chevy trucks for the looks but you're right a truck is a truck. I also drive a camry I don't think I'd drive a domestic passenger car just too unreliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks so much everyone!

We still haven't found anything, and decided to put my suv in the shop and see what's wrong with it. My husband did a tune up and that seemed to make it worse lol

I'm sure it'll be something ridiculous and expensive knowing my luck.

If we can get it fixed cheap, we may end up keeping it <again> until tax time so we can get something more to our liking vs. settling for something.
We just don't want to get into a car payment if we can help it, especially with the holidays coming up and my husband 'may' be taking a trip south of the border before the end of the year <possibly bringing his parents here if they ever get their immigration interview geesh!>.

We found out that it is most likely NOT the heater core that was leaking on it. It's been disconnected for months, and there is still water on the passenger side floorboard! We were told either the sunroof drain is clogged or ac drain is clogged.

So I am wondering if we just hook the heater core back up will it work just fine?

We'll look into a truck, preferably Chevy, haha, I love the Silverado's, but the Ford trucks are nice too.
I like the look and feel of a Dodge Durrango. We came close to buying one this past February and I keep kicking myself for not demanding my husband buy it LOL

There are auctions nearby every Thursday, we definitely have considered looking there.
The state holds an auction 2x a year, and that is where I found the Durango I mentioned above. All maintenance work was done on it, decent mileage, and in excellent/clean shape. I don't think they have another auction until February.

The shame of it with my SUV is, it ran just fine until we put the trailer behind it. If it's fixed, and has new tires, I'd not hesitate in taking it anywhere <ok, not 'loooooong' trips lol>. But next year when we need the trailer, even if we get a different/lighter weight trailer, it still will not be an option. Have to have something else.

So now, we wait and see what the mechanic says. If it's not good news, we'll end up at the auction tomorrow.
 

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I wish you were here, I thought of you today in my *travels* I saw a black dodge ram double cab sitting in someone's yard with a for sale sign in the windshield. Looked like a nice truck but older enough that should be cheap. I know you could find what you needed if you were down here, I don't know how our market compares with yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Leslie! Sounds like a nice truck! I am not sure how the market compares, but we didn't have much luck finding anything here.

I won't be able to buy anything any time soon now either :(
We put the SUV in the shop, long story short, one shop ripped us off - $150 and they didn't even get a real diagnosis of the problem! Just guessing! Again long story, but so much so, I've filed a complaint with BBB.

2nd mechanic we took it to on Tues had it diagnosed on Wed morning...
Fuel Injectors and regulator.
The drivers side bank was bad, it also has already ruined the new spark plugs my husband put in it a little over a week ago, he said they are fried.
Too much gas is going into the cylinders, he said if I'd kept driving it it could have caught fire!
Costing us $600 to fix :( So add in another $150 we were cheated on, and $$ for a new cap, button, plugs and wires that we put in over a week ago, and it's been real close to $1000!

They are checking this morning to see why water is leaking into the front passengers side floorboard - it's not the heater core. Definitely looks to be a drain issue, he said they will look at that, but shouldn't be a big deal/cost us anything to clean that out.

Maybe now with all that fixed, it MIGHT be good for a while? Geesh. It does need tires, so I'll either have to wait until after the holidays for those, or see if the good/reliable tire sales place nearby has a good used set to get me by until spring. If we end up having to keep it, then it definitely is getting new tires.
 
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