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Pickup Trucks for Women (Experiences/Opinions)

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  • jcave1jcave1 Posts: 137
    You're being to easy on him..........
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I had a really good laugh, especially when he mentioned Army boots!

    Forgot to mention - one of the most feminine officers I knew was really good at what she did... And she drove a Chevy Luv - wasn't that what Chevy's first attempt at a compact pickup was called? It was kind of cute, but didn't compare to my Chevy half ton...
  • treadltlytreadltly Posts: 12
    mrb11- you're too funny. You reminded me of when I used to work for the utility company in powerhouse construction...wearing steel-toed boots, belt with a load of keys, & a hard hat. None of the guys thought anything of my attire at work (same as theirs)but I did get quite a bit of ribbing if they saw me on the weekend and was still wearing the boots. They would tell me I'd never catch a man that way! HaHaHa, they were so funny! I did "catch a man", so to speak, on another construction project, wearing the same thing...boots, hardhat & all. We've been married 15 years now, and have built 3 houses together, 3 kids...had lots of fun.
    Now, for why I'm here. Looking to buy myself my first big pickup truck to haul a travel trailer suitable for 5 of us. I've looked at various lightweight trailers, weight would be 3500-5000 # GVW. Since my husband commutes and won't let me get the truck for him (bad mpg), I'll have to make it my daily vehicle & give up the new minivan option (never owned one yet). I'd be looking at the crew/quad cab designs for fitting the whole family. I have been looking at the Dakota small 8 cyl. which could have sold me, except the headrests are fixed, and unfortunately would leave my husband (6'-4") with too much whiplash potential for my liking. He hates shopping, so said get whatever I like. I'd love his input, but he doesn't want to go to any dealers & deal with them. Of the big ones, it looks like Edmund's gives the Ford series the best thumbs up. I also really like the concept of the new Ford Explorer Sport Trac, supposed to be a combo midsize SUV (part explorer) & crew type midsize truck. It only has a 4' bed, but the biggest 4-dr. cab of them all. Backseat room is important to me as my 13 year old is likely to be over 6' in 4 years, and we'll likely keep this 10 years. I guess the benefit of the sport trac is that we could throw all 5 of our bikes in it and go hit the trails easily, and still get pretty good daily mpg. Only drawback there, I was told by my dealer is that it doesn't come in an 8 cyl., so probably won't tow enough trailer. Any personal experiances out there towing a 24' trailer with a small 8 (4.7L or so)? Mountains terrains are definite for us, so brakes are just as important as torque & HP. Thanks for any suggestions.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,495
    Hi treadltly

    My first recommendation is the Chevy/GMC 1500HD crew cab, followed by the F150 SuperCrew and Ram 1500 Quad. The reason I would tell you to stay away from the Dakotas/SportTracs/Tacomas/Frontiers is because in addition to moving the trailer, you have 5 people to get moving as well. Once you load 5 people and some luggage in the truck, and add the tongue weight of the trailer (usually 10 percent of the trailer, or about 350-500 pounds for you), you have overloaded most compact trucks. That leaves no power to get the trailer moving and your supposed better fuel economy will vanish. You never want to buy a truck that you will max out on a regular basis - it won't last at all. And if you're looking to keep this rig for a good long time, get the larger truck now.

    Doing a quick spec check, a SportTrac can only tow 2750 pounds in 4x2 config, so right away, that's out. Dakota Quad can tow up to 6200, but you hate the headrests. Tacoma Double Cab and Frontier Crew Cab are 5000, you'd be right at their limits. The Chevy/GMC 1500HD is good for 8300 pounds of trailer standard, 10,300 max. Ram 1500 Quad trailer range is 4450 standard, 8550 max. The F150 SuperCrew is good for up to 8000 (can't find the base rating at the moment).

    Go with a full-size 4 door, and it will see your 13 year old behind the wheel when he's old enough.

    kcram
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    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • white250white250 Posts: 68
    The sport trac is rated to tow 5300 lbs. I have no idea where you seen 2750 at.
  • white250white250 Posts: 68
    I,m sorry , your right . I went to ford's website & for manual trans was 2400 to 2740 lbs, but automatic was 5000 to 5300 lbs. Something don't seem right about this tho. My wife drives one with a 4.10LS and auto & I know it can tow 5000 lbs. You would think the manual would have no problem too....ummmm. I wonder if its a misprint?
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,495
    white250, we can both be right :)

    Still won't change my recommendation, though. A 5000-pounder would still max out the truck - gives you zero margin for error. I'm a strong believer in buying more truck than you need - otherwise, you probably don't need a truck. I used to drive half-tons... F150 4x4s to be specific. Left them a smoking mess when I was done with them. I now have a Ram 3500 dually 4x4 with the Cummins diesel and couldn't be happier. It's done everything I've asked, and a few things that surprised me, too. After a rapid snow thaw a few years back, a friend's car sank in a muddy area where it was parked. Tow truck went to get it and sank to its axles. The Ram jumped in the mud and pulled out the tow truck in reverse without breaking a sweat. An F150 couldn't have done that.

    kcram
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    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • white250white250 Posts: 68
    I think the same way !! I would never max out a truck either. I owned a 96' & a 99' dodge ram 1500. I liked them after I worked out all the bugs they had, but just could see myself driving the new 2002 model. So, I bought a ford F250 and could,nt be happier, everyone asked me why a 250?. I told them that I wanted a truck that would be more than I would ever need. A 1/2 ton would have been plenty for now but, you never know what you are gonna need in the future.I plan on keeping this truck for awhile. Plus The 250 is a hell of alot more truck for $2000 more than the F150. My wife drives the sport trac, she loves it, we get alot more use out of it than the expedition we had before. Get 22 mpg on the highway too!!!! With a fourwheeler in the back!!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'll second the suggestion of a full sized pickup. The seats are so much more comfortable than the Tacoma, and since it sounds like to do lots of driving, that's important. And since I've had problems with vehicles that I've asked too much of, I definitely think you should get more truck than you think you need. It pays off in the long run (and I used to love my 3/4 ton chevy, lousy gas mileage and all).
  • treadltlytreadltly Posts: 12
    Not that I hadn't read the specs of various vehicles on Edmund's, I just didn't know how close one should go with the GVW ratings & hauling capacity. Thanks to you experienced folks for the help I was looking for.
    It looks like my husband wants me to still get a good gas miler for everyday AND I can get a "big old truck" for vacation & utility needs; which is often in this building & remodeling family.
    Next question: how long has a crew cab design (real 4 door) been around in a 3/4 ton config? Since they don't call the engines out that way any more, what liter number range is it (5.3?) If they just made a big old American wagon, I'd consider it. Apparently they've been gone awhile. Probably not cool enough. And just for the record, I AM A SOCCER MOM TOO! For all the negative posts I have read on many townhall threads, I can't figure the negativity of that term. Am I missing something here?
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    Sounds like a similar inference as Van Man.
    However, a multi-passenger van with the 3/4 ton capacity could handle the kids and serious towing too. Not talkin' mini-van here... The large van would have a bit more air to heat or cool than my Ext-cab with the same footprint, but would have good towing and/or hauling capacity. I guess they are a bit top heavy, but if they are driven like a van instead of a Corvette, all should be well. Just thinkin' out loud.. ;-)
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    A full sized van isn't a bad idea if your trailer is a tag-along, not a 5th wheel. A friend of mine used a 3/4 ton Ford cargo van to haul her heavy 2 horse trailer without any problems. She did end up trading it in on a 3/4 pickup when she bought a 4 horse gooseneck trailer.

    I used to own a 3/4 ton Dodge cargo van that I converted to a camper. It was a blast to drive, though it did take a bit of getting used to (as they say, you are the first to arrive at an accident...). IMHO a pickup is actually much easier to drive.

    I don't know when they came out with the crew cabs in the 3/4 tons, but I do know that Chevy had a crew cab in a one ton back in '84 or '85, because I looked at one (a dually) that I really loved, but couldn't afford!
  • mrb11mrb11 Posts: 58
    Skip the truck and go get the red Corvette. You'll appear more feminine and get tons of looks when you arrive at the soccer field. Just kidding. Go get your truck and enjoy!!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    LOL! Giggle, giggle, giggle.

    On the other hand, maybe she should get both the truck and the Corvette. A car for every reason...
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,495
    Ford F250-Super Duty:
    5.4L V8 standard, 6.8L V10 and 7.3L V8 turbo diesel optional

    Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500HD (despite the "1", it's a 3/4 ton):
    6.0L V8 standard, no engine options

    Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD:
    6.0L V8 standard, 8.1L V8 and 6.6L V8 turbo diesel optional

    2003 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad (will begin showing up late summer):
    5.7L V8 standard, 8.0L V10 and 5.9L I6 turbo diesel optional

    One thing I advise before going with a full-size van... yes, they are as capable as their pickup brethren in the same weight class, but if you live in an area susceptible to windy conditions, that will be an absolute bear to handle when the breezes pick up. Unlike minivans, full-size vans are like driving walls when it comes to aerodynamics, and if you don't have a strong grip, a stiff wind will blow you all over a highway.

    kcram
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    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Ah, how quickly I forgot that little fact. Yes, they are worse in the wind than my Wrangler, and that's saying something! They are almost as bad as a camper I once had.

    That's not to say that you have to pull off, but it is a struggle to keep them straight down the road at freeway speeds.
  • treadltlytreadltly Posts: 12
    I do really appreciate the range of possibilities you've all suggested. If I had the funds I'd get the NEW big truck and a minivan (I never have more than 5 kids with me). Reality is the minivan will be 1-2 years old for 'round town. The truck however will have to be at least 4 years old to be affordable in a crewcab. I understand the oldest Ford F150 Supercrew is only 2001. I'm sure the F250 would be more likely available as a crewcab, but they always change the names. Anyone driven a good '96 to '98 crewcab they would recommend? If I knew the names I'd know where to search. I noticed the older "super" term often just means extended cab. Thanks!
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,495
    Hi again treadltly :)

    As far as Ford is concerned, "crew cab" has always meant a full 4-door cab. "Super cab" means the shorter extended cab. "Super Duty" is a name referring to the weight class, like Chevy/GMC/Dodge's "Heavy Duty" name.

    Ford first offered the F250HD Crew Cab in 1996, and the 97 was the final year of the old body style. There was no 1998 F250HD - the SuperDuty trucks were introduced in January of 98 as earlyu 1999s. The Chevy/GMC 2500 crew cab was first available in 1999. The 96-97 F250 was very "old school" - the body was first used in the fall of 1979 as a 1980 model, and thus is the least comfortable of the bunch. I'd recommend looking for a 99 Ford F250SD crew cab or a Chevy/GMC 2500 crew cab if you need to go used. They are probably the most affordable and capable you can get for the bucks.

    kcram
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    Smart Shopper and FWI Message Boards

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • treadltlytreadltly Posts: 12
    Thanks for the info. I am looking again tonight. In searching thru autotrader and cars.com I find a lot of listings just don't specify body styles until you click further for details. You can get bleary-eyed clicking through so many just to find all regular cabs, or no mention whatsoever (so assume reg. cab.). Your last post has given me a definite target to go for. I think I have searched enough, and know how to get TMV's from this site for anything I would go look at. I just can't thank Edmund's and all the townhall members enough for all the education I've gotten here! It just makes you want to go look under the hood, doesn't it?
    This may not be the appropriate forum but, what do you think of Oil flushes(by the tune-up & smog shops)? For that matter radiator flushes? I would think it can't hurt, but how often?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I'd like to know what you think about power radiator flushes, especially since I am thinking about something like that as the next step with trying to fix the Tacoma (overheating going uphill, no noise, new thermostat didn't make a difference).
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