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Discussion Starter #1
There's a chance I may be in the market for a tow rig sometime late spring of next year for a project I may do w/ a few friends - no set budget at this point, but not looking for something new (the less expensive the better), and will need these characteristics:

1) dependability, as there is a chance this rig would be used almost daily & taken across multiple state lines over the course of a number of months.

2) capability to pull two rigs. Not decided on bumper pull vs GN. I know the pros/cons of each, however.

3) MPG in the double-digits, ideally.

4) I need to be able to get in from a wheelchair (random, I know), but I can get creative w/ that, e.g. bolting a lift to the underside of the frame, like this guy did here: http://www.followmeoutdoors.com/truck.html (yes, obviously a F150 wouldn't be up to the task).

5) due to circumstances surrounding #4, I need an auto transmission.

what resources are out there to look for something in the used market that has promise of being reliable while not being as $$ as a new $40-50k 3/4 or 1-ton pickup? I'm not opposed to other options either (e.g. a van on a 1-ton drivetrain or even a medium/heavy-duty rig), but #4 above is a kicker.

any idea of what a reasonable budget should be, excluding the accessible part? I'd need it to run well w/o any major problems that could strand us for extensive repair time.

again, I'm 3/4 of a year away from needing to make a decision, but we're doing research early... all input is welcome. thanks.
 

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Scott, I would look long and hard for a Ford 3/4 ton van with the 7.3 diesel in it. Very wheel chair accessable (as you probably know) and the van chassis (if not the extended version) will tow equally as good as a single rear wheel pick up.

Those vans are rock solid and much cheaper than a pick up truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
cool, thanks - any idea about how much of a load they can pull & the kind of mileage one could expect? any model years to look for and/or avoid?
 

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cool, thanks - any idea about how much of a load they can pull & the kind of mileage one could expect? any model years to look for and/or avoid?
http://www.sportsmobile.com/

These guys have used ones and ones with the quigley 4x4 conversion. given your circumstances 4x4 may be a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
http://www.sportsmobile.com/

These guys have used ones and ones with the quigley 4x4 conversion. given your circumstances 4x4 may be a good option.
Thanks, but 4x4 won't matter for a tow rig that'll see mainly street use. I already have a built accessible LJ. :grinpimp:

All I'm looking for is a dependable & decently powerful tow rig that I can find a way to get into while being something that won't destroy me financially.

I don't have to stay in a chair; I can move from seat to seat no problem as the guy in the link in post #1 does. I'm 27 w/ a bruised spinal cord from a broken neck. I'm not the decrepit dirty old man nursing home type. :flipoff2:
 

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My boss has 2 E-350 vans w/ the powerstroke, I don't think that they are quite as good as a 1 ton p/u but I think that in your situation they would make a good choice. Avoid the extended versions, Ford just adds on behind the axle, not the best pulling a heavy trailer. I don't know what type of rigs you will be hauling but two rigs and a trailer long enough will most likely be maxing out the towing capicity. Remember that the weight of the wheelchair lift will decrease the cargo capicity of the van, try and keep it as light as posibile.


brewchief
 

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I have a '95 powerstroke f350 crew cab with an auto that I'm getting ready to sell...126k miles on it....could use a little cosmetic love, but ready to run anywhere...

bk
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
brewchief - thanks. ideally i'd like the capability to pull two rigs, one being my LJ on 35s, but w/ an unusual amount of extra tube (it has an exo), along with an XJ on 35-37s -or- maybe a 16-20' travel trailer (w/o wheels) w/ room for just my jeep behind it. as for a wheelchair lift decreasing carrying capacity, i think the one in my jeep weighs in around 160# - more or less like an add'l passenger.

bk - i'd be willing to take a look at it, but unless it's a deal i'd be stupid to refuse, this purchase decision won't occur until the spring. where are you in the valley? i'm over in the harrisonburg area every so often; i'm a jmu alum. asking price? pics?
 

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Scott, I've always been a GM guy, but it sounds like you just described a 3-6 year old Dodge truck. That is, assuming that you can make the lift thing work for you. Those Cummins motors are stupid reliable, last forever, and give us Chevy and Ford guys "MPG envy" every time. If you don't mind going down a little bit on MPG in favor of better reliability then you can't go wrong with anything that includes the words "Duramax" and "Allison". Of course, that's just my heavily biased opinion! :flipoff2:

The dually rigs from any of the Big 3 are rock solid towing 2 or even 3 rigs on big GN trailers.

If you do go the Dodge route, watch out for the new ones. They are having significant reliability problems with all the new emission control crap.
 

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Thanks, but 4x4 won't matter for a tow rig that'll see mainly street use. I already have a built accessible LJ. :grinpimp:
In my 2wd tow rig I had problems getting up the grass hill at crozet. Had to unload etc. Not a big deal, but my next two rig will be 4x4, or a mdt.
 

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Can't speak for conditions in Virginia, but I see plenty of stuck tow rigs in the sands of SoCal. I wouldn't make 4wd a deal breaker, it sure is nice to have when needed though.

I've got a 4wd conversion van in my shop right now (dealership) '06 GMC with a Dmax, sweet rig. My diesel tech isn't real happy about it, EGR valve took a shit. The valve is buried in the engine compartment. Have to take half the accesories off to get to it. I'm not real happy with the number of stuck EGR's I've been seeing lately on 06's/07 Classic's. Warranty issue, but still a PITA.

I'm a Dmax truck guy myself (01). Having said that, I think the Ford's have easier ingress/egress. If you can get in/out of a Jeep, shouldn't be an issue for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys.

Scott, I've always been a GM guy, but it sounds like you just described a 3-6 year old Dodge truck. That is, assuming that you can make the lift thing work for you. Those Cummins motors are stupid reliable, last forever, and give us Chevy and Ford guys "MPG envy" every time. If you don't mind going down a little bit on MPG in favor of better reliability then you can't go wrong with anything that includes the words "Duramax" and "Allison". Of course, that's just my heavily biased opinion! :flipoff2:

The dually rigs from any of the Big 3 are rock solid towing 2 or even 3 rigs on big GN trailers.

If you do go the Dodge route, watch out for the new ones. They are having significant reliability problems with all the new emission control crap.
I respect this advice. I hear a lot of praise for the CTDs, but wasn't aware of the recent issues w/ emission stuff. Huh. So, say I looked for a 3500 - model years worth considering seriously are '01-04? What kind of price range would be normal to expect?

In my 2wd tow rig I had problems getting up the grass hill at crozet. Had to unload etc. Not a big deal, but my next two rig will be 4x4, or a mdt.
Can't speak for conditions in Virginia, but I see plenty of stuck tow rigs in the sands of SoCal. I wouldn't make 4wd a deal breaker, it sure is nice to have when needed though.
gotcha... yeah this makes complete sense. I guess my reaction above was more to the Quigley 4x4 van conversions. I'd rather avoid any major modifications like that on a tow rig. Then again, if I'm looking for something used & it's already done, that's cool. whatever. :laughing:

I've got a 4wd conversion van in my shop right now (dealership) '06 GMC with a Dmax, sweet rig. My diesel tech isn't real happy about it, EGR valve took a shit. The valve is buried in the engine compartment. Have to take half the accesories off to get to it. I'm not real happy with the number of stuck EGR's I've been seeing lately on 06's/07 Classic's. Warranty issue, but still a PITA.
good to know... that sucks though. Those vans do well w/ heavy loads?

I'm a Dmax truck guy myself (01). Having said that, I think the Ford's have easier ingress/egress. If you can get in/out of a Jeep, shouldn't be an issue for you.
right on. I do have a little extra equipment to help me in the Jeep, but there are enough options out there that I'm sure I could make a truck work for me w/o problem.
 

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You can actually by a Quigley van from your dealer with a warranty. They are expensive though. sports mobile has a used section as well. Access in the vans for the motor does suck.
 

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There's some older vans around here guys used to use for hauling race cars. Have aluminum wedge style beds and still have the capibility to pull a tag trailer. The parts guy at my mower shop has a mid-eightys ford E-350 dual rear wheel, 460, auto and 16 foot bed/ ramps. I think he's only got about $3,000 in it.

Just throwing an idea out not exactly sure how it would work for accessability issues, but if you can find one and make it work it could be cheap enough to offset any fuel costs you are worried about and still set up another new daily driver that would be more fuel friendly.

Rob
 
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