17B and a tow vehicle - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-09-2017, 11:01 PM   #1
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17B and a tow vehicle

While I am eagerly awaiting my new 17B, I am forced to replace my TV. My old truck, a 1998 Chevy s10, is in need of a new motor which will cost way more than the truck is worth. So, I am looking for helpful input on options. I am considering gas vs diesel and V6 or V8. I can't really afford new, so I am looking at used. Or if someone has some ideas of how I can replace the engine with something more powerful, I would love to hear about it.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:38 PM   #2
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Engine swaps - putting in a different engine than the vehicle came with - are popular among auto enthusiasts. They're never as easy as they sound, and are rarely worth the effort on a rational basis (but make a good hobby). It would almost certainly be easier to just buy another used pickup than to put anything other than a stock S10 engine in the S10.

Fortunately, almost any newer truck will have more power than the S10. For instance, the S10 was replaced by the Colorado, and any ten-year-old Colorado with a 5-cylinder will have more power than the S10 ever did.

There were not any diesels in compact pickup trucks in North America from before that S10 until the current Colorado and Canyon, and full-size diesel pickups are expensive to buy and to maintain... and much heavier trucks than needed for a 17-foot trailer. If you search the forum for "Colorado diesel" and for "Ram EcoDiesel" you'll find lots of discussion of the current options.

I suggest not counting engine cylinders... it doesn't tell you much that's useful.
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaTomBuddy View Post
While I am eagerly awaiting my new 17B, I am forced to replace my TV. My old truck, a 1998 Chevy s10, is in need of a new motor which will cost way more than the truck is worth. So, I am looking for helpful input on options. I am considering gas vs diesel and V6 or V8. I can't really afford new, so I am looking at used. Or if someone has some ideas of how I can replace the engine with something more powerful, I would love to hear about it.
Welcome LisaTomBuddy,
I'll bet you will find this group incredibility welcoming and helpful. You have chosen a good path to follow.

I think I have been going through some similar decision points as you folks. I purchased a 2015 17A and had a '98 Cherokee as my tow vehicle. I liked the 4wd and the simplicity of repair of the Cherokees but it also had about 190,000 miles on it .... still I was having dreams of lots of back country camping.

I went to last years Escape Rally and had a wonderful time. The drive over from Bellingham to Osoyous was as uneventful as I could wish, but I found myself wishing for another 50 horsepower. My Cherokee puts out 195 hp with a 4 liter engine - it is an inline 6 ( more horse power and more torque than a V6 of the same displacement) with a fair amount of torque for given engine size [As they say its the horse power that gets you up to speed but its the torque that gets you over the pass]. On my way home over a steeper Washington State pass... my engine was prone to overheating .... yep 50 more horsepower was about right. I was able to stop and cool everything down without ring damage I think.

Over this winter I have purchased a 09 Toyota Tacoma with a canopy. I think it will give me almost 50 more horse power as I wanted (not sure of the torque). The real improvement will be the pick up format over the SUV format that I used to have.

I'm very happy with my 17A and feel it will be able to follow me through any boon docking back roads that I will want to drive. Time will tell. Seems the holy grail is to have a tow vehicle with enough power to pull you through whatever steep pass you want to drag your trailer AND to have economy to save you money when you are traveling unhitched... kinda like searching for the perfect husband or wife. Life is such a road trip.

Tom
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:56 AM   #4
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The first question is, how much money are you willing to spend? It's hard to guess what price range you are considering since you held on to your truck for 19-years.

Do you need a truck, or are you thinking SUV?
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:37 AM   #5
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I'll be following this thread closely. I just picked up my 17B March 24th. My TV is a 1997 Ford F250 SD 4x4 that I got a few years ago for my truck camper. Tows great but with the big block 460 the gas mileage is about 10mpg. The other problem is the turning radius about a city block. Makes it hard to maneuver.

Started thinking of another truck like a Toyota Tacoma or a new Ford Ranger when they come out in a year or so.
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Old 04-10-2017, 02:51 AM   #6
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Pick A Toyota Tacoma

I have owned this Toyota Tacoma for 9 years now it has been the best truck. With 140k km, it has only required changing of the fluids. It has a strong 4.0 V6 that has no long term issues like some. The only issue with the truck is the frames tend to rust out, but Toyota will replace or buy back problem vehicles. I have oil sprayed mine yearly since purchased and looks new underneath. Unfortunately my boys have outgrown the back seat and am days from picking up a new Toyota 4Runner. Why a 4Runner, because it's the same motor and tranny as my Tacoma, a great combination.

About the truck and trailer combination, average fuel economy is 20 mpg highway, towing my 17b, I run 14 mpg on the county roads and 12.5 to 13 mpg on the 4 lane freeways. I don't use a weight distribution hitch or sway, just a Tekonsha brake controller. For towing in Southern Ontario and trips to Northern Ontario it works great for me.

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Old 04-10-2017, 08:27 AM   #7
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Hard to beat an F150. It is the most popular vehicle made, so nice used ones are plentiful. Pretty much any F150 can tow that 17B.

I only buy used, so I cast a wide net looking for mine. Ended up driving almost three hours one way. But I got a five year old Lariat, 12,000 miles, in superb condition. Paid less than half of what owner paid for the truck new.

At a lower price point, I sold my prior F150 Supercrew (2WD) for about 10% of what one sells for new, had 130,000 miles on it. I sold it too cheap, but I was ready to move on.

Both trucks were rust free.

As far as fuel economy, my 5.4 V8 gets similar mileage towing to what people are getting with a V6 Tacoma.

I prefer to tow with a pickup, as I have owned a truck of one kind or another for the last 36 years.

I got 14MPH on my last trip towing my 17 foot Casita, almost 6,000 miles. I get 18MPH empty.

Sure I could use a smaller truck, but I like F150 anyway.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:32 PM   #8
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Hi,
Thanks for all the information. I have been looking at trucks and am considering a Chevy Silverado 5.3 L, V8. The miles are high, 190,000, but the truck is very well maintained and not much more than what I would pay for a rebuilt engine in the S10. Does anyone have experience with the Silverado? It's an 02.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:07 AM   #9
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Hi LisaTomBuddy,
My Cherokee has about the same amount of miles as the Silverado that you are looking at. I started looking for another Tug initially because it had so many miles on it. The Cherokee was also very well maintained too. But I started thinking about its continuing reliability being used as a tow vehicle .... that and the fact that I want to mainly explore back roads and very back country roads where a break down would likely involve a good measure of discomfort and expense. All that said .... a breakdown can happen anytime.

Tom
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
I have owned this Toyota Tacoma for 9 years now it has been the best truck. With 140k km, it has only required changing of the fluids. It has a strong 4.0 V6 that has no long term issues like some. The only issue with the truck is the frames tend to rust out, but Toyota will replace or buy back problem vehicles. I have oil sprayed mine yearly since purchased and looks new underneath. Unfortunately my boys have outgrown the back seat and am days from picking up a new Toyota 4Runner. Why a 4Runner, because it's the same motor and tranny as my Tacoma, a great combination.

About the truck and trailer combination, average fuel economy is 20 mpg highway, towing my 17b, I run 14 mpg on the county roads and 12.5 to 13 mpg on the 4 lane freeways. I don't use a weight distribution hitch or sway, just a Tekonsha brake controller. For towing in Southern Ontario and trips to Northern Ontario it works great for me.

Hi Doug,

When I scrolled down to your post, I started looking and wondering how you got ahold of my truck and trailer. Same color of truck and canopy, I have an Access cab instead of your Double .... my trailer graphics are red though.

It gave me lots of encouragement to read your post about how well you like your truck. I bought my Toyota late December '16, put new tires on it and new springs (free recall) and air bags. I got about 500 miles on it before it was time to go back to work ... its still in storage and a 1000 miles away until I can get back. Hate it when work gets in the way of life. Thanks for your post!

Tom
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:10 AM   #11
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My buddy in California had an Avalanche with 360k miles, loved it, it was around 2002, still mint. A friend from work just let go of his Silverado, he said he got his money's worth at 450k km. They both bought Dodges, but that's another story.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaTomBuddy View Post
Hi,
Thanks for all the information. I have been looking at trucks and am considering a Chevy Silverado 5.3 L, V8. The miles are high, 190,000, but the truck is very well maintained and not much more than what I would pay for a rebuilt engine in the S10. Does anyone have experience with the Silverado? It's an 02.
Clean and rust free? I would go for it. My friend put over 250K miles on his Silverado, and it looked and ran like new.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:22 AM   #13
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My used rule of thumb is that I am purchasing the remaining life of the vehicle. I compare the price as a percentage of original new sales price to the remaining life. I expect a sizable advantage in my favor, otherwise I keep looking.

So say I estimate a truck has 50% of its remaining life left (say it has 125,000 miles on it). If I can buy it for 25% of its original price, then I am getting a nice discount. Lets say the truck cost $50K new. So the original owner paid $37,500 for his 125,000 miles, and I will pay $12,500 for my 125,000 miles. It gets even better. If the truck remains rust free, I should still be able to sell it for $7,500 with 250,000 miles on it. A little complicated, but then I only paid $5,000 for the 125,000 of use. CHEAP!!!

Sure, a used truck with higher miles may require some expensive maintenance from time to time, you are so far ahead that even with the maintenance hits, you still are way ahead.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:48 AM   #14
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It seems like buying used is the way to go if a person is interested in buying a truck to tow with, new ones are out of my pricerange!
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