Why not buy an old tow vehicle - Page 5 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-30-2015, 12:21 PM   #41
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I think there's a happy medium on how "used" it's wise to go, and how much information about the specific vehicle under consideration that it's necessary to acquire before buying.

Last spring I bought a 2012 Tundra from our local Toyota dealer with 56,000 kms. on it to pull our Escape 21. The truck had come in off lease, and I knew its history because a friend lives next door to the lessee in our small town and could attest to how well he looked after the truck. The Toyota service records show no repairs, and all servicing done on time.

During my search for a Tundra I ruled out any truck from a location with a harsh winter, any vehicle that had been auctioned, and any dealer that couldn't provide complete service records.

We've had two camping trips to Utah and central BC for a total of six weeks towing and the Tundra drives and pulls like new. So far, so good.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:50 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
I think there's a happy medium on how "used" it's wise to go, and how much information about the specific vehicle under consideration that it's necessary to acquire before buying.
I agree.

When my Ford Focus (which I liked driving) stranded me on a highway due to the complete failure of the charging system, I was able to limp it to a Ford dealership. While I was waiting for the $1000 fix, a new car sales rep tried to sell me another one... and sloughed off the failure of my current 120,000 km / 8 year old Focus as unimportant because it was "old". Funny, as a Toyota owner I thought of that mileage and age as "well broken in and proven".

Age is relative to reasonable expectations of that vehicle (and apparently expectations are low at one Ford dealership). I would not hesitate to set off cross-county with our 180,000 km 12-year-old Toyota Sienna, which we have owned since new. I would not have trusted our 1980 Chevy pickup at that same age, which was bought used, privately, and without any known history.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:26 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
I think there's a happy medium on how "used" it's wise to go, and how much information about the specific vehicle under consideration that it's necessary to acquire before buying.

....
That reminds me of something I found out from a friend during my searching for a T.V.. On some of the nationwide vehicle search websites, there were some cars that were remarkably good deals; they were from Hurricane Sandy areas. Turns out that they were insurance co. salvage due to mud inundation.
How would you know? CarFax maybe?
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:30 PM   #44
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Don,
Those should have a "salvage title" if coming from a reputable source. However, they may not always have a salvage title, but price is usually a red flag to check thoroughly.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:47 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
On some of the nationwide vehicle search websites, there were some cars that were remarkably good deals; they were from Hurricane Sandy areas. Turns out that they were insurance co. salvage due to mud inundation.
How would you know? CarFax maybe?
Yes, spotting major damage which had been covered by insurance is the one thing for which I think CarFax and CarProof are quite useful.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:36 PM   #46
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Beware, too, of pickups dumped on the used market that have been used on industrial sites, such as the oil sands in Alberta. They often have few signs of wear or abuse and reasonable odometer readings for their age, but the crews will have run the engines day and night on almost every shift to keep the heater going in winter and the AC on during the hotter months. I was told that fine gravel imbedded in the radiator reveals that a truck was used on certain job sites.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:42 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
My RAV4 is still going strong after more than 127,000 miles on it, more than half towing. I do use synthetic oil (not required for the 2010) and change the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles. I will probably look at replacing it in the Spring, but other than routine maintenance (and brakes), I've only had to replace one axle seal & one O2 sensor.
Friends (who have not driven or towed with a RAV 4) advise against it because of its short wheel base. Is that an issue for you? I would tow a 17b.
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:44 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
Steve I think you need to buy what YOU like, need, can afford and will do the job etc. Ask 100 people what to buy and you will probably get 125 different answers. LOL

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What you say, I have found, is so true!
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:48 PM   #49
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Towed a 17B with a 2008 RAV4 V6 for seven years, with a Pro Series weight distribution hitch, with no issues whatsoever. Not affected by semi trailers blowing by, nor cross winds, nor having to take sudden evasive action.
Tow and trailer behave as a unit.
Jon has way more miles on his than I do, and I expect he will concur.

* does not apply to vehicles after 2012
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Old 12-01-2015, 10:48 PM   #50
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We have a 2006 Ford Escape and a 17B---so similar to the RAV4--we would get another Escape if we could but the new ones aren't made for towing any more--just like the new Rav4.
I think we'll go up to a Highlander but have had no issues towing our trailer and have been on various roads and mountain passes...

Tows just great--no maintenance issues with towing...I still can't back up worth a darn but that is called practice!!(although I understand the longer wheel base might make it easier--the highlander is a bit longer) Either that or a Tacoma...haven't decided and hope to not make the decision for at least a year and a bit...
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