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Should I buy newer truck, a classic truck or rent a uhaul for towing?

OK, I traded my F150 because I drive 25k miles a year and it only got 11mpg. I have a max 4500# GVWR Airstream that we take out 4-6 times a year probably 1k miles towing. I like the idea of buying a 1940’s to 1950’s model pickup to tow with primarily for the look (I like the curves with the Airstream) and retained value(assuming it doesn’t depreciate and I don’t drive it much).

The question is should I buy an old restored pickup for around $10k (can it haul the trailer including over Washington Mt passes ~3500’), buy a late 80’s to early 90’s diesel for under $5k (Practical and cheap), should I just rent a uhaul pickup for $20/day plus mileage, or just trade in my sedan that gets 30 mpg for a newer comfy pickup and try to get one closer to 20mpg.

Thanks for your thoughts!!!

PS Love the show!

The classic truck will require more care than a newer one to keep running.
For $5k, you could probably get a late 90s or early 00s era gas pickup. And honestly, the way people are talking about fuel prices going up for summer, if you wait for that to happen, you might be able to pick up a nearly new truck for that price.

Keep your current sedan if you’re happy with it and keep the truck around for an extra vehicle.

A classic old PU could be challenged by the 4500# Airstream. Not only is the truck old, but towing capacities have increased significantly over the years. If you buy an old truck it must have a big V8 and you will need to wire in an electric brake controller. Otherwise the weight of the trailer will overtax the brakes on the truck.

I suggest buying a 10 to 15 year old truck and keep the miles driven on it as low as possible to reduce maintenance costs.

You don’t need a diesel for pulling this airstream trailer. If you were pulling three or four of them at a time, then you might need a diesel. Any half ton pickup made in the last 20 years will be able to pull this trailer, provided the truck is still in decent shape. A small V8 will make the trailer seem even lighter compared to a truck with a V6 or inline six. If you are considering new, you might check out Ford’s showroom. They just came out with a whole new lineup of engines for the 2011 model year, including the “ecoboost” 3.5L V6. That engine is supposed to net you mid-20 mpg figures and is rated to tow nearly 11k pounds.

I think that the 1940’s truck are out for your purpose. Some of those pickups had a top speed under 60 mph. For example, some of the Studebaker pickups had an engine of 169 cubic inches–the engine was screaming at 50 mph. I had a 1950 Chevrolet 1 ton pickup. It was geared very low for pulling power, but I doubt that it would hit 60 mph. The speedometer was broken the whole time I owned the truck. Braking took considerable effort with non-power drum brakes. Until 1956, most trucks had a 6 volt ignition system. Only Chevrolet and GMC adopted 12 volt electrical systems in 1955.
A late 1950’s truck with an overhead valve V-8 might have the power, but the braking and steering aren’t what you want for today’s highway driving. Furthermore, the automatic transmissions weren’t as rugged in the 1950’s trucks as they are in modern trucks. You would be best off with a 4 speed or heavy duty three speed manual.

If you can rent a suitable truck for $20 a day, that may be the way to go.

If you want a classic truck…the only option I see is a classic truck that’s been modernized. New more powerful engine and tranny, upgraded suspension to newer parts (i.e. No king pins. ). A body and frame that’s been completely restored and possibly upgraded.

Then it might be doable. It sounds like a great idea. But it’s NOT going to be cheap.

Thank you all for your comments! I think I will just get a recent old reliable truck, and rent till i find a that truck.

I had thought about the Chevy SSR slightly modified for towing, but need more than 2 seats :frowning: otherwise that would have been cool looking as well.

It’s rated for 2500# max towing weight, anyway. You might consider a small pickup like a Nissan Frontier. It can tow 6500#

The SSR only looks like a truck. It’s really a heavy Corvette with a lame slushbox. Not a great tow vehicle :wink: