Tahoe, Explorer, or expedition?

For context; I’m moving to Maryland later next year, and my wife and I drive a 2008 accord and a 2004 3.9 mustang respectively, neither of those are really good at hauling boxes so I’m needing to get rid of my car sadly because F.i.L is paying off the accord, so I’m either looking to trade it 1:1 for a truck/SUV locally and U-Haul wouldn’t be worth it for what we’ve got.

But nothing is looking good, best offer I’ve gotten is from a kid in a couple towns over who’s mom is the one actually trading, it’s a 2003 Tahoe 5.3 rwd LT and 3rd row seating (I’d take out and sell for more room) with 170K miles, but they’re wanting me to drive out there to them and put freon in my car which is like 90 bucks for me, and like 40 bucks in gas, with the possibility of the mom just being like “Nah I don’t want my kid driving a car like this.”

Next option I’ve got and looking like the best option is selling my car to a coworker of mine for 4.5K, use 3K of that to buy 1 of 3 options I’ve found that look good in order of least liked vs most liked;
1: 97 Tahoe 4.8 w 200K miles, don’t know the trim but it’s got leather seats and rear AC, and I don’t think it has 3rd row seating for $3K
2: 96 explorer 5.0 XLT AWD w 200K miles, upgraded head unit but no AC, for $2K
3: 01 Expedition 4.6 w 200K miles, upgraded head unit, cloth interior which I prefer, doesn’t look like it has 3rd row seating but I’ll take it out anyway, but it’s on stupid AutoZone donk wheels for $2.5K

Ive yet to check any of them out due to work, but I’ll have time Monday in which I’ll update saying which didn’t seem good enough.

Rent a truck or pay someone to haul the boxes. If you buy something you will have to register it in MD. You will have to do that with your current cars too but buying wherever you are and registering the car remotely is difficult since you have to get a MD safety inspection before the state will give you a registration. If you really want a big truck, maybe you should buy in MD and drive it home. If you rent a truck a friend or family member could drive your car or maybe you could tow it behind the truck. If you want to consider towing forum regulars besides me can coach you on how to do it and whether it makes sense for the car you want to tow.

Getting inspection and registration isn’t a problem, Maryland gives you 60 days to get it done and both of our cars would pass emissions and safety tests, insurances shouldn’t be a problem cause I’ve got contact with an insurance agency that their soul purpose is to find insurances for as little as possible for what you need, and renting isn’t a viable option for our income

Check uhaul to install a hitch on the accord. A one way small trailer should not be too expensive. Used car too many what ifs, like new tires, brakes, overdue maintenance etc.
Price for a hitch in our locale $171.95 for 2008 accord.

  • Draw-Tite®
  • Class 1 hitch
  • Max weight: 2,000 lbs.
  • Manufacturer Part Number: 24899
  • Part number: 24913
  • Hitch Installation Guide - Model 24913.
  • Hitch image shown is for display purposes only and may not reflect the actual hitch for this vehicle.
  • Watch the installation video

Wife’s not comfortable putting a hitch on nor does she trust herself to tow by herself, so that’s not an option

How about just renting a truck/van for your move. I mean, your looking to trade a vehicle that’s not worth much, on 20-25 year old SUV that’s also going to be in mostly likely crap condition for a one-time use. To me that’s the exact scenerio where you you’d want to rent or borrow a vehicle.


Another vote for renting.
I take it you are keeping the Mustang.
Sell the Accord for cash. Get a rental truck with a trailer to haul the Mustang.
BTW, where are you driving from? I would not be comfortable driving any 20 year old vehicle a great distance.

+1 for renting or borrowing some kind of truck.

A paid for 2008 Honda Accord is a great gift to have. You’re buying a 20+ year old SUV with little or no maintenance records is going to end up costing you far more in the long run, both in repairs and gas.

I think you’re making a short term decision that’s going to cost you more in the long term. But good luck.


I’m not keeping the mustang, it’s what I was selling to my coworker because my father in law is paying for the accord, so we can’t sell it. We can’t afford to rent, so that why I was trading or selling for the explorer or expedition, after I sold my mustang to my coworker I could get a pre-inspection of the explorer/expedition. Stop recommending to rent, went over it before that it’s not an option for my situation, I wanted to know which of the 3 would be a better option.

Keep both cars

Put a hitch on the Mustang for $200 and rent a small one way U-Haul trailer for $200

Are you going to be able to afford the repairs and tow bill on this 20 year old vehicle with 200K miles on it when it breaks down ?


Impossible to tell, they are all old, high mileage vehicles, when you’re talking about vehicles like this, make/model isn’t as important as the condition of the particular vehicle. Today’s $3k vehicles were vehicles that 3-4 years ago were changing hands for $800 and were one $500 repair away from the junkyard. So really, you’re going to want to go with the one that has the most documentation as far as maintenance/repairs go, but even then it’s a crap shoot. The Explorer has the advantage of having the desirable GT40P heads which are worth something to Mustang-on-a-budget crowd. The 4.6L in an Expedition has probably worked hard it’s entire life. The 97 Tahoe never had the 4.8L, it almost certainly has the Vortec 5.7L. The LS-based engines didn’t get to the Tahoe until 2000.

As a lifelong mechanic, I can tell you that trading either the Accord or the Mustang for a 20+ year old Tahoe, Explorer, or Expedition is madness. At 200K miles those SUV’s have reached the end of their useful life and the gas and maintenance costs will eat you alive, never mind the repairs that will crop up on a regular basis.

I can’t possibly fathom a situation that would preclude you from renting a U-haul and towing one of the cars behind it, but you say that’s the case and so be it. I would suggest driving your two existing cars to Maryland and shipping your belongings via Amtrak. They have very reasonable rates.



They drop it off at your current residence, you load it, they deliver to your new place.


In my area a U-Box rental for a 300 mile move is $650, a van is $250. Maybe the father-in-law can loan the $250, avoid this old truck disaster.


I’d try to find any option other than buying an old SUV that could be nothing but expensive trouble. That UHaul box would be at the top of my list.

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Now you need a third driver, a way to get the third driver back and fuel.