Do you have a pickup truck for bike purposes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Do you have a pickup truck for bike purposes?

    I'm in the mrket for something but i'm not sure what i want. i've always kicked around the idea of getting a pickup but i don't do a ton of construction work etc. What's the reason why you wanted a pickup truck?

  2. #2
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    For toys and the dogs, you can't beat a pickup...

  3. #3
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    My Tacoma does a bit of everything. Bikes, snowboards, XC skis, camping, building material, trips to the dump, getting into places a car can't go. I wasn't sure if a pickup was the right vehicle for me either...until I bought one. I wouldn't be without it now.

  4. #4
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    I'm in the same boat as the OP, and I think I will be taking the plunge with my first p/u ever. I dont know what I'm gonna get, I think I'm going to get stupid and get more than I likely need (Full size, crew cab, 4x4, big V8..but fabric seats). Likely next spring or sumthin'.

    I'm into motorcycles and need to tow/haul every now and then (bikes, fuel, gear, tires, tire changer, cooler, folding chairs, canopy, etc), I have been able to get a modest amount of lumber into my sedan with the seats folded I can get 12' long pieces in, cant do that on a 6' truck bed strangely enuf!

    I've heard from folks with pick ups that after getting one they cant live without one.

  5. #5
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    I fish and hunt so it's a necessity for me. I have a 2003 Tundra.

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  6. #6
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    Trucks are freaking handy. People can get by just fine without em, but I don't think I'll ever be without one. I went a few years with a Jeep and a trailer, it worked, but was much more inconvienent. I'm on my 7th truck now.

    Now I have an older 3/4 ton. Can lock stuff up in the back, haul around tools, haul firewood, toss the tractor in back, etc etc


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  7. #7
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    I just bought a truck. The first requirement was I needed a big vehicle for towing a travel trailer. That meant I needed a large SUV or truck. With dirty bikes, dogs, and other stuff I figured a truck with a camper shell would work best.

  8. #8
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    my "pickup," if you wish to call it that (vw rabbit pickup) was originally acquired for motorcycle hauling but has the added benefit of being my winter bike hauler so my car doesn't get super muddy in the winter.

  9. #9
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    Pick up is the vehicle with specific purposes (transportation of people and large quantities of cargo to various types of surfaces), and not a vehicle that can go one kilometers through the city rush to market and back (the issue of vehicle size).
    Also, not a vehicle that comes out at night to be seen (matter of taste).
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  10. #10
    ballbuster
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    And sleeping in the bed when camping!

    Quote Originally Posted by bwheelin
    I'm in the mrket for something but i'm not sure what i want. i've always kicked around the idea of getting a pickup but i don't do a ton of construction work etc. What's the reason why you wanted a pickup truck?
    I was seriously thinking about a pickup for a while. I don't want to give up my current car for it, and I don't have space at home for another vehicle right now.

    I could totally do a Rabbit Caddy pickup. The diesels get 50 mpg (and 0-60 in 50 seconds) but are easy to mod with modern parts. GTi brakes, interior, gauges... easily decked out to be sweet. FWD gets better traction in the muck than 2-RWD.

  11. #11
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    the one thing that deters me from getting a pickup is the price of gas. i don't want to be dumping money into my vehicle every 2 or 3 days. i drive an 8 cyclinder pickup at work and it's a guzzler.

  12. #12
    DynoDon
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    I have had pick up trucks for 40 years or so, I bought one to transport motorcycle, and can't do without one now, I did have a Surburban Diesel for awhile, but pulling the trailer was too much hassle.
    I've always had a presentable motorcycle, from BMW's to Harley's, I now have a 2003 GMC Sanoma with 40,000 miles on it, and a 2005 HD Ultra.. the pick up gets 22 to 24 mpg, and the Harley gets 42 to 44mpg..
    I've owned a few Peterbilts, KW's etc too... but they only got 6 mpg at best..

  13. #13
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    I have a 3/4 ton CTD 4x4. Not much I can't do with that thing. When I bought it, diesel was cheaper than gasoline. About a month after that, the price of diesel went nuts. I don't drive much though, only about 20k miles in the past 5 years.
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  14. #14
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    price of gas is a huge factor for me. that and i don't own a house or do heavy construction.

  15. #15
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    I did for a while

    Quote Originally Posted by bwheelin
    I'm in the mrket for something but i'm not sure what i want. i've always kicked around the idea of getting a pickup but i don't do a ton of construction work etc. What's the reason why you wanted a pickup truck?
    and then switched to the body on frame 3rd gen 4runners. I just liked the idea of being able to have everything i need in one place and easily accessible and its more comfortable on longer trips with more people -stuff.

  16. #16
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    My first vehicle as a teenager was a car, but since then it's been all trucks. I don't work construction or anything, but I do haul bikes, music equipment, furniture etc. and it's so nice to be able to just toss whatever in the bed and not have to worry about dirt or scratching up your interior.

    I currently have a well-loved '01 F-150 with the wimpy V6, but it's enough for me and the gas mileage is okay. I might look into a 4cyl Tacoma as my next ride. The current 1/2 ton trucks are as big as 3/4 ton trucks were 10 years ago!

  17. #17
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    I've had trucks for the last 10+ years. Not sure of your price range but I would highly recommend a Toyota Tacoma - got my son a 1996 4cyl extended cab - its been very reliable and inexpensive to insure and maintain. He gets 25mpg on avg. We installed a sprayed in bedliner (won't ever have a truck without one) and a nice stereo. Use both his truck and mine )2004 Titan Crew Cab 4wd to haul everyting from furniture/mt bikes, boat stuff, tow boat, pretty much anything you can imagine. If you are wanting to replace a car I'd look at a crewcab or extended cab. Yes gas mileage is not the greatest but in my book the tradeoff in capabilities and options is well worth it.

  18. #18
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    I use my truck for so many things. Not just for hauling bikes. I've had 2 pickups for the past 15 years. I couldn't imagine NOT having one.

    Once you get one and truly use it, you will not regret it. I've seen many people get rid of their trucks and regret it. A couple of my buddies sold their trucks because they thought they didn't need one and wanted a car. A year or 2 later, they ended up buying trucks again. One of them bought pretty much the exact truck he originally had.

  19. #19
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    i drive an 05 toyota tacoma regular cab 4 cylinder and i love it! if you worried about the price of gas, i get about 23 mpg's i think, i havent really checked but other people i know who have them say thats around what they get. mine is 2wd and stock is pretty much all you will need unless you plan on offroading a lot. i use my truck quite a few times a year for camping and what not and now i will be using it to hold my bike, i can honestly say that i will probably never get a car unless i can afford to own a truck and car, hope i could help you out

  20. #20
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    if i ever got a pickup truck, i would get at least a 6 cyl. and 4 wheel drive. with slightly raised suspension and big tires otherwise what's the point of buying one?

  21. #21
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    Mid 90's Toyota T100
    (precursor to the Tacoma)

    I loooooove my 94 (and daily drive it)
    Bulletproof engine, big enough to handle you, your buddies, and everyone's bikes, but not big enough to put you at the top of the list for help moving.
    And if you drive nice (with the 4-banger) 25mpg city is pretty easy to see

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by roc865
    if i ever got a pickup truck, i would get at least a 6 cyl. and 4 wheel drive. with slightly raised suspension and big tires otherwise what's the point of buying one?
    4x4 would definitly be a good option but if hes not planning doing serious offroading you dont need it, i know of a ton of nice trucks that are 2wd

    also you would surprised to see some 4cyl tacomas, they are beasts offroad, although they arent gonna win many races

  23. #23
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    I owned a pickup for awhile (Toyota Tacoma). For me it was the most pathetic vehicle I owned. Terrible road manners (duh it's a truck) mediocre cargo capacity, fuel mileage in the low twenties... It was very reliable - I did appreciate that.

    I bought a used AWD German wagon - and wont look back. Towing capacity is 2500 lbs (plenty for the boat and trips to the home center) cargo / passenger capacity is 1200lbs (higher than the Toyota) the roof has plenty of easily accessible real estate for racks etc - but I usually just put the bike inside (fully assembled) fuel mileage in the mid twenties - handling, stopping & overall safety far better.

    In the recent snowstorm we had in New England - I didn't bother shoveling or clearing the driveway - just plain drove to work. So, getting around in deep snow is a non-issue. What more is there? Pickups have their place - but not for me. My car is far more versatile and road-worthy.

    A trip to the Home Depot last year summed it up: I was loading an entire 10 X 20' shed's worth of lumber onto my 5X10 trailer. Next to me a fellow with his pickup - having difficulty with less than half the material. He watched for awhile and then offered: "man, I wish I did that instead of this truck (F-250), I get lousy mileage, its uncomfortable on long trips and I use it maybe a half dozen times a year - it seemed like a good idea because I just bought a house but not any more"

    A Subaru wagon is even smarter. I love, love my German wagon - but it costs too much to repair and maintain. Luckily I commute by bike at least 3 days out of the week year round - which helps keep the old girl from piling on too many miles. The Subarus also have decent hauling and trailering capacity. A bit ugly and limited on the performance side - but exceedingly practical and versatile.

  24. #24
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    I actually bought my truck so that I could tow my boat. I had my boat at my parents' and was using my Dad's truck to tow it with. It felt gutless so I decided to buy a truck. Thinking about it now I will never go to anything other than a truck. It can tow anything I want and is perfect for camping/boating trips. It has a huge interior which I love. I will never buy a car as I just don't fit in them. Even full size sedans seem cramped to me. My truck is an 08 F150 Crew Cab 4x4.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by toxicity_27
    I actually bought my truck so that I could tow my boat. I had my boat at my parents' and was using my Dad's truck to tow it with. It felt gutless so I decided to buy a truck. Thinking about it now I will never go to anything other than a truck. It can tow anything I want and is perfect for camping/boating trips. It has a huge interior which I love. I will never buy a car as I just don't fit in them. Even full size sedans seem cramped to me. My truck is an 08 F150 Crew Cab 4x4.
    I have nothing to tow but I would be filling that gas tank up every other day with my driving.

  26. #26
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    I surprisingly get about 17-18 mpg highway in mine, which I'm pretty satisfied with. City driving is more around 12. Towing my little pop-up camper it doesn't change the mileage at all since the thing barely weighs over a ton and it sits lower than my tailgate. Good thing I have a 30 gallon tank too, otherwise I would be filling up all the time too.
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  27. #27
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    I've been driving my '00 Frontier Desert Runner V6, 2x4 since I bought it new a decade ago. Back then I was living in VA and the main reason I bought it is so I could throw my bike in the bed and drive to the trailhead which was 40-50 minutes away. It was great for that purpose and the occasional hauling of miscellaneous stuff. I didn't mind the gas mileage since gas back then was cheap. I had no issues with the rear only drive, since I rarely encountered snowy/mucky driving conditions at the time.

    I've moved from east coast to west halfway through ownership and still didn't have issues with the 2x4 in NorCal or later in Sandy Eggo. Gas prices did start to rise but that was a non-issue since I started to bike commute or I'd either take Caltrain or split lanes (miss that) riding my dual-sport moto on 101 to work which averaged 45-50mpg. I still used the truck to throw my bike in the bed and drive to the trail head.

    Now, I live in Deutschland and brought my truck over. I can tell you that it's not an ideal vehicle here. Gas prices are high, it can't keep up with the Germans on the autobahn (not that I'm really trying to - it's a truck!), even though it's a compact truck it's hard to maneuver and park in the small European villages and parking spots/garages. There's no weight over the drive axle, I don't have a LSD on the rear and even with M&S rated tires, driving in the snow is exciting and raises the pucker factor. Again, outside of the winter, I've been bike commuting to work so I only drive when I really need the truck. In the winter, like now, I ride the bus or train to commute work. Public transportation here in Germany is way better in the US. I've even used it to get to some trail heads. I get maybe 17mpg and I think that really sucks and definitely want something better.

    Basically, my needs have changed since I bought my truck. If I were to do it again, I'd go for one of the newer all-wheel drive compact cross-over SUVs like the Nissan Juke or Jeep Compass. I need more enclosed cargo space, seating for four adults, 4x4 or all-wheel drive capability and better gas-mileage. I might even consider the Toyota FJ and take the hit in lesser MPG but gain the better cargo capacity and true 4x4 capability.

  28. #28
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    Get a Hitch instead

    A large good-gas-mileage flexible vehicle like a crossover, or even (gasp) a minivan is way more useful for most of us. It can seat people on some occasions, or put everything down for hauling big items out of the dirt and rain.

    I understand there's some, like in construction or who haul fertilizer piles, who really need a pickup. But I never felt the need. Just go through some numbers.

    Figure out how many times a year do your really need a pickup? What if you rented those times instead, or pay for delivery. For instance. Home Depot rents trucks. What's the difference in cost? For most people, the savings in the car, insurance, and gas would easily pay many, many times over owning a pickup.

    And when I was rebuilding a house a decade ago, I instead got a 4x8' trailer that I could pull with a hitch on my car. I could haul lots of big stuff and load and get it off so much easier with low access from all sides. It even folded up and rolled to the back end the garage when not in use. The $300 for the trailer was a lot less than a pickup.

    And finally, for bikes, there's lots of great hitch racks that can be had. I install my Yakima Holdup literally in 30 seconds. It takes another 10 seconds to load each bike. And the hitch is behind the car for better gas mileage, and easier to access for loading.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranier
    I've been driving my '00 Frontier Desert Runner V6, 2x4 since I bought it new a decade ago. Back then I was living in VA and the main reason I bought it is so I could throw my bike in the bed and drive to the trailhead which was 40-50 minutes away. It was great for that purpose and the occasional hauling of miscellaneous stuff. I didn't mind the gas mileage since gas back then was cheap. I had no issues with the rear only drive, since I rarely encountered snowy/mucky driving conditions at the time.

    I've moved from east coast to west halfway through ownership and still didn't have issues with the 2x4 in NorCal or later in Sandy Eggo. Gas prices did start to rise but that was a non-issue since I started to bike commute or I'd either take Caltrain or split lanes (miss that) riding my dual-sport moto on 101 to work which averaged 45-50mpg. I still used the truck to throw my bike in the bed and drive to the trail head.

    Now, I live in Deutschland and brought my truck over. I can tell you that it's not an ideal vehicle here. Gas prices are high, it can't keep up with the Germans on the autobahn (not that I'm really trying to - it's a truck!), even though it's a compact truck it's hard to maneuver and park in the small European villages and parking spots/garages. There's no weight over the drive axle, I don't have a LSD on the rear and even with M&S rated tires, driving in the snow is exciting and raises the pucker factor. Again, outside of the winter, I've been bike commuting to work so I only drive when I really need the truck. In the winter, like now, I ride the bus or train to commute work. Public transportation here in Germany is way better in the US. I've even used it to get to some trail heads. I get maybe 17mpg and I think that really sucks and definitely want something better.

    Basically, my needs have changed since I bought my truck. If I were to do it again, I'd go for one of the newer all-wheel drive compact cross-over SUVs like the Nissan Juke or Jeep Compass. I need more enclosed cargo space, seating for four adults, 4x4 or all-wheel drive capability and better gas-mileage. I might even consider the Toyota FJ and take the hit in lesser MPG but gain the better cargo capacity and true 4x4 capability.
    nissan juke?

  30. #30
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    I don't why you guys complain about gas mileage maneuver when talking about trucks. I'm perfectly happy with my 20mpg outta my Suburban. $75 once a week to fill up isn't bad at all. I couldn't drive a POS ecobox to small and useless. Trucks now a days handle and ride like cars anyways.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Botman
    I don't why you guys complain about gas mileage maneuver when talking about trucks. I'm perfectly happy with my 20mpg outta my Suburban. $75 once a week to fill up isn't bad at all. I couldn't drive a POS ecobox to small and useless. Trucks now a days handle and ride like cars anyways.
    Yeah, my trucks MPG wasn't an issue 10 years ago, gas was considerably cheaper. Now I'd rather pay less at the pump and have more coin in my pocket for bikes and beer instead. Trucks handling like cars? that's kinda stretching it.

    Quote Originally Posted by roc865
    nissan juke?
    Yup! I like it! Like I said, my needs have changed.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Botman
    I don't why you guys complain about gas mileage maneuver when talking about trucks. I'm perfectly happy with my 20mpg outta my Suburban. $75 once a week to fill up isn't bad at all. I couldn't drive a POS ecobox to small and useless. Trucks now a days handle and ride like cars anyways.
    $75 once a week compared to $35? i think it depends on what you're using your vehicle for. i could have used a pickup about 10 years ago when i was installing windows and siding along with collected junk metal but nowadays i really wouldn't have a need for one. also the price of gas is only going to go up and my commute isn't around the corner.

  33. #33
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    Has anyone seen or have any experience with the new Ford 150 Eco-boost engine/truck? This is supposed to offer V8 power with V6 economy. Any real-world experience??
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdean
    Has anyone seen or have any experience with the new Ford 150 Eco-boost engine/truck? This is supposed to offer V8 power with V6 economy. Any real-world experience??
    I have no direct experience with this truck, but I have been following Ford's EcoBoost technology extensively and read quite a bit about it, as well as how it works in various vehicles including the F-150.

    Most important is that technology really does work. You get almost the same horsepower as a V-8 from a V-6 with direct fuel injection. The turbo lag of decades past is gone with twin turbos. The electronic fuel injection control also helps give instant pedal throttle response. The cooling requirement of most turbos is reduced by the cooling of the direct fuel injection. You can use normal gas without knocking.

    If you look at the torque curves, most engines reach peak torque around 3000-4000 RPM, after a lag of acceleration. Instead the EcoBoost goes to max at ~1500 RPM and stays flat (computer limited) across the RPM curve. What this means is that the V-6 actually has more kick than a V-8 with max torque right from the get-go. And having full torque available at all times and values of RPM, not just at the peak RPM, gives better acceleration overall. Get a test drive to understand why many say the smaller EcoBoost gives a greater feeling of more seat-of-the-pants power.

    The NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) from having less cylinders is being tuned out carefully with mechanics and electronics (especially important for the I-4).

    The EcoBoost engine is lighter and more efficient. Typical vehicle fuel efficiency increases by 25% or so.

    For heavy towing of big loads, Ford generally recommends the V-8 for durability on SUVs. However, the 2011 F-150 towing guide shows it can tow up to 11,300 lbs, as much as a V-8. More here and here.

    I saw a race about a year ago with the Ford EcoBoost towing a huge trailer up a big mountain and doing very well against several other big trucks. (EDIT: EcoBoost won, here's a link)

    As for long term durability of the EcoBoost engine, Ford has been making them for about 3 years now, starting in the cars. They have a lot of experience with it. Still, I'd personally get an extended power train warranty. They're pretty cheap insurance if you worry about that.

    For others experience with the F-150, search the web. I've seen a lot of positive comments, especially on Blue Oval Forums, but on others as well. You really want to get a test drive to understand the feel of the engine.
    Last edited by BigLarry; 04-05-2011 at 11:36 AM.
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  35. #35
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    I love my truck, I just wish it was 4 doors and got better than 15 mpg...


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  36. #36
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    Ford F150 EcoBoost Forum

    As part of the Blue Oval Forums I linked above, I found an entire forum dedicated to just the Ford 150 EcoBoost. Enjoy.
    http://fordf150ecoboostforum.com/
    It's not slow, it's doing more MTB time.

  37. #37
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    People do love their trucks. I've had a couple of them, about 20 years of ownership altogether.

    I guess people think of biking as a day-only activity, so they think of their vehicle likewise. I think of a vehicle as hauler for tandem/singles, snow gear, climbing gear (sometimes all at once), lodging for she&I,all-season backcountry approach and vacation rig. Don't want to stop at chain control in winter. Don't want to set up a tent. Tired of shuffling around on my knees under a camper shell and moving gear around to make space.

    For our needs nothing touches the utility of a 4x4 van. Out of sight/out of mind--no external bike rack. Enjoy your coffee while your friends are "breaking camp." Chill out of the weather after your ride. Stealth bivouac anywhere. Skip $100/night motels in peak season. Yer gonna pay up front and at the pump for these conveniences, but if a vehicle suits the purpose well enough the cost is justified. Or you can put a cheap rack on the back of a small econo car. I do that also.
    Last edited by She&I; 04-05-2011 at 06:35 PM.

  38. #38
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    98 Tacoma Ext cab. 2.7 4cyl. 5 speed . 4x4. 240,000 miles and still smooth. 4x4 is a must for a truck in snow country. The 6 ft bed drives me nuts at times but with ladder racks, topper and a decent hitch it gets the job done. I'm in the trades so a truck or van is a must. I average 24 mpg on mountain road trips and 27 on the flats. The last time I didn't own a truck or a van was 1985. I also own a 98 Chevy 2500 long box van that I'm considering doing a 4x4 adventure van conversion to. Why not?
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  39. #39
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    What is that Honda truck-ish model called?

    I roll an old, cheap to keep Econoline van with a stepped hi-top. I tell myself to sell it, but I loves me fugly van. If it's cheap to keep, does one need to fret over 15mpg?

    Asia has sweet medium sized, stylish diesel vans. Want

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwheelin
    I'm in the mrket for something but i'm not sure what i want. i've always kicked around the idea of getting a pickup but i don't do a ton of construction work etc. What's the reason why you wanted a pickup truck?

    LOL,you don't have to do construction work to want/need a p/u. I don't do consruction (even before the Fed. Gov. put me outta work),and my handle on mini forums is "Minitrucker4life"...Sometimes peeps just like trucks better than cars,whether lowered,lifted or stock (and I've drove all 3 styles)


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  41. #41
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    Just picked up a new-to-me '05 Tacoma Double Cab TRD Sport for bike hauling, camping, snowboarding and road tripping purposes. I have a VW Jetta wagon for daily driving purposes, but wanted something with higher clearance, 4WD, towing capability and clearly more cargo room. Mine came with the ARE shell that has the Yakima racks pre-installed. I love my Jetta as a daily driver and the gas mileage (even though it's just a 2.5 gas, not a diesel), but there's nothing like having a 4WD pickup truck as a complimentary vehicle, especially if you do a lot of outdoorsy stuff, find yourself regularly driving on 4WD roads, encountering snow on a regular basis, or hauling a lot of gear on a regular basis - all of which I do. If I didn't have my long-ish daily commute, I'd probably just have the pickup alone. I can't wait to take it on its first road trip - 18 Hours of Fruita, with 5 bikes, 3 people, camping gear - next month!

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