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Author Topic: Tow Vehicles....  (Read 1317 times)

Capt J-rod

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Tow Vehicles....
« on: February 09, 2018, 12:47:47 PM »
Well I am starting to think about a new tow vehicle. I have kinda put myself in a pickle due to near sightedness. I currently have a 2012 sequoia with a 4.6L engine. It does a great job and hauls the family and all the gear. We pull a 2015 21'rbs. I have a 2015 Toyota Tacoma double cab that also pulls the trailer but is not as happy about it. The cabin gets pretty cramped and the weights are pretty close to mfg's max limit. When I bought the taco 3 years ago we really didn't think too hard about this aspect. I wanted a tundra but the price was $10k more, besides I had a sequoia right? Well enter 2018. The wife has a different job with a healthy 90 mile round trip commute. The sequoia has 120k on it but has been maintained under my OCD fueled maintenance program. It is still operating perfectly and has been a fully synthetic vehicle since 15K. The dilemma comes in with replacing it. I am in no need or rush as it has been paid off since 2015. However, the new version will be a $55K proposition and $45k used. The ideal vehicle for the family is a Subaru Outback. Better mileage, AWD, and great quality. This leaves me with the Tacoma as a our tow vehicle. We generally don't take huge cross county adventures and usually end up about 10 hours from home. Why am I bringing all of this up? Well my gut feeling is with the recent stock market activity that the nasty word "inflation" is upon us. For 10 years we have enjoyed stupid low interest. If I can't stomach paying $30-50k with 0.9% interest now, then it will only get worse if my prediction is right. I hate to give up on the sequoia because it easily has another 50k miles left in it. I realize these problems are quite petty compared to the rest of the worlds crisis, but timing is how money is both saved and earned. In hindsight I should have bought the tundra and been open to trade the sequoia to a Subaru. At the time the idea of two 1/2 ton gas hogs wasn't smart. Now it seems that may bite me in the ass. What are other's thoughts? Is anyone pulling a 21' with a taco and how does it really do on a long haul?

Merlin

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2018, 02:50:18 PM »
Others on here are towing a 21 with a Taco; I'm sure @charliem will weigh in soon.

What engine is in the Taco? From the specs I see online, unless you have the V6 with the optional towing prep package, the 21 will be over the towing/tongue weight limits of a double cab Taco.
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charliem

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2018, 02:56:59 PM »
FWIW I pull a 2014 21RBS with a 2013 Taco and it's quite adequate.  That said I think it depends on where you are are towing. The 2014 21RBS is probably lighter than your 2015 because Thor began putting weight back in about that time. Also my 2013 Taco has the 4.0L engine. Toyota cut back to a 3.x somewhere but I think you may still have the 4.0. I also have the TRD supercharger but that's really only for the mountain altitudes. If you stay at lower altitude the 4.0 engine will do fine. I've been out for months at a time and towed 5-6000 miles on a trip with no regrets on the Taco. Obviously the Tundra would be better but, to paraphrase Don Rumsfeld, "We don't tow with what we want. We tow with what we've got".  :P

P.S: You should have the towing package for the transmission cooler and class 4 hitch. Also, get a ScanGauge or equivalent to monitor transmission temp.
 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 02:59:29 PM by charliem »
Any 20 minute job can be stretched to a week with proper planning

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Capt J-rod

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 03:31:32 PM »
Thanks @CharlieM. I have the last of the 2015 tacos with the 4.0, TRD sport with the tow package. I've used it here locally to tow the trailer and I monitor my Trans temps with a scan gauge. It does ok, but from what I gather on tacoma world I will need to upgrade the trans cooler. We are flat landers up here in northern Ohio. My travels are usually to Michigan or New York. I believe our trailers will be very close in weight. 2015 is the last of the Tuttle trailers with all aluminum everything. As long as I don't fill tanks and go crazy with cargo it is within the limits. I've crunched the numbers many different ways. I really only need it to serve as the tow vehicle for 2 years which is honestly 6 big trips and 6-10 small trips. I change fluids religiously. I will be adding a new company truck in the near future, but it all depends on how work goes. Lots of bids out, but nobody locking in yet. If I can't own it in 2-3 years I don't buy it. LOL.

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 10:50:55 PM »
If you're not comfortable, what about trading the Tacoma in on a Tundra, and trading the Sequoia in on the Outback?  If the Sequoia is in as good shape as it sounds, you will probably still get a decent trade, and be putting that against a lower cost Outback (especially if you can find a good used one).  That may be more changes than you want, but just a thought.

tinkeringtechie

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2018, 01:36:01 AM »
Why not trade in the Tacoma for the Outback and keep the Sequoia? If you use the Sequoia primarily for towing duty and the Outback for commuting duty, you could probably make the Sequoia last quite a while longer.

Capt J-rod

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 10:31:29 AM »
It's a little more complicated than that... The Taco is in my company, so it stays on the books for 5 years. It also has only 40k on it. The sequoia is our personal vehicle. I really, really, really hate payments. At age 39 I only have a home mortgage and that is almost paid off. 4 more years to go. I try to pay cash for vehicles but I will go out to three years on a note if it benefits me.  Being self employed, payments = volatility. The wife commutes 90 miles round trip. I'm sure the taco will do fine for two seasons as or T.V. At that point I will make it a tundra. Work has been stupidly plentiful for four years. It allowed me to build a 40x56 heated shop. Cars and trucks are the most expensive items we own with depreciation and ROI. So there will be no two car swap, double payment. I can go to enterprise rent a car and rent a T.V. for the week cheaper than swapping what I have.

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2018, 11:57:18 AM »
It's a little more complicated than that... The Taco is in my company, so it stays on the books for 5 years. It also has only 40k on it. The sequoia is our personal vehicle. I really, really, really hate payments. At age 39 I only have a home mortgage and that is almost paid off. 4 more years to go. I try to pay cash for vehicles but I will go out to three years on a note if it benefits me.  Being self employed, payments = volatility. The wife commutes 90 miles round trip. I'm sure the taco will do fine for two seasons as or T.V. At that point I will make it a tundra. Work has been stupidly plentiful for four years. It allowed me to build a 40x56 heated shop. Cars and trucks are the most expensive items we own with depreciation and ROI. So there will be no two car swap, double payment. I can go to enterprise rent a car and rent a T.V. for the week cheaper than swapping what I have.

It has been my experience that the rental companies do not allow towing. You should check this out very carefully before building a strategy around it.

The cheapest way out of this pickle may be simply to buy an older truck for towing that has high miles but is actually in sound shape or needing just a few of the regular things that an older truck eats.

In my case, I picked up a 10 year old F-150 that only had 80k on it for around $15k. You should be able to get well under $10k if you cope with mileage above 150k. Such a truck probably has 50k miles left in it if it was well maintained and is in good shape. Look for one that was part of a fleet. You would pretty much reserve her for weekend duty and towing.

The thing about payments and having stuff that's paid off is, once you reach the point of the last payment, open a separate account and keep making those "payments" to yourself. You'll end up with a pile of money to make your next purchase in cash. Keep doing that and you'll never pay interest again. (I know you know this)

DavidM

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2018, 12:33:58 PM »
Enterprise Truck Rentals has 3/4 ton pickups and they are set up for towing with a hitch receiver. In my area, NW Connecticut, they are $75/day including 300 miles per day, 60 cents per mile after that. Not particularly cheap, but I doubt if anyone is.

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Capt J-rod

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2018, 12:49:51 PM »
Already done Pinstriper. I'm not in a rush to do anything, and the sequoia has easily another 50k or two years left. I always buy vehicles based on the difference between the two. I don't care what you want for the new one, I don't care what you are giving me on trade, I really don't care about your super fancy financing offer. I care about how much money you need the check to say after I give you my vehicle and drive off in yours. Dealerships hate me. I am ruthless and I really could care less. I run my own business of HVAC, plumbing, Mechanical Eng. consulting, and 5 rental properties. Everything other than my home is paid off. I do exactly what you said about saving the payment. My OCD is so bad that I have a vehicle account that the money goes into. Rentals have their own, Business has it's own, Retirement has it's own... I squeak when I walk. If it don't make money I usually don't do it lol. At age 39, I am all alone in this thinking. My friends all go out on Friday for dinner and drinks. I grill a steak or shrimp on my grill. There is an old saying that one of my very successful older friends beat into my brain ten years ago... "live like no one else does now and you will be able to live like no one else does later" At first it seemed like B.S. but then the snowball caught some traction.
 Einstein quoted : "Compound interest. Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it." Some of my best friends are age 60-80. I help them all the time with their projects and their guidance has set me up for life. Hence why I bought my camper... Once the debt is gone I will need it more and more!!! The truck dilemma is just me complaining that I will have to spend some of my moldy money lol!

Capt J-rod

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2018, 12:57:27 PM »
Enterprise Truck Rentals has 3/4 ton pickups and they are set up for towing with a hitch receiver. In my area, NW Connecticut, they are $75/day including 300 miles per day, 60 cents per mile after that. Not particularly cheap, but I doubt if anyone is.

David

Well as expensive as that sounds, 10 days would be $750.... A truck payment is a minimum of $650/month. I usually take one big trip out into the wild a year, the other are within a few hours of the house for a long weekend. The taco will handle the short trips, but if needed this would buy me some time. Not driving a 12mpg gas guzzler as a daily driver is another perk. I also hate the idea of owning two vehicles the same age... They tend to wear equally and it sets up a cycle where I would be faced with the same problem in 6-8 years. Yes I over-think all of this crap... How do you think I ended up with an all aluminum camper that will last 4x the life of a stick build?

Steve Sanders

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 06:02:58 PM »
Capt J-rod, I majored in finance when I went to college and I totally agree with almost all you said. However, using someone else's money is a wonderful thing that can make you money if you do it right, and right now is a good time, economically, to do it.

My wife and I bought a car yesterday and financed it at zero percent, after negotiating a good price. For a rapidly depreciating asset, I would rather have someone else's money paying for it while my money earns what it can.

Rates have been unreasonably low for too long now. It probably won't last much longer.

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Capt J-rod

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 12:08:48 PM »
@Steve Sanders... I agree the window is about to close with interest and depreciation. This is why I am looking at new vehicles. I'm weighing the pros and cons with the costs of new vehicles. There is plenty of life left in both the vehicles I own, but the costs of their replacements is creeping up every year. Add higher interest in and it starts to add up. By owning a camper I am committed to a tow vehicle. Now enter my savings... I mostly invest in rentals, my own company, and vanguard. There is NO incentive to have money in the bank or checking accounts. I can lock in now and run on other peoples money and give up $5-600/month. I can easily do this with my current finances, but with all debt comes the monthly liabilities. Small debt is what enables my freedom to pick and choose work and travel when time is available. As of now I am considering just adding a new Tundra to the company and keeping the sequoia for a while. The Tundra will be the first vehicle to rise in cost. The reason to hold onto the cash is hopefully bank cd's and other investments will start to actually generate some revenue. No matter what I will be fine, it's just timing and maximizing my resources. I minored in economics in school, it literally changes all perspectives for life. Thanks for you're input.

Merlin

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 02:18:42 PM »
If you can reasonably afford it, having specific vehicles for specific purposes can make sense. Making any one vehicle do too many different tasks well can lead to too many compromises. Until recently and for a long time my wife and had 3 vehicles; a heavy duty tow vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser), an electric vehicle for errands around town (Ford Fusion Energi), and a comfortable, efficient vehicle for non-towing highway trips (Subaru Outback). I'm not saying this strategy is for everyone, but it worked for us. When my son's family needed a car recently, we happily sold the Outback to him to keep it in the family, so we are down to 2 vehicles. But, I would not hesitate to go with additional vehicle again sometime if our needs change (I'm thinking tractor  ;) ) We pay cash (unless 0% financing is available) and I enjoy seeing how flustered the sales staff get when we buy a vehicle. They make a lot of money on financing and automatically assume all sales are financed, so they end up really flummoxed with a cash sale.
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Capt J-rod

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Re: Tow Vehicles....
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 02:34:39 PM »
The sales business makes me puke. It is always based on a payment. When you ask to speak about the real numbers they get really squirrelly. I too looked at a Kubota backhoe for the company. We rented one quite a bit last year, but once the job is done it sits until another underground job comes along. The toy factor was pretty high, but the investment side failed the numbers test. I will ultimately end up with a Tundra Crew max, my tacoma, and an outback, but it is a challenge of timing and doing it on my terms. I am very unconventional in my finances. I save and invest over 50% of our family's income annually. I have done this for 7 years now and it has set a path for early retirement. Don't think that we are going without anything, we live a very comfortable conservative life. How I got here was and continues to be hard work and discipline. The third vehicle will be in the group and I will use the tacoma to shelter the miles off of the tundra. The only way to get a good return on the investment of cars is to run them a minimum of 150K. Now that these vehicles are costing $40-60K, a third vehicle is needed. In Michigan you get some nice tax incentives to run electric vehicles. Ohio has essentially nothing. The Subaru is an awesome balance of utility, AWD, durability and price. Hands down one of the best $30k vehicles. The truck is going to be bought through the company and live in the shop with the camper and other toys. I usually get 10 years out of the trucks. The tacoma is only 3, so it will stick around for a while. Like I joked earlier, these are all great problems to have in life. If I find a dealer that makes me a deal I can't refuse, then I will jump. The 0% Subaru is pretty tempting.