Tow Vehicle

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,374
You'll all laugh.....

I have a 1995 Ford Bronco XLT 4x4:
  • 5.8L V8: 325 ft/lbs torque, 210 HP (probably more, due to upgrades)
  • Tow package:
    • Hitch
    • 7-way with charge line
    • transmission cooler
    • enhanced suspension
  • 31x10.5r15 LT tires.
  • Tekonsha Prodigy P2 brake controller
  • Curt Weight Distribution Hitch
  • Curt sway control bars (two, because why not)
It's old, but proactively maintained. Heavy, but stable. Poor mileage but I don't drive it a lot anyway. Big but lots of room for people and stuff. Loud but plenty of torque. Everything works; Air conditioning, cruise, rear window, radio, etc. It's a great camping vehicle, and fun off-road too.

Fluid temps stay right where they should be, towing. And I can maintain highway speeds on all but the worst freeway grades. Once in awhile I drop to 50-55 MPH. Most of the time 65-75 MPH. It only gets 12.2 MPG towing (13 around town, 15 on the highway), but I don't really care since it's not a daily driver. Total tow capacity is supposed to be 7000/700, but my 3200 pound popup is a perfect match for it.
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,639
Northern Virginia
That is how I feel about my 4 runner. I've been thinking about getting a truck but keep on returning back to The 4 runner. My runner has been very good to me all my others cars in my lifetime went to s*** way too early. This is still going strong and keeps up with whatever I throw at her.
 

ad_bfl

Member
Sep 7, 2011
12
I bought this one with 212k miles on it, pretty much rebuilt the whole thing and dropped in a 460 with a zf 5 speed. It came from the factory with a front bench seat which is wonderful. It has carried us all over northern California. When I price out a replacement truck my head explodes so I plan on driving this one till I "rust out" :)
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,374
I bought this one with 212k miles on it, pretty much rebuilt the whole thing and dropped in a 460 with a zf 5 speed. It came from the factory with a front bench seat which is wonderful. It has carried us all over northern California. When I price out a replacement truck my head explodes so I plan on driving this one till I "rust out" :)

Mine is the '95 5.8L, bucket seats, internal spare, tow package, with 146k miles. I wish I had a bench seat like my old '89 5.0L had.

I'm surprised, in your pic, that I don't see more rear end squat / sag. But my tongue is probably a lot heavier than yours, with two propane tanks and two batteries (about 475-550 pounds loaded, depending on how much water). I found that the rear squatted about 1.25" and the front lifted 2/3rds inch. To compensate, I added a weight distribution hitch, bringing the vehicle back to less than a 1/2" sag in back, and less than 1/8" lift in front. With transmission cooler, weight distribution hitch, sway control bars (2), and the 5.8L v8, it's a great tow vehicle.

I, also, priced out newer trucks. Anything less than 10 years old right now is stupidly expensive. Particularly stupid if I'm only using it to tow a trailer 7x-8x per year, and for general "utility" a couple times a month. I just couldn't see spending 40-80k for a new truck, or 30k for a used one (the used market is nuts right now too). So I recalled how much I enjoyed my old 5.0L '89 Bronco, and decided to go get a 5.8L '95. I got it for about 6k (even Broncos are expensive for their age, because of the new ones creating a resurgence). And I've put 1.5k into it to spruce it up and repair a few issues. $7.5k total, I have a great, seemingly reliable, heavy duty tow vehicle that people seem to love to ask questions about when they see me pull up in it. And that money includes the WD hitch.

That gives me a nice "old enough that I don't mind pounding it" camping vehicle; great for getting the trailer to the campsite, and great for bumping around the dusty roads near the campsite. It's fun. It's a shame Ford discontinued the F-150 based Bronco in '96. I'm sure the more modern Bronco, introduced in 2021 is great. But it's on a Ranger chassis, so not as big, not quite as utilitarian.
 

ad_bfl

Member
Sep 7, 2011
12
Been pulling weight off the camper for the last year, went down to a single propane tank and battery plus looked hard at the amount of stuff we carry.

I installed firestone airbags in the back, 30lbs pressure levels it out.
 

adkdave

Active Member
Apr 26, 2020
137
Pittsford, New York
That is how I feel about my 4 runner. I've been thinking about getting a truck but keep on returning back to The 4 runner. My runner has been very good to me all my others cars in my lifetime went to s*** way too early. This is still going strong and keeps up with whatever I throw at her.
Toyota 4 Runners are great vehicles. I considered one of them before I settled on my Nissan Frontier. I felt the need for more towing capacity. Tacomas are great trucks, but around here they tend to be over priced for used for high mileage vehicles. I figured the best bang for my buck was the Frontier I have been very happy with it.
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,721
Southern California
My first tow vehicle was a 1969 Ford F-250 Camper Special. It was only 5 years old when I bought it. I towed a new 22 foot Invader Travel trailer with it. I can't ever remember having a problem with it. I had to sell it and the camper in 1976. A third kid was just one too many to fit in the cab. I had to "Sell" the wife shortly after that. I had several vehicles after that, but none of them towed anything.

Then in 2008 I bought a Ford Ranger Supercab. At the time all I needed it for was to haul small amounts of stuff from here to there. It was a good truck, but a little anemic with only a 3.0 engine. It was stolen and totaled about a year and a half ago within 1 week after I installed a Limited-slip differential. By that time I had my Viking camper. Insurance, with a little help from my savings, bought me another truck for a Ford dealership. The replacement is a 2010 Ford Ranger 4X4 Supercab with the 4.0 engine. It was very well maintained and has noticeably more power, and the 4X4 feature in wonderful. I've only had one problem with it so far. I had to replace the spark plug wires at 105,000 miles. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger truck, but I camp alone. So it isn't much of a problem. My big belly is the problem LOL 2010 Ranger pickup.jpg
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,723
I haven't been able to find anything since 05 that peeked my interest enough to shell out big bucks
for another rig...Eventually I wont have a choice but I hope it's later than sooner.
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,374
I haven't been able to find anything since 05 that peeked my interest enough to shell out big bucks
for another rig...Eventually I wont have a choice but I hope it's later than sooner.

This is pretty much exactly why I went with something old and quirky. Cost a whole lot less; so much less that I can just consider it play money. And it solves the need.
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,723
This is pretty much exactly why I went with something old and quirky. Cost a whole lot less; so much less that I can just consider it play money. And it solves the need.
It's much easier to shell out a little here and there vs that Monthly payment that can still cost
you money on top of that.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,460
I simply don't do payments. I save up until I have the cash and buy, then run it for what turns into decades. I bought a 1994 truck new and still have it. I didnt buy another new truck until 2019.
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,723
I simply don't do payments. I save up until I have the cash and buy, then run it for what turns into decades. I bought a 1994 truck new and still have it. I didnt buy another new truck until 2019.
Agree...I only do payments when it's unavoidable...I bought mine new in 05 and it is still going strong minus the bit of rust repair.
When i step up to a TT pop up will sold or be traded in and the diff will paid at time of purchase.
No payments allow flexability.
 

Bobby999

Runnin' with the pack!
Jan 24, 2009
902
Agree...I only do payments when it's unavoidable...I bought mine new in 05 and it is still going strong minus the bit of rust repair.
When i step up to a TT pop up will sold or be traded in and the diff will paid at time of purchase.
No payments allow flexability.

Agree. No debt IS freedom!!! If you can’t afford it—-don’t buy it!!!
 




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