Sell me a new truck

Big Fin

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After another season of abuse, the fifth season of destruction on this current truck, I am thinking about giving the Titan a proper retirement ceremony. Without a single repair issue, this Titan has logged 120K of America's worst miles. It is almost always loaded to the gills and/or towing a cargo trailer or boat. The roads, most often trails, it has traveled are places I often get asked, "How did you get that in here?"

Since Nissan is launching a completely new Titan for 2016, a part of me is thinking I will wait and find a left over 2015 Titan at a screaming deal as dealers try to get rid of the old models. I have had four of the current model Titans and I have not had a single mechanical issue on any of them. They have worked remarkably well for what I need, even if they are a bit dated from a performance and technology standpoint. And, the mileage is not nearly what other trucks advertise, though I suspect my applications would result in much lower mileage than those other models advertise.

So, in addition to the option of a 2015 Titan, I am researching trucks that will do the following:

  • Hold four guys, comfortably. The larger the back cab, the better.
  • Tow a 20' boat and trailer without redlining it to get the torque needed for heavy towing duty. Probably eliminates any V-6 options.
  • Go offroad in places many people might hesitate to take their side-by-side and do so without leaving body parts strewn along the way.
  • Not feel like it is ready to fall apart after 40K miles; rather a track record of performing after 100K of off-road miles. My two trucks prior to Titans felt loose and sloppy by about 50K miles.
  • Spend its time on the road/trails and not in the shop. Another problem with the two trucks I had prior to Titans.
  • Have plenty of clearance with no lift kit or maybe up to a 2" lift kit to accommodate my bumper/winch.
  • Skid plates front and over the gas tank. Looking under my current truck, if not for skid plates, I would have replaced a lot of parts, including multiple gas tanks.

I know when asking for all of those attributes, mileage will suffer. I currently get about 15-16 mpg in my Titan when not towing. When towing, it drops to 11-12 mpg. Just hard to keep the mileage high when you get rid of all that pretty molding that is designed for highway mileage; molding that becomes a disposable ornament in many places my truck ends up traveling. Trust me, my paint jobs are usually toast after 10K miles. Just part of the places we end up going.

If anyone has some hands on experience of a truck they are impressed with that is a true off-road animal, without a bunch of customized modifications, I would be interested in your experience. Please don't turn this into a "Chevy v. Ford v. Ram ......." thread. I don't care what brand, I just need a truck that can take a beating of the highest degree and keep running without a full-time mechanic on staff.

FWIW, I have been researching the new Ram Rebel, the new Titan, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, and the Ford Raptor (though it seems they are out of production at this time and seems very expensive for what you get). Cannot find a Chevy that I think would suffice, but maybe I am not looking in the right place.

Thinking I will buy this before hitting the road next season, so no big hurry. But, would like to do as much research as possible before writing a check for the amount that these trucks now cost.
 

WapitiBob

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Can't help. 368,000 miles on the crew cab and still going strong. I have no idea what I would buy if this one went sideways. Probably a Toyota or Nissan of some sort. The problem is to be big enough to hold 4 and still be the size you've been using that enables you to get in those back roads.
 
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elkmagnet

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My biggest advice for someone who uses his truck as I do is my next truck will have a selectable locking rear differential. I'm willing to sacrifice many things for one. Clutch type limited slips are garbage. The GM gov lok rear on z71's are OK but I did break one on my work truck and read it is common to do so.
It's amazing how much easier you can be on your truck when you don't have to "get a run at things" or throttle up hills due to the added traction.
 

mthillrunner

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I have owned two dodges, with one Chevy between the two dodge. First two were half tons, current dodge is a 3/4 ton dodge with the 6.4 l v8 in crew cab. I bought it this spring when the Chevy crapped out. I obviously can't help with the longevity of the current rig. All rigs I've bought were pretty plain with options. I've towed a camper that weighs about 8k lbs when loaded 4500 of the 11000 miles on it. I can go 65 over Homestake no problem. I get about 9 mpg when pulling it, I get about 11 when towing our sxs. I get about 16-17 mpg on the highway and 14 mpg overall excluding towing. I live about 100 miles from you & have taken it through its paces this fall. I've been happy so far, turning radius is about what my Chevys was. My biggest gripe is how tall it is to get in, I'm 6'4" and have to step up to get in. Loading a critter into the bed may be interesting due to height. I prefer the dodges to the Chevy for off road ability by a good bit. To be honest, I bought it because the dealer gave me a good deal on it when Chevy died. Brand wasn't a big deal for me other than I never warmed to the Chevy.
 

Big Fin

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My biggest advice for someone who uses his truck as I do is my next truck will have a selectable locking rear differential.

Mine have that. I would not consider a truck without that feature, Like you, I don't know that a truck without a locking rear differential would be considered useful for "off-road" duty. I have used mine more times that I can remember.
 

Big Fin

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I have owned two dodges, with one Chevy between the two dodge. First two were half tons, current dodge is a 3/4 ton dodge with the 6.4 l v8 in crew cab.

A 3/4 Ton has a lot of appealing attributes like you mention, but the ride is just too rough for the places I go. With that, it will be some sort of 1/2 Ton.
 

oilcan

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I have a a Dodge Ram with the ram boxes and I love them. If you plan on putting a camper shell on it won't work but you can't believe how much gear those boxes will hold.
 

Big Fin

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I have a a Dodge Ram with the ram boxes and I love them. If you plan on putting a camper shell on it won't work but you can't believe how much gear those boxes will hold.

Oops, forgot to mention; it will have a topper. Cannot operate without a topper. Keeps a lot of our gear safe from thieves and protected from the weather when the box/topper is loaded to the top with production and camping gear.
 

Browtinemt

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GMC, Dodge and Ford all offer diesel engines in their half to mid-size trucks now. I've never owned or heard anything good/bad about any of them, but that might be something to look into as a diesel engine would probably give you the longevity and torque you're looking for. Another option to muddy the waters anyway.
 

LukeDuke

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I have been really impressed with my Tundra. The cab is huge and I have the full size back doors. Comfortably fits 4 adults. I did have a leveling kit installed which gave me 3 inches of lift up front ant 1 inch on the rear of the truck. Handles the MN snow and ice and she did pretty good in the MT mud a few weeks ago but as you guys know, some of that stuff requires chains:) The Tundra rides like a car...love it. I was looking into the Raptors a couple of years ago. They are a beefy truck that can handle your off-road needs(gas mileage is terrible)...like 10-11 without towing anything. Maybe the new Raptors will be better in the mileage department. I think they are going to start making them again in 2017, but not 100% sure about that....just what I heard. Good luck
 

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elkmagnet

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Mine have that. I would not consider a truck without that feature, Like you, I don't know that a truck without a locking rear differential would be considered useful for "off-road" duty. I have used mine more times that I can remember.


It floors me that it's not a more popular option for 4x4 trucks.
 

devon deer

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Haven't you just answered your own question in your opening post?, the Titan.
If i had owned that truck i would either keep it, or buy a new one, stick with what you know is what i say.
I also wouldn't trust any manufacturer these days in relation to fuel economy/emissions?

I know compared to your trucks i have a piddly little Toyota Hilux truck, but it has been so reliable and i have never got stuck once, when it dies i will get another one, or if they were sold over here the Tundra, but then i probably couldn't afford to run it at $8/gallon.

Cheers

Richard
 

Big Fin

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All good stuff so far.

A video from a couple weeks ago, as to why a jacked up truck with big tires is not an option for what we do, even if it does improve clearance. Probably not the testimonial for selling big rims and jumbo mudders to hunters.

One time I got caught without my chains, and that will never happen again. Not sure you can even get chains for these 38" tires this guy had. When I see those trucks, I just laugh. This was a very nice young guy who was in a hard spot. We've all been there and I was happy to help. He was very thankful. Point being, hopefully the girls like those big tires on jacked up trucks, because they are worthless when it comes to these kind of situations,

https://youtu.be/F2pIOji348s

IMG_1246.JPG
 

hank4elk

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Randy if you like the Nissan, get a deal. You do need the towing ability.I saw your rental rig with only 2 of you,and the roads you drive,if you want to call them that...lol. Also the '15 has the bugs worked out and history of a model you like.

I picked up the new used F150 4x4 on a deal. My luxury hunting rig for 4. Tows great and gets almost as good of milage with a 5.4V8 as my Toyota V6. But I would not take it where and when I have the Tacoma. And it only cost a fraction in todays market.
The Tacoma I have has 365k and still runs like a top, goes past many others ,to places they hesitate to go.
I know many folks with some $ that love the Tundra's and Titans with a nod toward a Toyota.
 
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zfountaine55

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Randy,
I think you have mentioned some really good trucks for what you are looking for. I know you have been very happy with your Titans and with that I would think that would definitely be a front runner for you. From the ones I have worked on and seen through our shop, I have been impressed with the new Toyota Tundras and I think that the TRD Pro has some promising options. I am personally a GM fan but agree with your assessment that none of their current offerings fit your requirements without a fair amount of support from the aftermarket, also especially on the half ton trucks, the ground clearance is very poor from the factory. From the limited experience I have with the new Ram trucks, I have been very impressed. I believe that if I was in a situation using my truck for what you do and could afford a new truck, as JWP58 mentioned earlier, it would be a Ram Power Wagon. 3/4 Ton trucks have come a long ways in ride quality and comfort and at the very least I think that it would be worth a test drive and some of your time to research. I feel that the capability as a hunting truck is unmatched in AS IS new pickups. The front and rear locking differentials, sway bar disconnect, winch, ground clearance from the factory, manually shifted transfer case, and lower final drive ratio all seem to add up to a winning package. This is just my personal opinion, but in my experience of working on vehicles every day, I believe the Power Wagon would probably get my money.
 
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