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Towing Vehicle Advice


jdh

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I'm looking at a couple options for towing my boats around and trying to consider them from a financial point of view.

I have 22 ft Starcraft Islander & a 17 ft Lowe currently.

Right now I have a Nissan Frontier which gets the job done for now.  I'm putting on about 16k miles a year - with about 3.5k miles towing (mostly 80 mile round trips.

The option I was considering was selling the Frontier and buying a used truck for about $5 k and then buying a used sedan for commuting & trips for about $12 k.  I would estimate 5k miles a year would be driven on the truck, and the rest in the car.

Have you done something similar with having 2 vehicles and how has that worked out for you?

I hate putting all the highway miles on the Frontier when I don't need to be driving a truck.

Any other thoughts/suggestions?

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Brother JD,

Tough questions. I at one point in time was going to go to a 2 vehicle program as well. Park Ave for every day and a Suburban my buddy had for towing and harsh winter conditions. Kinda came down to my thoughts of twice the maintenance, more insurance and just more congestion of the driveway. I kept thinking, "Not one,..but 2 oil changes, not 4, but 8 new tires, not one brake job, two!" You get my point. Money was an issue so I had to pass on the Sub. Just some food for thought. Good luck in whatever you decide. -kelly

 

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I've been thinking the same thing JDH. Kelly you make some good points, but my argument for the two vehicle option is I'm still doing the same number of miles of total driving so maintainer should be spread out over the two, not just doubled. Insurance would increase, but my thought was to get a cheap "commuter" car and do PLPD. Drive it a couple years and then try to get out of it and into something else so I'm paying for fuel only an hopefully never paying for a vehicle other than initial investment. Always sounds better on paper though.. I'm curious to hear from someone who pulled the trigger on the 2 vehicle option.

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We have three cars for two of us.  Truck for truck stuff gets about 3k a year.  Wife ferries kids around in a Jeep.  I can steal either to tow. I drive a focus as I log 70-100 miles a day.  If one pukes we just cycle in another until I can fix it get it fixed.

 

As for cost the 100k focus replaced replaced a 228k escort, the jeep has been with us 17 years, and the truck was given to us as a favor to settle a debt.

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By dividing the $ from 1 vehicle to 2 means both will be "less" as far as quality and may mean higher repair costs plus insurance. It has to cost more to run 2 older vehicles than 1 newer one. I had 2 and am happy now with 1. But 2 is nice sometimes and sure opens up more options. Would the cost of leaving the boat at the marina be more or less than the 2nd vehicle? Not sure if Holland offers an in and out service or not but a friend has it in Muskegon and loves it.  Calls on the way and his boat is waiting at the dock.

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Yacht Basin does have in and out service.  I looked into it when I had my Lund but never pulled the trigger.  Main problem for me was that I like to go out early AM.  I'd have needed to have them get the boat out the night before which is okay unless the weather is dicey.

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Thanks for the replies everybody.  I would just have to run the numbers, but I'm leaning towards keeping just the 1 vehicle.

Not sure about slipping the boat, but storing the bigger boat in Holland somewhere might be my best option.  I'll have to finish rebuilding it first though.  It's just a shell & a motor right now.

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I bought a new 08 Silverado basic work truck 2WD 4.3 with positraction and it pulls my 22 Islander just fine. I also have a 04 Buick Lesabre that has 200,000 mi + that I bought from a neighbor when it had 93,000mi. A used basic work truck will get your towing done.

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I run two.   2011 Ford F350 I bought when I was towing a boat.  and I have a 2007 Madza 6 that I drive back in forth to work.  but I find now that gas prices are down I still drive the truck, just because it's more fun to drive.

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