Advice on getting a new truck to replace an old Tahoe

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Old 09-03-20, 04:22 PM
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Advice on getting a new truck to replace an old Tahoe

I have a 2000 Tahoe 4x4 that I bought new and for the first 10 years, it was my main vehicle. I put about 110,000 miles on it during that time and only about 45,000 over the past 10 years so it just has 155k now. Since the gas mileage is poor, I really only use it when my wife is using the other car, for longer trips, to haul stuff around, or to tow. With it being 20 years old and soon in need of tires and brakes and with never having any serious issue with it, I think it is time to move on. While I do like having the SUV, I am leaning more toward a truck because it might be more useful. In general, my wife and I don't do a lot of driving. I will be working from home now permanently and she does not have to commute to a job as of now so we typically won't need to use both vehicles at the same time. To give you an idea, our other car is an 09 Altima with 145k miles on it so that is more typical to the 12k-15k average miles per year on a vehicle. Anyways, we do go camping a lot, to the ocean, up skiing, and that is why I am thinking a truck with a canopy might be more useful, especially considering how the interior of trucks now pretty much look like SUVs, I can't really think of a benefit of going with an SUV except for hauling more people. We have 2 kids and occasionally might bring my parents around but I think trucks can hold 6 if needed. While it is not used that often, it is nice to have the 4WD for when I go up in the snow so I like that about what I have now. As far as camping, right now I just pull a pop up trailer that probably weighs about 2500-2800 when full and for the most part this handles it ok, but in the future we may get something bigger. The biggest I could foresee is something in the 21-26' range because that is all the room I have at my house, so probably under 7,000-8,000 pounds (definitely not a a big 12k pound 5th wheel or anything like that). Hopefully all of that information will provide an idea of what the usage may be like.

As far as type, I have always had Chevy's but the Rams look pretty nice so I would consider either of those. Never been a fan of Fords so sorry Ford guys, probably going to rule that out. As far as crew cab vs extended cab (or whatever they call them), I might lean more toward the standard bed with the smaller cab as opposed to the short bed and bigger cab. Everyone in our family is short and it would be the kids in the back anyways so I think the bigger bed might be more beneficial, but feel free to comment on that since I have not been inside one. My garage is exactly 20 feet deep though so it would be great to have one just under than length so I can fit it in there. I guess the final thing is to decide on new or used. As you can see, I tend to keep vehicles for a while. The two I have now are the only new vehicles I have bought and have had one for 20 years and the other for 11. I do like knowing what they have been through and I am not hard on vehicles at all (the brakes have lasted over 100k on both vehicles, for example, and the only thing to go out on either of them in that 20 years is the A/C) and I do a lot of the minor maintenance and repairs myself, but that being said, considering I don't drive it that much, I don't know what is the better route to take. I definitely don't want to spend $40k on a truck that won't be used that much so around $30k would be fine, but if you think used is better, then in the $20ks sounds even better (then I have money to put toward a travel trailer!). I am not in hurry for this but would probably like to buy one before the start of next spring/summer. I did plan to start looking into these this year, or at least start going out and looking and driving some and deciding what I want, but covid delayed that. Anyways, I appreciate you reading all of this babble but would love to hear some opinions to at least point me in a good direction to start figuring out what I want for when the time comes. Thank you.
 
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Old 09-03-20, 05:10 PM
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Whoo, is there a question or two buried in that manifesto???
 
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Old 09-03-20, 08:04 PM
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I was similar to you and had a 2000 1500 Silverado extended cab with about 150K miles. In 2018 I pulled the trigger on a new 2018 Silverado 1500 crew cab with the standard 6 1/2' box. I wanted the extra cab room and could not go down to the 5 3/4' box. The truck has everything I wanted but nothing fancy. Out the door, it was about $36K (with a $50K sticker) I did also trade my old truck in.

What I found is looking at used trucks compared to new they were only discounted $3000-$5000. Yes, that is still a lot of money, but I also hold onto my trucks for a long time and decided I wanted to newest tech on top of the newest model. You will have to see how things are in your area and see what is available. Even with the pandemic going on I have been hearing that car/truck dealers are selling a lot of inventory.

I will also note I am a Chevy fan and will likely always buy Chevy. I do drive a Ford for work which I like a lot and did consider them but finding a Ford crew cab standard box is harder than Chevy. I have never been a fan of Dodge. They look nice but I don't think the quality/longevity is there. Worked with a guy last summer how had a Dodge. It started having transmission issues.
 
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Old 09-04-20, 01:05 PM
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Just kind of casually browsing, I do see that ones up to 5 years old that have under 60k miles are still close to $30,000. If we are talking a difference of like $25k used compared to $40k new, then that is a huge difference but if the gap narrows to $30k used compared to $35k new, then it sounds more appealing. I guess on one hand, even if the truck has around 50k miles, if I keep it for 10 years it may only have a little over 100k at this rate. Miles never really scare me anyways because I know how I maintain them, but I don't want one that already has close to 100k. I am way out of the loop as far as buying vehicles anyways. The only car I actually purchased on my own was that Altima (this Tahoe was new but my dad originally bought it) and I only bought that new because it was only a couple thousand more than the used ones. So when you see these commercials on TV for dealer incentives or cashback and all this stuff, is it actually a good deal or do they screw you elsewhere? Is it really possible at some times of the year to get a brand new Silverado for around $30k, where it might actually be cheaper than a used one? But then again, those used ones that are around $30-35k were probably over $50k when they were new.

So as far as the crew cab vs. extended cab, are you just sacrificing leg room? If so, both my wife and I are short so we would have the seats up quite a bit so that would probably help. I just think it might be more beneficial to have the extra room in the bed and I believe a crew cab with a 6.5' bed is longer than 20' and wouldn't fit in the garage. And do you know anything about canopies as far as ease of taking them off and on? I just know that my dad has always had canopies on his trucks and 99% of the time, it works better that way, but every once in awhile it would be nice to take it off to load some dirt in it or something but he never wants to and makes it sound like a big deal or that it will leak.
 
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Old 09-04-20, 03:35 PM
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Of course, nobody pays sticker price unless it is a very special car/truck and of course the dealer also has to make money. The last two times I recently bought a new vehicle I felt I got the best deal I could at the time. The dealer wants to sell you a truck and they should try to find you all the "programs" and rebates that can save you money. It doesn't cost them as the programs are rebate to the dealer. Also if you are a member of Costco you can get a $350 or $750 card for Costco stuff. The bottom line is it pays to do your research! I think you will have a difficult time finding a truck for $30K unless it is really bottom of the line but you never know unless you look.

Yes, the crew cab is just bigger in the back. But I have had people ride in the back of my extended cab and said it wasn't bad. The seats also maybe a little less comfortable. I am 6'5" and my wife is 5'6" so we are not short people. My truck is about 20'6" from the front bumper to the end of the trailer hitch.

By "canopies" do you mean toppers? I had a fiberglass topper on my first pickup (1993 Silverado reg cab 8' box) and I really didn't like it much. I found it tough to get stuff in and out (could only do it from the back) at night it was hard to see behind you, and while it was easy to take off with 6 clamps it is not the lightest thing. The past two trucks I have had a roll-up tonneau cover and love them! But really you have to get what works for you.
 
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Old 09-04-20, 05:33 PM
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I am a Costco member and I was curious about their auto program. Have you used it? Do they just get you the best price without having to haggle? I definitely have to do some research on how much you should be paying, but I guess I better figure out what I might want first. I do mean the toppers. I know what you mean about it being a pain to put stuff in, but I guess I have always been around them, it makes it a weatherproof lockable storage area like the back of a SUV, but it is a pain when you have to load up big stuff. Maybe a tonneau cover is a good idea, especially if they have lockable ones. Thanks for the info!
 
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Old 09-04-20, 06:25 PM
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There is the Costco auto program which "pre-haggles" to get you the Costco price from participating dealers. This may not be the best price because when I was looking GM was having their 2 times a year "employee pricing" deal for everybody which I was told was better than the Costco price.

The other deal Costco has is towards the end of the year which I have used. They will have a deal if you buy a vehicle from a participating dealer (may or may not be one doing the auto program. I ran into that issue before) you can get a $350 or $750 Costco card that you can use at Costco. So, if you buy a lot at Costco it can be worth it. It was for us.

They do have lockable tonneau covers that are one-piece fiberglass similar to a topper, or ones that are in three pieces that flip up. There are also hard roll-up ones. Mine is soft and I have never had an issue with theft.

When I buy a truck I come up with a price for the truck which I think is fair. If the dealer doesn't get to that number then I don't buy it. The best position to be in is you don't NEED to buy a truck. That way you have the advantage because they want to sell you the truck. If you don't buy one then they have your number and can call you if they change their mind. The only bad side is it takes so FREAKING long to buy a vehicle these days.
 
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Old 09-04-20, 08:14 PM
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That is a great point. When I bought that last car, I really needed one because the old one had problems but I do not NEED one any time soon so maybe I will start figuring things out and do like you said. I will pay attention to when Costco has a deal like that because the gift card would definitely be worth it. So to come up with your fair price, do you just do research at like truecar or edmonds and see what stuff is selling for? And so when they have employee pricing and stuff like that, is it really actually cheaper? I guess I just figured they are going to make what they are going to make and may word it differently but in the end it is all going to be the same. And when they have those dealer incentives or whatever, is that disclosed up front? For example, let's say that the MSRP of something is $40,000 and to make money off of it, they would have to get $35,000 for it. If there is $4,000 rebate, would they just then show the sticker price as $36,000, but then they could still sell it for $31,000 to come out the same way because they will get that $4,000 back from the manufacturer? I guess what I am saying is that if you determined ahead of time that you wanted to offer $35,000 in this case, would it work out the same in the end for them if you then offered $31,000 if these rebates were in effect? Or like when they say they show the invoice price, is that just a gimmick or can you do anything with it? I am just rambling now...I can do some research, I don't expect you to do it all for me Thanks again.
 
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Old 09-05-20, 07:12 AM
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Leonard will add opening side windows(with locks) to your bed cover for an additional cost. Worked well for us,
 
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Old 09-05-20, 07:37 AM
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I had a Toyota Tundra double cab for years, traded it off last year for a used Ford Flex as the spouse wanted 3 row seats. The double cab is equivalent to the extended cabs of yesteryear, only with true doors that open normally. This meant the bed was 6', but it also meant not much leg room in the back. The lack of leg room was fine when all 3 kids were in car seats, but now with them transitioning to boosters and all forward facing, I'm afraid my days of not looking at true crew cabs are over.

I took over driving a Honda when the truck went away, which is fine now that I work from home. I do miss having a truck, though, so I consider this lack of truck to be temporary to really solidify just how nice it is to have a true truck for the truck things.

The Honda Ridgeline does interest me, but I do enough "truck stuff" that I just have a hard time giving up a full frame and the extra space. In your situation with a 20' garage, it might be something to consider.

I still think the Tundra is about the best value for full size truck, but I don't want to own one outside of warranty ever again. All trucks have a particular location that will rust out. Fords in the cab corners, GM around the rear wheels, Ram almost everywhere. Tundra has a design defect where the bed floor will rust through from the bottom up.

Good luck!
 
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Old 09-05-20, 08:49 AM
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Everybody starts at the sticker price which comes from the factory and is the Manufactures Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) but as I mentioned nobody pays that price. GM has many programs and rebates to go to the dealer or reduce the price. Employee pricing does also bring down the price from the MSRP but other offers will further drop it. Then there is what the dealer is willing to sell it for. I always let them come to you with a price first and go from there, That way you will know how far apart you are on price. I was surprised on my truck because I had a number in my head of $35 and they came to me with a price of $34K! I had to contain myself to get them down another $500.

As mentioned, my truck had an MSRP of over 50K and I got it out the door for around $36K. That is with my trade ($3500) taxes, title, and everything else. Everybody's deal is different. Just don't get talked into buying something and you will do fine.
 
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Old 09-05-20, 09:19 AM
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I skipped through & read some posts but I havent read every post in this thread so I may pass on irrelevant or double post info.

I have a 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 Off Road with the 5.7 Hemi & tow package. Its a stock truck. I havent added any add on's like large tires or lift kit etc. I have 217,000 miles on it. I've had normal issues with mine but nothing major... thank goodness... knock on wood, so far. Its really been a good truck.
I bought this truck in 2008. Which is when I like to buy. 1 - 2 years old. Depending, that's when the price drops most significantly on a vehicle in my opinion.

I agree that since you dont HAVE to have a truck right away, use that to your advantage & make that known to the dealer. Give him the impression that you can walk away at anytime... you're just looking & pricing, but willing to buy today if the deal is right. I like to tell people I am waiting on a "grandpa just died deal". A lot of times grandkids get grandpa's old truck or bass boat & is more interested in getting the hard cash in their pocket than what grandpa's old truck is worth. That's what I'm looking for. I'm looking for the deal on the right truck. Produce the right truck at the right deal & I'll buy. Until then, I'm still looking for those grandkids. I have time & I'm in no hurry.
 
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Old 09-08-20, 03:28 PM
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I appreciate all of this great info. What is your take on purchasing extended warranties? Like I said, I have only purchased one vehicle on my own and didn't buy one with that so I don't have any experience, but in general, I never buy extended warranties for anything. With all of the money I have saved over the years not buying them, I figure I can afford to get something fixed!

The other thing, for what I may tow in the future (a smaller travel trailer no bigger than 26'), a half ton would be fine for that, right? Should I look for any particular rear end ratio?
 
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Old 12-17-20, 12:20 PM
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FACTORY warranties are the way to go. Checkbook Magazine, couple of years ago, published a list of manufacturers who would sell you an exclusionary, factory extended warranty for something like $100-200 over their cost.
 
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Old 12-19-20, 08:52 AM
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A correction....it is the dealer who will sell you the warranty for $100-$200 over their cost.
 
 

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