Mid Week Match-Up: A Race Car Hauler For Matt
Today’s Mid Week Match-Up request comes from Matt C who writes: It would be nice if I had a tow vehicle capable of pulling around 4,000 to 5,000 pounds to pull a Dodge Dart race car and flatbed trailer. But not just a pickup truck – this would need to also double as a family mobile so it could haul two grown ups and two children, and be reliable enough to use as daily transportation. And my wife would want to use it for camping trips as well. I’m in the Atlanta area and the budget for this hypothetical purchase would be $6,000.
DT E-i-C Vince: The 21st century crew cab pickup is so much more capable than the things we used to call trucks back in the old days. You can drive them every day to work (as long as you don’t mind burning fossil fuel) and they can comfortably fit a family — heck, they even ride well compared to many SUVs on the market. Take a look at this 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab here on eBay bidding for $6,200 with 1 day to go, located in Levittown, PA.
What do you recommend for Matt? Comments below.
So I swallowed my Ford Truck pride and bought a 2WD Chevy 2500HD from the local power company. I don't recommend the HD for family or long distance driving duty but this '04 1500 Crew Cab looks like it would suit your needs well. Plus going parts shopping is like going to the dollar store.
Have owned a GMT800 2500 Suburban for a few years now. We've put quite a bit of mileage on it, pretty much every family trip, it actually drives very well for a "3/4-ton" truck. It tows reasonably well in flat to modestly hilly terrain and the LQ4 doesn't mind being revved but try to cross a mountain range with a trailer on the back and you'll know it ain't no diesel.
Considerations: All GMT800s develop a knock in the steering shaft and the first couple generations of GM replacements weren't much of an improvement. They're also prone to a stick-slide in the front (firewall) body mount that sounds like the torsion bar mount just broke. There are inexpensive fixes for both of these. Somewhat pricier is the little plastic cam on the right-side second-row seatback release that also fails routinely – because GM won't sell you JUST the cam, you have to buy the whole seat track assembly.
The carpet's wearing faster than the BMWs and the driver seat upholstery needs replacement (haven't looked at carpet pricing, aftermarket seat upholstery kits are cheap.)
Rolling up on 170K miles now and in no rush to replace it.
I also found the stock 9006/9005 headlights to be pretty poor, and so far the T84 option headlights have proven to be unobtanium, so I put in a set of the 9012/9011 HIR bulbs and it was a meaningful improvement.
Here are a few…
2004 Chevy Suburban 2500 4×4
2003 Dodge Ram
2003 GMC Denali (tow your race car with your "race" SUV)
Not saying this example is like this, but 90% of the 3rd gen Rams you see with those plastic fender covers are hiding rust. Just make sure you check before pulling the trigger on one of these.
Thanks for the replies, everyone! I used to have a '90 Suburban, and a newer one would definitely be the practical choice. But this being Daily Turismo, I was also wondering what impractical choices might pop up. 🙂 That Cadillac does look like it would be a pretty good highway cruiser…